Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bang Kapi Letter--July 29, 2013

Hey dear family! All is well here in Thailand. Thanks for the emails, I really enjoy reading them. :) The work is good here. Hard but good. Raining season is about to start but it hasn't hit quite yet. Biking in the rain hasn't been too bad and it's just really funny. I've only biked in actual rain (as opposed to spitting rain) once here. Thai people really do not like being out in the rain so seeing two white girls bike in skirts in the pouring rain must be a peculiar sight to behold. I've also only felt really hot here a couple of times and those have been right before a big rain storm when there is a lot of humidity. Apparently I just missed the hot season of Thailand. Luckily that means that I will be more accustomed to Thailand when I have the honor of dealing with that trial. :) I guess it's just because I am in the city but I haven't had to deal with too many strange things yet. No squatters yet luckily and very happily. This week I did have some strange food but nothing too bad. It'll be nice to be able to tell my kids about the foods I ate here. Monday night was my night of new foods. Any guesses? Chicken feet and pig's blood. Yup. I knew that I was eating chicken's feet because the member whose house we were at warned us about the bones. I did not learn that I was eating pig's blood until after Sister Orchard and I arrived back home. Not too bad in all honesty. Chicken feet was hard to eat though because there just isn't a lot of meat on their feet. The way to eat this delightful dish is just to stick it in your mouth--bone and all--and just suck or eat the meat off the bone. Afterwards you take the bone out. The member kept on giving me some. Oh well. :)

I guess since I already told you about Monday's dinner, I'll tell you about Monday's day. We made cookies which was a very happy process. They tasted quite good. Sister Orchard and I enjoyed eating some cookie dough as well. Sister Moo invited us over for FHE that night with herself, her daughter Ming, and another member Jane. We took half the cookies to that, saved the other half for district meeting the next day, and we still have about half the dough left. After we had made cookies, I had a headache but I accounted it to not drinking enough water. So we went to Sister Moo's house and apparently when missionaries are invited to FHE, they are the ones who are supposed to plan the activity. We wrote numbers on some Jenga pieces and made a list of questions about personal preferences (favorite flavor of ice cream, etc.) and about things of a more religious background (favorite prophet, what does *insert scripture here* mean to you, etc.). It was really fun. Sister Moo is a recent covert and has a really strong testimony. I really like her and her daughter. No idea about Sister Ming's father though. Related side-note about Thailand: single mothers are VERY VERY VERY common here. At this ward, most of the mothers are single mothers. 

Anyway, back to Monday. So you already know about what Sister Moo fed us. Different but not bad. I was a dutiful missionary and ate what I was given. The Thai people are very very happy when you eat their food. Honestly, if you want a Thai person to like you, eat the food they give you and love it. Members really like me because I am willing to eat their food and because I look like a child. I'll tell you more about that later. But so when Sister Orchard and I returned home, we went straight to planning and preparing for bed. I felt totally fine and of great health. Well, I couldn't really sleep that night due to an upset stomach. Around 12:40 I threw up. Unfortunately for my throat and my energy level, I threw up 6 more times between the hours of 1 and 6am. Not fun. On the bright side, I can now add the entry-way to the bathroom to the list of odd places I've slept. :) We aren't really sure why I had food poisoning. as Sister Orchard ate the same exact things that I ate. And I'm pretty positive it wasn't from dinner. Maybe from the cookie dough even though I have eaten cookie dough my entire life with no problem and Sister Orchard ate the same amount as I did. Who knows? Oh, another bright side. Charcoal. Honestly, it's great. It comes in a pill and you swallow it. The charcoal then surrounds all the yucky stuff in your stomach and gets it out. Very helpful. :) And I would like to remind you, I am of great health currently. Fear not, Sister Slaugh is healthy and happy and still willing to try new foods. 

Tuesday was an uneventful day full of meetings, English class, and Sister Slaugh sleeping to try and renew her energy levels. English class was good but in low attendance due to the rain right before English was suppose to start. Thai people really do not like going out in the rain. That's probably because their mode of transportation is walking, motorcycles, or public transportation (which you get to by walking). I am finally getting the hang of how to teach English. It's pretty fun. :)

Wednesday. We finally were able to get in all four hours of studying! yay! Monday we ran out of time and Tuesday I slept during the study time. The day always goes so much better when you get all your studying in. I honestly have a testimony of studying the scriptures before leaving the house for the day. Our days are always so much more productive and fulfilling when we start with studying. Things just work out during the day that you don't expect. For example: Sister Ning was free for us to teach her even though she originally did not think she would be. We were able to teach people at the post office because we had to wait for about an hour for our number to be called up. We ran into two members (Sister Ploy and Sister Jane) upon leaving the post-office who wanted to help us teach Sister Ning which was a blessing because Sister Ning has been scared to go to church because she doesn't know anyone and the member who usually teaches with us (Sister Yoo) was feeling sick. Another blessing was that we had enough time to get ice cream with Sister Ploy, Sister Jane, and another member (Sister Eve - recent covert) afterwards (Sister Ning and her son had to go home and couldn't join us) for Sister Ploy's birthday. So yeah, Wednesday was a really great day. :)

Thursday was also a good day due to getting in all the study hours. We also do our weekly planning on this day. I love weekly planning. It's so nice to be organized and to plan out what we want to teach our investigators (in Thai this word means person who is interested) and our recent converts. Weekly planning makes the week soo much smoother. Sister Gaataay (recent convert) called us and asked if we could teach her. We talked about obedience and how God gives us commandments because He loves us. I really like teaching about this because I love how it's a different way of looking at rules. God gives us commandments to keep us safe and to help us have more agency. Commandments don't restrict us. There is one scripture in the D&C that talks about how commandments prepare us for living us with God again. Oh...speaking of on Monday we were biking and when we got to the church, my scriptures were no longer in my basket. We retraced our steps multiple times and came to the conclusion that my scriptures did not fall out of my basket. Because scripture cases look like purses or bags, there have been previous instances where people have stolen scripture cases from missionaries thinking that they would find money inside. There is no money inside; only the most true and powerful book to have ever exist. But yes, I am now without scriptures. Luckily our house had an English triple from a previous missionary. I know the words inside are the same in every book. It's just sad because now I don't have access to an English Bible and I've had that same set since I was a child. So...parents...if you wouldn't mind too terribly...can you send me a new set of scriptures? Sorry maag (maag means very). I really am. Really really really.

Um... the rest of the week has been pretty good. We went inviting at a mall which was nice. People asked us questions because of our badges. Saturday night we went out to dinner with Sister Ning and her daughter who is 7. This daughter is amazing! There is definitely something to be said about the purity of children under the age of 8. Ditdii has reminded her mom to read and pray during the week. On Wednesday, Ditdii walked into her mom's room and asked her mom if she had read yet. Ning responded that she hadn't yet. Ditdii then reminded her that Sister Slaugh (Sister Orchard was teaching another lesson at the time) had said that it was really important that we read and pray every day. The amazing thing is that Ditdii had kept on walking in and out of that lesson. Miraculously, she was in the room when we were talking about the importance of reading and praying every day. That was super cool for me to hear. :) After dinner, we were going to go tracting and Ditdii really wanted to go with us. So she, Sister Ning, and Sister Yoo joined us. Ditdii is adorable to the highest degree. We are going shopping with her and Sister Ning and Sister Yoo today so I'll get a picture for next week. Tracting with two investigators and a member was a lot of fun. I really loved it. 

Well, we have to go so that means I have to end this letter. I love you much!!!!! Hope all is well in New Jersey! =D

~Sister Slaugh

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