Friday, February 14, 2014

Chiang Mai Letter--February 10, 2014

well hello there. :)
Um...hi =D

Let's see. This week has been really good. I mean, I still can't bike because of my knee and standing for a long time hurts and now I have a very annoying cold but still, this week has been really good.

Monday we PLAYED WITH TIGERS!!!!! =D It was fun. And by play, I mean took pictures with and laid on. Not much playing. But one of the baby tigers did try to eat Sister Woodbury's skirt. It was super funny. Don't worry, no harm came to the skirt.

Tuesday was the usual story. Most of our investigators are free in the morning so we have to rearrange our study time to teach time. But then studies don't always get done. It's a somewhat difficult balancing act: study or teach. Both are super important and have to get done. It just takes a lot of determination to actually do everything. :) Before English class we taught Golf, an investigator currently struggling with smoking. We had two members help us. A man, Brother Niwat -who has overcome addictions himself- and Sister Caterina. Caterina is an American who is learning Thai. We invited her in the lesson because we needed a female member with us and because she is a convert herself. It was actually really cool having her. When Brother Niwat was speaking, the Spirit was really strong. Caterina said that even though she had absolutely no idea what he was saying, she was captivated. She could tell it was super important and powerful. You don't need to understand the language to feel the Spirit. :)

Wednesday: Taught a lot today. After I go through my week, I'm planning on giving you little bios of the current investigators.

Thursday: Taught Mike (the monk) again! He is soooooo cool! :) We also watched Finding Faith in Jesus Christ with Sister May (another investigator). She's Buddhist and doesn't know much about Christ. She started crying during the video. It was actually really cool - not that we made her cry but because she was feeling the Spirit. I MET .... um...I have no idea how to spell her nickname in English. She's the girl Lorri told me to look for. Her name means ant. She's a missionary now. She was so excited when I said I was Lorri's younger sister because Lorri taught her. I couldn't spend a lot of time talking to her but I got a picture with her and will definitely be seeing her again.

Friday: We called a TON of less actives on Friday. Neither Sister Ng nor myself were feeling well enough to go inviting (Sister Ng was having a lot of back pains and it hurts my leg to stand or walk for that long). We found a lot of member records and started calling. We put on some church movies (The Restoration and Finding Faith in Jesus Christ) on in the background. These are movies that we show investigators so they are only 20-30 minutes long. We listened to them over and over in many different languages just so we could have some background noise. It was my first time watching The Restoration in English. SOOOOOO weird. The words and mouth movements actually match up.

Saturday: So Saturday. I woke up and felt super sick. I tried going about the usual day but then I was coughing a lot and just obviously sick. Sister Hughes and Sister Ng put me on bed rest and banned me from leaving the house. They also called Sister Senior (who is in charge of the health of all the missionaries) and she also told me to sleep. I slept basically the entire day. I felt a lot better afterwards but I still have a cold. But, I am well enough to work so I am happy. :) On Saturday, Sister Hughes spent most of the day with me because she was feeling sick as well. On Sunday, Sister Hughes was talking to President Senior and he said that our entire house needs to take a nap today. Don't worry, I am taking care of myself. Lots of herbal tea and enough sleep each night. And medicine. So no need to worry. :)

Sunday. Mana got the Holy Ghost! This is a miracle because beforehand she didn't think she was going to be able to come to church today. She just left right after sacrament meeting. Some of the less active members who we've been working with came to church too. Yes victory! Wii got baptized too!!! She is such a cute little 19 year old. She looks like she is 14 or 15.

Today: Still have the cold but it's getting better. :) This morning we had house companionship study (we discuss what we studied personally) because we don't have to prepare for any lessons because none of us have lessons today (preparation day). I painted my nails while talking. Purple sparkly fingers with hot pink neon toes. I feel like this would never fly in the states but in Thailand it is totally acceptable. I have acquired some very fun earrings here in Thailand that I wear quite often (don't worry, President Senior has seen them and has also complimented them) that I am excited to show you guys. Those gold fish bone earrings you sent fit in perfectly. :) But do not worry, all in all, I make sure I have a very professional appearance. I just also have some fun with it. :)
Today we are planning on going to a mountain and dressing up in mountain tribe attire. I don't really know how to describe their clothes. Maybe google Chiang Mai hill tribe people. lots of stripes and fluffy ball things. I'll send pictures next week.

So....investigators!!! =D

Mana just got the Holy Ghost so she technically isn't an investigator any more. She has been Christian for two years but when she moved here from Bangkok she didn't know which church to enter.

May is 16 and Buddhist. She lives on her own and ended school (dropped out?) and works to support herself. She has passed by the church for 5 months but has always thought it was so quiet. Then we changed our contacting method. :) She absolutely loves learning about Christ and is ready to change everything about her life to keep the commandments. Yay =D

Wii has been Christian since she was a child but has always been curious about why there are so many different sects. Shouldn't Christ only have one church? Which sect is the most right and can best help her return to heaven?

Golf is technically no longer our investigator because he moved to Udorn (however you spell it) last week. He's about 38 and has been smoking since he's been 15. We met him on the street and asked him if he wants to learn about how to be cleansed from sin and do you want to quit smoking. He's great.

Rich. He's in his late 20s. He wants to learn the truth from those that know. We told him that we can teach him the truth but he has to be willing to pray for himself to know if it is really true. He asks SO MANY questions. It's great but sometimes I feel like he focuses too much on the small details. One of his first questions (after we explained the Godhead): "Will the Holy Ghost get a body? If so, when? Is the Holy Ghost a son of God too?" I mean, I know the answers (kinda) but wow. No one else has asked those questions before. He still has a lot of questions but it is fun answering them. I love teaching people. You can see the truth change them.

Bob is in his late 30s. He runs a food place (not restaurant but...I don't know how to explain it) and is super busy all the time. It's a family restaurant and since he is the oldest son...well, when we asked him if he has any dreams or plans for the future he said he didn't. He really wants to know the truth and he feels trapped in his life with no way out.

Mike. We love Mike. Mike is our monk friend. He is 23 and is only a monk because he doesn't have enough money to go to school otherwise. In Thailand, in the parents are really poor, they can send their children to be monks so that schooling is either free or cheaper. He loves learning about the Book of Mormon and says that he will stop being a monk next year and he can get baptized then. We're thinking that if we can help him find a job, maybe he can stop being a monk sooner. :)

Pok. We just met him yesterday at the front of the church. He said that he used to worship Satan (he showed me his tattoo on his arm. I believe him when he says he used to worship Satan) but then a year ago he read about Christ and felt really good (Yay Spirit!). He hasn't known how start learning about Christ but he is willing to change his life to follow Christ. He says in a little he will be able to get a day off from work and he will ask for it to be on Sunday. Yay! =D

These are our main investigators right now. We have others but these are the ones we see regularly. Teaching is sooooooooo much fun! I feel like on a mission, I haven't learned complex things about the gospel but I have learned soooo much about the basics. The basics are so important. It's like what Coach Ray always said: "Go back to the basics." You need to master the basics before you can go on to the more complex aspects of anything. You can do as many fancy tricks as you want but if your basics aren't solid, there is a high chance you will fall and or mess up. President Senior has asked us to study the gospel of Christ everyday: Faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. It is really amazing. You will never get to a point where you know everything in this church. If you feel like you know a lot, start studying the basics. There is always so much more to learn.

So yeah. I second Coach Ray: Go back to the basics. Study and master the basics. That is what will support you in life. :)

OH! Mom, about your brother's friend's daughter. Here are some hints from me about shoes. Crocs. Or sandals like that. In Thailand, rubber shoes truly are the best and all the sisters wear them. Do not bring a lot of red or yellow. The situation might change by the time she comes out here but currently missionaries are not allowed to wear any red or yellow (because of the political issues). Don't stress about learning Thai before the MTC. Start reading through Preach My Gospel. I'll think of some more tips of the trade during this week and I'll let you know. Also, I agree with who ever said that President Senior is the man. He is SOOOOOO amazing in every way. Sister Senior as well.

Other notes:

* It's kinda funny knowing that Joe had geckos in my room. There are geckos in our house (and room) all the time...but they are not pets nor necessarily wanted. =D (we had a guest staying with us for a week)

* I am sorry Barbie that you think I angered the Winter gods. The weather here in Thailand has been...well, I would say but Delsa told me I wasn't allowed to talk about the weather in Thailand when in is winter in the states. :)

*I LOVE the house quilt! It is soooooo cute!!!! =D

*I talked in sacrament meeting two Sundays ago. About repentance. I have never liked speaking and still don't like it. I love teaching. Teaching is great. Speaking...nope.

*I'm glad you have corrupted Joe to like the Scripture Scouts. He sounds like an acceptable little brother.

*Thank you soooooo much for serving others!!! It is something that a lot of members need to learn how to do. I am soooo grateful that you guys do it so willingly. =D

*It's cool knowing that you guys are focusing on tithing at home (stake) too. In order to get a temple, we need 4 stakes (aka BAPTISMS) and priesthood holders that pay tithing.

Well, I love you all!!!!!! =D
~Sister Slaugh

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