Monday, May 26, 2014

Safe and Sound

Photos from King's baptism (also baptized: Brother Gang and little Chompuu, Sister Banjaree's daughter.
Sister Banjaree is in the bright green. Her whole family has now been baptized!!)
Dear family,

Apparently there was exciting news from Thailand this week. I just want everyone to know that all the missionaries are safe and sound. There is a countrywide curfew from 10pm to 5pm; we are unaffected by the curfew. There are no problems to report; the work moves on.

All is well. We haven't been able to street contact since Thursday and have been instructed to stay in our apartments or the church if we don't have an appointment, but that was lifted this morning and I think I could hear all the missionaries in Thailand shouting for joy. It's hard to sit in your apartment when you want to be outside working.

This week was fairly quiet because a lot of extra precautions were taken for missionaries, but it was still good...

This week we had an exciting experience. Sister Banjaree, a recent convert, called us and told us she had found 30 new investigators for us. WHAT?! All 6 of the missionaries were given a ride out to her house (she is in a different ampur, or county) by a few members and we piled out of the car to find a group of 30 middle schoolers sitting, waiting, looking at us with big eyes. Then it all clicked in my brain...Sister Banjaree is a middle school teacher...oh. Haha. It was pretty exciting. (and don't worry, we had permission to share with the kids.) We split into three groups and each companionship taught 10 kids. It was a lot of fun, and the kids seemed pretty interested. More on them to come.

This week we had some heart attack moments. Our wonderful investigator King didn't arrive for his baptismal interview and wasn’t answering his phone. We were crushed. That was Friday afternoon. We drank some Milo (sort of like chocolate milk but maybe better? I can't decide) to console ourselves and then prayed for a miracle. Saturday morning King showed up at the church. We called Elder Lim and he ran over to the church and interviewed King. He was baptized yesterday. When he bore his testimony, he said, "I am so excited. I want to testify that everyone can apply the teachings of Jesus Christ in their lives. My life is changed because of it." :) He is so awesome!! 

On Saturday we taught the children again. And I ate a fish. I actually liked it. We also taught a new investigator named Tuie. We taught him some of the commandments to make sure he could start changing his life right away. He would repeat everything we said so he could remember it. "The Word of Wisdom is for our physical and spiritual benefit. Here are 5 things to learn about it and the blessings we can receive when we follow." "Okay. Five things." "We don't drink alcohol." "Right. Alcohol." "Or coffee or tea." "Oh, okay. I'll stop drinking coffee. No coffee or tea." And so it went with the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Chastity, and the Sabbath Day. He agreed to keep all of these three commandments. He even said he would change his job so he could come to church on Sundays. He wasn't sure if he could come to church on Sunday though because he hadn't requested the day off. We asked him to pray and try to find someone who could switch him shifts.

Church was pretty overwhelming. The Sisaket Branch was standing room only yesterday! While we were waiting for investigators to show up, a truck pulled through the church gates. In the bed of the truck were about 20 of the 30 children that Sister Banjaree invited us to teach. It was one of the best things I have ever seen...all the kids in soccer jerseys and basketball shorts leaping out of the bed of the truck and running into the church. (In Thailand it's legal to ride in the bed of a truck, don't worry.) And then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Tuie popped up in front of me and was like, "I switched my shift! Here I am!" Sister Croft and I were so happy. People like that, who are willing to make any change they need to without a second thought, inspire me so much. They make me want to cry. 

So that was our week, it was pretty quiet, but still some good work got done. Oh, we also have a new microwave. On Tuesday, our little heating stove broke...the plug got melted somehow in the socket and the prongs broke off. It was rather tragic. When we were instructed to get a 72 hour supply of food as a precaution with the coup, we got a microwave, too. I rode home with it on the back of my bike. I was pretty proud. Haha. :) I also finally wore a hole through the bottom of my crocs. Noooooooo. Time for new shoes, I guess.

Anyway, it was a good week. All is well in Thailand. Please continue to pray for this wonderful country and for these wonderful people so that this work can move forward! 

I love you!!

Sister Hughes

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