Monday, August 5, 2013

“Sorry, I Can’t Come to that Meeting...I’m Making Brownies.”

This week I have chosen to talk about people, because that is what I'm here for! PEOPLE! 
I want to write and tell about some of the favorites :)

Sister Gaew is the Branch President’s wonderful crazy wife. She is a self-proclaimed artist and I just about fell over when I saw some of the stuff she has made. Picture this: A copy of the painting “Ask and Ye Shall Receive, Knock and it Shall be Opened Unto You” covered in SPARKLY RESIN. I mean really, I need to have one in my future home. She and I are soul sisters. She is crazy, like I said, and she loves to exercise. She also is obsessed with my eyes—“soooo pretty!”—and my pink cheeks. “Sister, do you use a night cream?” “Nope!” “Really? How are they so pink?!” I didn't tell her it was because Thailand is so hot all the time haha. :) She is always willing to help. Literally always. Need a member present at a lesson? Call Sister Gaew. She’ll talk your ear off, but she is always ready and willing. Sister Weed and I were discussing it, and somehow Sister Gaew seems to have the answer to every problem anyone we meet with has. It’s kind of incredible; she is magical, I am sure of it. When I first met Gaew, I was a little apprehensive because she has a very heavy Eson accent (western Thailand) and I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to understand her, language or otherwise. But she is the person who has really taught me how to love the Thai people.

Bam is 13 years old. The first time we taught her was our first Saturday in Saphaan Suung and we taught her the first lesson—which in Thailand is about God, Christ, The Holy Ghost, and how to pray because people here don't have a Christian background—and she was so shy that we figured we had scared her off forever. But the next day, she showed up at church and stayed for all three hours. And hasn’t stopped coming since. For a while we weren’t allowed to teach her because we didn’t have permission from her parents, but she just kept coming to church. When we finally got permission, she wanted to learn everything. She basically schedules her appointments for us. Before we can even say, “When would be a good time for our next appointment?” she says “I'm free on Tuesday, can you teach me then?” She’s so good. We love her so much :) She’s getting baptized in September :)

Oh, my lovely Sister Na! She has received a calling to be a Branch Missionary and she takes it so seriously. She is so willing and eager to help whenever she has time. For our first RC (recent convert) lesson with her, we taught about Missionary Work and Service in the church. We had her read D&C 18: 10, 14–16 with us and it was such a special moment for me to see her beaming as she read about helping others come unto Christ. I never really caught the wording of verse 15 before, but it says, “How great shall be your joy WITH them.” It’s so true, the joy you feel when you help others understand and accept the gospel is not a personal joy. It’s joy FOR that person, and it’s something you can share with them forever. It’s so good! Sister Na has already helped us multiple times at lessons, and I hope she is experiencing that same joy. :)

Multiple times a week, Sister Weed and I bike through a gated community called Perfect Place (aka America 2.0). We have developed a funny little friendship with the security guards who work there and we always say hello to each other. The guards salute us each time they open the gates for us, and I started saluting them back a few weeks ago. They thought it was the funniest thing ever and now it has become a little tradition. We know their faces so well; Sister Weed asked one of them if he got a haircut the other day. It was hilarious. We want to get to know them for reals and see if they’re interested in the gospel.

OH MY GOSH THE FUNNIEST THING OF MY ENTIRE LIFE HAPPENED THIS WEEK. So I talked about Pa Kiam last week, who reads his Book of Mormon with a jeweler’s eyeglass. Pa Samran is the sweetest old man who is the Branch Mission Leader. He joined the church about two years ago with two of his nieces and they are the best family ever. Pa Gua is a solid member who joined the church in the ’70s when the church was first introduced to Thailand. He was one of the first members in the country! He’s way awesome and speaks some English and loves to practice with us. He recently had eye surgery so he has to wear sunglasses all the time. Now on to the best story of all time. (PS Pa means grandpa; it’s the polite title for old men)

So on Thursday afternoon, we had our coordination meeting with Pa Samran, who invited Pa Gua and Pa Kiam who are both Branch Missionaries. When we got there, Sister Weed, Pa Samran, Pa Gua and I were the only four people in the room. While we were waiting for Pa Kiam and the elders to arrive, Pa Gua pulled out his English book and asked us what a sentence meant. The sentence was “The van then rolled on its side.” We explained to him that the car turned over in a car accident. He wanted to know whether it stopped there or if it continued rolling. We told him that in context, it stopped right there. What ensued was a very animated argument between Pa Samran and Pa Gua about this sentence that involved a lot of finger pointing and a lot of raised voices. When Pa Kiam came into the room, he got involved as well. He used his handy dandy little jeweler’s eyeglass to read the sentence. He got involved in the yelling, too. When the elders came into the room, they were asked to explain the sentence, and they gave the exact same explanation as Sister Weed and I. Oh, there was so much finger pointing and so many raised voices, I just kept laughing and waiting for David Duchovny to walk in and have someone say, “This is Bob; his wife is dead.” I couldn’t stop thinking of how similar it all was to “Return to Me.” I loved it. We then started the meeting and we chose to sing “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go” as the opening hymn. I was asked to lead the music, so I did, and the whole situation was already making me laugh because no one could really carry the tune, but then I made 2 fatal mistakes. 1) I looked up from my hymnbook to see Pa Kiam reading the hymnbook with his little jeweler’s eyeglass, sitting in his chair, and Pa Gua wearing what were most likely his wife’s sunglasses while reading with a magnifying glass that from my angle magnified his entire mouth. I completely lost it. Fatal Mistake #2? I made eye contact with Elder Creer who was struggling just as much as I was. Oh, it was the best. Maybe you had to be there, but it was pretty darn fantastic.

Another fun story from this week, while Sister Weed was showering one night after planning, the spout broke off the wall and water was spraying everywhere. She called the landlord while I stood in the bathroom and plugged the pipe with my hand (fully clothed, mind you) and somehow I ended up being the one with the phone while she attempted to shut off the water...anyway, our district leaders called us for the third time so I had to answer while trying to keep the shower plugged up and while I was dripping wet. It was awesome.

Also, in the middle of our lesson with Sister Ploy this week, a millipede wandered into the room we were using. She ran out of the room...I thought in fright...and she returned WITH A MEAT CLEAVER and chopped up the millipede into like 600 little pieces. Right in the middle of our lesson, no big deal or anything. What is it with Thailand and meat cleavers?!

I think that about sums it up for people this week, I’ll attach some premium pictures for you all to take a gander at :)


Sister Hungry

I wish I could be there with you to celebrate and give you a hug! Have the best day of all the days! :)

PPS Dear Kev-bot Wood, I know you’re reading this blog post, so here’s a small response to you! I got a letter from you this week, but as luck would have it, it was in my bag when I got caught in a crazy monsoon on my bike. The letter survived, miraculously, but somehow your address was literally THE ONLY PART that got wet. So...I don’t know where to send a letter to you. Send it to my mom; she’ll know what to do :)

“The worst we get in Thailand is when someone puts their hand up and walks away. It just makes me so MAD! But at least we’re not, like, getting punched in the face.” 
—Elder Campbell

“Sorry, I can’t come to that meeting...I’m making brownies.” 
—Brother Boss (who was supposed to be at our coordination meeting but decided to make brownies instead. I was secretly really proud, I taught him everything he knows. They turned out wonderfully, in case you were wondering. I got to sample them. See attached photo.)

“Oh, you KNOW I love the history of gang clothing!” 
—Sister Weed, talking about how when she would get bored pre-mish, she would watch documentaries on gangs. I love that Sister so much.

“Pea Soup!” 
—Me. Sister Weed actually knew that this was “Rescuers from Down Under.” I can’t even tell you how perfect of a trainer she is for me. That is all.

Me, Sister Weed, and Ploy after getting caught in a monsoon. 
I title this “Hey mom, can’t wait for your package with waterproof mascara!” :)

More wet business 

Ok, this is the best thing ever— fried Thai hot dogs. AHHHHHHH I LOVE THEM. They are called “luugchien” or something like that, but the translation is literally “Fried things.” SO GOOD.
Sniper shot of Pa Gua reading so you know what he looked like. SO GOOD.

The Pas “arguing”—Pa Kiam, Pa Samran (his niece Pim is in the background looking very bored)
and Pa Gua pointing and looking angry but he really wasn’t.
“I can't come to that meeting...I'm making Brownies.”
Brother Boss is in orange; Brother Jom is in the other shirt. Haha.
Kevin Wood’s ill fated letter hahaha.

ANIMAL WATCH : the giantest snail that ever lived on our patio


No comments:

Post a Comment