Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hey, come to church! Wild donkey giveaway!


Hello familia! 

Well, this was one wonderful week! So many amazing things happened. I'll just kind of go in order.

Well, last Monday was way fun! We went to the Mall to go get manicures and when we walked through the front door of the mall a farang in a suit came up to us and started speaking to us in Thai. I was so confused! He then introduced himself as Elder Hartman's dad! What?! So excited! He does business here in Thailand and got permission to meet up with Elder Hartman on his P-day. We talked for a couple of minutes and then E. Hartman and E. Black showed up! Then Bro. Hartman invited us all to eat lunch together and invited the other Elders. It was so much fun! We went and got pizza and then Haagen-Dazs ice cream. It was just so awesome to spend time with a dad! So, we were greatly blessed with an unexpected awesome visit from Brother Hartman!

Book of Mormon class is going well! This last week we read in 1 Nephi 11-13ish. It's pretty much just a reading and study class. I think it's helpful. Reading the scriptures can be really confusing, especially for recent converts, so we try to help them understand what the scriptures are talking about and how it can be applied. 

So, we go to Fashion Island frequently to go inviting. Lots of times we'll just stand on this bridge that everyone has to cross to get to the mall and try and talk to everyone that crosses it. Apparently, a new investigator of the Elders said that he had seen us sisters on the bridge one day but did not know that we were sharing about baptism. When we are inviting others to learn about baptism, a lot of times we'll ask people first if they want to be cleansed from sin. The way you say "cleansed from sin" is "laang baab." Well, if you don't hear the final consonants in both of these words it sounds like you're saying "wild donkey," or "laa baa."  This kid thought we were asking him if he wanted a wild donkey because we could give one to him at our church. Therefore he did not stop to talk to us. haha I think I need to find a new phrase or else enunciate much more clearly.

Okay, so yesterday was so awesome! It was such an amazing day at church. So many miracles and funny things. I'll just go in order of the day.

First of all, we miraculously had five investigators show up to church (some of which we had just street contacted and are never very certain)! I felt like the speakers were so awesome yesterday and during sacrament meeting the Bishop, the Elders, and Brother Somgiad, sang a very dramatic rendition of "Ye Elders of Israel." Made my day! haha

Our investigator class went well and I could tell all of our investigators really liked it. But, here's a little glimpse into Thai culture. Thai people are very blunt about certain things. That was manifest in our investigator class. The teacher was talking about gifts of the spirit and had some of the missionaries come up in front of the class. He asked them how long they had learned Thai before they came to Thailand and they all responded 2 months. He then asked one of the Elders' RCs, who's a college student, to come up front. He asked her the same question and she responded that she'd been learning English since she was in elementary school. He then pointed out that she still can hardly even speak anything. Goes to show that the gift of tongues is real. So, that may have been a little offensive, but made a good point. haha 
But then the teacher talked about how a certain member has no talent for singing, but he loves his willingness to try and that he'll be able to develop those skills. Lastly, he asked another rather overweight member what she thought her talent was. She responded whatever her talent was but then the teacher said, "Oh really? Do you like to make food? You're good at eating obviously!" I died. I felt so bad for that girl, but she and everyone just laughed and agreed and he moved on. That would so not fly in America. haha It is just funny what is and isn't acceptable in different cultures. However, the lesson really was good and our investigators were really involved in it.  

Okay, so third hour was combined because it was fifth Sunday and the Bishopric was in charge. The lesson was on home/visiting teaching. HT/VT still hasn't really taken off too well in Thailand and it makes a big difference. So, a few weeks ago the Bishop asked us missionaries to do a 10 minute play on home teaching to show the whole process from getting the assignment, planning ahead with your companion, setting up the appointment, going to visit the family, giving the lesson, checking up with them, etc... It actually went way better than I expected and I think Bishop was pleased with it. And the ward members got a kick out of it. I would not say that any of us are natural born actors. But it was fun!

After church we had the best potluck of my life: cashew chicken, green curry, massaman curry, and random Thai desserts! อร่อยมาก!

 Then, the best part of the day! Sister Nang, Sister Grape, and Brother Donut were baptized! Sister Nang was glowing, Donut was beyond excited, and Grape was emotional (that also may have been because she's afraid of water). But it was such a great day! Everyone was way happy!

We also have two new investigators that came to church. So, we have been extremely blessed this week! I am just so excited and feel so amazingly blessed to be serving right now in Bangkapi and with Sister Peterson!

I love my life!  I love being a missionary!

Oh, the numbers are in: our mission had 212 BAPTISMS FOR MARCH! Oh my goodness I am so excited!! Amazing! God is blessing Thailand.

Well, just know that I love you all sooooooo much!


Liz :)