Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Great Week of Very Little Sleep

Hey Peeps! 

This week was good...per usual, but also a complete and total blur, as my subject line to this email describes the amount of sleep was น้อยมาก (thai for very little). 

Anyways, I am loving being in Asoke. I feel like every member we visit, every investigator taught, random people etc... just give us a bunch of food. Literally one day this week we went to like 3 appointments where people just gave us food, upon treats, upon food. Man- I need to exercise more or something or else this could be bad!  hahaha 

Anyways, last P-day was fun! We visited 2 famous giant markets! There was sooo much stuff. It was alll waaay cool and cheap too. I will have to take you guys in the future!! 

Last Sunday we also went to the Granges house for sunday dinner! (A senior couple in the office) It was soo normal and soo delicious. Being on a mission in Thailand has made me realize how much I appreciate the classic dinner of chicken and salad...oh man. The Granges also have a really cool rooftop at their apartment so we all took a district pic there! 

So far this email is all about food, and I am going to continue on that streak. This week we visited a less active member we are working with in the International Ward, and she had made us Thanksgiving dinner!! It was sooo good! Then, the next day we also got to go to a THANKSGIVING BUFFET with our district, President and Sister Johnson, and all the senior was soo delicious. I am feeling like I can't eat anything for another week. Good times. 

Okay, all food stories aside...this week was soo busy! I went on 2 switch offs this week, one with Sister Parin in Thonburi (a pretty ghetto area of Bangkok, but still cool and fun) and I went on a switch off with SISTER MCKNIGHT here in Asoke!! It was so fun to go on a switch off with her and reminisce about all the good times when we were comps in Mahasarakham. 

This week we also got to go pick up a sister missionary from Lao at the airport who had just finished her mission in London. Before her mission she knew like 0 english, and now she is totally fluent!! So awesome. It was so weird to go to the airport though, as the last time I had been there was when I came to Thailand. She came to the Thanksgiving Buffet with us, and then President Johnson released her. It was really cool to talk to her about all she'd learned on her mission and whatnot. It also made me realize how little time I have left... oh man I just want to continue to do my best as the clock is ticking! 

Oh yeah, I will quickly explain why I had no was all the traveling to and from switchoffs! We are so busy here in Asoke I swear Sister Coates and I run everywhere! I love it though....being busy is the best! 

I had some really great experiences teaching this week as well. We met with some of our investigators Brother Joe and SIster Nun and they both have dates to be baptized. They are both super prepared, and in teaching both of their lessons I could truly feel the spirit and the truth of my words. Lately, I have really been trying to improve my teaching and I realized something so simple that I knew, but sometimes forgot to apply. It is when you feel the spirit, the investigator will feel the spirit and you will both be uplifted. I love always feel so good after you teach.

This week we taught this lady named Sister Sa who I had contacted on the street. She is from Cambodia but speaks great Thai and English. Her story is she married someone from America, they died and now her daughter is in America and Sa hasn't seen her in years as she doesn't have a visa. Her daughter is christian and she really misses her husband, and daughter. She was sooo willing and prepared to learn, saying she had always wanted to be Christian, but she just didn't know how. In the lesson we taught her to pray, talked about baptism, and testified of God's love for her. After the lesson was over she came up to me and said, "Thank you Sister Rem for teaching me about God's love.  I feel so good and happy right now." That made me feel good, and also made me think of this talk that Sister Mcknight shared with me on our's called the Power of God's love. 

The Guy who wrote the talk is the same guy that the movie "The Other Side of Heaven" was about.  (You know the one with Anne Hathaway) Anyways, he went on a mission to a remote South Pacific island, and it was crazy, the language culture and food was all different from what he was used to.  Of his experience he says: "As a young missionary I was assigned to a small island of about 700 inhabitants in a remote area of the South Pacific. To me the heat was oppressive, the mosquitoes were terrible, the mud was everywhere, the language was impossible, and the food was—well, “different.”

This reminded me a bit of my experience upon arriving here.....however, he then goes through many challenges (hurricanes, shipwreck etc) and comes to realize while pondering that:

"I realized that God’s love had changed everything. The heat, the mud, the mosquitoes, the people, the language, the food were no longer challenges. Those who had tried to harm me were no longer my enemies. Everyone was my brother or sister. Being filled with God’s love is the most joyous of all things and is worth every cost. When we understand who God is, who we are, how He loves us, and what His plan is for us, fear evaporates. When we get the tiniest glimpse of these truths, our concern over worldly things vanishes. To think we actually fall for Satan’s lies that power, fame, or wealth is important is truly laughable—or would be were it not so sad."

I loved this quote... actually I loved this whole talk. It really reminded me of being a missionary here in Thailand and at first thinking it was soo hot, the language was so hard, and the food was inedible. However as time passed by, and I realized more and more the reason I am on a mission, all of those things changed to be something I love. I love this language, I love the food, and I like the heat. I know that all of these things changed because of God's love. When we serve others, love them, and do our best to forget ourselves...God's love can change us, and make us better than we thought we could be. I never thought when I started my mission that this change could come, but I know that when we rely on God our weaknesses, hardships, and trials will work together to become our strengths, and we will be blessed with gratitude for all the things we went through in order to be who we need to become. 

I know God lives. I know he loves us,  and I know that this love is the key to happiness. 

Love you guys,

Sister Remington 
We forgot about the Lantern festive, so we just took our pic in front of the airport display.

I usually eat my Somtam from this lady. It's the best. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Culture Shock

Hey everyone!! 

It feels so weird that my P-day is now on a Saturday! I hope all is going well in Canada and various other places. 

Coming to Asoke has been awesome, and it feels a bit like I am having culture shock!  The reason I say this is, that for the past year I have basically lived in tiny towns, seen few foreigners, eaten only thai food, and seen some very humble conditions of living. Coming to Asoke, I see foreigners all the time, speak in English, see very extravagant ways of living.....and they have a Krispie Kreme donut place. I like it, but it is also strange....It's weird when you kinda figure out how to live happily with a lot less, and then you suddenly have everything again.  I don't really know how to feel, or if this makes any sense....

Last P-day we went to this place called Siam Paragon (really close to where the bombs went off a few months ago) and it was soo cool! They had a Forever 21...and man all I can say is style looks weird now! It seems like everything is bland marrons and greys and like aztecy prints...but then again I could be totally off.  

Funny Moments of the Week: 

"Jackie Chan"
English class was soo funny this week! We taught the advanced class and one of the "get to know you" questions we asked was, "tell us your thai name, and then your english name." Then one guy gets up and says,"my thai name... english name...Jackie Chan." I literally laughed sooo hard.  Then that same guy comes up to me after class and compliments my english saying, "Man, I didn't know Canadians could speak english so well, what is your native language?" lolssss

"New Investigator"
 We met with a new investigator this week, and she tells us her religion is "Sassana Phiiii" which means...the ghost religion.  She then proceeds to tell us the most "interesting" things.....

"This is my Daughter"
This is possibly my favorite funny moment of the week, and also shows how hilarious Sister Coates is. We were rushing to get on the train (the MRT) in rush hour so there was about a gazillion people pushing to get on....we shove a bit as well and eventually make it on just before the door closes. Sister Coates is then standing behind this girl super close,  as there are about a gazillion peeps on the train. The girl is really short so Sister Coates mimes putting her hands on the girls shoulders and says (pretty loudly as normaly thai people don't know english) "This is my daughter"....I start laughing, and then the girl looks up at Sister Coates and says (in perfect english) "Sister would probably be better".... We all started laughing soooo hard and it turns out the girl was from China ...and spoke perfect English!

"My Dream"
This week I had a waay funny dream...that I think shows just how long I have been in Thailand. SO in my dream I was going on some adventure and hiking around, when all of a sudden I get to this waterfall, where there is this guide who says that I have to go down the waterfall in order to get to the end of my journey.  I ask her, "how will I get down?" She then proceeds to tell me I need to take this capsule thing, that looks exactly like a rice cooker. She trys to tell me that more than one person can get in at once, but I am like, "Umm, I am a lot bigger than a thai person, so I think I will just have to go on my own." I was waay scared though, but the guide helped me get in the rice cooker, and then proceeded to pack the top of the capsule with sticky rice. 

Yaaah, I have been eating rice in Asia for a while.... hahaha


A member brought us some food this week that looked delish, and was so good too, but then Sister Coates looked at her plate...and it has worms on it!   I immediately felt waay sick as I had already eaten ALOT....

Some other good moments from the week include: me winning free yogurt from Yogurtland ( I am soo good at silly games) we had to spin a wheel, and I won.  Yay! 

ALSO THIS WEEK I GOT A PACKAGE FROM GRANDMA FULL OF GINGERBREAD MEN AND CARAMELS.  I almost cried tears of joy (dramatic...I think yes) but seriously, I was soo excited! It was still fresh too! Its great being in the same area as the office Elders, because now I get packages whenever they come, instead of once every six weeks to three months!! 

This week Sister Coates and I also got the opportunity to meet with a member from the international ward who is returning to activity. She took us out for Lebanese food (super delicious), and we taught in English. It was really cool to be able to relate to a lot of her experieces, as well as learn of her testimony. Teaching in English has been a really cool but different experience for me...I am learning a lot. 

Well, I feel like I have written a lot this week, but I will conclude with my spiritual thought:

This week I feel like I re-learned something I already knew.  It is, that everyone has their own talents. Comparing yourself to others can seem easy, but in the end it is silly to compare weaknesses to strengths, as everyone is needed and everyone has talents. The Lord needs me and my talents in this work, and he needs other people and their specific talents as well. The gospel is all about growing and improving, that is for sure, but I think we would all do well to remember and recognize those talents we already have....everyone has one and it is needed! 

I also memorized this poem this week:

Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees.
The further sky, the greater length.
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

I love you guys!


Sister Remington

Monday, November 16, 2015

I Moved To Asoke Bangkok!

Hey everyone! 

Man oh man, this week was much happened I don't even know if I can put it all in one email. 

I'll start with the big news: I MOVED TO ASOKE! Asoke is in Bangkok and is the most fancy businessy part of Bangkok ...basically I feel like I am living in New York or Paris. It is so fun!  Oh!  And my new companion is Sister Coates and we are the SIster Training Leaders over the Bangkok West Zone. NOW MY PDAY IS SATURDAY. (So email me by Friday Mom) I think it's that day because the office Elders and AP's are in our district and that is their pday. Anyways, more on Asoke later...

So I want to tell you all about leaving Lampang.  It was so sad, Brother S and Sister Maw  took us out for lunch, and Sister Meow took us out to dinner, so I got to see all the RC's before I left :) I am going to miss them!  Hopefully Bro S and Sis Maws kids will get baptized soon. They are in good hands with Sister Carrillo and her greenie :) When I was leaving we explained to Bro S how transfers work, and how the mission president prays to get inspiration as to where each missionary should go. He silently thought for a moment and said, "I have an idea! I will call him and say (he says this next part in broken english which makes it even funnier) "Hello, I calling from heaven, how are you?"  I'll miss Lampang. 

All of the RC's and members came to see me off and gave me a bunch of gifts/ books to sign...oh and they all got out their camera phones and snapped pics of my felt like I was a celebrity.  It was soooo funny.  I will seriously miss these people. 

Okay, last funny thing from Lampang and then I will move onto Asoke. SO you guys all know how I got food poisoning in Lampang that one time on a switch off at the beginning of my mission?? Well this week, it happened again!! I don't even know what I ate, but long story short...I woke up in the middle of the night, felt way sick...but went back to sleep, then the next morning....long story short again, I barfed a bunch... and was too weak to clean it up for like an hour, so then when I went back into the bathroom, the bathroom was infested with ants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That will teach me. 

Anyways, I am so excited to be an SIster Training Leader in Asoke with Sister Coates.  Our district includes the Assistant's to the Mission President and Office Elders too, so sometimes, apparently, we get to do office work and other cool things too! Asoke is sooo busy too, I feel like we have just been running around and visiting a bagillion people which I LOVE, because I LOVE BEING BUSY!  Asoke also has 2 wards, an international one (full of people from all over the world) and a Thai one. We are involved in both, so on Saturday we got to go visit an less active from Sri Lanka. She had a bunch of kids in this tiny room and I don't think they get many visitors So it was really neat to visit them, as it made them so happy. We visited them with this other Sri Lankan member, and  this lady who is from Brazil who also went on a mission. Man, being here is making me realize how crazy the world is, and how lucky I am to be able to have this opportunity to serve these people. After, we went to this Sri Lankan restaurant where the owners were members of the church.  Sri Lankan food is pretty good too. Sister Coates and I were like, "this is Sri Lankan Saturday."

 Going to church here on sunday was soo different! It was crazy to go to church in English. I was asked to say the opening prayer, and it was the first time I have prayed aloud in English for a while. (I think I may have said some Thai words). Its weird how English can get rusty when you don't use it. That is why I feel like my grammar in these emails is awful. 
The international members are so  amazing. Lots of them are refugees, and this lady from Pakistan was telling me her story... it was so scary and sad, but the gospel really has brought her such peace, as well as to the many other refugees in the ward. The Thai ward was great too! Everyone is so fashion forward and fancy.  

Oh! and the other day this French guy walked into the church who had learned with the missionaries in France. I tried to explain a few things in French, but lets just say my Thai is better, anyways I could totally still understand him, but replying was difficult. 

Another really awesome thing about Sunday was I saw the Healy's! (Jon's parents) They are in Bangkok this week and it just so happened the week I got transferred here is the week they came! They brought me a bunch of American candy!! It was so cool to see them. One of my good friends from Mahasarakham, Sister Dew, also happened to be in Asoke so I saw her too! I will send pics. 

Everyone. I am loving being a missionary. It is seriously the best thing I have ever done.

My thought from this week is about trusting in the Lord. This week I was really worried about transfers and where my next companion, and area was going to be. I was sitting on the sleeper train coming to Bangkok and I couldn't sleep, so I opened up my scriptures.
This is in D and C 41:
"He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple; and he that saith he receiveth it and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple, and shall be cast out from among you"

While reading this I realized that wherever I was sent, that is where God would need me, and whoever I was with, is who I needed to be with, as such I realized in order to be true disciples, we need to do his will and not just say we are going to do it.  We also need to go with all of our hearts. Heavenly Father knows what is best for us and he knows better than we do what will make us happy. That is something I feel I have really learned on my mission. We can worry, worry, worry until we die, but in the end what is going to happen will happen anyways, and in the end will be for our ultimate good and happiness. Now, that is definitely not saying It won't be hard in the moment, missions are hard, and life certainly is hard, but I know Heavenly Father wants us to be happy, and that when things are prepares us for a great happier future moment...where we truly realize all these moments worked together for our good. 

I love Asoke, I love being a missionary... I miss you all, but you may have to drag me home when the time comes. 

I love you guys, 

Sister Remington 
This is me and my new companion on the "Klong Monster" - this dirty river boat water taxi...its soo loud..and fun!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Be Happy Now - There Is Good To Be Found In Each Day

Hey everyone!

This week was a good week ...we should get the transfer call today or tomorrow, so I will know if I am moving or staying in Lampang! I feel good about either, as it has been a great 2 transfers here!

Oh and this week Sister Maw got baptized! (I'll explain more at the end of the email) 

Last P-day we went and saw some caves! The caves were soo neat! There was so much buddhist stuff inside them, and we were the only people in there. At first we had to hike up this mountain to get to them, and the tour guides had to hike with us. They were all so surprised we spoke Thai (most people are), and it was so fun! I will send tons of pics.  Once we started exploring the cave, I was going to take this one direction, when the tour guide said to me, "don't go that direction...there is no air there!"  I was like, "Has someone died before?" And she was like, "Yes...." After that my district and I kept thinking we couldn't breathe, but it was probs all in our head. (So funny) The cave also had snakes and soo many bats!

This week I also had a neat experience. One day Sister Carrillo and I were taking a shortcut through this giant school campus in order to get to the church in time to teach a lesson. When I got to the church I realized I had lost my Thai Book of Mormon with all the highlighted scriptures etc. that I have used my entire mission. I was so sad. After the lesson, we went outside to look for it and it was dark, so we back tracked our way through the school and there was literally NO light. Sooo I grabbed our phone and started shining it around. I prayed that I would be able to find it, and almost immediately, my light landed directly on it. I was so happy to find it!  Truly amazing, as it was soo dark and that school is huge!  Prayers are answered. 

Oh! And this week I got my, "death papers" in other words the papers that tell you the day you end your mission. My date is April 28th (the transfer day). So I get a 3 week-ish extension. I will miss starting school for spring term, but it's all chill because then I get a month or so at home before summer term starts. It was soo weird getting that letter. (enclosed in it were a bunch of goal sheets too.) The next day I was thinking about how I can see the end of my mission, and how although I still have a long time left, it is for sure coming up...and when I thought this I teared up a little bit. My mission has meant so much to me, and I don't think I realized that until I got these papers... I mean I did realize it, but I feel it so much more now. I will be sad when it's over, but I don't need to think about that now...I have lots of time left! 

Sister Maw also got baptized this week! Bro S (her husband and someone who we taught that got baptized last transfer) baptized her! It was so awesome to see! She really has a testimony of the restoration, and it was so neat to see Bro S be able to baptize her. Their 2 kids should be getting baptized soon too.... I love teaching families! 

Okay, that's about all for this week...but I will leave you with a thought. It's kinda simple this week:

It's that life is short...missions are short, and sometimes life and missions can be hard, but when you look back you always can see why things happen the way they do, and how trials are for our good. Being on a mission has also taught me a lot about not postponing my happiness. Sometimes it's so easy to say, "I will be happy when _____ happens, or when ____ happens."  When we do this, life will just pass us by.  Be happy now...there is good to be found in each day! 

Love you all!

Sister Remington  

Cave entrance

Cave snake

Monday, November 2, 2015

Small And Simple Acts Of Kindness Matter

Hey everyone!! This week was a good week, i feel like so much happened...yet it went by really fast. And Sister M got baptized!! 

This week started off with President and Sister Johnson coming up to Lampang! It was really fun, and Sister Johnson even got to study and teach with us. I also had a really awesome interview with President Johnson. I have learned so much from them. During their visit, this one member went up to them and said, "These missionaries all need to be here in lampang for 6 months." It was funny and nice. The Elders also got to teach with President Johnson and they went with some members in President Johnson's rental car to someone's house. The one member was so impressed with how nice the rental car was she said, "I have never been in luxury vehicle before", while the other member kept urging President Johnson to "drive this car faster!"

This week I also got a haircut. I swear every time Thai people cut my hair they somehow work it into this giant knot and then give a look of horror, and spend forever trying to comb it out. (Until I eventually grab the brush and do it myself.) They don't realize my hair is different than Asian hair- haha. It was really funny though as like 3 different people were all trying to brush out my hair until I was like, "no, let me do it myself." 

Anyways.... some other funny stories this week...don't miss #5:

1. "The Accent"
Sister Carrillo and I realized how funny it must be for Thai people to hear us asking them to come to church. We imagined it must be sort of like a person that doesn't speak English with a correct accent coming up to us in America, and asking if we wanted to learn about Buddhism or something.

2. "I saw it on a Movie"
This one member who is a return missionary called us one day telling us to come to 7/11 where he worked, and when we stopped by he gave us and the Elders caramel apples! I was like, "How do you even know about caramel apples? And he was like, "Oh I watched this Halloween movie one time and saw that you guys eat stuff like this in America."  It basically made my day. 

3. "Allergies..."
 We went over to this member's house this week to do some service (helped her pick fruit), and we ended up teaching her husband.  While teaching her husband I started sneezing uncontrollably because I think I was allergic to her dog.  I literally sneezed for like the next 4 hours..... gotta love allergies. I am hoping her husband still got something out of the lesson...or at least understood what I was saying through all the sneezes. 

4. "Bananas"
This week we had a Halloween party! It was fun! I thought of a few games, bobbing for apples (naturally), and donuts on a string (thanks Grandma Cammy for that idea)....
However, after Sister Carrillo and I went and got donuts we realized that we didn't have any string, so brother S (our rc from last transfer) started hanging them all on the decorations at all different lengths and he also started tying bananas onto the strings too... it was hilarious. Everyone LOVED the party, as Halloween isn't a thing in Thailand. 

5. "I have been in Thailand for awhile"-

This week I had this moment where I realized I had been in Thailand for awhile as some of my standards have changed. One night I went to go eat the Reeses peanut butter Cup cereal Grandma Cammy had sent me, and found that I had forgotten to put it back in the fridge last time (you have to put everything in the fridge or ants get it) I thought,"I am sure its fine, it's in a bag and a box".  So I poured the cereal and started eating. As I was eating I realized the brown flecks in the cereal weren't chocolate, but ants and that I had already eaten quite a few! So I did what any rational person who hasn't had good cereal in a year would do, and picked out the ants and kept eating...ya...

This week one of our investigators, Sister M got baptized; she is 22 and is awesome! We have been working with her for quite a while and she has totally changed her life around. Her testimony was so cute too... she kept saying we would ask her to get baptized  a lot and she just didn't feel ready, didn't want to keep the commandments... but then slowly and surely she started to change her life... the Spirit would prompt her to keep a certain commandment, she received answers to prayer, and suddenly she found herself spending more time at church then she ever had partying. She also told of her experience in going to a different church and how that church just didn't feel right. I am so amazed at the miracle the gospel has had in her life. She said when she was standing in the water she had this thought come into her head, "Hey, why didn't I do this sooner." She is really a totally different person now, then when I first talked to her in English class.  Oh! I also gave a talk at her baptism! It is my first time giving a talk in Thai and it went pretty well! 

This week I really learned a lot from my interview with President Johnson. I won't go into specifics but he really helped me to feel a lot of peace about the work I have done so far on my mission. I feel like sometimes we are our own worst critics. The next day after the interview with him I was reading in Alma 38:3:
 "I say unto you, my son, that I have had great joy in thee already, because of thy faithfulness and thy diligence, and thy patience and thy long-suffering among the people of the Zoramites."

Which I changed it around to be:
"I say unto you, my daughter, that I have had great joy in thee already, because of thy faithfulness and thy diligence, and thy patience and thy long-suffering among the people of Thailand."

As I read this scripture I just felt Heavenly Fathers love for me so much, and I just know that he is pleased with my efforts, as small as they may seem to me. I know it is the same for all of you as well... no matter our situation in life, if we are striving to follow Christ we are making a great contribution. Don't ever let yourself feel discouraged, or that small and simple acts of kindness, love, and service don't matter...because they most certainly do, and slowly but surely are making you into who you need to become. I invite all of you to take the invitation from conference  to, "Pray and ask Heavenly Father what you are doing right." I promise he will tell you...he loves you, and wants you to know of his love as well. 


Sister Remington