Monday, May 25, 2015

You Are Responsible for Who You Are, and You Are Responsible for Who You Will Become

Guys, Guys, Guys.....oh my goodness this week was the most MIRACULOUS WEEK OF MY MISSION, AS WELL AS THE BUSIEST WEEK EVER. 

I can't wait to type the story I am so excited to share it with you all!

So this week we were preparing Sister Yu's entire family for baptism. (Her husband Brother Sing, along with her kids Sister May and Brother Swim)  We visited them almost daily at the market where they work, and they showed amazing faith. We were teaching Brother Sing a lesson about temples and enduring to the end, and he said something that was so inspiring. He said, "You can't just endure to the end...and be like endure, endure, have to endure with happiness." I really liked that, as it is so true. The gospel is happy, and we should be happy living it. 

Some challenges came up this week as they prepared for baptism, but I am happy to say that they overcame them, and their entire family was baptized this Sunday! I was SO happy, and I am excited for when they go to the temple and are sealed together as an eternal family. It has been a pleasure teaching this family since the very beginning of this transfer...seeing them grow in faith and learn from their Mother's example. In Brother Sings testimony yesterday he said, "I plan to endure with happiness in keeping the commandments and living the gospel." I feel like in explaining this story I didn't do it half the justice it deserves, but suffice it to say I love this family SO much...and they are some of the people I know I needed to meet on my mission. 

But that is not all.... another one of our RC's husbands (brother Tehb), was able to be baptized yesterday as well!  Sister Noy, his wife, was SO THRILLED at the prospect of them being sealed together at the Thailand temple in the future. 

Also, Sister Gaw...and Brother Sam-ang were baptized this Sunday!! Sister Gaw she said she felt so, so, so happy, and her excitement of being baptized was contagious. Brother Sam-Ang also showed such faith and joy as he shared his testimony. 

Sunday was a very busy day preparing these 6 people for baptism, but my favorite part was everyone bearing their testimony after their Baptisms.  Words can not really describe the feeling you have when you see someone you love embrace the gospel and its blessings.

I seriously feel like I am not doing this story justice, but suffice it to say, I am so GRATEFUL for all of the miracles I have seen this transfer here in Mahasarakham with Sister McKnight. I feel like I have worked harder than I ever have my entire mission and I have learned SO much.  

This transfer I have really learned that miracles do happen, as well as the value of integrity. In my studies this week I read this quote about integrity, "Integrity is the foundation upon which character, and a Christlike Life are built." I also read this quote by Lawrence E. Corbridge which says, "You, right now, are the sum total of what you have said, seen, heard, and done. What you think, say, hear, do, and see, causes you to change; to change for good or evil; to become either stronger or weaker; to either internalize the qualities of light...or the qualities of darkness. You are responsible for who you are, and you are responsible for who you will become." As I thought about both of these quotes, as well as integrity, I realized that when we have integrity, we will automatically begin to build a more Christlike life, and "internalize those qualities of light....and little by little become more like the person Heavenly Father and Christ want us to become. 

I love you all!!

Sister Remington

P.S. I totally forgot to include this but:
Thursday this week Sister Mcknight and I also went to Korat...(the second biggest city in Thailand, its 4 hrs away from Mahasarakham), with the zone leaders...and we all went contacting the whole day. It was pretty fun. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Miracles, Bugs, and Rain

Hey everyone! 

This week was so good. There were tons of CRAZY rainstorms...and an AWESOME miracle happened. 

The second week of this transfer Sister Yu was baptized. She is so awesome and has SO much faith. This whole transfer we have been trying to teach her family (her husband and 2 kids), but they are all SO busy (they sell meat at the market all day long) Her husband said he didn't know if he really wanted to keep the commandments. However, we kept working with them, and every time we went to visit Sister Yu at the market, we would share a scripture with their family and give them a note with a scripture written down to read later. Sister Yu's husband (Brother Sing)  finally opened up one day and told us of an experience he'd had...where he knew that his family was needed in this church. However, he said he wasn't ready to be baptized. I bore my testimony to him and told him that I knew, knew, knew, that God needs him in this church...and in bearing my testimony, I knew that we both could feel the truth of those words. It was definitely one of the times I have felt the spirit the strongest while testifying in Thai.  After that, the whole family began to come to church and Sister Mcknight and I would visit them at the market every night. Brother Sing and Sister May and Brother Swim (sister Yu's kids) maintained that they were not ready to be baptized...even though they felt it was true... as they wanted to see a miracle first. Sister Mcknight and I shared many, many scriptures with them about how faith converts, not miracles, but they still kept saying they needed a miracle first...and then they'd be baptized.

 A couple of Sundays ago was fast Sunday, so Sister Mcknight, Tauteoli and I fasted and prayed that they would all be able to find an answer, and we would know how to help them as well. That same Sunday we fasted, an apostle named Elder Kanakham (a member of the quorum of the 70, who is Thai) came to church and spoke to everyone. After church, he came up and talked to me. We talked about my mission so far, and how I had been in Chiang Mai when his older Sister, who lives there, was preparing to be baptized. (I taught her) As we were talking we both look over to see Brother Sing helping brother Bandit and Sudjay (our recent converts who have trouble walking) down the hall. Elder Kanakham then turned to me and asked,"when is he going to be baptized?" I said that I didn't know, but we have been trying to work with him and his family. Elder Kanakham then said he would be an awesome member and then said bye. 

That Tuesday Sister Mcknight, Tauteoli and I decided to go visit Sister yu. Brother Sing, SIster May, and Brother Swim at the market. Again, we decided to share a scripture, and ask them to be baptized. We didn't know what scripture we would share, but in the lesson I randomly opened up my Book of Mormon to Moroni 7:26 which says,
 "And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you."
We then bore our testimonies to Brother Sing, Swim, and Sister May that we knew that this was true...after that I asked Brother Sing, Sister may, and Brother Swim if they would be baptized. May and Swim look at their Dad..and he said, "Yes." We were floored as he went on to say that he saw a miracle. The miracle he explained to us was, "when the apostle came to visit on Sunday I heard him tell the branch president to take good care of me and my family....I have never felt such genuine love and concern from someone I don't know...after this I decided to be baptized." We all felt the spirit so strongly, and Sister Yu clapped her hands together in excitement.  We told them how much we love their family, and left them with our testimonies of how much their Heavenly Father loves them too. 

We biked home (30 min) and it started to rain.....pour rain. The streets flooded and it was around 815 pm. We were biking in rain up to our ankles and got soaked! It just didn't matter though as we were all SO happy about this miracle we had witnessed that seemed to be so small, but had brought to pass a great thing:  this whole family preparing to come unto Christ. It made me think of that scripture in Alma that says,"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but…by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; … and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.” It is really true that by those little things are miracles brought to pass. I have seen that on my mission, and in my life countless times.

When we got home, and began to lay out our stuff to dry, we realized that and our scriptures didn't even get wet...another miracle! I then tried to to re-read the verse that we had shared that night, as I didn't really know exactly what it had said in Thai. As I was re-reading the verse my eye caught the next verse...verse 27 which says, " Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?"
 I just want to say that I truly know that miracles have not ceased...and that Heavenly Father is always there...waiting to answer our prayers. 

I will quickly summarize the rest of this week, as the email is getting kind of long.
- I ATE A BUG!! It was gross and very salty. 

-Another investigator of ours Sister Gaw...acccepted a date to be baptized next week.

-Sister Tauteoli left Mahasarakham to be with Sister Burbank (my MTC comp) in Sisaket as her comp there went home. Sister McKnight and I are now the only missionaries in Mahasarakham. We joked this week that sometimes it feels like we are the DL's of Mahasarakham too, as the elders in our district live in another town an hour away, so they just interview our investigators over the phone, and Sis M and I fill out the records. It is a little scary having no missionaries other than us in this town, but it is only for a week and a half, as transfers are next week. We have so much work to do this week! 

-We went to visit a member in the hospital yesterday, and there was dirt everywhere and spiders and dogs...and no AC.  IF I AM SICK I DO NOT WANT TO GO THERE! 

Anyways, I love you all! Sorry this email is SO long!


Sister Remington 

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Conversation With Sister Remington

The Remington Family is happy to report, that after speaking with Auburn yesterday for Mother's Day, she is doing well and finding great joy in her mission. 

We were thrilled by her stories of the wonderful people of Thailand. Here are some interesting tidbits from our conversation with Sister Remington:

"Missions are so fun!"

Followed by, "Missions are so hard!"

"Thai people are so nice, no one has every said an unkind word to me"

"Apparently last month my language skills improved, as my companion informed me that I now sleep-talk in Thai."

"There are no rules or speed limits in Thailand....oh, except no kissing in public"

"I have never been so hot in my life, and on those days, it usually rains in the afternoon and the streets are filled with water to your knees."

"Working hard makes time go by so fast!"

"Thailand is so beautiful."

"I have conquered all of my fears...expect my fear of monkeys"

"This is Seth! He is a soccer player here in Thailand...he got baptized yesterday and has the most amazing testimony! He says he can just feel that this is, "the only true church, and that God is in this church."
I am so happy I got to teach him! It is the first time I have ever taught someone the lessons in english!

"I'm soooo tan"

"We finally found a fro-yo place!!"

"I love it here."

Monday, May 4, 2015

What We See, Depends Mainly on What We Look For

Hey everyone!

Man, this week was good. I hope this email doesn't seem to be all over the place...just so much happened. 

I'll start with all the funny/crazy stuff that happened this week...and then I'll move on to the awesome. 

So the first funny thing happened when Sis Mcknight and I were in a member's car on the way to visit our investigators, Brother Sud-jay and Brother Bandit. This car is super old, and I am guessing is never used.  I was sitting in the back with a member of the ward, and all of a sudden I feel this tickle on my leg...I brush it away thinking it was a thread, but look down to find that IT WAS A GIANT SPIDER - THE BIGGEST ONE I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. I gasp, and then jump on the members lap yelling, "Yud, Yud, Yud!!!"" (STOP, STOP, STOP, in Thai). The member driving pulls over and I jump out of the car. The spider crawls away and Sister Nok (the nicest member ever) kills it and puts it in bottle. She then runs over too me and puts this weird herbal vial stuff all over my leg where she thinks it bit me. That stuff tingled a ton!  After that, some old Thai women runs over and looked at the spider in the bottle.  She was laughing and started speaking Issan to the others. Sis nok is all, "did it bite you?"  I really didn't know, so we all just got back in the car and went to teach our investigators. Half-way through the lesson, I started to feel kinda weird so Sister Nok took me to the hospital. At the hospital I was examined and they were all like, "If it bit you, you'd know by now because it would be all red." So ya...long story short, I had hoped that it was all just a dramatic false alarm.  They just told me to watch, and if I felt weird later on, that I should come back.  After leaving, I realized that I did have a bite...right on the rear, but I felt pretty well so I didn't return.  (Plus, that hospital was SO DIRTY!)

Anyways, another funny moment happened this week as Sis mcknight and I were contacting. (On a side note, someone's pet squirrel ran up my shoulder...) Even though it was deathly hot, we got some phone numbers. When we called the numbers I had an interesting experience.  While on the phone with one guy I had contacted, I  asked if he wanted to meet tomorrow at 1. He said, "Ok, I'll have too see because I have to go sell illegal drugs...."  I was like, "What did you say?" And he's all, "I have to go sell illegal drugs."  So ya....don't know if we'll meet with him anytime soon. 

Crazy thing number three.... it has been super hot this week...hotter than I have ever been in my life. (For all my Canadians, like 40 degrees, for my Americans like 110.)  It has been hot and humid, and for some reason this hot weather causes CRAZY rainstorms. SO this whole week it was hot in the mornings, and then would storm at around 5. And when it rains in Thailand it POURS and FLOODS and all the power is out. The first time it happened, Sis Mcknight and I were stuck in the 711 with the power out, the second time we were stuck in this tin-shack Thai food place, which felt super dangerous, so we biked home. This week apparently 7 people died here in Mahasarakham as trees and buildings fell everywhere. I promise I am safe though Mom :) 

Amazing miracles happened this week... Sis Mcknight and I had people contact us, and we even got to teach the family of our recent convert from last week a few times! 

One really sad thing however, is that Sister Tiraphon, one of the sisters I was with in Chiang Mai, decided to go home from her mission because she is waay stressed out, so I think Sis Mcknight, Sister Tauteoli, and I will be a trio for the rest of this transfer here in Mahasarakham. I'll send an update on that next week.  

Okay, so now to talk about the baptisms! Brother Bandit and Brother Sud-jay, two older Thai men that are so awesome were baptized this week.  They only speak Issan, so we have to get everything we say translated through a ward member! The first time we taught them was the 2nd day I was in Mahasarakham, and I challenged them to be baptized...they had so much faith and said they totally would be. SO, we've been teaching them a ton! We were scared they weren't going to pass their interview, as they are old and have trouble remembering some things, but in the end the both passed and were baptized .  They have so much faith, and are SO willing to follow all the commandments. One of them only has one leg, and the other can hardly walk.... yet they are so happy, and truly know that the gospel will make their lives better. 

Last night I was writing in my journal, when the Chiang Mai sisters called.  As I t turns out, Sister Ooy was baptized there today! (Sister Ooy is that lady I invited in a market my first transfer as a missionary) She finally was able to get work off on Sundays! I was so happy, as that was really hard for me leaving Chiang Mai, to have taught Sister Ooy everything, see her pass her interview, and not be able to get baptized because of work and financial issues. So I was sooo happy to hear that last night! Apparently, one of my other investigators from there is getting baptized this coming Sunday too! 

This week we had this big zone meeting, to talk about faith and works. The mission has a goal that every companionship will have four baptisms this month. At first, hearing this goal I though it was crazy, but then President Senior had everyone do this study on faith and works.  We learned how if we have both faith, and work hard, miracles happen. We also talked about believing in miracles, and challenging everyone we meet to be baptized. It's really hard to sum up right now...but it is exciting! The Lord has awesome things in store for Thailand. 

Last night I was lying in my bed and couldn't really sleep. I was just thinking about how I FINALLY realized that I am totally happy here in Thailand, doing the Lord's work!  Some-days, some moments, it's really hard, but in the grand-scheme of things I am really, really happy to be here! I can't believe it took me 7 months to realize this, but I am so glad I finally did.

 I just want to leave everyone with this scripture - its in Moses 7:44. In it the Lord is speaking to Enoch after he's seen some hard things, and the Lord says, "Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look." This scripture really hit me. I realized that when it comes down to it, it's all sooo simple. We just need to lift up our hearts, be glad...and look to the Savior...who will always help us and is with us at all times. It's our choice if we will "look" or not, if we will choose to see the good, or look for the bad.  But life is good, and the choice to see the good is what I always want to make. This reminds me of a quote that I once painted on a sign at my house, "What we see, depends mainly on what we look for." I know this is true. Let's all choose to be grateful...and see the good. When we do this, we will be so much happier! 


Sister Rem 
Almost Laos- it's on the other side of the river.