Monday, July 15, 2013

This is life. This is Thailand.

All right, first thing's first.

Monday night we went to Bratan's house for dinner. (Bratan = Branch President.) His wife and another member, Sister Na, made CRAZY delicious food. We had this really good green curry with these interesting little green things that are maybe fruits but also maybe not. There's really no way of knowing. It also had what I thought at the time was brown tofu, so yeah, I ate that too. Later found out it was coagulated blood. It kinda creeps me out a little. I have no idea where the blood came from. There's really no way of knowing. It's all good though, cause I didn't die. Also Sister Weed and I have discovered a Bummy stand. Yes, Bummy. Sounds funny, but it's some delicious noodle/meat/greens dish that we eat like...well...daily.
Desserts - I tried this tapioca/taro/corn/coconut concoction. Delicious. I will eat it all. Every day.

PS Fam: Anthony Bourdain. I am him, all day, every day with a dribbley forehead hahaha. And yes, it's so true. Changing your shirt halfway through the day is needless, because it's soaked in about 5 minutes. It's a pretty sweaty country here. But I love it :) 
(Also we are not similar because I don't swear and I'm not a man and I'm a missionary.)
PPS I've decided that the first rule of thumb when it comes to eating food in Southeast Asia is to just not ask. It's better that way. Haha.

This week while riding through a residential neighborhood, Sister Weed and I happened upon a pair of oxen. Surprising. But this is Thailand, so I don't really ask questions because there's really no way of knowing. (Yes, that is a new favorite phrase.)
Still no monkeys.

I am serving in a Branch! I feel so at home :) It's pretty big though.
I am in a middle income area...but Thailand is very interesting in that it has HighSo and LowSo neighborhoods right next to each other, so you see it all in a very small area. It's been very eye opening, to say the least. You see things that you never would have thought you would see in real life and it makes you think a lot.

We ride our bikes every day, pretty much everywhere. It's way fun. At first I was not too keen on the idea...Shamuu and I hadn't been getting along too well. He likes to bite my heels and give me grease stains on my calf. I was seriously considering enrolling in Bike Training School for Missionaries and their Disobedient Bikes. But, as of late, he's been treating me pretty well and we have fun! Except for the other day when the wind was out of control and I had a near death moment when suddenly my skirt was actually in my face. That was exciting. Luckily the Lord loves His missionaries and I am alive and well :)

Also I like Song Taw's...pick up trucks that have two benches in the bed of the truck that you get to ride. It's like a bus's not.
The Peridot house is kind of green on the inside. Mostly it's white, though. The outside is quite green :) I don't have any photos of the inside right now, so I''ll work on that for next week!

I'm not quite sure how mail works entirely...but I know that I can get mail FOR SURE at zone conferences and transfers. DearElders can be sent to the mission home, so if anyone would like to continue using that, go for it! :)

Sister Weed and I are finally feeling like we've figured out our area. We are loving it and everyone here. We have two investigators who are getting baptized on the 27th! Their names are Sister Ploy and Sister Na. It has been so amazing to watch them open up with us and change as they have progressed in the gospel. I love how even though Sister Weed and I can barely speak Thai, this message has the power to change people. All I know is it's definitely not me doing the teaching, and there is no way I can take the credit. It's so amazing.

We are also teaching a couple of other people and are talking to everyone we can. President Senior has challenged us to spend 2 hours each day contacting, which is hard, because I can say what I need to about the gospel, but I still don't understand much of what people say back to me haha. It's fun though. And I love just talking to everyone! The Thai people are so friendly and are always willing to (try to) listen.  :)

One thing that Sister Weed and I have really felt this week is the amount of love in our area, and I think in Thailand in general. People are so kind and generous. The other day we stopped to get some smoothies from our favorite smoothie stand and found out that the woman who makes the smoothies is married to a man who comes to our English class each week. He saw us and gave us the smoothies for free and said, "Welcome to Thailand, Sisters!" So cute. Sister Na told us this week that we are "good missionaries" and that she "prays for us every day to speak Thai." Which is just about the sweetest thing ever. It made me so happy. I love her! She is so cute. On Sunday, Sister Ploy came up to us and gave us cookies that she bought for us. Yesterday we stopped by a recent convert's house and she sent us home with an entire bag of Mangosteens (which, yes, Chester Chocolate, are the fruit of the gods and I will be so sad when I am back in America and they are not readily available like they are here because I am CONVINCED that they are what we will eat in heaven). Apparently, she took my name "Sister Hugh, haha, like Sister Hungry" very seriously and also sent us home with popcorn and tried to give us even more food but we stopped her haha. But what I'm trying to get at is that we are so well taken care of. People here love and care and show it so readily. I'm so blessed.

Things in Thailand are starting to become more comfortable. Not that I was ever uncomfortable, but things are getting more familiar. That's what I'm going for. The other day I was riding my bike down the street and I realized that all of the smells that seemed so strange and foreign are still strange but aren't nearly as foreign as they were when I first got here. The heat is still so impressive, but it's not unbearable like I had feared my first two days in country haha. And Sister Weed and I just keep growing! We're both figuring out missionary work together, and it's way fun. We love it!

Also, fun fact, we sometimes play badminton in the mornings with the Bratan's wife. She is obsessed with exercise and wants us to exercise for hours every day but we have to tell her we can't haha. Such good times.

Also, yesterday in Relief Society, we had a really good "branch" moment when we watched a movie about Lorenzo Snow and tithing that was made in the 70s. it was in English. We watched it on someone's iPad. And she stood at the front of the room holding the iPad and translated the ENTIRE movie (a full 40+ minutes) into Thai. Like I said, I feel very at home in that branch. I love it.

Also I have a million mosquito bites, but it's all good because I'm happy and loving everything.


Sister Hungry

"This is life. This is Thailand." —The Sisters Weed and Hungry


All day. Every day.

Because it just wouldn't be right if my bike didn't have sparkles.

The dessert I mentioned!

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