Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sinakarin Letter--October 7, 2013

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm really behind on this blog. Sorry. I'll try to do better.
Anyway, here's the letter.

Hello dear family :)

So I guess I will answer Daddy's question (about moving) first:
     When you are moving, you have to bring all your stuff and your bike to transfer meeting. Usually (for those in Bangkok) this is done via taxi. It takes a while to find a taxi that is okay with carrying your bike too. Taxis are usually how you get to your new area as well. Sinakarin is a tad different though because we don't ride bikes in this area. The office takes our bikes and puts them in storage. The traffic and streets are too crazy for it to be safe to bike in. We just walk or use public transportation. :) 

This week has been good. It's interesting seeing how different areas and different missionaries work. Because Sister Yim and I live with two other sisters, it's kinda like a four person companionship. It's a lot of fun. We eat lunch and sometimes dinner together. We usually also head home around the same time because we all end up at the church by the end of the day. It's so much fun being with Sister Yim, Sister Bentley, and Sister Wiganda.  

In Sinakarin we do a lot of RCLA work. RCLA stands for Recent Convert and Less Actives. We teach a lot of members to keep them strong and help make sure this ward is really strong. On average, about 60 or 65 people go to church each week. There are more families (or at least married couples) than Bangkapi but Bangkapi has more members. On coming to Sinarkarin, I was told to make sure I have a really good relationship with members. About 8 months ago, the Bishop didn't like missionaries (Elders) because he felt that they didn't work enough with the members and didn't care enough about them. Sister Wiganda has been here for the last 8 months fixing that. Now he really likes us Sisters but we need to make sure that we keep up that trust and that relationship. If the ward and the missionaries are not working together, this work can't progress as well. 
There are a lot of really strong members here. They are so much fun to be with. There is one member that is basically the mom of every missionary that comes to Sinakarin. She eats with us on Sunday nights too. Hm... I guess I should explain that: every Sunday night, we four Sisters make dinner at the church. This member (Mee Nong) helps us make the food and then stays for dinner. It's a lot of fun. It's a great way to get to know that member because her only daughter is now in the States so Mee is really lonely. She likes to help missionaries a lot though which is nice. 

Something I have learned from being a missionary: the harder you work, the happier you are. I have found that the days I am the happiest are the days that I work the hardest. Last Thursday was one of the days. We went Dan Jonesing for a long time Thursday just because we had nothing else to do. We had planned for going about two hours but it was more like 3 because the member we had wanted to visit hadn't gotten home from work yet. So we just went inviting around her neighborhood and then at a park and then down the main side street. It was a lot of fun. We were just talking to a lot of people and having a lot of fun. On the way to the member's house we met two really nice people. One of them - Mr. Nick as he calls himself - is a taxi driver. He's gone to our church before because there was a Christmas activity that had free food. He was really friendly. In Thai culture, if a male is around the age of your father, you call him Paa. Mr. Nick was exactly Dad's age so I called him Paa by the end of our conversation. I think he thought that was really funny. He gave us his number and said that if he could get off work he would come to church. We may have told him that there is free food after church each Sunday (the members always eat lunch together). 

While we were walking down the main side street near the member, we met this really nice Buddhist man that I think worked at a pet shop. The reason we started talking to him? His three puppies were outside and we wanted to look at them. He picked up one of the puppies for us to hold. The puppy's name is Jenny. She was so fluffy. That man was probably really amused at how excited we were about the puppies but that's okay. He has now had a good experience with missionaries. I feel like tracting is all about planting seeds. When we went down the member's street, everyone knew who we were. We visit that member weekly so her neighbors have seen us a lot. We always strike up conversations with them, not always about gospel stuff. Her neighbors really like us and have gotten more interested in who we are and what we do. We are planting seeds in good soil. And these seeds will sprout one day.
When we realized that that member wasn't home we went to a nearby park. There were a bunch of guys playing a Thai sport and there were people watching as well. We watched them play as we talked with some of the people also there. We met a really cool family there. The mom especially seemed interested in what we had to say (about why we were here and about how the gospel blesses families and about eternal families) but when we asked for her number, she refused. That was really sad but we gave her our number and the church's address. One day. But yeah, the moral of that story is that working hard makes you the happiest. I love the days where I am just talking to lots of people. I love going out tracting because it's so much fun to talk to everyone. My favorite method is going to a bus stop and just striking up conversations with everyone there. The conversation always goes to who I am and why am I here so I am always able to share about the gospel. I just do it in a way that no one gets freaked out. 

Of course, now our zone leaders want us to be more bold and extend the baptismal invitation with everyone we meet. Sister Yim and I tried that Thursday morning but it was hard. She's somewhat shy and not very confident in her Thai and the bold approach isn't in my comfort zone. We are going to do it a lot more this week though. It was really funny on Thursday. I went up to a couple and said that I was a representative of Jesus Christ. He wants them to return to Heaven and the only way to do that is to be baptized. Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized? The girl said yes. We gave her a date (the 27th) and she agreed to it. I was so shocked. I was like, "Wait, what? Um... are you free this week so we can meet with you?" That's when the boyfriend stepped in and said that they weren't free. And then our bus came and we had to go. She has our number though so hopefully she calls. It was really funny though because I was really shocked. Then again, I'm not sure if she knew what I was talking about. When you ask Thai people a question, they always feel bad saying no. So...yeah. This week we are going to try that method a lot more. We'll see how it goes. 

The computer is going to turn off in about 10 minutes so I'm going to send this and then send some pictures. Love you much!
And Mom, thanks for the Conference talk summaries. We are going to watch them this Saturday and Sunday. Last Saturday we watched the Relief Society broadcast. It was really good. :)  [apparently Thailand gets conference a week late, partly because of the time difference (12 hours) and partly because of a delay in translation]

Much love from Sinakarin,
~Sister Slaugh

PS: One of my MTC teachers (Steven Thrap) is taking Microbiology from Uncle Bill. He says he is a good teacher. Brother Thrap was the teacher that I also had dance class with. Yup. Fun times.

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