Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Everyone Is On Their Own Path

Hey everyone!! Hope all is going well. I feel like I barely just emailed you all! Weeks seem to go by so fast.

This week I can hardly even remember what happened. This morning Sister Carrillo and I were talking about what we were going to write about this week in our emails.  Looks like the only memory I have of this week is when one of the Thai ladies, who always helps us teach, followed us around on her motorcycle yelling things at us in English while we rode our bikes all over Lampang. It is a fairly normal routine, and this is usually how it goes:

Thai lady:  "REMMMMM how do you say เข้าใจ in farang (foreigner) language"

Me: "I get it"

Thai lady: "I get ittttt, I GET IT, I GET IT..... I am saying it right, right??"

I think this story is made all the funnier if you think of the fact that she is yelling these things at me as she follows us super slowly on her motorcycle, and all of these other thai people are staring. It was really funny...I promise...but it may be one of those stories that you have to be there in person to understand.

Last P-day a recent convert took us to a cool Buddhist temple...I'll attach pics. There was this one part of the building that only boys could go into, and the elders went in and made up this whole story about what was in there, just cause we wanted to go in...ya know, ya know.

This week it was Sister Carrillo's B-day, she's 20 now!!! SO we did what we do well, and ate pizza at the best restaurant in Lampang.... it's called Long Jims and it's owned by this guy from America who learned how to make pizza from watching Youtube videos...it's super delicious.

Also this week a convert from Chiang Mai came to visit her relatives in Lampang and I saw her a few times! I showed her our family picture and she pointed to Elliott and said, "I like this girl, her smile is so awesome, she just looks like she is so happy!"  (She is.)

We taught a bunch of new investigators this week as well, and it was awesome! Hopefully, 2 of our investigators will be getting baptized next week, so we will see how it goes!

Today, (as per usual) I want to close with a thought that comes from my studies this week. I was reading a talk and I loved this:  Focus on how the Lord feels you are doing...don't look to the side to compare yourself with others...look up... Ask the Lord each day, "Whatever I can learn today, allow me to learn it." I loved this, as sometimes it is really easy to look around you and think that other people are so much farther ahead, skilled, or accomplished...I think when it comes down to it, we are all our own worst critic!  However, in the end all that matters is how the Lord feels we are doing. Each one of us has a different story and needs different experiences to succeed and be who we need to be. Something my mom always said is, "Everyone is on their own path." Sometimes it is easy to judge other's efforts as more or less than our own, but when we feel like that, we need to remember to "Look up" to Heavenly father who will help us on OUR path, through OUR experiences, get to where we need to go. I know Heavenly Father lives, loves us, and wants me, you, and each of us to return to him.


Sister Remington

Monday, October 19, 2015

Overwhelmed? Just Work On One Thing At A Time

Hey everyone...this week was interesting to say the least. Monday to Friday this week were super hard days.... every single day I just got slammed down by people, and it did not feel very great. It felt like everything I was doing was being attacked, and lets just say my confidence was kinda low. 

Last Monday Elder Lindley got really bad food poisoning from Mugatat (this place where you cook your own meat) and we all thought it was kinda funny, because he is a greenie and everyone knows that you only get bad food poisoning when you are a greenie....but then on Thursday a recent convert invited us all over to his house to eat...and I got really bad food poisoning!!!  hahaha good times. 

Anyways, Thursday night we all took a bus to Chiang Mai and had zone training....it was all about making your prayers more meaningful and it was super good. The next day we had Zone Conference in which a general authority came (Elder Funk) and to be honest I didn't get as much out of it as I would have liked. (Because of before mentioned food poisoning.) I do remember one thing his wife said though. She said, "The Lord did not call you to fail on this mission...he called you to succeed." When she said this it reminded me of something a friend sent me at the beginning of my mission, that said the exact same thing... this was the turning point for me, and I realized I needed to stop worrying so much about the opinions of others, because it just doesn't matter. The Lord called me, and he brought each of us to earth to succeed! 

Oh!!  During Zone Conference we also got new phones! We now have smart phones! SO fancy... I can read the Liahona magazine on the phone now.....as far back as I want! I took this opportunity to go back to September 1995 (the month and year I was born) and guess what....there was an article there called, "The gospel dawning on Thailand"...a pretty cool coincidence if I do say so myself.  

The next 2 days I got to see all the Chiang Mai members, who made me feel so loved!! They all told me how much better my Thai has gotten and how grown up I look (you really are like a baby in your greenie area haha). They all wanted to sit by me, talk to me, and told me they missed me! I also got to see 3 of the people I taught that were baptized! They are all still active and doing well! One of them even told me her daughter is getting baptized next week! I will attach pictures of all of them and some friends!

I also got the packages from Mom and Grandma Cammy, as well as the post cards from Switzerland! It had all been bouncing around Thailand for a while. Thank you guys! I loved the cereal and the photobook!!! All the Thai people liked looking at the photos too! 

Anyways, I am not too sure what my spiritual thought is going to be this week...but something my mom wrote to me rings true. It is that sometimes we can all get so overwhelmed...we want to change everything about ourselves all at once, and we sometimes let satan trick us into thinking we haven't made any progress. When we feel like this, we need to realize we just need to work on one thing at a time, and slowly, but surely the Lord will help us succeed. Sometimes it is hard to realize when we are in the midst of trials, but I know that we are given trials often as a gift... a gift to help us become who we need to become. 

I love you all! I love Thailand...I hope this email makes sense hahaha


Sister Remington 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ask What You Need to Change

Hey everyone..... this week I hit my ONE YEAR mark on my mission...it's crazy it has been a year. I feel like so much time has passed, yet I feel like I was just in the MTC...go figure. When people say time is weird on missions...oh man you gotta believe them. I still have plenty of time left though (6 months) and I still have lots to do!!  Here I am burning the traditional 1 year shirt:

This week Sister Carrillo and I had some cool experiences with contacting...lately we have been having a bit harder time finding new investigators. But this week, I was determined that if I felt a prompting I would act on it. One day, we were riding our bikes near big C (a Thai version of Walmart), and I see 2 black guys and think, "Hey I should pull my bike over and invite them." I didn't do it, because I was scared to invite in English believe it or not and then I was kinda mad at myself for not doing it. Later on that day,we rode down a street near there after dinner and I see 2 other black guys and think...."Okay, I will invite them." Here is exactly how it went down:

Me: Hey how are you guys?
Them: Good 
Me:  DO you want to learn about Jesus? 
Them: We already know, but can always learn more.
Me: Wait...really?? 

We then proceeded to get their phone number and we met with one of them twice this week...he seems interested, so we will see how it goes. At the very least I think Heavenly Father gave us the opportunity to study and redeem our teaching in English (we actually practiced before we taught him).

Second experience: 

We were contacting one night before it was time to go home in this market and by a 7-11. I was feeling discouraged and I prayed and asked, "Heavenly Father can you please help me find one person who will at least meet with us?" After that prayer I kept contacting, and then it was time to go home... I was kinda frustrated my prayer hadn't been answered, but as I was getting on my bike 2 boys walk by. Sister Carrillo is all like, "Have you invited them yet?" I say, "I think so...but I will again." I invite them...and lo and behold one of them is interested...and meets with us 2 days later..and accepts a date.  Prayers are answered. 

This week we also had a party to try and get the ward closer together. We got pizza, people were going to bring food, and a member was in charge of games and a spiritual thought. But then right before the party was going to start...it starts raining. And if you know Thai people you know they won't go anywhere when its raining, so we were a bit worried. At that point we were teaching our investigator, Sister Meow and shes all, "Guys, we should pray for the rain to stop." As soon as she said that I was like..."you are right, that is exactly what we will do." She prayed and soon after the rain stopped...Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in worries and complex solutions, but really it is the simple things like prayer that make all the difference. Anyways, people came and it was a really fun party! The games were my favorite...if you ever lose a game in Thailand you get owned with baby powder all over your face! We also got to see our Branch Mission leader and Branch Pres dance because they lost a game and that made me die laughing. 

Sister Meow with the red hair- 

This Saturday and Sunday I got to watch conference! And it was sooo good!! I saw Dad, Wyatt and Elliott singing "How Firm a Foundation" at the conference center  and everything!! One of my favorite talks was the one by Larry R. Lawrence where he talks about praying to ask what we need to change, what we lack. He gives the example of a girl who's life wasn't going how she planned, and she prayed for guidance...and the spirit simply told her to clean her room. She was all like, "whaa?? that won't help anything", but she followed the prompting..and sure enough she felt peace and calm when her room was clean... doing that simple act of cleaning her room certainly didn't solve all her problems, but it gave her a place to start. After hearing that talk it made me want to pray, and then after the prayer to wait a couple of minutes to see what the spirit would tell me I needed to change. I received an answer, and I know you all can too!! My life has already been made a little happier by acting on that prompting, so I want you all to try it too! Pray and ask God what you need to change, and then wait a few minutes after the prayer for the answer...I promise it will come if you pray in faith, and I know it will be personalized just for you. 
I also loved Pres Uchdorfs talk in the Women's Conference...but you all need to just watch it :) 

This morning Sister Carrillo and I called our investigator SIster Meow, who we have been teaching for about a month and a half now and she told us she had decided to be baptized on the 25th!! We are so excited and hope it all works out. The change in her life has been crazy, from her partying and not even knowing about God and Christ, to her praying all the time and saying now, instead of partying when she is stressed, she just prays. Something I have really learned this past year of my mission is that the gospel completely changes peoples lives. People are made different, in good and happy ways, and when people learn they notice the miracles God is letting into their lives.  It makes me realize the miracles in mine too. There is no better feeling then when an investigator, member, or whoever says they have applied something you have taught them, they know God lives, and that their life has been made better. 

Love you all!!

Sister Remington 
Some people with swords and fans that were just "dancing by"

A classic Thai notebook....

Monday, October 5, 2015

Seriously Funny Stories and Real Intent

Hey everyone!! 

This week was a week full of funny stories, and awesome experiences. Let's begin with the funny stories:
1. "My hair is falling out"

This story is not new news, but my district's advice for me was hilarious. Lately, the Elders have been doing some "working-out" at a member's house on p-day. The last time they went, he was also giving them some workout tips. He told them that when he works out, he eats dog food. The Elders were taken aback and were like, "actual dog food?" And the member was like, "Yes, dog food helps your body to have a bunch of nutrients and helps your hair grow super thick." So when I mentioned my hair was falling out, the elders told me Ishould just eat dog food....I will not be taking this advice.  Oh! And last time they worked out with this member, he asked them if they wanted a cookie...turns out the cookie was a dog treat.... Bahahahahha 

2. "I can't teach in English"

This week we did a bunch of contacting, hours and hours a day and we weren't seeing any success finding new investigators, so we decided to call through some former investigators in our phone list. We called this one guy and made an appointment. On the phone we were having a hard time understanding him, but in the end we managed to communicate that we wanted to meet at the church at 3. The investigator showed up, and as it turns out, he is a guy from Cameroon, Africa or something, and speaks English (explains why we couldn't understand his Thai on the phone)...his dad is also the minister of a Baptist church, so he tells us we have 10 minutes to teach him what we know. I was so scared, because I have taught in English only 3 times on my mission, and those times were at the beginning. Anyways, we start teaching the "restoration of the gospel" and it was such a struggle... I was forgetting gospel words in english, and so was sister Carrillo, so I don't know if it made much sense. Our lesson went like this: "And then Joseph Smith blee the Book of Mormon". "Wait...what does blee mean?" "Oh yeah, translate...and then Jospeh Smith translated the Book of Mormon." It was sooo hard, and really a wakeup call for me that I should learn how to teach in English... 

3. "I'll help you find him"

This week we got some new "inviting" pictures which included a new picture of Jesus Christ, (taken from a movie or something) ...its like a photo of a person- if that makes sense. So I am in Macro this week (Thai Costco), and I ask someone if they know Jesus Christ, and they answer back, "no, but I will help you find him". At this point, he then proceeds to show the picture to all the Macro employees saying, "this girl lost this guy". Sadly, when I explained what I really meant they weren't too interested.  Haha

4. "I've never been near a foreigner before"

This story happened at English class this week. A new lady walked in and I went to sit next to her to help her. All of a sudden, she looks at me, quite alarmed,  and says, "I've never sat this close to a white person before"... she then pokes my arm and says, "whoa, I have never touched a white person before." It was soo funny. 

Anyways, lots of really great miracles happened this week too! Our one investigator (she's been investigating since last transfer) is really building her testimony. It is cool to see her learn about repentance. The other day she said she did something wrong, and then she said she prayed to say sorry and then it was really weird, she said as she was going to sleep she was "smiling to herself. Repentance really is a great thing. She also went to a party this week and just sat there and didn't break any commandments, all because of a scripture that a member texted her.  
This week (and last week), it has been hard to find new investigators. We have been contacting tons, and doing all we know how to do, but last week no one came to church, and this week we had so much hope that if we were doing our best Heavenly Father would make up the difference. It was Fast Sunday so we decided to fast in order to find new investigators...we did, but no one made it to Sacrament Meeting. After Sacrament one investigator showed up, but still no new ones. I'll admit Sister Carrillo and I were a bit discouraged, but then at the very last moment, after church was over, two people (a girl and a guy) walk in. It turns out they were friends of our Branch mission leader, and that the girl had been wanting to come to church here for 3 years!!! We taught them and they seem soo great. I know Heavenly Father can perform miracles if we have faith...and sometimes it takes a little patience, but it all works out. I know Heavenly Father lives, and loves me...as well as you all.

One other thing I have been thinking about lately is real intent. In this month's Liahona, there is a talk about this one guy who in seminary is challenged to read the Book of Mormon. The seminary teacher makes this chart, and puts it on the wall with each students name, and each time you read a chapter you get a gold star. This guy soon sees that the other students are waaay farther ahead of him and have way more gold stars than he does. So he starts reading the Book of Mormon every chance he gets, between classes, after school etc. He describes,  "In doing this, you would think that I developed a strong testimnony, or finished it first, but no "I got none of that...all I got was what I went for...gold stars" This really made me think... what are my intentions in my life, are some things I do just for the "gold star" or for the praise of it, or is it truly for to serve and love God? It was really good to think about. 

Anyways, I love you all!!


Sister Remington

P.S. Its so awesome you guys saw my Thai friend, Ariel (Sis San from Chiang Mai) on Temple Square!! 

P.P.S. This is some legit Thai food our investigator took us to eat..spicy somtam (papaya salad), and yes...bugs