So! Transfers in the Esan are nothing short of an adventure. We got the transfer call Tuesday night and by Wednesday night we had all of Sister Panjaree's stuff packed and we were on a bus heading to Bangkok!
-10 hour bus ride to Bangkok
-1 hour taxi ride from bus station to mission office (always an adventure with a bike + luggage...bribes are necessary for the taxi driver to take us with that much stuff haha!)
-2 hour pit-stop at the mission office to pick up new companion and talk to everyone before the AP's kick everyone out
-1 hour taxi ride from mission office to bus station
-2 hour wait at bus station
-10 bus ride back to SISAKET!
So by Thursday night I had spent basically 20ish/24 hours in a vehicle--whew thank goodness transfers are 6 weeks apart haha.
I. Love. Her. She is 24, a college graduate (engineering), happy, ready to work and THAI! Could I have asked for anyone better? I keep joking with President that he doesn't think I can speak Thai yet because he keeps putting me with Khon Thais but it is SUCH A BLESSING. I have had FOUR companions to learn the language and culture from when most missionaries in Thailand only get 1 their entire mission! Not gonna lie, I really want to keep this streak and never be placed with a falang--I'll start praying;)
ANYWAY I'm the senior companion but we have both been out the same amount of time, which is the best. We both feel like we don't really know anything/aren't amazing missionaries yet, but we have determination to TRY so with everything we do it is with the attitude of "let's go for it!" AH! This transfer will be miracle filled, mark my words.
Also Sister Dem has only been a member 2 years so it makes her desire to be here SO STRONG. She is the only member in her family and so her testimony is rock solid. The members here in Thailand are incredible. Yes, there are some who are เฉยเฉย (go with the flow/don't really care) but they fade in comparison to others that literally dedicate their lives to the church! In Thailand most members are the only Christians in a family of Buddhists and face some persecution for their beliefs. They are surrounded by old temptations because Buddhism is literally in this country's culture, and yet they still believe and still follow their Savior Jesus Christ. I look up to and am able to learn so much from them. Honestly it is a blessing to serve these incredible incredible people.
New companion Sister Dem!! : )
DO WHAT YOU CAN DO
So this past week has been crazy. The work in Sisaket has slowed way down and it has left Sister Dem and I to reevaluate everything and try our best to turn it around! Again, we both feel super inexperienced but it has been a testimony to me that we are not the ones working here, it is the Lord. Yesterday in church we may have found 2 people to get baptized this transfer! (Pan, who I have mentioned earlier, and a random walk-in) MIRACLES. It was so crazy to know that in just a few days, God has blessed us for our work/determination. Made me think of this quote I found from President Hinckley:
"I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so you will witness miracles come to pass."
This could not be more applicable to us! I feel so weird trying to lead the area while being the senior companion as a falang but when we tried our best, God sent the miracles. Goodness I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven that understands our circumstances. He doesn't care about numbers or statistics, but people (including his missionaries) So very blessed this week.
I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS TRANSFER!
Love you all, don't forget to 'do what you can do' this week, the miracles will come, I promise.
Much much love,
Farewell dinner for Sister Panjaree at the home of Sister Doug.
ALSO HEADS UP. SHE GETS BAPTIZED NEXT WEEK!!!
Sister Dee caught this picture of me while we were going to serve.
This is right outside our apartment.
We had a sudden death service project the other day—
had to cut down this mango tree that has millions of red fire ants living it it.
They. Were. Everywhere.
THERE WERE MILLIONS OF THEM.
They were all over you biting you everywhere and in your shoes and socks
and on your neck, in your hair—EVERYWHERE. Hahaha ohhhh man, memories.
So. Many. Ants.
Love service with members here because you serve for 2 hours
then they feed you until your stomach is about to burst.
Also, I don’t know if I have mentioned this before
but almost 80% of meals here are eaten on the floor—
this is great for my financial future
because I will never have to buy furniture. (sarcasm people)
This is SO SPECIAL! So the Bishop’s daughters both got their mission calls.
In Thailand it so SO special if you can go somewhere English speaking and 95% of the the Khon Thai either go to Australia or Thailand..
But these two BOTH got called to ENGLAND!!!!!
London and Birmingham leaving the same day!!!! It was SO SPECIAL!
So. Much. Food. Dinner at the Bishop’s house on Sunday!