Monday, April 24, 2017

Heyyyy

I don't have much time to write today, but I wanted to send some pictures! The kid in the first picture is baby John, our investigator Moo Eh Wah's son. I'm obsessed with him. He's so cute! (I totally agree, he's a cutie. When you know how much Brooklyn loves children and how much she wants to be a mom, this is such a sweet picture!)


And then the second picture is us, Karen Moo (the one getting baptized), and her older sister Moo Eh Wah (still deciding if she wants to get baptized on May 6th). We are going to have a lesson with them tonight that we are really excited about so hopefully by next week she will be on date for May 6th as well! 

Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well! I'll write more next week!


Mom notes:  In Brooklyn's letter to me she wrote that they were lucky to have really beautiful weather over the weekend. Sounds like they've had lots of spring rain like us, but the past few days have been in the low 70's. She also said the language is coming along. She said it's been frustrating because she really doesn't know how to teach herself a language, but every time she gets frustrated she prays and then either that day or the next day she surprises herself with how much more she realizes she knows. I asked her if she's remembering to use bug spray. She said mosquitoes are still biting her but not as much as that one day. But.....she hasn't stopped eating bananas! hahahaha

Brooklyn sent us a few more pictures. We asked her if this is how she eats all her meals. She said, "Oh yeah, we don't ever sit anywhere besides the floor with the Karen people." I noticed the hammock in the background and she mentioned that a lot of them have hammocks in their homes. They must be tired of sleeping on the floor all the time! 


I thought this random picture was cute. She looks happy!


Yay for seeing Sister Wilcox (her MTC companion) again! Sister Wilcox's mom sent me this picture. We both haven't heard where they got to see each other though. Makes me curious because Brooklyn is in her Karen dress. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

"Ma'am, do you eat bananas?"

This past week was awesome! We had a great lesson with our investigators Karen Moo and Moo Eh Wah who are sisters. In Karen culture, people think you're too young to get baptized until you're 18 or until you get married, whichever comes first. They also have been taught that it's a reallllly big sin to be baptized twice. Karen Moo is only 14 and really has been wanting to get baptized but her parents said she is too young. Moo Eh Wah is 24 and got baptized when she was 14 which was when she got married. She has been wanting to get baptized as well, but has been a little hesitant because of the whole double baptism thing. We told Karen Moo a couple weeks ago to pray that her parent's hearts will be softened, and this week we had a member come teach them with us. He told about his experience of getting baptized for a second time and the blessings that have come from it. Then Karen Moo told us that she asked her parents again and they are totally fine with her being baptized. She asked us when she can get baptized! So we set a baptismal date with her for May 6th!! Then she turned to her sister and said, "Are you getting baptized with me on May 6th?" And Moo Eh Wah said, "I really want to get baptized, but I still need to pray about it." So she's praying about whether or not she should get baptized in a couple weeks! We are so excited for them. They are amazing! 

Funny moment of the week, we were at a member's house eating dinner with her, her nonmember husband, and his nonmember son who was visiting from out of town. The son was kind of quiet and awkward. He didn't really say anything the whole time except one word answers to my questions. But we were having a suuuuper good steak dinner outside since the weather was so good and I kept getting bit by mosquitoes and no one else was. When we were about to leave the son says to me, "Ma'am, do you eat bananas?" I said, "....yes...?" And he said, "You should switch to kiwis. Bananas open your pores." I thought this kid was going to give me skin care adviceπŸ˜‚ but then he added, "...so mosquitoes are attracted to you." So lesson of the week, eat kiwis instead on bananas and mosquitoes will be less attracted to you! You're welcome! The steak was super good though, so I'll attach a picture! (She told me "It was the best steak I've ever had, hands down! I told the guy I'm bringing my future husband to learn how to cook this!" hahahaha)

Also, HAPPY EASTER! I hope everyone had a great Easter Sunday, the weather was beautiful here! This Easter I have been able to focus more on the true meaning of Easter than ever before and it has been such a great experience. I'm so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ who suffered and died for us, and was resurrected for us. I'm very grateful for the knowledge I have of the resurrection and that we will all be resurrected. It gives me hope and peace about the future. This week, take a moment to get on your knees and pray to Heavenly Father and thank Him for His son Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for us. 

The best steak she's ever had! (Maybe she's eating too many Asian meals!)


I got my companion to get a hammock so I can use mine, and we tried finding a place in the apartment to set it up. This is the best we could do. hahaha She tried sleeping in it one night and lasted about 20 minutes. Brooklyn told me they were going "hammocking" today for P-day, hope they find a good place to hang them!


It's hard to see the little red dots on her legs in this picture, but Brooklyn told me she thinks she has bed bugs. After Jeff's experience in Thailand I freaked out for one second, then asked her if they are in her apartment or if it's from visiting families. Much to my relief she said "JK, it's just mosquito bites!" I told her she needs to try eating kiwis instead of bananas! By the way, the polite young man calling her "ma'am" was only in his early twenties! hahaha


Sister Hermansen and Sister Fine with some cute Karen children. She loves the little ones!
I asked her how her Easter day was yesterday and she said it was good! There was a musical number in Sacrament meeting that was sung by some children. She said they weren't very good at singing, but it was really cute! Some sweet members gave her an Easter basket filled with goodies including a little cash. She also mentioned receiving some cash in a card someone had sent her. I sure appreciate all the sweet, thoughtful and kind things that are done for our missionary!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Take me out to the ball game!

Hello! This week I went to my first Major League Baseball game! All of the missionaries serving around the twin cities were able to go to a Twins game! It was really cold, but super fun! Funny story about it, the week before, I bought a Twins hat to wear to the game. We got to the game and we walked up to where all of the missionaries were and Elder Nelson from my last area, who's from Texas says, "Hey Sister Hermansen, I'm glad you're supporting Texas instead of Minnesota!" I bought a Texas Rangers hat...πŸ™ƒ why they were selling those in Minnesota, I don't know. Shows you how much I know about sports I guess hahahaπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I felt pretty dumb so of course I had to go buy a Twins hat to wear. πŸ˜‰
Wrong hat!
 Right hat!
This week we had exchanges, the last sister that served the Karen people came to our area with me and that was super fun! We found a really nice new family to teach that we're super excited about! We were walking up to these apartments and two young moms and a ton of little kids were walking up too, so Sister Heath starts speaking Karen to them and basically says, "We're missionaries and we teach people about Jesus Christ. Can we teach you and your family?" And the lady said, "Of course, follow me!" It's crazy how open all of the Karen people are to learning about Jesus Christ. It makes it so we have to decide who actually wants to learn and progress in the gospel and who is just willing to listen though. Sometimes that's a tough call to make. 

Yesterday I had to say a prayer in Sacrament meeting in Karen! It was so scary! I was so nervous, but it was cool have that opportunity!πŸ™‚ Some of our investigators that have never been to church before came too! 

Here's about half of the missionaries that came. I didn't know this picture was being taken so I'm not even looking, oh well! (She's near the top on the right under a green blanket, with a hat on)

Sister Fine and I at the game! In my actual Twins hatπŸ˜‚

Elder Blackburn, Elder Evans, Sister Heath-(works with the YSA now but used to work with the Karen), Sister Fine and Brooklyn. There's two more Karen Elders in her ward that aren't in the picture

And just for fun, my Karen dress that I got! (She said it's super uncomfortable to sit on the floor in)

I asked Brooklyn this week about her Karen name, Cha Moo Paw. She said she was given the name by Pee Haw Paw, or Grandma Haw Paw. (Pee means Grandma in Karen and Poo means Grandpa!) Cha means star, Moo means life and Paw means flower. Brooklyn said it was weird getting used to being called Sister Hermansen, and now it's even weirder getting used to Cha Moo Paw! 

Brooklyn also told me about seeing a returned missionary from Minnesota (Grant Peterson) who served in our area and his fiance, Emma Zimmerman (who served in Minnesota) at a Lamb of God Concert she ushered at Sunday night. It caught her really off guard to run into him, but it was fun! Emma sent us a picture. It was fun to see Brooklyn in the new dress we sent her for Easter! 
Yay, it fits!

It sounds like the language is coming along. I stress about having to pray in Sacrament Meeting in English. Can't believe she's already praying in Sacrament meeting in Karen! I'm so proud of her!!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Something amazing happened this weekend

This weekend we had the amazing opportunity to hear from the Prophet Thomas S. Monson and a bunch more of God's servants here on Earth. General conference is such a cool opportunity where we get to hear from the leaders of Christ's church and receive guidance and direction. The talks were sooo good. I can't pick a favorite because they were all so good, but one that I really liked was by Elder Dale G Renlund, one of the apostles. He talked about how Christ will never support sin, He hates sin, but he will never condemn us. No matter what we do, He will always love us and He is always waiting for us to let Him help us. He talks about a lot more stuff, you can watch his or any other of the talks here. https://www.lds.org/general-conference?cid=HP_SU_2-4-2017_dPFD_fGC_xLIDyL1-B_&lang=eng 
Do it! They're so good! ☺️

We had a really cool lesson with one of our progressing investigators named Moo Eh Wah. She is amazing. She talked about how before the missionaries knocked on her door she had been praying for guidance from God and when the missionaries came, she heard the Spirit tell her to accept them as servants of God. Her faith is growing so much and she has gained a testimony of so many things already! She knows the Book of Mormon is true and loves it even though it's not even translated into Karen yet. It's truly amazing to see these people who don't have a Book of Mormon in their language, gain a testimony of its truthfulness from the Spirit. We read scriptures from it to them and translate them into Karen the best we can, but we really need to rely on the Spirit to help them. This has strengthened my testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon so much. I know it's true and I know that anyone who has a desire to know if it's true can gain that by the power of the Holy Ghost. 

Sorry I don't have much time to email this week so this is a short email! Love you all!

Love, Cha Moo Paw (My Karen name)

I didn't even notice the first time I saw this picture that the print on it is Asian. I'm assuming it's Karen, but don't know for sure. 


Brooklyn told us that she puts chili sauce into almost every meal she eats to cover up the fish oil taste. (She still hasn't eaten fish!) She said she put so much on this bowl she was sweating! hahaha 
After the porcupine last week, I think I'd worry about the "mystery meat" in this dish! 
I also found out that they don't get fed very much now, so maybe that's a good thing? I told her we'd send a little extra money for dinners from now on. 

Her first Karen purchase....it's called a "tuh" (bag). She said most people wear them like this, but she'll wear it over one shoulder. 

This is where Brooklyn and her companion tried to do some weekly planning, but it ended up being way too cold. Minnesota temperatures are still in the 50's but with the humidity it feels colder. 


As a mom I've been really worried about how the changes in her mission have been affecting her. I didn't even ask her how she is coping and she wrote this in her letter to me this week.....an answer to my prayers!

On my mission I have really realized how easy going I actually am. Some of the people I see are crazy! hahaha I just go with the flow of everything. I think that's why Heavenly Father knew I could be in Karen work. It's so much more fast paced and stressful but I just choose not to stress about it. I read the blessing from when I got set apart every now and then (we took notes when President Knudsen set her apart and typed them up so she could take a copy with her on her mission.) and in it, it says "you were blessed to be happy" and I can tell how true that is. So many missionaries struggle so much with being stressed or depressed or anything but I just don't. Heavenly Father is helping me out a ton!

My mom heart is so happy!