Monday, November 4, 2013

Stroganoff and chihuahuas. And a baptism.

Dear family,

I am happy to report that Sister Zaugg and I have long since abandoned our illnesses and are once again up and running. Good thing, too. Being sick is never fun...but it's especially no fun when you're a missionary. It's nice to be able to breathe and eat again :)

This week I want to talk about Jeep. She has been an investigator for about three months now and was baptized on Saturday (!!!!!!!). She is the sweetest and cutest person I have ever seen in my life. Seriously. 

In August, Sister Weed and I were at the church after English class and these two super cute girls walked up to us and asked to learn about Jesus Christ. Their names were Jeep and Jane (perfect best friend names, don't you think? haha). I had been in country just a little over a month and Sister Weed told me that for their lesson, I would teach the whole thing by myself. It was terrifying. Haha. But I guess something I mumbled and that Sister Weed clarified made sense to Jeep, since she kept coming back. (Actually, it's like I talked about with Bam—people who feel the Spirit hear the echo of the testimony they had once before. Jeep is one of those people.)

For a while, Jeep was really solid, learning with us every week and coming to church. She told me her favorite part of church was singing. But then Jeep had midterms and wasn't able to meet with us for a couple of weeks. Sister Weed and I were worried that she had lost interest in learning. 

But then my girl Ploy came into the picture. Jeep and Ploy are about the same age (Jeep is 21 and Ploy is 20), and Ploy befriended Jeep. One Friday night after a lesson, Sister Weed and I walked down the hallway and we saw Ploy and Jeep sitting in a room together, reading their scriptures. Precious, am I right? 

It was once Ploy took a sincere interest and really became a real friend to Jeep that her progression in the gospel took off. She started praying every single day—multiple times a day. She started reading her scriptures every day. She was more comfortable asking questions and asking for help finding answers.

It's like President Hinckley said—everyone in the Gospel needs a friend. I have a real testimony of that, now. Not just someone who will come to lessons and wave to investigators on Sundays. Everyone needs someone who is going to make them feel loved and like they belong. That was the real turning point for Jeep. 

Last week Sister Zaugg and I knew that Jeep was ready to be baptized. We fasted all day Tuesday (while I lay in bed trying to breathe haha) that she would see that she was ready, too. At our lesson, we did the T-chart activity, and she realized that she was truly ready to be baptized. So get baptized, she did!

On Thursday, she passed her baptismal interview. We celebrated by eating ice cream together. Happy Halloween to me!

Saturday was such a good day. All of Jeep's friends who are members (she has friends in other parts of Bangkok who have joined the church recently) and lots of people from the ward were there. It was such a good service. Jeep accidentally walked into the baptismal font with her shoes on, she was so excited. :) 

It was the best day! I even got a picture with all my girls—Jeep, Ploy, and Bam. It was so cute. Jeep was so happy. And that's what really matters. :)

Other exciting things this week:

+  Sister Zaugg and I found a Swiss restaurant where we ate...STROGANOFF. WHAT. Seriously, you don't eat beef in Thailand unless you're at McDonald's, so that was a big deal. It was so delicious. We felt soooo sick after, but it was so worth it.

+  I contacted into a crazy man this week and I couldn't stop laughing about it. I asked him if he'd seen the picture of Jesus being baptized and he said, "I've seen it before. Like this!" He proceeded to throw his arms out like he was on the cross. "It happened fifty years ago, like this! Fifty years ago! You weren't born yet. You weren't born yet. Fifty years ago—you weren't born yet!" Cue the little old woman who pops out of the adjoining shop and holds up five fingers and yells to us (she had no teeth, by the way) "Fifty years ago!" Sister Zaugg and I just had to walk away from that one, but it was hilarious.

+  We visited a member this week named Sister Na. She has two chihuahuas who bark violently any time anyone makes the slightest movement. One of them has a lump on his spine—I don't know exactly what is wrong with him—but he can't use his front two legs very well, and he can't walk. Sister Na tends to have to step around him. Always. At one point, she picked him up to move him and she announced to us, "ChiiiiiiiiWAAAAAAAAAAAAAwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" really loudly and then proceeded to drop the poor thing on his head with a really loud thunk. It was so sadly funny. . .

+  On Tuesday, President and Sister Senior came to our district meeting and then Sister Zaugg and I got to contact with Sister Senior afterwards. It was lots of fun, she made us link arms and skip down the street. It was the best :)

+  Yesterday when we broke our fast, we were at the church for choir practice. Sister Aah, President Suchaad's wife, had made carrot cake. Like, real life carrot cake. So that was awesome.

+  Pa Gua was pretty quiet this week—but he earned the title of Man in Black because he wears his sunglasses inside the church. It's pretty classy.

I think that's about it for this week...all is well here in Thailand! :) Sister Zaugg has never been to the World's Largest Crocodile we are headed that direction this afternoon with some other sisters. It'll be fun!

Love you!!!

Sister Hughes

Life is good when you are on a bus in Thailand.

Contacting with Sister Senior!

Ice cream with Jeep after her interview.

Swiss restaurant.

Stroganoff. And fries.

Jeep's baptism.

President Suchaad, Jeep, Sister Zaugg, Sister Hughes

Me and my girls! Jeep, Bam and Ploy! They are all so good! I'm so blessed!

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