Monday, August 11, 2014

The Weekly

Gaem and Cartoon and Cartoon's mom from Sisaket

Dearest family family dearest,

Hellos from the grand city of UDON!! I was moved this week to Northern Eastern Thailand, up on the Laos border. And I LOVE IT. More about moves in a minute.

Leaving Sisaket was hard. I don't know that I have ever worked so hard for an area before. I learned how to not only work hard, but how to work hard for something, for someone. I loved that area with everything I had. 

This is the story I will tell about leaving. It is about Brother Noy, my Thai grandfather. He has had a bit of a struggle with the scriptures since his baptism. They are hard for him to understand. Sister Croft and I discovered that he has a love for English, so we would write his "very important homework" (reading assignments in the Book of Mormon) on post-it notes for him. He would call us 6 times a day to tell us he was doing his "very important homework" in English, of course. So the day before I left, I called him to tell him I was leaving. I couldn't see him because he was out of town. He said, "Sister Hughes, I want you to know that I am not Laman." "No, Brother Noy, you are not Laman." "I am not Lemuel." "No, you are not Lemuel. You are Nephi!" "No, I am not Nephi." "Yes, Brother, you are Nephi." "No! I am NOY-phi!"
My heart. : )

So Tuesday night, we got on a bus and went to Bangkok for a training meeting (Sister Croft and Elder Hartman are both training; between the 3 companionships in Sisaket, there are 3 greenies! Crazy!!) and spent the day there. Because Sister Croft and I both served in the Pakkret area, we got to see a lot of recent converts and members that we love so much. I GOT TO SEE BOOKBEAK. We hugged so long and then realized we were both crying. I love that girl. It was so fun to see all the miracles that have happened in that area since I moved. It was good to see so many unfamiliar faces :) You don't always see the fruits of your labors as a missionary...but when you do, it is such a special experience. I may or may not have cried over my dinner hearing some of the miraculous stories that have happened since I left. One day I will tell you the stories that have touched me forever. But know this: God is good. He is so so good. And He always keeps His promises. We spent the night there, in Pakkret, and I got to be with Sister Weed the night before she went home. (Pakkret was her last area.) It was so perfect. 

Transfers meeting was rough. So many missionaries went home this transfer. 13 amazing sisters, including Sister Weed, Sister Painter, and so many other people that I have served around and loved working with. It was hard. Everyone who was companions with each of the "dying" missionaries got to say something nice about them. I have never seen President and Sister Senior so emotional before. I talked about how Sister Weed taught me how to love. She showed me that there is so much love in this country and she loved me so much. I have been forever changed because of her. Sister Painter was never my companion, but if I had stood up, I would have said she was the best karaoke / dance partner this country has ever seen.

And then I was assigned to serve in Udon. HOORAY! I am in a trio with Sister Speas, who was in my MTC group, and with SISTER ZAUGG. It was her dying wish that I "kill" her, or be her last companion. She goes home in 2 weeks to start school. We got our wish to serve together again before she goes home! Sister Speas and I will also be the Sister Training Leader companionship over the Udon Zone. 

This is actually the perfect place to be. This was Sister Weed's first area, and it will (hopefully) be my last. How poetic would that be? Ending where my trainer started? Haha. Sister Weed and I talked a lot after transfers about how perfect it is—how me coming to Udon kind of wraps up everything we have worked for our whole missions so perfectly. I am here with members that I have heard stories about for the just about the past year and a half and now I get a chance to know them. There is also the most wonderful senior couple here, the Browns, who feed us and make us waffles and take such good care of us. "Who loves you more than the Browns?" is a phrase that often comes out of Elder Brown's mouth. I love them. 

Well, that's about the update I've got for this week...there was so much that happened, I don't even know how to write it all down. Sorry if this is so muddled. We've got an appointment to learn how to make cashew chicken in a little bit! It will be fun.

I love you all!!

Much love,
Sister Hughes

Leaving Sisaket; me, Elder Lim with Brother Somsak, Sister Tan, Beem and Ribbon
ELDER ANGKHAM so good. That skirt was a leaving gift from Sister Bew's family.
Our last Sisaket district photos . . .  so good.
Sister Yaw and Brother Tong. I will tell you their miracles one day.
BookBeak. <3
Sister Weed and I at transfers.
Elder Okimoto and Elder Hartman; Sister Hermann and Sister Croft  : )
So squishied into a taxi. We spent an hour and a half like that to the train station.
Oh, it was painful. Haha. Two bikes were strapped onto the back.
We were all accidentally matching. That was good times. My shirt awkwardly untucked Ha.
Sister Adams, Sister Zaugg, Sister Senior, me, Sister Speas, and Sister Muller — THE UDON SISTERS.


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