Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Baptism, A Wedding, And A Spider In My Somtam

Hey everyone!

This week was crazy and good as usual. 

I never know where to start in these emails, so bear with me if they are always super random. I guess I'll just try to go chronologically through the week. 

Last week for P-day we went to this Hmong village waaaay up in the mountains. It was so cool.  We climbed up to this market on the mountain, bargained with people, shot crossbows, and dressed up in authentic Hmong tribe clothes! It was really cool. At some point we might go visit the long-neck tribe too. 

This week Sister Ellis and I also went on a really long bike ride looking for some Somtam to eat. (in other words: we got lost).  We finally found some and THERE WAS A SPIDER IN MINE !  Oh well....there is a saying among the missionaries here that goes like this, "If there isn't an ant in the Khaw Neo, is it even real Khaw Neo?"

This week for district meeting, Elder Christensen did the BEST lesson.  It was a scavenger hunt, representing life on earth. We started off in the church and Elder Christensen was not even there, but has left directions to look in the scriptures, and that we can "pray", aka call him, if we have any questions. So we start the hunt, and are led all around the church finding stuff behind paintings, in the oven, etc. until finally, after like an hour, we are led to this park alll the way across town! It was a really pretty park with giant trees, statues, etc...but still no Elder Christensen. We call him and ask for another clue, and he tells us we have to find someone to serve...and also he tells us not to get distracted. So we help this guy sweep some leaves and pick up sticks for a while (Dad- all the yard work I have done over the years came in very handy. haha). And then we got some ice cream (yes, we got distracted). But finally we are led to this beautiful maze in the park...and there in the middle is Elder Christensen...who had been sitting in the hot sun with his comp for 2 hours. It was kinda funny, because we then talked about what we had learned on our journey.  People talked about service, perseverance etc, but what really stuck out to me was when ELder Christensen said, "Imagine I am your Father in Heaven, imagine how excited I was when you "prayed" (called me) because I had just been waiting here for you guys, and wanted to know what you were up too." It was a cool moment for me to realize just how much our Heavenly Father wants to hear from us and wants to help us, but He can't if we don't call-  He can't if we don't pray. 

This week we also taught a former monk that I contacted in a park, and that was a cool experience. He was so happy and smiley while we were teaching him, and said he would pray to see if this is all true. One of my favorite things about teaching people is teaching them how to pray, and letting them know that they don't just have to take my word for it, but that they should pray and ask God if these things are true. I always promise that if they do this with real intent, that they will get an answer...and I know they will receive answers to their prayers, because I have. 

On Saturday one of the girls from the hill tribes got married at the church. That was a cool wedding!  She'd asked the missionaries to do a "special musical number", and asked Sister Ellis to play the song for her entrance. I was in charge of flipping the pages for Sister Ellis and also signaling her to come in to the church on the right measure of music. Man that was stressful as there were like 200 people there, but it went well! The musical number was pretty good too, though we all know how I am at singing.   Just imagine this picture: 4 elders, me, and 2 female ward members singing in front of the 200 wedding guests....IN THAI!  It was a pretty funny event - not gunna lie. It was also cool to see the wedding party in the traditional northern tribe clothes. When they got married they didn't even kiss!!! Thai people NEVER kiss in public or even sit with their husbands/boyfriends at church, because it is apparently bad manners. I am also never allowed to lift anything heavy, because they think girls can't do things like that here....a little weird, but hey I'm not complaining!

On Sunday Ging got baptized!!  It was really cool to see just how excited and ready she was for it. This last week I was thinking a lot about the Lord's timing, and how some things, in comparing myself to others, hadn't been working out exactly how I thought they should. But when Ging got baptized, after 4 months of taking the lessons, and her older sister got baptized in Chang Rai on the same day...it was more evident that this is the Lord's work, and one day we will know why everything happened the way it did, but until then we just have to live by faith. I also rediscovered this scripture in Hebrews 10:

 32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

 33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

 34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfullythe spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

 35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done thewill of God, ye might receive the promise.

 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

This just made me remember to never draw back. Things always work out the way they are meant too if we put our trust in God and do those things we know we should. 

I love you guys!  

I noticed this week that Thai people have an obsession with France...there are crepe stands, Eiffel Tower stuff, and French cafes everywhere!  (Remind you of anyone else ;) ) I love Thailand! 


Sister Rem

PS - oh!  I also totally forgot to say...I translated for the first time in church...in Primary and Young Womens, and man it was funny. I'd be translating something and then the teacher was on to another part by the time I finished saying it in English/ Thai...so I basically made up my own lessons...

(A less awkward district photo.)

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