Sunday, November 8, 2015

Week 13: And the work continues!

Hey everyone, hope you all had a great week! I didn't get a chance to write you all last Monday so I have a lot to catch you up all on. First of all, we had mission conference two weeks ago with Elder Funk and his wife. Mission Conference is an annual meeting with one of the general authorities from the Quorum of the Seventy. Every year, one of the Seventy comes to Thailand and visits the three main regions (Bangkok, Esan, and Northern Thailand) of the country to counsel with us and help us serve as more effective missionaries. Since I'm in Esan right now, we had to take a 5 hour bus ride to Khon Kaen in order to get to the Conference. I got to see a lot of the elders from my MTC district which was awesome! They told me about how they were still struggling with the language so it was good to know that I wasn't the only one haha. Anyway, after the conference, we had to take another bus overnight back to Ubon. In between cities here in Esan, it's all rice fields, farms, small towns, and more rice fields. The rice fields here just look like grass and everytime I see it I'm just like "how the heck are they able to make rice out of grass??" Seriously, it's so weird. Apparently some of the sisters are trying to organize a service project for us to work in the rice fields in a week or two. My companion doesn't seem to really want to do it because it takes up a lot of time and is physically draining, but I just want to g\figure out how in the world they're able to rice out of grass. If I ever find out, I'll let you all know haha.

Last P day, the elders in my district and I went to a small town called Mogtahaan. Mogtahaan is right by the river that separates the border between Thailand and Lao. By the way, my mission includes Lao and Burma as well. There's 8 missionaries in Lao and I think 8 in Burma as well. They mostly do like service work in the other countries cause they aren't allowed to proselyte the same way we do in Thailand. Anyway, we went to Mogtahaan to find some fabric to make ties out of. Yes, we went all the way to a different town to buy fabric haha. There's just a lot of "Thai style fabric' there and for some reason, a lot of the elders in my mission are obsessed with getting material to make ties out of on their P days. Esan has the best fabric so I guess we're just taking full advatage of it on our P days! 

Food. One of my favorite things to eat here is a dish called ซ็มตำ (Somtaam). It's basically a spicy papaya salad chopped up with peanuts and sugar and hot chili peppers mixed in. It's soooooo good. One of the members, Sister Nid, actually has a papaya tree in her yard so we helped pick out papayas and she let us make some ซ็มำIt's the best thing ever! My salad had ten peppers in it. It was spicy but still so good. If you guys ever go to a Thai restaurant, try it. I'm not guaranteeing you'll like it and it might not taste the same back home, but it's about as Thai as it gets when it comes to that dish. 

Investigators. If you guys remember from my last email, I wrote about a kid named Bank who I said sounded like he made a lot of excuses for not wanting to meet with us. Anyway, I was really upset because I thought for sure Bank would want to meet with us. It turned out that a few days after my last email, we got to teach him the Restoration and how to pray. He even brought two of his friends with him! It wasn't that he didn't want to meet, I think that his excuses were just actually legitimate. He's just always busy since he's a freshman in college and has to worry about school and sports and work. Aside from all that, I knew he would come around sooner or later! So far, we've given him a Book of Mormon and he's been praying on his own. I think the Lord's been preparing Bank to receive this gospel. I don't know how and I don't know why at this time, but I'm glad that Bank's my friend here in Ubon and that I get to play a small part helping him come to know the Savior. Out of all the rejection I get from those who don't want to hear this sweet message, the ones that  do, like Bank, make it all worth it. Right now we have four investigators with baptismal dates. One of them is Brother Chow. He works as a nurse down the  street from our church and is super busy with work. Anyway, he's one of the most humble persons I've ever met. He told us that he insured a lady at a bank but that this lady ran away or something so now he has to pay back the bank for what he insured her. It was a lot of money. He didn't complain or anything but just said that he had to work double shifts at the hospital to make up for all of it. Brother Chow is so awesome. I've learned a lot from his example and I know that the Lord's been preparing him as well to receive the gospel. All of our investigators are awesome people and I could go on and on about each of them but I don't have enough time. I just want you all to know that the Lord is very aware of us each and everyday. The church is true! Hope you guys have a great week! 

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