It was an awesome week, and we had some good stuff happen! Monday was normal. We had FHE, and then taught Some-oh after with her friend Phone. Phone wanted to be baptized! The next day we did some studying, and then went to the church. We had a big District Meeting, and we centered it around Alma 29. We then ate, and went inviting for almost 4 hours at the mall. One of the other Elder’s investigators was there, and she actually helped us invite. She was pretty good at it. We then taught English. Me and Elder Hinkson taught lesson 21, and we had a hard time trying to get them to pronounce the “T” sound. While we were teaching, Elder T and Lodwick taught a ton of investigators. The next day we were waiting for an investigator. She was taking a bus, and would call us when she got on, so we went to KFC to eat. While we were there we got a call, saying she was already at the church. So we took our chicken and booked it back in about 45 seconds. Her name was Sister Bah.
She is 18 and is a dancer, kinda like from the movie Step Up. She had some sick shoes on, and showed us some videos of her dancing. The rest of the days were normal, full of teaching and inviting. Wednesday we mostly stayed home because Lodwick got a crazy fever, but we did go get some of our custom pants On Thursday the Zone Leaders came down and trained us. We did switch offs and I went with Elder Hogan. We taught some simple lessons, and had a pretty good day. The next day was busy with lessons and drama. We had a rough lesson with Sister Pooh about Idol worship, but we shared nothing but scriptures with her. That night Sister Phone got interviewed for her baptism, and she passed! She is awesome, and chose me to baptize her. The next day was very boring, except for a little movie-like excitement. We had a girl named Bahn, who was awesome, and had been to church before so she wanted baptism on that Sunday. We were thrilled! Until she blocked us and never answered her phone.?? One day, we were in the 20 Baht store next to the church getting sodas, when I noticed Lodwick was pacing around the store. I asked him what was up, and he reminded me how we met the girl in this store, and he hoped to see her again in here. I remembered that she said she lives very close to the church, so I said “ Lets find her.” We started walking down the street. We passed some side alleys, until I turned down a random side street. We started walking around this place that looked like little Mexico. I started joking about how this reminds me of that scene in the Princess Bride, where the main character uses his sword to guide him, because he thinks his father’s spirit is in the sword. We roamed around for a good 20 minutes, until we decided to head back. As we crossed a field, we saw a dog, a dog recognized! Whenever Bahn came to the church, she had this dirty little mutt come with her, and it was that dog! So we ran after it, and followed it all he way to a lone, solitary house behind a warehouse. We knocked on he door. And it was her! She said she had been feeling bad, so she wasn’t up to coming to church. We were pumped after we left her house, that we had found her! But as of today we are still blocked and she hasn’t come back. It is ok though because we know where she lives. The next day we had a huge number of investigators come to church, and I baptized Phone. It was an awesome Sacrament meeting. We had meetings all day, and then crashed at home. The next day, before we went emailing, we got the call. Hinkson and Lodwick will be moving. It wasn’t unexpected, but still a sad call to hear. Lodwick and I have been through a lot over 12 weeks, and it would be hard to separate from my fellow southern man. But this is missionary life, we have to change. This work is awesome, and will be an experience I will look at with a warm heart for years. I would have never thought I would be in Thailand, preaching the Word. I am far away from home, but these people are worth it.
- Elder Ridings
And a little more from Elder Ridings…
This week was good, besides some changes around here. On Tuesday we went to the church and did a lot of lessons, all the way until the night. At night, Lodwick interviewed a girl name BeeBoh, while I taught Sister Bah the Law of Tithing and Fasting. A lot of people were pretty sad that night, since everyone knew who was leaving Buriram for good. The next day, we taught Ting, and then went and to Jimmy’s one last time to see Ting while she was working, and said goodbye to Jimmy. We then had Pooh’s interview, but she didn’t pass, she has to work out some things for the next interview. We then all gathered at the church, and all went to a huge buffet place to eat for Lodwick’s farewell. We had a ton of the RC’s there, and a ton of people were sad to see him go. There were close to 40 people there to see him. The buffet place was good, but I ate something bad and got a stomach ache from it. We then went home, and started packing. We had to be at the bus station by 12 at night, but Lodwick was slow to pack because he did not want to leave either. We then all piled into Jackie’s pickup truck, and drove to the station. When we got there, there were a ton of people there, and a lot of tears being shed. All the workers had no idea what was happening, and when we finally got on the bus and drove around the corner, we could not see the people anymore. Sad! We had 6 hours to Bangkok, so I slept. We arrived at 5 am, and got in taxis to the church. We got there, slept, caught up with friends, and then had transfers. My new companion is Elder Opad, a Thai, he speaks no English. Elder Lodwick got Elder Sun, a missionary from the group below me at the MTC. Lodwick went to Bangkok, and Hinkson went to Nong Khai. Elder T got Elder Williams. I then had to go get my visa renewed at a huge government building. We then all had the “Last Supper” at Que Pasa, a Mexican restaurant, and then all departed our separate ways. We took a long ride home and slept. We got into Buriram at 2 am. We showered and then slept some more. The next day everyone woke up kinda late. We went and had our bikes worked on, met all of our RC’s, and did some inviting. That night we taught some lessons, and nothing out of the ordinary happened, except I have to talk more since Elder Opad is a quiet guy. My voice was shot after that long day. On Sunday we had a good day, we had a good meeting with some investigators and a lot of RC’s show up. Sister Bah and Beeboh got baptized! I baptized Bah, but my voice was even worse than the day before, so I was worried I couldn’t even say the baptismal prayer. My voice came back long enough to say the prayer, and everything went off without a hitch! We then had meetings all day, and finally went to Jackie’s house for a good dinner. Today we woke up and are emailing. I don’t have my trainer anymore. I am going to have to step it up to keep the steam rolling. Lodwick set the example, now I have to follow it in my own way. I have a lot more responsibility on my head, but I hope I rise to the challenge.