Monday, December 2, 2013

Mission tour complete, shark fin I did eat

Hello familia!

I forgot to tell you last week, but we had mission tour this week! So fun! Mission tour is when President and Sister Senior go to every zone accompanied by an area seventy. This time it was Elder Larry Y. Wilson and his wife. So, on Tuesday we headed up to Udon for the conference on Wednesday. It's always a nice break to just sit on a bus and talk and sleep. I always look forward to bus rides! haha Anyway, that night we stayed in a hotel close to the Udon church with missionaries from Khon Kaen and Udon zones. So much fun!

Wednesday was awesome! Meetings started around 9:00 and the main theme of the meeting was using the Book of Mormon more in our teachings. I learned a lot! Elder and Sister Wilson taught how we can use 1 Nephi 1 to reemphasize/reteach principles from the Restoration lesson. I've never read 1 Nephi 1 through the lens of the Restoration, but it's way interesting to do and an awesome tool for helping our investigators. Elder Wilson really wanted us to have our recent converts and less actives read the Book of Mormon all the way through within one year. He asked us to read 1 Nephi 1 with them, then give them a "trailer" or preview for the following chapters. He talked about how the first few chapters are high drama with all the prophesying/ traveling/ being chased by soldiers/ head chopping, etc... He had us split into groups and create our own movie trailers for the first 4 or 5 chapters of 1 Nephi. Fun! His point was that there is so much crazy, interesting stuff in those chapters that it should really hook the reader if we present it right. So, that was interesting, and I'm excited to use that more! Also, later on in the meeting I got called on to give a talk about 1 Nephi 1. I felt a little silly giving it after we'd learned all these great new insights about the first chapter, but it went fine.

Also, big news: This mission met and exceeded its goal for the month of "Bovember!" There were 109 baptisms this month with 80% of companionships baptizing someone. There were also 62 rescues! So so so exciting! This is unheard of and I'm so happy for the awesome month and how hard everyone worked. I think it has really united us all in the mission!

So, our goal for next month from President Senior is for our recent converts to really start reading the Book of Mormon, fill out a 4 generation pedigree chart, and for us to get more referrals! Exciting!
So, this was a really, really great conference and I learned a lot. As always, it's such a boost to meet with President and Sister Senior and see all our fellow missionaries! For lunch, a senior couple in Udon (the Harts) put on a Thanksgiving feast for us, complete with pumpkin cookies. In heaven!  

The meetings went pretty late, so all the missionaries going down toward Mahasarhakham and Roi Et missed our busses. So we ended up staying overnight in Udon. So much fun! We went with Galasin sisters to Central (a HUGE mall) for dinner and saw a whole bunch of Christmas lights. They were even playing Christmas music inside! That night we stayed at the Udon sisters' house. So much fun to catch up with them. Sister Maughan from MT is being trained in Udon by Sister Sahagun. She is the cutest! It was fun to get to know her a little better.

So, Thursday morning we caught a bus back to Sarakham. That night we were invited to the wedding of Brother Don and Sister Ey! They are two members in our branch and they are just the cutest! Brother Don is in the branch presidency. Anyway, their wedding was probably the most hi-so thing I've ever been to. Especially in Thailand! It was held at this super nice hotel. There were hundreds of tables and hundreds of guests. They served literally a 7 + course meal, including shark fin soup (pretty tasty, and apparently reserved for the elite). There was a live band and professional photographers all over the place. It was soooo fun! We sat with members from the branch and had quite a grand evening!

On Friday we had a nice lesson with Sister Bung. We told her the story of the Stripling Warriors and how their mothers had raised them in righteousness and taught them to obey God. For that reason they were courageous in going to war because they knew God was on their side. We told her that we believe she is like these mothers because she is raising her family in righteousness. We asked her if she'd continue to be a good example like these mothers by being baptized on the 15th. She said she'd try! Really, really hoping!

We also had a nice lesson and visit with Bu. She's taken up crocheting and wants to teach us!

Later in the day we were out contacting and we saw a lady selling traditional Thai skirts for
180 ฿!!! We each grabbed two and wore them to the Thanksgiving dinner that night! So fun! I've been keeping my eye open for a good deal!

That night the Thanksgiving dinner was so fun! At 6:00 we had a little program. Sister Crockett and I shared Thanksgiving traditions in the states and then bore our testimonies. Then others came up to share their thoughts. Brother Wright also gave a nice talk. After that we had a great feast put on by Sister Wright! Most importantly, we had PUMPKIN PIE! We four  missionaries died of happiness! And we got a TON of it because none of the members seemed too fond of it. Too falang-ish! haha 

So, we definitely got an awesome Thanksgiving celebration in both Udon and Sarakham!!!

Anyway, it's been an awesome, fun, crazy week. Oh!!! President and Sister Senior gave us Christmas music that we can listen to until the 29th of this month! Soooo excited! We listen to it all the time. It even has Josh Groban!

I love you all so much! Skype date coming up soon! Wahoooo!

Love, Liz