She is from Laos (a small country to the East of Thailand that is in my mission) and she speaks Lao and Thai (almost perfectly) but almost no English! She was baptized about 3 years ago with her mom and would go to church (2 hours away) every single week! Her testimony is ROCK SOLID and she is a super hard worker! She has been on her mission about a year but has only served in 2 areas! She was in both of them for 6 months (which is FOREVER in mission standard time). I am so excited to work with her this transfer! She is absolutely amazing, and I know she will work miracles in Bang Na! With Sister Fuai we had a system where we spoke about 90% Thai throughout the day and about 50% Thai in the apartment, so switching to 100% Thai all day has been an adjustment! Luckily we have gotten around and I know this transfer will be so good for me!
So when Sister Fuai left, that left me as the area leader! That means that I am the only one who knows our investigators and knows the area so I have to plan the entire day's schedule and know how to get everywhere. I must admit when I found out Sister Fuai was leaving I was terrified! It meant that I would have to be area leader for about 2 weeks until my new companion learned the ropes of Bang Na--then I found out my new companion didn't know English and the terror increased! Haha I know that God is pushing me so hard but I also know that it will be SO worth it! Sister Bilavanh has been so incredibly patient! It is hard in Bang Na because we don't have bikes, so when we go places we don't just have to know where it is but also the right song tao(s) to take to get there! The first day we ended up taking a few extra rides, but Sister Bilavanh was so nice! Haha it will take some getting used to but I have been so blessed!
So it is a big joke that missionaries can read from the scriptures (ancient writing that is VERY academic and uses only words that you would use when speaking to a king), but the same missionaries don't know what the word for "table" is. Haha Let's just say that describes me perfectly. BUT this week I decided that I had a pretty decent doctrinal foundation, so I would start learning objects! That means literally everything in our apartment has a sticky note label with the name in Thai. Haha it is so fun. Also, objects are so much easier to learn than other words because it is something you can connect with an image in your mind! Love it. Also I drew an extremely detailed picture of the anatomy of the human body with labels as well. (AKA- I drew a stick figure and labeled the main parts of the body). I now feel like a 3 year old asking what everything is, but it is super fun!
BOI - MY VERY OWN 'DATER'
I don't know if you remember Boi from last week, but she is amazing. We have had about 5 lessons with her and she is Bang Na's miracle. Everything about Christianity is new to her, but she is so willing to learn. She prays every day (said she prayed too many times to count in a day!). She repents and she reads. She has an adorable 5 year old daughter and every time we come she shows us her very own picture of Jesus on a pass along card. Also her daughter says her very own prayers at night! I can't help but picture her on a mission in 15 years and it melts my heart! Anyway, after teaching about baptism, we got Boi 'on date' to get baptized the first week of November! She is my very first 'dater' that I helped find. It has been such a blessing for me to watch her change as she has chosen to follow Christ! Keep her in your prayers!
GENERAL CONFERENCE MIRACLE
The night before General Conference we had extra time so we went inviting. Inviting is not my favorite thing because it really pushes me out of my comfort zone. Also usually when we invite at night, people are going home and don't want to be bothered. So we were going about trying our best (Sister Bilavanh trying a little harder than me) to talk to everyone. I said a silent prayer that I could have help in being more bold and it was a miracle! I said hello to a woman and she said "do you remember me?" Turns out she was a member who hasn't been to church in a long time! (She thought I was the missionary who taught her because I am falang like the missionary. We all look alike to them. haha) Anyway we started talking to her and told her about General Conference the next day and she came with us! She traveled the entire hour to the church and stayed for all 4 hours!! Somehow she has just been lost among other members, so missionaries haven't been in contact with her, but I know that we were sent there that night to find her and it was so incredible to see that unfold before our eyes!
General Conference for the falangs! Everyone had to bring food so we ate and listened to conference in English. It was the greatest. [General Conference note. Members and missionaries in Thailand watch it a week after it is broadcast here for two reasons. The first is that Thailand is thirteen hours ahead so most of conference would be broadcast in the middle of the night. The second is that this gives translators time to create the Thai version. Fortunately, the English-speaking missionaries are able to watch conference in English which Sister Hammon was very happy about.]
Thank you all for your love and support. One of my favorite quotes from conference went something like this, "a moment of prayer is a moment with Him" and I know that to be true! This week has been a 'stretching' week for me, but my prayers have been so sincere and I have felt so close to my Father in Heaven. So I challenge you all to spend a little more time 'with Him' in prayer this week. I promise you won't regret it! Love you all and have a wonderful week!!!
Much much love,
When Sister Fuai goes to bed she is dressed as if she is in the arctic...
Thailand is so hot but Thai people get cold so easily.
Last picture with Sister Fuai! She gave me her Thai skirt so I wanted a picture.
Also our last supper was KFC so hence the weird background.
Last district Swensen's trip! Also with transfers they split our district
so now we only have 4 people!
Mini Team Thai reunion!!! :')
Elder Brown has a new companion too--Elder Brander
For my mom. This is the McDonalds we always teach in!
China Town for p-day last week!
This is right before it started POURING rain!
Super weird candy. Basically they just beat peanuts into a thin sheet...
yeah don't really know, but it was pretty good!
So to prevent flooding on our street they came in with huge piles of rocks mixed with cement and dirt. As cars drive over it it flattens out. The sketchiest road work I have ever seen, but he, we haven't had super bad floods since.
[So to me--her mom--the most interesting thing about the photo above is the scooter with all kinds of bags of produce hanging from it. She didn't even mention that. I guess it has become commonplace to her.]
I think it is so funny! When Sister Bilavanh found out she was going to Bang Na everyone said, "oh, it floods a lot" and low and behold, her second day in Bang Na it flooded! Haha...love love love.
First tuk tuk ride! Let's just say I was SO EXCITED!
Describes the ride perfectly...
[Tuk Tuk is a mechanized three-wheeled taxi]
So this little boy is the CUTEST. Every time he sees me walking down the street (he lives on the same street as our mini meeting house) he comes running and hugs me. the other day he said I was his "fan" or "girlfriend" in Thai...haha No one tell President Johnson but apparently I have a boyfriend.