testifying in Thailand

testifying in Thailand

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 19 - Bovember is in the Air

So about 2 years ago in November the number of baptisms doubled if not tripled for the entire mission due to faith, prayer and WORK. That event is now known as November (Baptism + November). Every November since then the entire mission has all this energy and faith to make Bovember happen again--and we have definitely caught the wave. I don't know what it is (Bovember is in the air) but we have exploded with new investigators. We have had 3-4 in the last week! We have 2-3 baptisms scheduled for November and we are so excited! Bovember III is coming so prepare yourselves!

I forgot to mention this last week but I translated church for the first time! The elders have 2 investigators from Pakistan and Elder Bradner translated sacrament meeting, but in Relief Society it was all up to me. I was so scared, but I prayed to have the Holy Ghost. It definitely was not translated word for word, but I did it! There was this part of the lesson I had no idea what was happening, so I told her and we kind of laughed while I still tried to understand. Turns out they were talking about the ways to know if gold is real or not...haha it made me feel so much better to know that it was a super random topic and not just my lack of Thai. The gift of tongues is so real! I have learned so much these last 2 months and cannot wait to continue learning. I am so grateful to a loving Father in Heaven for investing so much time in a young sister missionary in Thailand..without Him I would be nowhere near where I am now. 

Last Monday we had exactly 0 members come to Family Home Evening..so we went out contacting! Usually contacting at night in Thailand is not super effective because everyone goes to bed very early and no one is up and willing to postpone sleep to learn about Jesus. But this night was different. I don't know what it was but I felt so much power every time I spoke--and it started with Brother Chai.
We were leaving the street our meeting house was on when I saw a man (about 60 years old) on the other side of the road. Usually we will try to talk to them across the road and they will brush us off, so we will keep going, but this time I crossed and immediately started talking. I don't know why (I was being prompted) but I started differently then I usually do and asked if he had ever learned about Christ before. When he said yes I was taken back a little bit but felt prompted to reply with a question, asking him how he felt when he learned...he thought for a little bit then said "I felt...good" We kept talking and got another appointment with him! The next day he didn't show, so we called him and told him it would take just be 10 minutes. An hour after talking with us (and a member) he left the meeting house! We ended up teaching a full lesson. He was the most inquisitive investigator I have ever taught. He thought through everything we taught him trying to make sense of it (which can be very difficult for people with a Buddhist background.) He is obviously an educated man so it was fascinating to see someone so intrigued! I have so much faith in Brother Chai! 
We have taught him 2 lessons (full of questions in each of them) and he came to church yesterday!! We are SO excited for him! He has learned with missionaries before, so we are praying that this time he will be ready to fully accept this message. Everything that happened that night was God directing us to find one of His prepared children, and I hope and pray that we will be the missionaries he needs. MIRACLES are happening and I am so SO blessed to be a part of them.

- Our mission is sometimes referred to as TBM (Thailand Bangkok Mission) but this week in English study Sister Bilivanh changed it to Thailand Black-shirt Mission (because we are wearing all black for 30 days..hahaha we thought it was so funny)
- We were contacting the other day when a girl walked by with a bag in English..I read it and was shocked because it said "University of Utah." I could not believe my eyes! I ran and caught up to her to ask if she did was a foreign exchange student or anything..turns out she had no idea what 'Utah' was so I assume she just found the bag at a random store. How crazy is that?
- We were helping a member (9 years old) write her part for the primary program because her mom isn't an active member. She was so cute, but she could not pronounce my name, so she renamed me...Sister Hamburger at your service!
-Primary Program-Basically the cutest day of Thailand's history. The ward only has 7 kids in primary, so a member who's child is about 1 year old wheeled her son up to the front in his stroller and propped up a hymn book to make the primary bigger. IT WAS SO CUTE. AH! Also each kid had to prepare their own talk about a topic and it was GREAT because the talks were super simple so I could understand sacrament meeting! SO CUTE!

I love you all, thank you so much for your support. I know that if we put our trust in God, He will show us where we need to go (and we won't even realize it). We didn't know why no one came to Family Home Evening, but after meeting Brother Chai, things were made clear. Trust in God and I promise things will work out! 

ร้ก มาก มาก
Sister Hamburger

PS. We were just notified yesterday that if each ward in our stake (Bangkok East) doesn't baptize 5 priesthood holding men (Brother Chai can be one of them!) in the next month or so our stake has to drop down to a district next year--this is heartbreaking. If we don't have enough stakes the temple in Thailand might be postponed as well. It seems impossible but Bovember is in the air and we are ready to WORK--We are asking for your prayers this upcoming month!! Miracles can happen!

So our district leader called me to be Bang Na's English Leader...  Considering I'm a greenie, I really didn't know what I was doing. I started praying SO hard for the English program in Bang Na (it was really struggling) and for me to know things I could do to help. The first week we had 4 people come, then the next week we had 9 NEW PEOPLE REGISTER. I couldn't believe it. God works miracles as long as we ask Him to!!

 Memorial for the king at the church (the white and black drapes are everywhere!)

 We got a picture because we looked like a checkerboard together with the black and white! Have about 15 more days of mourning (no color)
 Haha this is an inside joke--but I LOVE HER!

 Haha the clouds were so pretty that day so I kept looking at them--Sister Bilivanh thought I was crazy so she kept taking pictures
 Again, making fun of me for taking pictures of the clouds. What a terrible companion. Ah! I love her so much!
Said clouds I thought were gorgeous.

 Yay for food!
 Food craving of the week--Somtdam (Thailand is known for it) It is shredded papaya with other stuff and so delicious! (If it isn't spicy...)

 This is me preaching to a chicken. We entertain ourselves in a variety of ways while waiting for members to come.
 Haha after I took my picture with it Sister Bilavanh said "wait I want one" then just picked it up. I obviously need to be more bold in my contacting.
 How gorgeous is this sunset??
 Okay so the mini snail next to it is a normal snail...then there is that guy. THEY ARE SO BIG.
 Love these cute little streets
 At first I definitely thought these were mini potatoes...turns out they are fruit, and Sister Bilavanh LOVES them.

 Sister News (aka best member in Bang Na) went to Laos the other week and didn't get me anything, I gave her a hard time about it so the next day she brought me this! LOVE HER.
Sunday night dinners on the roof :)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 18 - Tigers and Crocodiles and Elephants...Oh my!

This week was AMAZING and miracles are happening in Bang Na!

So about a week before I got in country Sister Fuai and her comp were the missionaries for the baptism of Brother Kwanchai. I have taught him a bunch because he recently got baptized...Last week he brought his daughter to church! She. Is. AMAZING. She is 17 and probably the cutest girl I have ever seen. We started teaching her and she eats it all up! She is the first investigator that I have taught who WANTS to change and I love it. I already have so much love for her. She came to church for the second time yesterday and afterwards we taught her! She was so happy because she made 7 new friends at church and she understood the lesson! She has already stopped drinking tea (haven't even taught that lesson yet) and she writes down things she doesn't understand for us to clarify. Can someone say PERFECT? Her dad just got the priesthood a few weeks ago and he will have the privilege of baptizing her on November 13! We are SO excited! She is such a special girl and she was prepared long before us to come into this church!

The 30 days of mourning are well underway but people are slowly wearing more color. The missionaries are still being cautious, but things are getting better! People are still in mourning which means lots of people aren't willing to take time to learn about Jesus...which means lots of canceled appointments. The poor elders went 3 days without a single appointment, but luckily we have had at least 2 each day! 

So we have a pretty nice apartment, but it has SO many cockroaches. Let me just tell you that I have become a PRO at killing cockroaches. Honestly I think I should start a business or something. Every night between 8:57-9:00 I have my daily killing, right when we get back. Don't know why I'm telling you this but yeah--that's Thailand for you!

I don't know if you remember Boi but she was a person we randomly contacted a few weeks ago! We don't really know what happened or who she talked to but she cut off all contact with us...so sad! We have visited her about 5 times and she has told us to go away..she tried to give the Book of Mormon back too. So sad, but when God closes a window, He opens a door! We won't lose faith!

I love her so much. We get so much work done and have SO MUCH FUN. That's all. Also I was going to send you a really cute picture of us eating food on a stick but all of the pictures on her camera were lost! So sad, but just know that Sister Bilavanh is THE GREATEST!

I read this quote this week and loved it, so it has now become the challenge for you all!
"The average man's complacent when he's done his best to score...but the champion does his best, and then he does a little more."
I know this is God's work and that Jesus Christ lives..have a wonderful week!

Much much love,
Sister Hammon

PS. Tigers and Crocodiles and Elephants..Oh my!
So last p-day was basically the greatest thing in the world. The entire day I thought "well that couldn't happen in America" but it was so fun! We had about 10 missionaries and because we spoke Thai we got in for under half the 'falang price'! Thailand is the greatest. (See pictures to prove it)

 How cool is this picture?? Also it was actually kind of freaky so you're lucky I'm smiling.

 Preaching the gospel to all creatures...sadly he wasn't interested.

 Don't ask me why the worker got this close but hey -- it makes for a cool picture!

This is a REAL crocodile!  Haha mom don't worry.  It was safe...I think.

It was so crazy.  There were just elephants walking around everywhere like it was normal.  The things we did in this park were a reminder that we were NOT in America...and I loved it!
 Yes I wore my elephant skirt on purpose.
I touched an elephant!!!

This little guy LOVED the picture of Jesus!  haha  It was so cute.  He kept putting his paw through the cage to play with it!


 This is super normal in Thailand, to put a drink in a sack with a straw...I guess it works fine!

 I go on food cravings where I eat the same thing for about a week then switch--
this was this week's craving!

That is a water park..on top of a mall! How crazy!

Shout out to my mom for making the world a better place and sending me CADBURY EGGS.
 My cute คู่

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 17 - Black, black and more black...

Hello everyone! I have 0 time this week but I am typing as fast as I can because SO much happened!

First of all I don't know if you heard but this week the king of Thailand passed away. He is the longest reigning monarch in the world and his people love him. As in you could hear people sobbing when you walked down the street. The day he died started the mourning process. That means wearing black...for 30 days. In government schools they wear black for an entire year! The missionaries were all notified and given very specific instructions of things to do and not do (not contact in big areas, what to wear, etc.) SO! Sister Bilavanh and I have already gone through everything black and white (white is okay too) in our wardrobes, so we will be doing a lot of washing this month! It was incredible. I have never seen a group of people so united in a cause. They all care so much about their culture and their country that EVERYONE wore black! 

So Sister Bilavanh is AMAZING and so ready to work! The other day we were waiting for an appointment and she had an idea to go through the phone list and start calling everyone. So we did! We got in contact with a less active member named Sister Leg. She was so happy to talk to us and we made an appointment for the next day! The next day we were running late but we were almost to her house (which was pretty far away) when we got a phone call from her. I immediately thought,"oh great, she is going to cancel" but when we answered she was actually wondering where we were! We had a great lesson with her about how much God loves her..she started crying and we felt so much love for her! It was such a blessing to be there in her humble home testifying of the love that Christ has for her. AH! Moments like that are really the greatest. I love this mission and I love being able to be a part of miracles everyday. God loves His children and don't ever forget it! That's your challenge of the week because I don't have time to think of one.  Remember God loves you!.

I love you all so much! Thank you for your support! Have an amazing week (not wearing black) and be jealous because I get to pet a TIGER today! That's why I'm in such a rush.  (To say I have been jumping off the walls with excitement for the past 24 hours is an understatement)

Much much love,
Sister Hammon

So 30 days of black begins...
 [Also notice the sticky notes on each side of the mirror identifying words 
for clothing in Thai.]
All the stores have put out all black and white too. It is so strange to see only that color...
Everyone in this huge mall is wearing black or black and white.

This person just finished their wash -- all black.

So we were in a taxi heading to switch off's (about 2 hours away) when our taxi driver pulled over and started working on his car...haha We were so confused.
Us at switch offs.  She is going home in a month and we are so sad.

Haha someone in the neighborhood brought their bike to be fixed by the elders. The word spread and 5 more people brought their bikes. They should open up shop right here!

This little boy is a monkey I swear. He climbs on everything and everyone!
How cute is he!

KFG -- Just a cheaper form of KFC but it is SO GOOD!  And so cheap...basically missionaries love it.

 This snail was SO HUGE!

Haha this dog escaped from someone's house and we helped get it back...
it was an adventure that is for sure.
Sister Leg's house.  Also forgot to mention that after we visited her she came to church!

She lives in such a cute little neighborhood.  I love it.
Here is another cute this little neighborhood I love.

Haha Sister Bilavanh didn't have an umbrella so she pulled out this HUGE poncho...haha  I thought it was so funny. I called her Sister Blueberry for the rest of the day.

Example of labeling everything (chair, table, fan, floor)
I know I know, I was an artist in my previous life.

The other day I had this chocolate cereal that fell behind the fridge and Sister Bilavanh spent like 5 minutes pulling the fridge out to get it for me.  LOVE HER.

Thank you to my cute ward! The primary sent me the most adorable notes! Made my day! My favorite said and I quote "Good luck thinking about Jesus" Haha they are so adorable!