This week has been good! There have been trials, but we have borne them with patience, and we have seen success. One thing a mission does for you is to help you gain patience, and compassion for others. In the past I have been one to sometimes lash out, or have a short fuse. As a missionary, you can’t do that. I have to have sincere compassion and love for the people we teach and every one we lose hurts, and everyone we keep is better than any Christmas. Last week when I left off, we went to FHE. We had a ton of fun games, and a celebration since it was Elder Martin’s 22nd birthday, and Sister Sun’s 23rd birthday. There was a ton of food, and we had a good time. Sister Sun brought her mom to be taught, but she was pretty closed hearted so we were just nice to her and made her feel at home. We had Dia, Buah, and Ben all at the event. The next day we taught Dia early at the church. She is a tall girl (My height) who is 22 and works at the mall in the PEA store (Provincial Electrical Authority). She was awesome and had no problems with the religion change.
We then went to the mall and saw our RC sister Bop. We invited for a while (as security eyed us from afar). Chode had not called us for days, or answered his calls. We finally got a call from him. He is doing good! We then had English class. Everyone had fun, and played fun games. We then taught sister Ben. She was worried about falling back into temptation. She says she worries about tomorrow every day. So we had her read 3 Nephi 13:31-34. She was astonished. She said ” This book knows me.” It was a very good night. The next day was rough on the body. We woke up at 4 am to catch a 5 am bus to Khon Kaen for Zone Conference. When we got on the bus, the Surin Elders were already on, and they were hard asleep. After a while they turned on the TV, and some weird singing show was on, so it was hard to sleep. After a while, a ton of monks got on and sat in the back with us. It was a funny sight, a bunch of white dudes in suites sitting next to Thai dudes in orange. A crazy one sat next to me with a walking staff that looked like a Naga. I talked with him for a little bit. It was at that moment that I thought: ” here I am, on a bus, with a bucket for a toilet, sitting next to a crazy monk while watching 2 shemales sing on TV. My life is weird now.” We then arrived at the city, and walked to the Pullman Hotel to wait. It was a nice hotel, I met a dude from Georgia! I gave a huge hug to my southern brother. As we waited for all of the missionaries, I met up with Magera, Slabaugh, Smith, Bagley, and Purser! We all shared stories and experiences, and had a good time catching up. We then went out to a square by a Wat with P. Senior, and sang Christmas Carols at the Thai people. It was here that I met up with Elder Chio! He looks the exact same, and even looks like the day we left the MTC. We all went back to the hotel, and rented out the downstairs restaurant for a nice buffet. We had an Elder play on the drums, and all did some more catching up. We then piled into cars and went to the local church.
There we played a ton of games, like singing games and jeopardy. Since my team won a humming game (you had to hum an assigned song, and find 6 people also humming in the crowd. Ours was Come All Ye Faith-full.) We got to play Christmas songs on bells and chimes. We had talks, I gave the opening prayer, and all of the leaving missionaries (such as Elder Martin) gave their farewell testimonies. When it was all done, we got a bunch of talks and papers, a Christmas CD, and a Santa hat. I got some awesome ties from Slabaugh, and then we parted. We all piled into a Tuk-Tuk, and went to the HUGE mall called “Central Plaza”. We all met up and ate at a McDonald’s. I went to a
B2S (Asian Barnes and Nobel) and bought a new hardcover sketch book, and a hand held numerical clicker to count people I invite. We then hung out and left. We took a taxi to the bus station, and he tried to scam us. We talked him out of it, and managed to get there safely. We hug out as we waited, and the Surin Elders played songs on a violin and guitar for a crowd of people. We rented a van, and rode home as we listened to Christmas music at full blast. Our driver must have hated it. One of the things we got were these glasses that when you wear them, they make bright lights look like snowmen. To my sleep-deprived mind, the combination of music and snowman goggles made me very happy. Cars and lights became snowmen, and when I moved my head they would move with the music. I was very tired haha. We finally made it back, and biked home before passing out.
The next day we lost Sister Ben. She just doesn’t want to change religions anymore, and was done. We talked to her, but she said she still wants to go to FHE and such, but does not want baptism. We sat in KFC as we talked to her. We then called Sister Gate and she got dropped too. Not interested. It was rough, and it took a while to recover. These were all solid people, who we thought would stay with it. We then taught Sister A, coworker of Sister Bop. She was awesome, and gave us some happiness. We invited, and I talked to a nice Scottish guy named “Roger” about life in general. The mall was preparing for the next day, the king’s birthday. We then went to the church and taught Sister Gift. We had met her 3 time before, but she finally allowed us to teach her. She was awesome, and is very nice. Has small problems with the commandments, but they can be fixed. The next day we taught 2 girls in the morning, and then taught A at the mall. The mall was packed for the sales and the holidays. They had loudspeakers outside, and people everywhere. It was very hard to invite, and I got a headache. We then went to the “Thunder Castle” the soccer stadium. They had a huge parade going on, and a ton of ROTC dudes were there that I talked to. We invited for a long time, and then booked it back home. We talked to 2 homeless guys who want baptism. The next day we taught 2 more girls in the morning, and then went to KFC. It was packed because of the sales and crowds, so we went to the Big C KFC. It was packed too! So we just went back to the mall and waited there. We saw Sister Ah. There was a road show happening at the mall, so we invited there. Wherever there is a motor show with cars, my dad is always there in spirit. I could FEEL his presence haha. We then taught A, then went to the church and taught Gift, and then Dia showed up. We taught Word of Wisdom to her. She had problems with everything but drugs, she said it would be hard, but she would try to quit. We thought we had scared her off. We worried the whole night. Sister Doo showed up, and passed her baptismal interview though! Sunday we only had 2 investigators show up. We met with Doo, and finalized some of her baptism stuff. Sun brought her older sister to be taught, but she was very opposed to being taught. So we just had fun and made her feel comfortable. We then went to the mall, but the motor show was in full swing. They had the music pumped up, and the show girls out. It was not a good environment, so we bailed really fast. We went to the walking street, and did some inviting for a while. We saw Sun and her family, and even saw someone from English class! She introduced us to her daughter, who she kept mentioning was our age, and then parted ways. We then went home, and began planning for the next week. I have learned that as a missionary you have good times, and you have bad times. It all depends on how you react to the events, and if you can continue to serve faithfully. I am having an awesome time, and the time has flown! I have almost spent 25% of my mission already. I do miss home, but you have to love where you are. I am proud to be doing this service, and cannot wait for more miracles to happen. So don’t miss me. Know I am choosing the right.