Monday, March 24, 2014

Red Ant Dance - Part 2

Hello Familia!
Well, this was a great week! We definitely saw miracles, so thank you so much for your prayers! 

First of all, last Monday was way fun! We went to the Crocodile farm again. It was sweltering hot. Sweat was literally dripping down my nose all day long. I went to take a picture with an elephant and it wiped its trunk all over my bag and my arm. Had snot and dirt all over the place! After the farm we went to the sea! So much fun! It was a really great P-day!

Like I said, this week we definitely had miracles! I've been a bit stressed about making our goal for two people being baptized this month. Sister Pat was baptized at the beginning of the month, which was a huge miracle. Now we would just like one more person to be baptized. 

So, if all goes as planned it's looking like Sister Grape and Sister Nang will be baptized this Sunday! So grateful!

Yesterday at church was so awesome! I just felt like the speakers and teachers were extra awesome and everyone was so happy! Elder and Sister Marvel (a senior couple here) are heading home next week. So, they came to Bangkapi and gave a fireside on the Perpetual Education Program. The couple that is taking their place is here already and they came as well- Elder and Sister Seppi. They are so cute! They are from Sandy. So that was fun! 
I was just so happy in Sacrament meeting especially. It was so awesome to see Sister Boat give the opening prayer, Brother Somgiad bless the sacrament, and Brother Dtam pass it. Best feeling ever!

Also, I have to tell you about Martin. Martin is from Cameroon and was baptized on the 16th of this month. He's the Lad Phrao elder's investigator. He actually lives at our apartment complex and I ran into him about two weeks ago. We talked briefly but I was in a bit of a hurry so I just gave him the address to the church and told him to come to church on Sunday. Well, he showed up and he really clicked with Elder Black. So, they started teaching him and he wanted to be baptized so badly. So, the following Sunday he was baptized. He's so awesome! He told me that I was sent of God to direct him to church and that he prays for me every single day and asks God to bless me. He's the sweetest! And it kind of made me feel bad that I was a little bit hurried in our first meeting. He doesn't speak Thai at all, but the ward members are taking good care of him. On Saturday night we missionaries and some other members went to Sister Ooy's house for dinner. She wanted Martin to come and she tried to invite other farangs because she wanted him to feel comfortable and make friends in the ward. How sweet is that? Way cool! 

Here are some funny things that happened:

On Tuesday we were walking to the post office to drop off a record in the mail. I stopped to talk to a street vendor about baptism and as I was talking I felt something on my legs. I looked down and I was standing on top of an ant hill and red ants were crawling all over my legs and feet! haha I screamed and started swatting them off and I think the vendor was amused. Then I continued to try and explain baptism, but I kept feeling ants biting my legs and I had to keep swatting them. Finally I just asked him if he wanted to be clean from sin, left him a pass-along card, and continued on to the post office. haha

At the post office we also had an interesting encounter. This lady ran up to us and told us that her son had served a mission before and that he lives in the states now. She then took my hand and started to give it a massage and compared it to my un-massaged hand to notice how it was not as smooth. I was way confused. Then she started showing us good stretches that we should do daily. We got a good laugh over that!  I grabbed her phone number and called her later, but I don't think she's interested. 

Also, one day when we were inviting this lady came up to me and started giving me pamphlets about her church, invited me to a worship service and then asked for my number. That was definitely a reversal of roles! haha 

There is a food court close to our house that we go to once or twice a week. It's pretty good, there's just tons of different Thai food you can choose from. Anyway, you get utensils from a bin and take them to your own table. So, this week I found out that those utensils are not actually clean. There is a pot of boiling water that you're supposed to stick the utensils in, which then washes- and hopefully- disinfects them. So, I have been eating off of used utensils for the last 3 months. Just barely figured out what that pot of water was for! Nasty! I have a great immune system. Haha

On Friday at sports day we played Sardines and it was the most hilarious thing I've ever seen. I don't think they understood the point of the game, because the people hiding would switch locations so as not to be found. When Brother Dtam was hiding he literally climbed out the church window to escape the seekers. Made me laugh so hard! They did NOT want to be found!

I'm loving serving with Sister Peterson. She's so cute! She has a great sense of humor, and she's awesome! I think this is going to be a really fun transfer.

Things are going great here! I just love being a missionary! I love you all so so so much! I hope all goes well with preparations to leave for California! Have soooooo much fun! Have a great, safe, awesome week!


Liz :)

 On our way to the Crocodile Farm!
 My hometown newspaper!

 You can actually order all these dishes. 
The Elders got a crocodile burger. Tasted like chicken.
 Leaving the croc farm
 At the ocean. Love this bike.

 Digging up the grass
 The second time it's rained since I've been in Bangkok!
Sawaddii Kha!

Monday, March 17, 2014

"The Morning Breaks" . . . apart

Hello wonderful, amazing family!

Well, this has been a great week! It's been a bit crazy with transfers but things are going really well. I'll just go through the main events of the week in order.

Last Monday was way fun! We went to lunch with Sister Anjana, shopped at the mall, sat in massage chairs, went bowling with the elders, and had Swensens! 

On Tuesday we had Zone Conference in Asoke! There is nothing better than getting together with all the missionaries and President/Sister Senior. Always such a boost! Getting to zone conference was a bit of an adventure! Our whole district met at the pier to catch a boat to Asoke. Boats come by about every 5 minutes. So, the first boat came and we all scrambled to get on. I hopped on and so did Elders Clarke and Wolfley. But before Sis. Sawangwong and the other two elders could get on, our boat pulled away! Ahhhhhh! I have never been split from a companion before! So I just yelled for her to stay with the elders and hop on the next boat. It was the weirdest feeling. While we were sailing to Asoke our boat broke down and we pretty much drifted down the khlong until our boat was going slow enough for another boat to come along side it and slow it down. Then we all hopped onto the other boat. In the meantime, Sis. S's boat passed us so they made it to Asoke before us and I think they were way worried when we weren't there. But we finally showed up and we were all reunited.

Zone conference was so great! Met up with so many friends! I felt like this zone conference was meant to encourage us all and make us feel extra good about ourselves! haha I loved it!  I'll write my notes from it in a letter. I think my favorite part of zone conference was the opening song. We opened the meeting with hymn #1, "The Morning Breaks," and it was a disaster. haha We couldn't really hear the piano, and no one was singing it right. And then when the song splits into men and women, it totally fell apart. It was awful! My favorite was watching Sis. Senior on the stand because she could not stop laughing. Pres. Senior got up to speak after that and explained the background to the song and that the meaning behind it is very profound, but that our rendition of it was awful! So funny!

On Wednesday we had a random lady call us telling us that she has a granddaughter that wants to be baptized asap. Whoa! So we went and taught her. The granddaughter is 13 years old. She is in our area just for summer break right now. The grandma doesn't live here full time though (she's a member). She owns an orchard in the south. So, there are a lot of logistics here that the zone leaders will let me know whether or not she can be baptized. Anyway, that was a huge miracle that we are very grateful for!

On Thursday we had our mini-transfer! There was no transfer meeting, the AP's just called us and told us where/when to meet our new companions. It was a bit of a mess trying to get everyone to the right spots. We pretty much spent the whole day figuring it all out. So, Sister Sawangwong is in Bangkaen now with Sister Stewart. She was a little disappointed to be staying in BKK (it borders Bangkapi's area), but she is soooo lucky to have Sister Stewart as a companion. She is so sweet and so awesome! 

So, Sister Peterson is my new companion! She's way cute! She's been up in Pitsanuloog with Sister Mullen. How fun is that? I am really excited for the rest of this transfer. I think we are going to have a great time together and work hard! Sis. P is a little bit on the quieter side, has a funny sense of humor and is just really cute. I'm really happy we're serving together. Right now I'm a little bit stressed because we don't have any firm daters and our investigator pool is a bit weak. We need to have one more person baptized by the end of this month, and none of our daters came to church yesterday. So, I'm just praying hard that this week we'll have some miracles. We already did yesterday! 

Before we left the apartment to go to church I prayed that people would come to church. Well, as we pulled up to the church a random lady showed up that I didn't recognize. I went to greet her and introduce myself. Turns out she had asked a motorcyle driver to take her to the nearest Christian church and this is where he thankfully took her! So, she stayed the whole time and loved it! We taught her and she would not accept a baptismal date, even though she said she was willing to be baptized. So, we're going to try and meet with her today or tomorrow. Anyway, that was a miracle! So grateful!

Yesterday was an awesome day at church. A lady from the stake came to present about family history. But in Sacrament Meeting the Bishop invited her to share her testimony. She got up and after talking for a couple of minutes she said that Pocahontas could explain her feelings best. Then she began singing one of the songs in Pocahontas that Grandmother Willow sings about if you "listen with your heart, then you'll believe..." or something like that. I was so glad that I was towards the back of the room because I could not stop laughing! Made my day! haha

So, this has been a great week. I'm really happy to be serving with Sister Peterson. Right now we're working hard to get new investigators and help the ones we already have reach their baptismal date. Things are great! I know that Heavenly Father is helping us so much here and with hard work, obedience, and faith amazing things will continue to happen. I just love being a missionary soooooo much!

I love you all so much and hope that this week goes well!



 Elder Gettavong carrying Sis. S's suitcase down the street! haha
 Waiting at the bus stop on transfer day.
 cool tree
On our way to go inviting!

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Sweet Sabbath

As far as I know this should be my last P-day with Sister S. However, we haven't heard any news yet as to which day the transfer will be. But we do have zone conference this week on Tuesday in Asoke! Way excited! I love when we all meet together and learn! So much fun!

Last Monday we went to Sister Goy's graduation at Rangkamheng University. It is a really big university and had one of the biggest graduating classes last week! Sister Goy really wanted us to come and take pics with her at the university. One thing I love about Thai people is that they are so extremely supportive of each other in everything. 

Well, this was a wonderful week!

Yesterday was especially miraculous for many reasons. First of all, there were 140 people at church yesterday!! I think that may be a record for the mission. I've never heard of that before. Normally we have between 100 and 110. Our goal is to build up the ward to have 150 people steadily coming so that they can split into two wards and increase the stakes, and then have a temple. We're on our way! Also, six of our investigators showed up to church! And, most excitingly, our investigator, Sister Pat was baptized. She was so happy! Also, four other investigators of the elders were baptized. Such an awesome Sunday. It was probably one of the craziest Sundays ever trying to work everything out. As usual, there were problems with the font and we had to fill it with buckets. haha We had issues with baptizers not showing up, but in the end it all worked out wonderfully and it was such a nice day! Everyone was so happy and cheerful. There was just such a good mood at the church yesterday! Baptism days are so happy because we're welcoming these people into our ward and church family. There is so much love and support here!

I think that hot season has definitely set in here. I'm a sweaty mess all day long, and it's only going to get hotter. I don't know how the graduates survived graduation in their robes in this muggy heat! It's funny to think about how much I hated the heat before I came to Thailand because now I don't even mind it. I would not want to live in this climate forever, but for the time being it's not even bad. It's probably a little blessing from Heavenly Father! 

Brother Somgiad is doing really well. I just loved an experience he shared with us. One day he was driving in his car and he realized that his glasses were missing. He told us he really needed his glasses because how would he read without them. So, he said a little prayer and then had the idea to go to Tesco. He started walking down the meat aisle and found his glasses on a shelf! I just love that he thought to pray for help and that Heavenly Father gave him that experience to increase his faith. So awesome! Our prayers are heard and answered! Also, he brought his 16 year old nephew to learn with us. Hoping that goes somewhere. He didn't accept a baptismal date, but hopefully next time. 

This week we had a lot of good experiences out inviting and street contacting. One lady even agreed to meet us at the church after we'd finished. We gave her a church tour and taught briefly. But then we realized she was Islamic, so we have to get special permission from P. Senior to teach her. (It can be life threatening to change religions if you're Islamic, so we have to get special permission on a case-by-case basis). Also, we met two French girls completely lost and helped them get to their hostel. They were so cute! I also had an Indian man ask if I was married yet, as well as two Cameroonians ask for my number. haha 

This week we visited a less active member who makes dresses and sells them in America. They're very pretty. It was fun to visit her. She came to church, too!

This week Sister Steele was in the hospital with Dengue Fever. She's totally fine now, but we went and switched-off with them a couple of times so her comp could go do work in their area. I stayed at the hospital one time and it was so fun to talk with her. Sister Steele is so awesome. She is one amazing missionary and she is so cute to talk to. It was just really refreshing to catch up with her and get advice, etc... 

That pretty much covers the main events of this week!


Rangkamheng University

 House hunting...I think we may be looking in too hi-so of a neighborhood. haha
 I got the Christmas tree! I love it and read it every day! 
I don't know what route this package took to get to Thailand, 
but it definitely took at least four months to get here!
 Elder Gettavong with a lizard on his leg.
 These three make me laugh.
 The four sisters that got baptized.
 Sister Pat!

Sister Pat!

Monday, March 3, 2014

The wonderful sisters of the Thailand Bangkok Mission