Monday, December 15, 2014

I'm Finally in Thailand

(All of these girls are older than Auburn)

Hey Guys!!

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 ( 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 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!
A street by my house
Street food
My house and Sis Ellis


Monday, December 8, 2014

Prison Break!

Hey family,

This week I contracted the plague of all plagues....AKA the worst head cold of my LIFE. Elder Darby gave me some as he calls it, "witch doctor" essential oil stuff that his mom gave him, that according to the little book that came with it cures everything from stress to cancer. I'm not too convinced it worked, so I am sticking with some Advil. I'm glad I can sleep on the plane haha

 But its all okay cause GUESS WHAT?!!! Today is the day I go to THAILAND! I am so excited but also a little scared! 

My teacher Sister Painter this week told me all about some crazy stories from her mission to Thailand. She said the craziest stuff just happens there, like the crazy and random stuff that happens to me all the time. She said it was like living in a movie! Never a dull day. It made me catch the vision a little bit more of why I am going there. My district also voted me as the person, "the most likely to end up on the news", because of all the crazy stories I've told them...Good times. 

I am so excited to call you all in the airport! I wanted to call Destiny and Emily too, but we apparently aren't allowed to call sad. Mom/Dad/Siblings I'll probably call you super quickly from the Salt Lake airport, and also when I get too LAX for sure because we have a 7 hour layover....

I am so excited to see the Sky during the day, this is probably super dramatic but I've been in a brick prison for 9 weeks. 

Anyways, I'll just quickly update you all on my week, and send a lot of pictures because I have to go finish my laundry and whatnot! I am so scared my suitcases are gunna weigh to much. 

This week Sister Burbank and I were chosen as the demonstration, "People and your Purpose" missionaries for all the new ones coming in. This basically meant we just demonstrated "How to Begin Teaching" with a real/fake investigator in front of all the new missionaries. I literally just said the most random stuff, and everyone laughed at me. It was hilar. I also sawy Brandon Brown and Justin Coleman! So crazy. 

This week Grandma and Grandma Cammy sent me some packages! Grandma Cammy sent me some oranges...which everyone in my zone loves me for because I always share, and Grandma sent me some caramels and ginger bread men. I was so happy. I gave a few select people some caramels and cookies, and here are some quotes from them as they ate them:

"It's melting in my mouth."
"Sister Remington, that cookie made Elder Webb cry."

Suffice it to say they were really, really good!

We are all so excited to go eat some food in the airport...we've been planning what we are going to eat for weeks!! #CostaVida

Something cool I learned this week was reading in Alma...the chapter about the armies of Helaman. While reading it a verse stuck out to me that hadn't ever before. It was, "we do not doubt our mothers knew it." The armies of Helaman did not doubt that their families and especially their mothers had taught them correct principles, and also knew they could face any challenge. This made me so grateful for my own family, and especially my mom who does not doubt. 

I also really liked Ether ch6 I think it is where the Jaradites are in the barges going to the promised land. The wind and storms toss the barges about, they go under the water and over the water... but, "The wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land."  No matter how hard things get, our trials are given to us to make us stronger, and the wind will never cease to blow towards our promised lands. The things that Heavenly Father has planned for us.. The things we want out of life. It's hard, but it really all comes down to trust and faith. Will you trust in the answers you've received to your prayers and move forward? Will you trust that Heavenly Father won't let you fail? I would like to bear my testimony that I know this Church and gospel are true. I know that it will bring people great joy in Thailand, and there are people waiting, that need to hear this message. 

I love and miss you all.


Sister Remington

Monday, December 1, 2014

What is the Best Way To Get Over Trials Without Losing Faith Along the Way?

Hey everybody!

This week was CRAZY.Like so CRAZY. Be excited to read this email because of the unrealness of this week. 

First of all we got our travel plans! I'll send a picture, but we leave to Thailand next monday Dec 8th. We leave Salt lake at 4:50pm get to LAX at 5:45pm, leave LAX at 12:05 AM, and get to Hong Kong at 7:40 AM...on december 10th. I skip a day! We then leave hong kong at 9:10:Am and get to Thailand at 11:10 AM on december 10th! So weird! I'll send the picture because I probably mixed up all the details. I'll also probably call from Salt Lake around 2pm and LAX around 6pm. So hopefully you guys are free then! Dear elder me a list of Wyatt and Elliott's numbers! 

Thanks so much for all the dear elders and letters this week, they all were really inspired and helped me so much. The last time they printed them off for us was on Friday, and I've only read the ones sent up to Thanksgiving, so if you sent one after Thursday, I haven't gotten it yet. 

Grandma Cammy! Mom! Thanks so much for the packages, everyone in my zone LOVES the oranges.And Masons, thanks for the letter and quotes. You guys are all the best. 

I also laughed so hard at the quote in Alison's dear elder, "If you can make it through the MTC, you can make it through anything."

Now for the really excitingness (is that a word?). (does that phrase even make sense?)

This week we had Elder Oaks, Elder Bednar, and Sheri Dew come speak to us! We also saw Meet the Mormons, and Vocal point (the singing group from BYU)!!

Elder Oaks gave a great talk, but I want to talk mostly about Elder Bednar. Because the most amazing thing happened. 

As I think you all know, the MTC has been kinda hard for me. IDK why really, but anyways, Elder Bednar came to speak to the MTC on Thanksgiving. I had decided to be in the choir for that devotional he was going to speak to us at, so I had gone to all the practices, and had been assigned a seat half way up the bleachers in the middle. We were singing "Come thou font of every blessing", and it was going to sound so cool. I especially like the line in that song, "Praise the mount I'm fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love." This just reminds me that no matter how difficult things get, we need to fix our sights on overcoming problems, and Christ truly will help us through it. 
Anyways, the morning of the devotional, Sister Burbank and I were a little late going to choir, so instead of sitting in the middle, I had to sit on the end of the row. I was like, "Okay, whatever", and proceeded to watch the devotional. This devotional was a little different though. When Elder Bednar came in he told everyone that it was being broadcast to 15 different MTC's across the globe, and that in this devotional, people would have a chance to ask questions. At the MTC's across the globe they could email them in, and here at the Provo MTC they passed out a few cellphones to the END of a couple rows, where we could text questions in and they would show up on Elder Bednars ipad. Because I was sitting on the end of the row. I got the cellphone. And i got to text a question. The question I texted was, "What is the best way to get over trials without losing faith along the way?"

I fully never expected my question to get answered, as I typed it slowly, and besides 3,000 plus missionaries were able to send questions in, and there would only be time for about 5 questions, but about half way in.... Elder Bednar reads and answers my question!!!

When he read my question, I could feel the spirit so strongly, and knew, knew, knew, that although it may take awhile. Prayers are ALWAYS answered. 

I swear Elder Bednar looked straight at me, halfway up the bleachers and answered my question. He said:

"You recieve no witness until after the trial of your faith." He then said, "I'll say that twice it is so important." All while looking at me. It was amazing as he had no way to know that I was the one that had asked that question. 

He then said:

*"The only way faith endures is from trials and difficulty, be careful when you pray for faith, because what is required is adversities, challenges, and difficulty."
*"Faith is a principle of action and power. Agency enables us to act, to act in accordance to the teachings of Jesus Christ and we'll get power."
*"Often, trials of our faith are not some huge thing. The trial is if we will daily do the simple things we know we should."

This next part is what stuck out to me the most:,"If you don't get what you want when you think it ought to come, will you give up? No! This is the trial." 

This reminded me that sometimes patience is what we all need, and that if we simply just keep going, keep waking up, the savior will help us. Undoubtedly and Everytime. 

After he answered my question, he proceeded to answer like 3 other ones, and they were all good, but he kept tying everything into the question I'd asked. And his parting words were, "I leave you all with a blessing that if you do the simple things that you know you should do, your faith will always be sufficient-for any obstacle, in the mission field and in life."

I felt the spirit so strongly while listening to this, and while writing this out again, and I know this is all true. 

The rest of thanksgiving was really great, we did a service activity where we made like a bagillion meals, and my job on the assembly line... mom you'll laugh... was scooping lentils. For hours. It was actually kinda an arm workout hahah

We also like I said before watched meet the Mormons, and they turned on the Christmas lights at the MTC. So pretty. Watching meet the Mormons and the part about the guy from Nepal made me realize a little bit just how different Thailand will be. I am excited but also a little nervous. 

One of my teachers, Brother Yuen also had an  interview with me this week and he shared Moroni 8:16, "perfect love casteth out all fear." This is really true, we can pray to feel that perfect love and we will. We are never alone. 

I would like to end this super long and probably confusing email with what Sheri dew said when she spoke to us. She talked about how everyone has questions in their lives that they want answered. Everyone's questions are hard and often there is no easy answer. However, she stated that the real question is, "Are you willing to engage in the wrestle?" Are we willing to put in the effort it takes to pray, study and "wrestle our questions to the ground?" She said often people think that giving up and not, "engaging in the wrestle" is easier, but it is not. It is far easier to engage and to find peace, revelation, and enlightenment. 

I would like to challenge you all to never give up. Have patience. If you have a question that is difficult or seemingly impossible to answer, don't give up the fight. Keep trying, and I know that if you ask for help from Heavenly Father. You'll find the answer. 

I love you all, have a great week. I don't know if I'll email next week, or just call from the AIRPORT!!!


Sister Remington