Monday, February 17, 2014

On Becoming Myself. And Protection from Samurais.

The only photo I can send, hence the grumpy faces. Doi Pui.
Here's another week of me telling more insights than stories. I hope that's okay. Lots of good stuff happened this week, like our 16 year old investigator Tad announcing she had found more answers reading 2 Nephi 2 than in a lifetime of going to a Protestant church, and finding a woman whose car broke down in front of the church who wants to get baptized. But more on her later.

I am not going to lie. I feel like this transfer has been the hardest time of my mission. Not because I am training, not because I am in a position of a lot of responsibility, not because I don't love where I am. I feel like it is the hardest because I have seen all the things I need to change about myself.

But I had this thought the other morning. We lived with God before we came to this earth and He prepared a plan for each one of us to become like He is. So really, when I am changing my will to become His will and when I am changing my actions to be more like Christ's actions...I am actually becoming. I am becoming more like myself because I am becoming what God has always intended for me to become. It makes the painful process of changing worth it.

Last P-Day we went up a mountain to a place called Doi Pui. It is a tribal village where the Hmong people live. They don't really have much. They all have tin roofs and there is no electricity. But they have beautiful gardens and they have a little tiny museum about the Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand. It's pretty cool. We got to dress up in traditional Hmong clothing.

We also had a blast in English. We teach 2 monks named Non and Mike in the advanced class. They speak REALLY good English and they are hilarious. I have a video of them singing "Dream Big" from Monsters University, but sadly I can't send it home because the file is too large.

Fun fact, on Saturday when Sister Woodbury and I went contacting, I literally spoke in French the entire time. I kept running into people who needed help with directions or who recognized us as the "Mormon missionaries" and had questions. It was lots of fun, but my brain hurt afterwards haha.

Yesterday evening after church, Sister Woodbury and I walked out through the parking lot and there was a woman who was having her car jump-started at the gate of the church. We invited her to leave her car running and charging in the parking lot while we introduced the church and its teachings to her. She told us that Buddhism has been her whole life. She would spend weeks at a time in meditation when she was younger. But she has reached a point in her life where she isn't sure what that has actually done anything for her and she was ready to see what Christianity had to offer. We took her into the chapel and began telling her about what happens on Sundays when she told us to stop. She said (in English; she used to teach English and refused to respond in Thai), "What is happening to me? What am I feeling? There is electricity all through my body and in my heart and coming through my face!" We told her it was the Holy Ghost and she asked us to tell her everything about the gospel of Jesus Christ. About feeling the Spirit, she said: "I feel like if I were walking in the middle of a Samurai war, I would be protected in a little bubble. They could come at me with their swords and try to chop my neck, but I know I would be okay."( I particularly enjoyed that description of the Holy Ghost.)

Unfortunately she doesn't live in our area, so we introduced her to Elder Wood and Elder Cox who were at the church. There happened to be a member present so they taught her and she is going to get baptized on the 8th.

And that was pretty much the week. It was a good one. Tonight we are going to have dinner with the Ures, the senior couple in Chiang Mai, as a celebration of the transfer. Elder Cox will be going home this week (if he doesn't get his extension...) so they want to have a little party for him. It should be fun. We will all be going to Bangkok on Wednesday for the transfers meeting on Thursday morning. The sisters are having a conference together on Friday and it will be great. All 50 of the sister missionaries will be together. I have no idea if I will be staying or leaving. It will be a huuuuuuge transfers meeting—we have 18 of our zone leaders and district leaders who are all done with their missions this transfer so everything is getting changed up. So next week I may be emailing you from somewhere else! We'll just see what happens!

I love you!!!!

Sister Hughes

Quotes of the Week

Sister Slaugh: " fast can you run in a Hmong outfit?"

Elder Cox: "Now I feel bad for laughing because Grandma Toot died." (There was a little old grandma who lived next door to the elders that they lovingly named "Toot" because she always tooted really loudly.)

Me, yelling out the side of a Song taew: "Elder Wood! BIKE-LE Your helmet....." Oops.

Elder Wood: Well at least she didn't go to Ire-lish!
Me: Go to Ireland?
E W: Yeah. Or try to speak Ireland.
Me: Irish?
Elder Wood: I'm going home now.

Elder Nirut: "Your cake in there, I ate it, I was hungry."

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