Monday, April 21, 2014

Udon Letter--April 21, 2014

I love you all very much!
Warning, I am currently watching/listening to that new Easter video and the Spirit is strong. So if this email seems off it's because my emotions are askew. 

Side-note, I just found out 2 minutes ago that I'm moving again. Transfers are this Thursday. We will leave Wednesday night. Any predictions for where I am going? I have nooooooo idea. I'm going to really miss these members though. Haha I feel like I say that every time but it's true every time. I have made such good friends. Best friends even. They feel like family. Mom and Dad, I hope you don't mind adding a couple new Thai daughters and sons to our family. Haha. 
I do enjoy moving though. I love the new experiences and the new challenges. I love meeting sooooo many people. I'm sure I would be fine staying in an area for longer than one transfer but my mission seems to be of constant on-the-go-ness. Onward and Upward. Area #5. Transfer #6 :)

This week was really good. Number-wise, it was hard but we saw a lot of miracles so I figure Heavenly Father is pleased with our efforts. Remember that family I told you about two weeks ago - Dam and Dif? The plot has thickened with them. Last lesson Dam brought his mom Dang (yes I know, the names are hilarious) to the lesson. She is SOOOO amazing!!! =D So interested and into the lesson. And then the next day we call her to follow up on her reading and prayers and it turns out that her older brother is an LA Melchizedek Priesthood holder. What? I know.  The next set of missionaries are about to harvest an amazing gold mine. Only problem is that Dam and Dif are not legally married. We've talked to them about it but they keep on putting it off. In Thai culture, legal marriages are not super needed and if the husband and wife divorce, they have to split the money 50-50. We are hoping the idea of divorce isn't the reason why they are putting off getting married. They have an adorable 4 year old daughter -Wiw. By the way, Wiw and I are now best friends. At church I shared my colored pencils with her. Beforehand she was incredibly shy. She still is shy but not as much. It's the small victories that count. :)

Another miracle was that we got four of our RCLAs to come to church. RC (recent convert) means that they have been a member under a year and LA means that they haven't come to church in four weeks. It's really sad when an RC goes LA so we focus a lot of our LA-effort-time on them. 

Another miracle was that our Muslim guy got the Holy Ghost yesterday. Yesterday was the last time he can go to church for 3-6 months. He is super nervous. You know when John the Baptist is in prison and Christ sends angels to go comfort him? That's what I thought of with our guy. He's going to have angels round about him. He needs them so much. But he has the Holy Ghost and has the triple combination and a whole lot of desire. He'll be good. 

Sad thing was that we finally got a hold of Putta. I know, you're thinking, "Why is that a bad thing?" He has moved back to Chiang Mai but is about one day's journey from the church. And when I followed up on his commandment keeping, he told me he was drunk the previous day. Dude. He was a monk for 9 years. You can't even drink as a monk. And we taught him the commandments. What is he doing getting drunk? It was truly upsetting actually. He is out of our area and too far away to meet with missionaries. He's on his own now and the previous day he got drunk. Agency. Sometimes agency is really really really hard. I pray that one day he will run into missionaries or members and want to learn again. Luckily he has the Book of Mormon and all the pamphlets. He has the tools needed to gain a testimony. I was so sad getting off the phone; I literally was about to cry. Sister Orchard once told me that on your mission you have your highest highs and your lowest lows. You care sooo much for your investigators so whenever they make the wrong decision, it hurts SO much. They don't understand as much as we do. It's so hard.  
It hurt a lot when Nid dropped us too last week. You could tell in the lessons that she wanted to be baptized sooooo badly. That's all she wanted to learn about. But her husband was very against her learning and forbade her. So when I called her on the phone last Tuesday, she had to tell us. She tried to pretend that it was her decision but because we knew her, we knew she was lying. We asked her to pray before deciding but she said she wouldn't. I think she was scared to pray because she knew what answer she would receive and that would put her in a really hard spot. She told me that she didn't want to be a "child of Christ." That stung. At the end, she tried to comfort me by saying that she had our number and knew where the church was if she wanted to repent. 

Luckily, we have the atonement. Luckily all of us can repent. The atonement helps us in our trials and our times of happiness. The atonement allows us to try again. I am soo grateful for the atonement. 

Oh! I forgot to tell you about Songkran (the nationwide water fight). SO. MUCH. FUN. Oh my goodness, sooooo soaked! We started out at the church and played with the members for an hour or two. Then we all went to some other street and played. And then we went to another street which was crazy. At the first street we were stationary and near a member's truck. We had buckets and were throwing it at other trucks and people. So cold. They have bags of ice that they put in the water. Wait. Let me explain. There is this huge box-container. It is full with unopened bags of ice. These bags are kinda like cloth so that water can come out. You then pour water into said box-container. The ice melts so the water is super cold. We then throw said super cold water. Said super cold water does not contain ice but contains melted ice. Think of those little kid buckets that kids bring to the beach. That's what we used to throw water. At the second street, we just walked up and down. It reminded me of a college town - it was crazy. Fun though. And completely safe because we had 10 missionaries and about that many members too. Safety in numbers. Though I did almost get hugged twice. Almost being the key word. Those were the second and third times I was almost hugged on my mission. People also throw bang. Bang means flour or icy-hot powder. I'll attach a picture of me after being attacked by members at the church. The Elders got it a lot worse. Songkran is sooooooooo much fun. This would be a great holiday to come back for. It's three days long. Luckily I hear the Thai branch in Utah celebrates it. 

Well, I am almost out of time. 
I love you all very very very very very very very very very much! 
I'll talk to you next week in my new area with my new companion!

P.S: the sister in this picture is Sister Tilley, not my companion. The man is Elder Brown. Their blog is (I think) The Browns in Thailand at Google search it? We love them very much and will miss them greatly. 

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