Monday, September 8, 2014

lovely people, lovely life

Hello family and friends!

Well, this has been a really wonderful week. Super crazy and tiring, but awesome!

Last Monday was fun because we had FHE at the Darting's house. They are this cute little family from California that is here on military assignment. They've been here for about 2 years or so. They have three cute little kids. It was so nice to just be in an American home! We had a delicious dinner and then Sis. Darting and the kids led a FHE lesson that was so good. Then we all ate cheesecake in honor of B. Darting's upcoming birthday. Amazing Monday!

I just want to tell you about some of our investigators and then tell you about MLC in BKK! 

So, we have a handful of awesome investigators right now. The first is Sister D. She is the sister-in-law of a recent convert of ours. Sister D is Christian already and her husband is Buddhist. They live in BKK, but she's pregnant right now so she came up to Chiang Mai for her pregnancy to be in the clean air. Anyway, her sister-in-law is quite the little missionary and now Sister D wants to be baptized. She loves what we've taught so far and was at church yesterday. She is not legally married, so we'll have to take care of that first. In Thailand I've met a lot of people that are married according to tradition, but never get around to actually signing marriage papers. It's pretty common. So, hopefully she can get the marriage papers signed soon! She is so cute and I just love the amazing support and encouragement she has from her sister.

Another investigator that I love that is just so cute is Brother Md. He's an 80 year old man that we invited off the street. He has come to church twice and we've taught him once. He's pretty set in his Buddhist ways, yet he loves coming to the church. We'll see what happens this next week with him! He's just the cutest man!

We have a mother and daughter that are investigating right now, as well. These two were not satisfied with Buddhism and wanted to find something more. When we taught the restoration lesson along with some of the commandments, they absolutely loved it! They understand that commandments are important and that we actually need to follow them if we want to see the benefits in our lives and receive blessings from God. Anyway, they love church so much. They have not accepted a baptismal date yet, but we'll be meeting with them again soon and I think it should not be much longer. They are just so with it and they support each other so well and love this Gospel!

On our way back from Bangkok a Philippino man was on the same bus as we were. We got talking to him and it turns out he had a lot of Mormon friends back home. Right now he's here for a year working. He asked us what the difference was between the big white churches and the churches with basketball courts. haha Anyway, he said he had a friend that all of a sudden went missing for a couple of years and then randomly was back at home. He asked this friend where on earth he had disappeared to and the friend told him he had been serving a mission in another country. Anyway, he's been well-exposed to Mormonism and he agreed to come to church yesterday. It was a really good experience. He just had a huge smile all day long and made friends with some other members in our branch from the Philippines. We'll be meeting with him again soon and begin teaching him lessons. Oh, this made me laugh. In Sacrament meeting the opening hymn was "The Morning Breaks." It's kind of a tricky song. I was sitting next to him and he said, "If this was a test, I would fail." haha Love this guy!

Anyway, those are a few of our investigators right now! I'll keep you updated. Sister Bee is doing SO well! She loves loves loves church and she is so involved and just loving all the members. It makes me so happy! Yesterday she was confirmed a member of the church! Happy day!

Also, yesterday was miraculous because we had 9 investigators at church! Two of them are from China and we are teaching them tonight! There are so many people to talk about but just not enough time. 

Oh, yesterday as I was waiting in the lobby for our investigators to show up to church I saw a farang couple walking up to the door. When they came in I almost died because I realized that it was Alicia and her husband! I visit taught Alicia my freshman year- we were in the same dorm! I was so beyond excited to see her! She and her husband have been living in China for a year and came to Thailand for a weekend vacation. They are so cute and it was so nice to talk to her for a few minutes. Made my day!

Also, last night was our last dinner with the Ures. So sad, they are being transferred to BKK to take the place of another senior couple that is going home. We are going to miss them SO much! I love the Ures to death!

Okay, so MLC in BKK was so great! We left Friday evening and got there early Saturday morning and crashed at the church. Unfortunately, I accidentally left my nice clothes on the bus, so I was in my bus sleeping clothes for the whole day... not as professional or as put together as I was hoping for. Oh well! haha Anyway, Elder Allen is the head of the missionary department. He headed up "The District" videos and many, many other things. Elder Funke of the 70 was also there. They are so amazing, I learned so much. I can't even tell you everything, but I'll highlight some of the main points that I liked. 

Okay, first of all we had MLC in the morning, but then later in the afternoon we had a meeting for all the BKK missionaries and people down for MLC. Well, Elder Allen is really straight forward and does not sugar coat anything. He congratulated us for doing so well with finding and baptizing people but then he chastised us for forgetting a lot of other really important things. He quoted President Hinckley a lot. President Hinckley taught that there is a much better way to work than just tracting/contacting/etc... it's through the members! So, he really focused on referral work, formers, etc... He also talked about linking our recent converts to members in the church better so they are more solid. Also, he told us that as leaders we don't need to hold our missionaries accountable, but help them feel the need to be accountable. So, there are so many awesome things I learned, can't even write them all down.  It was a great time in BKK and I learned so much! After the meetings we headed back to Chiang Mai. Got into town Sunday morning at like 5 am. So we got a little bit of sleep, got ready and then went to an amazing day of church. We definitely crashed last night once we got home, though. And we may just crash today, too! haha

So, it's been a great week! We have a lot of potentials, and a lot of great investigators! We are being blessed so much and are so grateful to be serving together here in Chiang Mai!

I love you all so so so much! I hope you have an amazing week!


Sister Stevenson