Thursday, August 7, 2014

07-07-14 Dookae Scare


Dear Family and Friends, 

I swear the weeks fly by faster and faster. The days seem to drag a little bit but then it's Monday again and I think, "Shoot! Where did the time go?"

This past Monday, we had another FHE at a member's house. Brother ต้ะ (Da) had a soup/crock pot thing going for us. You just dump in the water, noodles, meat, and vegetables and you get suki! It's really yummy. Sister Sawangwong (a Thai Sister I live with) gave a really nice spiritual message about the priesthood and priesthood blessings. She is so awesome with people. I love her. After, we were all on the ground outside, enjoying dinner and talking with each other. We start hearing these weird sounds. I'm like, "what is that?" They tell me that it's a dookae and I get a little scared. I know that those things bite and they bite hard! You would have to kill it if it bit you since it wouldn't let go! The members kind of laugh at me since I'm a little nervous. They're like, "What? You're scared of a little lizard?" But suddenly, we see the biggest, scariest dookae I have ever seen in my life! It's crawling on a wall near us and everyone freaks out. Even the guys scream and jump to their feet! It was the funniest and scariest thing of my life. The lizard is HUGE! Seriously, I thought it was going to jump out at us or something! Nothing happened, but we were all a little spooked. 

When we got home, we found a baby dookae crawling on the walls. I was like, "C'mon. Another one?" It was way smaller than the big one, but it's pretty big compared to any lizards I've seen crawling around in America. It was hiding behind the bookshelf and we set up a plan to catch it. It took a while, but we finally caught it. It has no teeth yet since its a baby but it was trying to hiss at us with its little mouth open. It was kind of cute. 

We've done a TON of contacting this past week. We are out and about, exploring the whole city. It's been fun, but really tiring. I feel so tired and sore when I get home. The good thing is that I'm getting crazy muscles in my calves and I think I might be tanning! Haha! Or maybe that's just the sunburn that is roasted permanently in my skin? Who knows. I think rainy season is starting to kick in a little bit too. While were were walking around, it started to pour. And I mean POUR. I have never seen it rain so hard in my life! It was windy and crazy! I couldn't believe it! But, we took shelter in this random clinic and made mud puddles wherever we went. I felt bad for the janitor lady. 

Friday was Zone Training and 4th of July. It was so awesome. My whole district got all festive. I even got out my small American flag that I brought from home. Everyone got a kick out of it. Sister Sawangwong was confused why we were all wearing red, white and blue. We told her, "It's Independence day!" She joined in and wore red with us. It was really cute.
I'm all ready to go for 4th of July!
 But, Zone Training. I have some news for you! It's pretty awesome. So, in November of 2013, the goal was to have every companionship to have 1 baptism. We had a total of 109 baptisms from that. It was incredible. Nothing like that has ever happened before in the Thailand Bangkok mission. It gets better. In January 2014, we had the goal to get 200 baptisms as a mission. We got 160! We were so close! In March, we had a goal for 2 baptisms per companionship. The mission then had 220 baptisms from that month alone! May, we had 212 baptisms! And the most incredible thing of all: as a result from this past year's work, we have gotten 1,055 baptisms!!! It's so awesome! When President Senior came in, he made it a goal to get 1,000 baptisms that year. They didn't make it, but it started the push of dedicated work and a transformation of the mission. We now have 2 stakes in Thailand and the church is growing so fast! We are working on helping maintain church attendance and encouraging recent converts. I am so excited to be apart of this historical work and time. And this month, we will be working really hard so that we can get the goal of FOUR baptisms per companion! It's totally possible!

A miracle happened this week. We contacted a lot, as I have mentioned. But, in the week, I wasn't able to get a lot of numbers from people who were interested. Sister Stevenson is a pro at getting numbers. I thought that I was just dragging us down. We contacted at Big C for about 2 hours. Sister Madsen was with us (switch off) and they (Sister Stevenson and her) were on fire. They got a lot of numbers! I felt a little crummy as I got only one number from a lady that was only interested in English. We were about to leave before I stopped this girl and asked if she was interested in going to church and learning about baptism. She just looked at me and said, "Yeah." I was so surprised. I asked if she was free on Sunday at 9:00 am. She said, "Yeah, I'm free, I'll go to church." I got her number and I was so excited. We had a lot of people who promised that they would go to church. When Sunday came around, it was 9:00 and none of our potentials came or answered their phone. Finally, the girl I met, แนน (Naan), came! We had her sit to one of our RCs (recent converts) and they became fast friends. She stayed for all 3 hours and I could tell that she was really interested. We taught her the Restoration, Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, and keeping the Sabbath day holy in one lesson. She accepted everything! She already keeps those commandments and she wants to go to church every Sunday! It was too good to be true! But, it happened! And, she's free every day to learn! AND, she wants to be baptized next Sunday. Can I say prepared by God, much? Wow. God is good. We said a "thank you" prayer after that lesson with her. I was so grateful. 

Later that day, we went contacting at the park. There were a lot of people with their families exercising, etc. It's a really nice park. I walked past a man and his toddler and waved to them. The next thing I know, the wife comes up to me and asks what I'm doing. I tell her that I'm inviting people to go to church and be baptized etc. I ask if she's interested and she says yes! In fact, she said, "You know, I was thinking about finding a Christian church this morning. I will go next week with my family." I was in awe. God sure knows how to prepare people. The funny thing was, after that small conversation and exchanging phone numbers, she wanted to take pictures with me on her phone! It was pretty funny. 

That's my week, folks. Wonderful blessings are abound. God is wonderful. He is marvelous. Anything is possible! I love you all!


Sister Carter

We made brownies! They were delicious!

A pretty white wat (Thai temple) that we found contacting

Some funny places I found. The "baan" means home in Thai. Get it? Like Bed, bath and beyond? Haha!

And yes, that is a cowboy riding on a T-rex with a fishing pole    

Pictures of Sister Broeder and I after we got our hair and make-up done for that Thai photo shoot 

A pic of me and Sister Stevenson posing so that we can make pamphlets and boost our Book of Mormon class. Haha! We look so funny! 

A district picture for the BOM class we have

And the house we live in! It's huge! We only live on the bottom floor though

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