Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Subject: Imagine you're biking to church in your Sunday best....in the middle of Songkran...you're doomed to be soaked.
Basically if you are moving and breathing...you'll get soaked. By anyone and everyone. Songkran...the "new year" in Thailand (and the wettest most insane three-day holiday evvver) consists of people standing on the side of the road and waiting for any passerby...and then pouring buckets, literally buckets of water alllll over them or squirting them in the eye with hoses or squirt guns. No mercy, absolutely none. Zero. Zip. Nada. It's sooooooo fun:). Haha we got to have P-Day on Friday, so we went to this big famous street where tons of people go and bought squirt guns and met a bunch of other missionaries and were wet out of our minds haha. And there were soap machines, too! And beang, which is this creamy flour water mixture thing. People just run up to you and surround you so you can't move or leave and spread beang all over your face and neck and arms. It's crrrazzzzy. LIke unbelievable. And so fun haha. And so refreshing because it is out of control hot here.
It was fun. Lots of water and lots of laughter, so I liked it:).
Speaking of water...actually entirely unrelated to water but still great....this week I read a lot about Moroni and about the armies of Helaman. I want to be like Moroni, or at least marry someone exactly like him. While the opponent was preparing for war by focusing only on the physical, Moroni prepared his army physically BUT more importantly, spiritually. He built their faith, their courage, their trust in God. He created a title of liberty, a purpose to fight for and keep going, keep enduring. Something to remember when their hope was close to gone and they strength dwindling. So I made my own title of liberty:), using Alma 46 as a model. I'd invite you all to do the same:)
Okay. I love you all. Thank you for your prayers and support.
Some great things are up:
-Giad entered the waters of baptism yesterday:). And felt peaceful and said he can't wait to endure to the end so he can have eternal life. I'm excited for the important, sealing second step on Sunday when he receives the gift of the Holy Ghost. Wonderful:).
-General Conference was amazing. Beautiful messages and I learned so much. I even teared up in a couple talks!! Are you proud?:) Then my heart was buuurning last week in preparation, too. I couldn't even express accurately how much I loved the prophet, President Monson, and that he IS the Lord's prophet on the earth. I think I have a special love for him because after President Hinckley died, I felt too sad to support anyone else. I actually had to pray and struggle to get my own witness that Thomas S. Monson was a true prophet and successor. So I did. And it took some time to humble down:). But I know with all my heart that the first General Conference after President Hinckley died, as soon as President Monson came on the screen, I was FILLED with love for him and knew with all my heart that he was God's chosen servant and representative. I gained a witness for myself, something I ask of people every day, to gain a witness for themselves. Sometimes it takes time and struggling but in the end, the witness is the foundation! The thing you cannot ever deny. What stays you when storms and opposition come.
-Look up Songkraan on Google and then imagine me and all the other missionaries in Thailand wearing hawaiian shirt and covering every other person with water and getting covered with water likewise on Friday. It's like Thailand's biggest holiday....big deal.
I love you ALLLLL. So much. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. I don't deserve them. But I'll try my best to:). Please apply what you learned from Conference, like the prophet counseled so we can keep growing and building this wonderful, beautiful kingdom.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Well...I caught the tail end of rainy season when I got here in September...Sister Skalla is catching the beginning...and then all the way through it:). So it has begun! Luckily it only pours every few days so far...we're not yet to the every day-ness that is in the near future. So we were handing out English fliers and thunder and lightning was like music in the background. I was so happy and laughing because I love that weather but Sister Skalla was scared and freaking out...but still laughing. When we were on our way home, we stood in the rain for 25 minutes trying to catch a taxi! But so was everyone else in Bangna and we felt bad taking it from other people....It ended up being a really fun 25 minutes because we just talked to tons of people about English and better yet about the gospel. Some were really really wet and would look at us like they might not exactly be in the mood...but others smiled and talked and a few were even interested. It was great! I felt sooo happy and proud to be a representative of Jesus Christ, even standing in the rain waiting for a taxi and absolutely having no luck finding one.
Those of you who've already feasted on the goodness of General Conference....luckkkky. I CAN'T WAIT to watch it this weekend:). And learn a million things for our investigators and for our companionship and for me. This morning I read a talk from October 2011 (Lauren--ice cream flavored oreas and sugar farangs sound familiar? Hahahaha and Billy oh my heavens) about the Book of Mormon and how it is a rock. Maybe this is old news, but I LOOOOVE the Book of Mormon. Every single page and verse and word. It is so true. I'm so grateful for it and the testimony it will give ALL who open it and read it sincerely and pray to know of its truth. It truly is evidence that God lives and loves us and that the heavens are wide, wide open. I'm so blessed.
Okay. I love you all so much!!!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
So we have the privilege of teaching English every Tuesday...I love it as you might imagine. This week we practiced pronunciation of words with the same sound and similar spelling...but different meaning, such asthey're, their, and there. So after practicing for a few minutes, I asked the students, "Can you think of otherwords with the same sound but different spelling?" I LOOOVED the response and smiled from ear to ear as I wrote their offered words on the board: the first set was fright and flight. :)hahahaha. And then once the others caught on it was lice and rice. And right and light were next:). I couldn't control the happiness and laughter in my heart. I love Thai English:).
I LOOOOOVE YOU all. Thank you for being the most wonderful family and friends in the planet.
So something really neat happened this week. You know how one of the signs that you are successfully teaching by the Holy Ghost is that both the teacher and student are edified? Well Preach My Gospel also adds that the teacher might learn something in the very moment they are teaching, like something new...not just an additional confirmation of an existent truth or testimony. So I feel like I've felt edified, as in uplifted, quite often when teaching. Leaving a lesson feeling happy and light and...happy. But as for the latter, actually learning something new during teaching, I'm not sure I have experienced exactly...until this week:). I'm so grateful that I finally know how it feels!! We were teaching Giad, who is getting baptized in a couple of weeks, about the Savior and the Atonement. We're trying to help him apply his faith in Christ
in hepling him relieve the burden of his trials that he is having. And as we were teaching I was planning on introducing this idea by teaching that the first way we can really apply the Atonement and feel of its power is by repenting. But as I started speaking I realized that repentance is not the first way we can feel and apply the Savior's sacrifice. The first way to apply it is to have faith that it actually happened. That the Savior DID suffer for us and loves us and knows us an CAN help us not just receive forgiveness but carry our burdens. And believing that He will lighten our burdens. Just knowing that helps, knowing that Someone else knows and understands us perfectly. So I told Giad that. And I hope he learned from it, but I know that the reason we taught that lesson and the Spirit taught that truth was for me. How blessed we are to be able to learn from the Spirit.
Well Thailand is still delightful. So insanely hot...like I feel like I'm going to melt every second we step outside:). Everyone is sad because my skin is getting darker haha and they all love white white skin:). Sister Skalla is still a pleasure to train. We are learning so much together...about teaching with the Spirit and leaving immediately if the Spirit leaves and literally talking and inviting EVERYONE and if they don't want to talk...or if they do...giving them a pass along card. We have stacccccks on our house and we made a goal to get rid of ALL of them in our time together:). I love our investigators. We've been praying for people who are prepared and ran into several this week. It's always a beautiful thing when we get reminded that the field really is white and ready to harvest.
I LOOOOOVE YOU all. Thank you for being the most wonderful family and friends in the planet.