Monday, July 21, 2014

“It smells like cinnamon toast, but it’s actually hot dogs.”

Dearest Family Family Dearest,

This week was such a good week. I feel like I have a lot to say. Ow, I don't know how to organize this. Here goes...

Family, I have to apologize. I am sorry that I haven't fully explained about the people I am teaching in my emails every week. I think early on in my mission I felt that if I said, "I am teaching so and so and they have a date to be baptized on..." I thought I was counting eggs before they hatched or something like that. I have since come to realize the great power that comes from involving you in my work here in Thailand. This week Moo quit smoking and was baptized. Thank you for your prayers on his behalf. This miracle couldn't have happened for him without your help. I will be involving you much more from now on :)

So yes. Moo got baptized. I will explain Moo a little bit to you all. Moo is 40 years old, a husband, and father of three. He works as a security guard during the night and takes care of his family during the day. Does he ever sleep? I'm not really sure. When Sister Croft met him at 7-11, he was quiet and hardly ever smiled. But let me tell you, this gospel changes people and brings people real happiness. Moo's real struggle in his conversion has been smoking. He would smoke two boxes of cigarettes a day. On his own, he was able to cut down to one a day. That in itself is pretty darn incredible. It was just that one little cigarette that he had a really hard time quitting. Moo told us one time that he would only ever smoke at work, never at home. So Sister Croft and I started calling him while he was at 1 and 5 in the morning. It was worth it though. I have never seen something so wonderful as Moo smiling the day he passed his baptismal interview. I asked him if it was scary to interview with Elder Lim. He said, "You don't have to be scared to interview if you are willing to get baptized and keep the commandments." Then he looked down at his hands in his lap with a huge smile and said, "Tomorrow I will be born again. I'll have a new birthday." :) His baptism was so wonderful. He loves the Lord and the Gospel. It was such a privilege to teach him.

This week we also started teaching a woman named Teek, whose daughter is 7 years old and wants to be Christian. Teek originally started learning so that she could answer her daughter's questions: "Why are Christian churches different?" "Are God and Jesus the same person?" Isn't that incredible? This little 7 year old has these questions, and she begs her mother to take her to church every Sunday. Teek loved what she learned about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. She told us about her experiences that she has had with God and the times she has tried to pray at her daughter's insistence and how she knew that God had to be real. We asked her to be baptized. Her response: "Let me talk about it with God first." :) I have no doubt that she will get her answer, she just might take a little longer to make up her mind. Keep her and her daughter in your prayers, because those prayers have a lot of power to work miracles over here in Thailand :)

This week I also learned a few important lessons that I have learned before, but since I'm only human I have to learn them over and over again. Haha. This week I was reading in Preach My Gospel about Teaching Skills. There is a section in that chapter about Teaching for Understanding—making sure the doctrine we teach is clear and simple. I started to evaluate my teaching and because I am hard on myself I got a little disappointed at how terrible I still am at Thai and how much there is that I need to learn in order to be able to teach clearly about Christ. As I closed my personal study with a prayer, the thought entered my mind that there are more ways to teach than just through words. My actions and my example can teach about Christ just as much, if not better, than my words. By loving my people and serving them the way that Christ would do, they can gain an understanding of who He is. It was a great moment.

The other little tidbit that I want to share is that we can ask for miracles. God will give them to us. Sometimes they are not the miracle that we expect—but it is always the miracle that God needs to give us. God is a God of surprise. I firmly believe that. 

And that is it for this week, my family! I love you all so very much. Thank you for your prayers and your love and your letters and your support. There's so much love up here in this little internet cafe. :)

All my loves,
Sister Hughes

Scriptures of the Week:
Ephesians 3: 14-21

 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in     the inner man;
 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Quotes of the Week

Me on the phone to Elder Lim: "Well Crofter Sauce thinks that...WAIT WHAT. I JUST CALLED SISTER CROFT CROFTER SAUCE."

Sister Croft (as we were walking through a market finding investigators): "It's funny because it smells like cinnamon toast, but it's actually hot dogs."

Brother Moo!

Elder Lim had a cold and really bad fever during English class, and Sister Poom forced him to eat medicine.
I may or may not have had something to do with it?

This photo is called "Hide the Evidence." Sister Croft and I love chocolate milk.

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