My first duk-duk ride in Thailand!
Eating Gna for the first time! It's actually pretty yummy!
Hello friends and family!
Well, if any of you watch the news, I am pretty sure you know 90% more than I do about anything that's happening in Thailand. In recent events, (today) I received a letter from my Mission President that he sent out to my mom and dad. I don't want to write in detail about these things but let's just say that we have been on a mini lock down. On Thursday, we were told to go home at 8:00 pm. It was a little unexpected since a member was trying to drop us off at the church for our appointment. We were called to go straight home and to buy food for 72 hours. We didn't have time to grocery shop or anything so we ended up just going to our apartment in the nick of time. They shut down the MRT at 9:00 and there were tons of people trying to get home. From my window, there was a TON of traffic too. We were told to only go to our appointments and not contact.Friday, we didn't have any appointments so we called the world, cleaned our apartment, and went grocery shopping. It's been interesting to have to go home at 8:00 these past few days as well.
We met this taxi driver last week named Mr. Bob. We taught him about baptism and he was so excited to come to church and be baptized. He came to church on the 18th but after, he never answered his phone. I was a little disappointed that we couldn't get a hold of him the entire week. I know he would have been an awesome member too. All is well. We just didn't quite make it for the May goal of three baptisms this month.
I have been noticing lately that I've been having a lot of "firsts" in Thailand. I've had my first surgery, my first overnight in a hospital, my first eating this weird fruit called ngah, first time on a duk-duk, and tomorrow will be my first day out of Bangkok. It's so weird. I will be going to Khon Khaen!!! That is in the Issan right underneath Udorn. If you look up a map at Thailand, you will see where I am talking about. I got the call last night and I will be taking a long bus trip to my new area. A new companion, new everything! It's so weird how life changes on you and you get to be in new environments with different people. I know that everything will be okay. I just hope that I don't get too sick up there. I'm crossing my fingers.
Also, there is a talk that I got to read on Sunday that really impressed me. I hadn't been able to watch the General Women's meeting this past General conference, so I finally got around to it when I was reading the Ensign. The talk by Bonnie L. Oscarson, "Sisterhood, Oh, How We Need Each Other" really hit me. I love it when she says:
The adversary would have us be critical or judgmental of one another. He wants us to concentrate on our differences and compare ourselves to one another. You may love to exercise vigorously for an hour each day because it makes you feel so good, while I consider it to be a major athletic event if I walk up one flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator. We can still be friends, can’t we?
We as women can be particularly hard on ourselves. When we compare ourselves to one another, we will always feel inadequate or resentful of others. Sister Patricia T. Holland once said, “The point is, we simply cannot call ourselves Christian and continue to judge one another—or ourselves—so harshly.”3 She goes on to say that there is nothing that is worth us losing our compassion and sisterhood over. We just need to relax and rejoice in our divine differences. We need to realize that we all desire to serve in the kingdom, using our unique talents and gifts in our own ways. Then we can enjoy our sisterhood and our associations and begin to serve.
I reflected on how I have been guilty of comparing myself to other woman and creating that barrier and even resentment toward them. It's interesting to note too, that Sister Patricia T. Holland would also say that: The point is, we simply cannot call ourselves Christian and continue to judge one another—or ourselves—so harshly.”
It has been a personal challenge to not judge myself or even sometimes others so harshly. I find that I beat myself up way too often and that by comparing myself to my companions or other missionaries. By doing so, I am not only hurting myself, but I discredit my Heavenly Father for making me how I am. I don't have a lot of impressive talents in music, sports, or academics. But, the more I walk around and talk to the people in Thailand, the more I study in the scriptures, and the more I study my patriarchal blessing, I find that I have true worth and value. I DO have talents. I can smile, teach, study and pray. I can laugh and sing and count my blessings. Everyone has such wonderful talents that I believe that they overlook. And by comparing yourself to others, you are not able to love yourself or others fully.
I need all the women in my life. My mom, aunts, grandmothers, companions, and sister missionaries. They have all been wonderful support to me and they have all tried to help me realize that I am a beautiful daughter of God. Anything is possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and having that faith in Him. I hope that I will always remember these thoughts and feelings about the Savior and His love in my times of trial. I hope that everyone will be able to have the opportunity to find themselves, love themselves, and love God overall.
Here is a video clip of the talk. :)
I love you all. I am safe and getting better each day. Life is wonderful. The Gospel is glorious. All is well.