Monday, November 25, 2013

Eye patches and spiritual healing.

Smoothie in the cat cafe.
This week was yet another one for the books...I love Thailand and all that happens here. 

For a couple weeks now, Sister Gaew has been asking us to teach her how to make farang food (foreign—in this case American—food). So Sister Zaugg and I, with all our culinary prowess, decided to teach her how to make mashed potatoes and funeral potatoes. Sister Gaew bought all the ingredients from our list, but didn’t buy our funeral potatoes were cheese-less. Sad day haha. Also, we were teaching a lesson when the funeral potatoes came out of the we weren’t there when everything got served up. When we ended our lesson and checked on the novice chefs, Sister Gaew and Sister Pinky had mixed everything together and covered it all in gravy. It was actually pretty good.

This week we also met a new investigator who owns a cat cafe. Yeah, that’s right, a cat cafe. It’s literally a cafe where you go in and play with cats. Sister Zaugg and I happened upon it one lunch hour and we just HAD to go inside and check it out. So we talked to the lady who runs it and she wants to learn more about the gospel. I have never been so entertained while drinking a smoothie in my life; who knew cats were actually lots of fun? I got to hold a month-old kitten and watch all the other cats doing funny things. There were probably about 10 cats running around, and Jigsaw (that’s the owner’s name) said she had 8 more kittens in the back and more at her home. She opened the shop because cats bring her happiness.” That’s a good reason if I ever heard one.

Friday night was THANKSGIVING TACO NIGHT!!!!!!!!! YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. It was also Brother Bryan’s birthday. We got to celebrate all sorts of good things with President Suchaad, Sister Aah, Brother Ice, Sister Isrin, Brother Bryan, and their kids. It was super fun. Sister Isrin showed Sister Zaugg and I all of her wedding photos. She got married in Hawaii. So pretty. We also got to eat Sister Aah’s famous carrot cake (it’s so good...I wanted to eat like 7 pieces but I exercised some really good self-control and only ate one), so I was pretty happy.

On Saturday, we had a Christmas Choir practice in Asok (central Bangkok) with everyone. I love going to Asok. We call it The Beast because it’s so busy and crazy with traffic and skyscrapers everywhere. It’s intense. Anyway, after choir practice, we got some dinner really quick on the street and ate it while sitting on some steps. I had one of those moments while sitting on some steps in The Beast, eating some fried chicken, looking at my surroundings and wondering, How in the world did everything in my life culminate to this point? How and why did I end up in Thailand? I love my life.” It was pretty great.

That night there were 3 baptisms, and Brother Bryan did the baptizing. It was so awesome to have him doing the baptizing in Thai with his French accent. He read the baptismal prayers from a piece of paper that Elder Engle held up for him that was in Romanized Thai (basically Elder Engle just wrote out how you would say the Thai words in English). The Young Men and Young Women sang a special musical number of “Nearer My God to Thee” and it was so wonderful. The best part though, was when everyone else started joining in really quietly in the congregation. It was such a good service. 

So now is the time to read about eye patches and spiritual healing. So last week I talked about my investigator named Briaw who agreed to baptism in front of a noodle stand. She got baptized this week! I have never met someone who was so ready for the gospel. But let me tell you. I’m pretty sure all hell combined against this girl before she got baptized. She reminds me a little bit of Eugene—the kid in “Hey Arnold!” who always tries to do good things but bad things always happen to him. You know the kid I’m talking about. So the last two weeks, she has been so eager about keeping every single commitment we have extended to her. When we were talking about tithing, we said, “Everyone at times gets to a point in their life when they wonder whether or not they have enough money to pay tithing. In these situations, we wonder if it is better not to pay.” She interrupted us and said, “But sisters! It’s always better to pay!” So good, right?! She told us so plainly and beautifully that the Book of Mormon was true that I didn’t even know how to respond to her. She is the investigator where I literally feel like I didn’t need to do anything to get her ready for baptism. The Lord had prepared her. Anyway, so she passed her baptismal interview with flying colors. On Saturday night though, Briaw called us and was suddenly having doubts about baptism. She told Sister Zaugg that she knew the gospel was all true, that she wanted to get baptized, but she was afraid that she might go back to Buddhism like one of her friends did. We talked and encouraged her to remember how she felt, and read Alma 7:15-16 together. I love those scriptures about not having fear in being committed to the gospel. It's almost like they were written for our day or something. :) Anyway, we told her to pray about it and that we would call her in the morning.

The next morning while we were on our way to church, I felt like I was going to throw up. But we called Briaw and she said she was coming, not to fear. She wanted to get baptized. It was so great. I felt like I could breathe again. And then I saw her walking up through the parking lot to the doors of the church. From far away, she looked like she had some white make-up on her face. I was really confused. Then I realized that she had on a white band-aid eye patch. It turns out when she was taking off her black nail polish, as per our request, she somehow jabbed a really long fingernail into her eye. That poor girl. She left half way through Sunday School to go get some medicine or something. I’m not really sure. I was super concerned, but she told us she was going to come back...which she did. We told her if her eye hurt too much, she could of course wait. But she was determined to be baptized, so get baptized she did. Somehow we missed when everyone else took photos all together outside in front of the church; I’m not really sure how that happened. So we only have one photo from her baptism...the three of us with her friend Pii, who baptized her. When we asked her how she felt after her baptism, she said that besides her eye hurting, she felt clean and good. After the service, she went to the doctor.

And that is how my investigator was baptized, wearing an eye patch and able to receive the spiritual healing through the Savior that she was looking for when I met her in front of a noodle stand. She’s good. She’ll be ok. :)

So that was my week. Lots of good; lots of wacky, but I wouldn’t expect anything else from Thailand.

I love you, family!

This Thursday I will be having Thanksgiving dinner with Sister Becky and her family. They’re buying a real turkey! What in the world?! You don’t buy turkey in Thailand. I'm pretty excited. It will be a good day. 

This week I’m thankful for my family and for the gospel and for Thailand. And I’m thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love you all.

Sister Hughes

Making mashed potatoes and funeral potatoes

Pii, Briaw, me, Sister Zaugg

Me in Asok

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