Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Cinco de Mayo ... in Thailand!

A birthday package on my birthday! Thank you, Auntie Carrie : )
Hello family! 

So sorry to be emailing so late and that this will be short...but we get to skype next week so that makes up for it, right? :) SO EXCITED.

This week was really great. The work here in Sisaket for me and Sister Croft is speeding up. We have investigators! Yay! (To answer all the questions...opening an area means we are the first sisters in Sisaket after a few months of not having sisters here. It means we started out with nothing—no investigators, no less actives to work with, no recent converts either. So we started from scratch! It's been super fun.) This month is called "Mayhem" and the goal is three baptisms for each companionship in the mission. Sister Croft and I are working for and expecting miracles. Pray for this mission! We are super close to qualifying for a temple :) 

Exciting news—a member here in the Sisaket branch just got her mission call! She is going to....THAILAND! :) She says I will be her trainer haha. I would love that! She goes to the Philippines MTC on July 4th. That was the day I got into country last year. Weird, huh? Time has literally flown by. I can't believe I am past my year mark now. I wish time would slow down a little.

This week I have been very very pleased with my district. We are such an eclectic group...but we all get along well and work hard together. It's the best kind of oddball group there could be. We cover just about every background...Utah, California, half Taiwanese, full Korean raised in Utah, and Laotian. Haha. Oh, and on Tuesday, I was telling our district how Heavenly Father blesses me when I am contacting with either bus tickets or puppies to keep me going. (Sometimes people will let me hold their puppies while I am talking to them; it's really great.) So that evening, Sister Croft and I rode up to the church for English class and Elder Angkham yells at me, "SISTER HUGHES! THERE IS A PUPPY! COME AND SEE!" I was skeptical that it was actually a puppy...and rightly was a HUGE, TERRIFYING SPIDER that was easily the size of my hand. Oy. Everyone makes me laugh harder than I have laughed in a really long time. It's the best.

Elder Bassett: "One time, Sister Taew forced me to eat mangoes and sticky rice when I was full."
Elder Lim: "Well...we've all got our crosses to bear."

Sister Croft: "I still can't believe you thought I was a greenie, Elder Angkham..."
Elder Angkham: "It's just my fault." (I love it when Elder Angkham speaks English more than just about anything in the world.)

There's a really long list. Those are some of my favorites. :)


THANK YOU FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY WISHES!!! :) You are all so fantastic and wonderful!! I loved my birthday. It was such a good day. On Thursday night, Elder Lim asked to borrow my phone. This is pretty standard...using another missionary's phone to call an investigator who hasn't answered in a while (sneaky tactic, I know). I didn't think anything of it until the next morning when our alarm went off at 6:30am and our phone was singing "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU SISTER HUGHES" haha. The elders had all snuck off together at some point and recorded themselves singing Happy Birthday and set it as our alarm. We haven't changed it back haha. Sister Croft had somehow sneakily bought me a little cake from 7-11 and decorated my desk speedy-quick while I was brushing my teeth. So cute :) We also went to Ubon on my birthday for a zone training. I walked down the streets of Ubon and sang 22 by Taylor Swift. It was a good day. I also got packages that day from Auntie Carrie and Momma and Dad— the CDs! It was perfect timing. Everyone was so kind to me on my birthday, even the members were singing to me and giving me presents and such. I haven't even been here that long! Hardly over a week! There is a lot of love in Thailand.

So this morning for p-day we went to an elephant village (I'm not sure what you would call it in English...that's a direct translation from the Thai title for it). It was so much fun! There was a whole show, we got to ride them, and there was lots of photo taking. 

Here's a little list of some of the things I have learned on my mission thus far.
Some are fun; some are really valuable. It is so awesome to see how my mission has changed me. Ready? Here goes:
-How to ride my bike in a skirt
-How to ride my bike against traffic
-How to hop a fence in a skirt
-How to navigate to a median of a big street
-How to use a squatty toilet
-How to kill really big spiders
-How to live with cockroaches (ugh, I still hate that I have learned how to do this)
-How to eat chicken feet (whoops, I did that this week)
-How to use the scriptures as tools
-How to teach people about their Savior, Jesus Christ
-How to show that love in a constructive and uplifting way
-How to make a good decision
-How to be confident in myself
-How to be confident in the Lord and His promised blessings
-How to be obedient
-How to do hard things with a willing heart
-How to serve
-How to give
-How to try to love the way God loves, the best I can

Maybe I'll add more to this list next week. I'll be thinking about it.

I love you, family!! Can't wait to see your faces next week!!! :)

Sister Hughes

Quote of the Week

Oops, sometimes in Thailand, people pronounce their Rs as Ls. I have gotten a little lazy and started doing this, too...and it has crept into my English as well. That's dangerous.

Me to Sister Croft: "And the reward is a clown of eternal righteousness!" 

A terrible picture of me . . . but I'm eating a chicken foot.
Elder Lim pointing at the tear coming out of Elder Hartman's eye . . . he ate Somtam with 20 Thai peppers.
I can only stand 2. He's a boss.
The "puppy." 
Lost in the fields . . . where is the bathroom?
Birthday presents!
Surprise from Sister Croft! She wrapped a snickers bar and chocolate milk in pages from the Friend magazine.
*(fun fact: the Friend illustrations are by none other than Auntie Maryn (left)  and Guy Francis (right), illustrators extraordinaire)
Elder Angkham and Elder Hartman asleep on the way to Ubon. haha
Our oatmeal dinner . . . on our beds . . . mad at the elders who have an OVEN in their house
(for those of you who don't know, NO ONE in Thailand has an oven.)
Oops, an elephant picked me up today.
The missionaries and the members who went to the elephant village.
The missionaries from Surin were there too! I got to see Sister Ng!
Me at some ruins on our way back from the elephant village.
The Awkward District Photo. I love them so much.
So there the elders were, looking at t-shirts. And I walked by and said, "Wow, those shirts would be great at a ward barbeque,
don't you think? Oops, they all bought one. I'm not sorry I said anything at all.

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