Monday, January 27, 2014

Dear family!

First of all, Daniel, I want to thank you so much for fasting for me. You have no idea how much that means to me. When I read that you had decided to fast for me this morning I started crying and now I can't stop!  You are just the sweetest and I know that your prayer and fast made this one of the best weeks of my mission! Seriously, so many amazing things happened this week.

First of all, we got five, yes, FIVE new investigators this week! That's unheard of in my book! And they all are actually interested in our message and are progressing! It's a miracle! 

Let's start with Brother S! He's a 75 year old man that I contacted into last week. He came to church last week and we started teaching him this past week. We've met with him about three times. He's just the friendliest, happiest guy and loves coming to the church. He's become friends with the Bishop and a lot of the members. He reads from the Book of Mormon every night for an hour before he goes to bed and feels "sabaijai" (really good) when he comes to church. He also likes to practice his English on me. Fun!

Next, we have Brother L. He came to English class this week and wanted to learn more about what we teach. We've taught him about four times. He's probably the most earnest seeker of truth I've ever met. When we first met him he said that he wants to be Christian and he wants to believe in God, but he's just not sure. When he prayed in the lesson he asked Heavenly Father to open his heart so that he could know for sure that He exists and that our message is true! Amazing! He also has been studying in the Gospel Principles manual and said he's found answers to his prayers from his readings. He came to church yesterday and had a really great experience!

Another new investigator is Brother Sd. We contacted into him on a songtao. He's in his 70's and pretty much just takes care of his 90 year old parents. So, he has a lot of time to meet. He really likes to learn! However, we decided to let Elder Jensen and Elder Heras teach him. They don't have many investigators right now, and they'd probably connect with him better!

Sister P. is from English class and she was interested in Christianity and prayer. We have only met with her once so far, but it was a good lesson and she had a lot of really good questions. Hoping that we'll be able to meet with her often and help her understand and progress well!

Lastly, Sister Ch. She's a friend of a member and she came to church on Sunday and we taught her briefly. She also came to sports day on Friday. We'll be meeting with her this week. She's interested and has already made a lot of friends at church!

Also, our investigator Sister Opal is progressing well. She's sixteen and her mom accompanies her to all the lessons. They are learning really well and I really feel the spirit when we teach them. She really wants to get baptized.

Yesterday Sister Namleg was confirmed at church. She was so happy! She also was asked to give the closing prayer in sacrament meeting. She was so nervous, but she gave a really awesome prayer and a lot of people complimented her. She felt really pleased. So glad!!

Other great, funny, interesting things that happened this week:

On Monday we had lunch with President Senior! So much fun! Our whole district headed down to Asoke and we ate pizza with President and Sister Senior, the office elders, the AP's and some Asoke Elders. It was awesome to see all these amazing people. Elder Chelson and Elder Beuhner randomly showed up, too! So great to talk to them. They are doing great! Afterwards our district met with Pres. Senior in his office and he gave us some counsel. He read from Mark 4 about the parable of the sowers. He talked about our recent converts and how we need to protect them. This is interesting: He also said that the Area Seventy have been asking him how many new missionaries he's going to want this year. He told them "Judges 7:7." Meaning, we have enough, don't send any more! That's quite a change from last year when we had a huge influx of missionaries. He said that the missionaries he has are getting the work done. We don't need more, just enough to keep the number of missionaries here balanced. So, it looks like we won't be having lots of new missionaries now at transfers. In fact, just one sister is in the MTC right now. So, that was interesting to find out! After lunch with President we went on a shopping spree at the Distribution Center! Fun!

Last Monday the Elders needed a haircut. There's a haircut place attached to our apartment complex, so Sis. Sawangwong told them to go there. A couple of guys own it and they went to town on the Elder's hair. It was the funniest thing ever. We were supposed to start FHE at 6 and they still hadn't come. They called and said their hairstylists were still doing their hair (2 hours later) and wouldn't stop. When they finally showed up to FHE they had the craziest missionary haircuts I've ever seen! haha They literally shaved off the sides of E. Clarke's head, and left a huge fluffy poof on the top. I can't really explain it, but I could not stop laughing and the poor guy was probably so embarrassed to show up to FHE. Anyway, made my day. After that Sis. Sawangwong wouldn't talk to them for a few days because she was so embarrassed that she suggested they go there!

Also, the other day I was contacting and I walked up to a lady waiting for a bus. She reminded me of Grandma Pat so much that I started crying as I was inviting her to learn about our message. She was probably way confused. I couldn't talk well, so I just wished her a nice day and left!

This week we were teaching a recent convert about tithing and law of the fast. She talked about how it was hard to not eat and she usually just prayed to not be hungry. So, I explained that when we fast we need to have a purpose or a reason, otherwise we're just going without food. I started telling her that this week our family is going to fast for Uncle Drew. As I started explaining the situation and the strength and support we feel as we fast, I started crying and could not stop. So, S. Sawangwong took over the lesson. I am so grateful for fasting and the blessings that it brings. When I fast here I notice blessings immediately. It really is amazing. And I definitely saw the blessings from Daniel's fast this week.
Anyway, I'm not usually a very emotional person, but this week I was for some reason!

Okay, I love you all so much! Picture time!



 On a songtow
Going inviting with Sister Gatay
 Have you ever wanted a kitchen attached to your motorcycle? 
Well, you can find them in abundance in Thailand!
 Brother Israel teaching how to make massaman.
Cleaning the baptismal font
 View from the front of the Mission Home

Leaving the Office

Monday, January 20, 2014

I AM a child of God

Hello Khrobkhrua!
So, this week was amazing! So many miracles!

First and foremostly, Sister NamLeg got baptized yesterday! She was planning on being baptized on the 26th, but changed her mind because she felt ready and wanted to be baptized sooner! So exciting! So, we finished up teaching our lessons and then she interviewed. She was so nervous. She literally memorized chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel for the interview! haha She knows her stuff! Anyway, yesterday she was baptized and she was so happy and excited. It was such an amazing day! Two of the Elder's investigators were also baptized yesterday. Sunday was so awesome! There was so much joy and happiness welcoming these three into the ward! I feel so blessed to be serving here right now!

We also have a couple new investigators from street contacting who have baptismal dates for next month! The Elders are experiencing miracles as well! We are all so grateful to God for His help and direction in this work.

Tuesday was fun! Teaching English has all of a sudden become much more enjoyable with the Lao Elders' program! Last week's grammar principle was on "be" verbs. At the end of the lesson we played the Mormon Message "I AM a Child of God." We taught the whole class the song and they all sang along to the music video. It was really special to see all these students singing that they were children of God. It brought the spirit to that English lesson.

So, the mission now has a new standard for inviting. We have always been asked to go street contacting for two hours every day. Now, we are asked to invite at least 20 people to be baptized every day (per person, not companionship). It's fun! And when we go inviting I'd say we invite at least 40-50 each. We're seeing results! Lots of interested people just from street contacting.  
President Senior really has an amazing vision for this mission and pushes us to work really hard. Really grateful to be serving under him! We also have new baptismal pass-along cards that have a place to fill out their name, our name, our number, and their baptismal date when we go inviting. Awesome! So far for the month of January there have been 100 baptisms! There is still one more week and I am way excited to see how many more are baptized next week!

This weekend there was an Australian RM and his daughter who came to Bangkapi. The daughter's name is Emma and she's 12. On Saturday there was a YW activity at the church that we invited our investigator to, and Emma showed up as well. So they asked me to translate for her and join in the activity! Way fun!! I also got to go to YW's on Sunday and translate. I haven't been to YW's here, so I really enjoyed that. Also, Emma's dad was a missionary when Brother Goodman (my mission prep teacher at the Y) was mission president here. They've kept in good contact and have done some work together here. He's going to tell B. Goodman hello for me! So fun!

Today I read Alma 44. It was so intense! Holy Cow! I would be way scared to not obey him if I was a Lamanite! Anyway, today our district is heading to Asoke to have lunch with President Senior!! So, I'm going to start sending pics so we can head out soon! 

I love you all so much! 

Have an amazing week!


Liz :)

 Sister NamLeg's baptism
Happy Day
 Making Thai food
 FHE at Sister Janti's house

At Fashion Island Mall. We go inviting here a lot.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Chocolate Ville and Children's Day

Hello hello hello!

I hope Sam has an awesome time at mission prep! What do they do for that? I've never really been to one for the stake. I think it would be so fun to teach mission prep when I get back and share all my crazy stories and get kids excited for missions!

Also, good luck to Samuel with finals! You will survive!

Today we had planned to go to the Crocodile museum to go ride elephants; however, the government has shut down the roads in BKK so we can't really leave our area. :( Maybe next week? Sister S is going to teach us how to make Thai food, though! Tell Daniel that it WILL happen! I will ride an elephant in the near future!

 Okay, so this was a great week!

Last Monday after emails we went shopping at the Minburi market. I got some fun stuff to send/ bring home! We also had FHE in Lad Phrao. The traffic was waaaay bad though. That's something I need to remember to take into account here now. haha

On Tuesday English class was really fun! The Lao Elders have come up with a new program that is more interactive and fun. We even got to watch clips from Tangled! So, I'm enjoying teaching English a lot more!

Last week I contacted into a lady who's a leader of a Roman Catholic church here. She invited us to come share our beliefs with her. I was nervous a little bit because we never really teach Christians. I haven't been taught how to teach Christians! haha Anyway, we shared from the Bible and Book of Mormon and shared the restoration message. It went fine and she and her son had a lot of great questions. They invited us to come back and share whenever we want. I don't think they're that interested, but they're super friendly and welcoming.

One day we didn't know where we wanted to go street contacting, so Sister S decided to take me to "Chocolate Ville!" I had no idea what on earth that was, but it sounded pretty good to me! So, after a 45 minute walk we finally made it there. Turns out it’s a little replica of a 50's style American town. It's way cute! However, it was closed. So, we did not have any success there. But it definitely made me miss home!

This week we got an online referral and we were able to set up an appointment with him. He'd been to English in Chaengwatna and wanted a Book of Mormon. So, we met with him, introduced the Book of Mormon and scheduled an appointment for this week. We'll see where that goes!

We also got a referral from a lady in our ward. She's friend of a less active member. We were able to give an introductory lesson and schedule another appointment for this week also.

Also, last week I contacted into a lady who wasn't that interested in our message, but her 16 year old daughter is! The mom is way supportive of her learning with us and we taught them two days ago. I'm really excited. I think the daughter really liked learning, coming to the church, and wants to keep meeting! So excited!

Yesterday at church I sat by one of the Elders' new investigators. They contacted her on the street and invited her to church. She came, had lots of great questions, and seemed to enjoy it. She asked me "When do we know when we're suppose to be baptized?" Whoa! Right now! haha

These are just a few of the awesome things that happened this week. I can definitely see God's hand in our little area here. It really is amazing. So grateful for His help and guidance in helping people come to Christ. We are seeing miracles!

This week we Skype-taught Nadia and she gave us a tour of her house. (She lives down in the South Panhandle.) She's doing really well!

Sister NamLeg really wants to understand our lessons completely and she decided that she will be ready to be baptized on the 26th!

Also, yesterday Sister Boat was confirmed a member of the church! Happy day!

Oh, also! Really good news! In Mahasarakham Sister Bu finally got baptized! Sooooo excited and so happy!

Okay, other fun things this week:

Saturday was national Children's Day! All the little เด็กๆ s had a great day receiving gifts, candy, balloons, etc… So, Daniel.... Happy Children's Day! Way fun!

The other day I contacted into a falang from Texas. We've actually talked before. He told me that we missionaries haven't always had a great reputation in the past and then compared us to the Crusaders. "Kill for Christianity!" haha I explained that's definitely not our approach. We work hard to share our message but we do not force it on anyone. Interesting.

At church yesterday I translated for a Sister from China who only speaks Chinese and English. She's way cute. I'm not a good translator. Pretty sure I made up at least half of what was said. haha Also, as I was translating in Relief Society the teacher asked me to come up to explain something. I hadn't really heard what she was talking about because I was explaining something to the lady I was translating for. Anyway, I went up, the teacher handed me a microphone and asked me to talk about "personal beings." She'd written it in English on the board and wanted me to explain it. I had no clue what she was going for and looked like a complete fool trying to come up with something. haha I'm sure the RS was way confused. 

This week I finally found someone here selling my favorite taro banana leaf treat that I used to buy in Sarakham! Made my day!

Also, I think today I had the most confusing language study of my mission. Try reading 2 Nephi 13 in another language. It makes no sense. I was reading it and didn't understand any of it. So, I pulled out my English scriptures and figured out why- it's all about bonnets, mufflers, tinkling of feet, etc.... haha Made me laugh!

Anyway, Mom, you asked if I am a city mouse or a country mouse. I'd say in non-missionary life I'm still definitely a country mouse. However, as a missionary, I LOVE the city. I feel like I'm able to accomplish a lot in a day and I feel like I'm actually making a difference here! I love it! So grateful to be in Bangkapi right now! Heavenly Father really is blessing us!

Here's a quote from Elder Ballard in "Our Search for Happiness" that I really like:
"The Gift of the Holy Ghost intensifies our relationship with that member of the Godhead. In a way, it is like living next door to the firehouse. Although everyone is entitled to the fire department services, the safest person in town is the one who lives next door to the fire station. And that's what the gift of the Holy Ghost does, it makes Him a part of our lives." I was so excited when Sister Boat received this Gift yesterday. She's going to have that constant companionship, safety, and comfort for the rest of her life if she stays worthy of it! Amazing! God blesses us in so many ways.

I love you all so much and I love being a missionary! Have an awesome amazing week! 

Love you!

Liz :)