Elder's Nguyen's Favorite Scripture

"And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

"The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

"Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever."

- D&C 122:7-9

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Email Dated Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hi everyone!

I'm doing fine.  Learning Vietnamese is still hard, and we have to teach an investigator in Vietnamese, so we really aren't able to answer any questions that he has.  But everyone's progressing, we can all say some simple doctrine in Vietnamese without looking at our notes.

The food here...well, it's not that good.  Mostly I eat cereal and milk, with the occasional Sunday lunch.

I caught a cold the day after P-Day last week.  I'm suddenly very glad that I brought all that medicine with me.  I was fine after a couple days of taking Ny-Quil.

Sorry to hear that Michael has a fever.  Hope he gets well soon.

Recently I heard about something called DearElder dot com or something like that.  You can send an e-mail to a missionary, and it will be delivered as a letter.  I was hoping you could help me with something.  The record for the greatest number of letters in one day is 10 or something.  I was hoping that you maybe could help me break that record sometime...

Elder Neil is doing fine.  He's half Vietnamese on his mother's side.  He's from North Carolina or something.

Elder Lichtenberg and his companion Elder Knights are both doing well.  Elder Knights is from England, and Elder Lichtenberg is from Michigan.

All four of us are going to Cambodia Vietnamese Speaking.

I was also wondering if you could send a couple things.  First, I would like some cough drops.  I have a bit of a sore throat after that cold, and I seem to have gotten several people sick by accident.  Second, I was wondering if you could send me some peanut brittle...there isn't really good dessert around here except during Sunday lunch.

To A.J., Michael, and Jacob: Good luck with school!

Elder Nguyen

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Letter Dated August 21, 2012

Xin chao,

Today was my first P-day.  It was real nice not having to go to class.

The laundry room was really crowded.

Went to the Temple today.  I really enjoyed going.

I might be getting sick, but I'm O.K. enough to get around during the day.

Thanks for the cookies and the soap.  For some strange reason, though, the cookies have a hint of soap in taste...

The language is a bit difficult, but I'll manage.

I joined the MTC choir.  We get to sing during Tuesday devotionals.  The choir director is fun, but not in the same way as Brother Stewart (he doesn't talk about pineapple and chocolate, for instance).

Speaking of the devotional, Elder Anderson spoke to us during the devotional.

DID YOU KNOW... today is President Monson's eighty-fifth birthday?  We sang to him at the devotional... even though he wasn't there...

In short, I like it here a lot, even though some things are slightly annoying, like the breakfast lines.

Elder Nguyen

Actual First Letter - Postmarked August 18, 2012

We received this letter on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, but it was postmarked Saturday, August 18, 2012.

Hi everyone,

It's been a busy first few days here at the MTC.  I'm still not sure whether I'll be using e-mail or regular letters on my mission, so I'm just going to send letters for now.

Lots of studying to do here.  It's hard to learn as quickly as they want us to, but I'll manage.  The teachers only speak in Vietnamese, so it's a little easier to learn.

My companion is nice enough.  We get along pretty well, and the same with the other companionship who we share the room with.

Missing you all already.

Elder Nguyen

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Letter - Dated Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hi everyone!
(To Dad) I'm doing fine.  I am learning Vietnamese.  In fact, the teachers only speak Vietnamese except during 2 specific sections of class. 
(To Mom) The flight wasn't great.  I tried to sleep, but the seats were too small and I couldn't get a good position to sleep in.  I didn't eat all of that candy, in fact I still haven't eaten some of it.  Yes, Chuck Reed introduced himself to me after security.  The shuttle was easy to find, but it took a long time to get on because there were a lot of tourists Wednesday.
The food is not great. It is EXACTLY like BYU food....
The schedule is rigid, even laundry times are scheduled.  On the plus side, I got used to the schedule by day 2.
I've met Elder Lichtenburg, but he's not my companion.  My companion is named Elder Neil, but we share the residence with Elder Lichtenburg and his companion, Elder Knights.
(To everyone) I'm doing OK here.  The days started out VERY slow, but they have been getting quicker.  I've started reading the Book of Mormon in Vietnamese.  It's hard, but I have my English copy open beside it so I can at least understand what I'm reading.  Most of the instruction is in the language, but there is an hour each day dedicated specifically to learning to teach the Gospel, and we also have a time when we get to teach an "investigator," who is really a volunteer, but we have to speak in Vietnamese.  So we are basically trying to figure out what she's been saying the past 3 days.
I got your package yesterday.  Thank you so much!
Did you get my letter yet?  I'm probably going to write letters more often than e-mail.
Hope you're all doing great,
Elder Nguyen

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Elder David Nguyen Is Officially a Full Time Missionary

Elder Nguyen was set apart by our wonderful Stake President tonight.  It was a sweet, spiritual experience for our entire family.

Bright and early tomorrow morning, Elder Nguyen will leave for the Provo Missionary Training Center tomorrow morning.  Upon arrival, a shuttle will take him from Salt Lake International to the MTC. 

Good luck, Elder Nguyen!  We love you!