How is everyone? It's so weird every time P-day comes around because they all come so fast. This week was a lot of traveling. But first, it sounds like summer is fun for everyone back home! Trina and her sleeping in ;-) Maybe not so much for Travis with his lack of sleep...? I hope you get some rest, Trav. Funny story, this morning I woke up at 5:58 am and at first, I thought it was 6:58 am so first I panicked because I thought we all forgot to set the alarms and we all slept in. So, I went and washed my face and did the usual morning routine before saying a prayer and soon realized it wasn't even time to wake up. At that point I was already awake so I decided to lie down and rest some more and then I wrote both of you (mom and dad) a letter. I feel that it's always better to be wide-awake and ready to say a prayer because the first few weeks in the field I was falling asleep during prayers. -_-
Forewarning: This email probably has no sense of connection because they are all random thought's I collected throughout the week. Sorry. Things are busier...as always.
So again, this week was a lot of traveling because I went on switch-offs with a Sister in Pitsanulok, which is a 6 hour bus ride. It was so great! I had time to read and write my talk about baptism (which I gave yesterday). Just like Chiang Mai is nicknamed Heaven; Pitsanulok is nicknamed the furnace. It was SO hot! I was sticky and sweaty the whole time, but welcome to Thailand. haha The church down there is similar to the one ward in Singapore. It's a rented space but this one is pretty small. The branch has about 50 members but they just opened up the area for sisters and a senior couple. Other than the two other sisters who are serving there, I got to be the third sister to ever go in a long while. The house for the sisters is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L there and while we were down there, I got a chance to talk to President and Sister Smith. They came up to check on the missionary housing and since he knew we were all going to be there, he and his wife wanted to say “bye” to us. It was so nice to see them again. We thought the last time we would see them was a month ago at zone conference. The switch-off was great and I learned a lot! Although I have to say, I am super grateful to be back with my companion and back in Chiang Mai.
This week because of the switch-off and travel we had limited time to do things. It's been a very eventful week and very meaningful. I was super nervous about giving a talk this week too, but things turned out well and our branch president told me I speak like a Thai person. I hope that's true... :P All the time, I just feel like I have so much to learn and there's so many thing I don't know yet. In some ways, I don't like being patient in learning things slowly but I know it's important because I can't learn it all in one sitting. I thought about it last night and I feel like I've made a little progress from where I've started but I have a huge stretch in front of me of where I need to go and time is just continuing onward. I'm still optimistic about it because speaking with people here is so much fun. Sister Murray teaches me a lot of facts and good tips to learning the language and correct tones, etc. Yesterday, we also played a musical number in the ward. Once everyone knows you play a musical instrument, there's no getting out of it; but I'm happy to do it. In fact, I love it! I love and appreciate that the ward involves us missionaries and we work together.
Ok, so I can't remember if I mentioned it but I'm still in Chiang Mai! Transfers did happen but I'm still in training so I'm here for two transfers and most likely, I'll be here for one more after this transfer...making it three. Basically, I will probably be in Chiang Mai till August.
In other news, Zhouli, our super amazing member fellow-shipper went back to China yesterday. :-( It was the saddest thing to say bye to her. She has been amazing and the reason sister Bon and Bam were introduced to the church. But I realize that even we, as missionaries don't stay that long. It's just a part of life. The twins that we teach started coming back to church with their mom. Their whole family is starting to be active again except for the husband, which is who we are trying to get active. However, the Lord knows what he's doing and everyone goes at their pace. We just continue to work with them and pray for them. I love those girls so much and I really, really, really hope they have the opportunity to be baptized.
Last Saturday, we had a huge activity at a member’s house. It was basically a barbecue and a mini testimony meeting. The purpose was to build member relationships with our investigators. So, we had a great turn out from our branch of both, members and investigators that we are teaching and those that the Elders are teaching too. There's always a bunch of food at these activities. I don't think we've gone to anything; including lessons without there being something to eat. It is just part of the culture here.
Well life is so good. I am so happy here! I absolutely love it and being a missionary. I read this from the Ensign this morning and wrote it in my planner. It from Elder Neil Anderson (pg. 111) "We may not be at our very best every day; but if we are trying, Jesus's bidding is full of encouragement and hope: 'Come all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.'" I love that!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!
P.S. MOM, I HAVE A NEW MAILING ADDRESS!!!
New Petchaburi Rd
Makkasan, Ratchathewi Bangkok 10400
Don't send things to the old address anymore. Technically this will be the new mission address when the new mission president arrives at the end of the month. June 30th.