50th Anniversary of the LDS Church in Thailand
This last Saturday hundreds of people (900+) gathered in northern Bangkok for the 50th anniversary of the LDS church in Thailand! So many missionaries from years ago came back, bringing their families. Because of the King's passing there are not to be any celebrations for 30 days...our anniversary fell within those 30 days so it was more of a funeral for their dear King instead of a joyful celebration. I have definitely begun to understand the meaning of "mourn with those that mourn" during these days of grief for the Thai people. They are heartbroken and when they see others try to understand, it means so much to them. It was so neat to see so many returned missionaries come back to the country they love, and so fun to hear about how it used to be. Forty-nine years ago there were 2 members and today there are over 20,000! The field is white in Thailand and the missionaries are ready to harvest!
So we see monks walking around a lot and we are encouraged to be very respectful to them because when the people see you respect them then they will respect you. The other day we had to travel pretty far to visit someone, so we were waiting for a taxi..it was taking forever when I finally thought I saw one. Turns out it was full, but there was a monk sitting in the front seat. I 'wi-ed' him to be respectful and he was so nice! He rolled down the window and started chatting with us...then offered us a ride and said he would tell the driver to drop us off first! We had to say no, but still! Only in Thailand would a Buddhist Monk offer Mormon missionaries a ride in his taxi...goodness I love this place.
FIRST BAPTISM--SISTER MAI
What a special special day. Yesterday Brother Kwanchai was able to baptize his daughter Mai, our investigator of 5 weeks! She was so excited and after the baptism when I asked her how she felt she replied, "clean" with a smile on her face...that night we were able to spend time with members and had a fun game together. When I was writing in my journal at the end of the day I couldn't believe how happily content I was. I was able to see someone I have come to love take the first step in following her Savior Jesus Christ. I was able to have so much fun with members who were strangers to me as of 3 months ago. My heart was full. When I read this quote from True to the Faith it described my emotions perfectly--
"You will find that the true key to happiness is to labor for the happiness of others."
This couldn't be more true. When we turn our hearts to others, we turn our hearts to God, and therefore find true happiness in life. The main reason I wanted to go on a mission was because I wanted to spread happiness--I know that without the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life I could not be this happy, and I want to share that with everyone because no one deserves to live life without a knowledge of their Savior. However, I have found that as I have put all of my energy into 'spreading happiness' I have only become more happy myself. This mission is a time for me to put all of my effort into serving others, and I couldn't be more grateful for this opportunity. I love this work and I love my Savior.
My challenge for you all this week is 'labor for the happiness of others'..just try it out, because if you do it right, you won't want to stop.
ร้ก มาก มาก (Much much love),
I do not think I could love these people more...praying that I am not transferred this week.
We took a really cool picture with a drone of everyone making a '50' in Thai numerals.
(Drone photo not available yet.)
FIRST BAPTISM with Brother Kwanchai and his daughter Mai!
A picture in Thailand is not complete unless the peace sign is thrown.
haha this was after we attempted a jumping picture...
Happy happy happy
TIM TAM SLAM! Haha so it is tradition in the Thailand Bangkok Mission to Tim Tam Slam whenever you have a baptism! This is when you take a chocolate cookie, bite the two ends, and drink the milk from the container the cookies come in. Tim Tams aren't a thing in America so when I did this for the first time my eyes were opened.
This is probably the greatest tradition this mission has.
I take it back, this is probably the greatest tradition any mission has.
Ended the day with a rooftop soccer match...also I was told not to smile so hence the face.
District ice cream run!
Look how little this apple is! They have them everywhere!
Food craving for the week^^^
I have honestly come to love this place.