Monday, April 7, 2014

Broken Brakes, Miracles, and Gingerbread Men

Me and Sister Ladle at a stop light.

Dear Family,

This was a good week! I have not watched conference yet; both English and Thai will be rebroadcast this coming weekend. I'm so excited! It sounds like conference was really good (just like it always is) and I can't wait to watch. 

Here is the alarming news, Shamuu's brakes broke while I was riding through traffic on Monday, but don't worry, there were no accidents and no injuries to report. If that does not prove the fact that missionaries are surrounded by angels 24/7, I don't know what does. I am happy to report that Shamuu is back in working condition and we are riding the streets of Bangkok happy as could be.

So for April Fool's Day, Elder Berbert told us that he was moving on Wednesday and going to Saphaan Suung and that we would be getting a new Zone Leader. We all discounted it and were like, "Haha, good one Elder Berbert, it's April Fool's Day." But...turned out it wasn't an April Fool's joke and he actually did get moved to Saphaan Suung (Saphaan Suung, my heart!!) and we got a new Zone Leader in our district. His name is Elder Trabing. He is hilarious. He once told me, "Sister Hughes, with faith, hope, and a little bit of pixie dust, anything is possible." These next three weeks are going to be lots of fun.

This week we had a dinner with the McPherson family and their youngest son, Justus, gave us all superhero nicknames. He is about 5 years old and always looks like he's scowling. I am Gambit and Sister Ladle is Hawk Eye. "That's Sister Gambit and Sister Hawk Eye to you."

Since it is the hot season, I have started not being hungry and only being thirsty. I have never been so thirsty in all my life. The other day I came home from Seven and realized that I had not bought any snacks...just 5 different drinks. Whoops. 

This week I had an interesting experience involving repentance. I read a talk by Elder Holland called "Come unto Him." It's really wonderful. In this talk, he states, "Sin is the heaviest burden any man or woman can bear." A few hours later, I talked to a woman on the street who told me she couldn't get rid of her sins. "I am Buddhist. If you are Buddhist, you cannot be cleansed from sins." "Through Jesus Christ, anything is possible. You can become clean." "Maybe for you, but I am Buddhist and cannot." It broke my heart. I wanted to help her understand that she can change. There is so much power in repentance. It requires humility, but through humility, we can call upon the grace of God to ask forgiveness and use the power of the Atonement to change ourselves and our desires. I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of repentance and of Christ in my life. I'm so grateful I'm out sharing it with as many people as possible. 

I had the good fortune of teaching Sandy about repentance this week and also of helping her at her baptism yesterday! :) On Thursday morning as we were teaching her, I had the sudden realization of all of the miracles that went into her conversion. I will explain the full story in person one day, but for now, know that she overcame lots to get to where she is today. Because she could only meet in the mornings (it's the only time she had someone to watch her son), we taught with Sister Nong every time. She is the only member we know of who was willing and free to help us teach at 9 am. It turned out that Sister Nong had been through many of the same experiences as Sandy and was able to help her with every one of her concerns and questions. It was so amazing watching that all unfold. On Saturday afternoon at her interview, she told us that "Jesus made her wish come true." She hadn’t been sure if she would be able to be baptized because her mother wouldn't be available to watch her son while she came to church. She prayed to Heavenly Father and asked Him to let her mom be free. She woke up on Saturday morning she woke up to a phone call from her mom saying she could take care of the baby while Sandy got baptized. :)  When she was baptized, she bore the best testimony ever. She said, "I know with every piece of my heart that Heavenly Father is real and that Jesus is my Savior." :)

It was a really good week.

I love you all!!

Sister Hughes
("That's Sister Gambit, to you.")


"Once upon a time there was a gingerbread man. His mom told him to come inside but he didn't listen and went outside to skip through the flowers. A little fat kid came along with a glass of milk and ate the gingerbread man. The fat kid lived happily ever after. Goodnight."
—Elder Unsworth's story during our nightly follow-up call

Me, Nam and Sister Ladle. Brother Thrap from the MTC taught her!
Elder Berbert's farewell lunch.
A very large snail.
Sandy's baptism.

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