TRAVEL TRAVEL TRAVEL
So this week was full of TRAVEL! On Tuesday we had to wake up around 4 am to make it to Northern Bangkok for my Visa! The mission has this thing down to a science. We had around 30 missionaries renewing/getting Visas. Normally they are done around 11 but sadly there was a little misunderstanding and we were there until around 4:30... Let's just say it was a long day. But the government building (WAS MASSIVE) and is prepared for people who have to wait so the building is complete with places to eat, shop and, of course, a 7/11.
Then we went back to Bang Na, taught English, went to bed, then woke up at 5:30 and traveled again to Northern Bangkok for a super last-minute Zone Conference! Elder Wong of the Seventy was there and we had a great day learning from him!
ZONE CONFERENCE WITH ELDER WONG
He is from Hong Kong but his English is amazing. He was super funny and got off on a lot of tangents, but I learned so much from him! Actually kind of funny because he said he was going to do an object lesson, looked around at all the missionaries (every missionary serving in Bangkok, so over 95) and he picked me to come up!
So I went to the front, and President Johnson picked 3 more people. For the next 20 minutes we all tried to figure out what the lesson represented, but it took so long! We were stumped. This object lesson required me to pour water from a pitcher into a small cup on an elder's head. He also chose the tallest elders in the mission...this object lesson ended badly for some of those involved (and it wasn't me). Haha the elders got pretty wet, but a General Authority was asking me to do something so I did it! He explained how the pitcher that I was holding was like the knowledge of the missionaries (we have a LOT) and how the cup on the head of the elder represented the limited capacity of the investigator and how we need to be careful with how much we share. The investigator needs to humble himself (or the elder needs to kneel) so the missionaries can teach them (or so Sister Hammon can actually reach their head to pour the water). There were more symbols but they are kind of hard to explain, but I will never forget it!
Overall it was a great conference and he really focused on having us 'bind ourselves' to change and to push ourselves! (He thinks our mission needs to have higher goals to push everyone more and see miracles happen!) Loved the conference but the loss of sleep from the visa and conference definitely had it's toll on our bodies the next few days!
Everyone in my family keeps writing me telling me how amazing I am at Thai because of the stories I have shared..so let me just clarify. In between the "wow you sound like a Thai person" I get lots of this: (true story)
Sister Hammon: "Hi, we're missionaries of Jesus Christ, are you familiar with Jesus Christ?"
Man 1 speaking to Man 2: "Is she speaking Thai?"
Man 2 to Man 1: "Yeah I don't know either, I don't think so"
*ignores Sister Hammon*
Sister Hammon: "Yes I speak Thai, do you want to learn more about Jesus Christ? We teach every day!"
*continues to ignore Sister Hammon*
Sister Hammon: "Okay here's a pamphlet about Jesus, bye!"
Haha lots of those experiences happen a lot too! Sometimes I start speaking and the people just assume I am speaking English so they tell me they don't understand--haha the joys of learning a language. It is such a roller-coaster and I still have very far to go, but I have hope that one day I will understand everything I hear, but let me assure you, today is not that day!
Man is the most amazing investigator that Thailand has to offer. She passed her baptismal interview yesterday and is now counting down the days until her baptism on the 13th!!! We are SO excited! She came out of her interview beaming! I love her so much. Her dad is preparing to baptize her and the other day we went into their apartment for a lesson and they had taped every pass along card they had on the walls to decorate! Love them! Elder Bradner interviewed her and afterwards when we had a chance to talk to him he said, "Wow, she is SO prepared...she's amazing. She'll be a missionary for sure." So excited! Very first baptism will be a day to remember for sure!
Thank you so much for your prayers for Bovember. Miracles are happening. Last week we (elders and sisters in Bang Na) had 2 investigators who were men..this week we have 5! We can make our goal and I know it. My challenge this week is for all of you! We have received so many referrals this past week and I never new how powerful members could be in missionary work. THEY MAKE SUCH A DIFFERENCE. So I'd like to challenge all of you to pray for your own missionary experiences...because they will happen!
This week was exhausting (because we got very limited sleep) but the joy I feel for Mai and for all of our investigators makes it SO worth it. I love this work, I love this gospel and I love my Savior.
ร้ก มาก มาก
Lots of the passports for the missionaries dealing with Visas!
Waiting and waiting and waiting....Elder Bradner slept while we attempted to study language..I feel like his idea was better
Haha this translation was so funny to me! "Rice topped with 1 or 2 kinds of food.
Food in bowl."
Another moment of waiting...the chocolate bread we wanted wasn't done so we waited about 45 minutes for it to finish. Worth it.
Close to the church the conference was at is this super delicious bread (that all the missionaries rave about) It is basically a mini loaf of delicious bread filled to the brim with chocolate. So. Good.
To show our exhaustion...we had just finished nightly planning, I left our study room to get ready for bed and saw this..she didn't change before or anything she just plopped down and was out! Haha don't worry, I woke her up so she could get ready.
Our mini Halloween party! We ate cookies from 7/11 and the members put weird stuff on their face...we go hard.
Love love love them...even if I don't know what they are wearing.
Halloween costume: switch name tags (yes we are very creative)
You can't see it but my name is Sister Bilavanh!
Finally got a picture with Mai and Kwanchai!
Love her to death!
Cute Sister Mai at church!
GOOD NEWS! They repaved the street we live on so there will be no more flooding!!
Bad news: we had to travel in "the wilderness" if we wanted to get anywhere for about 3 days!
Haha this is the example of the 'wilderness'
You had to walk on the planks to get through. Super sketchy!
Every big mall has a memorial like this for the passing of the king
Happy birthday Sister Bilavanh!!!
Haha Sister Bilavanh is so cute..she has this obsession with pens..she LOVES them! I