Monday, April 16, 2012

Still catching you up...

We really hit the pavement hard in March with inviting and tracting. Many hours spent out in the blistering sun but we found some people that I think have some potential. We found a Christian family who goes to church every Sunday but has never learned about the Mormons so they let us in and we talked about the BOM and the importance of another book besides the Bible. They are way good at English as well. We have a return appointment with them.

Speaking of the Bible, I got handed a Bible while we were handing out English class fliers last week. It was way random - this guy grabbed our flier and then reached in his bag and handed me a blue English/Thai New Testament. I told him I already had one and tried to give it back to him. I should have given him a BOM but I didn't have time, he walked away too fast. Oh well, at least I got a cool new English/Thai new testament. Haha. I am also studying more in the Bible in my personal studies because I am almost done with the BOM for the fourth time on my mission.

Khob is pretty cool. He is very good at English - way better than he is at Thai. We got to sit down and talk about the restoration and the BOM a bit. I have had opportunities to speak a little English here and there to people from other countries but I have only taught a few lessons in English since being here in Thailand. It is good in the fact that there aren't ever any miscommunication issues while talking but I think because I teach in Thai all day everyday it makes it hard to teach in English. I find myself thinking of the words in Thai and then I have to translate them to English and say them. I have just decided that I would love to serve in the International branch in Asoke. There are people from all over the world that go there and learn about the gospel. Lots of people from America as well that live their with their families who are members. I hear it is a very successful area.

Found another nice family who let us in when we were tracting. It's a husband and wife named Mai and Boo. They also have a little girl who is 7 and a girl that lives at their house to do cleaning who is from Burma. She speaks Thai a little too. We introduced about the restoration and the BOM with them. We also found a guy named A. He is Christian and has ben since he was little. Introduced about the story of Joseph Smith and the BOM and the importance of having another witness of Jesus Christ on the earth today. We will also be teaching him and the family more.

Made some good progress with other investgators like Naat who came to watch oonference, Fang as well. Fang is moving into her brother's house from her apartment with her boyfriend so she can keep the Law of Chastity. Way excited about that. She really wants to be baptized and I want her to. Sheh is reading, praying and starting to understand better about the BOM and the restoration.

I had a cool experience with a student at English class. Her name is Tam. She is an English Major so she speaks really well. She says she is Muslim and cannot change religions no matter what. I think because she married a Muslim person. She loves coming to English class and talking to members at the church because she feels really good and knows we are happy. She wanted to know why we were so happy so we introduced a little about our beliefs and about the BOM. She has lots of questions so I told her the BOM would answer all of her questions if she reads it. She really liked talking to us because it is the only relgious place she has gone where nobody forces her to do anything. She likes how we just share the things we know are true without forcing it on anyone. She even wanted to pay tithing because she wants to help our church.

Easter came and went here without even a hint of Easter in Thailand. I even forgot it was Easter. People in Thailand don't even know what Easter is and there is no word for Easter in Thai. Even members would come up to us and ask us what Easter is and why we celebrate it. We then explain that Easter Sunday was when Jesus was resurrected. Then they get really confused about why we paint eggs and who the Easter bunny is.

To catch you up...

New tag written in English and Thai

Pretty Sunset

My Mom's computer got a virus and was in the shop getting fixed. She didn't post for a while so I am going to catch you up.

Elder Lyman and I broke some records. I like statistics and stuff so it is fun to look at different key indicators each week and compare them with past weeks, add them up and do averages. Ha I'm a herd! This last Tuesday we taught 11 lessons with a member in one day and got 9 new investigators. I know missionary work is definitely not all about the numbers but it does help to keep ourselves accountable.

The funniest thing happened. I was talking to a member yesterday at church who I had never seen there before in our Bangkapi ward. So we are talking and found out he lives in Utah...in Orem. I was like, oh I know someone in Orem who is Thai named Anjida. He and his wife said, yeah, we know her and her husband Nathan Draper. Then it clicked. They were the two people that came over to visit the night we had dinner at the Draper's house before I left on my mission - way back when I didn't know anything about Thailand or the Thai language. What a small world! They are only here for about one more month and then will be heading back to Utah. Way funny don't you think. Here's a picture of us -


I met up with Elder Wright and McDonald at my moves meeting February 23rd. It was way good seeing Elder Wright. He is heading up to Nong Khai into my old district. I told him he will love it, rght on the border of Laos. He looks way good and will be a good missionary. Our District Leader, Elder McDonald is going home now as well as Elder Martins, my first companion. He got sick and so he is leaving six weeks early. The new District Leader is Elder Jensen and my companion changed from Elder Lyman to Elder Heslop.

Elders McDonald, Me, Wright - they are from my stake back home. Elder Wright and I played baseball together at AF.


Elder Wright and I

My District - Elders Jensen, Sigma, Me, Lyman, Sisters Malin, Alisa

My bald father (Elder Martins) and I before he died (went home)

We ate cobra! It was the craziest thing ever. He had tons of snakes. We were able to choose the one we wanted and he sliced it open. I thought it was dead, nope. That thing never died. He took out all of it's guts and it's heart and left only the skin. It kept moving no matter what. It's heart was still beating. It's mouth would still open and close even with no body! Crazy. Then he fried it and dumped garlic on it. Pretty good tasting actually for the meat that was on it. I love doing stuff like that. Way crazy.

Cobra Guy

Garlic fried cobra

Us and crazy cobra guy

E Heslop and I met a man named Khob while handing out English fliers. He lived in Germany for 28 years which is cool because we have a member at church named Albert who is German and lives here with his Thai wife who also lived in Germany for a really long time. We will try and get them to fellowship him a little bit which will be good. He seems pretty interested in learning about what us missionaries do. He said he has seen us all over the world but never really had an opportunity to talk to us.

We're heading into the hot season here now. E Heslop and I got pretty sunburned out tracting. One good thing about the hot season - there is tons of fresh fruit everywhere. Mango's! They have a big mango festival at the mall close to our house. Sticky rice and mango with coconut milk is so good!!

Had my first encounter with the Jehovah's Witnesses here in Thailand. We don't get them much here. We were sitting on a song thaew (truck with benches in the back of it). We just talked for a little bit before we had to get off. Pretty interesting.

Friday, April 6, 2012

One Year Ago

BIRTHDAY/HUMP DAY

Can't believe I'm 20 and I entered the MTC over a year ago. I turned 20 on Wednesday, April 4th. I can't believe I won't be a teen anymore. Does that mean I am an adult now? Noo. Thanks everyone for your Happy Birthday/Hump Day emails and letters. Didn't do anything too special. There were some students from English class who bought a little cake at the nearby 7-11 and sang happy birthday, that was way nice of them. The Bishop's daughter named Stamp had a birthday on April 2nd. She turned 20 as well. She works at Swensen's and bought me a 2012 Swensen's Club Card for the entire year. It gets you 10% off every purchase and is a buy one scoop get one scoop free on Tuesdays. Way nice of her as well. One of the sister missionaries, Sister Malin in my district had her birthday on the same day as mine. The Elders made dirt sundaes before bed and sang happy birthday to me.

Thanks for the Easter/Birthday/Hump Day package. Loved it! So much good stuff in there - Reeses, girl scout cookies, electric toothbrush! Loved it all. You guys are the best!

My year mark was Friday, April 6th. For my year mark we did a service project at the Bishop's house for a few hours painting his fence that was damaged in the flood. The flood got really high around there. In their house it got a few feet high too.

Loved conference. It was much more enjoyable than last October's conference for sure. We got to watch it in Englih. The 2nd counselor was really nice and brought a TV from his house for us to watch it on. Saturday sessions were great. I enjoyed talks from Elder Holland, Oaks, Hallstrom and lots of others. We had to watch the Priesthood session in Thai because the disc got copied wrong. I definitely can say that I enjoy conference a lot more as a missionary, I don't know why, maybe because it gets us away from normal everyday missionary work for 10 hours on Saturday and Sunday and because we eat, sleep and preach the gospel 24-7 - it just makes us extra grateful for the words of the prophets, apostles and all of the leaders of the church. Maybe too because we are so far away in Thailand, conference reminds me of home, but we can still feel the spirit just as strongly as if we were there.