Monday, October 21, 2013

A new transfer, companion and hairdo.

Hello family!!!

So, before I start the email, I am staying in Mahasarakham and my new companion is Sister Crockett! I am waaaay happy with this situation! As transfers were approaching I really was excited to stay or go. Now that I am still here, I am way excited for this next transfer! Sister Mullen is training again in Phitsonulog (over more in the north). And that is way cool because she and her family lived in Thailand when she was in Jr. High for a year in Gampenghphed. The closest branch was in Phitsonulog. So, she already knows the members in that area! So awesome. I think she was excited! It's been great having her as a trainer. She's been so awesome and I am sad to say good bye. But I am also super excited to work with Sister Crockett! Sister Crockett is also in Sister Mullen's MTC group. She trained Sister Speas. She's from Pleasant Grove and is way cute! I am already learning so much from her. She has served only in Bangkok so she's finally getting the Isaan experience! I think it'll be a bit of an adjustment. She's used to busy Bangkok and faster paced missionary work. It's definitely going to be slower going here, but I think she'll grow to love it. She's also not used to biking. In BKK they mostly take public transportation. So I think in the last day or two she's biked more than she has her whole mission. haha Made me laugh. I didn't realize how infrequently BKK missionaries use their bikes. Crazy! We hardly ever get off our bikes out here!
Since we found out on Monday that Sister Mullen would be moving, we had our last district meeting together on Tuesday and it was really nice. We made a huge cookie and ate it, and then had a sort of testimony meeting. The Elders are both staying another transfer, so it's just Sis. Mullen leaving. That night we taught English and it was by far my favorite English lesson so far. We had about six 5-7 year olds come and they all brought their parents! The kids were under control and were way into the lesson. They all participated really well and we made it fun and interactive. To be honest, I don't really care for teaching English. I'm not creative and I don't feel like I'm a good teacher. But for some reason it was so much fun that night. I also ended up talking with one of the moms afterward about the plan of salvation. Hopefully we'll be able to talk tomorrow and she can become a new investigator.

We spent a lot of Wednesday getting Sis. Mullen ready to go to Bangkok. However, we did go teach Sis. Yuwi and Cream.We gave Cream a baptismal date and she accepted. We also explained that in order for her to be baptized, Sister Yuwi needs to be going to church also. They committed to coming to church, and yesterday THEY CAME!!!! So happy! Hopefully Sister Yuwi will become active again and her daughter will be baptized. So awesome!

Wednesday night we went over to the Elders' to light off some lanterns together. It is harder than it looks. The two times that I tried to get the lanterns floating they drifted into the neighbors’ yards. I was so afraid I was going to start a fire! Elder Chambers had to climb the fence and grab the lanterns so they wouldn't catch anything on fire. Next month is the lantern festival. Hopefully those lanterns were just a warm up and I'll be able to successfully set them afloat next time!
That night we caught the bus to Bangkok around 10:30 pm and got into BKK around 5:30 am!

Thursday was way fun because it was transfers meetings. It was soooo great to see everyone! Apparently there weren't a lot of moves out in the Isaan, but there sure were in other areas because there were a ton of missionaries at the transfer meeting. The new group is pretty big. I got to talk with Sister Maughan. Way cute! Sister Sahagan is training her. Also, Sister Phelps and Sister Tilley are training- they are going to do so well. I love those two, they are just the cutest and so with it.

So, after I got Sister Crockett we headed back to Mahasarakham! Wahoo! We got in around 3 am, so we were pretty tired on Friday. But it was a great first day together. We found a lady named Amnuay that Sister Mullen and I contacted into last week and Sis. C gave her a baptismal date for the 3rd of November! Awesome! Sister Crockett is a great missionary. She's very bold, but she has a really nice way with people. So excited to learn more from her. 

I really love leading this area. It helps me feel more confident in myself. I kind of like being the one who has to coordinate everything, lead lessons, etc... I think this is really going to help me grow as a missionary. And Sister Crockett is way encouraging and so fun to work with. I'm just sooo excited about everything right now!

I don't have a ton to write about our investigators. With the trip to Bangkok/packing/unpacking we didn't get to teach as much as normal. We did get to drop in on Bia on Saturday and she is doing pretty well. However she didn't go to church yesterday and I'm sad about that. I'm way happy about Cream and Yuwi, and  this week we'll be teaching Sister Bung. So, it should be great!

Yesterday was probably the weirdest Sunday I've had on my mission. It was great, but so many weird things happened. So, we showed up with the Elders to church about 40 minutes early to welcome people. But no one ever came... haha we were so confused. Turns out they were having a special Asia area conference that was later in the morning. We were all getting pretty worried when 9:00 came and no one was there! Luckily, we just hadn't gotten the memo. The conference was broadcast to the churches and we got to hear from Elder Holland, Elder Hales, and Sister Stephens! To be honest, I didn't catch a lot of it because it was all in Thai, but the gist of the conference was missionary work, preparing teens to serve missions, being member missionaries, etc... So great!

Afterwards we went to teach Sister Min. However when we got there her Grandma put us to work and we ended up pounding rice out of their sheaves for about an hour. haha Great arm workout for sure!

Then we went to teach Sister O and her hairdresser sister happened to be there. She wanted to do my hair, and I tried to politely refuse, but she insisted and just started to get out her hair supplies. She was way excited and asked me what color I wanted my hair... I DO NOT want my hair dyed! haha So, I suggested a braid, and she settled for that, but then she had to add these huge curls, too. She was pleased and told me I look like a Barbie. She did Sis. Crockett's hair the same. Then she painted our nails. Definitely got the royal treatment there! 
As we rode away from her house we both had these huge curls that definitely attracted attention. It was so funny, everyone kept yelling how beautiful we were. 

Anyway, we had some really good contacting after that, and met some great potentials. Awesome day!

So, basically, it is going to be a great transfer here in Mahasarakham. It's so weird to think that by the time I leave Mahasarakham I'll be getting close to my half way point. Ahh, time is going really fast! I just love being a missionary and I love Thailand!!!!!!

I love you all so much! Thank you for being so amazingly supportive and encouraging always!

Love, Liz