I finally am in Thailand!! First of all just let me say that Thailand is AWESOME. I really like it. It is literally insane though. There are like 0 rules in Thailand. I have so much to say so I am just going to start at the beginning from what I remember.
First of all before I forget on Christmas I get to skype at around 9ishAM Thai time. Make sure to have the computer ready for whatever time that is for you the day before. I really don't want to miss you guys.
Okay so the flight to Thailand was LONG. But having the plague of all plagues was kind of a good thing because Elder Webb gave me some Nyquill and I slept... for almost the whole 15 hours. Talk about awesome. Everyone was so jealous! I kinda freaked out a bit when the plane was landing, I looked out the window and kinda thought oh man what am I getting myself into, because Thailand is really different from anything I've ever experienced. But I pulled it together and got off the plane, gathered my luggage and met President and Sister Senior. They are so awesome and funny. They showed us the video they put out so you kinda know what I did all that day. One of those arms getting blood taken was mine BTW hahah. On the first day they also introduced us to contacting..Thailand style. We went out with some of the really experienced missionaries and walked around Bangkok. Bangkok is crazy. There are literally no rules, cars just zoom around and scooters as well, and when you want to cross the road you just pick a random spot (no crosswalks) and the cars and scooters stop/ dodge you. Anyways contacting in Thailand is crazy. You literally just walk around asking people (in Thai of course) if they want to wash their sins/go to church/want to be baptized. That's it. Most people kinda look at you like, "what the heck." But then you will get someone who is like..."Actually yeah I do want to wash my sins." And then they give you their phone number and you teach them. SO awesome.
After that whole experience we had dinner with President and Sister Senior at their beautiful apartment and I was so tired I can hardly remember anything. The food was really good though!
The next day it was transfer meeting and after all of us new missionaries introduced ourselves they put up this power point, that is kinda like a lottery or a game show, of where people are going. The pictures pop up of you, your new companion and area, and everyone cheers. It's crazy, and you run up and hug your new comp. I am in Chiang Mai and my companion is Sister Ellis. Chiang Mai according to everyone is the best area to go to in Thailand and the most beautiful. It is like 15 hours away from Bangkok though...hahahha. Everyone kept telling me how awesome Chiang Mai was going to be and how awesome Sister Ellis is...both true. Sister Ellis is 24 and is from Idaho. She only has 3 months left on her mission so I may be her last companion. She is super funny, nice and is a really good trainer. Oh and she's super cool.
So after transfers meeting Sister Ellis and I had to find a way to get to Chiang Mai...Like 15 hours away. So along with the Elders in our district we take a taxi (with our luggage and Christmas packages squished in) to the train station. I was literally sitting hugging my knees in the Taxi we had so much stuff. We get to the Train station and after a lot of deliberation in Thai (on the part of the Elders and SIster Ellis)... I literally understand like 20 percent of Thai... we finally get them to load our luggage onto this sleeper Train. We all had like a tiny bed with a curtain all around it, and it was like so sketch. I was so scared about all these randoms on the train with me and so tired and overwhelmed about Thailand that all of a sudden, I was not scared at all. I was so scared that I just wasn't, if that makes any sense. And then I proceeded to sleep...on an old train for 15 hours...with random people from all over Thailand/the world sleeping around me. I was just so tired I didn't even care. We get to Chiang Mai at like 10 AM the next day, and I gave a pass along card to some lady from the Netherlands on the train and told her to look up Elder Wilson when she got back to the Netherlands.
Chiang Mai is so pretty its all in the mountains and apparently you can ride an ostrich/elephant/hike up a mountain to a super pretty wat. For P-day today I think we are having the dead skin eaten off our feet by fish. haha
When I got to Chiang Mai the Elders, Sister Ellis and I loaded our stuff and their bikes into this truck thingy, but there was no more room to sit down so we just hung off the ladders attached to the back. We get dropped off at our new house. It is like the most ghetto thing ever. I am pretty sure no one had ever cleaned it. There were piles of dirt everywhere and bugs and a cockroach....and ya it was gross. So sister Ellis and I spent a couple hours cleaning because it was literally uninhabitable. We live in this house with 2 other sisters too. Sister Black and SIster Tirdamphon (a cone Thai). Sister Tirdamphon is going to the MTC in the Phillipines this week, so Sister Black Sister Ellis and I will be in a tri-companionship for 3 weeks until she comes back.We all may have to go up to Bangkok this week again (yay for another 15 hour train ride) to drop her off... Anyways, we all moved our mattresses (...so ghetto) into the only room with AC that worked, and all the dressers into the other room. I sleep on a mattress on the floor and none of the doors to the outside of our house really close, so pray that I won't have a giant bug attack me while I sleep. haha Bathrooms in Thailand are really weird too...the shower and Toilet are all one room and its a tiny sprayer instead of toilet paper sometimes.
Okay so after all the cleaning we went to the Recent convert Book of Mormon class which I understood like 0 of, but then there was game night where tons of Thai people that were YSA age came too. They explained all the games in Thai and again I really don't understand Thai. I can understand when missionaries speak Thai/falangs (foreigners) but Cone Thais all speak so fast and with a lisp almost that it is so so HARD to understand. Seriously pray for me... I need all the help I can get! I played the funniest games with all the missionaries and the like 20 Thai people at game night and they were so funny. I'll explain more when I skype. I was so tired at this point though from like everything so I don't think I was smiling. And as soon as I wasn't smiling this Thai girl named Phone comes up to me and hugs me and tells me she wants me to be happy. Thai people are literally so nice. It was the same when I went to Church too. They all just hug you and tell you that you are awesome and beautiful and that they love you. Seriously awesome.
Anyways, all the days are blurring together but I think it was the next day that this falang invited all of the missionaries over to her super nice house for Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner. She has lived in Thailand for 15 years and owns the fly fishing company. ("Rainies" I think it is. Ask grandpa if he's heard of it.) I think she said they make flys. We ate the best food and she had fake snow outside and we all sang Christmas songs. It was awesome.
The next day at Church I bore my testimony in Thai...man that was hard. Everyone chuckled a little when I said I'd been on my mission for about a week. All the members are super nice though and every sunday after church everyone makes food and we eat together. At this point I don't know how I feel about Thai food, but I am sure I'll get used to it. We also did some more contacting yesterday where we got a bunch of people together from the ward and sang christmas carols in this huge market and handed out fliers for the Christmas activity. SO many people wanted to take pictures with us falangs. It was hilarious.
Oh and this email is totally out of order and probably makes no sense but another one if the days when Sis Ellis and I went contacting we ran into this less active 17 year old boy named Dan. His family has kinda all fallen away but he agreed to meet with us on sunday at the church. Sister Ellis talked to him a ton about just being a good example for his family and shared a scripture with him. I was really scared to talk, but I felt like I should share something. So at the end I quickly shared what a good example my brother Wyatt has been to me, and how things he's done have really inspired me in my life. I shared with him that if it wasn't for the support and example of my younger brother that I probably wouldn't be on a mission right now. He was really impressed and I think it helped him.
Anyways I love you all, congrats if you read this massive email! I am excited for this week!
Sister Rem (Thai people think my name is too hard to say so they all call me SIster Rem)
P.S. please pray for me to learn Thai...I need some serious help.
PPS Thailand is awesome everyone should come pick me up in 16 months
PPPS. I will try and send some pics, hopefully it works!