Friday, November 29, 2013

Chiang Mai Letter--November 26, 2013

Hello dear family! What's up? Life has been good here in Thailand, really really fun. That's sad to hear about the protests in Bangkok. That's the reason, a couple of months ago, President Senior told us all to have 72 hour kits--in case there was a protest nearby and we couldn't leave our house. 

The mission has been good. Being in a trio is literally so much fun. It was somewhat odd at first and we all had to get adjusted but now it is just fantastic. We laugh all. the. time. We break out into song all the time. We sing a lot of disney songs and often change the lyrics to fit what we are doing. It is so much fun. I love Sister Ng and Sister Norrell so much. It's fun because Sister Ng is the group ahead of me in the MTC and I am the group ahead of Sister Norrell. Teaching is a lot of fun too. We all have different teaching methods but they all fit together so nicely. 

Last Monday we tried going to a parade but it literally poured. We got soooo soaked and we had to run home in the rain. It was soooo much fun! I love rain storms. The native Thais were kinda freaking out because they don't like the rain that much (they get sick easily). They thought it was funny how much fun we were having though. Afterwards we went to 7-11,  bought chocolate milk, went home, and had hot chocolate. It was great. 

Tuesday. We were kinda sick that morning but not too badly. We felt a lot better towards the end of the day. English class was normal. The Ure's are in charge of the English program for Thailand which is cool. Because I'm Chiang Mai's English leader, Sister Ure talks to me a lot about how to improve it and we just talk about the program. It's really great. She used to be a teacher or principal or some kind of educator. It's really helpful. 

Wednesday. Normalish day. We had a lot of appointments set up (due to this new inviting method) but no one showed up. That was kinda hard. Luckily, there is a lot of organization we can do at the church while we wait. In the missionary room, there are tons of binders of member records with little to no organization. We've been going through them with members while we wait for appointments. It's great but I wish the appointments didn't always fall through. Usually appointments are pretty good and don't fall through but this past week. Wow. We were able to visit and get to know a lot of members though which was great. It's super important to search for the 1 but you can't forget the 99. This upcoming week will be more focused on the 1 though. It should be good. 

Thursday. Ummm... honestly don't really remember much. Just another day. Every Thursday we plan for the upcoming week. 

Friday. Friday was interesting. We went to visit Sister Iit (the one baptized in the beginning of November). We usually can just drop in at work because she cuts hair and a lot of time she is just waiting for the next costumer. When we stopped on Friday, she was currently doing someone's hair. The costumer (native Thai)'s friend (farang) was sitting on the coach. We decided to sit down too and just wait for a bit. The friend looked at us and asked if we were Mormon. We were slightly surprised that she recognized that we were Mormon from our badges but it wasn't out of the ordinary. She told us that she was a Jehovah's Witness. I was the main person talking to her so the conversation was always very respectful and polite but still kinda awkward. She asked how the ministry was going and how we learned Thai so quickly. She was really friendly and was honestly just curious. She asked us to clarify what we believed because she didn't know. When we started to explain, Sister Lit finished up the native Thai's hair so the native Thai (Nii) joined in the conversation too (so I never had time to explain). Nii is in her early 30s and the farang in her late 20s. They have apparently known Iit for about a year. Nii was definitely more aggressive of the two. She was talking about the Bible a lot and was asking questions why they are so many churches and all that. She wants to meet with us this upcoming Friday at 2 at Sister Lit's to discuss why there are so many churches. She told us to make sure we brought our Bibles. She understands the Great Apostasy really well (she was telling us about it) but the entire time she was talking, she seemed slightly hostile. Her motivation wasn't simply curiosity. I'm kinda scared to meet with them but I think we will. But before we talk about anything we are going to clarify our purpose. We aren't here to fight. We aren't here to Bible bash. We are here out of politeness and to explain where our church came from. We are going to be very respectful and polite. If we feel like they are just there to Bible bash, we will stop the conversation. At the end of that conversation (when we set up the appointment) there was a somewhat awkward pause, almost as if they were waiting for us to leave. We were not leaving Sister Iit's place before them. After a little, they gave Sister Iit a pamphlet and left. Now this is why I love Sister Iit. Afterwards we and Sister Iit talked about any of her questions from the Book of Mormon or anything else. She had some really good questions. She reads the scriptures every day. She really thinks and ponders about what she reads. She told us that she's read the pamphlets of the other churches. She says that they have a lot of truth but they aren't complete. She said that they were nice but she never felt the Spirit reading them. Sister Iit is so strong and so good. She has such a strong testimony. 

Saturday.  I think we had choir practice. Yay Christmas songs. Only probably, the Christmas party here (it's two days long) will be when the missionaries are in Bangkok. We told the choir director and he still wants us to come to practice. I think he is going to see if we can change the date of the Christmas party. 

Sunday. I was at church for 12 hours. Branch 2 starts at 9am and goes till noon. Branch 1 (my branch) starts at 1 and goes till 4. Then afterwards we all eat together and then have meetings. And appointments. And meetings. We were at church from 8:30am till 8:30pm. I was sooo tired by the end of it. I love church but 12 hours? That's a lot. 

Monday was amazing. We had Mission Tour. President and Sister Senior came up to talk to all the missionaries in the North. Elder and Sister Wilson from the Asia Area Presidency came too. It was from 9-5. It was soooooo good. I learned a lot and learned a lot about how to help investigators. It was all about the Book of Mormon. They told us to read more with the investigators from the Book of Mormon. That seems so simple and so obvious but we don't do it that much. They want us to spend a lesson just reading a chapter with them or stuff that like. Help them understand the scriptures and love the scriptures. That's where a testimony comes from - the scriptures. It was soooooo good! The Book of Mormon is literally sooo important. This book is the keystone of our religion. If it is false, everything else in our religion is false. But if it is true, and it is, then everything else is true too. Because it is true, we have prophets today leading this church. We have the restored and complete gospel of Christ. We have the priesthood, the power and authority of God. Everything comes from that little 531 page book. But a testimony doesn't come instantly. It comes from a daily study from its pages. As an apostle or prophet once said, there is a literal power that comes from its pages. That power will accompany us and help us. Elder Wilson shared a story of a stake president and a member of the Seventy [Elder S Dilworth Young] (I think the story is from conference). [Elder Boyd K Packer, "The Key to Spiritual Protection," October 2013 Saturday afternoon session] The stake president was asking the Seventy for advice because the stake was really struggling. The Seventy's response was to tell them to read the scriptures. It didn't matter which scripture. Just read them daily. The stake improved. The Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God. It is ancient writ and was written for our day. Every verse has application in our lives. The writers kept on saying there wasn't a lot of space on the plates so what was recorded must have been of absolute great importance. The church has before been under condemnation because they took the Book of Mormon for granted. We need to study it. We need to read it every day. We need to know it and love it. It is what defines us from other churches or religions. Everything depends on that book. Investigators need to put forth the effort and read the Book. Members, young and elderly, new and old, need to study from the Book of Mormon. Mission Tour was very inspiring and amazing. I love the Book of Mormon soooooo much and I absolutely know, without a shadow of a doubt, it is true. Every single word of it is true. 

Well, that's about it from my week. 
Delsa reminded me that my birthday is coming up. I'm turning 20. This is so weird. I know everyone reading this will scoff at me but I feel so old. I'm turning 20. 20. 20! I'm leaving my teens. I think I'm kinda having a one-fourth-life crisis right now. Haha but seriously. I'm almost 20. And Dec is my 6th month in country. That means I will have been on my mission 8 months. Dude that's scary. I'm already more than a 1/3 done. Where did the time go? It really feels like sand slipping through my fingers and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Wow. Okay. I'm good now. Still kinda freaked out but that's okay. Still got a good while here. 20's not too bad either. I'm one of the youngest sisters in the mission (age wise) so just barely turning 20 is still really young (as my companions like to remind me). 

I love you all very much and hope you have a fantastic week and Thanksgiving! A farang member from Branch 2 invited all us missionaries (in Chiang Mai) over Thursday night. It'll be lots of fun. :)

~Sister Slaugh

No comments:

Post a Comment