testifying in Thailand

testifying in Thailand

Monday, May 29, 2017

Week 49 - MAYricle Success (the cutest little baptism)

Hello! Officially writing from Sisaket, we made it back after our quick trip to Bangkok, just an update, HOURS SPENT ON A BUS THIS TRANSFER46 and climbing

     It was crazy. Our entire mission gathered in Bangkok for his visit (this hasn't happened in 2 years that everyone was together) Elder Cook, his wife and Elder/Sister Funk of the Asia Area Presidency came and spoke to us. It was such a powerful meeting! Elder Cook only spoke for about 20 minutes, but the spirit was tangible in the room! He bore the most solid witness of the Savior and testified that Jesus Christ was the one who decided there would be a temple in Bangkok Thailand, not the First Presidency and I couldn't help but get teary. The Savoir knows these people and knows that they are ready. The next step is for the missionaries. We know the temple needs to be here so our job is to prepare the people for a temple! Elder Cook: "But I'll talk more about temples at the meeting tonight, we need to get things moving on the temple here" *every missionary dies because we think there will FINALLY be an announcement made about the progress of the temple here*
     After the missionary meeting, we all raced across Bangkok to go to a hotel for the member meeting where the topic for every speaker was...TEMPLES! We were all CERTAIN that there would be the groundbreaking announcement/where it would be/what it will look like. Elder Cook got up and gave a super powerful talk about how we prepare for the temple. At this point everyone was on the edge of their seats waiting for the announcement annnnnnd....."So I can assure you, the temple will be come to Thailand very soon." And that was it. Everyone kind of looked at each other all confused but yeah. Long story short, no more news about the temple :(   KEEP PRAYING!

MAYricle--the cutest baptism I ever did see (ติวเตอร์)
     For the past 2 months we have been teaching the most adorable kid named Deewtor. He is the grandson of a less active member which means not only did he get baptized but she is coming back to church! He is 9 years old (and friends with Frame, our recent convert) He is adorable and so little. The water went to his neck when he stepped in! He has already helped teach with us in lessons. He taught his little friends how to pray and asked me when he could be a missionary...so you could say he is progressing! On Sunday at church Deewtor ran out and didn't go to the second hour. We were freaking out thinking he didn't want to get baptized anymore. Turns out his grandma wasn't going to come to his baptism, so he RAN HOME alone and got her so she could be there. How lucky am I to have meet this little boy??
     Recently I have been shocked at the amount of preparation most of our investigators have already had. God knows His children and knows when they will be ready. With Deewtor, we as missionaries didn't do that much besides teach because he was so willing to learn and do things on his own. There ARE prepared people out there and all they need is an invitation. 
     When Elder Cook was speaking to the members, he gave an Apostolic blessing that if the members would pray for opportunities, God would place prepared people in their path. How incredible is this promise?? SO my challenge for you is to follow Elder Cook's promise and PRAY! Because you will have the chance to share something!

This week we have another crazy week of travels (a stake conference 5 hours away and zone conference right after that) so I will talk to you next Wednesday the 5th! I LOVE being a missionary...so much! I just hope I never take these opportunities for granted. Life is oh so good and God loves his children! :) Have the best week!

Sister Hammon



Both of them leave for the England MTC this week!!

Where Elder Cook spoke (wayyyy fancy hotel in downtown Bangkok)

We got an MTC reunion picture! 
(minus 2 elders because one of them got struck by lightening…long story)

Her first time on the streets of Bangkok!

46 hours of having this view on the bus

Love these cute kids

Officially my favorite house in Thailand (our Bishop’s). 
It has a bunch of crazy random bugs/animals everywhere 
but at night it is surrounded by hundreds of fireflies, so it’s worth it.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA My greenie struggles with biking.

Look what friend we found in my package.

Our friend we found outside the house.

biking past rice fields for days

It is beautiful here though...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

week 48 - sketchy internet cafe in downtown bangkok

so today we get to hear from the incredible apostle, elder cook, in the flesh. we left sisaket last night at 10, got to bangkok at 6 and spent the next 4 hours walking around in the burning heat trying to find an internet cafe....after 3 taxis, walking 2 hours, taking a break for breakfast and over 15 phone calls we finally found this one, but it is sketchy so no caps work....haha but we made it

i honestly have no idea what to write about so i decided i'll just include some random funny facts about sisaket that i love: --just keep in mind how small this town is--

     -there is this random horse that has taken up residence right outside our church, we named it skippers and every time i turn town the church's street i freak out, "wow a horse" then i remember it's normal now
     -in sisaket there is exactly 1 homeless guy. everyone knows him and he is just content with his life, we wave to him every time we pass him, he just walks around sisaket all day with his loin cloth like pants, anyway super random but he is hilarious so i'm mentioning it
     -the bike shop owner knows us by name and waves every time he sees us
     -i have been in sisaket so long i have the all the monks' morning routes of walking to get food, memorized, so i know who they visit each day...i scare myself sometimes
     -we exercise at the same park at the same time everyday so i have made friends with all the other 75 year olds who exercise the same time as us, they love me so much now they just call me 'child' in thai haha i love these people so much
     -the other day our bishop found a giant rat in the church, killed it then threw it outside...the streets don't get cleaned very often so for a solid 2 weeks the rat was just chilling on the side of the road, then someone ran it over, then for the next week we always forgot it was there so we ran it over with our bikes over and over haha my greenie kept freaking out, 'i am going to start praying thailand gets a street sweeper', don't worry, it's gone now, prayers answered
     -all the kids know me by name so when we invite in the park by the church there are a bunch of little voices that yell 'sister hammon' and it melts my heart every time--speaking of which, we have our 9 year old investigator getting baptized this week yay for miracles-insert exclamation point here-

sorry this is a super, not spiritual, email, but this past week i have started to realize just how much i love this place, with all of its quirks. these members are my family and i don't know what i will do when i have to leave them. 
sisaket is my favorite place in the world right now, random horse, dead rat, 1 homeless guy and all. 
love you all, and i will talk to you in a few days when i have a caps that works and have heard from elder cook woohooo. my challenge is for all of you to take a look at the small things you see everyday and make the most of them, life is honestly about the little things

much much love,
ซิสเตอร์ แฮมมอน

ps. as of june 1 - october, all sister missionaries in our mission have to wear skirts that cover the ankle...yes you read that right, cover the ankle...to prevent mosquito bites. yeahhh we are bringing work and the glory to thailand--please pray for us and our ability to bike in a floor length skirt, i promise there are interesting stories to come

[From Mom:  there are no photos to post.  She is lucky just to have found a computer.....]

Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 47- A Completed Family, Pa's Revelation and a Diseased Dog

Hello familia คะ่! (look at me being trilingual) 

Anyway we had an AMAZING week full of MAY-RACLES! (ha ha ha hahaha) But really, they just keep happening and it is incredible!

So yesterday was such a precious day because Sister Fa (Sister Fone's daughter and Frame's older sister) entered the waters of baptism! It was so special, there was such a spirit and she was absolutely beaming. It was a tiny bit terrifying because a member of the Quorum of the Seventy was visiting and stayed for the baptism! I was freaking out the ceremony would go as planned, but it was great, and now she is a clean daughter of God:) Baptism is not the end, but it is definitely a huge milestone and highlight for missionaries. 

"You need to be in Bangkok in 16 hours"
So our incredible AP's notified us around 1 o'clock on Wednesday that we needed to be in Bangkok at 8 on Thursday for my companion's work permit....we had a full day planned, an investigator waiting for us at the church and hadn't eaten...needless to say it was an adventure RACING to the bus station (almost killing my greenie along the way) then running back to the church, trying our best to still make all of our appointments before getting on a bus at 8 and driving to Bangkok overnight.
Remember forever ago when I wrote about my '1000 baht signature'? Yeah this was that except it was 2500 baht, for 1 signature that took 3 minutes. Loooove traveling this beautiful country on such beautiful buses;) 
Hours spent on a bus so far this transfer: 28

So on the crazy day that Wednesday was we had a miracle with a new investigator! I met her a few months ago with Sister Dem (that was a miracle too) but we haven't been able to meet with her again, until this last week! I 'randomly' (spirit) called her again and she was willing to meet. She kept calling because she couldn't find the church and I was so scared she was just going to leave. While we were at the bus station getting tickets when she called us saying she was just going to go eat. I was so sad but still decided to check out the church. We got there SO FAST and came across Sister Pa!! 
We showed her the church and taught her a lesson, where she explained what happened. So she was riding around trying to find the church and was completely lost. She was about to give up when a voice told her to 'turn right and go straight' she did that and boom. Found the church. We had a hard time getting her to leave the church because she felt so good inside. I KNOW that God still talks to His children. We all have the right to receive revelation from our Father in Heaven, but all we have to do is seek it. (brace yourselves, a challenge is coming) SO! My challenge this week is to seek that revelation from God, and He will give it to you!

So right after having this super spiritual lesson with Sister Pa, we walk out of the chapel to find this diseased dog prancing around inside the church and so we had to herd it out before we could lock up the church while our new investigator watched us look like idiots. Nailed it.

I LOVE YOU ALL but mostly my family because I get to talk to you in t minus 45 minutes! Thank you all the mothers out there, we love you!
Sister Hammon

 The completed family!!
With Sister Fa

We found out we hadn’t taken a picture together, so here!

Guess what district got to empty the son by hand again?? 
(notice the beautifully color water)

One of our favorite recent converts and his mom!

Hahahaha a picture of when my companion lost her shoe while trying to kick a dog that was chasing her hahaha oh memories.

I fed a bear some bread so that’s cool.

The most beautiful creature in Thailand

I made my first ‘prick” sauce and I was so proud of myself (every other time the members made fun of me since it wasn’t that good but they accepted it this time!)

Crazy fruit!

Then you peel the little seeds and eat the inside!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 46- I HAVE A ลูก (child)!!!

So yeah, crazy week but all in all, I am training! Saying bye to Sister Dem ripped my heart out, but it's good! It's kind of funny though because everyone in the ward thought I would be leaving since I have been here so long, so everyone was way sad to see Sister Dem go after only a few months so the main reaction I got on Sunday was, "Wait you're still here?" haha it's a long time, but I feel SO blessed to get 6 months in SISAKET. Honestly the best area in the mission:)

So my companion (and first falang) is Sister Curtis! She's from California and she's adorable. We met at the new missionaries meeting then got in a taxi to go to the bus station. I said a silent prayer that we would get a nice taxi driver (you can find some real characters in a taxi in Bangkok) I wanted someone who was semi-interested so it could boost her faith with one of her first contacts! ANSWERED PRAYER! He was so nice, and I got to basically teach an entire lesson on the 30 minute ride. I was so happy and had her share a little bit too. Anyway so I got out of the taxi so happy that she got to witness such a great contact and we get out and she says, "wait so what just happened?" Haha she had no idea anything that happened and didn't really get anything out of it/understand the miracle it was, but it was still a miracle for me;)

It was definitely a HUGE adjustment to go from all Khon Thai's who understand 100% to my first falang that understands exactly 1% but it's good. I keep realizing how blessed I was with my companions and how fast I caught on to the language. It's definitely weird teaching 95% of the lessons, but she can share her testimony and a few phrases so it's good! She is way diligent and works hard so she'll be great in no time, but as of right now I feel like I'm a solo missionary with a shadow haha.

One thing that comes with greenies is lack of knowledge, but something that doesn't come is a lack of FAITH. I love it so much. We go contacting and she sees every single person in the world and walks up to them, says hello in Thai, then looks at me to do the rest haha It's so funny, but honestly it has brought MIRACLES! So many people she sees out of the corner of her eye that we end up talking to and bam, we have their number and a return appointment. It is AMAZING to see the faith she has and honestly it's such a boost. It's hard to do everything alone, but if these miracles keep coming it's worth it!

TRIP BACK TO SISAKET--hahahaha what an adventure
So this story will mortify my mother, but it has to be shared. So our new senior couple in charge of money is being way strict on all forms of travel, so we got a way cheaper bus than normal. I thought it would be okay because it wasn't super cheap and we got on our way. From the second I walked on I regretted everything. It was a little nicer than a school bus + cushion seats + AC. I still thought it would be okay since it was just an 8 hour ride...hahaha false. It ended up taking THE LONGEST route back to Sisaket as possible. (ended up being 12 hours) We were riding in the middle of a giant lightening storm with these giant bags on our lap, trying to sleep. Then when we actually made it to Sisaket at 2 am we were stuck at the bus station. I tried to find a taxi and kept laughing to myself because the best people in Sisaket Thailand are the one's at a bus station at 2 AM *sarcasm here*. Anyway one of the people I talked to was a taxi driver. I was about 90% sure he was half drunk so I debated in my head:
1) get a ride back to the house from a semi-drunk taxi driver
2) wait at the sketchy bus station at 2 AM until we have another option
I chose the semi-drunk guy. Before he got in to drive us he started peeing on the road, then he got in and went a solid 4 kilos/hour the entire way back (so even if he did crash I think our bikes would have done more damage) A+ to his driving abilities because we made it back safe and only slightly mortified! So yeah, I think the award for BEST TRAINER goes to me for putting my greenie through that on her first day in country + keeping her out until 2 AM--WOO President would be so proud. 

Anyway that's life right now. It is so interesting to see just how all of your weaknesses are put out for all to see when you start training. Definitely a humbling, patience trying, and faith building experience, but it's good! We are way excited because Sister Fa is getting baptized THIS WEEK! (so glad I get to stay and see it!:) And my challenge comes from one of the most glorious promises in all of scripture, something I have been trying to apply DAILY as of late: 
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I testify that this promise is true, because I have felt it, not just in this past week, but my entire mission. We are truly inadequate for everything, but with we rely on Christ, He will make us more than we ever could be alone.

รัก มาก มาก
Sister/แม่/Mama Hammon

Sister Hammon and Sister Curtis

My trainer Sister Bilavanh is going home to Laos! 😔

Guess what MTC trio finally met up after 9 months?!

One of my favorite members in Bang Na came to visit me at the office for transfers!!! 
How cute is that??

Sketchy 2 AM taxi ride home

First night as a missionary going to bed at 1:45 am. What great missionaries.

The elders had me give them updates (even though they would be asleep)

My greenies first sompdam! :’) So proud

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Week 45 - Green Water, Clean Daughter (of God)

So we just found out yesterday that Sister Dem is moving (crazy) and I am staying yet another transfer in Sisaket (will be 6 months by the time I leave!) and will be training a new missionary! Don't really know what to think. It will be so weird to be here without Sister Dem and it also means I will have a falang companion so yeah, lots of changes. We are heading to Bangkok tonight and I'll get my greenie and come back to Sisaket for a transfer of miracles tomorrow night--lets go!

My mind is all over the place so I decided to just tell a bunch of random stories:

Sister Hammon the Killer
     -So we have this less active member we visit a lot and a few weeks ago she had this tiny little squirrel thing that she saved after it fell out of a tree. Thinking I was smart I got some milk we had just gotten from a member and started feeding the little guy after she told us it was hungry. The next week as we went to visit her I was so excited to see it again at this is how our conversation went:
"Oh, where is your little animal, I can't wait to see how much he's grown!"
"He's dead because you killed him."
*she proceeds to go on a rampage for about 10 minutes about how I kill animals and how stupid I am for thinking milk would help it and how I know nothing* hahahaha Sister Dem was in tears she was laughing so hard. So yes, I am now a killer if anyone asks I did it on purpose. (Secretly scared she will never come to church again because I killed her pet, but it's fine)

Baptismal Water Gone Wrong
    -For Prae's (a 12 year old granddaughter of a member) baptism we started filling the water around 2 (her baptism was at 5) and when we went to go check we noticed the beautiful tinted water and decided that wouldn't do. There was a huge rain storm which brought a bunch of alge into the pipes. We were told the bathroom runs on different pipes so we spent about 2 hours emptying it (the drain wasn't actually draining but instead was filling it with more dirty water) and filling it by hand with buckets and hoses and all types of creative thinking...about an hour in we noticed that the water we filled by hand was almost as green as the pipe water...so that was an adventure! We barely got it filled in time but Elder Rose was so tired he ordered pizza and without thinking we started eating it while filling the water more, when we realized we were all eating pizza in the bathroom. Cleanliness is important people. BUT it all worked out, the water was green but Prae came out clean from everything, and that is all that maters:)

8 Hour Tree Job
     -This week a member asked us to help him "cut some trees" on Monday since our p-day was moved. Sister Dem and I thought it would be a few hours of service before lunch, cutting some branches from trees, hahaha we were wrong. Very wrong. We were asked to cut down 3 trees from the trunk...Due to lack of tools and lack of experience from our district we ended up cutting for about 8 hours. 8 HOURS. But it was good. Only about 4 blisters on each hand so we made it out alive. The elders were brilliant and put the ladder IN the tree in order to climb higher--it is a miracle we are all living. But yes, if you need someone to cut drown giant trees and you only have a small bow saw, 1 ax and a machete, we are the district to call!
PS. We rewarded ourselves with one scoop of ice cream for every hour of work the next day--best idea ever. ALSO ate sompdam with 8 peppers so look at me go, practically khon Thai

So yeah, that is life. I am way excited to stay in Sisaket, we have a few people lined up for baptism and can't wait to keep working with them but I am extremely nervous to train--I still don't know how to do this whole 'missionary thing' so prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Love you all, my challenge comes from Elder Wirthlin. He shared an experience where he was told to "come what may and love it" and I felt like that applies to me perfectly at the moment! I do not want to say goodbye to Sister Dem and training a new missionary wasn't #1 on my priorities list, but it is where God wants me! 

Much much love,
Sister Hammon

I love this girl SO MUCH

Prae :)


*Takes a break from filling the disgusting water and eats pizza in the bathroom 
because why not*

Look where we get to run every morning—yayyy!

The AP’s made a new rule that at 8:30 we have to be out of the house, but we had a service project at 9:30 so we threw skirts on over out gross clothes to invite an hour before we had to go serve haha creativity at its finest

Safety first

…8 hours later

 We got the saw stuck

One scoop of ice cream for every hour we spent cutting trees…
if you must know I felt like death afterwards

 “I think I am leaving Sisaket so I have to get a picture with the sign….” 
*stays in Sisaket*

I tried multiple times to get a picture with the giant fish but it was too fast—so here’s this

Also I had a ‘fish spa’ haha so strange but it was 30 baht so why not

Look what I saw at a random restaurant! I freaked out!