Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas in Chiang Mai 2013

Part of my district (missing a set of elders)
This email will be pretty brief, seeing as it is CHRISTMAS! And I just talked to you over SKYPE so you already know what's up.

Here is a brief update:
I got transferred! Leaving Saphaan Suung was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life. It was unbelievably heart breaking. On Tuesday there was a great big dinner for the missionaries who were leaving and there were lots of tears (not on my part! I I tried so hard not to cry). And lots of hugs. And lots more hugs. After our dinner, Sister Zaugg and I went to get ice cream with Ploy and Jeep. And when we left them, all four of us cried. We promised we would see each other again and that we would be neighbors in heaven. Sister Zaugg and I cried all the way home.

Wednesday was transfers and I am training! My trainee is named Sister Woodbury. She is from North Carolina and so excited about being a missionary and working! It's great.

We are now in CHIANG MAI can I get a WHOOP WHOOP?! Chiang Mai is a beautiful city here in Thailand. I think I am okay with serving here :  )

The people here are wonderful. It's a slower pace up north than in Bangkok. It's family oriented and relaxed. Oh yeah—that and it's FREEZING COLD. Not a joke, Chaing Mai is cold. But I love it.

For Christmas my parents made me a wonderful wonderful gift. They collected all of their favorite talks and put them in a binder. It is something that means so much to me. I will always treasure it. In it, there is a talk from President Hinckley called "What shall I do with this Christ which is called Jesus?" It is a talk about what Christmas really means.

This year at Christmas, I am grateful for Christ. For His Atonement. For the Plan of Salvation that enables each person who has lived, is living, and will live, on this earth to live with our families and our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ forever. For the opportunity we have for everlasting happiness.

President Hinckley said this: "Let us live each day knowing we shall live forever."

And that has been what is running through my head this Christmas season. I get to live each day knowing that I have the opportunity to live forever and experience eternal happiness that will never end. So it's time to get out there and share it with everyone I meet. That is the best gift of Christmas.

I love you all and Merry Christmas,

Sister Hughes

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** Mama Hughes here. Sister Syd looks great and sounds great. She is happy. One of the many fun facts from Sister Hughes during our skype call – a woman (Marie from Africa) who was in Syd’s ward in Paris during her study abroad a year ago is now living Chiang Mai! Sister Syd translated from Thai to French for her during Relief Society. She reports that her French is rusty but passable.
Also, she loves speaking Thai; she thinks and dreams in Thai, and is happy to be at a point where she can have conversations – she loves talking with people. She had to stop to try to remember an English word while we were talking – she could only think of the Thai word. : )
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Jeep, me, Ploy, and Sister Zaugg
Me and Sister Weed!!!!
Sister Weed, me, Sister Woodbury. Generations.
Me on our sleeper train to Chiang Mai. Yes I have an enormous pink bow in my hair, I'm in Thailand. 
Lanterns in Chiang Mai.
The Nativity, as acted out by Thai children
Everything is cute.
Oh, I didn't have a dragon fruit shake. It was a dragon shake. And it was dang good.
The ancient wall around Chiang Mai.

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