Monday, March 28, 2016
Hey everyone! This week went by sooo fast!
This email might be kinda short, as I can't really remember too much of what happened, but lets start with funny stories!!
1) Teaching a member
This week we went to go visit a less active member. She is so nice and was speaking to us in Issan and trying to get us to eat clams. It was awesome. Then out of nowhere she's all, "Everyone in this neighborhood knows I will always be Christian, because look at my house!" Sister T and I look at her house and right there in plain view was a giant white cross nailed to the front! We both started laughing as this member said, "ya...missionaries never notice, usually they come like 4-5 times and then I tell them, and then they'll notice."
2) Rats in the Restaurant.
This story just proved to me how long I have been here in Thailand. This week we were eating at this food place by the side of the road, and all of a sudden we see a bunch of rats running around on the ground! Sister T and I just look at each other and keep eating. We laughed later because we realized how much that may have phased us at the beginning of our missions, and it's like nothing now.
3) The Easter Activity
We helped put on an easter activity that everyone came to. When we finally gathered everyone together for the Easter egg hunt, there were a lot of older women there. When we started the hunt it was seriously the funniest thing ever to see them run over each other to grab the eggs! These older ladies were soo competitive! We were all laughing so hard.. I love Thailand.
Anyways, we had some cool miracles happen this week as well. The first being when we had two people yell, "Sister!!" at us as we were going by. Both times we turned around to go back and talk to these people (as a missionary it's not everyday that people know who you are), and we ended up meeting 2 less active members that we will hopefully be able to start working with soon!
Another cool moment happened in this lesson with a less active member. We had given him Ether 12 to read as a commitment the last time we taught him, and he had some questions about it. We went over his questions and it turned out he felt really concerned about going to church, as he doesn't feel he is good at writing and taking notes. I then looked at Ether 12, and as you would have it, there was this scripture:
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Sorry I have been a bit bad at emailing lately. I have been really short on time.
Anyways, last Sunday Sister Deek got baptized (back in Asoke)! It was so awesome to teach her and see her progress! It all started with an RC who introduced her friend, who got baptized, who then introduced Sister Deek. When people share the gospel with their friends, miracles happen. I would seriously encourage you to find friends to share with! Your friends will know you are sharing because you love them, and you never know what could happen!
Udon has been so great!! My new companion is Sister T from Hawaii. She lived in the same house as me when I was in Mahasarakham. Anyways, in order to get here we took a motorcycle taxi, complete with my bike strapped to the back, as well as a 10 hour train ride!! Pulling my luggage and bike on the train, I realized how tired my body has become lately. I think the last year and a half might be catching up! But I am ready to work harder than ever this transfer.
Being in Udon I have had more opportunities for service than ever before on my mission! Just this week we helped a member with her sewing business, helped another member sort through garbage to find clear bags to sell (oh and while we were there, her neighbour lit the trees on fire, so we almost helped put that out too), another member move houses, and another member set up her store. It has been so fun! I love service.
Udon is a fun place, the members are awesome, and it is soooo hot! It was 41 Celsius this week, but I am LOVING riding my bike everywhere!! I miss the Asoke members, but all in all I am happy to be here!
Oh! This week we were eating at a restaurant and this guy from Australia comes up to us and says, "When you are done eating will you come sit by me and my girlfriend and tell me about what you believe." We of course accepted, and it turns out this guy had seen lots of missionaries in Australia, but never had time to learn what they believe. He wasn't interested, but was very respectful and told me that he appreciated our conviction in what we believe.
For P-day today we went on a hike! It was soo pretty! However in order to get there we went in a Songthaw (benches in the back of a truck) for a lot of hours... it was really hot and at the end of it one of the members commented, "เราไม่ได้ไปเที่ยวเราไปทรมาน" which basically means today was a bit hotter than expected, and as such, it was not much of a break to hike the mountain. (It makes more sense in Thai.) Also, on the way there we all played this spelling and word game...it was really fun, but also made me realize how awful my English has become; I was spelling things wrong all over the place. I spelled the word Animal, like "Anamil"....... Granted it was early in the morning... but still. However, it was nice to talk to all the other missionaries and realize they felt the same. haha
Well, that's about all for this week. So I just want to close with a brief thought, which is: being a missionary is really happy. Lately I have been reflecting on some things, and I have come to the realization that although missions are hard, you really do feel more peace and happiness than ever before.
I really like Ephesians 3:17-21
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Love you all!
Here are some pics from last week:
These are the first Sister Missionaries that were in Thailand.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Its so weird it is P-day today!! There is soo much to do, so this email may be a little short...
So the big news.......................I AM MOVING TO UDON ON MONDAY. So for my last transfer I get a new area in the Essan so I get to ride my bike!! I am so stoked! But I will miss the members in Asoke so much .. But I am ready to work hard out in the Essan!!
These last few days have been good! I ate frog with a member, taught some investigators, and ate a lot of fro-yo because it is SO HOT.
This week I read this scripture that sums up my feelings about my mission thus far.
It is in Alma 29:13:
"Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full."
As I read this I reflected on my mission and this calling as a missionary, there have been good times and hard times, but all in all, as I have preached His word, a lot of amazing things have happened and my joy has been full. All those people who tell you before your mission that they were happier than ever before on their missions really mean it. You just come to love the people so much, and you learn so much about the gospel. Its hard to describe.
Anyways, this week I had one of those happy experiences with an RC who Sister Coates and I met on the street and taught. She is from Cambodia and is possibly one of the best people ever. She wants to read the Book of Mormon in Thai (she has lived her for over 25 years), but sometimes doesn't quite understand... but that doesn't stop her! She told me she has been dedicating over 3 hours a night to reading and re-reading so she can understand. She loves the story of Nephi and Laban. I asked to see her scriptures, and to my pleasant surprise, they were highlighted and colored with notes, sticky notes and pen. She would write notes about who was who, and next to the scriptures she really likes she adds a sticky note with the word, "like" written on it. I asked her what it meant and she looked at me and said, "Like, Sister Rem,... it's same-same as Facebook you know?" She is the best.
She also told us her ultimate goal is to go back to Heavenly Father, and she will do and sacrifice all she needs to in order for this to happen. Her faith is amazing and I felt so happy to have been able to teach her. The gospel changes lives.
Well that's about all I have time for this week!! I love you guys!! Talk to you not this monday but next monday!!
Monday, March 7, 2016
Oh man, it is finally kinda hitting me that this is my last transfer! I have 6 weeks left... where did all the time go??
Also before I forget, transfers are next Monday, so our next P-day will be this
Saturday. So don't forget to write me friday night ;)
So in other words by the end of this week, I will know where I will be my last 6 weeks, and who I will be with!
This week I had some amazing experiences...so I will get to explaining them:
At the beginning of the week we went to visit this member, of around 10 years, who lived in the slums. At first we were going to see her at night, but then she told us it is too dangerous at night so we needed to come during the day. During the visit she told us of her becoming a member of the church, her children falling away, and how she came to take care of her grandchildren etc. But then something she said really hit me. She was talking about how when she was first a member, she was always reading in the scriptures about how God is only in clean and holy places etc., and as such she didn't think that God would ever be with her in her tiny wooden house in the slums. But then one of her friends at church told her, "God knows you...he knows you are trying to follow Christ, and he knows your heart, so of course he will be with you." After this she then told us that she believed the scripture in Samuel that, "Man looketh upon the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh upon the heart." As she said this I felt how true that was....here she is a wonderful, faithful lady, doing her best in her calling, and trying to help others....and always, always sharing her gratitude for her blessings. She kept saying how blessed she had been since she had become a member. One of the things she mentioned was how before she was a member she had a dirt floor, and now she has like plastic covering over the dirt! She was so grateful for that simple thing like the plastic covering on the floor.
Then the very next day we went to dinner with a member from the International Ward, where we dipped our fingers in rose petals and lemon before we ate... I can't believe the experiences I am having.
Circumstances 100% don't determine happiness....attitude does.
-Me getting some salad for dinner, and this girl asking me if I was a missionary and where she could go to church. She wrote down and asked for OUR number....that doesn't happen everyday.
-Sister Deek is getting Baptized next week!! (if all goes well)
This week I really learned the power of fasting too. In the International ward they shared this quote that when you fast, "You give the Lord a crust of bread and he gives you a loaf." I saw this happen this week with regards to the things I had fasted for the week before. Without going into too many details, this older member shared her testimony this week in which she quoted from my talk and told everyone how much my talk and the Spirit had touched her. She said she had never before really written anything down without her daughters help, but as I was speaking she was able to get it all down. So that was a cool answer to prayers.
The last thing was we had an amazing lesson where our American investigator was really touched by this scripture. Romans 8:16-18
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
This week I really feel like I learned that, "The Lord can do his own work." As missionaries we are simply the tools in his hands. It is a great joy to be a missionary to be able to feel of God's love in his service. There is nothing like it.