This week I was transferred to Mahasarakham! So far, I like it. It is this tiny town in the Issan area of Thailand...and is basically the opposite of Chiang Mai in every way. It looks like what I imagined Thailand to look like. There are lots of dirt roads, people living in tin or straw houses, and bike riding for hours to visit people. It is super fun!!! The members are mostly older (where in Chiang Mai there were a lot of youth) and are really great. They give us referrals all the time!
My new companion is Sister Mckinight and I really like her. She's from Orem, Utah, is 19, and only 6 weeks ahead of me on her mission. So it is really fun to just figure stuff out together. She loves ballet...and is an awesome ballerina. She also went to BYU last year too and knew Cassidy Jensen...so cool.
Okay... now to tell about Songkran!
For everyone that doesn't know, Songkran is a crazy waterfight. Everything is closed, and everyone puts on Hawaiian shirts and has water fights for 3 days. There are no rules. You can totally own anyone with a garbage can of water, baby powder, water gun, or whatever! It doesn't even matter if you have a cell phone or anything else that needs to stay dry...people still get you. In Chiang Mai it started super early (it is the craziest spot in all of Thailand) and people lined the streets...dousing cars and motorcycles and everyone that passed by. And for good reason too...IT IS SO HOT OUTSIDE- LIKE 4O DEGREES CELCIUS! I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT HOT WAS UNTIL THE LAST COUPLE WEEKS, but it's chill. Anyways...there was also huge crowds dancing, big stages, and foam pits everywhere! We all played with the church members and it was awesome. Then we had to go to transfers in Bangkok....it was so hard to get to transfers, because as you can imagine, the roads were crammed with people! We made our train just in the nick of time, and Sister Cat ran to give me a note and gift...literally 2 minutes before the train pulled out.
I'll really miss Chiang Mai, but I am glad to be here!
Since this is my first transfer, I realized that my luggage is SUPER heavy #somanylanguagebooks, soI may be mailing some stuff home on a slow cheap boat that will take like 6 months.
So far working here in Mahasarakham has been great! Sister Mcknight is such a hard worker, and I love it! We have been visiting and teaching entire families! I'll share the story of 2 days ago, we went to visit the non-member husband of an RC. We get to their house and sit on a mat on the ground outside. We get ready to teach, and then everyone starts speaking Isaan...which is not like Thai in the slightest! So ya... just when I thought I'd gotten away from the northern language of Chiang Mai, there is another new Issan language to figure out! It is totally chill though, as most people speak Thai also, and know that we don't speak Issan.
What else...oh, my companion said that to compare the areas of Thailand to america, that Chiang Mai would be like California, and the Issan is a mix of the southern states and Idaho. Bangkok is just like any big city....I think this is accurate.
Okay, I just want to close with a quote I like from conference. I can't remember if I shared it last week or not, but it goes like this, "Our actions are the evidence of our belief and the substance of our faith." I've been thinking about that a lot this week... that we are all on a quest to become better, to become who we want to be...and more like our Father in Heaven. If we simply hope to change...without doing anything, it won't work. We need to use the atonement to be better and to, "Act and the power will come."
Love you all!