Hello hello from THAILAND! The past week has been the biggest whirlwind but I am here! My companion and I, Sister Fuaingarad, are serving in Bang Na (Southeastern Bangkok) and we love it!! :)
So! We got to Thailand around 2 AM (flights were delayed) then got to bed around 4 and woke up at 6:30. The first few days were informational and then we met our companions and were on our way. So I like to consider myself a positive person and when we left for our area that day I was beaming with excitement. As the day went on things got...hard. There were new sights and smells and tastes and languages and I was so lost. I just kind of followed my companion around. We taught 2 lessons and I had no idea what was happening. I couldn't really eat because of nerves and I couldn't keep any food down. From the second we left the mission office to bed that night we didn't speak any English. Overall it was probably the hardest day of my life.
We got back to our apartment and for the first time in my life I had a terrible feeling like I wouldn't be able to finish my mission. I think some of my most sincere prayers were said that day because I was practically in tears for every single one. The next day I still couldn't keep any food down and I was so weak and tired and yeah. Then we had personal study. I just want to testify that God knows each and every one of us. During that personal study I prayed SO hard. I basically told Him that I could not do this, and right when I hit rock bottom, I was lifted up through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I read in Alma about having patience and I read from Preach my Gospel that said something like "God suffers when we suffer and rejoices when we rejoice." I felt so much peace. After that it has still been hard but I know that I can do this because God is right there with me! AH! This gospel is so perfect sometimes I just can't wrap my head around it. Anyway in the end I just want to testify that I know, no matter what you are going through, God will ease your burdens! All you need to do is reach out.
Alright, enough with that sad stuff, lets move on because I LOVE THAILAND
So when we had the meeting where we were assigned companions we walked in and saw all white elders and mostly Thai sisters! Haha I don't know why but I did not think I would be getting a Thai trainer and then SURPRISE! I cannot tell you how much I love her. She is one of the sweetest most patient souls I have ever met, which is SO amazing. She is learning English and speaks a little, so our language study is her helping me with Thai and me helping her with English! Having a Thai trainer is THE BEST. It was VERY hard at first but my Thai is getting so much better! I speak Thai about 97% of the time which helps me so so so much! I have seen some other missionaries who don't have native companions and I can already see the benefits in my Thai and it has been 4 days. SO BLESSED.
LOVE HER WITH ALL OF MY HEART
First of all the people are the nicest people I have ever met! I say sawadii to everyone and bow to them and they will give me the biggest smiles, and they always wi back. If you talk to them about religion they almost always take the pass along card and at least pretend to be interested so how amazing is that?! I didn't realize just how nice they were until I found an American! I started talking to him and lets just say Americans are the worst. Haha they are so prideful and arrogant and closed off. Anyway after that encounter I decided that God sent me to Thailand because I can love these people so much!
All you need to know is that I get SO much better with each day #blessingsofaThaitrainer
-Yes it is hot. Very hot. But so many people told me I would die of heat the second I stepped off the plane, so I am actually underwhelmed with the heat (but then again it is the cold season now)
-They LOVE falangs. (white people) And they love English. We hand out so many English class cards and people are always so interested! Oh and kids especially love falangs. There was this bus of school kids driving by and they saw me and ALL started waving and saying "hello" with a Thai accent in a super high voice. It was probably the cutest thing that has ever happened yet. So yeah, I'm a pretty big deal here;)
-They love my hair..I think it is because it is curly but everyone always wants to touch it (also one person told me I was Hermonie so that made my day 1000 times better)
-They are SO kind. If an old women can't get off the truck everyone will stand up and try to help her. Also they always say hi back to me with a smile, ALWAYS!
-They don't really believe in soap. Or toilet paper. But no worries my friends, they invented hand sanitizer and tissues for a reason.
So we have a small meeting house (and I mean small) in Bang Na, but our real church is an hour away (train, taxi truck, and walk) Yesterday I was able to go to church for the first time and Thailand and all I can say is that the members here are family! They spend every second of every day focused on being LDS. They travel an hour to church and when they get there they stay...all day. As in every Sunday there is a pot luck because no one wants to leave. (Free food for us so hey, it benefits everyone;) Really though there is such a power when you walk in that church. They people here usually are the only members in their family and they cling to each other because once they were baptized, they were each others family. This gospel brings everyone together and there is so much love in that church.
So yeah! Sorry this email was kind of jumpy and random but I had so much information to spit out but I love it here! I don't usually have a full grasp of what is happening but I have been so blessed and I feel God's love every single day and I have such a desire to share this happiness with everyone! I love you all, thank you for your support pray for the Thailand Bangkok Mission!
Much much love,
Ban Na flooded the night before I got there!
It was about shin deep and it made walking places very fun haha.
First day was WATERful...haha
How cute are we?
It is also super expensive. This was $1.25.
"insert sarcasm here"
My sweet companion knew I couldn't keep food down
so the next day she let me eat more American food.
How cute is she?!
The home of the ancestor spirits.
They have them on most larger properties.
For those of you who watch Parks and Rec...
Lil' Sebastion is not dead, but lives in Thailand.
Hahaha so she is obsessed with this Korean band
and I think it is hilarious.
The church! It's about an hour away from Bang Na
so the members who come are SO STRONG.
My first investigator to church ever!
This is for you mom,
so you can see my apartment!
Added by her mom: I am thrilled that she was allowed to bring her flute.
I can't seem to get this to load, but you get the idea.