This week I really got a glimpse of how much the Lord has helped me in learning Thai! There is a member in our ward who is from the Philippines (speaks English and Tagalog) but is married to a Thai woman. He has lived here for about a year and tries to study everyday. We went over to visit them this week. He can speak in Thai a little bit (and so much more than most people who move here) however, when compared to missionaries it is astonishing. I am not saying we are smarter than him in any means, but I was able to see that through the power of the Spirit from God, how I am able to speak more Thai than him after being here for just 3 short weeks. I just want to testify that it is not me learning Thai, but Heavenly Father slowly blessing me with the gift to speak to these people.
11 TO 3
So Saturday was an interesting day. We originally had 6 appointments scheduled, but there were many, many cancellations. Let's just say that we ended up trying to visit 11 people and we only ended up teaching 3. Haha we just laughed through the entire thing. Every time we walked up to a house and found out they weren't home Sister Fuai would turn to me and say, "welcome to missionary life." It was a hard day but ended on a high note because we got to visit a super strong member so hey, everyday is a good day!
MALI - Her Greatest Gift
Mali is our investigator (on my first Sunday here she was our investigator at church if you want a) and let's just say she is amazing. She is a refugee from Cambodia who speaks Thai but can't read in Cambodian or Thai. She was a brand new investigator right before I came so I have been able to teach her through most of her conversion! I have seen her change so much just in 3 weeks, she is happier, she dresses nicer and she LOVES members and missionaries. So last week she came to our FHE activity (because she is amazing) and we always start with a spiritual thought. The question was posed, "what is the greatest gift you have ever been given?" We went around the room--answers ranged from a fish as a birthday gift to sentimental gifts from family, then it was Mali's turn. She said that her greatest gift was from God, because God sent Sister Fuai and Sister Hammon to teach her about the church. At that point I almost started crying. Everything I have had to do to get here seems so tiny when the benefits of the gospel are so apparent. I love this work. It may be hard, but I am being an instrument in God's hand to bless the lives of His children, and I don't think there could be a greater joy.
Update- Mali wants to be baptized but needs to follow a few commandments first, but she gets so much better every single day! The only thing really holding us back from baptism after the commandments is the legal side of things. She is a refugee, but she doesn't have any paperwork... we are talking with ward members who can help, but we think if she gets a passport she can get baptized! So please pray for her that it may all happen without delay!
What can I say...this was probably one of the funnest, most uplifting days I have ever had! We woke up bright and early at 5:30 to make it there on time and the day began. We had the opportunity to learn from President and Sister Johnson, and they are incredible, incredible people. We are so blessed to learn from them. He really focused on faith and used an amazing analogy of bamboo and how it grows (it grows under the earth for about 4 years, then in a matter of 90 days it grows 200 feet!) He told us that by pushing our faith outward we could accomplish miracles. Ah. So amazing. At the end of the learning portion he had us all write down 3 things we could change. Someone mentioned how "It's easier to do nothing and not change, than to work hard and change." Which made me think of a quote from President Monson, "May we ever choose the harder right than the easier wrong." So I am challenging you all today to CHANGE! Find something in your life that you don't like and make the effort to change it for the better. It is hard, but oh so worth it.
Anyway we ended around 4:30 and I was confused how the rest of the day would go...turns out all we do after the conference is over is PLAY GAMES. How amazing is that?! So we played musical chairs of death (which included running across a field while toilet paper is being thrown at you)--also, side note. When we played this there were a few Thai guys looking over the fence at us and I can only imagine what they were thinking as they saw about 30 falangs throwing toilet paper at each other while others ran around a circle of chairs. Gotta love it. Anyway while we were playing it started raining really hard (because Thailand) but we just stayed out in the rain! We played dodge ball in the pouring rain for about an hour and it will forever be one of my favorite memories from my mission. Not just because I got to throw toilet paper at my mission president, but because everyone there was so full of joy and we were all united under the gospel. So SO FUN. Also I had my first Mexican food since the MTC...blessed.
Anyway this email was long so congratulations to everyone that finished it, remember to change and have a WONDERFUL week!
Much much love,
Musical Chairs of Death after zone conference
Since we went to the mission office in Asok, we had to load up on phrakampi (scriptures).
We carried this all the way back to Bang Na and when we went through the security check at the train station the man was super skeptical. I told him it was full of books, but he wanted me to open it. When he did and saw 45 copies of the Book of Mormon his only response was "oh" Haha it was so funny!
Showing up to district meeting in style ... with coconuts.
I have decided to broaden my horizons with street contacting.
"Would you like a pass-along card?"
This is a member's house. You turn off a street and bam--nature!
Its was gorgeous.
The fattest animal I think I have ever seen in my life!
The poor thing can't even walk.
Haha. I guess they don't believe in the whole
"You eat a watermelon seed, a watermelon grows in your stomach."
I have a lot of food pictures this week but that's okay because FOOD.
This is basically just fried chicken with rice, but it is divine. Also the sauce on the side is SO GOOD.
Basically just deep-fried dough with the most amazing sauce stuff.
I don't know but I eat way too much of it. So delicious.
More food. I found grapes and it was a happy day indeed!
The best fried rice in all of Thailand. No question.
This little guy is called 'Dragon's Egg' for obvious reasons. IT IS SO COOL!
It looks just like an egg. Seriously, I can't get over this fruit.
We had to go to Asoke (center of Bangkok) for our president interviews and we ate this SUPER high so [fancy] mall. Each floor was a different city (Rome, London, Istanbul, etc) and the floor with the food was San Francisco.
Sister Fuai had her 9 month mark!
I made her wear this around the apartment so ya it was a party.
Sister Fuai's TIM TAM SLAM for her 9 month mark!
(I will explain Tim Tam Slam when I have my first baptism this upcoming week!)
This is Sister Fuai's friend from her home ward.
She was visiting Bang Na and offered to help us.
So cute and she puts in her mission papers this month!
I cannot explain it, but the sky looks different over here.
Our MTC teachers warned us of this but I didn't believe them.
I know I sound crazy but it seems like it is farther away from the ground and dome-like.
We got matching skirts! How adorable.