Monday, April 18, 2016

The Top Of The Mountain- The Very Last Letter

Hey everyone!

Oh my goodness, I can't believe this is my last email as a missionary. As I have reflected over these past 18 months I feel so grateful to have been able to serve God. 

This Sunday I was invited to share my testimony in Sacrament meeting, and as I did so I felt so much love for all the people I have had the opportunity to serve (and may have shed a tear or two). I was also able to translate in Sacrament meeting for the new senior couple in Udon, and as I did so I thought to myself, "This is a miracle, I am speaking Thai right now.. and not really even thinking about it." Heavenly Father will work miracles through us for the benefit of his children. 

Reflecting over these past 18 months, I can't believe how much I have learned and how far I have come from where I used to be. I remember starting out my mission in the MTC and thinking that there was, "no way I could do this." I remember praying and learning that the atonement of Jesus Christ casts out all fear. 

Then I went to Thailand and started out in Chiang Mai. There i learned that missionary work is fun, and that it is so important to have hope. No matter what obstacles we are facing, if we have hope we are guided through. 

In Mahasarakham I was amazed to see miracles happen, as my companion and I were new and didn't know Thai perfectly..As such I learned that the Lord works through the weak.We were able to meet Brother Seens family, and see them be baptized as well as others. I learned that life isn't just about enduring, but that we can endure happily. 

Then in Lampang a tiny town in the north, we worked hard and had fun. We met some amazing people ready to give up there old lives for a new one in the gospel.. And I learned that the love of God can change anyone and any circumstance. 

Then onto Asoke! Oh man Asoke! The Big City! I remember being there and meeting SIster Sa from Cambodia and seeing Heavenly Fathers love change her life. I remember my companion and I learning that all things (even hard ones) work together for your good. 

Oh and Udon! A wonderful place, where I realized how important service is.

Writing all of this, I realized I can't even begin to describe all I have learned through the past 18 months so I just want to share my testimony and a few final thoughts:

The first is a poem that I wrote at the beginning of my mission, here is a version that was changed a bit by one of  my friends, and I think it is fitting to share on my last week. 

There is a mountain not far off
But rather close at hand.
Rocks like spires twist to the sky, and 
At its base I stand.

Vast boulders seem to block the way
To the summit...a great height
One step forward and then I climb,
Climb with all my might. 

Time drags slowly onward,
As I move along the trail.
I see a storm encroaching, and I think, 
"I very well could fail."

The way's not easy, not a bit, 
And I trip and fall.
Over and over and over again 
Until I hear a call:

"Take courage. This way's not easy, 
But worth it in the end-
Stand back up, keep walking...
Go just around the bend."

My heart heavy, faith low, 
I start to wish I had not begun.
But I get up, walk forward...
And then I see the Son.

He takes my hand and helps me 
Take those final steps.
The smile on his face seems to say, 
"My child you did your best."

"The way was not easy,
Your spirits often low.
But you listened and heard my voice-
that led you here you know."

I [will] at glorious vistas, 
Once hidden from my view
With gratitude for the savior, 
[when] my journey's [fin'lly] through. 

The second is the seventh verse of how firm a foundation.. it really struck me as I was watching conference:
"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!"

I know that God lives and loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is his Son..and is our Savior and Redeemer. I know that the perfect love of Jesus Christ casteth out all fear. The atonement isn't just for sins, but it is for us to do and be better, as well as for burdens we carry. Joseph Smith is a prophet,and we have a living prophet on the earth today. This church is true.   The Book of Mormon is true, and we can receive answers to all our questions through prayerfully reading and pondering this book. God hears and answers our prayers.I know that in living the gospel we find true peace and happiness. 
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. 


Sister Remington 

Friday, April 15, 2016

One More Week! Throw Buckets Of Water On The Farang for Songkran!

Hey Everyone!!! 

I can't believe this email is my second to last one as a missionary. (I will email once more on Monday).

Today is P-day because it is Songkran! The giant water fight!! Songkran is 3 days of a water fight to celebrate the Thai new year, so everywhere you go people will spray water at you! Yesterday when Sister T and I were trying to visit people and teach them, everyone kept owning us with water... Like I would ride my bike down the street, and get sprayed and buckets of water thrown at me by people on each side! It was crazy. People would yell, "Farang, Farang! (foreigner)" and leave Sister T and the other Sisters alone, and get me. The other sisters thought it was hilarious. So all yesterday I was soaking wet. Today we get to play too -  i am so excited! I will tell you more about it on Monday! :) 

Last night our house totally had a "Songkran" situation too. The water in the bathroom started leaking, so I decided to try and fix it, by putting more tape on the stuff that was already taped, however I ended up breaking the whole pipe!  Water started leaking through the ceiling, and it was bad....we also didn't figure out how to turn it off until today... oops. 

Also, randomly this week, my body decided to break down. It's like 44 degrees celcius here, and over the past week I got food poisoning, back pain, and a cold. I kinda laughed and just thought to body must know I am finishing my mission soon!  One day I tried to eat some oatmeal because I was like, "that's food from home, that will make me feel better." ... and as I was finsihing my oatmeal I realized it had ants all in it and I must have eaten like 50-100 ants. I just laughed and thought, "I have gotten to the third stage of eating food here in Thailand where you eat the bugs!" haha (Reminder...stage one is you throw the food away, stage two is you eat around them, stage three is you eat the bugs) 

Anyways, I am short on time so I just want to tell you guys what I liked from conference! 

I loved that Elder Holland talked about how we get credit just for trying. I also loved the talk where it quotes Sister Senior and her demonstration, "Can you see yourself in the temple?" I loved that because I totally got to help her with that in Chiang Mai last year. I must have held up that temple mirror to like a hundred people, and asked them in Thai, "Can you see yourself in the temple?" I loved that talk, and I thought how cool it was to have been a missionary this past year and a half, and have had the opportunity to, in effect, hold up the temple for others to see. As a missionary I have had the opportunity to teach many people about the temple and as I listened to that talk I felt so grateful for the opportunity. 

Okay I will email again Monday!

Love you all!

Sister Remington 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Oh Thailand.

Hey everyone!

You are probably all wondering why I didn't email yesterday. The reason is... yesterday was zone conference so our P-day was switched until today. Also my next P-day will be on THURSDAY APRIL 14TH as it will be Sonkran, the big Thai water fight next week. So don't forget to email me then :)

Anyways, yesterday was zone conference and it was so good! I was also able to share my testimony, along with all the others finishing their mission. It was a cool experience to just stand and share the things I know to be true. Today, I also finished the Book of Mormon in Thai (finally...) It has been really cool this last little bit to just reflect and to feel peace about my mission. 

Okay! Some really funny stories happened this week! 

1) Bugs in Thailand

Okay, so this past week I woke up in the middle of the night and my face felt kinda weird. I felt my face and my lip was SUPER swollen.. I immediatley knew that something had bit me. So I went to look in the mirror and half of my lip and eyes were SOOOO swollen. I started laughing I looked so funny. I also laughed because this exact same thing happened to Sister Lam, almost a year ago TO THE DAY. I was worried for a second, but then was like, "well she was fine, so I should be too." I went back to sleep and in the morning called the mission nurse who told me to take some benadryl, which helped...but also made me walk around like a zombie for the rest of the day. My lip was also numb for days after... oh thailand! 

2) The Rain Comes Down, and the Floods Came Up. 

Okay, so even though it is hot season in Thailand there was a day of crazy torrential rain. A lot of the people here in Thailand don't like the rain (and  for good reason) as the streets will always flood. So that day, a lot of our appointments cancelled. Right before we went home Sister T had to go pick up some medicine for this crazy rash she has. This was our 3rd time at the dermatologists as she has lost her medicine twice. We biked to the super fancy office in the pouring rain, and when we got there we felt too bad to go inside, as the office was super nice and we were soaking wet. However, they motioned us in.. and gave us towels and plastic chairs to sit the middle of the office. It was pretty embarrassing, as all these people were looking at us like, "what's up with them?" SO funny. The people at the office also thought it was hilarious that Sister T had lost her medicine again. Anyways, long story short we get the medicine and go back outside to our bikes....AND ON OUR BIKES THERE ARE COCKROACHES EVERYWHERE... I think they were trying to escape the flood by taking refuge on our bikes. We started laughing so hard and then biked home. Once home, we are about to go inside and we see this dead bird on our doorstop... we then lost it we were laughing so hard. oh thailand! 

3) April Fools

My joke was a bit lame this year, but I did turn the other missionaries bikes upside down and put some mops on them.. lame but ya know :) 

Okay, so this week I got some great news!! Sister Nok from Mahasarakham gets to be a missionary! So happy! One Sister in this mission needed to go to the Philipines MTC, so for the last 3 weeks of the transfer Sister Nok gets to serve as a missionary! This has been her dream for forever. 

Well, that's about all for this week but I want to close with some thoughts. Lately, I have been thinking a lot over my service as a missionary and evaluating if I really have served with all my, "heart, might, mind and strength."..and if Heavenly Father is pleased with my service.  As I have been thinking, praying, and fasting over this, I received an answer, and it came in such a specific way. I know that Heavenly Father is accepting of my service, and although I am by no means perfect, this mission is not the end, and I will keep striving to do and be better. I know God lives, loves, us and is always leading us a long. I feel such peace. 


Sister Remington