Woah SO much has happened since I last emailed. Like SO much.
First off I will start with the fact that I moved areas!! I am now in Lampang, so I am in the north part of Thailand again, about an hour away from my first area, Chiang Mai! There are mountains all around and the weather isn't so hot...I love it!!
You may remember that Lampang is the place I went on a switch off as a greenie and got the WORST food poisoning of my life! When I got transferred there, everyone in the mission seemed to have heard that story because they all thought it was pretty funny that I am here.
I LOVE IT HERE!!! MY NEW COMPANION IS AWESOME. Her name is Sister Carillo, she's 19 and is from Meridian, Idaho and we get along so well! She's been in Thailand only about 4 months! We are already having so much fun! My district is awesome too, and (PLOT TWIST).... we all whitewashed into Lampang. Whitewashing means that they moved the 4 old missionaries that were here away, and moved us four in....which is fun but a bit scary. We all literally know nothing about this area, where to go, or any of the members. So far everyone has been super nice and helpful!! All we have to go off of is a book with some pictures and sticky notes. I know we will all get to know this area soon, and see a lot of good stuff happen.
Okay, let me back up now. Flash back to last Sunday...Elder Holland came and spoke to the Thai members, and it was an amazing talk! All the missionaries got to go to Bangkok to hear it. Something that I liked from his talk was that he spoke a lot about missionaries. He spoke of going to visit Palmyra, and seeing a Thai sister missionary there giving tours. He thought of how far away she was from home, and as such took his grandchildren back for 3 tours, all because he wanted her to practice teaching, he wanted her to have a good mission experience. He then asked that all the Thai members do the same...that they provide people for us to teach, and help this work go forth. He said he knows that the Thai people are praying for their sons, daughters and family members on missions, and that our families...far away in America, Canada or herever they may be are praying for us too, praying that we will have a good experience and love our missions. I just know that you guys pray for me and I just want you to know that it makes a HUGE difference.
Elder Holland also shared this quote, "What we've been given...we need to give away. What's been handed to us, we need to hand to others." I really liked that as I realize more and more on my mission how much I have been given, and how important it is to share with others.
A really happy moment happened this week. It was at transfer meeting in Bangkok, and I saw a member from Chiang Mai who I hadn't seen since I was a greenie. She told me she had gotten her mission call to England! She then thanked me for helping her so much, saying I was a person who had helped her decide to go on a mission. She explained to me that she was so worried about her life around 9 months ago, and couldn't decide what she should be doing...if she should go on a mission, school etc. She said one night Sister Ellis and I were talking to her, and she couldn't decided what to do.. Sister Ellis gave good advice, and I said what I could at the time in the Thai I knew...but then I went into another room and brought out a Liahona Magazine and gave her an article about making decisions. I totally remembered doing that...going into the library in Chiang Mai and trying to find an article about making decisions, opened to one (I don't think I'd read it) and then gave it to her. She explained to me that it was the article that helped her decide to go..and that she's shared it with other people, and she said it has helped them decide to be missionaries too. It was such a happy moment to hear this, as sometimes when you start your mission it is easy to feel like you didn't help very many people, but that is never true...God will always use YOU, and what you know...no matter how little will be enough to help.
Leaving Mahasarakham was sooooo sad. I will miss all the members and RC's there soo much. It has been hard not to worry about them as we whitewashed out, but I trust all will be okay. Sister Dew drew me some awesome pictures of me (which I will send)...and Sister Nok gave me the cutest bird earrings (as nok means bird) to put on if I miss her...which I will! It literally felt like Sister Nok was my best friend in Thailand...she helped me so much in so many ways that I can't even explain. Suffice it to say a few tears were shed.
What else is there to say...I feel like so much has happened!! Oh yeah! Last Sunday some members from the US that live in Thailand invited us over for dinner and it was sooo good! They are the same people that made that "pirating" commercial that is all over the place...you know the one that's like, "You wouldn't steal a car, you wouldn't steal a tv...pirating is stealing." Wyatt will know what I am talking about. Anyways...the food was sooo good! It was probably my 2nd time I have had homemade food on my mission (that's american).
Lampang has been great so far, yesterday at church the members were so nice and helpful! I am excited to figure things out a bit more here. In fact the first day we were here..we were studying (our house is like by this river in kind of a jungle), and two random ladies (maybe the landlords?) peaked their heads in our window and start talking to us...asking us how things are going! So hilar.
Okay...I just want to close with a thought. It is a bit of what Elder Holland talked about. He told this story of a boy going to a birthday party who saved up all his money to buy a present for his friend..he wrapped it up carefully and gave it to his friend..who immediately rejected it saying, "I don't want this!" Elder Holland then related it to how if we reject a gift, "we reject the giver." Our lives are a gift, the gospel is a gift, and the atonement is a gift...we need to accept and use these things with gratitude and happiness...so that we don't reject the giver who is Jesus Christ. I love this work...and I love you all!!