Monday, February 24, 2014

Blessings in Burma!!!

So, your sleuthing is correct! I am staying in Bangkapi with Sister Sawangwong! She's been here for a long time, but it was definitely an inspired move.  We have a few investigators that we are both really attached to and want to be here for their baptism. It really worked out perfectly because we found out that Sis. S will be moving at the mini-transfer in about three weeks when the new Thai missionaries come in. So, we will only be companions for three more weeks together. But our investigators will be baptized before then. When I found out she was staying, I felt so much peace and I knew it was right. I know that Heavenly Father knows what is best for our companionships and for our investigators!  

I loved the quotes you sent to me from some of the sisters! They are all so awesome! Seriously, this mission has amazing sisters and elders! It made me realize I should probably make my emails a little more inspiring! haha 

But I really understand how Sister Hughes is feeling. I feel like a mission has a lot of hard circumstances just with trying to find people to teach, rejection, problems with investigators, etc. However, I feel like the biggest struggle really has been what sister Hughes described-- realizing how extremely human you are. I feel like this transfer, especially, I have discovered so many weaknesses in myself. I always felt like I was one that had things pretty well under control. I realized I had things I needed to work on, but I felt happy with where I was at. As a missionary, and especially the last transfer, I think God decided it was high time He helped me take a good look at myself. I found out a lot of things I don't really like that I need to seriously improve. It has been a really great thing, because I think Heavenly Father wanted to cut me down just a little bit so that I could realize how far I need to go. 

Do you remember the talk given by an apostle about the currant bush? In it he talks about a little bush that the gardener chopped down, even though it was seemingly growing well. When the bush asked why the gardener cut down his branches the gardener replied that by cutting him down, the bush would then be able to flourish and grow more than the bush itself expected. I feel like missions do that to you. Even though I felt pretty good with my progress as a missionary and in life in general, I feel like this transfer brought me to a low point so that I could realize what I needed to work on and then grow from there. The thing with God, though, is that even when he humbles you a bit, He still loves you so much. This transfer I have felt God's love more than ever before, for both me, my companion, and our investigators. It's been a huge testimony builder for me, and it's given me the motivation to do the very best that I can to be the best person I can be. So, that is my sermon on my personal progress!

Okay, this week was great!

On Tuesday we had our last district meeting together with Elders Pyne, Jensen, and Calderon. It was fun! Sis. S made pad thai for us all! Arooooy!

On Wednesday Sister Orchard and her trainee came to stay the night. Sis. Orchard finished her mission, so she came to BKK early for interviews, etc... It was fun to have them here.

Anyway, Thursday was transfer meeting and we all got invited to go, whether or not we were moving! And I'm glad because it was probably the most exciting transfer meeting I've been to! First of all, as always, it was soooo fun to see everyone! I got to talk to Sister Mullen, Crockett and Narayanan for a long time. They're all doing great! Sis. N wants to come to BYU when we get back and be roommates together! How fun would that be!

So, first exciting news: There are now Sister areas open in Chiang Rai, Nong Kai, and Bangbuathong! Sister Crockett and Sister Madsen are opening up Chiang Rai! Sooooooo sweet! That is where I want to go next! haha Also, President opened up a sister area in Gamphengpet and sent Sister Mullen to be the first sister there!!!!! (that's where her family is from!) Soooooo excited for her! 
And, lastly: BURMA IS OPEN TO MISSIONARIES! (Myanmar) Amazing! President sent the first two missionaries to Burma! Soooo crazy awesome!
Also, President took sisters out of Mahasarakham and Galasin and just left one pair of elders at each place.

So, that was one awesome exciting transfer meeting! We now have Elder Black, Elder Wolfley, and Elder Gettavong! They are an awesome bunch. I'm so excited to have E. Black in our district. And E. Gettavong is from Laos. He has a pretty awesome story! E. Wolfley is in E. Hartman's group- he's great! I am just so impressed with all of our missionaries. This is going to be a great transfer!

Friday was way fun because we had a sisters meeting in Asoke with Sister Senior. We had some wonderful talks from a few sisters, including Sis. Sawangwong, as well as from Sister and President Senior. Very uplifting and way fun to see everyone. Afterwards we went into the gym and they had decorated it super cute and springy. We had chicken croissant sandwiches with delicious salads. Soooo much fun!

Okay, as far as investigators go:

On Sunday Brother Dtam and Sister Opal were baptized!  I contacted into Dtam at Fashion Island. He came to church the next day. We taught him all last week and then he was baptized yesterday. He was definitely one that was prepared and ready. He was already Christian, so he had a real firm base in gospel knowledge. He is a soldier and has had a lot of haunting experiences but has a strong testimony in God that has helped him get through tough situations. He loves to serve others and is really sweet. Opal has been coming to church for the last month or so. She's 16 so she had to come 4 times before she was baptized. She was so happy! She's adorable. Her mom also came to support and it was a great day!

We are being so blessed here in Bangkapi! We are being blessed with amazing investigators that are ready to be baptized. I am also learning so much about myself and trying to improve. Sis S. and I are really happy that we have these next three weeks together. It's inspired and a blessing! 

I love you all soooooo much! Have an awesome week!


Liz :)