testifying in Thailand

testifying in Thailand

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Week 44 - And a Family was Baptized

"I shall not attempt to paint to you the feelings of this heart, nor the majestic beauty and glory which surrounded us on this occasion..." (Oliver Cowdery) but this last week brought me more gratitude for being a missionary than anything else and I cannot wait to explain a least a part of what I felt/what happened...On Sunday Sister Fone and her son Frame were baptized after a 2 year journey to find the church and I'm going to explain how they got there!

THE STORY OF THE FAMILY
Flash back to January, I had just moved into Sisaket and our investigator pool was small, so following the example of my previous companion (Sister Bilavanh--goodness I love her) I started calling every single phone number in our phone. One number was Fone's...she answered but explained she really didn't have any time, and that was that. 

Flash forward to February, I started calling numbers again and called Fone once more...this time she agreed to meet! With Sister Dem (at that time we had only been companions a week) we went and met with her and found out that she had learned with the missionaries over 2 years ago with her son. Her son kept asking her to take him back to church but she didn't think much of it...until we called!

So that started her learning about the church! At the beginning she kept canceling appointments last minute, once actually turning off the lights and pretending not to be home. (We prayed and a miracle happened, someone came and opened the door for us! MIRACLE) Because after that appointment she began to be really interested! 

Her cute son Frame is the absolute best. He has read the Book of Mormon Stories (has pictures for kids) TWICE and is starting his third time through. As we were teaching them, Fone's daughter also started learning and that started our cute little family on their way to baptism!

This last Sunday Fone and Frame were baptized and Sister Fone was so speechless she couldn't talk, "I just feel so good I don't know how to explain it!" And when we visited them later Frame said the closing prayer which went something like this, "and we are grateful that Sister Hammon and Sister Dem came and introduced us so that we can get baptized and follow Thy plan" ...yes this did make me cry but only because I love Frame so darn much.

I remember a few years ago when I went to a mission prep class, the teacher said, "just think, right now God is preparing families for YOU" And that really hit me..so from that day on I started praying for those said families, that I would have the spirit and be guided to find them so they could enjoy the blessings of this glorious gospel. And this last Sunday all those prayers were answered. It isn't a family of 10, but it's a family of 2 (going to be 3), which to even get that in Thailand is a miracle in and of itself! But when I went to bed that night I couldn't help but feel gratitude bursting from my heart that God had allowed me to be a part of their story, even for a few months.

I know that God has a plan for each of us. I know that sometimes we don't understand the timing of things, like why I had to call Fone multiple times before she agreed, but I know that it is all done in God's timing. Families are the center of happiness in this life and in the life to come, and there is nothing I am more grateful for than this plan that our Heavenly Father has given us to return and live with Him again.

So! There is the story of this cute little family...miracles are still happening I promise. My challenge today is for all of you to do what I did a few years ago...start praying for the ability to listen to the spirit and find someone who still needs the blessings of the gospel. It may not come right away, but I promise it will come!

Much much love,
ซิสเตอร์ แฮมมอน

Here they are 😃

So they’re not smiling, but it’s the culture here…they are happy I promise!

How cute is Frame?!

The cute kids we are teaching. The one on the left is getting baptized this week!

A family 😃
8668 Here they are dressed in white!

Also forgot to tell you but we had an incredible zone conference on Monday!!! LOVE the Ubon Zone (smallest but best in the entire mission, I promise)

Only sisters in the zone…go us ;)



Old Songkran pictures from the Elder’s waterproof camera!

Songkran—everyone gets in trucks and has water fights from truck to truck to get the people on the sides wet. The people on the sides get the people in  the trucks wet too!
People in the trucks

SO WET

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 43 - Songkran/Broken Bike/Elephant Rides PART 2...plus a cute new family

This week was honestly so crazy and I haven't uploaded pictures in 2 weeks so you'll see a billion--yayyy!
STILL SONGKRAN...
Life is oh so good. Songkran was so fun, but a challenge to keep work going. Just a funny Sister Hammon luck moment...so we were heading home on Saturday (last day and most intense for playing) I was already soaking but we had to get home for curfew (6 on Songkran) there was SO much traffic and we were weaving our way in-between cars down a long road, getting water thrown on us and powder wiped on our faces the entire time. Anyway Sister Demsiri got a big bucket thrown right into her face and while she was wiping her face I had to stop due to traffic, she didn't see me stop annnnnnd guess who needs their bike gear fixed again? Hahaha it was so funny I couldn't stop laughing (due to the holiday the place is closed for the next while so Sister Hammon has her broken bike yet again! Woohoo go me!) But as of today, Songkran is officially over!

CUTEST NEW INVESTIGATORS
But despite distractions we still have seen so many miracles! First, we are now teaching the grandchildren of a less active member which is AMAZING because 1-- it brings the grandma back to church and 2-- we get new investigators and 3-- they are stinking adorable. Teaching kids is SO FUN. Only 2 are older than 8 but we teach all of them and ahhh...so fun. Children are so innocently joyful and teaching them makes my days and weeks so much better.

THIS WEEK'S BAPTISM!
Speaking of kids--Frame (9 year old boy) and his mom (Fone) are getting baptized THIS WEEK! The other daughter (Fa-17) is waiting a week or two. I will share their story in next weeks email but after they passed their baptismal interview I have seemed to float along because I am just so overjoyed for them! Frame is the cutest, most sincere child in the world. I already decided that he's going to be a missionary in the Salt Lake City Mission so I can make him dinner ( I have basically adopted him as my younger brother ) This family is so special, talking about them just makes me smile. I am so very grateful that God allows His imperfect children to help Him with missionary work, truly no greater joy can be felt.

Also, if we didn't have enough fun this week, we rode elephants again today! I love Thailand.

LIFE IS GOOD
My thought today comes from President Hunter because something I read earlier explained my exact feelings right now, 
"Life is wonderful, even in the hard times, there is happiness, joy, and peace all along the way."
 Isn't this so true?? I mean you've probably heard but being a missionary is hard, but it is so wonderful, even more wonderful at the same time! I just keep on learning that life is exactly what you make it, so why would you make it miserable. BE HAPPY. Smile, laugh, and enjoy the many gifts God has given you:)

Love you all, cannot wait to read conference in English (and I promise I'll have a thought about that soon!) Make this week wonderful and I'll talk to you next Tuesday! (Our p-day is moved again because of Zone Conference)

Much much love,
Sister Hammon

SONGKRAN


Paying respect to the elders

Basically our whole zone went to Ubon for Songkran  haha 

On Saturday (still Songkran) we had work day like normal…soaking. wet. all. day.  
It was so fun! I can’t get over how much I love this holiday!

WE GOT TO RIDE ELEPHANTS AGAIN!






Haha the elephant we rode was orange from the dirt and 
completely stained our pants…so worth it.

I pet the otter again :’)

Look at his cute little face!

My inviting skills are impressive

OUR FAMILY!!! (mother and son get baptized this week. 
Their daughter on the right is waiting a week or two)

The cute new family of grandchildren that we are now teaching!

LOVE THIS คู่ OF MINE

Monks in training…shouldn’t think they are cute but just look at them!

Haha they’re just so adorable!

We started an ABC class for English Night and we have THE CUTEST students 
in the entire world…and 2 of them are investigators!



Heading out to a run one morning and look what we found! 
(shows how long I have been Thailand since I didn’t burn the apartment down)

These members hand make….
THIS!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Week who knows - SONGKRAN IN SISAKET!!

I have no time because every single internet cafe in the entire province of Sisaket is closed so we biked around forever until we found this super sketchy one.. but we don't really care because in 1 hour we are going to PLAY SONGKRAN.

Oh. My. Word. This holiday is the greatest thing this world has ever seen, a quick description:
-Thai New Year
-Hottest time of the year (and I'm telling you the fires from Hades have come upon the Esan because you walk outside and it stings because it is so hot BUT IT'S OKAY BECAUSE SONGKRAN)
-Celebrated by throwing water on everyone. Kids, dogs, old people and FALANGS. (Haha yesterday biking home from the activity we left dry and got home looking like we just took a dip in the pool. Falang on a bike = Khon Thai's favorite target)
-Seriously the question I keep asking is, "wait so you mean it's okay to get that person wet?" 
I LOVE IT. I've decided I'm bringing it to BYU next year so stay tuned.

Yesterday we were able to have a big party with the members for Songkran and we did this ceremony thing to honor the elderly then just played with water guns and hoses and water balloons like children and it was the greatest thing. My skin is so dark people see my arms and think I'm Thai haha it's the best #skincancer But my challenge comes from this--HONOR someone you know this week, probably your parents, it's a commandment so do it! Okay that's all.

ANYWAY I LOVE YOU ALL! I love this holiday more than anything, I love Sisaket with my whole heart, I love Thailand SO MUCH and I love my Savior Jesus Christ. LIFE IS OH SO GOOD WHEN YOU'RE A MISSIONARY...and always.

HAPPY SONGKRANNNNNN and I'll talk to you in like 3 days
Much much love,
ซิสเตอร์ แฮม

PS. Oh a more spiritual note--a FAMILY that I found a few months ago is getting baptized on the 23rd of April.....MIRACLES HAVE NOT CEASED

PPS. Pan decided to drop her baptismal date, pray for her!

Sneak peak to Songkran pictures, the only time weapons are allowed for missionaries haha


Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 41- A Book of Mormon for นิม

Time is starting to scare me.There is never a slow moment! Especially these next few weeks because it is Thailand's BIGGEST holiday--SONGKRAN! Basically it's a national water fight for 3 days. Our p-day next week is moved to the 14th--so mom don't freak out when you don't get an email from me next Monday. 

Anyway I don't have tons of time today so I'm just going to share a brief story that made my heart full of gratitude for direction from the Holy Ghost.

A BOOK OF MORMON FOR NIM (นิม)
     So flash back to last Monday. After our FHE at a member's house we decided to get in a few minutes of inviting by the local hospital. We hadn't had much luck but right before we were going to leave we met a woman who was willing to talk to us. She told us she wanted to study more about our religion so I told her that we would meet her the next day and deliver a Book of Mormon so she could study it herself. She told us to come at 8:30 (which is WAY late for the Thai people) but we told her we would be there!
     The next day was Tuesday, the day we teach English from 6:30-8. Usually we stay after and talk with the students trying to find new investigators, but this time we had to run out to make our 'appointment' with this woman. In my mind I kind of knew she wouldn't be there, but I knew we should go to show our faith, so we headed out. 
     When we got there we saw absolutely no sign of her or her friend, so we decided to contact a few minutes and wait for her. Right when we pulled up I saw this cute girl waiting on her motorcycle and I knew we should talk to her. I got off my bike and walked straight up to her asking her what she was doing. She told us she was just waiting for her boyfriend to get off work...and that she would be waiting for another 2 hours. Right when she said that I knew that the Book of Mormon we brought was for her. I explained a little about it and handed it over, she seemed so shocked but could not stop smiling. 
     We tried to meet with her again, but she lives super far away and doesn't have the time/isn't super interested, but I know that that night God sent us to deliver that Book of Mormon to Nim. 

Isn't that how life works sometimes? We have this plan that we think God approves of, but as we go to live out the plan things change? Sometimes it's rough and we wonder why our plan isn't what God wants, but I testify that EVERYTHING in our life is designed by God for our eternal happiness. How incredible is that?! No matter what happens in life, no matter how often things don't work out according to plan (giving the Book of Mormon to the original woman) we can be comforted to know that the changes that happen will make us that much happier in this life and in the eternities to come. Truly God is oh so good. --- "Everything [God] does—every blessing He gives and every blessing He, for time, withholds—is for our eternal happiness." (Uchtdorf) 

Love this work, love my Savior Jesus Christ and CANNOT WAIT for conference this weekend. Keep being amazing, and be extremely jealous that I get to have a giant water fight like a 5 year old. I'm pretty pumped. 

Much much love,
Sister Hammon


I was at a member’s house and they asked me if I could play the original Thai flute 
so I tried—and can totally do it! haha  
It’s different from a western flute but I figured out the hymns pretty easily.

The district with 2 recent converts - แบงม & กิกส์  


This is a cashew fruit! 
You take the top part off and throw it in some machine to deshell it...
no wonder they are so expensive. This is just 1 single nut!

All food prep is done in the floor here...
I am now used to it but I think it is not normal in America haha

So this is a funny story--in Thailand soccer is a sport that is played by men and men only. Some girls play it but it is SUPER rare. Anyway so at sports night we decided to play a game and all the years I spent on the soccer field when I was younger paid off because I was killing it! It was HILARIOUS because all the boys couldn't understand why a girl was beating them in a guy's sport..haha anyway so there is that story. 
(ignore all of our sweaty faces)

We decided to adopt this puppy (just kidding cause we're obedient)

Ancient cities are fun yayyy

So I’m tall in Thailand.  It’s the best.

I whacked this gong as hard as I could and it was basically the best thing ever

This looks like it should be in Russia so I took a picture (you're welcome Grant)

video

Why Thai is so fun to learn! (yay for tones)