This past weekend, I had gone to Oklahoma City for my annual Vietnamese Assembly. This Assembly was special, because it was the last one we will have in Oklahoma before we have our upcoming one in Houston from now on. We have always had our Vietnamese Assemblies in Oklahoma for the past years. So it was a bittersweet event. Everyone in Oklahoma is so sweet. I think the thing I will miss the most from the friends there are their hospitality. Every time I go, they would always cook for us which I’m sure took a lot of time, because they would cook for everyone coming which is almost 300 people! I’m so glad to be a part of Jehovah’s wonderful organization. Because you will never experience the kind of love like this anywhere else in this whole world.
Before heading out, I made some sweet treats for a few of my friends. It was homemade coconut red velvet with a light sweet cream cheese frosting. I thought it would be cute and a wonderful finish putting them inside Mason jars with people’s names on it since it would also be more convenient to pack them and give them out.
I started to head out with my family from Texas on Friday afternoon. The weather was so awful.. it was both snowing and sleeting at the same time when I went. The drive was very slow since we had to be careful due to the icy roads. Usually, it’d take us only 3 hours of a car drive to arrive in Oklahoma. This time, it took us a total of 9 hours. Thinking about it right now, my brain is so tired. We arrived at the hotel around 8:30. The friends who was there already was very kind of enough to save us some food along for others coming in later and waiting on them. My family and I was exhausted, mentally and physically. But seeing the friends definitely made us feel so much better and at home.
Another reason why this Assembly was special, because I got to share it with two of my lovely friends, Abi and Bre who are from Fort Worth. Abi and Bre are not in the Vietnamese, but it was sweet enough of them to come join me for the Assembly. I know it must have been a lot to take in since they didn’t understand the language, but a few phrases were learned. I’m glad they both had a good time and made some new friends along with a new experience that they will never forget.
My Austin girls, Megan and Kieu-Mai.
Although I was away from home, that didn’t mean I could splurge all I want when it came to food! Trust me, it was so hard since the foods that the friends made was so delicious, I was kind of sad not being able to eat it. So the night before I left, I actually cooked a few dishes beforehand and packed them. I made some stir fried veggies with ginger basil sauteed chicken served with both gluten free rice and pasta. Knowing that the weather would be bad in Oklahoma (snow storm), I made Abi and Bre lunch also and save them some time from shopping for something. With their lunch, it was the same type of dish, but with a few ingredients that I am not able to have, but it makes the food taste a whole lot better (oyster sauce, soy sauce, basmiti rice, bell peppers, chili pepper).
It was so great to see my friends I haven’t seen since last time which was last year in October. A few of them was Miracle who went to Vietnam to serve for three months. We wanted to cry when we saw each other, I love her. We had a girls night after the Assembly to catch up and oh boy, was there a lot to catch up on! There were tears, laughter, hugs. I felt very loved having the friends that I have, and was told being an encouragement to others just like how they are the same for me.
My beautiful Miracle.
After the long girls night, the night didn’t end there. Because everyone stayed at the same hotel (we took over the hotel and almost every single room was a JW), I was pulled into playing some card games while catching up more with other friends. I think we were all up until 1:30am. As you can tell, we had a lot of fun and there was a lot to talk about! Bittersweet I was leaving the next day, I really do miss everyone. It was hard to say goodbye, but we will all see each other again in Houston in October!
One of my dear Oklahoma Mama!
Rocio, Miracle, and I before we parted from each other.