As with prior transfers, once again, for one last time, I got what I wanted. For my final transfer, I will be a trainer. This one will be really special. Aside from Chi Dao, I've never had an American companion, and she was sick, so we seldom proselyted and she went home before the transfer ended. Since that time (about half my mission), I have been the only white Vietnamese-speaking sister missionary in the whole world. According to my understanding, only one of the incoming sisters is straight up caucasian and therefore unable to go to Vietnam. I'm the only sister training in Vietnamese in Cambodia, therefore, I will be training my replacement as the only white, Vietnamese-speaking sister missionary in the entire world.
At the end of my mission, I will have officially had three trainees, but we joke that I have five daughters in the mission. Chi Vy and Chi Thuy were my twins (while I was covering both Branches 3 and 10), but I had to give up Chi Thuy for adoption. Then I had a foster daughter in the Khmer program, Sister Cloud. Her trainer got really sick right at the beginning of Sister Cloud's first transfer. I lived upstairs with Chi Vy, who was in her second transfer as a trainee, so I was the one Sister Cloud would come to asking, "What do I do!?" with both medical and missionary concerns. After that I trained Chi Huong in Branch 3, and now I will train again, this time in Branch 6. That means I will have trained in all three branches. Apparently my new trainee's name is Sister Litchfield. I do not yet know her Viet first name from her MTC teachers, but I get to name her with her full Viet name!
Ho Chi Minh has exploded, with two branches and six missionaries (two sets of elders and one set of sisters) in each branch. Only one of those companionships is a normal one though; everyone else is training. The co-zone leaders can't even be companions with each other because they both have to train, and the district leader is training too. Branch 3 has been split into two areas, but even with a full complement of missionaries in Phnom Penh (the zone is back up to fourteen missionaries in two districts; we've been in only one district the past couple transfers because numbers have been down), we have more missionaries in Vietnam than in the Vietnamese program in Cambodia. When I arrived in the mission field, there were only eight or ten missionaries in Vietnam. Now there will be sixteen.
Here's where everyone will be:
Branch 3 - Anh ca Canh and Anh ca Tan, North; Anh ca Vu (DL) and trainee, South; Chi Nga and Chi Thuy
Branch 10 - Anh ca Tu (ZL) and Anh ca Sang (ZL); Chi Hien and Chi Huong
Branch 6 - Anh ca Binh (DL) and Anh ca Bao (trainee); Chi Hoa and trainee)
Ha Noi - Anh ca Duc and Anh ca Hieu; Chi Ha and Chi Vy
Ho Chi Minh - Anh ca Minh and trainee; Anh ca Lim and trainee; Anh ca Duy and Anh ca Tri; Anh ca Huynh and Anh ca Ho (trainee); Chi Van and trainee; Chi Hong and trainee
For those of you wondering about the number of trainers relative to the number of trainees I reported previously, all four elders are sticking around. However, the Khmer program is down about eight sisters, and Em Thi and Em Tra are actually better in Khmer than in Viet, so I'm sorry to report that they have apparently been shuffled into the Khmer program.
Also, Sister Cloud and Sister Hartley are staying together, same house, same area next transfer and it's looking like my final weeks are going to totally rock!
In other news, this past week was interesting because I got sent back to Branch 10 with Chi Truong (Em My Hoa) again. She was in a trio in HCM, and I was in a trio in Branch 6. Em Thi and Em Tra can't get passports (long story) and therefore can't go to the Philippines, which means they can't go to the MTC or the temple (we're really sad, and they are even more sad), so they've been doing a mini MTC here. The original idea (before they switched over to Khmer) was that Chi Truong and I would help, but then we ended up just proselyting in Branch 10, which has been nice because we didn't do much of that last year on account of the fact that it was Christmas and I had pneumonia.
Chi Truong actually came back to Cambodia to go to Siem Reap, where she helped out with the open house of the new meetinghouse there. She has a great contacting story. Sister Perez (who, oddly enough, was our roommate in the Branch 10 house last Christmas when I had pneumonia; we taught her a little Vietnamese, which is relevant to this story) was out on the street trying to invite people in to see the building. She saw four people walking together and tried to invite them to the open house, but they didn't understand what she said. She let it go and continued inviting people, but then she saw them walk by again, and she became somewhat determined. They still didn't understand her, but she understood when they said "Viet Nam" and got rather excited and cried, "Oh! Xin chao!" (Hello.) They stopped to listen to her, but she didn't know what to say beyond that, and tried to run inside to get Chi Truong, so they started to leave. She came back and called, "Khoe khong?" (How are you?), so they stopped again. Once again, when she tried to go get Chi Truong, they started to leave, so Sister Perez yelled the bit of slang she picked up from the Vietnamese missionaries, "Bo tay!" (literally, "tie hands," but we say in the kinds of places where one might say "Well, darn it" in English). After that they stayed until Sister Perez got Chi Truong. They stayed for the open house and apparently really liked it, and that is how the open house in Siem Reap got four referrals for HCM.
This mission is amazing. I love it so much.