testifying in Thailand

testifying in Thailand

Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 32 - The Promise of Miracles

1) The church announced a new schedule for missionaries--EVERYTHING CHANGED!
2) The church has told us to stop counting our lessons with investigators...EVERYTHING CHANGED
3) I ate Somdam (traditional Thai dish) with FIVE, I repeat, FIVE peppers! (for those of you that knew me before the mission, this is like a 'parting of the Red Seas' moment for me)
4) We finally moved out of our hotel! (Honestly one of the most stressful events of my mission so far, which is saying something)

A few weeks ago we were visiting a new member, trying to teach his mom, when she gave us a referral! After visiting the said referral, SHE gave us a referral, which is how we met the adorable Pan. Pan is 18 and she is so interested in religion. When we taught the Restoration she was so curious, and when we gave her a few verses to read from the Book of Mormon she couldn't stop smiling, it honestly touched my heart. Since then we have had a few lessons and she continues to show interest, and she actually understands what we teach! (Usually with Buddhists it takes at least 1-3 repetitions before they actually can understand the concept) Pan has been prepared long before we met her.

Anyway, we were reading with her from 2 Nephi 31 about the Doctrine of Christ when we challenged her (for the second time) to follow the example of Jesus Christ and get baptized. She told us that she wanted to, and she knew it was so important, but her only fear was that she wouldn't be able to go to church every week! This is a miracle because a) she understands how important/sacred baptism is and b) we haven't even taught the commandments yet, but she knows she needs to go to church every week! Usually those are some of the hardest things to explain to Khon Thais! She explained how her college requires testing on Sundays (super common in Thailand) and that she couldn't just not go or she would fail. As she was talking I felt the most distinct impression to give her a promise...I told her that if she would pray, and pray everyday, asking God what to do/to help solve this issue, that something would happen, a solution would be found and she would be able to get baptized. She really understands the concept of faith and I told her that God is a God of miracles, we just need to have faith the miracles would come. 

This was such an incredible experience for me. I know that if she continues to pray (and we do too as a companionship) there will be an answer to this problem, hearts will be softened, and Pan will get baptized. I know that God works through missionaries, and I couldn't feel more blessed to be an instrument in His hands on a daily basis. What a miracle this experience was/will be when she finally enters the waters of baptism!

This week I was overwhelmed with the love and reassurance that God sent to me. I was reminded of this love with a quote,
"Compared to God man is nothing; yet we are everything to God" (Uchtdorf)

I know that I am just a girl from Utah, trying my best to work miracles for a people that I have never met and in a language that I don't fully understand. But I also know that I am a daughter of God that loves me, that knows my name, my fears and my desires. I know that through the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we all have the opportunity to live with our families for eternity, and that is something I will never tire of testifying of. Truly everything in this Gospel is perfect, and I am so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven that is patient enough to work with imperfect people like myself. 

My challenge for you today is to recognize your inadequacies and rely on the Lord to change, because that is the only way it can be done!

ร้ก มาก มาก
Sister Hammon

Bishop's family plus the missionaries!

We got matching skirts so a picture was required.

This may be one of our first selfies together...that's pretty impressive.  
It took almost 5 weeks.

Sorry for all the puppy pictures, but this one is just too cute.

Because only in Thailand could you be riding your bike on the highway 
only to come across a baby elephant.

Watching the Worldwide Devotional--
also my 5 prick (pepper) Somdam is on the table!

Haha Our air conditioners have the random little fluffy things that go everywhere throughout the chapel so we found these giant bamboo brooms.  Weekly cleaning is required.

This less active family we've been working with came to all 3 hours of church
 for the first time in MONTHS yesterday!!

Sunset on the way to the Bishop's house!

Haha Moving out--we were all exhausted.

Moving as a missionary may be one of the worst experiences.  I do not suggest it.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 31 - The Sun Always Rises

My title seems super deep, but really it is because of my challenge at the end and because this morning we woke up around 3:30, drove to the border of Cambodia/Thailand and watched a breathtaking sunrise! God's creations never cease to make me oh so grateful, especially as a missionary. Also never in my life would I have thought I would watch a sunrise over Cambodia. Crazy how God's plan works!

Since the Esan is super spread out, we had to travel about 5 hours to switch off, but it was so worth it! I was with Sister Panasuto (Thai) and to be frank she is incredible. Works SO HARD and I loved every second of it. We were only together for half a day when we saw a miracle happen and basically found a new investigator! A huge testimony to me that God blesses those who qualify (work for it).

Randomly we started talking about our favorite foods and she all of a sudden had this craving to go eat at a 'cook it yourself' Thai place. I wasn't really craving it but she was so excited I didn't want to say no! We went and our waiter immediately asked us what religion we were from, and was interested from the get go. Throughout the night he kept asking us questions and was so eager to learn. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he couldn't stop smiling. So grateful to have had that experience. Honestly there are prepared people EVERYWHERE...thankfully Sister Panasuto recognized a prompting, even if it was in her craving (Best Two Years anyone?)

So on Sunday right after church/lunch (everyone eats together at the church) we were getting ready to leave when these 4 girls (17 years old) came in and asked me if they could interview me! This happens kind of often, students have to interview native English speakers so everyone goes to the nicest falangs in town..the missionaries! The interview was short but afterwards we just started talking to them. I am LOVING being able to talk to people about life and actually understand them! Goodness it is amazing.

Anyway we were just talking and had to wait for the elders to finish teaching so we decided to give them a tour of the church. They were so cute. "This is my very first time in a church, I am so excited but kind of nervous!" But as we showed them the church and just talked I know they felt something. The spirit is so powerful because we can be talking about a random topic but being in the church and with the missionaries you can tell that they feel something, and they don't want the feeling to end. We began to teach some of our doctrine and bare testimony and they couldn't stop smiling. I am so grateful for the spirit, without it this work would be a lost cause. 

We left the four of them with their own copy of the Book of Mormon. I don't know what will happen to them but I hope and pray a spark was lit. Unfortunately they live too far for missionaries to visit them but we hope to see them again in the near future! What a miracle that 1-they chose to come to the church when we were there and able to help them, 2-they could feel the spirit of the message we bore, 3-that we were used as instruments in the Lord's hands. Ah. I will never tire of being apart of this glorious work.

Watching the sunrise today made me think about something I read recently. (Yes I applied the sunrise to the gospel because I'm a missionary and we do that with literally everything we see.) Yesterday in church I read about President Hinckley's attitude about optimism and I couldn't help but feel happy knowing that I was trying my best to do that very thing!

"Everyday in the mission field is a good day" I have tried my best to apply this and it has honestly changed my life. He talked about instead of waiting for the train to get to the station you should, "thank the Lord for letting you have the ride" and that is when you will find happiness. 

No matter our situation the sun always rises. Each day is a new day to learn and grow and have JOY! The light of Christ Atonement can brighten any day. We just have to be patient enough to watch the sunrise. 

My challenge for you all today is to find the sunshine in life...and usually you don't have to look very far:)

Much much love,
Sister Hammon


The sun always rises  : )

How beautiful is this world?

Sunrise with Sister Panjaree

Every Khon Thai (native) we saw was FREEZING to death.  
Haha All the falangs were fine.  Proof 1

Proof 2 (wearing scarves and hats)

Proof 3

The trees at the bottom of the picture are in Cambodia! 
Probably 100 yards from where we were.

Cool carvings to the left and Cambodia to the right.

As close as you can get to leaving the mission! (Cambodia is RIGHT behind us!)

Our travel crew! Elders + Sisters + Driver (and best member ever)

Make-shift birthday cake

Love this place

Teaching an investigator at his farm during switch-offs!

I seriously adore Sister Panasuto. This was the said restaurant she craved 
and found the potential investigator!

Switch-Off’s in Roiet!  Sister Black from Bountiful (so so so fun to talk to her!) 
and Sister Panasuto from Thailand.

Found this little guy in our room last week…the scary thing is we lost him…in our tiny room!  How? No idea but yeah, it is a good time.

Trying to catch the frog. In her English Sister Panjaree said 
“Where is frog” over and over. Haha it was so cute.

I told Sister Panjaree she couldn’t take the box home on her bike. 
I obviously didn’t have enough faith.

Here is an adorable puppy for you all to love.

Our investigator randomly had EIGHT puppies behind her house! SO ADORABLE  
(And so full of rabies. It took all my will power not to take all of them home)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 30 - Elephant Rides and Faithful Investigators

This week I am at a loss for what to write about so I am just going to start writing and hope something decent comes out! Also I have a bunch of pictures so hopefully that can help explain my week!

SISTER DOUK (แม่ ตุก)
Family is in the picture (we ate dinner with them) Her daughter is a member and her husband has yet to learn)
This woman is incredible. She has been learning with the missionaries for about 4 months and has a date to get baptized in a few weeks! Her faith astounds me. She didn't receive the warmest welcome into the ward (about a month ago) but she told us that she understands, no one can be perfect and she will continue to learn with us! Missionaries haven't been able to teach her husband but when I got to Sisaket we saw his heart begin to change! He has been so welcoming to missionaries and we are trying so hard to have the opportunity to teach him, prayers sent his way! His Sister Douk told us that it was her dream to go through the temple with her husband and children....ANOTHER 4 YEARS AND THAT DREAM WILL BE A REALITY! (the plan for the temple to be completed!) It has been such a blessing in my life to see the faith of this woman, to learn from her and learn to love her in such a short period of time!

SO FUN! But also extremely terrifying! Elder Gundry has done it 3 times so we just kind of followed him. Since we can speak Thai we can do it for super cheap rather than the normal falang price. We went up to a random house and asked if we could ride their pet elephant for 150 baht (4 dollars) ..haha only in Thailand. We then proceeded to climb on their pet elephant and ride them for a half hour! Haha so fun and it was the best 4 dollars I have ever spent!

One thing I have really been learning these past few weeks is how important it is to give of yourself. My new companion has taught me about how much better things are when you forget your own problems and focus on helping the companionship (learned through trail and error) I am not perfect and it has been a learning experience being with her, but I am so grateful for this opportunity to grow! We are still learning but I know that we will both be much better people after this transfer. So that is my challenge for you all, forget yourself and focus on others. It is how Christ did everything so I pray that we can all follow his example! (trust me I am trying my very best everyday!)

Much much love,
ซิสเตอร์ แฮมมอน

"Hey, can we ride your elephant?"


My companion was freaking out so she was clinging onto me like the iron rod haha!

How cute is this little guy?

He told me to stand by it for a picture--THEN BAM--I was in the air!  haha So fun!

Haha  At this point I was so scared he was going to grab me with his trunk again!

Best P-days ever!

Our investigator's house

How you know Sister Hammon and Sister Panjaree are visiting someone's house.  
You find this on the outside.

The mosquitoes here are MASSIVE.  I repeat.  MASSIVE!

Service we did for National Children's Day!

We were told we would be doing heavy labor.  We got there and they asked us to draw pictures....Well okay, we can do that!

Hahaha last appointment of the day and I tried to put on my helmet before my vest...
it did not end well.

Our investigator (the older woman) invited us to eat dinner with their family 
for National Children's Day!  
It's a fancy Thai meal to get raw meat and cook it in the thing on the middle of the table while you talk with everyone.  I love it!

THE BEST Thai dessert...sugar stick rice with mangoes!