Monday, April 28, 2014

I just love it here.

Hellooooo familia! 

So, this was a great week!

We did not get to go to transfer meeting because we were not moving. I was a little bummed because it's always such a fun boost to meet with everybody, and now I don't really know where anybody is. haha However, Thursday ended up being a really awesome day for us here in Bangkapi. We ended up going on quite the adventure with Jane to go find a lady that invited us over to visit. It was somewhere that I'd never been before here and we ended up at this beautiful park with a pond and all sorts of palm trees and flowers. So cool! This lady lives really close to this park. She's adorable. Love this lady. She's learned with missionaries previously, but it just never worked out. We gave her a baptismal date for the 4th of May which she accepted.

On Thursday we also got to teach Sister Pat. She has been out of town with Songkran and work so it was so great to finally meet with her face to face. She's doing well and is so awesome. She seemed so happy yesterday at church! Love it!

Sister NL has not been coming to church for about a month or so now and she hasn't been answering her phone. So, we did a little detective work to find out where she works and we went and found her last week. She was super busy with customers so we just had a brief chat. On Saturday we went to her work again (and walked the whole 5 miles there so we could get in some inviting on the way) and she was not busy. We got to talk and even got to meet her mom. Turns out she'd picked up a temporary summer job until school starts up again. She stops working on the 16th and will be back to church. She has been reading and praying. So that was a relief and we are so grateful. Now we just need to make sure she stays strong. That was a big miracle from this week!

This week we got a handful of new investigators in the form of formers and from inviting.

Another new investigator of ours is named B. He's from Nigeria and lives in our apartment complex; however, we met him street contacting. He came to church on Sunday and seemed to like it. We had Brother Martin help us teach, as well as some other YW that can speak English pretty well. The lesson went fine and the YW gave the sweetest testimonies in English. I just loved hearing them! So, we're meeting with him this week and we'll see where it goes from there!

One thing I can say, though, is that I do NOT know how to teach very well in English. Things that I say in Thai or ways that I describe things just don't translate very well back into English. If the missionaries ever want me to help them teach when I get  back to the states they are going to think I am so lame. But it was a good experience!

So, yesterday was ward conference so the Stake Presidency came and gave wonderful talks! Also, Somgiad and Dtam got ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood! 

Since it was a special day the Bishop arranged a special song for us missionaries and a member to sing together. We sang "Where Love Is" and just Sister Peterson and I were assigned to sing alto while one other lady sang soprano. So, at certain points in the song we were in a little trio and they made us get right up close to the microphone. I hadn't really practiced the song, so pretty sure I messed the whole thing up, but no one seemed to notice. haha Also, at one point in the song the lady singing soprano had a solo. As she began to sing the first line of the song she dramatically held out the last note of the line and the ward clerk played some chimes so it sounded a little bit mystical... haha So funny. But it was fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed it all! 

Next week the plan is for Sister Ying and Paow to be baptized. They're cute! They couldn't stay for all of church yesterday because her dad was in the hospital and they needed to go be with him. So we're praying everything pulls through for their baptism, and that the dad gets feeling better, too! One thing is for sure, though, Grape loves coming to church and that really helps Mink and Paow, too! So awesome!

So, we had a great visit at Sister O's house. She is so sweet. We visit her usually every week. This time we brought Sister Janti, Sister Fon, and Sister Nat. They are all so awesome! It's just amazing to me to hear the testimonies from these recent converts. They are so sincere and love the gospel. It really helps my testimony to listen to what they share. I love love love it!

This has been a really great week! I just really adore everyone here. I feel like my time here in Bangkapi is really helping my testimony grow, and I especially feel like I understand the gospel principles in a way I never have before. It's something that I treasure and I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for it!

I love love love love it here! I'm excited for this transfer ahead of us! Sister Peterson is awesome and I just love her to death. She's such an awesome missionary and is so much fun to be with. This is going to be a great transfer!

Oh, just so you know, in August they are switching back to 6 week transfers, which will definitely affect the day I come home. I'm still not sure exactly how, but there's a chance it may get pushed out a couple weeks. So, I'll keep you updated.

I love you all so much!

Have an awesome time in Utah and tell everybody I love them!  


Sister Liz  :)

 Easter Eggs with Sister Nat
 Check this out: This is what they do for Youth Conference in Thailand. Sign me up!

 This is the day we said goodbye to all the Elders leaving.
 With Sister Gai. I loooove this lady. So funny, so cute and just the best. 
She just got called as YW counselor.

 With Boat and Ploy

Bright and beautiful trees

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Haaappy, Baptism to you!"

Hello everybody and Happy Easter! 

Well, this was a great week! Songkran was sooooo much fun! I'm glad the ward posted pictures because I don't really have any. I didn't want to take my camera because it would probably get ruined. But it was way fun! During Songkran (Sunday-Tuesday) we had to be in by 7:00 for safety reasons, so we got a lot of cleaning, organizing, and calls done. It was good! After Monday we were so sunburned and so tired, but it was so worth it. 

Falangs tend to come to Thailand during Songkran because it's way fun. While we were walking to the bus station to head back to Bangkapi on Monday I looked down in the Khlong (sewage canal that they run boats on for transportation) and there was this blonde-haired falang lady swimming in it. I think all of us missionaries were in shock and horror.... falling into the khlong is one of my worst fears and this lady was voluntarily swimming in it! haha Not so sure that tourist knew what she was swimming in.

So two Fridays ago I had a switch-off and went to Saphaan Suung with Sister Holmes and Gittima! It was way fun. Everything fell through so we pretty much invited all day long. It was pretty rainy, but we had a really fun time! Love those two!

Last Sunday was just really cool. Sister Peterson and I had split up to teach people after church. I got done first so I walked down the hall to find out which room she was in and I noticed that every single one of us missionaries had split up. There were so many people to teach that all 8 of us were teaching separately. It was kind of a cool sight! Also, last year there were 29 baptisms in Bangkapi. This year, as of this last Sunday, there have been 36! Amazing! Heavenly Father is really blessing this area right now (and I think it's freaking the members out a bit, too! haha) I think before long they're going to be splitting the ward!

Okay, Mom, at the Women's Conference that they had before General Conference, do you remember an "I am a Child of God" medley with people from all over the world? There are Thai people in it from the Jaengwattana church! We got to watch the medley. So awesome! Not sure if you would have realized that or not, but it might be fun to go see again.

So, this week our Book of Mormon class went really well. We read 1 Nephi 16 about the Liahona and breaking the bow. There was such good class discussion and everyone was so involved. I just felt really happy after that class!

Okay, so yesterday was absolutely amazing because seven investigators of the elders were baptized (four of them were a family- awesome!). One of our investigators was supposed to be baptized, Chompu, but things fell through because of her testing schedule. So, we were a little sad about that, but hopefully soon she'll be baptized, too! However, we did have a save yesterday! Sister Noy is now active again, and is even bringing us investigators (Grape and Mink's grandma/aunt). Yesterday, she brought two new friends to church for us to teach, Ying and her daughter Pow. After church and before the baptism I had the chance to go teach them with sister Noy. The lesson went well and they are very receptive to everything. Half way through the lesson Noy got a call and it turns out they'd just received a huge amount of money from their business in the South. So, those two were freaking out and way excited and decided it was a blessing from God for coming to church. I guess it might be... I just hope they don't expect that every time they come to church! haha Anyway, Ying and Pow are awesome and they accepted a date for May 4th!

So, this may have been the highlight of my day: On Monday I guess Sister Peterson had found out that it was Sister Ploy's birthday on Sunday (investigator of the elders). So, on Saturday night we went and bought her some little cupcakes for her birthday and we were way excited to go give them to her on Sunday. After church we (the elders and a bunch of members) walked down  the street together to go surprise Ploy for her birthday. Well, Elder Clarke decided to be creative and just pretend like we were going there to fill out her baptismal record, and then when he asked for her birth date we would all start singing. Well, we did just that, but when he asked for her birthday, she could not remember and ran to get her passport and then proclaimed that her birthday was on June 7th...  Well, I just about died laughing, as well as the members. So, I snuck the birthday card off of her cupcakes and we wished her a happy baptism day instead. Everyone was way confused and way amused. Pretty sure Ploy was confused why the Elders had brought us and a whole bunch of members to come get her personal info for the baptismal record.  Anyway, after that Sister Peterson and I left to go inviting and about 15 minutes later I got a call from Elder Clarke asking who on earth had bought the cupcakes. Ploy had taken them out to share with the remaining people at her house and apparently they were coffee and green tea flavored. Ooops! haha I could not stop laughing on the phone with Elder Clarke over his confusion and amusement at our buying coffee and green tea cupcakes! Made my day!

Basically, yesterday was amazing because 7 people were baptized, Sister Noy is reactived, Heavenly Father blessed us with 3 new investigators, and we had a good dose of humor, too!

I love you all so much!


Liz :)

 Mink's baptism
Waiting at the church to head out and play Songkran!!!
 The elders forgot to turn off the font so we went over at 10pm
and I looked like a complete freak. 
I think the guards got a kick out of us in our pj's and safety vests.

 At Sister Ploy's "birthday" party.
 Here's the nasty centipede thing that came out of the font last week.

 Easter baptisms!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Triple thrill! Conference, baptisms, Songkran. Oh...and add a monster centipede.

Hello Familia!

Thank you for the amazing emails and pictures! You are the best! I love you so much! And I was so grateful we were able to find a place that was open to email. Sad you're all asleep, though! haha

Anyway, today was the FUNNEST day of my life! Songkran needs to happen in the States! 

First, I'll let you know the main events of this week: Sister Mink got baptized! It was a happy day! One of the Elders' investigators, Khwan, got baptized as well. Yesterday was absolutely amazing because we got to listen to General Conference, Mink and Khwan got baptized, and Songkran began! The best!

I loved Conference so much. When they zoom in on Temple Square it takes me home! I just loved all the talks. They were really straight forward; people need to get their lives in order, defend their faith, and prepare themselves for all that's going to unfold. It was way exciting to me! I loved it!

Okay, so I can't really remember what else happened this week. We just came from playing songkran, so I don't have my planner with all my notes from the week. So, I'll just tell you about today.

Oh, wait! So yesterday were the baptisms, but we all totally forgot to clean and fill the font the night before. So, yesterday morning Sister Peterson and I went over to the church at 6:30 am to go clean the font. Well, that was the most terrifying thing I've probably ever done on the mission! As we started to fill the font just a tad so I could scrub it out, this HUGE NASTY centipede thing came out of the drain! I have never moved so fast as I did then to get out of the font! The thing was longer than my foot and started crawling all over the place. So, I called the Elders and asked them how to kill it because they get those a lot in their house. I ended up sweeping it up into a bucket and pouring floor cleaner all over it. Sickest thing ever. That will show up in my nightmares. I seriously can't believe how big the bugs are here.

Well, today was sooooo much fun! So, Songkran is traditionally Thai New Years, and they celebrate it with a waterfight (that is very timely because it is soooooo hot this time of year). I’m sure there's history behind it, too, but no one I ask seems to know. Anyway, this morning we met at the church at 8:30 with at least 30 + members and we headed to Asoke to go play Songkran at Central World and Siam Paragon. It was the funniest, funnest thing ever! Everyone is dressed up in colorful shirts and equipped with a water gun. Everyone is free game and you shoot people as you please. In Asoke we met up with a ton of missionaries. I got to see Sister Sawangwong! So happy! Pretty much everyone just ran around squirting each other all afternoon. But at the places we went they have it set up really fun with lots of places to fill up your squirt guns and with music, food, etc.... I don't think I’ve been this wet before, even when I shower! They also like to take this clay/powder stuff and wipe it all over your face. The bus ride home was hilarious. Every few minutes people along the side of the road would throw buckets full of water through the bus windows and soak us all. I can't even describe how much fun and how funny it all is. This is by far my favorite holiday here! Also, another tradition that goes along with Songkran is "way-ing" grandparents. They pour water on your head and then give you advice, encouragement, blessing, etc... Sweet!

Have an awesome week! I can't download pictures at this place because our regular internet place is closed. Next week I'll send baptismal/songkran pictures! (But I'm sure plenty of people in the ward will post some, too!)

Love you all!


Liz :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Area Seventy from Thailand!

Hello, hello family! 

Well, right now I am in Sapaan Suung because we had a zone sports day. We played basketball, volleyball, and ultimate frisbee. It's so hot, I was sweating like a pig, but it was way fun and refreshing to just run around.

This week was awesome!

Tuesday was way fun because it was Elder Gettavong's birthday and President Senior came to our district meeting! In the morning the Elders bought this tiny little brownie and stuck at least twenty trick candles in it. They lit them all and pretty much had a torch coming off the top of the brownie and it was a feat blowing them all out, but Elder G loved it! At the church a few members were vacuuming the lobby and all of a sudden a rat came scrambling out from under a sofa. Elder G went running after it, caught it, and then paraded around the church with it. Nasty! haha He likes to catch reptiles, rodents, and birds.

We had zone conference a few weeks ago, but Pres. Senior wasn't able to interview our district. So he came to district meeting and then interviewed us afterwards. It is always so much fun and such a boost to meet with President!

So, yesterday Sister Nang was confirmed and she was so happy. Earlier in the week we taught her about temple work for the dead and she was SO excited about that. She is way gung-ho to do her family history because she wants everyone to be baptized, including two of her deceased children. This gospel brings people so much peace and happiness! Just can't wait for a temple to be here in Thailand as well!

I am waaaaay excited about Elder Khanakham! He was assigned to the Esan area when I was there, so he helped with interviews and training often. He's so awesome and it is way exciting that Thailand now has an Area Seventy!

Sister Mink ended up not getting baptized this week because her aunt, Sister Noy, had a change in work and had to go to the south and bring her also.  I called her and tried to see if she could work it out to come to church, but she said no, and that she'd come next week. Well, Elder Gettavong ended up calling her as well a little later that day, and Sister Noy took it as a sign that God wanted her to come to church! So, she delayed her travel plans, brought the girls to church, as well as a new investigator for us, Ying. Grape was able to be confirmed, and next week Mink will be baptized! So grateful!

Also, the other day we were street contacting and I lost my planner somewhere. That was a big problem because it has a lot of important phone numbers. Also, we'd walked probably about 2-3 miles out and then turned back. So it was a lot of area to cover. We prayed, got on bus and went a ways down the road until we felt like we should get off. We walked around a little bit and voila! Sitting on a bench was my planner! I feel like that was definitely a miracle because there's no way we would have found it that fast considering how far we'd gone! Heavenly Father was helping us not waste time and find my planner quickly! So awesome!!

Also, this week we taught Opal, along with her mom. We've taught her mom before, and although she is way supportive of Opal being baptized, she was never too interested. However, she sat in on our review lesson of the Plan of Salvation and baptismal work for the dead. I think it really touched her and she said she is going to try and change her work schedule so she can come to church and she wants to learn!! Blessings!!!

So we are happy and grateful for all the amazing things that happened this week!

I met an elderly man from D.C.  He was the cutest little thing and was so excited to talk to us. He asked us about what we were doing and we spent some time explaining. He is very familiar with Mormons, and he said that after talking with us he would never say a bad thing about a Mormon again!

Also, at church yesterday I had to translate for Sister Sue in RS. It was all about staying out of debt, President Heber J Grant’s experience with a financial crisis in the late 1800's, and being smart about investments. That was probably the worst translating I’ve ever done.

I love you all so much!


Lizzy! :)