Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More pics :)

At a training with some other sisters. We made these investigators a cake for their bday and they loved it! They'd never had cake before.

Us fishing :) Isn't Thailand pretty? Brother Sing. At the beginning he was the furthest person from joining that I had met now he is getting baptized on Sunday! He is our daily chauffeur. He reads the Book of Mormon all the time while waiting for customers.

We teach English once a week and of course I love it!

Isn't it gorgeous!

In a sam law (open air taxi )

Lunch...besides the brown square thing that is the blood thing.

Hello Hello

Hello friends and family who I love so so much!! I hope all is well and that everyone has Halloween costumes picked out and are eating caramel apples sometime in the next ten days. No Halloween over here, but that's okay:). So celebrate it for me!!

We're teaching a girl named Miu (me-you), and she...we learned this week...loves inviting her friends to hear about the gospel. We mentioned on Tuesday that we'd return on Wednesday and she could take us to her neighbor's house after the lesson so we could find a new family to teach! We crossed our fingers (and prayed, of course) that they would be there the next day. So Wednesday rolled around and we taught Miu the beginning of the Plan of Salvation (basically, Heavenly Father's plan for us to have the most joy in this life and be able to return to Him in the next life). When the lesson was over, she jumped up excitedly and took us to her neighbors. (We were still praying they'd be there....) And when we arrived, the whole neighborhood was there:). Mostly youth at first, waiting for us, but as soon as we talked to one of the dad's and were welcomed into his home, people just kept pouring in the door:). It was sooo cool. We sang "I am a Child of God" and taught lots of people how to pray that night. I'm excited for this week to go back and teach a handful of them again:).
I love love love this gospel. This week I felt more than ever the sadness and weight that comes when people choose to reject the message of the Savior. It's baffling and heartbreaking to me to think that anyone could not lay hold upon the message of Christ and do all they can to become more and more like Him. I love my Savior so much and will defend Him and His gospel to the very very very very end. I am so blessed to know Him and love Him and learn and teach about Him every single day.

Love you all so much and always,Sister Roper

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Crickets taste grossy......

First things first:-I only skimmed your emails because of the time constraints (I'm printing them out and will read them later), so I may not respond thoroughly to everything that was said. I'm sorry! Time is short:/

My favorite members are raising crickets so they can sell to people....to eat!!!!! Grossy but so true. But guess what they are saving money for? To go to the Salt Lake Temple!! Isn't that sweet? I love that and them. And the good things that come from crickets.We taught a few brothers this week who really love sports...and they're parents didn't even know that when they named them! Which is surprising...bc guess what their names are? Golf and Ping Pong. In a Thai accent:). I loooove Thai names here. They rock. Thai's have a really name and then a nickname that could be anything from golf to chicken to fat. It's a fun part of their culture. This week we had an investigator who gave up smoking and drinking cold turkey so he could get baptized in three weeks. Cold turkey. He through all his alcohol away without us even asking him to. And he bought mints to eat when he craves a cig. Without us asking him to! I'm so proud of him. It's evidence that the gospel and reading the Book of Mormon naturally and gradually change, CHANGE, a person. When the person is sincere and humble. This man looks brighter and shinier and happier and lighter every day we meet him.Shannie I love your questions:). Uhmmm yes I still loooove my companion. And will my whole life. Just the thought of her leaving me and this country makes me want to cry. This is my favorite thing she does (one of them): I'll be about to fall asleep after lights out and she'll say, "Tell me a story about...hmmm...who haven't I heard about lately...Landon." Or Shan, or "Rick", or Beth or whomever. And so I think of one and tell her and she listens so well. It makes me feel so much love for my family. She already knows all of you pretty well:). And we'll be together until the beg. of Dec.
This week I learned lots about faith. I feel like every day here is like a...hmmm...a pack of dehydrated food...because in one little pack you can have roast beef AND carrots AND celery AND onions AND rice AND probably other stuff we don't know about that enables the dehydration....because in one day I feel lots of different things: so excited, a little stressed, the Spirit really strong, kinda frustrated, a little down, soo grateful, realization that is super humbling.....and the list goes on. It's like condensed life!! Haha that's what it feels like. I'm grateful for the little "trials" that are really opportunities.Gene R. Cook said that "the Lord will try you...at all stages of development in your life. He will try you again and again until YOU know that YOU are able."Doesn't that rock? Heavenly Father loves us so much that he wants us to be perfect. So He makes it possible through His Son and His Son's gospel. And all we experience in life is to refine us. And so that WE know that WE are able...because He alreadly knows we are:). I love Him, I love His Son. I love this gospel. I love the little black piece of plastic on my shirt that says I am lucky enough to represent Them. And as always, I love love LOVE all of you!!Sister Roper

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A few more Pics!!

Yep this is the Book of Mormon................next to a bag of tobacco!
This is where we live!
Me on my first day :)

Conference Rocks!!

Oh my I LOOOOOVE my family and friends!!! Thank you all for you letters, prayers, and support. I feel them every day and could not be a missionary without you!! I pray for all of you and hope all is well.

Okay this week was amazing! We were so busy and we taught a lot, but like Josh said, quality is way more important than quantity, so we tried to make every lesson and person very important. We pray sooo many times a day. Oh my goodness I'm sooo grateful for the constancy of Heavenly Father...that we can ALWAYS pray to Him. Always. Always! We pray before and after lessons and during lessons, out loud and in our hearts, and while we are riding places so devil dogs don't eat us and buses don't eat us either...and over food and before we talk to that man across the street selling vegetables and when our lock on our door finally opens and before we leave the house and so there won't be bugs in my bed and so that we'll have positive attitudes and faith and excitement for each opportunity. Oh man. Lots of prayers.

We finally got to watch General Conference yesterday. It was basically 8 hours of straight writing! Oh my goodness so much guidance and good direction from the prophet and apostles!! One of the most striking messages I took from it was to truly trust in Heavenly Father. So....here's a little story.....

After Conference was over on Sunday, we'd planned to go see one of our investigators who is getting baptized in a few weeks. My brain wanted to, the transportation and timing was more convenient than usual and we had lots of things we could have talked about. I'd already called and scheduled it even....But....I felt like we shouldn't go! Like there was something else we should do but I didn't know what. And I kinda fought the feeling for a second (in my head) and felt a little frustrated because I didn't understand....Then I thought, "Hello? Did you not just learn about trusting in Heavenly Father? And doing what the Spirit prompts you to do even if you don't agree or understand?" So I could do nothing else but keep stepping forward and pray for faith...and cancel the appt and ask my companion what we should do next.

Then SHE got a prompting that didn't make sense. She said, "Let's go home." And I thought it was a crazy idea (in my brain, because that's where you usually think) because we had a few good, open, working hours and we needed one more new investigator to reach our goal for the week. But even though my brain thought she was crazy, I felt good about the idea. So we jumped on our bikes and pedaled home...not really knowing why.

Then.....!!!!!!!......when we got home, our neighbors (who we'd tried to teach once before but they weren't all home very often) were outside and they waved to us friendly-ly (?) and we both immediately knew what was supposed to happen. So we ran inside, dropped our stuff, prayed and went back.
"Are you free right now?"
"Yes! We'll get chairs!" --That was unexpected. And awesome.
So we got to teach a family of four! And they were all so receptive and interested and asking questions. Then at the end, after teaching them about Heavenly Father and how to pray, we knelt:). And the father prayed out loud for everyone. And we all felt the Spirit. And Sister Itow and I went home and prayed and again and just thanked Heavenly Father for letting us be a part of that experience, of inviting the Spirit into their home and lives so He could teach them after we left.

I felt like I had a front row seat! Like I just watch it all unfold before my eyes! And just witnessing it just made me want to trust Heavenly Father even more! It confirmed to me how much Heavenly Father knows and loves His children so much more than we will ever, ever know or understand.

Yeah. It was sweet.

The only exciting thing (exciting in an exotic, maybe not too delicious but still cool way) I ate this week was...some members served us rice (of course, EVERYTHING we eat here is with rice; it like comes with the plate) and there were little black dots in it and I just thought they were part of the harvested rice or whatever. So I proceeded with eating it...anyway the very last bite I looked a little closer and it was a teeny beetle. Haha and I'd already eaten like 16 or 16.5 or something in them. Haha. Whatever. Protein?? Haha. Oh and then there's this delicious soup that sometimes has like a squishy block of dark brown stuff for flavor, but my companino said not to eat it...turns out it's against the rules to eat it because guess what it is.....yep. Bloody blood blood. Other than that, we ate with a few members and the Thai food was sooo delicious. I accidently ate a "prik" (mixed in with another dish) which is just like a tiny, red pepper that is suuuper hot...and my whole body was on fire for like three minutes. Haha
Okayyy I love you all!!!!

Sister Roper

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A few pics!!

thai people share food, it's respectful. So this is us drinking some fresh coconut milk. This is my first lesson. This is the woman who got baptized Maliwan. She was picking coconuts and cutting them up in her front yard :) Very Thai

The older girl is Somo and is getting baptised soon. Her little sister is Emmy The view from an investigators house.........so pretty

Sister Itow and me

Baptism!!! Isn't she glowing!!

Yep, an elephant in the middle of the street :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bre is all Better! So here is a letter!

Hello all,
Some fun/random/unique/colorful things about Thailand:

-EVERYONE drives a scooter or motorcycle. It's kinda funny. There aren't really traffic rules, so it's an adventure every time we're on the road on our bikes. And we drive on the opposite side of the road, which still sometimes racks my brain.
-There are trucks that drive around with really loud announcements/commercials on them. And sometimes I imitate them and my companion laughs at me.
-This week since I've been feeling better and just more comfortable with everything, I guess my "true colors" or whatever are coming out. So my companion said something I usually hear around week three (from co-workers, new roommates, people I'm serving in a calling with....) she said, "Sister Roper, It's like you came out of a musical. Living with you is like living in a musical!" Haha it was funny.
-For example, in Thailand it's not really polite to go up to a house or really be too pushy on people's properties so you stand in the street outside their gate and say, "Sawatdii Kah!!" And hope they come out. And one of the people we are teaching, a kinda stubborn man, was taking a while to come to the door. So I started singing to him in Thai and my companion was laughing so hard. I was like (in Thai, of course). "Me-sack (his name), it's time to come outside! Outside outside outside. Because we are here, the sister missionaries are here, and we want to teach you about happy things. Come listen to us, we love you." All in song. And Thai. I think I was probably tired, too:).
-I keep my toothbrush in the fridge so ants don't get it.
-There are lots of bugs here. Yep:). Lots of salamanders and frogs, too, though. I haven't seen anything too frightening. Like no spiders the size of my face or whatever.
-Thailand (in America) is referred to as the "Land of Smiles" and it really is. People are soooo so friendly and for the most part very polite. They turn to you and listen to you when you talk. And they smile and laugh a lot. It's really a pleasure to talk to people, even if it is sometimes nerve-racking.
-Thai people want their skin to be really white. So of course they are super amazed by my utter whiteness. Sometimes people just come up to me and like touch my arms and say my skin is so beautiful...so funny. And always surprising because in America everyone wants to be tan! They have creams and soaps that make their skin whiter.
-Thai ice cream is really light and delicious. We eat at little open markets or open restaurants every day. I'm still pretty shy with trying new things...so no crazy food stories yet. There may never be any so sorry....:) The food really is delicious, though, the good stuff:). There are so many veggies and fruits I've never seen before and they are delicious. I really love fried rice and bananas.

Typical lesson (this all happened):
-Sit on the floor with our feet tucked underneath us (my legs and knees get pretty sore, to the point I feel like they're gonna fall off but they haven't yet....so that's good)
-The wonderful people we are teaching bring out a huge plate of pineapple---oh my so delicious
-There's like a huge dragonfly or some kind of unidentifiable flying object on the wall and I can see a lizard really wanting said unidentifiable flying object....and then the two end up having a face off. And usually the lizard wins. It's awesome.
-The front door is open and during the lessons dogs will walk past, or cows, or people with fishing poles
-I will try speaking lots of Thai and oftentimes say something and their faces go completely blank. And then sometimes they look at me like I just popped out of a cartoon or something..This white, crazy creature trying to speak their language:) and then I smile and laugh and turn to my companion and she explains what i was trying to say:). And then we all laugh together. It's pretty fun.
-Sometimes we'll be teaching and it will get a little windy and then we know the rain is coming and then for a few minutes you can't even hear yourself talk or think because the rain is so loud and so strong! I'll send pictures next week.

Quick shout out:
CONFERENCCCCCEEE!!!! All of you who had the chance to watch General Conference (where the living prophet and apostles speak to us and broadcast it throughout the world from Salt Lake) are so lucky. We are watching it this weekend. I am glad and sure it was wonderful!!!

This week was wonderful, as usual. Thank you, again, EVERYONE, for all your prayers and fasting and everything while we were sick. We are back to work and walking fast, again:). Which is a relief.

I learned lots of things while I was sick and in the hospy. I learned a few lessons that I don't think I could have learned anywhere else or in any other way. I learned about prayer. That prayer is something we can and should do all the time. ALL the time. All of it. I feel so blessed and lucky and loved that I can pray anytime, anywhere. And I think there have been lots of times in my life when I have taken this tremendous opportunity for granted. How many blessings I wasted!

Mom said to pray because Heavenly Father is there even if you can't feel Him really close. That's true. So true. When we keep praying and stepping forward, even when life is a little darker, it will always result in drawing closer to Heavenly Father. I love Him so much and want to be so close to Him. Pray:). Just do it. It changes hearts and lives and perspectives and so many things. Prayer is one of the first things we teach. We teach people how to do it and then we tell them about how wonderful Heavenly Father is. That He already knows us and weeps when we weep and rejoices when we rejoice. And He wants us to talk to Him. And sometimes they just get really quiet because that's not something they've heard before. I loooove then asking them to pray. To talk to their Heavenly Father, their very own Father, for the first time ever. And they get real quiet and talk really soft and I love it. And the Spirit is so strong. Because prayer brings the Spirit like nothing else can.

The gospel is true. Talk to Heavenly Father because He wants you to.

Okay I love love LOVE you all

Sister Roper