Monday, December 9, 2013

I need to get baptized!

Me and Sister Zaugg on a song taew.

Dear family, I would like to begin by reporting a series of miracles regarding one "Les." 

Two weeks ago, I met a boy on a songtaew named "Les," or so I thought I heard. (Turns out his name is Red, but because he is Thai, he pronounces his Rs as Ls and sometimes Thais will pronounce Ds at the end of words as Ss...therefore LES = RED hahaha.) He heard me speaking Thai and was amazed haha. I asked him if he wanted to see the church where I teach about Jesus and baptism. He said, "No thank you, I am already Christian." Buuutttt.....when we got off the songtaew, I saw him following us. So we showed him the church and gave him a Book of Mormon. We told him we needed permission from his parents to teach him more. We found out he didn't live with his parents. He lived at his church and his pastor was his guardian. In my head I was picturing Chancho from Nacho Libre. Sister Zaugg and I told him we couldn't teach him without permission but he was welcome to come to the church and hang out and play ping pong. He didn't have a phone. We didn't expect to ever see him again. Are you following so far?

So the next day Sister Zaugg and I see a boy walking down the hallway of the church. We didn't think much of it until we thought, "Hey, wait a second, that looks like Les!" Turns out it was Les. He had permission from his pastor to learn and he told us that the Book of Mormon was true. WHAT?! The only problem was that he couldn't come to church on Sundays because he had to go to church at his church. We told him needed to come to church every Sunday to be able to be baptized, but we could still teach him sometimes. 

Then he showed up at church on Sunday. He had permission to come to church with us once. So that was super exciting! He loved church and he said that he felt really good there. So there was yet another miracle.

And then on Wednesday when we were teaching him this lesson that was really thoughtfully planned out (we had this whole lesson that even used THE BIBLE, which rarely happens in Thailand), he all casually told us that he had moved out of his church home/place like it was no big deal and that he was living with his uncle so he could come to church every Sunday and be baptized. WHAT. Sister Zaugg and I were both in shock. This kid! I mean seriously! The Lord is working miracles in his life and it's completely crazy wonderful!

He then looked at us and said, " I really have to wait three months to be baptized?" (Kids under 16 have to wait 3 months to be baptized.) I told him yes, yes he did, but that he could do it. Then he said, "Well, it's just that I want to get baptized before Jesus comes at the Second Coming. And Sisters...I think he's coming soon!" Sister Zaugg and I couldn't help but smile because he was so earnest and concerned and his story is the exact same story as Kaw, the kid who was baptized about a month and a half ago (the kid who got on a motorcycle taxi and showed up at church). He was concerned about the Second Coming, too. We called President Senior that night and related all of the miracles that have been happening in Les' life and President gave permission for him to be baptized on the 22nd of December. Best. Christmas Present. Ever. (except that I probably won't be here because transfers are literally that week. But still.)

This week he has been so excited about the Priesthood and the fact that he can receive the priesthood once he is baptized. When we taught him this, he said, "I just wish it were the 22nd already!" :) He also comes contacting with us sometimes and just invites people to be baptized like it's nobody's business. This kid, man. He kills me. He's the best!

We had dinner again at the Siddique family's house again with the elders. It was so fun. I love that family. Yay! :) 

This week was Thai Father's day—the king's birthday. It was so cool to see how much the Thai people love their king. It's intense. He has been the king for over 60 years, so for most of the people in Thailand right now, he is the only king they have ever known. Sister Zaugg and I got to see a part of the speech he gave on his birthday at the place where we ate lunch. It was really cool. 

Every Friday night, we have a sports night for investigators and new members to come to the church and hang out. The missionaries play, too. When sports night was over, I noticed that there was one woman outside playing basketball by herself. Her name is Jeem; she's one of our investigators. Her son is a member and she is just so great. Sister Zaugg and I went outside and played basketball with her for about 20 minutes. Just the three of us. Jeem was laughing like a little girl and so happy. Things like this are the things I am going to remember for the rest of my life. 

Also, this week Sister Zaugg and I realized that we are going insane. We went to the airport to visit Jeep at work as a surprise. She works at Dairy Queen and has told us on multiple occasions that she would give us free shakes if we visited her! (Only she failed to tell us she works in the restricted part of the airport that you can only get into if you have a boarding pass...) was kind of a flop. We called her and told her we were there, though, so at least she knew that we were trying to get to her! On our way out of the most un-functioning airport of the whole world, we got Subway sandwiches because, hello, you don't pass up American food when you see it. So then we were in our taxi on the way home and our taxi driver was like, "Hey you're eating now, too?!" Turns out he was eating these huge leaves and branches. We have no idea where he got them. Neither of us thought anything of it until that night when we were laying in bed and we were like, "Hey...WAIT A MINUTE!?!!!" It was hilarious. The things that are normal to us now...haha.

We also had an unexpected baptism this week. Her name is Geep. She has been an investigator since February of this year. She had permission from her parents to learn, but not to be baptized. They wanted her to wait until she turned 15 (in another 4 months). She was always really sad whenever one of her friends at the church would get baptized. She was happy for them...but sad that she couldn't be baptized herself when she had been coming to church longer than them. This last week as we were talking to her, she casually mentioned that her parents had given her permission to finally be baptized. My mouth fell open. We told her she could be baptized on Sunday. And so she was. She told us she felt "light" and "free." It was an honor to be at her baptism and to have taught her. She really is a special girl.

And that was my week! This week we have our big Christmas performance in Asok. It will be fun! We get to wear custom-made ball gowns. I feel like Cinderella when I wear it. Haha.

I love you!!!!

Sister Hughes

The king on a bridge.
Bam and me.

Khaaw and Les.

Me and Santa.
Eating dinner with the Siddique family. Sorry the group shot is so blurry . . . 

Sameen and Aneeqa.

Us with Geep.
Isrin and Brother Bryan at the mini dress rehearsal.
I like that I didn't get the memo to be goofy . . . Bro. Bryan is Nephi, btw, and totally rocks it.
My favorite family from Korea. We teach them English once a week.
They are members who live in our area but go to church in Asok.

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