testifying in Thailand

testifying in Thailand

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 58 - Rainy Roiet

Hello from Roiet!!

On Wednesday night we took a bus to Bangkok, got there at 3 AM (long story), hopped the fence, slept on the stairs of the mission office, and by 9 I had my new companion and we were off to Roiet! (9 hour bus ride)

My new comp is Sister Christensen from Sandy, we were in the MTC together so we are both a little older on the mission! Definitely a switch from being with so many greenies but it'll be an awesome transfer! Our area is struggling a bit right now so we are going to try our best to switch it around and get it back to to be the power-house area it used to be!

So on the way to Roiet the bus ride took a lot longer than normal because it was FLOODING everywhere. The rainy season is in full swing and it has cause a lot of problems in the Esan.... Please pray for them! In one area the missionaries couldn't even go to church yesterday (the entire city is completely flooded). The elders took a boat to deliver the sacrament to the sisters and a few other members stuck in their houses! CRAZY. As for Roiet, we got hit, but not that hard.

My first day here we went to go help a member de-flood their house. They hadn't slept for 2 days because their mattress (which they set on the floor) was underwater. They did their best to sleep in plastic chairs. It was some of the worst flooding I have seen (which is saying something considering my greenie area was flooded for a week straight!).  So please pray for these people! The water has gone down since then, but there is another big storm coming this week!

While we were helping that member with their house we went to go get them a wooden bed thing and carry it through the flood for them. On the way there I made eye contact with a super cute 17 year old and thought, "she will be our next baptism." We talked to her and she was so interested! After we helped the members we were able to go teach her and she is so awesome. First invite in Roiet and we were so blessed to find her! Pray for Sister Fie! (ฟ้าย)

This week is SO BUSY. We have to go to Bangkok on Wednesday for training (and since we are so far away they let us take a PLANE so I'm way pumped). We have a giant service project planting rice for an investigator scheduled tomorrow, and on Friday we have to double up companionships because we are so busy! So excited to be in this new area, but pray for miracles because we could use them! Which is my challenge this week along with this scripture that I have come to LOVE, "Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord" (Psalm 40:11) I know that when we ask, God will grant us miracles, but the first step is always asking! Thank you all for everything, love you bunches and talk to you next week!

Sister แฮมมอน
Hey look. More floods.


In the middle of a disaster and they can’t help but smile. 
Look what this gospel does for people!

Sorry. My camera got fogged up, but she told us she had to 
send this picture to our family, so here we go!

When the main flood hit the water was up about 3 feet, 
but when we got there it was about half a foot so we got most of it out.

(The following are photos and news reports added by her mom)

This is me trying to look cute with a duck and the duck rebelling against me.

My companion Sister Christensen from Sandy Utah

This was taken a year ago in the MTC.  She is one transfer ahead of me.

You will not believe the palace that we live in in Roiet.  IT IS GLORIOUS.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Week 57 - Then a Transfer was Made :(

So to start off this email I have some sad news as of yesterday, after being here for just 6 weeks I am being transferred to ROIET! I almost cried when I got the call, President Johnson called me himself because he knew how much I wanted to stay...I am definitely sad, but it will be okay! Trust in the Lord right?  [Note from her mom: She is being transferred because she will be one of 6 Sister Training Leaders in the mission.]

Wow. Can't really believe I'm leaving. We saw SO MANY miracles this transfer. My companion and I ended up getting 43 new investigators (averaging more than 1 per day) and our investigators at church BLEW US AWAY (as in we had half of the entire zone's attendance at church this last week). This transfer felt like 2 seconds and I am super sad to leave, but I feel like God made it okay because He gave me this perfect transfer here in Korat before I'm going up to Roiet. It'll be an awesome area and I will get to switch off with a bunch of sisters, so it'll all be good!  [Note from her mom: She is being transferred because she will be one of 6 Sister Training Leaders in the mission.]

Yesterday in personal study I 'randomly' opened up to the talk from Elder Clayton in April - "whatever He saith unto you do it" and I thought to myself, "wow this would be very applicable if I had to leave this area, good thing I'm not!" ....the Holy Ghost knew better than I did. Love love love this talk but a quote that stood out to me for my current situation: "She [Mary, mother of Jesus] committed herself without exactly understanding why He was asking that of her or how things would work out. She accepted God’s word unconditionally and in advance, with little knowledge of what lay ahead. With simple trust in God, Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." 
I'm not trying to say this is what I did (I was a whole lot more reluctant that she was) but it was just what I needed as an example of what my attitude should be. God wants me in Roiet so I'll go!

It would make me very happy if you would continue to pray for all of the INCREDIBLE investigators here! Sister Addt's grandkids are getting baptized this week and a mini family on the 6th of August! This week we had the most AMAZING lesson--teaching the Nope family the plan of salvation (any missionary's dream) It is one of my favorite experiences of my mission telling a FULL FAMILY "you can be together forever." (even if they didn't accept a baptismal date because they want to learn more first) I will miss them. So much. Keep Korat in your prayers and I will let you know how Roiet is in a few short days! I leave at 1am tonight.

Love you all, sorry this email is full of sadness, love being a missionary but the whole 'transfer' thing hasn't warmed up to me just quite yet. HAVE A FANTASTIC WEEK:)

Sister Hammon

FUNNY STORY!!! In Thailand there is a large population of old people that love to work out at the break of dawn… This last week we got an invitation to participate! 
So we woke up at 5 AM and went to work out with old people. Best. Decision. Ever. 
Hahaha it was so funny. Besides the arm motion swinging side to side for 2 hours it didn’t get our heart pumping too much;) Spot the young falangs!

Definitely tried to invite this monk

 This cutie gets baptized next week!

Tradition to take pictures sitting on the number of transfers you have left…
this scares me.  
[From Mom -- 4 left: July 26, Sept 5, Oct 18, Nov 29.  Not that I'm counting or anything]  

Here is a link to a video Sister Henry made:

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 56 - A [miracle] family was found!

I know I keep repeating myself, but this week tops the cake as the week of miracles..

     This past Thursday we had hit a slump of not knowing how to find new investigators and we had no idea what to do. When we planned in the morning we both felt like we should make a goal to find 3 new investigators that day and in order to do that we should go inviting at exactly 5:00 that night in order to find those people! We were in the middle of weekly planning around 4:20 when we got a call from a member asking if we were free at 5. Normally we have appointments set already all day, but because we felt prompted to schedule inviting at 5 we were able to say yes! (miracle 1)
     We went to the church and she told us that she found a family for us to teach! This member (Jenny) is seriously the best, talks about Jesus all day everyday with everyone she comes in contact with, and while she was visiting a home for her job (she's some insurance agent) she asked them if they believed in Christ (casual question--haha not). Anyway they said they were interested in learning and that night she called us to go teach them! (miracle 2) They live far away and we had no way to get there besides a member who has a car...which is only a handful of members. We randomly called one member and she said she was free and when she came she told us that it was super weird that she was free because she never has free time, but right when she finished her list of things she thought 'what will I do now?' then we called her! (miracle 3)
     When we got to their house it seemed like no one was home, but we looked over at just the right time to see the father way down the road so we were able to catch his attention (miracle 4) And then we sat in their house and taught a FAMILY. Married parents with 2 kids. This doesn't happen in Thailand!!  MIRACLES.
Also turns out:
Father: learned with missionaries over 20 years ago in a different city and has always wanted to go back to church but never knew where to look
22 year old Son: has been to a Christmas part at our church 2 years ago and has 3 friends who are members!
14 year old Daughter: has always been interested in religion and has studied the entire life of Christ, has always wanted to go to church but no one has ever been able to take her

     Also, we found an investigator 2 weeks ago, taught him once, but he had to leave Korat for awhile for a funeral. Anyway he and the father are FRIENDS! And before Jenny invited the father to learn, our other investigator had already invited him.  So when Jenny talked to him it was a second invite! (miracle 5) Also when this investigator left Korat he took his Book of Mormon with him...and read until 3 Nephi. (miracle #2,387,934) M. I. R. A. C. L. E. S
     We found a family through the hand of God. All I can say is that God wants this temple in Thailand and He will bring to pass whatever miracles it takes to prepare these people!!! (the two men in this family plus our other investigator are 3 more priesthood holders which Thailand desperately needs!!) All I have to say..."And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee" (Deuteronomy 26:11)

PLEASE pray for the Nope Family (นพ) I know they will be such a strong hold in this ward and I still can't believe all the things that led to finding them--all thanks to a member opening her mouth for the missionaries. I am so very grateful to be here while we are preparing for this temple. I LOVE being a missionary and being able to see these miracles everyday! 

Yesterday Sister Bun (เปิ้ล) was baptized, she was the one who quit drinking all her coffee in one day after she learned about the commandments. She is so cute and has 2 kids who she wants to learn as well and ah! So grateful to have met her :) (again another member referral!)

Week of miracles I'm telling you. Don't forget to 'rejoice in every good thing which the Lord hath given you' and have a wonderful week! 

Much much love,
ซิสเตอร์ แฮมมอน

PS. Fun fact, if you get extremely sick with specific symptoms and call the mission nurse for advice she will freak out and tell you you have dengue fever....AKA I almost was diagnosed with dengue this week because I was SUPER sick, but I'm fine now and we were still able to make most of our visits this week so yay!

Sister Bun was so happy!

This golden Nope family:) minus the son (taking the picture) and including our other investigator (wearing the white, who invited the family to learn!)

The woman in front is Jenny—she introduced us to the family AND the investigator 
who talked to them first!!

Just in case you didn’t know, the 7-elevens here are missionaries’ saving grace….Thailand has more 7-elevens than Utah has churches so we had a small party this last Tuesday to celebrate July 11 or 7/11

Look how fluffy this dog is!

The. Nicest. House.  
Our bishop’s house is the nicest one I have ever been in in Thailand. 
(It is like a step into America. Super weird.)

    Love these kids :)

Thai kids melt my heart

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 55 - Baptism and Bernie the Baptist

Before I talk about the incredible baptism this week I have to tell you all a story about the first falang I ever taught...oh boy

     So in Thailand it is super common to find old white guys married to young Thai women...it's a thing and all the missionaries hate it. Anyway so last week a super awesome 50 year old female member walks in with a falang man and proudly announces that they are married as of the day before. Hahaha WHAT. They met online and after a few months boop, married. By the way he is 73 years old and cannot speak Thai so you can imagine how successful this marriage will be. Anyway his name is Bernie and he has been stout Baptist for the past 50 years AND taught the Sunday school every week....you can see where this is going.
     Anyway the member invited us over to her house to 'share a scripture' and help him see what the church is all about. Our initial idea to 'pop by for a second' turned into a 2 HOUR session of "Bernie wants to bash the missionaries" hahahaha the entire time I was just thinking "I am so grateful I never have to teach Christians. I am so grateful I teach Buddhist. I am so grateful I don't have to Bible bash ever. I am so grateful I teach in Thai" annnd the list goes on. Afterwards Sister Henry spent a solid 10 minutes just laughing about how bad it went and how bad I am at teaching in English but you live and you learn right?? After that experience and after Bernie asked me if I was married we decided to hand him over to the elders for future lessons! Pray for Bernie the Baptist to open his heart hahahaha fun fun fun.

     Yesterday morning we were waiting in the church for our investigator to come for her baptism..it was 8:50 and she still hadn't shown up and I was so scared...then 5 minutes before the meeting started Sister Addt came...with 6 INVESTIGATORS IN TOW! She invited 6 of her friends to come as well! (which was why she was so late!) The baptism itself almost didn't happen because of a problem with the font filling in time BUT thanks to miracles and help of members it all worked out in time!
     Sister Addt is one of the most sincere investigators I have ever taught. Such genuine love of this gospel (hence the 6 friends invited) but I have been so blessed to watch this gospel truly change her. She was introduced to the church by a less active member, who has completely activated since inviting her! When I first taught her she was closed off and didn't smile much... she has had 3 children die of cancer, one more will pass away within the year and her youngest has completely rebelled against her. Her life has been so hard, however, ever since she has applied this glorious gospel she has completely changed and she smiles ALL THE TIME. Watching this message change people is one of the most incredible parts of being a missionary:) Her 2 grandkids will be baptized on the 23rd and she has invited all of her neighbors to learn with us! The church is true!

Watching Sister Addt change so much made me think of a scripture President Johnson shared in zone conference...Isaiah 42:16 " I will make darkness light before them" As a missionary in Thailand this couldn't be explained more clearly. We have the opportunity to change lives, all done through the Light of Christ. I am so blessed to have seen this personally in Sister Addt and her family and hope and pray we will continue on changing lives!

Right now the Korat district is on FIRE and it is so fun to see and be apart of. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. It is the best. Have an incredible week and please be the best people in the world and give the missionaries referrals, that is how we found Sister Addt and our other investigator getting baptized next week as well!  Love you all, now go invite your friends

Much much love,
Sister Hammon

The cutie on the left is one of the grandkids getting baptized on the 23rd!

Teaching Sister Addt (at the house of the member who invited her)

Baptism of Sister Addt

Finally got a smiling one!

The two adorable kids on the left (haha super bad picture of them) 
will get baptized on the 23rd!

When the baptizer forgets to take the plug out …

My child’s first TIM TAM SLAM!

Creepy bus ride to our zone conference and this old drunk guy came and sat 
RIGHT by Sister Henry   hahaha   Thailand

At zone conference

Finally got this picture back.  Our entire mission when Elder Cook came!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Week 54 - Saved by a Tuk Tuk // YAY AMERICA!

So these past 10 days have been some of the most eventful of my entire mission and kind of crazy as well...just to give a quick run though:
     - Had a giant American party for English Class/July 4th
     - My wallet + 3000 baht was stolen
     - We survived a quick trip to Bangkok (for switch offs) despite floods
     - Saw a completely random woman wearing a BYU shirt....weird
     - Our investigator (เปิัล - Bun) gave away all her coffee and quit in 1 day!
     - Accidentally deep fried pretzels in MSG oil (hahhahaha)
     - Passed out 550 inviting cards in under an hour
     - Our investigator (แอ๊ด - Addt) passed her baptismal interview!! (more to come next week)

I'll start from the top....
     So we had to take a 24 hour trip to Bangkok to switch off and we called our Tuk Tuk guy to come get us to take us to the bus station...then it started POURING rain. It was bad, the streets flooded pretty bad and I had no idea how we would get to the bus station...at all. We called the Elders to see if they knew of a member who could come grab us. When we called the first thing he asked was, "well have you prayed?" I laughed a little and told him we haven't, he told us to call back after we prayed and I got annoyed because we were running late. We were outside and I asked Sister Henry if she would say a quick prayer so we could call them back.
     It was the weirdest thing..ever. In the middle of the prayer I opened my eyes, turned around and yelled "พี่ค่ะ"(what translates to) "Excuse me sir!" And I kid you not, THERE WAS A TUK TUK IN FRONT OF OUR HOUSE, almost about to pass by but he stopped just in time when I called him! We have never, ever seen a tuk tuk pass by our neighborhood, let alone pass by our individual house!!! EVER. After hearing a story like that how can you not believe in miracles?! Since then we have shared that story with investigators and they all have said they will pray because we had proof of miracles! 

    This is a funny story but you will only get it if you've been to Asia. So here all the food has MSG all over it. MSG is super harmful but the Thai people put it on everything while it's basically banned in America. SO on Sunday night our dinner appointment was cancelled last minute so we (elders and sisters) went to our house and got all the food we had, which isn't much considering we never cook. What we came up with was ramen, 2 eggs, pretzel mix (no idea where that came from) and some rice. We decided to deep fry the pretzels in oil and Elder Headlee grabbed some sugar to throw in to sweeten it up....turns out he grabbed MSG. The church had a giant bag full of straight MSG in the fridge because it's so normal here. Hahaha we all died laughing, and died from the taste because it was so awful. But anyway if you hear about our district entering the hospital this week that's why.

     We teach English every Tuesday and last week had the most brilliant idea to throw a big Fourth of July party for our English class. We got all the members in on it to make it a big deal and it was AMAZING. We put forth so much work but it was so worth it seeing it all play out last night.
----550+ Inviting Cards--- So we decided to really 'advertise' for it and did so by going to a huge night market on Monday night and pass out over 550 cards and talk to as many people as possible. We thought it would take all night, but after about 50 minutes we were out...that is over 100 people talked to every minute! (we had 4 missionaries and 2 members who kind of helped) But it was so fun, I loved, but unfortunately the 'talking to everyone' they teach you in the MTC is kind of impossible in a situation like that because we still missed tons of people who walked by while we were inviting other people. 
     The actual party was the best, National Anthem sung by my famous companion, American Bingo, watermelon and hot dogs, a mock election and musical chairs! SO FUN. One of the best English classes I have had yet! Grateful that hard works produces great results:) Also grateful to be an AMERICAN. To quote a talk our district leader made us read this past week, 
"I bear my solemn and sacred witness that the United States of America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth." (But Watchmen, What of the Night - Vaughn Featherstone) 
Hahaha but Thailand is second best นะ?
     But really, I am so blessed to be in a country that respects freedom as much as America. In the scriptures 'Thai' translates to 'free'! "The Spirit of God, which is also the spirit of freedom" (Alma 61:15) I am so grateful to be given agency from a loving Heavenly Father, without freedom the Spirit of God is restricted, and it is not restricted in this incredible country! (challenge is to do all that you can to show God gratitude for the freedom we have been given:)

Such a full week, but if anything it has increased my love for missionary work by 10. I LOVE THIS. So much. Our district is so focused and works so hard but we have so much fun together. We keep seeing miracle after miracle and I cannot deny that the hand of God is in our lives.Love you all, have a bunch of pictures this week too yay for me for having such a good email this week haha!

Much much love,
ซิสเตอร์ แฮมมอน

Picture of floods

If you look closely at the very top you will see water coming down into pans…
yeah our roof leaks and floods our entire house. It’s an adventure alright.

The tuk tuk that saved us!

We got lost in a random jungle while trying to find a member’s house

MSG fiasco
Proof of MSG

For our Fourth of July lunch we ordered McDonalds.  
Best. Meal. Ever. Honestly it was so delicious.

Mock Election  hahahaha

Our “American meal”

AMERICA! (and best district)

Also our p-day forever ago we went to the Korat Zoo!

Rode a tiger!  (I wish)