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 couples...it 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 sleep...it 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 teaching...you 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 switchoff...it'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,