From Suzie Bastian, Jared’s mother:
Jared graduated from TJHSST summa cum laude in 2015. He took Mandarin for 3 years at TJ so learning Hmong was hard, but not impossible. Jared is a talented pianist and cellist. He has been playing the piano on his mission often, even accompanying choirs and doing musical numbers. Because he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he is used to the cold weather in the midwest. But he was shocked at how cold it can be doing missionary work.
There are no active Hmong members in his area right now, so he’s doing mostly reactivating. It is difficult to get people to get to church on Sundays, but recently, members have been coming more.
From Jared’s last letter:
Transfers this week and Elder Vang is leaving (finally! He’s been here forever!) and I’m getting Elder Cody Smith and he doesn’t speak Hmong!!!!
So we are now in a striped companionship! So now I teach 100% of all the Hmong lessons and I don’t get any support except the moral/spiritual support from an awesome companion! I am actually super excited! Plus I am going to be the Senior Companion (because I’m the one that speaks Hmong) and I get to see a bunch of missionaries that I served near in Green Bay again (Elder Webber and Elder Kelly) so that will be super fun too!
This week was amazing! We had the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast and they reviewed the Broadcast from last year and basically did a “here are the concerns, what do you think about them?” with the Missionary Executive Council (Elder Oaks, Elder Bednar, Elder Anderson, Bishop Waddell, Brother Stephen B. Allen, Sister Oscarson, and Elder Neilson) then they announced some GROUNDBREAKING CHANGES! We only have 4 Key Indicators now, and the schedule has a TON of flexibility to needs of missionaries and the needs of certain areas so you and your companion can be the most effective missionaries you need to be. It’ll be so cool and the changes for schedule go into effect this new transfer! And Pday starts at 8 AM!!!!!!
Yesterday I also had the chance to go back to Green Bay to see Will get baptized (we taught him when I was with Elder Davis and Elder Stokes) and it was an amazing baptism and I got to see tons of the members from there. It was great to see everyone and I loved it! We had a member drive us out there and we just talked the whole drive there and it was so cool, we talked about his mission and the new missionary changes and the church and it was awesome! At the baptism I got to give the talk on the Holy Ghost too which was a real blessing and honor.
This week is looking great. Snow this week possibly and even better I get to wait in Steven’s Point for my new companion for basically the entirety of Wednesday. But then back to work and I get to be the only Hmong missionary in the Wausau Stake/Zone!
Hlub nej os! Kuv zoo siab kuv nrog Tub Txib Vaj ua tub txib ua ke. Thiab kuv cia siab lub transfer no mam ua ib lub transfer zoo tshaj!!!!!!!!
Keep fighting the good fight!
Elder Bastian/Vam Xeeb Thoj