Sunday, December 15, 2013

November 2013

I started the first weekend of the month by visiting family in St. Paul. I helped a family member move into her new place in the Twin Cities. The weather was great for moving. I spent some quality time with my sister while putting up her new dining room table. It was Daylights Savings time (Fall back), so we gained an hour of extra sleep! James' family treated all of us movers at Perkins in Roseville before I headed back home. Along my way home, I went to get windows in Menards in Alexandria. I took the "chance/risk" by putting one of the large windows on top of my car with the strong 20-30mph winds. Well, I was so focused on not wanting my window to come off from the "well secured" (bungee ropes) roof that I lost focus on the up-coming stop sign just 1/4 mile north of Menards on the back roads that I went through the stop sign!...nearly hitting an up-coming vehicle going east on the stop sign. I just swirved in front of the car and turned right going east too. THANK GOD I didn't hit the vehicle avoiding a near serious car accident!..weh!

On the 4th (Monday), I did more raking (after arriving from my Benson route) in my yard before heading out to the weekly ESL classes at the local campus to join some friends there.

On Friday (8th), my housemates and I hosted a sushi party again. It cool to invite friends of ours from the college. The following day, I took some friends to Don's Café after the recent award for "best grilled cheese sandwich", which I had to try my self..

After voting for the best grilled cheese sandwich in the state (Minnesota) and haven't tried it when Don's Cafe was declared the winner. I decided to go try it myself while bring a couple of friends along (1st time for them too) on Saturday, November 9th 2013 Vote Don's!.... to Don's Cafe!... What's your favorite food/dish there during breakfast, lunch, or supper?....

On Sunday (10th), my local church hosted a guest musician (Tim Daniels from North Carolina). See photo-videography-> Tim Daniels in Concert.

After close to 2 weeks, I finally found (a client from my workplace was being sleazy-joking around and took it off from my jacket pocket when I wasn't my nearly broken cell phone. Fortunately, I was in the process of ordering a replacement (smart phone instead) prior to "losing" it, but I wanted to take out the smart card from the "old" phone and put it in my "new" smart phone. It was International week at the campus, so I would attend several events: Fashion Show, International Country Spotlight, and a movie-"American in China.

On Thursday, November 14th-I brought my housemate (Yuu) to his 1st parade in Morris->

Annual Parade of Lights (November 2013) Part 1

The weather was fairly warm-compared to previous parades!

On Saturday (16th), I went to Alexandria for my quarterly teacher's training. I picked-up some items for our "Japanese-theme" food party my housemates and I hosted to some friends (Marta, Bailey, etc..). The next day, there was a church potluck at my local church. The guest speaker (Jim M.) shared about the story of Baal (false god) in the Bible and how people can "call-upon" the "real" God through His answered prayers. During the service, pastor Pat led prayers for a young couple in our church that lost a newborn :( and also the tsunami in the Philippines. I would make a couple of tribute videos for this historical natural disaster-> Philippine Typhoon Haiyan-Yolanda 2013 Awareness Video & Philippine Typhoon Haiyan-Yolanda Relief Thank You-Salamat to show my prayers and support living this far in this part of the world.

I wrote down "snow" on the 21st (Thursday), so this was probably our 1st "significant" snow fall. I remember going to the local library to do some errands and then I rode my bike to Subway to meet a friend (Eric) that I haven't had the time to "sit down and talk" for a long time. It was good catching up!

On Saturday (23rd), I went to a "friend's" jazz concert to support her as she's been a faithful volunteer in the weekly ESL classes on Wednesday nights at the local school. I then went back to my house to join another weekend party my housemates were hostingn(w/sushi).

On Sunday (24th), I had to attend a "make-up" inservice meeting with my 2nd job about "Fire Safety". I was somewhat "angered" about having to attend on a Sunday and miss church service. However, I was going to missed it if I was able to have friends join me to drive to St. Paul for a "Haiyan Typhoon Fundraiser" sponsored by the local Filipino community in the Twin Cities. Unfortunately, my friends were too busy with school work, so I decided to go to this inservice meeting that lasted only 15 minutes or so in Wheaton (40 minute drive NW of here). On our way back, my co-worker and I continued our "small-talk". I then had that "Holy Spirit" touch, which I felt this trip can't be wasted. There needs to be something more "worthwhile" of this trip. I felt the need to share the "Good News" with this co-worker of mine since I couldn't go to church. I ended up sharing my personal testimony with him after he shared about some of his own "personal battles" (which we all have). The lesson from this is "God is in control of all your circumstances" no matter if it's not going "your" way; as long you let Him have "His" way!

On Tuesday, November 26th-I attended the weekly Jane Adams community gathering, which they had a Japanese theme. I invited my housemates, which Yuu was able to go. We learned how to do oragami, which I've done already in the past. On Hanukkah (Wednesday 27th), I attended my weekly Bible Study gathering, but the host wasn't available. Thus, we met at Neil & Ruth's house for breakfast. The following day, I would go to the cities with my housemate (Yuu) for Thanksgiving after I got off my pt-job (overnight shift). Traffic was pretty bad as many were traveling to different holiday destinations, but we were thankful to get to St. Paul safely. We arrived at my parent's home before going to my younger brother's family's house for a Thanksgiving family (over 40+ relatives of my brother's in-laws were there) gathering (e.g. great Hmong food, football on t.v. with the guys, etc...). After our great time with family-friends, I refused to participate in the "early" Black Friday. Instead I took Yuu a drive around the Twin Cities, which we would drive by Target to show him the crazy lines (see The Short-Long Lines of "Black Thursday". The next day (Friday 29th), I took Yuu (1st time visit) with my nephew (Stefan) to the Mall of America. It was pretty crowded, which we had to drive to the the top (about less than 10 cars) floor (East Parking Lot side) because I didn't want to waste my time driving around looking for a spot. On Saturday (30th), we drove to Seed of Abraham (Messianic service-Jewish believers of Christ) in St. Louis Park. It was my second time there as I wanted to show Yuu since he has an interest in this particular religion. We then went to Lake Street in Minneapolis to visit several cultural places. I then took Yuu to one of my favorite eateries in East St. Paul-> Pappy's. By evening time, we walked around downtown St. Paul to see the holiday festivities (e.g. Hmong New Year, Rice Park, etc...).

Friday, December 13, 2013

October 2013

I continued my car brake project through the 1st week of October, which I'm glad I did this then compared to the current freezing weather (December 13th). During my brake project (2-3 weeks span: THANK YOU-Ed for sacrificing some weekends to work on my car several hours!; Oray, friend/co-worker, for driving me to the junkyard on the 15th for a part that I wasn't able to find and found out I would never need), I rode my bike a lot! It was great exercise, saved a lot of money, less wear and tear of my car as I didn't put much miles, etc... I was hoping to do this as long as I can even though my car would get fix before the "cold" winter hit. The healing "fire" service continued from last Sunday to the 6th. I would pray with people at my workplace that needed healing and my faith built up when I had a couple of friends join me to pray for another friend (UMM student who damaged one of his fingers when he accidentally slammed his car door on it!). I would post this with some pictures from the healing service prior on facebook-private setting, which I just share it with a certain number of people as I continue to do so still today (12 of December) that needs encouragement..praise the Lord!

On the 7th (Monday), I started attending the UMM ESL classes to join some friends that I know after I was about to check out how the weekly ESL classes are like. I started with Level 3, which I was about to visit the other levels. Well, I just grew to like the people here and never had the chance to visit the other levels. I would do this through the whole semester. The on Tuesday (8th), I would attend Jane Adams, which I brought my housemate (Yuu-"Mr. Social Bee") and he would join me a couple to several meetings throughout the semester.

Yuu would end up sharing about his country (e.g. Kobe Beef) in the ESL classes I do the next day (Wednesdays) as we discussed the topic of the recent "holiday"-Colombus Day-who really "discovered" America? (see history).

It was a beautiful Thursday (10th), so a close friend (Chris) and I played some soccer outside on a 74 F sunny afternoon after work. The following day (11th), it was just the opposite-tornado watch with rain. I ended up playing racquetball with my housemate (Yuu) indoors at the local fitness center.

On Sunday (13th), we had a guest speaker (college alumn friend) at church, who is a missionary at Ireland. She shared a very encouraging message about the power of sharing out own testimonies of how God has and continues to change-mold us. The following day, I went to a campus-community event called Soup & Substance: Abuse, which was a great 1+ hour community discussion and to increase the needed awareness of this prevalent "social issue".

On Saturday (19th), some friends (Wenting from China, Yuu, and Kazu) and I went to Alexandria to "hangout". We visited a former student (Olim from Uzbekistan) of mine at the best ethnic Chinese restaurant in Alexandria. Later that evening, we all joined a couple of other friends (Ed & Aisanne) to go bowling back in Morris. We had a great time!

On the 20th (Sunday), I attended a friend/co-worker's benefit fundraiser for his unfortunately deceased wife. I made a tribute video to promote this community event as my way of support. I would later make more videos from the 30 minute interview I did prior for family and friends to see. I'm hoping to more similar interviews like this as time allows.

During the last 2 weeks of October, there was a push for community support of this online contest-"Celebrate My Drive"-to get as much votes to support safe teen driving. The ranking would go up and down, which our community would end-up finishing 3rd place (announced the following month)!

On Friday (25th), my housemate (Yuu) and I attended a bonfire at Pomme De Terre Park, which was the warmest day for the past few days. It reached a high of 62, so it wasn't too bad in the evening. It was great to hangout on a Friday night with the folks of Jane Adams. Earlier, I was able to get a lot of house projects done before the winter season hits. I tilled my garden in preparation for next years planting, which I didn't do last year. Thus, my garden wasn't as productive-just got some tomatoes, but that's about it! :(

On Saturday (26th), I started the day with my local church's men's weekly fellowship, which we are doing the "Stepping-Up" series. For men that need to encourage one another, feel free to join a men's group I started -> Good News Men. I then worked out at the local fitness center, which I would meet a friend (Plamen from Bulgaria) in the community there. That is why I like working out at the fitness center as there are always people there you can "catch-up" with from the community one hasn't seen for awhile -long time. Later in the evening, I would go bowl with the same group like last week. We bowled two games, which I had my highest bowling score ever-161!

I ended the month with a community "shinning for Jesus" activity on Halloween. As the past 4-5+ years, I like to print out bible tracts and paste it on items I hand out to whoever comes to my door to "trick/treat". The past years, I've switched from candy to juices as a "health freak" trying to promote "healthier eating" (see-> Good News Health as anyone is welcome to join our facebook group to educate one another on a more "healthier lifestyle".