It's really cool looking at pictures of the house 25 years ago. What is the sign above Stu and Sam's room? It looks like it says Boy on it so ... it is from when Sam was born? Haha that was in August. Kinda funny how it was still up. (Sam’s birthday had been 2 years and a couple months before that picture was taken. The sign 25 years ago was from my birthday, and says “It’s a
boy girl” because Mom expected a boy.) When
did we cut down that tree? I half want to say that I remember it but I don't
trust my memory. :) I remember when the house was green! I like the sign on the
old garage. :) I'm also glad the trees are still taller than the house. :)
This week was good. I went on switch-offs with the two other sets of sisters in this zone. It was fun and productive. I remember being on the other end of the switch-off, always getting really good training from the leaders. And now I'm on this end, not always knowing what I'm doing but hoping something works. Haha. Thank goodness for the Spirit because without Him, nothing would ever get done. Or at least not well.
With the switch-off in Bangkapi—I went there. If you remember, that was my greenie area. It was really cool to see a lot of the members that I had worked with. They all said that my Thai has improved sooo much. Haha well it has been a year or more. It was also really cool to see how the ward was changing for the better.
With the switch-off in Bangna (my previous area), I stayed in Sapansung but worked with the senior companion from there. I prayed about how it should go and that was the answer. I had wanted to go to Bangna to see my RCs but I also worried that it would be weird seeing how I just came from there. In the end, we went with the Lord's way (obviously). It worked out well because I was able to train in my area but also still be able to help her with the RCs in Bangna—I could give her some insights from serving there for 5 months. I felt that it (and the switch-off in Bangkapi) went really well.
We've been seeing some really good miracles (good miracles...are there such things as bad miracles?) here in Sapansung.
We have a plan for two people to get baptized (or receive baptism as it’s said in Thai) next week. One is an 18 year old girl. I love her soooo much. She is really cool. She does competitive riflery and karate (or self-defense). She also understands English soooo well (we were looking at her homework and she is sooo good at it). I feel like she would get along really well with Jon, Sam, or Stu ... except for the fact that she is utterly terrified of boys (all-girls school for a looong time is the excuse that she claims). She is a really good sport about it and laughs with me when I laugh at the situation (not at her, of course). She also knows that she will have to overcome her fear because there are a lot of guys at church ... and there are the Elders. We are trying to get her to talk to the Elders a lot because if she doesn't feel comfortable with them ... haha that will be an interesting baptismal interview. It's really comical though. But she is amazing. We first met her over a month ago (she wasn't super free the first couple weeks) and since then she has read the Book of Mormon 6 times. I was so confused when she told us that. "So you mean those little books we gave you, not the big one." No. "You mean the first chapter" No. "You mean the first book" Nope again. The entire Book of Mormon 6 times. Apparently she reads like 2 hours a day. What? Haha she still doesn't understand it all the way but she says it's getting better. She really wants to get baptized too.
The other one is a boy that is 17 years old. He is actually a former from about a year ago. He has still been coming to church every once in a while with the member that introduced him to the church but he never got baptized because he didn't feel ready. Now he does. And he really is.
Sister Embley and I used to compare investigators (and just all people in general) to cake mixes. Some are just a bag of flour—not even close to ready yet but could be with time. Some are all the ingredients measured out but not combined—takes a little bit more time but ready. Some are the box cake mixes—ready but you just need to add a couple more things. Some are easy-bake cake mixes—you just add the water (baptism) and the fire (Holy Ghost) and you've got a fantastic member. Going along with this comparison (even though it obviously is not a perfect one), I think a year ago, this boy was probably the bag of flour or the measured-but-not-combined ingredients. Right now, definitely easy-bake. Haha. We missionaries sound sooo weird.
Another cool new investigator we met this week is actually also a former investigator (meaning that she once learned but then stopped). I was just calling random people from the phone (contacts just build up throughout the years) to see if they wanted to learn again and she was one of them. When we actually were able to meet with her, we asked her some of the usual get-to-know-you questions—Why are willing to meet with us today? What do you expect out of meeting with us today? Why are you interested in learning about Christianity (because the majority of the people we teach are Buddhist)? Since she was a former, we also asked her why she was willing to meet with us again. She said how the first time, she didn't feel ready to change but know she did. We asked why she wanted to change. She said that she didn't choose her first religion—she was born into it. So why Christianity? She said she really liked the idea of prayer. She loved that we could just pray straight to God and we didn't need to go through anyone. Also we could pray about anything because He is our Father. Prepared? I would say so. At this moment we shared Alma 37:37 with her about prayer. When she finished reading she told us that she felt really good and warm. We were then able to testify of the Holy Ghost and His role and what He did. It was such a cool first lesson! She didn't accept a hard commitment to be baptized (meaning she didn't accept a date) but she did accept a soft commitment (meaning that she wants to be baptized but doesn't want to commit to a date). She is really cool. AND. here is another cool thing to show how God prepared her. She works at a nearby gym, at which one of our members is a member. She said that she has never really asked anyone about their religion before but she felt that she should ask the member. There was just something about the member. It was really cool because that member was able to sit with her at church yesterday and explain any questions she had. Yeah miracles!!!! =D
This week is Mission Tour—Zone Conference: Special Edition. We have Mission Tour once a year. It's when one of the area presidency (I think?) comes and tours the mission. So that's happening this Thursday. And because it's my last one I have to (get to) bear my testimony. They always have all the ending missionaries bear their testimony at their last zone conference. Whee...
And the week after that is transfers ...
Luckily there is still a lot of work to be done here and lots of people to take care of so it's really easy to stay focused.
I remember when Sam and Lorri di ... ended their missions and how excited we were for them coming home. I'm assuming it's the same way (haha I hope) but because you guys love me and understand how I feel you don't mention it. Thanks. I hope you all know that I am excited to see you guys. I really am. It's just ... yeah, you know ... I’m going to really miss being a missionary in Thailand. Luckily every member a missionary! haha :)
To Mom's question two weeks ago, I don't think I have any preference about where I live in January. I don't really remember much from the thing I went to pre-mish about all the housing options. Campus Plaza with Uncle Bill sounds great. I would like to be somewhat close to campus because it will be winter and my body currently really really does not like the cold. And I would like to be somewhat close to Delsa's place (which I guess comes from being close to campus) because there are four little people I would like to see (and I guess two big people too :)) I think every place is probably the same distance from Sam's so that doesn't really play much effect ... did I say that phrase correctly? Lately I have been making up new words on accident. Like dramastically - dramatically and drastically. And there were some words like that this week. Dude English. *shudders*
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! =D
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BARBIE and HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY TO STU!!!!!!!! =D
P.S. As a side note, the Bible videos on lds.org are really good. :)