Monday, October 7, 2013

“Sisters...does God allow women to play soccer?”

Visa renewal. Sister du Pleissis, Sister Phelps, Sister Hughes

Hi family!
Emails are working this week and I actually get to talk to you  :)

This week was awesome! 

I learned a lot of things—like your life actually falls apart if you don’t have a planner. Sister Weed and I found ourselves in a terrible situation in which we didn’t have any missionary daily planners. Our planners last for 6 weeks, but this transfer is 9 weeks long. And we had to wait to get planners sent to us from the office. OY. It was a long week of living off of post-it notes (thank the heavens for post-its or my life would have really been in shambles...). But now we have planners and the world is all right again. :)

This week I also learned how to navigate floodwaters without looking at where I’m walking—mostly because I didn’t want to see what I was walking through haha. I’m a pro now, in case anyone was wondering.

Let’s see...what else did we learn this week...I loved reading in the Doctrine and Covenants about obedience. I have been trying to prepare myself for General Conference (which we will watch this weekend—we wait for the Thai translation to come out so we watch at the same time as the members, but we watch it in English) and wondering what I need to do. As I was reading about obedience in D&C 93, I was reminded that as we are obedient to God’s commandments, we are promised further light and truth. How cool is that? That is why investigators really gain a testimony after they start living the commandments. When we show God that we are willing to do what He asks us—even though our faith is not perfect—He promises to make it perfect.

We have a new elder serving in our ward. Elder Creer was moved to Ubon (in the Eeson) and Elder Hunsaker came in. He’s American but grew up in Tokyo. Turns out Clark Tenney taught him Japanese. Small world. 

Sometimes when we go contacting, Sister Weed and I will go to the train station and ride into the airport to talk with people. We have found it a good opportunity to talk to Americans or other English speakers in Thailand. We don’t do it often...but when we do, we have really great lessons with people. Sister Weed and I had a particularly inspiring lesson with a Jewish man from Tel-Aviv. He told us he was so impressed by our ability to speak Thai and by our willingness to give up 18 months to share what we believe, despite his self-declared “hatred” of all religions, including his own. He looked at me and asked, “So you really believe all that stuff about Jesus, huh?” I looked right back at him and said, “I more than believe. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He lives.” He was moved. We gave him a pass along card and he agreed to look at the website. It was very cool. 

On Friday we had sports night. Elder Barfuss played a lot of soccer...which made him very red and sweaty. Bam, who is already sort of scared of him (he interviewed her for baptism) told me he was fierce and literally buried herself into my side any time he came near. Haha. It was so funny and also endearing.

This past week, a recent convert has come with us to help teach. Her name is Benny, and every time I see her I want to sing “Benny and the Jets.” She is so so good. She is almost 60 but looks like she’s about 30. She has this crazy dyed red hair and always wears army boots (even when she plays soccer on Sports Night). We were teaching about the Sabbath Day to an investigator this week and Sister Benny was helping us explain that we do all we can on Saturday to prepare for Sunday. She has such a heart of gold. On Sports night, she walked up to us and in a hushed voice said, “Sisters...does God allow women to play soccer?” We all laughed and told her we are. She’s the best. 

Some other favorite moments from this week was when Pa Samran entered the room we were teaching in at the church and announced “Entering into the future” in English. I have no idea what he was trying to say—and I doubt he knew exactly what he was saying—but it was golden.

The work goes on in Saphaan Suung and I love all of the people here soooooooooo much. We have transfers in a week and a half, so we’ll see what President says about whether I get to stay or whether I get to move on and meet new amazing people. Love you!!

Love, Sister Hughes

Here are photos from Bam’s baptism:

The whole group

Bam in front of the church : )

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