Monday, February 24, 2014

The Biggest Week of My Mission Life

Leaving Chiang Mai.
This week was absolutely crazy, family. So let's just dive in.

Monday night I found out I was moving. It was kind of a shock to everyone but me. Everyone expected me to stay in Chiang Mai to finish training Sister Woodbury, but on Monday afternoon I just suddenly knew that I was leaving. I just knew. So on Tuesday we said all our goodbyes and on Wednesday we got on a bus and went to Bangkok for transfers meeting on Thursday! Pretty much everyone in our district got moved. Elder Nirut and Sister Woodbury were the only two to stay in Chiang Mai (and the Ures, the senior couple). There was crazy whitewashing all over the whole mission. 

So transfers meeting. After being on a bus for 12987359823 hours, we were running a little late to the transfers meeting. To the point that I didn't even have a chance to change from my travel outfit...which included a sweatshirt and fluffy cheetah socks. So that was good. Sister Woodbury and I piled out of our taxi will all my junk and Elder Barfuss, always so full of tact, looks at me and says, "What are you, sick or something?" Ha. Don't worry, I did change and managed to look presentable for the meeting.

But the best part of transfers meeting...when I got out of the taxi, after Elder Barfuss complimented me so highly, I saw my girls Ploy and Jeep waiting for me in the parking lot. We hugged each other and cried and it was so so wonderful. Ploy gave me a Bible :) I couldn't stop hugging them. It was such a perfect moment, me in my sweatshirt and fluffy socks, Ploy and Jeep looking so cute and put together, all loving each other. 

So at the transfers meeting, President called me aside and asked to speak to me for a minute. He told me where I was going and said, "This will be a special assignment. We have some Thai missionaries who will be entering the mission in a few weeks and we aren't sure where they will all be going. I don't know how long you will be in your new area, you may be heading back to Chiang Mai after a few weeks; you may be staying." I asked him if he was saying I shouldn't unpack my bags. He responded with a "That's a good question." And then transfers meeting began.

So many missionaries went home after their two years this transfer. Elder Creer, Elder Campbell, Elder Engle, Elder Cox...there were 18 in total. Crazy, huh?

After all the announcements and singing "Called to Serve" and all that wonderful jazz, I was assigned to serve in LAMPANG! I moved an hour away from Chiang Mai. Haha. And I'm with Sister Packard! She and I did a switch off a couple weeks ago and we both said to each other, "Man, it would be fun to be companions some day." Haha! And here we are, companions. Sister Woodbury is companions with Sister Reedy, who was previously in Lampang. We literally just switched places haha. We should have just left all our luggage up north!

Other MASSIVE news from our transfers meeting. Myanmar now has two proselyting missionaries. As in—Myanmar is now open for missionary service. This is huge. This is the biggest news ever. There have not been missionaries in Burma since Levi Savage was called to the South East Asia mission in the 1800s. Everyone was so silent and so shocked and the room was full of static electricity. No one was breathing when President Senior made the announcement. I still get the chills thinking about it.

We spent the night in Bangkok at Sister Painter and Sister Croft's apartment. We died on their couch and floor and slept so hard. Traveling all night as a missionary takes it out of you. Friday was the Sisters Conference and there were so many answered prayers that day from all the talks and all the messages that were shared. It was so fun to be with all of the sisters that I love. It was an amazing meeting.

And after that, we took another bus back up north to Lampang where I currently am typing this lovely email. Sister Packard and I got in at 4 in the morning on Saturday. Death. Haha. We have had such an amazing first couple of days already. There have been two baptisms (one for the elders on Saturday and one for us yesterday!), a member who hasn't come to church in years deciding that it is time to come back, and the cutest little horse buggies all over the town. We live in the basement of a member's home, which is kind of the best thing ever, and we have a beautiful garden out back where I get to eat my breakfast every morning. I love Lampang because it reminds me so much of home. The church has about 30 to 40 members who come every week and we don't even have an official church building, we have a house that has been converted into a church. The baptismal font is outside in the backyard.

So with all of the stuff that went on this week, I just want you all to know that I am so happy right now. I am in a wonderful place with the best companion and I am so excited to be here. Being a missionary is great :)

I love you!!

Sister Hughes

Our district at our last district meeting. We wore black because Elder Cox was "dying."  
My English class.  : D
Eating at "Grandma's” the last time. We love this restaurant, the little older lady calls me "daughter" and scolded me
when I wouldn't finish all my rice and would praise me when I did. Hence the name "Grandma's.”   :  )
In front of the church in Chiang Mai.
Leaving for the bus station; with Sister Ant and Sister Joy.
Rii and Pang  ; )
With Sisters Woodbury, Slaugh, Ng and Catherina
Everyone seeing us off at the bus station.  :' ) 
Elder Nirut and Elder Wheeler on the bus. haha
Brother Benz and Brother Ote wearing sister missionary name tags. haha. Both are preparing to be missionaries.  : )
ME WITH MY GIRLS!!! In both my travel outfit and in my nice outfit. ha

Sister Weed!  : ) 
Me and my MTC companions.
Elder Astle and Elder Hill laughing; this photo brings me more joy than I can even begin to tell anyone. hahahahahaha. 
Me and Sister Zaugg! She is opening an area for sisters in Nong Kai, up on the Laos border!
Me and Sister Packard at the bus station.
Valentine's package from home!!  : D
How I knew it would be a good tarnsfer: my district leader keeps a harmonica in his shirt pocket. 
Sister Maw got baptized!
Sister Gan got baptized! Isn't she so cute?!
Gan's baptism; everyone all together.
With Sister Packard, Sister Boomi (in plaid), Sister Bun, Brother Ford is the 18 year old and Brother Sombat is in the glasses.
I love these people so much already! 
My house in Lampang. : )
My garden. : )

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