testifying in Thailand

testifying in Thailand

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 61 - Saved by Saturday

So this week..it was good! As we were reviewing what happened we realized just how many sad things happened, but they were so sad they are almost laughable! Haha so here is a list of some events that happened:

     -We were reviewing the baptismal interview questions with Brother Boonsong (supposed to get baptized this week) when he told us that he couldn't get baptized this week because he has to be a MONK. In Thailand it is the responsibility of the son to become a monk so the parents will be secured a place in heaven, and his other brother died, so now he HAS to. The church supports it so it keeps good relations with his family and he can get baptized after he finishes (around October) but yeah! Haha so no more baptism this week, but it's okay!
     -Some of our favorite investigators invited us over for family home evening this upcoming Monday and we were so excited! We visited them and taught the 10 commandments (a sketchy lesson considering everyone and their dog worships idols) After we finished teaching they told us that they had to cancel our next family home evening appointment because on Monday they were going to be worshiping/making offerings at the wat...so yeah. We'll have to review that lesson haha.
     -I was on switch offs and after having 4 canceled appointments we finally were meeting with an investigator and while my companion was in the middle of teaching about Joseph Smith our investigator says, "Excuse me, I'm just really tired, can you leave" Hahaha she said my face was priceless because my jaw dropped a little but I looked back and said, "Sure, we'll see you at church on Sunday!" Then we prayed and left. Hahaha life of missionaries. 
     -While on the same switch off ^^ a sister was riding my bike and apparently it kind of just fell apart..AGAIN. So I think that is a record. Sister Hammon and the broken bike part 3!

     SO! Our week wasn't going as well as we planned, but LUCKILY we were saved by a Saturday! Right after Brother Boonsong told us about his monk-ship a member asked us if we had a free hour to run over to a nearby school and say hi to the kids in English. We followed the member on some sketchy roads to a school in the middle of nowhere and had the biggest tender mercy!!! 
     We were able to teach the cutest kids how to sing "I Am a Child of God" As I heard all the cute little kids singing my heart was SO FULL. The spirit was so strong and the kids were all so happy to see us. I know that each of them were able to feel a piece of God's love that day and it was DEFINITELY a needed boost for us:)
     So that was Saturday morning, and Saturday night we were able to go to a BAPTISM! So for the past few weeks we have been teaching a woman named Sister Bla, and she has SO much faith! She works in Roiet but on the weekends she goes home to a tiny town called Yasothorn. The best thing for her to do is to learn with us in Roiet on the weekdays, but go to church in Yaso, but since we taught her, President gave us permission to go and see her baptism! 
     It was SO special! It turns out that her uncle was the old branch president in Yaso when she was a kid and so she had heard of the church. Then her family moved to Roiet and 20 years later she ran into the missionaries and remembered going to church as a kid and the rest is history! She was so willing to do all that was asked, all she needed was an invitation. I promise prepared people are out there! The baptismal service was so special. The ward honestly took her in as family. Such a perfect end to a rough week!

I promise we are both doing so well here in Roiet! I told all those stories more to explain more about the culture and help you laugh than to make you pity us haha! We're good, just normal missionary life. A quote that really helps in any situation like this is Elder Holland's classic, "The great thing about the gospel is that we get credit for trying, even when we don't always succeed." I know that sometimes we thing what we are doing is pointless, but in the end all that matters is that we tried! I love you all, and have an incredible week! (and that's my challenge for the week)

รักมากเลย
Sister Hammon

Baptism of Sister Bla!
(notice the sketchy hot tub/baptismal for in the back)

Biggest wat in the the Esan!

COOLEST THING EVER. 
We sat on this boat/raft thing and had dinner while all the members swam!


Love Thailand… 😃

Waterfall!

GUESS WHO I GOT TO SWITCH OFF WITH?! SISTER DEMMM! 
I missed her SO MUCH!


Sister Hammon and the broken bike part 293847

The kids from the school!

I am a Child of God is written on the board.  How cute is this??


Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 60 - 29 Kilos, 9 Mothers, 1 Mother's Day!

Hello hello สวัสดีดีดีดีดี!

This week has been so good and fast and exhausting and amazing! I'm just going to write about Saturday though because we are going to a waterfall soon, so here we go!

MOTHER'S DAY
     So in Thailand Mother's Day is August 12th and it was the best! The Thai culture is so respectful and one of the main signs of respect is the 'wai' (when you put your hands together in front of your chin to say hello) It is tradition for mother's day that everyone will go visit their mom and 'wai' them. They kneel in front and the mother speaks blessings upon them (have happiness, good health, etc.) and then the kid does the same to the mother. Sister Christensen and I decided to make the best out of that opportunity and wai as many mothers as we could, so we did! We visited 4 people that were not mothers, but the rest of the day was biking ALL over Roiet to visit these women (investigators, members and less active members) We biked a total of 29 kilos (which is nothing to my brother prepping to bike 206 miles in a day, but for missionaries wearing a long skirt in 95 degree weather it was a lot) and visited 9 mothers!
     It was so special! Lots of the women we visited wouldn't have anyone visit them than day (their children didn't make the trip home, or their children passed away earlier) and I honestly feel like we brought the greatest gift in the world (the spirit and a wai given to them) It was so special to see these mothers light up (and definitely made me miss my mom!)
     By the end of the day we were exhausted but it was SO worth it to see the happy faces after we left. Some of these woman would not have had any visits that day which breaks my heart because you just know how much they love their children. Elder Holland said, "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child." 
I love my mom and I love how respectful and amazing the Thai culture is..mom you'd better be expecting a wai next mother's day! Challenge: love your mom!

Love you all, have a great week! Brother Boonsong has officially quit smoking (but didn't come to church so baptism is postponed :( Pray for miracles, Roiet could use some!

Much much love,
Sister Hammon

A wai to our investigator! (her kids all live out of the country)



After 29 kilos of biking…


Thanks for the super cool picture Sister Christensen!

LOVE doing visits with the youth!

Switch offs with the sisters in SISAKET!  Miss it so much!

“Super cool wat” we went to last week

The church in Roiet

Thanks for the American candy mom.  He loved it!  Look at his face!

The GORGEOUS town cent in Roiet. So great for inviting!

LOOK AT THESE PUPPIES

Literally wanted to cry they were so cute

Our ward mission leader brings the missionaries CHOCOLATE MILK every Sunday…miracles have not ceased (it is SO expensive here)

Nothing but rice fields :)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 59 - Roiet Rice Fields and Water Buffalo

Hello hellooooo from 101 (Roiet is Thai for 101)

Good news! The flooding is down! 
Bad news: I'm not as smart as I think I am and flooded our apartment (there was a mishap with our washing machine) 
Haha but our week was so great so it's all good!

Random Highlights of the Week:
- Taking a PLANE to MLC (Mission Leader Conference)
- Riding a water buffalo
- PLANTING RICE (seriously got so many missionary analogies from it, and it was basically the best day ever, plus we served our investigator so everyone's a winner)
- Getting SWISS CHOCOLATE from the cutest Thai grandmas (they said we reminded them of their grandkids who they haven't seen in 2 years so they just started treating us like family and giving us all this delicious candy that is super expensive...felt like a real trip to grandma's house :)
- Singing hymns for some elderly less active members with some young women (the spirit was tangible!) 

BUT my most favorite highlight was with our investigator Brother Boonsong (บุณส่ง):
He has been an investigator for about 3 weeks, he is a referral from one of our recent converts, and last Sunday we challenged him to quit smoking (normal smokes 15 cigarettes a day)
We went to teach him at his house the following Friday. I was on a switch off with a greenie so it was definitely a throw back to training for sure. Anyway we found out that in that week he was still smoking 13 cigarettes a day (better but not great) So I felt prompted that we should read in 1 Nephi 17 about Nephi building the ship and compare that to his situation.. it. was. incredible.
As we read the story and started comparing it to his situation his countenance completely changed..
"So Nephi built a ship in this story, do you think he had ever built a ship before?"
"No?"
"You're right, but because he relied on God he did it! Even when his brothers laughed at him. Brother have you ever quit smoking before?"
*laughs* "No"
"So if God loves Nephi just as much as you, which He does, don't you think He would help you just like he helped Nephi?"
"I think so..yeah! He will...so if I pray a lot, God will help me quit smoking! Even if my friends don't think I can!"
AHH one of my very favorite parts of being in a mission where the church is so new is helping members/investigators apply the scriptures in their life for the very first time. His member friend was there too and he was so into the scriptures! "They've never made sense to me before, but now I know, if God will help Nephi he will help me!" So so so cute.
Also just an update: as of Sunday Brother Boonsong is down to FIVE cigarettes a day! MIRACLES HAPPEN we just need to rely on God!

I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon. I know it is the word of God and I know that if we APPLY its principles in our life, our life will never be the same again. God lives and loves us so very much. (challenge: apply the Book of Mormon, I promise it's the best book in the world)

Love you muchly sorry my english is slacking but I hope you have an incredible week full of miracles and swiss chocolate!

Much much love,
Sister Hammon

Companionship goals


Here’s a dramatic picture of Elder Tuttle on a water buffalo

Just our ward mission leader on top of a water buffalo

RICEFIELDS

 The field is wet, already to plant

I have officially become Asian




Shout out to AIR TRAVEL (1 hour versus 9 hours on bus)
Mission Leader Conference

Yay for tuk tuk drivers that don’t know how to use a camera haha 
(The greenie I switched off with in the lesson is on my left)

Swiss chocolate from the grandma!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 58 - Rainy Roiet

Hello from Roiet!!

On Wednesday night we took a bus to Bangkok, got there at 3 AM (long story), hopped the fence, slept on the stairs of the mission office, and by 9 I had my new companion and we were off to Roiet! (9 hour bus ride)

COMPANION
My new comp is Sister Christensen from Sandy, we were in the MTC together so we are both a little older on the mission! Definitely a switch from being with so many greenies but it'll be an awesome transfer! Our area is struggling a bit right now so we are going to try our best to switch it around and get it back to to be the power-house area it used to be!

RAINY ROIET
So on the way to Roiet the bus ride took a lot longer than normal because it was FLOODING everywhere. The rainy season is in full swing and it has cause a lot of problems in the Esan.... Please pray for them! In one area the missionaries couldn't even go to church yesterday (the entire city is completely flooded). The elders took a boat to deliver the sacrament to the sisters and a few other members stuck in their houses! CRAZY. As for Roiet, we got hit, but not that hard.

My first day here we went to go help a member de-flood their house. They hadn't slept for 2 days because their mattress (which they set on the floor) was underwater. They did their best to sleep in plastic chairs. It was some of the worst flooding I have seen (which is saying something considering my greenie area was flooded for a week straight!).  So please pray for these people! The water has gone down since then, but there is another big storm coming this week!

MIRACLE THROUGH SERVICE
While we were helping that member with their house we went to go get them a wooden bed thing and carry it through the flood for them. On the way there I made eye contact with a super cute 17 year old and thought, "she will be our next baptism." We talked to her and she was so interested! After we helped the members we were able to go teach her and she is so awesome. First invite in Roiet and we were so blessed to find her! Pray for Sister Fie! (ฟ้าย)

This week is SO BUSY. We have to go to Bangkok on Wednesday for training (and since we are so far away they let us take a PLANE so I'm way pumped). We have a giant service project planting rice for an investigator scheduled tomorrow, and on Friday we have to double up companionships because we are so busy! So excited to be in this new area, but pray for miracles because we could use them! Which is my challenge this week along with this scripture that I have come to LOVE, "Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord" (Psalm 40:11) I know that when we ask, God will grant us miracles, but the first step is always asking! Thank you all for everything, love you bunches and talk to you next week!

รักมากเลย
Sister แฮมมอน
Hey look. More floods.

THAILAND

In the middle of a disaster and they can’t help but smile. 
Look what this gospel does for people!

Sorry. My camera got fogged up, but she told us she had to 
send this picture to our family, so here we go!

When the main flood hit the water was up about 3 feet, 
but when we got there it was about half a foot so we got most of it out.

(The following are photos and news reports added by her mom)



This is me trying to look cute with a duck and the duck rebelling against me.

My companion Sister Christensen from Sandy Utah

This was taken a year ago in the MTC.  She is one transfer ahead of me.

You will not believe the palace that we live in in Roiet.  IT IS GLORIOUS.