Friday, February 14, 2014

Chiang Mai Letter--January 13, 2014

"I forgot I had a belly-button right here."

That gem of a quote is from my companion. You realize a lot of amazing things late at night and early in the morning. Two weeks ago, I bought a small notebook (Thai style so it's hilarious) that is serving as my quote book. There are a lot of beautiful gems in there because one, missionaries are crazy; two, missionaries are slowly loosing their ability to speak in English; and three, we four sisters are having a lot of fun together. Example. Last Tuesday Elder Wood tried to ask Sister Ng to say the closing prayer. In Thai, you say, "(To) Pray close, can you?" So what did he say in English? "Can you close the prayer?" So close, but sooooo far. :)

This week has been most excellent, at least in hindsight anyway. :)

Monday -> ZOO!!! So much fun! It's really big too. We love spending P-day with the other two sisters. It's a lot of fun. We could have gone elephant riding but it was super expensive and our branch president is taking us in a couple of weeks to go elephant riding. With him it will be cheaper, longer, and bare-back. We are excited. :) I fed some giraffes and some other animals but nothing too crazy. I asked some monkeys if they wanted to get baptized but none of them accepted. So sad, I know.

Tuesday -> We taught Brother ตุ๊ again. He has soooooooooooo many questions. We tried teaching about the Restoration but by the end we just had to stop. He asked a lot of questions technically about the Restoration but all those questions were really about the Plan of Salvation. He is slowly opening his heart more to learning the truth. After we taught him we had English class. My students are so much fun. It's still a small class (about 7 people) but that is super nice because we are able to help more. After English class we may have pranked the Elders. Nothing too big, just hiding their helmets in the trees. We didn't have much time to do anything big. We have some really good ideas though. Don't worry Mom, I am making sure none of these pranks are harmful, permanent, messy, time-consuming to fix, or would take time away from the work. We are being very smart about these pranks. Either on Tuesday or Wednesday (I can't remember which), Sister Hughes and Woodburry put stickers on two of the Elders' bikes. It was super funny when the Elders found them. Priceless reactions. :) The Elders haven't gotten us back yet but let's just say Sister Ng and I are very cautious. Aka double locking our bikes and locking our helmets to our bikes. :)

Wednesday -> Switch-off with another set of Sisters. Sister Reedy and Sister Packard are in our zone but not our district. Sister Reedy is the Sister Training Leader and is supposed to go on switch-offs every transfer with each companionship. It was really having nice two sets of Sisters in one area. Lots of work got done. :) We taught Brother ตุ๊ the Plan of Salvation. Let's just say it was really really really good that we had two really knowledgeable and strong members in that lesson. They really led the lessons just because he had soooo many questions. It was really good though.

Thursday -> Nothing too crazy happened this day. Just weekly planning and inviting as usual. A potential investigator helped us invite which was really fun. She is a saleslady and is super funny. And yeah, we aren't technically selling anything (salvation is free) and we don't really want to look like salespeople, but still. She had a lot of good suggestions. And it was a lot of fun.

Friday -> We ate lunch with a member that wants to be a missionary and then took her inviting. Super fun. Later that night was Sports Night! Super fun. This is the first time Chiang Mai has had it in a while (like maybe a couple of years?) so that was nice. We had volleyball, ping-pong (a game that Thai people love oh so very much), badminton, soccer (I think), basketball, and other random games. It was soooo much fun. :) Now we will have it every Friday night. They don't have Mutual here in Thailand so Sports Night kinda serves as Mutual but also as a way members and investigators can get to know each other.

Saturday -> Saturday was really busy lesson-wise which was very very very nice but that also meant we had no time to go contacting. Instead we bought some food storage. Like the letter from the mission home said, we are all very safe here. The Lord is protecting us and we have a lot of precautions in place. Nothing can stop this work from progressing. :)

Sunday -> I love Sundays. Sundays are always full of miracles and the Spirit. God really likes to hold back His miracles during the week (how is your faith, trust, patience, and endurance doing?) and pour them out to you on Sunday. I love Sundays. You get to see all the members that you love and consider family. You get to take the sacrament. You get to see your investigators begin to enter into the fold of Christ. You get to see the fruits of a week full of labor. And then you get to see all the unexpected miracles that God gives you. I love Sundays. Contacting was also really good too. We went for three hours (one before church and then two afterwards because our other appointments fell through) and it was really good. During the first hour we met two less active members and were even able to teach one of them. During the last two hours, not a single person we talked to was interested and available and from Chiang Mai but that was totally okay. I felt the Spirit really strongly the entire time. I love inviting. It is so much fun. You are inviting God's children to learn about Him and be cleansed from their sins. It feels really good to do that.

So yeah. Really quickly, my spiritual thought for the week (almost out of time so this will be short): Please read Mormon 8 and Mormon 9. Mormon 8 is to members of the church in this day and age. Mormon 9 is to the non-believers in this day and age. One of the reasons Sister Ng and I want to focus this transfer partially on strengthening the members is because if the ward and branch are not ready to receive new members, why would God lead His children to that branch? We as members need to be constantly checking ourselves. Are our actions helping others come unto Christ or are they pushing others away from Christ? Are we full of pride or of charity and love? Alma 5 is another really good chapter about this. I've met with a lot of less actives members who have stopped coming to church because they got offended. That is obviously not a valid excuse to stop coming to church but it is so sad that other members made them feel that way. We all make mistakes and no one is perfect but we need to help each other. Build up the church together. Don't judge. Help via love and charity. Improve the church by first improving yourself. On my mission, each time I get annoyed at someone else, I have been able to fix the problem by changing and improving myself. Every time. I have been thinking a lot about what Dad said about making sure you are always above reproach. I love that sooooo much. A mission has blessed me in so many ways because I am able to work on improving myself every single day. I am put in random and hard situations but they make me learn so much. And through it all, smile. Laugh. Satan's trials just mean that he doesn't like you because you are doing what's right. Keep on going. What's that quote again? "If you are going through hell, keep on going." Something like that.

Well I gots to go. Love you all VERY VERY VERY VERY MUCH!!!!!! =D

~Sister Slaugh :)

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