Monday, September 23, 2013

Rain, Red ants, Recharged

Hello wonderful family!

How are you all doing? Sounds like things are going pretty well! 

 This week was great!

Last week we contacted into a lady named Bong. She's probably about 60 and runs a little shop/street restaurant. Anyway, we had a few lessons with her this week. She has been praying and she says that she feels like she's being blessed because of it. We have been teaching her the Restoration, but it's been pretty slow going because she doesn't remember things very well and we have to keep reteaching. Anyway, yesterday we gave her a soft baptismal commitment and she accepted! So happy!

Okay, Sister Du is doing awesome. For our last visit a couple days ago we asked her to read Mosiah 2- about King Benjamin speaking to his people about service and other things. She not only read it, but when a friend of hers stopped by to say hello, she asked her friend to sit down so she could share what she had been reading. She also gave her friend a Book of Mormon and asked her to read it! Sister Du is becoming a missionary herself! Now, if she would just come to church! I think there's a good possibility it may happen soon. She's so enthusiastic about the Book of Mormon. And I think she really likes us and enjoys having us over. I mean, for heaven's sake, she shared her Moon Cake with us and those are no cheap treats!
B. is doing really well! She is so open with us now and it's not awkward visiting her anymore. A couple days ago we taught her the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. I was a little nervous to teach those because we know she has issues with both. However, she is totally willing to give up coffee and other harmful things to follow the Word of Wisdom. Right as we started to introduce the Law of Chastity her boyfriend walked into her shop and heard the whole lesson. Sort of awkward, but it was probably good for him to sit in on this one, too. B. and her boyfriend live together, but she sincerely wants to work things out because she wants to get baptized! I think the boyfriend is going to make it hard, though. So, we are just going to be as encouraging as possible and pray and fast for her. Saturday night we bought her some bottles of chocolate milk as a (sort of) joke to replace her coffee. We also brought her a study journal to help her remember the things that she likes that she reads. She was excited to start doing that. When we left she told us that she'd see us at church. We were so excited. However, she did not show up! Ahhhh! I think it was because of the rain. There were not a lot of people at church. When it rains, pretty much everything stops here. So weird. President Senior said something along the lines of "when it rains here everyone seems to lose their testimonies and not bother coming to church..." Very true. So... although B. is doing well in many aspects, going to church is crucial if she wants to get baptized. So, we're going to go see her today and figure this all out. But, I am so happy that so many things are going well with her!

Okay, so Thursday we had Zone Conference in Udon!! It was the Udon and Khon Kaen (mine) zones!  It was a wonderful, awesome couple of days there! The plan was to leave Wednesday night and head up to Udon (about 3 1/2 hours north). The Elders said they'd grab bus tickets for us all, and around 12:00 on Wednesday we got a call from them saying that the only  bus leaving to Udon that day was leaving at 12:20! Ahhh! Panic! Luckily we were packed already. But I have never cleaned up and biked faster in my life. Right as we pulled up to the bus station the Udon bus pulled up, too, and we hopped on just in time. Whew! And we were sweaty messes for the rest of the day! haha Once we got to Udon we grabbed something to eat and then went to the church to help set up and for Sister Mullen to practice the piano for the Sisters' musical number. That evening all the Esan sisters (except for Ubon area) stayed at the Udon Sisters' house! Soooooo much fun! There were 6 companionships and I already knew them all. Such a fun reunion! The Udon Sisters had all sorts of snacks and drinks and we spent the evening all catching up and eating! So fun to talk with Sister Narayanan, Stack, Greenwood, and Phelps! They are all so cute and doing well!

Before conference we had a few rotations to go through with the AP's and the Seniors. We all had to write talks and give them to Sister Senior and then she chooses a couple of people to give them in the conference. So, first I gave Sister Senior my talk, then I had to recite the 10 "how to begin teaching bullets" in Thai to one of the AP's (glad I memorized them in time...). Then I got my planner "graded" by another AP (B+ haha... need to write in more back-up plans.). Lastly, I had my interview with President Senior. We talked about how things are going in Mahasarakham, and he asked me to tell him about some of our investigators. That whole morning was great! At 9:00 conference started and lasted until 3:00. We got so much great counsel and advice from the Seniors and the AP's. The theme of the conference was on conversion and miracles produced by faith. I forgot to bring my notes to the internet cafe, so I may have to share what I learned next week. There were some specific things I wanted to share and I can't remember them now. But, it was an awesome conference and really motivating! And, we had a team activity that's too hard to explain. But, my team won, so we all got a 200 Baht gift card to Swensen's! I think we may just go use that today!

 On Friday we had our first official sports day! Because of the rain we had to revise it a bit, but it was way fun. Pretty much all of our English kids showed up and had a great time! We played basketball, 4 square, and some sort of dodge-ball game that kids here play in school. This week we are going to play water-balloon volleyball and they all seemed excited about it! So, sports day started off well. 

The last week has been super rainy. I have never been more wet and muddy in my life! On Friday we had a meeting with the Elders in the evening. We had both been out visiting people and a rain storm hit. Once we all got to the church we were all soaked completely through and dripping all over the place! haha Yesterday before church we rode around to try and get our investigators to church. By the time we'd gone to all their houses and got to the church we were wet and muddy. To be honest, I was not in a good mood. So sick of the rain and mud!!! haha But I got over it fast enough and dried off eventually. As much as I dislike the heat, I almost like it better than being dripping wet!

Also, this is kind of fun... and funny. There is going to be a talent show for the Khon Kaen district members this Saturday in Khon Kaen. The ward members asked us 4 missionaries if we would do a traditional Thai dance for it. Of course we will! Way fun! Not totally sure why they asked the only falangs in Mahasarakham to do their cultural dance, but it will be an awesome experience. We get to dress up in traditional clothing, too! So we had a practice yesterday and the members just kept laughing at us. Especially the Elders! haha They were way funny. None of us are very good at it except Sister Mullen. So, it should definitely be entertaining! The dance is called the "Red Ant Dance" or something like that. See if you can look it up!

I love you and miss you all so much! Thanks for your love and encouragement!


Liz :)