General Conference was soooooooooooooooo good!!!!!!!! =D I loved watching it. I kept on thinking about how good the talks were and how much they would help certain investigators. We asked our investigators and recent converts that came to conference to write (before conference) 5 questions that they had. We promised them that they would get their answer while watching conference. We did it as well and I definitely got some answers. One of the members that we are working with came up to us afterward and told us about how conference answered her questions. One of her questions was about the section in the D&C that talks about the Priesthood. She didn't understand it but apparently the talks in Conference answered all her questions about that section. It was so cool.
Last week Mom commented that she wondered if my notes from conference would be the same as hers. It amazed me how much the talks were so general yet so specific. Let me explain. The talks are meant for the entire world and therefore for a very general audience. While listening to the talks, I could see how much they were for Thailand as well though. While listening to the talks I thought how perfect certain talks were for certain people. The talks were about things that we were teaching our investigators or about things this mission is focusing on. In Thailand we are focusing on tithing because that is needed in order to get a temple. We are also focusing on strengthening Priesthood holders. There were so many talks about the Priesthood. One of our investigators (Sister Beer) had a lot of questions about the Law of Moses and the 10 Commandments and I felt that that was mentioned a lot too. Thailand has a lot of issues with not worshiping other gods, with gender confusion, and with not keeping the Law of Chastity. All of those topics were touched on often. I also loved how much the talks talked about enduring to the end. Missionaries are here to help people enter into the covenant of baptism. That is our purpose. But if people don't endure, what's the point of being baptized? Enduring is sooooooooooo important. There are so many people that learn of the truth of this gospel, get baptized, but then for some reason or another they fall away. Sometimes it's because they are lazy. They stop reading their scriptures and stop praying. They don't keep the Sabbath Day holy. They don't keep the commandments. I felt like the talks talked so much about keeping the faith and always doing the little things (scripture study, praying, and attending church). I feel like I'm rambling, so this paragraph probably didn't make sense. Sorry. :)
Thanks for sending the pictures of the flowers and bushes. :) And I was very happy to see the Halloween decorations in the window. It's weird to think that Halloween is coming up. What is everyone going as? I think I will wear black and orange and dress up as a missionary. :)
Mom asked a question about what I eat and where: We usually eat breakfast at the apartment. Currently I am in love with toasted sandwiches - toasted bread with peanut butter and jam. Soooo tasty. :) Sometimes I have yogurt. We almost always eat out for lunch and dinner. We frequent the same places because we know that food is good and safe. Sometimes we go to the food court at the mall (lots of different Thai food places). Sometimes we go to a market. Sometimes we go to these little places that sell food. They aren't restaurants per say but they are kind of like that. I guess they are kind of like street vendors. There are places to sit and you order food. Definitely not as fancy as a restaurant though. Sometimes we go to buffets. We went to three of those this week because Sister Wiganda is finishing up her mission this Thursday. Buffets are great but you are expected to eat so much. You eat and you get full. Then the native Thais that you are with tell you to eat more. And then you are stuffed. And then you eat more because you have to pay for any food not eaten. It's a lot of fun but there is just so much food. Native Thais are confused at how little us farongs can eat. Thais are all so small yet they can out-eat all of us farongs so easily. It's amazing. It's funny - at the end of the night at a buffet, Sister Yim, Sister Bentley, and I are all stuffed but the natives that we are with are still happily eating. I'm getting better at eating spicy food. It really depends on which food it is though. I still can't eat curry which is a problem because we have that basically every Sunday after church. One thing I love about eating out is that they make the food not-spicy but then you can add as many spices as you want once you get the food. I'm working on my ability to eat spicy food little by little. I just don't know what I'm going to do once I get home and everything is really plain... :) Sunday nights we make dinner at the church with the help of a member. Well... she makes dinner and we help her. Yay Thai food! =D
Dad's email about home teaching: That's one thing I really wish Thailand was better at. Because the church is still so new and there aren't that many active members, home teaching and visiting teaching doesn't really get done. It's so important though because it's a great method to keep members strong, to reactivate less actives, and to give every member a calling to magnify. I love home and visiting teaching so much. :)
Oh, and don't worry, we are staying very safe. We are very cautious here and in Sinakarin we can't even use bikes because the roads aren't safe for biking.
Raking leaves already? I guess I shouldn't keep you all posted on the temperature in Thailand then... :)
Mom's letter: that's so cool that so many people are going on missions! :) I feel like my theme for my mission has been Ether 12:27. That scriptures says that the closer you draw to the Lord, the more He shows you your weaknesses. A mission really helps you draw closer to the Lord and therefore I am seeing a lot of weaknesses. That's okay though because the scripture also says that if you rely on the Lord and are humble, He will make your weaknesses strengths. The closer you draw to the Lord, the more you see what you have to improve to be more like Him. But the more you draw unto Him, the more He helps you overcome your weaknesses. So I guess I would like that scripture on a plaque. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really want us to become more like Them. They won't force us though. We need to be humble first in order for Them to help us grow.
How's seminary going? And girl scouts and music boosters? How's the neighborhood and the neighbors? How's the library?
I am sorry to report that I don't think I had anything new and adventurous to eat this week. Last Monday a member took us to a really high-so (stands for high society. Thais use this word a lot to mean fancy and expensive) buffet at a hotel. At that we got cheese cake. It was sooooooo good. Cheese cake is super expensive here. Um... besides that... I'm eating more sushi. Um... I had liver the other day. We were at a buffet and a member had me try it. Not too bad.
Um... I think that is all to report. Our investigators are so much fun and I love them so much. One of them is named Sister Beer. She's super cool. Have I explained the Thai nicknames yet? Thai people have a first name and a surname but they also have an official nickname. Their first and last names are very long and are used for documents and for school. Their nicknames are used for everything else. Sister Paula is our other amazing investigator. She wants to get baptized at the end of this month.
Um... our zone leaders are having us focus on baptism a lot more while we are contacting. They want us to extend the invitation to get baptized with everyone we meet. It was hard at first just because I wasn't used to talking to people that way. Now it is a lot of fun. It's really good too because as missionaries, we are here to "invite people to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." Our purpose is to prepare people for baptism and to teach them why it is important. Now we are being more direct in our contacting. People know exactly what we are about when they meet us. We want to help prepare them to get baptized so they can be washed from all their sins and so that they can have eternal life with Heavenly Father and their families forever. :)
Um... I think I am timed on this computer (meaning I paid for two hours before I got on the computer) so I think I have to get off soon. I'll try to attach some pictures though.
Love you all very very very very very very much!!!! =D I'm really happy to hear about Benjamin and about the upcoming temple trip for Chris. Yay! =D
Sister Slaugh =D <3