Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 28: NONG KHAI IS SO COOLk Febuary 7, 2016

What's up everyone?! This week's been crazy. Moves came in last week and I'm now serving in an area called Nong Khai. Even though I'm gonna miss my second-home in Ubon and all the great things that I got to experience there, it was time for me to go. But seriously though, Nong Khai is such an awesome area! It's beautiful here. We're pretty high up north right next to the river that separates the border between Thailand and Lao. Our house is actually right by that river. I've seen so many falangs (white people) here and I think it's probably because of how great this place is. It's green everywhere with trees and rice fields and the weather feels like California. It's actually been getting pretty cold in the mornings. When we go to sleep at night, we can here music from outside by the river. The Lord's blessed me by sending me here for sure.

My new companion is Elder Bryson. Elder Bryson's a stud. We get along way well and we have a similar sense of humor. He works hard and isn't afraid of getting things done. We're both white-washing into this area, meaning we're both new into Nong Khai. I'm not gonna lie, white-washing's tough. We came into this place not knowing what to expect and not knowing who's who, etc. We've had to start our investigator pool from scratch and learn who's RC and who's LA. It's not easy, but I've actually enjoyed white-washing here in Nong Khai. We get to basically build up the work from knowing absolutely nothing when we moved here. Anyway, the ward is way different than Ubon or any place back home. To put it simply, they need development and guidance. For example, in Sunday School, the teacher just let us take over and basically teach the class. There's around 40 members that come to church every Sunday and it's been close to that number for years. This area needs help and Elder Bryson and I are going to seriously just buckle down and get to work this transfer. I want to see this ward grow and at least have 55-60 people coming to church by the end of this transfer. The other two elders here in Nong Khai are great too. Elder Ridings is the district leader and he's training a new greenie, Elder Cecil.This means I'm no longer the youngest in the district anymore! But yeah, Elder Cecil's doing great. I know exactly how he feels cause I was just in his shoes not too longer ago. In all seriousness, I'm so glad I never get to be a greenie again. Those first two transfers are hard not knowing what's going on haha. I'm still learning the language, but I can understand so much better than my greenie days ha. 

Crazy story time! So there's an interesting member in the ward here in Nong Khai and her name is MD. Apparently, the missionaries have gone to her house in the past and one time, they noticed there was a dead cat just laying on the floor of her house. One of the elders was like "MD, why haven't you picked up this cat and how long has it been dead?". The cat has apparently been laying dead in her house for like 4 or 5 months. And she wouldn't tell them why it was dead.... Apparently you could even tell that she tried to sweep around the dead cat. The elders tried to clean it up so she just picked it up and got rid of it. To this day, the dead cat stain is still there and you can see where the cat used to lay dead on the floor. Wow. I thought I met some crazy people on my mission and then I moved to Nong Khai. And I've only been here for a few days. But regardless, I love it here and I love being a missionary (no matter how crazy and weird people can be). I read something that I really liked this morning. It's simple, but very powerful. "Everyday, I will prove my worth". This sentence means a lot to me. The Lord knows we all have so much potential and I feel like proving that to Him is important. Missionary work is hard but it's been the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. I just want to work and work and flip this area around and see baptisms and just awesome things here in Thailand. I love you guys. Please remember that the Lord loves you guys. You all have potential greater than you know. Whatever you're righteously pursuing, do it with all your whole heart, might, mind and strength. I know you can be blessed because of it. Have a great week!

Elder Rawlinson

We saw this cool place with huge statues yesterday and stopped for a little bit. It felt like I wasn't on earth anymore or something haha.

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