Monday, April 28, 2014

Power and Wisdom in Sisaket, Thailand

My grils and me before I moved to Saisket: Sister Gai, Sai, BookBeak, me, Sandy and Ao.
Family! (Sorry if this is kinda scattered, my thoughts are all over the place.)

Transfers happened! And I moved! Again! Haha. This is my 4th area in 4 months. So I am now in...SISAKET!! Whoo hoo! I'm out in the Isaan—out in the fields :) Sister Croft and I (remember her from the Donut miracle? Yep! We're companions) are opening the area. It's super great. 

The day before transfers was absolutely insane. My last area, Pakkret, was where transfers always takes place. Because SIster Ladle and I live right by the church (ish), we hosted a bunch of sisters who were traveling from other parts of Thailand. They showered at our house, sat on our floor, and we talked. Hooray, I only got one hour of sleep the night before transfers. Ah, well.  :)

On Tuesday I was walking down the hallway of the church before English class. I saw a boy standing in front of me, and I recognized his face but I couldn't quite place him—I looked at him and looked at him when suddenly his little purple glasses registered in my head. IT WAS LES FROM SAPHAAN SUUNG!!!!!!!! He moved to Don Muang this past week and had come to English class! We were both so surprised and confused to see each other. Sister Zaugg was there later because of transfers and we had the best reunion EVER. My little Chancho boy :) I am so blessed to have been able to see him again. He's gotten really tall :) 

So transfers was so much fun. I got to see all of the people and talk to everyone. I was so pleased with the whole thing. I had no idea that Sister Croft and I would be companions! It was the best surprise ever. I totally knew I was coming to the Isaan, too. I just had no idea we would be going to Sisaket. (Let's be real though, did I ever have any idea I would be in Thailand, either? Haha.) I have never really heard anything about Sisaket before, I only really knew that Elder Campbell served here a million years ago. After it was announced we would be coming here, every elder in the mission who has served here ran up to us and was like "THAT WAS MY FAVORITE AREA OF THE MISSION EVER." Sister Croft and I are loving it. Our district is really great. I am serving with Elder Angkham again! (Remember him from my 2nd transfer in Saphaan Suung?) What the heck, why do I have such good fortune to serve with him again?! I am so pleased. I am also serving with Elder Hartman (Elder Angkham's companion) and Elders Lim and Bassett. Elder Hartman lived in Thailand until he was 8 years old, and his old house was right by the church. We went and found it as a district and then played on the playground there for a few minutes. I think it will be a good transfer.

Sisaket is so wonderful. We are living in a funny store front that was converted into a house. When we got there...there were spiders the size of my hand that we had to get rid of. That was terrifying. We also don't have a kitchen or microwave... But other than that, things are great. The members are so kind. On Saturday night, the Relief Society president showed us where a lot of less active members live. She also feeds us and all the members take really good care of us. I feel like I've been here my whole mission by how open and friendly they are. Also this week was the hottest week in Thailand. Just an FYI. That means really, REALLY HOT.

Here are some things I have been realizing this week. I feel like the last little bit of my mission, I have been learning a lot about decision-making—especially with opening an area. Mostly about how to make a good decision and how to trust myself. This week I was reading in Alma 31. In these verses, Alma is praying to be able to bring souls unto Christ. In opening an area, my prayers sound pretty similar. Here is what Alma says.

34  O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ.

35 Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethern; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our bretheren, again unto thee.

It is incredibly poignant to me that Alma prayed specifically for power and wisdom. I think so many times we think that we can pray for guidance from the Holy Ghost to lead us to the "right decision." What we often fail to realize is there usually is no one "right decision." We need to make a decision all on our own. I am realizing that decision-making is an act of faith and of trust—in both ourselves and in the Lord. Trusting ourselves to use the wisdom the Lord has given us to make a good decision, and trusting the Lord to catch us if we fall. Decision-making is a way for us to grow and to learn. One time Brother Ford (from Lampang) taught me that, "Everything is according to God's thoughts. And God's thoughts are perfect in every way." So are His decisions. And so Alma understood that. He understood that missionary work, though we often want it to be, is not a constant stream of revelation telling us where to go and who to talk to and what to say. He understood that so much of our lives are left up to us to be able to make choices. He prayed for the power and the wisdom to be able to make the right decisions and then he trusted the Lord to catch him if he fell. I am changing my prayers to be more like this. 

And that is my week. Sister Croft and I are looking for investigators to invite to learn; please pray for us to have the power and wisdom to find them! There are people out there that need this gospel. I'm so glad I get to be a part of sharing it with them. 

Also, PS, I can't believe I am going to be 22 this week. When did I get so old?

PPS I can't believe I am hitting my year mark on my mission this week. Where did that year go? It's been the best year of my entire life. I am so glad that I chose to come on a mission. My life will never be the same and I will forever be grateful.

Sister Hug (Yes, I got called that this week. I was very pleased.)


Elder Hartman: "What is this made of?" (talking about a pink dessert after church yesterday)
Sister Croft: "Pink."

Sister Croft: (as we're buying breakfast goods when we moved in) "Darn it, we don't have a microwave..."
Me: "NOOOOO WE DON'T EVEN HAVE A FRIDGE! ...oh. Wait. Nevermind." 
(I guess this one is funnier to us...but it was hilarious.) 

District meeting, Pakkret; Elder Khanakham's house
Sister Ladle, me and the Nelson family
Millepedes in the church
Reunion! Sister Zaugg, Les and me
Playground by Elder Hartman's old house
Spiders . . . 
Popsicles on the hottest day in Thailand
Cows at the church? I'm out in the country, I guess
And one last photo—happy birthday dogs?

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