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. 

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