I've discovered a new favorite-thing-to-do in the last...hmmm three months or so: melting the ice off of people. I think it might be like a gift or something haha. Okay so the story goes like this: The beautiful church building in Roiet it located in the heart of our small little city, so there are lots of little restaurants and shops and ice cream carts and internet cafes and even neighborhoods and parks in close proximity. Sister Itow, the wise woman, always used to say that there were people in the church's neighborhood, and that they were there for a reason....which I generally agreed with...except for one case. Nok and Bert (as in Robert, but I call him Bert because it seems way more Thai to me than Robert and he's Thai and doesn't even speak English so it'd be weird to call him Robert lol) own a copy place that sits immediately across from the church. So...naturally we went and talked to them pretty shortly after I got to Roiet.
But the first time of "talking to them" consisted of us walking over, smiling, saying hello, asking them a few questions to which we got ZERO in way of response...just blank stares as Nok continued pressing buttons on the copy machine and Bert stapled book 78 of 456. Blank stares as in: uhmm....turn around and walk away and we can go on pretending like this never happened since you're already a little on the embarrassed side" hahaha. It was actually pretty funny. We ended by giving them a pass along card..and yep....walking back to the church, chuckling.
But....the gospel changes people:).Gradually, after probably about six more weeks of waving when we passed or making copies here and there or using their names when we said hello every day....they started waving back (much to our surprise).
Then we randomly and totally spirit-led-ly (because neither Sister Itow nor I would have really chosen to) ended up teaching Nok how to pray one night when she had no customers....and then we met with her a few more times and sang for her each time and we gave Nok a Book of Mormon and gave her 3 Nephi 11 (a chapter about the Savior visiting the America after He was resurrected) to read...next thing we new she'd made it through 3 Nephi all the way to Mormon 4 hahaha....(It's pretty funny bc she's all familiar the Nephites and Lamanites and how they destroy each other...but doesn't even know who Nephi and Laman are hahaha definitely an original way to read the Book of Mormon) and they watch for us every night:).
Oh my goodness the gospel is sooo awesome and sooo powerful. When we taught her about prophets, she was like, "What? There's a prophet on the earth today? Where is he and how can I find out what he says???" Aaaah. Perfect questions:).The best part was after we left that night (she still isn't too friendly or warm at all, but she smiles at us like "you crazy kids who up and decided to figure out a way to touch my heart" as she pulls her rusty door shut) we went to the church for a few minutes to unlock our bikes and ride home, as we passed by her house, we heard the Thai translator translating President Monson's address last conference through her door:). I danced and screamed and rejoiced silently (it was hard) in the street before mounting my bike to go home. Sister Maxwell, Sister King, and I totally love them and how the gospel changes people and softens hearts:). Oh my Merry Christmas! I love you all! I am so happy to be here in this very city in this very country on this very side of the world for Christmas:).-Have a lovely, warm, love-filled, friendly birthday, dearest Aimee darling:) I miss and LOOOOVE you.-Sister Itow---I'm under direction to write you a "long sincere letter...much more personal" so sorry haha no emails just yet.
But...just know I'm writing you today at our crickety-painted brown kitchen table (which now has a Christmas tree and cinnamon potpourri from my wonderful mom) a long detailed letter an dtha ti love the guts out of you and you look gorgeous in the pics my sisters sent and keeppppp writing me
Okay I LOOOOOOOVE YOU ALL!