Monday, September 30, 2013

Sinakarin Letter--September 30, 2013

Hey fam! It's great to hear everything is going well in the good old United States. :)

So...I guess I should explain my subject line. (Her subject line in the email was "No longer in Bangkapi.") Last Tuesday we got a call from the District leader that the next day is transfers because the Thai missionaries were coming in. The Thai missionaries go to the Philippine MTC instead of Provo so they come at a different time than the Farong missionaries. It turned out that I was moving. So, I ignored that fact while we had showcase night for English class (it went very well by the way - we reviewed, played a game, and watched Johnny Lingo). Afterwards we taught a lesson and then after that I told the members. It was really sad to leave Bangkapi but oh well. Everyone was telling me that leaving your greenie area is the hardest. Everyone was also really surprised that I was leaving because greenies usually stay in their area another transfer after training. I'm going to really miss the members from Bangkapi. I loved them so much. 

I am currently in Sinakarin, about an hour's drive from Bangkapi. It's another ward so I'm still being spoiled. I am currently companions with Sister Yim. She's from Hawaii but is 100% Chinese. She totally looks Hawaiian though. We are still trying to figure that out. She is super nice and so much fun. She is two transfers ahead of me. She's super easy going. She's around 23 years old and got baptized about two years ago. She looks 20 though. I love being out of training just because it makes me feel like now I can go out and do things whereas before I was "training". I feel like Sister Yim and I have a good balance for the lessons because our Thai is around the same level of ability. It's a lot of fun. 

In the apartment where we live there are two other Sisters as well: Sister Wiganda and Sister Bentley (a greenie that came a transfer after me). It is so much fun being with Sister Wiganda. I love it so much. Sadly she finishes her mission in 3 weeks. She has a lot of responsibility in this mission so it will be interesting to see what happens after she leaves. She is soooooo much fun. :)

So that's pretty much it for me here. Um....

So last night we made dinner at the church and a member helped us (Sister Wiganda and Sister Bentley had a appointment so they didn't get back until we were basically done). The member was cutting the meat and Sister Yim was cutting the veggies. I didn't have anything to do so I read out-loud from the Thai-to-English dictionary. Yup. I flipped to random pages and read out random words. So Thai lesson of the week: there are two different ways to say "suicide": "to kill yourself" or "to think short". Those are the literal definitions. I like the second one but I feel like the first one is more common. 

Another Thai lesson from my reading this morning. "To deliver the prey of the terrible" is, to those that have been plundered (the word plundered said twice but in two different ways) by scary-looking people, "to give protection". I love Thai so much =D

After church yesterday a member was asking us about something but the word he was saying sounded like a Thai word: "lasanya". The end of the word sounded like the word for "promise". He looked confused and we were definitely confused. Finally he said it was an Italian food. "Lasagna". Yup. It may be Italian but it kinda sorta maybe sounds Thai if a Thai person says it. Haha :) Problems like that come up somewhat frequently. A Thai person tries speaking to me in English and we can't understand them because 1, how they pronounce it, and 2, because we're expecting Thai. 

Oh, now that I'm in Sinakarin, I have finally had authentic mango and sticky rice. I hadn't had it in Bangkapi because Sister Orchard didn't like coconut. It's really tasty. But currently it's kinda expensive because the mango aren't in season. It Spring the mangos will be in season. I'm so excited for that. :) 

To Daddy's question: I'm pretty sure when I first got to Thailand, I asked President if I could go on Dropbox and I think he said yes. I can't remember if we actually had that conversation or if I was just thinking that I needed to ask him. I'm pretty sure we did have that conversation though. So.... Dropbox sounds good :) Also, there is a place in Sinakarin where I can print pictures from my flashdrive so I can now print the pictures you have emailed me. Yay :)

I'm trying to think if there is anything else to report. 
I think because Sister Yim and I have to understand Thai better now, the Lord has really helped us. Beforehand I was with Sister Orchard (who is basically fluent) and Sister Yim was with a Thai. We were always with someone that could understand everything (or basically everything) of what the other person was saying. Now we don't have the luxury. It's totally fine though because the Lord has made up the difference. We don't understand all the ones said but somehow we miraculously know the jist of what was said or what was asked. There have been some times where I've was listening to someone and I kinda understood them but not fully. And then that person asked a question. Somehow - I know by no power of my own - I knew how to answer their question. Even when I didn't really even understand the question. The Lord truly does have a hand in this work. He isn't about to let our inefficiency in the language stop His work from going forth. As long as we open our mouth and have the intention of speaking, the Lord fills our minds and our mouths with the words. The grammar may be awkward and there might have been a better way of saying it but He takes what we have and He makes it work. I have become very confident in speaking to people now. I'm not confident in my knowledge but I am confident in the Lord's promise that if we open our mouth, He will fill it. It's so amazing and humbling to see that promise fulfilled everyday. There is absolutely no way I could do this on my own. Literally no way I could speak as much Thai as I can and understand as much as I do without the constant help of the Lord. It reminds me of what Mom said in her letter about how mindful the Lord is of the Scotch Plains seminary class. He is so mindful of each and every person - each and every thing. He cares sooooooo much about every lesson with an investigator, every lesson for seminary, every hour of our day. He just loves us sooooo much. This mission is definitely helping me understand God's and Christ's love for us better but it is also helping me understand how much more I have to understand about it. Their love for us is infinite. Literally infinite. They care about every single human. Every single one of us whether or not we care for them or even believe in them. Paula is one of our investigators in Sinakarin. Last Sunday she got on a motorcyle and told the driver to take her to church, any church. He took her to ours. This Sunday she wanted to come back but she had no idea how to get back. Miraculously she saw the same motorist from the previous week and he was able to take her back. Another story: orginally Jane and Jeep (from Bangkapi) were planning on getting baptized on the 29th. A week after they picked the date, they felt they needed to change it to the 22nd. Because of that miracle I was able to see two of my favorite people that we worked so much with get baptized. Heavenly Father knows the past, present, and future perfectly. He knows the consequences of every action we could possibly take. He knows what is best for us and He really wants to guide us to the best and happiest path. He truly does love us more than we can possibly comprehend. 

Um...I think that's it for my end. I'm sending some pictures today. Hopefully I remember to bring my camera with me when we exercise in the morning so I can send you all the view from our roof. It's so cool. It's a mix of tall trees and tall buildings. It's so Thai. :)

I love you all so very much and pray that all is well where you are. Thailand is absolutely amazing and I love it here so much. 

~Sister Slaugh

P.S: On Saturday the RS had an activity where they taught Thai dancing. It's not easy. 
P.S.S: We did not watch the RS broadcast. We might be able to see it next week because it probably takes a week for translation. On a related note, Conference. We don't watch it Conference weekend. We watch it the week after because it needs to be translated. Luckily the church usually plays it in Thai in the sacrament room but also has it in English in a different room. Yay Conference! I'm sooooo excited! =D
P.S.S.S: This week someone told me the day I finish my mission. Apparently I should get home on Halloween. No one is allowed to count down the days but I thought you should know. It's really weird to think about. 

Much love!!! =D

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