Monday, January 20, 2014

12-01-13 Thanksgiving

 Sawadii kha! Sabaydii may kha?

Hello everyone! It's been a while... or like, a week or two. Unfortunately I was really sick last p-day. I was up all night emptying the contents of my stomach for four rounds. It wasn't really fun and I didn't get any sleep. My companion was sick that morning too so we ended up staying in bed all day. The next day wasn't all that much better. I was still feeling unwell but I pushed on and taught English class that night. Last Wednesday, I was still feeling unwell so I ended up receiving a blessing from the Elders. I was so grateful to them. 

But let me back-track a little. The week before this, we got a call from the Elders. They had said, "guess what? We have a miracle for you!" We were confused but then they explained that they talked some Elders in another district who wanted to give us one of their investigators who actually lived in our area. She had been going to church over there with her friend so that's how they came into contact. She had learned a lot already and desired to be baptized! We were so stunned. I didn't know how to feel or react. So, we immediately contacted her and set an appointment. We found her street and waited for her to meet us. We didn't know what she looked like. All we knew is that she was 74 years old. But I see this old lady walking with an umbrella as a cane, with a bright orange hat on. She comes up and smiles at us. I instantly knew that this was Sister Sodchun. She led us to this building that had a rusty gate in front. The building was an old, old factory that she lives in. It's not a functioning factory and it was very dirty, musty, and cluttered. I couldn't believe that she lived in such a place. She was so nice though. She kept offering us food (some crackers) and we talked to her for a bit. We asked if she wanted to move up her baptism for November (her original date is in December) and she said, "I like my date where it is." But then Sister Nong (the member we brought) said, "But what will happen by then? You never know what will happen to you!" Sodchun looked all nervous and she nodded her head, "You're right! I am old! And the streets are so crazy!"

Haha! I love her so much. But, it turns out that she was living with her husband... friend... person. They weren't legally married so we had to tell her that she couldn't be baptized unless they were married. She said her husband... friend was a drinker, smoker bum and wouldn't want to get married. We asked her to try anyway. But, he said no... and we found out why. She is bankrupt and he doesn't want all that debt to fall on him. And so we suggested that she move out. But she said she couldn't because she wants to take care of her friend because he's diabetic. But, after some reassuring, she agreed. So, the next time we came over she told us that she was moving! We were so happy for her. But then we found out that "moving" meant moving to the fourth floor!!! It is so hot up there! And the stairs are so steep! She would die! We told her that moving to the fourth floor didn't count. She was so discouraged. 

In the end though, she found a friend who she could move in with. But, it was the same friend in another area. The same area the other elders had given her to us. On top of which, she didn't get baptized in November, we didn't get the "goal" and the original Elders have her back. What is the moral of the story? I am not quite sure. But, I am so happy though. I am happy because she is still getting baptized and SHE is happy. The Lord had tested her faith and she was strong. I am proud of her. I will miss having her as an investigator. 

Back to last week...

So, after being sick for three days we had Thanksgiving! Oh, and it was such a nice one! I thought I wouldn't really have a thanksgiving in Thailand but Brother Arm and his wife were so nice. They went through the trouble of finding a big Turkey! And Stuffing! And cranberry sauce! And mashed potatoes!!! It was so American! I loved it. We all shared what we were grateful for. Sister Nong was like, "I don't know why Thailand doesn't have a holiday like this. We must be ungrateful!" Haha! It was the best Thanksgiving I could ask for in Thailand. 

After Thanksgiving, we had mission tour on Friday! Elder Wilson and his wife (from the area 70) came to visit us and speak with us. The meeting was 6 hours long but I learned SO much. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. My understanding of it has grown so much. I am truly thankful for the entire experience. And at the end, Elder Wilson picked three random people to interview...

He chose me.

Me. Why me? I was so confused. I was the only sister he picked too. And when we sat down to talk, I realized that God must have known the questions of my heart better than I did. Elder Wilson was able to answer something very personal and dear. I will forever be thankful. 

Sunday was Sister Barton's and Sister Nong's birthdays. We made cinnamon rolls and spaghetti! It was so good. I have been truly blessed and haven't even recognized it. 

This morning, we listened to a song on a CD that the mission president gave to all the missionaries. It was the song "Lead Kindly Light" by vocal point. The words, "I am far from home... lead thou me on... " It really hit home for me. I teared up. Being far from home is hard. And it's harder when it's my first time ever. But more than that, as I listened on I realized all the selfishness and pride I had. I couldn't recognize how good I had it and just focused on all these petty emotions I had. To just let Heavenly Father take the reigns in my life is such a huge step. And it's one that I still struggle with. I trust Him, but I need to let Him fully enter my heart. It is always a work in progress...

I love you all. I love this work. God is Good. I am ever learning and growing. Don't worry about me. I will be fine. The Lord will take care of me. 

Love, Sister Carter

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