I'm in THAILAND! Coolest mission ever!!
I feel like it's been ages since I've talked' to all of you!! The keyboard is in Thai and so its fun to look at but it's just like an American one; with Thai Script.
First off, the HK airport was so empty! Everything was closed because we got there around 5am. I was starving ... but we all survived. During the last flight I talked to a guy from the Netherlands, he was pretty cool.
First day in Thailand was sooo fast! We landed around 10:30 a.m. and then roamed around to find our mission president. Our group (16 of us missionaries) is the largest there has been in 7 years. When we walked around the airport it was funny to see all the people look and stare at us. So Sister Rodriguez, Sister Stolworthy and I rode back to the church with President and Sister Smith and they told us about Thailand and some fun stories about our teachers. There will be a new mission president in July and so our address will change, when it gets to that point I'll send it to you because they haven't told us where it will be. It's a pretty convenient spot in Bangkok because right now the mission home is about 30-ish minutes away. I totally fell asleep during the ride to the church. We were all beat from the trip. We did some logistical things, then, met with President Smith.
First thing we ate in Thailand? Pizza... haha, which is a smart idea considering we all just got off a plane and some of us didn't feel well. Don't worry I was fine and I'm still good! :-) We did some Dan Jones and it was awesome!! We drove to an area and a bunch of us went out and tried to place a Book of Mormon. I went with Sister Farnsworth, she said I was going to take the lead... which at first was a little intimidating but I thought, hey I’m a missionary and at worse; I have a temporary companion. It was good, like usual it took some searching but we found a lady who accepted and every night I pray that she'll call the missionaries and be taught. Because it was in Bangkok (not our area) we left her a pass along card and explained how to learn more. We passed out the rest of our pass along cards and met 3 super sweet sisters. I pray for them too because they were so kind to let us come in to their house and talk for a minute.
For the rest of the night we got our stuff and went to President's house to eat and sleep. The food here is SO GOOD!! hehehehe We had soooo much FRUITS. Mango, pineapple, Japanese pears, dragon fruit and another fruit that I don't know the name but it's like lychee. I loved it. We had rice and Massaman Curry and then had chicken and vegetables. Nothing like the MTC. ;-) haha. They gave us some health rules about water, dogs, etc. and then I went to sleep. Literally, I laid down and thought this: I’m going to rest for 5 minutes and then I'll write in my journal. Yeah, right ... I woke up the next morning, journal still in the same place.
Breakfast was just as good the next day! Again, lots of fruit and sandwiches; things that you make mom and super good fruit juices. We grabbed our stuff and went back to the church to meet our trainers. It was such a bittersweet thing. I was really sad leaving my 2 MTC companions; but I always have those memories. We introduced ourselves in Thai to the missionaries there.
My new companion is Sister Murray. She's from Salt Lake Utah and graduated in Physics. She's awesome! We are currently serving in Chang Mai. All the areas have nicknames and ours is called Heaven! Which is so true because it's not as hot as Bangkok. I was so sticky for the first two days but here it has been nice as far as I can tell. Then again most of the time we have been WET! The 2nd day in Bangkok was like a play day. Because of Songkrang [Thai New Year’s celebration] it was an early P-day. You'll probably laugh at what we did. After leaving the church, 6 of us sisters went to a Mexican restaurant. It's hilarious how most of the things I’ve eaten aren't Thai. haha After that we went to the mall. Yup! The malls here are just like the ones in Singapore.
Being fresh out of the MTC and wanting to just teach everyone I asked my companion a gajillion questions and I had her help me memorize the baptism invitation. Apparently the one I memorized in the MTC is wrong -_- meh. There are a lot of things I need to memorize; I wish they would tell us that in the MTC. We pass cards to some people at the mall and the number one question I always get is," ben khon thai may?" Meaning are you Thai? Then I'll tell them that I'm Chinese and then they'll nod their heads and say, “ohhh” and then say, “you're beautiful.” Pretty much how that it all goes down.
Getting to Chang Mai was very long. It's a 12-hour bus ride and sleeping on that bus was NOT fun. I guess I could sleep but it was hard. Then, we had a full day of activities. Oh yeah, let me tell you about Songkrang. ITS CRAZY!!!!!!!! They are not kidding when they said it was a huge water fight. Bangkok was worse because they also touch your face and put...well it's essentially chalk. It gets in your hair and clothes and you're just covered. We, of course, went with the Elders because they are our protection. Very thankful there are a lot of them. That was Songkrang in Bangkok. Not sure if I’m even spelling it right. Songkrang in Chang Mai ... At one point I thought I was going to die. JUST KIDDING mom! Sorry!! Not funny!!! It's just a lot of water and it was my first day on a bike so 1) be aware of traffic and 2) dodge the people throwing (ice) water at you while trying to do #1. I said a lot of prayers during that bike ride. But I’m getting the feel for it and my companion and the other two sisters always wait for me. hehe. Today may or may not be the last day of Songkrang but I sure hope it is.
Now the good stuff: The branch is AMAZING!! We had our first baptism yesterday. Yup! Kinda freebee though because we met her yesterday too. She is solid though! Reading through all the records I’m really, really excited to work with these people and they are so kind. Yesterday at church I could just feel how sincere they are. The bishop is fantastic. We met with him yesterday and with the Elders and talked about goals and how we can help the ward grow. He is on the ball! He's 27 years old and was released from his mission 2 years ago. I seriously love the ward. They are amazing! We have 6 more baptisms in the coming weeks. So our goal this week is to get to know them and to introduce ourselves. I can understand now why they call this place Heaven.
Well I'm going to try to send some pictures but everything is good. If you can tell Trina that I have the hairdryer, I didn't send it home. And dad, I’m not sure what time I’ll be e-mailing but Monday's are P-days and of course it will be before 6pm here. Mom, YES I can receive letters!! Packages are the ones that I’ll get every 6 weeks. I've gotten 3 letters from some friends already. I'll try to send a letter out to your family too today; it's on my list of things to do. The food is so good :-) hehe
I love you all!!