Thursday, August 7, 2014

06-29-14 New Companion-Sister Stevenson

My new companion (Sister Stevenson) and I! I am burned to a crisp! Oops!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week started out really fun with P-day. Sister Broeder and I went to a Thai wedding shop and tried on some traditional Thai clothes. They did our make-up and hair, and we did a little mini photo shoot. It was so much fun. I love the Thai clothes! They are so beautiful and detailed! When we went back at 5:00 pm for a baptism, everyone was complimenting us, telling us how beautiful we are. Haha! Some even said we should wear make-up more often! Funny, seeing that we have no time to wear make-up and the weather here is atrociously hot and rainy so there isn't any point in "beautifying" ourselves. You do what you need to do though. 

Dengmo (the dog) decided to follow me to the park. He was running to keep up with me! Stupid dog!

Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration

Tuesday, teaching English, was a little different. Everyone in the district was a little pooped from the week. We had found out that Elder Chambers and Elder Schmitz were moving and they were a little sad about that. So, we decided to put on an English movie on for the class. We watched Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration. It was really nice to watch their faces as they tried to listen to what the characters in the movie were saying. By the end of it, one girl asked, "Why did Joseph Smith die?" We explained that he had died for what he believed in. He refused to deny the truth and the things which he had seen by God. He was a man of courage, strength, integrity and more. More than that, He was a Prophet of the Lord. When we explained these things, I could see something in their faces and in their eyes. I saw, for one moment, that little spark you see in people when they understand or feel something miraculous. After English, one girl had asked about the Book of Mormon and I gave her one. She is very nice and I hope that her interest grows even more! If not, I am still glad that these little moments happen. Those moments where you think to yourself, "This is why I am a missionary." 

There were elephants walking down the streets of Khon Kaen!! because some areas get money by leading elephants around and convincing you to buy 10 baht worth of elephant food so you can feed it. It's pretty cool

On Wednesday, we left to go to Bangkok! It was a 6 hour bus ride and we got to Bangkok around 8 or 9 pm. We stayed at the Bakgret Sisters' apartment and then had transfers the next morning. It started really late though, around 3:00 pm. Usually, it'll start around 10 or 11 am. But, the new missionaries that came in were late and they didn't come into Bangkok until 3:00 am that morning. It was a little hectic. Sister Broeder and I went to transfers because she and her group had to renew their visas. All of our Elders were going home, or transferring. We were told that we were staying in Khon Kaen. I was sitting there, thinking, "Wow, it's nice not to worry about who my companion will be and where I will be staying." But, suddenly, I see my picture on the big screen and I freeze. One of the APs announce that my new companion is Sister Stevenson! Imagine my shock. I was so surprised. Sister Stevenson gets up and runs over to me to hug me. My mind went on overload. Sister Broeder gets a new companion--Sister Sawangwong (a Thai)--but we are staying in Khon Kaen still. I am so confused. At the end of transfers, we find out that there's going to be a lot of switching around. We had to figure out house money, phone stuff, keys and then who was going to stay where. We were told that the Sisters were going to switch houses with the Elders! The Elder home is SO nice. It's the best Elder home in the mission! It's nice and big too. But, I was still really confused why all of this was happening. We get on a bus at 9:00 pm and arrive in Khon Kaen at around 3:00 am. I am so dead at this point. A nice man helps us take our luggage on a song tow and we crash at the church for an hour or two. 

And me sitting in front of a weird Thai garden

All of Friday was spent packing our old apartment and moving our stuff to the old Elder's home (aka our new home). The old Elder home was a complete disaster! It was so gross. Ugh! I can't even describe how gross it was. Thankfully, Sister Stevenson and Sister Sawangwong stayed to clean it while Sister Broeder and I packed our stuff. We came back and the house was a lot neater and tidier. I was so pooped though. I couldn't think. I got permission to catch up on my sleep so I could think a little more rationally. It was much needed. 

Who can say they've seen wandering roosters at a restaurant before? 

The District leader, Elder Heras and his companion, Elder Lingard are now in our old apartment. They are really nice and cool. They make a great addition to Khon Kaen. I also LOVE my new companion, Sister Stevenson. She is so awesome and sweet. We are going to kick butt here in Khon Kaen! :D

The dog dengmo (means watermelon) who likes to follow me around. He's a good guard dog! Haha

Funny story: our water was shut off. And living in Thailand... running water for showers is much needed. We found out that the Elders who used to live in the house didn't pay their bills! We have a huge stinkin' water and electric bill we have to pay now. It's really crazy. But, we made do, and filled up two barrels with hose water. We use little bowls to scoop the water so that we can have some form of bathing. The water is a little cold, but it's all about the experience, right? 

Oh! I have a big announcement... Thailand has TWO stakes now! It's a miracle! This is such crazy, awesome news! I can't even tell you how exciting this is! I am so happy! Thailand is growing so much! I have an attachment that announces the whole thing. Please read it! It's remarkable. 

The weird "wai-ing" dinosaurs you find while contacting...    
Anyway, that's all for this week! I love you all so much. Stay safe, happy and sound. God loves each and every single one of you. He wants you all to be happy and successful. Pray to Him and you will receive the answers you need. I love you!


Sister Carter
Hey, I read this talk by Boyd K. Packer this morning. I want to share it with you. I really like this story that he tells. It really hit me for some reason. 

I love you!

"My life was changed by a saintly patriarch. He married his sweetheart.They were deeply in love, and soon she was expecting their first child.
The night the baby was born, there were complications. The only doctorwas somewhere in the countryside tending to the sick. After many hoursof labor, the condition of the mother-to-be became desperate. Finally, thedoctor was located. In the emergency, he acted quickly and soon the babywas born, and the crisis, it appeared, was over. But some days later, theyoung mother died from the very infection that the doctor had beentreating at another home that night.
The young man’s world was shattered. As the weeks wore on, his grieffestered. He thought of little else, and in his bitterness he becamethreatening. Today, no doubt, he would have been pressed to file amalpractice suit, as though money would solve anything.
One night a knock came at his door. A little girl said simply, “Daddy wantsyou to come over. He wants to talk to you.”
“Daddy” was the stake president. The counsel from that wise leader wassimply “John, leave it alone. Nothing you do about it will bring her back.Anything you do will make it worse. John, leave it alone.”
This had been my friend’s trial. How could he leave it alone? A terriblewrong had been committed. He struggled to get hold of himself andfinally determined that he should be obedient and follow the counsel ofthat wise stake president. He would leave it alone.
He said, “I was an old man before I understood and could finally see apoor country doctor—overworked, underpaid, run ragged from patient topatient, with little medicine, no hospital, few instruments, struggling tosave lives, and succeeding for the most part. He had come in a moment ofcrisis, when two lives hung in the balance, and had acted without delay. Ifinally understood!” He said, “I would have ruined my life and the lives ofothers.”
Many times he had thanked the Lord on his knees for a wise priesthoodleader who counseled simply, “John, leave it alone.”
Around us we see members of the Church who have become offended.Some take offense at incidents in the history of the Church or its leadersand suffer their whole lives, unable to get past the mistakes of others.They do not leave it alone. They fall into inactivity.
That attitude is somewhat like a man being hit by a club. Offended, hetakes up a club and beats himself over the head with it all the days of hislife. How foolish! How sad! That kind of revenge is self-inflicting. If youhave been offended, forgive, forget it, and leave it alone."

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