Sunday, August 10, 2014

08-11-14 Three huge dogs came out of nowhere!!!

Hello family, friends, and loved ones!

Me and Sister Sahagun
Adventures happen everyday! The first one that happened was when Sister Stevenson and I went to 7/11 around 8 pm. It's really dark on the streets since the street lights aren't super bright. Anyway, I'm biking along, everything is good until... three huge dogs come out of nowhere!!! I swear, they just appeared out of thin air from the darkness! They start barking and trying to nip at my heels. And so, I do the only logical thing I can think of in this fairly scary-terrifying situation. I turn my head toward them and SCREAM. I screamed so loud, and so hoarsely that they immediately backed off. My companion, who is biking in front of me almost crashed into a parked car since I scared her so bad too! We both laughed really hard after that. Who knew that I could be so scary??

Anyway, Transfers was this week, and we got the call last Monday to see who was leaving or not. Sister Stevenson moved and I stayed! It's funny since I have been here longer than she has and she usually stays in areas for a loooong time. So, it was a super fast 6 weeks for both of us. It was really fun to be her companion too. We worked really hard and we had a blast together. I will miss her. Two days before transfers, we decide to just do what we normally do--contacting. But, on the way, we decided to stop at this cute little coffee/bakery place. I ended up getting a rainbow crepe cake... it was alright. It's just weird to think about it though. Sitting in a coffee shop... in Thailand... sipping some honey lemonade. That's the life I tell you. 

The rainbow crepe cake
Wednesday, Sister Stevenson, Elder Heras (my district leader), Elder Lingard and I had a member pick us up with luggage and all. We got to the bus station around 10:45 pm and our bus didn't leave until 12:20 am. There was a lot of waiting involved, as you can assume. But, once we got on the bus, it's really hard to fall asleep. I get car sick easily here and the roads are so bumpy. The chairs are NOT comfortable either. And, who tries to give you food at 3:00 am in the morning? Thai Bus attendants, apparently. Yes, the buses here have bus attendants. So, think of flight attendants on a huge bus. That's exactly what they are. It's fairly strange. Anyway, we got to Bangkok at 5:45 am. We waited for another bus to come since they didn't have room to put Sister Stevenson's bike on our bus. So, here we are--two tired, exhausted Sister missionaries waiting for another bus to come, with hair gross and greasy, and bags under our eyes. We were quite the sore sight. But, all went well, and we obtained her bike easily from the other bus. We took a taxi to the church building where transfers was going to be held. We changed, washed our faces, brushed our hair, put on a little bit of make-up on and poof! We looked decent and beautiful again! Haha!

Transfers was bitter sweet. Three of my previous companions were going home that day. It was weird to say good-bye to them. So, Sister Yim, Sister Sahagun, and Sister Broeder are all home again. I will miss them so much! I love them dearly! 

My new companion is Sister Sawangwong! She is awesome! I love her so much and she takes really good care of me. She makes pretty good food too, I must say. And, living with a Thai companion forces you to speak Thai every day... every minute, so I think my Thai will improve here in the next 6 weeks. I'm excited! This transfer is going to be great!

Also, Sister Wendy (an investigator of Sister Sawangwong and Sister Broeder) got baptized yesterday! It was really nice and she gave a really sweet testimony. She wrote down what she was going to say on her phone! She is so cute!

Anyway, that's about it, folks! I hope all is well and everyone is healthy and happy. I love being a Missionary and I love God's work. 


Sister Carter 

Pics: Baptism of Wendy and Me with Sister Sahagun one last time in Thailand

ฃิสเตอร์ คาร์เทอร์

                        A blurry picture of me with my old district. I'm wearing my Thai outfit I bought.
Baptism of Wendy and Me with Sister Sahagun one last time in Thailand

                     Funny things I see in Thailand

Weird... gross things I see in Thailand

Thursday, August 7, 2014

08-03-14 English class, inviting & face masks


Dear Family and Friends!

What a week! I am healthier and happier than ever! This week began with an FHE that Sister Stevenson planned herself. It was pioneer theme and we played cat's cradle, the pull-stick game, and then watched the Joseph Smith movie. I wish we had 17 Miracles, but what we had was good enough too! 

Tuesday, we had another good English class. This week was on "manners". It was so much fun! We set up a table, plates, napkins, silverware, a vase of flowers, and even a table runner in front of the class. We showed them first hand on what "good" and "bad" manners were at the table. The students then had a turn to come up and sit at the table and demonstrate (In English) some good and bad manners as well. Everyone got a kick out of it. I sure had fun! I wish I got some pictures from it. 

Wednesday... well, we spent the whole day inviting in the sun. But after that, Sister Stevenson and I were in charge of leading the Book of Mormon class that we have. And, being me, I always love putting up a little show. We decided to reenact 1 Nephi Chapter 18--you know, the chapter where Nephi and his family are on the boat? Yeah, that one! We set up chairs to represent the "boat" and had the whiteboard behind us with "waves" drawn on it to represent the waters. Only four people came to the class but they got quite the play! I acted as "Laman" and another Elder, (Elder Heras, my district leader) was "Lemuel". We had a grand old time making fun of "Nephi" (Elder Lingard) and tying him up with the only rope we had--red Christmas ribbon. We tied him to the chair and I made little bows to knot it all up. He looked like a funny Christmas present. It was so funny! And even though we looked like fools for three members and one investigator, I know they enjoyed it and felt the spirit. We emphasized that some people make bad choices that affect us and we cannot control. But, we can be like Nephi, and not complain and rather pray to the Lord for strength. He is an awesome example for everyone!

Thursday, we had some special guests come and visit us. The Zone leaders, Elder Kelly, and Elder Delegarza along with the Sister Training leaders came down to train us. This training was so nice and spiritual. I really liked President Senior's message of true conversion. Often, we as missionaries teach so much that we give the lessons as a rote presentation. We have to remember that we are teaching actual people and we need to tailor to their needs. It has inspired me to do the same and to be really creative with lessons! Hopefully I can put the creativity to the test when we actually teach someone. >.< Oops. Yes, the work has been relatively slow lately. But all is well! I am still happy and hopeful with all the contacting that we do for several hours a day. The work is always fulfilling!

The rest of the week went by so fast! When you contact for a long time, things seem to go by faster than you think it does. We have been trying to get a hold of some recent converts so that we can strengthen and help them in the Gospel. We even set out to make an RC book for the branch and future missionaries so that no one would be forgotten. We have one particular RC though that we have not been able to get a hold of. She never answers her phone and the only other way to contact her is through her work. However, the description of her work from the previous Elders doesn't quite sound very... safe. On the note they gave of her they said, "Works at a Karaoke bar in between the 7/ll and the internet cafe. Um... use judgement when going there. Places like these can be sketch." I'm like, "What the heck! How did these Elders meet this girl in the first place?" Anyway, we put off in trying to find her for a while. We would plan on it, but always forget or feel too hesitant in visiting the Karaoke bar. But, we finally did it. A girl met us outside the first time (in broad daylight, mind you) and told us to come back in the evening. Red flags are going off in my head by this point. So, we finally go back to visit in the evening... and oh my goodness. What an adventure! We parked our bikes in front of the Karaoke bar and I immediately knew what kind of place it was. There were lots of Christmas lights strewn all over the place, the windows were tinted black, and I could faintly see some interesting clad figures through the windows. I wanted to turn around fast. But, my companion was like, "Well, we have to meet her at least once!" I was still hesitant and almost half way on my bike again when a lady came out to meet us. She asked us, "Hey, do you need help or something? Are you lost?" We explained that we were trying to find someone and she said that she was not there but to come back the next evening. Ugh. So, we did. But, when we did, we saw the RC we were looking for, outside the bar and on her motorcycle! It was a miracle! We didn't have to touch the door of the place! I was so happy. And we learned that this RC lost her phone and had been busy with school. She said she would come to church that Sunday but she never did :( Oh well. I still consider it a miracle that we found her!

Anyway, that's most of the excitement of my week! It was full of funny, spiritual adventures and I loved it! I hope all is well with everyone! Be safe! Be happy! This Church is very, very true! I love you!


Sister Carter

Face masks!

Hey mom! I saw this dress and I thought I'd take a picture of it. I know it's a wedding dress, but I thought it would be fun to share :)

07-28-14 Line dancing, tree of life & hospital visit

07-28-14 Hello Family, Friends, Loved Ones, etc. 

 A lot went on this week. I have been feeling ill with weird things. Throughout the week, I felt nauseous, pain in my back, neck arms, legs etc. but I had no fever. But then I had a fever for one night. It's been going on and off for a while. It's very strange and I don't understand it. But, because of this, I was unable to go to the Branch President's house for FHE with the other missionaries. They went home in the back of his truck and it started to pour on them! They were completely soaked when they came back home. I suddenly became grateful for being sick that day! :)

Tuesday, we had a really fun, successful English class. Since it was Pioneer day this last Friday, I decided we should have a pioneer/cowboy/western theme to teach. We taught them how to sing, "Home on the Range", watched Zion's Camp, and last but not least, I taught them how to... line dance. Yes, line dance. It was the most fun I've seen any English class have. It was such a hit! Everyone got up and danced, young and old. The Dance? Well, we had a rootin', tootin' time dancing to the Cotton Eye'd Joe song! Haha! A member had it downloaded on his computer so we were able to use it for English class. It was so much fun! 

After all that dancing, I was so sore the next day! It was kind of funny. But, Sister Sawangwong did an awesome Book of Mormon class! She had the room decked with a real "Tree of Life" (from the church's porch... oops!), a plastic "iron rod", and a stack of chairs with mean bullies behind them to act as the "great and spacious building". It was so much fun. And the "fruit" was none other than the sweetest lollipops in Thailand. I think the mission makes people very creative sometimes. Nonetheless, it was an awesome lesson and the members and investigators enjoyed it a lot. 
The two members and Elder Lingard pose as the mocking people from the Great and Spacious building

Our tree of life!
Unfortunately, I developed an exploding headache on Friday night and all of Saturday. It was the worse pain in my head that I ever felt. It was so sharp and painful. Light and movement just made everything hurt. I called Sister Senior and she told me to go to the hospital to check if it's not an infection or something. I went and they drew my blood and said I was low on Potassium.They gave me a lot of antibacterial medicines and stomach relievers that didn't help. I was on my bed all day in pain. It was so brutal. Anyway, I got a blessing later that night and the other sisters picked up some migraine medicine for me that really helped. But, by then, the pain was making me so nauseous throughout the day that I threw up everything that night. It was awful. Sunday, I was better and today there is no headache or nauseousness. I'm thankful!

We have met with two new investigators this week. One was a referral from the Sisters in Roy Et. This cool guy named "Taek" came to the church for a little church tour. He's married, and has a little daughter! He's so normal! I know this doesn't sound very groundbreaking but, if you knew half the Thai men here... you would understand. Taek came to church, or well, he came to the last ten minutes of church. I think he's still interested? We're going to keep in contact with him.
The other man we met, Phud, well... we can't quite figure him out. He's a tough cookie to understand, really. He slurs his words and doesn't ever look you in the eye. The only thing he said in the entire lesson was, "I understand" when he really didn't. My companion and I concluded that he might be those "not quite all the way there" investigators. You have to understand though, we meet crazy people on the street ALL the time. Like, this "crazy people" business has become a normal thing. I don't think I've met more weirder or crazier people in my life than on the streets of Thailand. It's well... crazy. So, yes, we are not judging this man when we suspect that he is "crazy". We are just legitimately concerned. 

Anyway, that's the story for the week! I hope you are all well! I love you! 


Sister Carter

Sports day!

The member, Brother Don is wearing a traditional rain coat covering... from 7/11 

Grasshoppers--they're freakishly huge

My shoes--are dying

Cows? Yeah, that's normal

07-21-14 I'm English Leader

07-21-14Hello Family and Friends! 

This week started out awesome with a FHE at a member's house. Sister จิว is a returned missionary of 10+ years and she's still going strong! We all sat on the ground, eating and talking. I still have no idea how to sit on the ground comfortably for a long time. It's ridiculous. I have to move around a lot and the members laugh and ask, "Why can't farangs (white people) sit on the ground?"  I ended up sitting on this one mat and a member was like, "You can't sit there and eat. Only snakes eat where they sleep!" That one took me off guard! I guess I'm a "snake" now? Haha! 

Tuesdays, we taught English as always at 6:30 pm. And I forgot to mention this but I am "English Leader" now. I basically get to tell people of my district what they'll be teaching etc. It's really fun. I love teaching English. This past week's theme was "Friends and Forgiveness". We watched a Mormon message from Elder Uchtdorf's talk. You know, the one where he says "Stop It". Yeah, that one. Everyone really loved it! It's cool to teach English because you can not only teach your language, you can teach simple truths of the Gospel. I love it!

So, interesting enough, the mission has allowed us to make a FaceBook profile so that we can keep in contact with our recent converts and investigators. Most of what I have posted thus far is from General Conference. I didn't think that many people would take notice of it and actually like it. But when we visited a RC at her work, she was talking all about the conference talks that I posted! It was really neat to see how those words touched her heart and she recognizes the spirit behind those talks. It's pretty cool how sharing one thing or two can change someone, you know?

This week was also filled with a lot of walking, biking and inviting. We go all over the town asking every single individual if they want to follow Christ and be Baptized. Many laugh at us. Many reject us. We are fortunate that no one yells at us or chases us out or something. I feel like as the days continue on, I feel stronger and stronger despite the sun, the rain, and the relentless biking. I sometimes wonder in this Idolatry-filled place if there is anyone searching for truth in the Almighty God. And it seems that when we find someone who IS interested, I am always surprised and taken off guard. We met this man named โจ (Joe) one day. He accepted to meet with us that Thursday. When thirty minutes had passed and he had not shown up, I was not disappointed. It's a usual thing to happen. We ended up sharing a scripture with a RC that was there to help us teach. In the middle of our message, a man walks into the room looking very confused. I do not recognize him because I did not contact him or invite him--my companion did. She recognizes him and we instantly dive into the lesson. We learn that he has gone to several churches trying to figure out what "Christianity" has to offer him. He thinks that all the Christian churches are the same, but once we discuss the Restoration he immediately says, "Yeah, you're right! This IS different!" We watched the Joseph Smith video of the Restoration. At the end of it, he looks at us and says, "I am just like that boy! I have been searching different churches to find the truth! I am just like him!" We say, "Yes, you are! And you can receive an answer too!" 
He came to church this past Sunday. I am not sure of what he thought. He left really quickly after sacrament. I will hope that he continues to pray and receive an answer. 

Other than that, I have been feeling a little ill the past two days. Thailand tends to get people sick often. I was feeling nauseous and achy all over. I still feel a little sore but I don't feel like I will be "sick" any time soon. (I hope) I am ready for another week of work! Here I come, Khon Kaen! Haha!

I love you all!


Sister Carter

A little taste of my area!

Here's Khon Kaen!

A Thai Sister (Sister Sawangwong) with my companion's blonde hair! Haha! She cracks me up!

07-13-14 I'm tanning!

Hello Family and Friends!

So, another busy, missionary week as always. Last P-day, Sister Stevenson and I went around the whole city looking at different shops. We ended up doing a lot of errands and then having FHE at the church. It was nice to be with members, eating and talking together. We had one investigator, Tree (yes, that is his name...) come after the FHE so we could teach him. He's busy all the time and doesn't have Sundays off. He is really interested though. He said that he's been searching and looking at Christian churches and seeing which one is true/good for him. When he met us, he thought it was true divine intervention. It was cool. But, we couldn't meet him again that week and he couldn't come to church. :(

Oh, and that investigator Naan that I talked about last week? Yeah, she disappeared off the face of the planet. It was so bizarre. She didn't answer her phone at all. I was a little disappointed. She was so prepared! She could have gotten baptized yesterday!! Oh well... she will find a way back to the missionaries again, I am sure. Apparently a lot of missionaries here in Thailand have experienced the "golden-prepared-ready-to-be-baptized" investigator and having them disappear into thin air. It's sad. But, it happens. 

We worked really hard this week. We met with some investigators but couldn't find any members available to help us. I hope the two men we met with (Amnoy, and tongchay) will find time in their schedule to got to church or meet with us again. They seemed like good, solid guys. We shall see!

Also, I have developed a tan... or a sunburn tan. It's pretty interesting. I thought I would always remain pure white. Well, I was wrong. And, I am gaining all sorts of muscles in my legs. I swear... I won't be able to fit into my skinny jeans back at home. I had bought some cool Thai pants that were a "skinny" style. My calves were too big for them and ripped the seams. Oops. What can you do, right? Haha!

I'm tanning?? Or maybe I'm just permanently burnt? 
I'm tanning?? Or maybe I'm just permanently burnt? 
And yes, those are my disgusting feet. It's what they look like by the end of the day. But check out the tan line!
Sunday was nice and quiet. We unfortunately didn't have any investigators at church, though. The mission goal to get 4 baptisms this month is starting to stress my companion and I out. Our Zone Leaders wanted us to get at least 3 baptisms by next week, too. Anything is possible, I believe that. Pray for Thailand! Miracles can happen!

Anyway, that is my week. I'm sorry this all sounds boring and uneventful. But, this new week will be good. We will hit the streets again, get burned, and find new investigators! All is well!


Sister Carter

Some of the scenery here in Khon Kaen :)