Monday, March 17, 2014

“Sister, I will miss you. You have a respectable face.” —Sister Som, Lampang

Family Home Evening at Brother Pop's house, Lampang.

This week was a hard week. I was moved from Lampang after 3 weeks and was sent back down to Bangkok to an area called Pak Kret. I loved my district so much! And my people!!! Being there was 100% a blessing and I miss it! I’m now serving with Sister Ladle and we are covering two branches—the Pak Kret branch (speaking Thai) and the Chaengwattana branch (speaking English!). But I’m excited to be back in Bangkok again, even if it is incredibly hot! Haha.

So on Monday for p-day we went elephant riding at the elephant conservation camp out in Lampang. (Sorry family, I'm not quite sure why it's called a conservation camp? Elder Cox kept calling it an elephant conversation camp and it was really funny.) Anyway, it was so great! I'm sorry I don't really have any photos of myself...I just have photos of Elder Hunt and Elder Cox, and they have pictures of me and Sister Packard. I'll just have to wait for one of them to email them to me after they go back to America, I guess! Anyway, Sister Packard sadly lost her camera on the trip...luckily she had backed up all her photos before and she had a dead battery so nothing was lost—just the camera. We got to go hike back over the elephant trails after our ride to look for it, but couldn't find it. We had a great time hiking, though, so that was good. I just wouldn't suggest hiking elephant trails in crocs, if anyone ever gets the chance :)

On Tuesday in English class, our lesson was on Friendship. We decided to teach everyone the F.U.N. song from Spongebob. It was the greatest thing in the entire world to see a group of 15 students singing and dancing to "F is for friends who do stuff together..." :) We were pretty proud of ourselves for coming up with such a good activity.

On Wednesday while we were just about to leave the house, I got a call from the Zone Leaders. Elder Suangwonsak (yes, he's Thai) said, "Sister Hughes, pack up your bags, you're moving tomorrow morning!" So I had to speedy quick put all my stuff away. Luckily we didn't have dressers or anything and we lived out of our suitcases in Lampang, so pretty much all I had to do was just zip my suitcases shut. Haha. Missionary life.

Ann had a really hard time when she found out I was leaving. We called an emergency family meeting and got ice cream at Swenson's with her. We had dinner that night at McDonald's with Sister Ann, Brother Ford, the elders, Brother Ton (who just finished his mission here about 3 weeks ago), and several investigators. One last family dinner before I left Lampang. Rip my heart out, seriously. After dinner, Sister Ann hugged me for a really long time and just sobbed on my shoulder. Ann grew up with her older sister and never really knew her parents. She kept telling me, "This is the first time someone loved me like a mom. You are the best mom and my best friend." Talk about breaking my heart into a million pieces. I couldn't handle it.

The next morning, Sister Packard and I went to the bus stop at o'dark-thirty and were met by Ann, Ford, and the elders. Later Sister Bun and Som came too to see me off and on my way. Sister Packard and I traveled to Phistanulok where she met up with Sister Sumitra (her trainee) and I met up with Sister Peterson, who was moving down to Bangkok as well. It was a very confusing situation; I will avoid explaining the whole thing so that no one gets a headache. Anyway, after 12 hours on buses, I am now in Bangkok!

I am in Pak Ket with Sister Ladle and we are covering two branches, like I mentioned before. I don't have too much to report, since I got a massive cold as soon as I got to Bangkok and I haven't really been able to do much. It was one of those colds that knocks you out for a while. We were trying to work but after I fell asleep under the table in the nursery room while Sister Ladle was on a phone call, our district leader sent us home for the rest of the day haha. Also I would like to say that I am very overwhelmed by the American-ness of the International Branch here and it was so strange to hear people speaking and praying and teaching in ENGLISH. We had dinner at a member's house last night (and let me say it was DIVINE, it was the first time I have had Ranch dressing since the MTC—almost 9 months!) and I got so tongue tied and confused when giving the spiritual thought after dinner. It was so...weird. English! It's so scary! Haha.

We also had a baptism yesterday for a girl named BookBeak. She is so cute. I met her once for about 10 minutes before her baptism, haha, so that was fun. I'm pretty sure she can't remember my name still, but that's okay! Because she told me she loves me, so that's all that really matters; that and she's happy that she got baptized :)

Also I've been riding my bike through real Bangkok traffic. None of that Saphaan Suung traffic out in the suburbs. This is the real deal. And I've been riding with tissues shoved up my nostrils. I feel like I am getting really good at it :) haha.

Anyway, that's the update for this week! Things are good and I'm back in Bangkok! I love you, family and I miss you! Happy St Patrick's Day! (There is green on my shirt, don't worry.)

Much love,
Sister Hughes

Elder Cox on the phone: 'Yes, this is your Captain speaking!" and "Elder Service, how may I help you?"

Sister Ladle: "Come on Sister, we're not that awkwar...oh yeah we are."

Elders Cox and Hunt at the elephant conservation camp. Someday I'll get photos of Sister Packard and me on an elephant. 
Swenson's with the family real quick. 

6am at the bus station. Brother Ford, Sister Bun, Ann and Sister Som. 
Sister Ladle and me. I looked good this week. 
BookBeak is the girl next to Elder Unsworth. She's so cute! 
BookBeak  : )

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