This week was pretty eventful, but I will start with what we did for P-day last Monday. President Senior said we have a new rule where we can't go out of our area for P-days anymore, so we have to stay in Mahasarakham, which doesn't have anything to visit. However, we decided to make it a fun P-day! We rode our bikes out to the farms to ask a random people if we could ride their Kwai (water buffalo). Unfortunately, it was an unsuccessful endevour, as one lady taking care of the kwai told me it was to dangerous...and that in all her years of taking care of kwai she had never ridden one...so sad for her (and us). We then went shopping and I bought the most funny and ugly cat galaxy shirt...that I just had a feeling Elliott would think was hilarious and awesome. Here's a pic of the "Water Buffalo that got away":
On Tuesday as we were teaching English, I got really awful food poisoning! I think it was from eating chicken from this sketchy side-of-the-road place that we eaten at earlier that day. It was pretty funny though, as I felt totally fine, until midway through English, when I had to suddenly run out of the room as I felt so sick.
Another funny thing that happened this week was when we went to the police station to teach English to all of the police force in Mahasarakham. At first we were supposed to pretend that we didn't know Thai, and then ask the police people for directions in English....It was pretty fun as they were all standing lined up in their official uniforms outside waiting for us, and were a bit confused by our questions.
As far as teaching goes this week, we traveled really far out to go to some investigators' houses. We were thrilled at one home (probably 30 min away by bike) (seriously in the middle of nowhere) when we were offered some Magnum ice cream bars! This was literally so great, as her house was so far away from anything, and then all of a sudden as we are sitting ther teaching her outside, she goes in and grabs some ice cream bars, telling us that her son works for Magnum!
We also got to teach our one investigator at the school where she works! (She's a teacher) She is from Cameroon, and is soo cool. Suddenly, all of the Thai students literally swarmed us yelling, "farang, farang, farang." It was sooo funny... lots of them had their scout uniforms on and it was so cute.
This week was Zone Conference, so we got to travel to Ubon! It was so fun, and we stayed in this super nice hotel!! It was President and Sister Seniors last zone conference and it was soo awesome. I learned so much. President Senior explained a lot about his philosophy of having a "Vision, Goals, and a Process." Take for example you want to go on a trip to France. Your vision would be going to France and having fun. Your goals would probably be to make X amount of money to get a plane ticket there. Your process would be to get a job and then to save your money. President Senior talked alot about how he appreciates vision and process a lot more than goals, because if you don't reach your goals, sometimes you can feel very disappointed. Or once you reach them, its kind of a, "now what?" kind of thing. He said it is really good to focus on the process instead, as even if some random thing prevented you from reaching a goal, as long as you were successful with the process, you could still be satisfied. Take for example people getting baptized. Often as missionaries we set goals for a specific amount of baptisms we want in a week, a month, a transfer etc, and sometimes those goals don't come to fruition. However, President Senior reminded us that this is the Lord's work, and as long as we are doing the "process" (being obedient, following the Spirit, etc) we can be assured that the Lord is pleased with us, it doesn't matter if we accomplished the goal or not.
President Senior also showed us this whole chart-excel-system he had made for tracking his goals... and it was soo cool, he literally had a tab with charts and percentages of being done for every area of his life, be it family, music, spiritual....you name it! It was so cool.
This Sunday I also had the privilege of being at the conference in Ubon where the 3rd stake in Thailand was created!! The Ubon Stake. It is the first Stake outside of Bangkok too. It was amazing to be there as the speakers talked about the miracles that had happened in the last year to have this come to pass. Elder Gon (a 70 over the Asia area), came and did this cool activity where he made all the members stand up based on how long they had been a member for (3 years, 1 week, 10 years etc). When he called out 1 year, I kid you not, like 65 percent of the room stood up! It is amazing the miracles that have happened in Thailand over the past year. Our Branch in Mahasarakham was made a ward too!!
I just want to close this letter with something I learned this week. President and Sister Senior talked about how they can look back over their mission, and even though there may have been some hard moments, they have trouble remembering a single one! I want my mission to be like this. I also thought a lot this weekend about this statement:
"Faith is Always Forward Looking". Sometimes it is easy to look back and feel like you miss something from the past, or you feel sad about something, but it doesn't matter, as faith always looks forward to the future with all of the wonderful and amazing things ahead. The best is yet to come!!