Monday, July 8, 2013

“Sometimes I think I finally have a crocs tan line on my feet but then I remember it’s just Bangkok.”

View of Bangkok from the hotel room

Sawadii Khaa family!

Oh man, this has been the most wonderfully confusing week of my LIFE! But before I go through the ins and outs of my missionary life here, I'll update you on where I am and such.

I am currently serving in an area called Saphaan Suung. It's in East Bangkok! I'll be here for at least 12 weeks while I'm being trained, and then we'll see what happens from there! My trainer, or Meh (mom), is Sister Weed. She hails from Centerville, Utah, and more recently from Udonthani in the Eeson (western Thailand on the border of Laos). She literally JUST finished being trained, so she has only been in Thailand for 12 weeks. Pretty crazy, right? And to make things even more exciting, we're whitewashing* our area! Whoo! So really, neither of us knows what we're doing right now and it's been a total adventure.

I have a new motto in regards to Thailand and my mission. You know the part at the beginning of Up! when baby Mr. Frederickson watches that movie and he runs around saying "Adventure is out there!"? Well. Yep. That's my new motto. ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE! :)

So now I'll back up a bit. Where were we when I hung up the phone? LA, right? I can't remember anything. So we had our crazy 15-hour flight to Hong Kong, which I proudly slept 12 hours of. (Yes, I took sleep aid stuff, and it was the best idea I ever had.) We had some pretty crazy turbulence somewhere over the Pacific; we landed safely in HONG KONG. Seriously, we flew in just as the sun was rising and it was GORGEOUS. I just wanted to stay there and explore! You know the big giant fluffy clouds in Chinese artwork? They aren't exaggerating. Literally my mind was blown. And the mountains!I have never wanted to get out of an airport so bad to explore. Also, I bought myself some weird cookie things that turned out to be delicious so that was fun. 

And then we got to Bangkok! The Seniors (Mission President and his wife) met us at the airport. We somehow trusted Elder Astle to get us through customs and stuff...and he boldly declared that we did not have to pick up our own luggage, that someone would pick it up for us. I thought to object, but for whatever reason decided to trust him...hahaha. So the first words I heard from President Senior were not "Welcome to Thailand!" but "Where is your luggage?!" Oh, it was the funniest thing ever. The Seniors are so awesome and thought it was just as hilarious as we did, which was great, and we have been dubbed "the group of great faith." So good. Also, the humidity here is UNREAL. I've never felt anything like it before. I feel slightly like a frog or newt or something really slimy all the time. Haha. Our first day we did a lot of paperwork and interviews, did some Dan Jones-ing** and then we had a 4th of July dinner for fun. We stayed in a very nice hotel with a sweet awesome view of Bangkok. 

The next day we got our trainers and the 18 of us are literally all over the country. I am super lucky because Sister Slaugh, Elder Passey, and Elder Hogan are all in my same zone, so I'll see them in just a few weeks at Zone conference! Sister Phelps is way up in Udon (where my trainer was previously) so I won't see her for another 11 weeks, probably. Sad! Sister Du Plessis is in Chaing Mai and Sister Stack...shoot I can't remember the city, but she is in the Eeson, too. Elder Winsor is in Chaing Mai (ish), Elder Hill is all the way up north in Chaing Rai, and Elder Astle is in West Bangkok.

Sister Weed, my trainer and I, have been doing our best to ride our bikes all around the area, find out where things are and where people live, and meet all of our puusonjays (investigators) and the saamacheeks (members). We've done a fairly decent job, I think! We're still pretty confused about the area, and I'm really super confused about the language, haha, but all is well. Our house is awesome; it's cute and green and called "The Peridot House" which I entirely approve of. Also, we have peters, which is what the Thais call cockroaches, so that's fun. We set out poison for them. The food is quite the adventure, and I'm also learning quickly to watch where I’m walking. Also, I have never gotten so dirty from a city before! 

I have not yet seen any elephants or monkeys, in case anyone was wondering, because I'm in Bangkok. So we'll just have to hang tight for a little while. I'm anxiously awaiting the day I can sit on an elephant's trunk. For now I have seen lots of pigeons with blue beaks, lots of dogs (the one who lives across the street from me howls like a rooster would crow, go figure), and lots of cats. I did see a Siamese cat, which I thought was pretty profound, considering I am in what was formerly called Siam. 

The rainy season is just starting, so it's fun getting caught in random rainstorms. It will literally POUR for like 20–30 minutes, and then it will all be over. So we'll just be riding our bikes and be soaking wet for the rest of the day : ). Also, my bike: it's white with blue stripes. I named him Shamuu. Yes, I added an extra U to that because it didn't look finished without the second one. So yeah! That's my biking adventures so far. Traffic is crazy, and it's fun to try and navigate. 

Church was good; very confusing. I got to bear my testimony in Thai, which was cool. I didn't understand much being said, but it was good to listen to everyone talking. I loved it. Everyone was so so nice to me :)

Yesterday during Sacrament, I was so hot and so thirsty and so tired. It was fast Sunday, and I'm still getting used to the heat. When the water was passed to me, I thought, "Man, I NEED that water! It's going to save me!" And then I realized—that is how we should think about the Sacrament every week. And the Savior every single day. We need Him because He saves us. 

And that is my spiritual thought of the week.

Well, I think that's about it for this week... Hopefully that answers some of your questions! 
I am so happy!
I love you!

Sister Hungry

PS The Thais LOOOOVE my name hahaha. 

Me: "Whoa, what the heck is happening to my feet?"
Sis Weed: "Oh man, pretty much everything imaginable."

"You'll be surprised during the cold season how many people put sweaters on...their dogs." 
—Brother Booth

The odds of being called on a mission in Southeast Asia are 3.6%.
The odds of being called to serve in the Thailand Bangkok mission are 0.3%. WHAT THE HECK. There are very real reasons why I'm here, and that just really makes it that much more real. Can't wait to discover what they are : )

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*  * whitewashing = both missionaries are brand new to an area
   **dan jones= missionary in Wales, serving several missions in the 1840s and 1850s. Recognized as one of the greatest missionaries in church history.
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My district family

Imma go to Thailand real quick, be right back!

Our two districts and our teachers; last day in the MTC! 
Sister Muller, Elder Hogan and I on our way to Hong Kong

Our ban! The Perodit house and my Meh!

And so began Sister Hungry's obsession with Thai fruit 
Rainstorm, I think yes.

My lovely feet. Sadly, it's not tan lines. Haha.

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