testifying in Thailand

testifying in Thailand

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Week 69 - The Harvest of RICE--er I mean SOULS

Time is going by fast and I it is starting to scare me, but these last 10 days have been INCREDIBLE.

Background: One of the main missionary scriptures in Doctrine and Covenants invites missionaries to "thrust in their sickle with all their might" because the field is "ready to harvest." President Johnson recently told us that our 'sickle' is The Book of Mormon, and if we want any harvest we need to USE IT! So...

HARVEST OF RICE
Last Monday we were able to harvest rice!! Brother Gawi knew someone who needed help and it was definitely not a sacrifice on our part to help out. It was such a crazy amazing experience I will never forget. So many missionary analogies, but my favorite had to do with the SICKLE that President Johnson taught us. Without the sickle the harvest could not be accomplished... and that kept running through my mind the entire time (and comparing it to the Book of Mormon)

POWER OF THE BOOK
     The next day we had a second lesson planned with a man named Oouin (อ้วน) I originally invited him outside of a small market and at first I thought he was a little creepy (because he was a little drunk) but the first lesson was good and we were excited to meet him again. 
     He showed up looking very well put together in a collared shirt tucked in which was weird, but we didn't think too much of it. We started the lesson with following up on his Book of Mormon reading and what he told us almost made my mouth drop..."I read the assigned chapters you gave me twice. I felt really good reading them and felt like I should stop drinking alcohol, so I did." We had not mentioned anything about the law of health but he did it entirely on his own!! He kept explaining that since he stopped drinking (he used to drink 5-6 bottles a day) he and his wife have stopped fighting and he has more money to buy the things he needs. 
     He readily accepted a date for baptism saying he would do anything to be a member of this church and to feel this way all the time.... There is NO other explanation for his quitting alcohol other than one thing--THE BOOK OF MORMON. It is the sickle of the Restoration. I testify of its power and spirit, and I have witnessed firsthand the change that it can make in the lives of anyone who opens its pages. We are so beyond blessed to have this book in our lives and it is my hope and prayer that we may follow President Monson's invitation and use its strength each and everyday of our lives.

79 YEAR OLD GEM
Just a last minute story..on switch offs last week we had planned to visit a cute family (kind of less active) that lives pretty far away. We almost didn't go, but I felt like we should, so we swung by last minute...and what a blessing! We found THE CUTEST older woman. She was the members' grandma and had just moved in to their house the day before! She has always been scared of ghosts and weird things like that, but we were able to sit down and teach her that she was indeed a child of God and that He loved her. The spirit was so strong, and in that moment I felt the purest love for her.

Now for the sad news...I just found out I will be leaving Roiet! My heart was torn out of my chest when I found this out...Sadly I won't be here to watch these incredible people progress, but God is taking me back to BANGKOK! Haven't been there since last year so it'll be an adventure. I'm 'whitewashing' (meaning my new companion and I will both be new to the area) and it will be a crazy few weeks but here it goes!

I love Roiet...way sad to leave. The saying is true that when you are a missionary the goodbyes just get harder...ah. I love these people. 
The next email you get from me will be from Don Muang in northern Bangkok--here we go!

Much much love,
Sister Hammon

Our 79 year old gem

Man I love this place

Required getup for any rice harvester

I am officially a rice harvester…look at my sickle


Grains of rice


 Hahaha this picture…Brother Gawi forced me to go on the side of the road 
and try to catch him a fish…I failed

Memorial for the King

Monday, October 9, 2017

Week 68 - Spiritual Tsunami of Spiritual-ness

If I were to describe this week I would compare myself to a person walking along the beach of mission life, when all of a sudden a giant tsunami of spiritual knowledge, encouragement, and incredible-ness hits me so hard I drown in commitments/goals/personal revelation. (That is drown in a good way)

Explanation: 

Tuesday: Normal miracle-filled day
Wednesday: MLC training from President in Bangkok
Thursday: Personal Interview with President in Ubon
Friday: Zone Conference in Ubon
Saturday: General Conference
Sunday: Baptism AND General Conference

By the last Sunday meeting my mind was so full to the brim of personal goals and revelation I didn't know what to do with myself haha BUT IT WAS ALL INCREDIBLE THINGS. 
I loved how many of the apostles added their witness to President Monson's challenge 6 months ago and how they all told of their experience with reading the Book of Mormon. And how seriously they took the prophet's word into their daily lives. I just hope that I can continue to take his challenge and see the blessings in my life like they did.

BAPTISM of JEET (จิต) and NUE (่หนู)
These two are my absolute favorite!!! Brother Gawi (the one who held the umbrella for me) got baptized about 3 months ago right before I came and is the best member missionary! I have been working with his friends ever since I got to Roiet (3 months) and there was a period where we definitely thought they were not getting baptized... but we really studied hard for their needs and eventually the things they needed to know were revealed unto us (miracles) and yesterday was an incredible day! Brother Gawi baptized them (his very first) and he was so nervous he stared at me the entire time while I mouthed the words to the prayer..ahh I love that man. But they were baptized and they couldn't be happier! (even if the pictures show otherwise...#nosmiles) 

LAST MINUTE MIRACLES
So due to our crazy week of spiritual-ness it meant fewer than 2 working days in our area this week, but nonetheless, God prepares the way for us when we don't have the chance and we somehow achieved mission excellency this week! (we were working right up until 8:59 Sunday night to do that!) To quote Elder Hallstrom from conference, 
"...Defining a miracle as 'a beneficial event brought about through divine power that mortals do not understand'...Today I testify of miracles.' " 
It is so true! When we see the everyday miracles that God has placed in our lives we open the possibility to receive so many more and to open the widows of heaven upon our lives.

I love being a missionary. Despite crazy weeks like this past one there is no other time in life like this! I testify that Christ lives and His words can be found in the recent conference that we all watched--go back and review talks then apply them in your life to experience the true power behind it!

รักมากเลย
Sister Hammon

Plane travelllll

MLC!


Zone Conference!

Sisters in the Roiet Zone!

Roiet district

I love/miss Sister Dem so much!

Our cute recent converts 😃 

Good day for Roiet district!


My FAVORITE member always helps us teach but she doesn’t have a motorcycle
 so this is our form of transportation to get to lessons.



Thursday, October 5, 2017

Week 67 - Lost Wallet = Found (4 MONTHS LATER)

Hello hello from the beautiful 101, life is oh so good so I decided to do a highlight list:

-We no longer have to wear skirts that cover our ankles!!!!! For the past 4 months we have had to wear pioneer skirts due to mosquitoes, but the rainy season is officially over and let me tell you, freedom feels good.
-We randomly had a European man walk up to us and tell us that he wanted to 'test out a religion' so HEYYY miracles! Let's hope this guy is better than Bernie the Baptist (from the good old Korat days)
-We successfully made a round trip to Bangkok in 18 hours (we had to renew Sister Morganti's visa...nights spent on a bus will not be missed after the mission)
-We rode elephants for Sister Morganti's birthday! Hahaha and the poor greenie in our district fell off one (long story but he's all good)
-I was running around at sports night on Friday (getting more competitive that I should have) and as I went to sit down my foot slid down a little weird so I looked down to see my foot bleeding with skin missing. Haha I hopped to the bathroom to clean it up and had my foot in the sink. Sister Morganti walked in and I turned to her and said "I'm an idiot" haha she died laughing... this is why missionaries aren't supposed to play too many games, but on the bright side modern medicine kept the wound uninfected! Woohoo!

And finally
-CRAZIEST MIRACLE: Don't know if you remember, but back in July my wallet fell out of my bag on a bus and I lost everything (money, credit cards, insurance cards, identification, and temple recommend) So while we were in Bangkok updating Visas a missionary comes up to me and hands me an envelope....WITH ALL OF THE CONTENTS OF MY WALLET! (besides money) I lost it in Korat...a 5 hour bus ride into the Esan. Apparently someone found it on the side of the road in BANGKOK and took it to the closest church (I have no idea how in the world they knew to take it to a church! The only thing 'churchy' in my wallet was my temple recommend!) So yes. Miracles happen people! (especially if you have a current temple recommend with you--challenge for the email. That and to believe in miracles! Even ones that happen 4 months late)

Other than that life has been incredibly wonderful. A few weeks ago Sister Morganti and I decided we needed to use the Lord's time more wisely and stop spending our time visiting our investigators with dates for baptism that didn't take those dates seriously. For a few weeks it was a struggle as we felt like we hadn't reaped the rewards form that act of faith, but this week was different. WE FOUND THE ELECT. SO many prepared people have been put in our path and I know it is because we chose to spend our time with those who are truly ready. I just want to testify that I know God prepares His children to receive this restored gospel. I know it because I have seen it over and over again and I pray for it daily. God wants this temple in Thailand and I am so blessed that He uses normal missionaries to accomplish this task! 

I LOVE MIRACLES. I love the Lord. I love found wallets after 4 months. I love elephants. I love skirts that don't touch my ankles. I love general conference- (6 more days people!) I love modern medicine #skinnedfoot I love being a missionary so very much, life is good :)

รักมากเลย
ซิสเตอร์ แฮมมอน
Sister Hammon

PROOF OF FOUND WALLET!

Switch offs with my old MTC companion Sister Nixon!  So so so fun!

Just getting aboard the coolest transportation of my life

We’re on an elephant!




Right before said greenie fell off the elephant…haha poor kid.

Yay for monkeys!

Hey there little guy (luckily he didn’t bite me)

Right after the skinned foot incident

Monday, September 25, 2017

Week 66 - Recovery Week

So this week was recovery week from my fever, but all of the members/investigators were SO CUTE. They found out I was sick and they went 'mom mode' on me...everyone. I was offered so many drugs. They told me to do all these crazy things to recover haha.  It was adorable. I definitely felt loved. I would wake up in the morning and Sister Morganti would tell me, "last night so-and-so followed up to make sure you were feeling better" x 3. The members here are MY FAVORITE. I love them all so much! Blessed to be a missionary in Thailand. 

Saw so many miracles this week but can't think of any specifically! Sorry! Today is my companion's birthday so we are going to have a crazy fun p-day and I can't think of anything to write...but miracles are happening I promise!! I'll do way better next week I promise...but in the mean time you can read this story about how I broke my nose at the park (well kind of)

FUNNY
So this week I was really sick, but by about Wednesday I was recovering but still had a runny nose. We were inviting at a small lake/park thing by our house that day and I had a huge pack of tissues just to be safe. We were teaching this GOLDEN investigator when my nose started running, and that's when I found the best surprise ever! I had a bloody nose! So luckily my tissue supply was just about gone. The person we were teaching wanted to keep talking so she gave me some tissues but I was dying with blood dripping down my hand (haha sorry this story is so gross). Anyway she finally stopped talking so we ran through the park to get to our bikes where I had the adventure of getting on/riding my bike home with 1 hand while holding my nose with the other. Haha it was a good day, but the best part came at night. Later that night the elders ran up to us and asked if I was okay/if I broke my nose! Haha apparently they were inviting at the lake as well when everyone asked them, "hey is your falang friend okay? She broke her nose here earlier!" Good times in the life of Sister Hammon

I LOVE being a missioanry and not just because I get to ride elephants again today...:) Love you all and have the best week ever!! ENJOY CONFERENCE FOR ME!! (Asia time = a week delayed) So that's the commitment--just remember "Despite the conditions of our day, we have many reasons to rejoice and be optimistic.”—Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson
THIS IS SO TRUE!  BE HAPPY!  The end, okay bye!!

รักมากเลย
Sister Hammon

SO CUTE! So Thai people are convinced that if your head gets wet you will get sick, since I’ve been sick all week, one of our recent converts, Brother Gawi, walked everywhere with us just so my head could be covered while it rained!  SO CUTE!  

Switch offs!


The smallest banana!

Night market inviting!

Haha this is a way cool picture the was not intended to be taken, 
but Sister Morganti is the best photographer ever.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Week 65 - Travel, Travel, Travel

Hello hello! This email may be short, I got the flu shot a few days ago and now my body hates me...but I'm still living so we're all good! 

TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL
This week was was so crazy! Tuesday night we flew down to Bangkok for MLC which was all of Wednesday. I LOVE MLC. Honestly one of the greatest meetings, President Johnson is incredible and motivates to improve entirely through love. 
We spent another night in Bangkok then flew out to Udorn the next morning at 4 AM (a city right on the border of Laos, Northern Eastern Thailand) to do a switch off! All I can say is MIRACLES. They are a trio so I switch offed with 2 sisters, and at the beginning of the day I felt prompted to have them pick a group they wanted to focus on while inviting. They both chose Priesthood holders, so we said a prayer we would find 4 priesthood holders and we went out on our way.
The weirdest thing. We ONLY saw men...it was the biggest craziest miracle ever! We went to a big famous lake in Udorn and for 3 hours we invited and only found potential priesthood holders! It was INCREDIBLE. Truly God hears and answers prayers as long as we do our part.

If I learned anything this week it is that:
1) God hears and answers prayers...every single one
2) Plan travel is the greatest thing that man has ever invented 

Haha after we landed in Bangkok after our 45 minute flight from Roiet one of the elders said, "did you know it takes the same amount of time to fly from Roiet to Bangkok as it does for a Bangkok missionary to get to their apartment from the church" hahaha ohhh Bangkok traffic. Can't say I miss it. 

LOVE YOU ALL, God knows you and loves you and WILL hear and answer every righteous prayer...try it. 

Much much love,
Sister Hammon

Mission Leader Conference!


This cute little girl turned 8 this week!

There was a ward youth activity of making pizza…since we are falling we automatically got volunteered to stay in the kitchen all night and bake them.  haha  
That was an adventure for sure!

Yes, that is a horse in the back of a truck…..Thailand

Switch off in Udorn! (these ducks are famous)

Haha my new favorite thing to do is call people out when they’re smoking and 
tell them they can quit!

Hello there Bangkok!

Remember when I told you my favorite Book of Mormon got taken by a monsoon?  Proof.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 64 - Baptism of Grandma ตุ๊ and the Watered Garden

So biggest update of the week, my new companion is an AUSSIE! She's hilarious and is so excited to be in Roiet because she has been stuck in Bangkok the last few months. Her name is Sister Morganti and it'll be weird because she ends her mission before me...so that may mean I'll be staying in Roiet until I "die" (in mission terms) but we will see! We are SO excited to get Roiet going again, or as Sister Morganti says, "we're gonna get this place bumpin!" Haha it'll be a good transfer or two for sure!

Roiet slowly but surely bringing forth miracle after miracle...miracle #1 BAPTISM OF ยาย ตุ๊! (Grandma Doou)
     So the beginning of last transfer Sister Chris [Christensen] and I were inviting in a neighborhood kind of out of the way...she stopped to invite this way old woman and I waited for her a little ahead (just assuming she would say no) when Sister Chris called me back, "she said she'll listen!" So we went back and started talking to her, when her friend walked in (da da daaaa Grandma Doou in the flesh!) So we taught both of them. We would visit them a few times a week and she LOVED us. She's the one who gave us Swiss chocolate and so much yummy food (like our real grandma!) 
     We were a little worried that she was learning more for the social aspect than for the gospel aspect, then one day we asked her what had changed in her life since she had learned with us and she told us that since she had started praying and going to church all the loneliness she felt in her life (from her kids moving away) had left and been replaced with peace and joy!! It was such a neat experience :) And as of yesterday she is officially a baptized member of the church!! She was BEAMING yesterday, and all the old women in the ward were freaking out because they love her so much. Definitely a highlight day.

As I was reading in Old Testament this week I found a verse that made me think of this situation... When I saw the first older woman I just assumed that she wouldn't be interested, because I didn't see potential in her...in Isaiah 1:30 it says, "and as a garden that hath no water." When I first met them I didn't take the time to envision their potential (or take the time to see what the garden would be like with water) But as we pray to see things through God's eyes we will see potential in every garden//child of God. Grateful Sister Chris had the faith to see that potential even when mine was lacking! MIRACLES. (That's my challenge, see potential in everyone as a child of God!)

Being a missionary is the absolute best. Even when you get lost and have to take/bike a 24 kilo detour, or when your favorite copy of the Book of Mormon gets caught in a monsoon, or when your language study time is taken over by killing all the insects in your apartment, or when the ward chorister picks "Gently Raise the Sacred Strain" and the only people singing in the congregation are the falangs...it's all part of the experience you know?:) Ahhhh love life so much! 

Have the best week everrrr. I love you all, this week for us is filled with flying across the country for meetings and switch offs so it'll be crazy busy! Choose the right and don't do drugs :)

Much much love,
ฃิสเตอร์ แฮมมอน

Grandma Doou! Absolutely adorable and basically my Thai grandma

A good Sunday in Roiet!
Thailand!

Saying bye to Sister Christensen

My Aussie companion Sister Morganti is a hoot!