Sister Slaugh gave this email the subject heading "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!"
Hello dear family (and friends)!!
Today is the Queen's birthday and therefore Mother's Day. Yesterday at church we had a Mother's Day celebration. I guess Mother's Day in Thailand is a much bigger deal than it is in America because the celebration was about an hour long (it took place an hour to two hours after church had ended). It was nice though. They had mothers sit up in the front and we gave flowers to them. I was invited (slightly and lovingly forced) into participating as well. So this is what you do: you get this cool flower bracelet and go up to the woman who you feel close to or who you consider like a mother to you (because a lot of the members don't have mothers who were there and a lot of the mothers didn't have children who were there). You kneel in front of them, give the flower-thing, and tell them why you consider them motherly or why you love them. I am describing it very poorly but it was really really sweet.
After the program we had a baptism!!!! Super exciting if you ask me. He was excited. We were excited. It was just happiness all around. Diw is just a sweet kid. I'm so excited for him to receive the Holy Ghost and then eventually get the Aaronic Priesthood. One of the Elders' investigators (Brother Dat) also got baptized yesterday. Super exciting.
While I am still thinking of the King and Queen, there is something else that I am going to tell you. Last week, President Senior told all the missionaries to get a 72-hour kit. He later clarified that this is not a food storage but just to make sure we have enough food and water to be good for three days in case we couldn't leave our apartments. One of the Elders in our district had asked President Senior why and this is the gist of the response: apparently the King is currently not in the country and the Prime Minister (who hasn't been in the country for quite a while) is coming back into the country. The 72 hour kits are just in case there are some protests that would stop us from going shopping for a couple of days. The reason I tell you this is twofold: 1) feel free to tell me any news about Thailand as I have no access to it here. 2) if anything happens, know that I will be 100% okay. President Senior is in constant communication with God and will prepare us. Know that I am and will be 100% okay and protected. :)
In other news, the work has been slow this week. We are trying to juggle finding less actives and finding new investigators. This week will be much better as now we know what we are doing. And...either this week or next week we will be moving! I had no issues with the house (because I came to Thailand expecting the worst) but apparently it is very big and not in the best condition and creepy. I agree on the last point. At night when we are trying to fall asleep I have to remind myself that the sounds of doors opening are coming from the other houses. It's almost comical. :) I think the most valid complaint about the house is that is inconvenient and could be safer. We have to cross a huge road to get to the church and to get home, we have to bike down a long road. The new apartment is much better on all accounts.
Let's see, fun moments from this week.
Last week while tracting we met a crazy and outspoken Thai lady. She didn't like Sister Orchard's bag or her nail polish color. And she had no issue whatsoever voicing that opinion. This week, on the way to a member's house, we had to take a different bus than the one we are used to. A random lady clarified for us which bus to get on and as it came to a stop at the bus stop, our crazy lady from the previous week looked out the window of the bus. She was bearing this really big and goofy grin. Sister Orchard and I couldn't help but laugh. This lady worked on the bus and collected the fares. Of all the buses in all of Thailand, we walked into her's (10 points to whomever can guess the movie from which I adapted the quote--ask Marissa if you need help). It was hilarious. On the bright side, she let us ride for free.
Point number two: I am so excited that I will be able to watch Thai soap operas when I get home. Whenever we visit Sister Ning, the soap operas are playing in the background. It'll be nice when I actually get to watch them. They look even more dramatic than American ones because 1, they are in Thai and 2, every TV show or commercial in Thailand seems really overly dramatic.
Oh, two clarifications I need to make from other weeks:
1) Last week's shopping. Don't worry, I don't go crazy when shopping. I have to exercise a lot of control when we go near the jewelry sections because everything is really cheap. But with last week, we were basically just spending time with a member and an investigator as the member prepared to go to England (for 6 months, not 3 like I previously thought). This isn't something we would usually do but Sister Yoo has helped us out so much lately. It was also good for us to spend more time with Sister Ning.
2) Cooking. When we made cookies (and then again when we made cupcakes for Brother Diw's birthday/baptism) we used the oven at the church. We don't have an oven at our house and we don't having a functioning hot stove either (we are too scared to use it). The cookies and the cupcakes were really good though. I also was reminded that things in Thailand are in Celsius and not in Fahrenheit. Let's just say it's a really good idea that my companion checked the cookies long before the timer was supposed to go off. Luckily that batch only had four cookies on it because it was the tester batch. :)
I think that's all to really report about Thailand. Looking at the records of less actives and of former investigators makes me really sad. All these people that could be so much happierand better off. I just don't understand why they wouldn't want this in their life. This gospel is 100% good.
Spiritual thought: I think I better understand why the scriptures say fasting is rejoicing. On Tuesday, Sister Orchard and I fasted for Sister Ning. It wasn't even hard to do so. Wednesday night we were talking to Ning and she said she had read all of Moroni. And she was understanding so much better. On Tuesday night, Sister Orchard and I were sharing a spiritual thought after English class and I felt the spirit so strongly. It didn't make sense because the people we were testifying to weren't even that interested. Sister Orchard said it was because we were fasting. Fasting helps you become so much more in tune with the Spirit. It was soo cool.
I think that's all for now. Thanks so much for the stories about the family reunion. It sounds like it was a lot of fun! :)
And happy birthday to Jon. and happy early birthday to Mommy, Daddy. Rachel, and Uncle Leslie! And happy belated birthday to Jayson! =D I love you all very much!!!! =D
<3 much love from Thailand,