Monday, October 6, 2014

On the Road

Dearest Family Family Dearest,

This week has been a week of moving. Off and on the road. 
It was all so good :)

On Tuesday night, (after spending all of Tuesday moving houses -- we now only live 3 houses down from where we used to live haha, but it still took FOREVER), Sister Packard and I boarded an overnight bus with the Zone Leaders to go to Bangkok for our Mission Leadership Council on Wednesday. It was a really great training meeting; we have been focusing as a mission to be better “all-around” missionaries—not only to find, teach and baptize—but to also help retain and reactivate. We are now a BRAFTing mission (Baptizing  Retaining  Activating  Finding Teaching). As missionaries, we need to spend time each day being organized and better focused on all five of these areas, and we learned  to also train other missionaries. We focused on how we can better serve. We have amazing, dedicated missionaries in this mission; so inspiring and good.

That day we had THE best surprise ever in the whole wide world. Brother Ford, from Lampang, was in Bangkok for the week and he showed up at the training meeting. We got to talk to him as we ate lunch. It was so great to see him again. He is such an awesome person. I feel so blessed to know him. 

Thursday we spent in Nong Khai, training the elders there how to BRAFT like Iron Men. Friday we were in Sakonnakhon, doing training there. And then on Saturday we were back to Udon again where we trained our own district on BRAFTing. Now we're home in our own area. (I've counted, and of the 12 weeks that I will be in Udon, I will have been traveling for 7 of them...haha.) It was a great experience traveling around Thailand. I love riding on the buses through the Esaan and seeing the fields of rice and skies that go on for miles, listening to people selling grilled chicken on a stick yell at us through the bus windows, talking with other travelers, and getting stuck behind lines of water buffalo blocking the roads. It's a good life out here. I really do love it.

With all that time on the road, I have spent a whole lot of time reflecting on my mission. I love sitting in cars and just thinking. (Can that be considered a hobby? If it is, it's one of my favorites.) I have reflected on how grateful I am ... for everything. How grateful I am to be in Thailand. My soul is just so happy to be a missionary.

"Behold, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ ... yea, my soul delighteth in His grace, and in His justice and power, and mercy in the great and eternal plan of deliverance from death." (2 Nephi 11:4–5)

It's funny, because when you get your mission call, you wonder if it's because there is someone who needs you -- is there someone in the Thailand Bangkok mission who was waiting specifically for me? And yes, there are those wonderful people. I promise that. But I have also found that I was called to this mission because God knew that I needed these people, much more than they need me. Because of my people, my eternities have been changed forever.

All of my love,
Sister Hugh

Wat Sala Kaew Kuu in Nong Khai. 

Brother Ford! 
Borrowing jackets at the church to try to stay warm!

"What do you get when you win the Superbowl?" —Elder Lim
This question was posed in one of our zone trainings this week and Elder Williams responded, "SALVATION TO THE THAI PEOPLE!"  He got a gold star.

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