So with Christmas, moves, and general missionary life, I have not written one of these in a long time, so lets start with a summary. I was moved out of Bangbuathong along with 2 others, and transferred to Nongkhai, a small town on the border of Thailand and Lao, complete with a ‘Thai – Lao Friendship Bride” connecting them. At transfers my mission father, my trainer Elder Lodwick, Finally completed his mission, and made the journey home back to Tennessee. At transfers i gave his “Eulogy” and talked about what he did for me and so many others in being the best we can be. He is gone now, but I am still here, so lets get started.
After getting here, doing a few days of work, meeting members, and having a great time we got to Sunday. Because no one here plays piano since the old Elders left I got designated Ward DJ. I put hymn CDs in the stereo and play them over the speaker while the members sing. it is pretty fun actually. We had no Pday on Monday because it had been moved to Christmas. So then we worked throughout the week and did service, visited people, had a fantastic Christmas party, and made it to Christmas day, so that is where we we start this off for real.
On Friday the 25th, it was of course, Christmas. We had to search for an internet place that was open because most places were closed. We then prepared the computers and skyped our families! It was awesome, and great to see and hear them. This is my 3rd skype, I only have one more to go, next mother’s day. After we skyped we went out to a crocodile farm and walked through a statue farm with the family of Elder Beaty, a returned missionary. We hung out with him and several members, and took cool photos. At the statue park we walked around and took cool, funny, sometimes stupid pictures. We also got to bang on some Gongs in this tower. The gongs made the sound like a sub-woofer in a car. We then went to this huge fabric market and bought tons of fabric to make into ties, which we then took to the the Thai tie guy to make into Thai ties. We then went back and finished our emailing and got haircuts. We then went out and ate pizzas with some members, and went home to eat some more pizza as fireworks went off around the house. It was a good, final Christmas in Thailand.
The next day we went back to the tie place and dropped off more fabrics and bought some new stuff and lights for my bike at a place next door. After that we went to a recent convert’s house and taught her family. After the lesson was all over we helped harvest coconuts from a tree with a long pole and a knife on the end. We then had to rush back through this little road on the rice patties, and went to the church. We taught a new investigator named Nat, who we met with his girlfriend last week. We then taught some more people at the church,bought food for sports night, and had sports night. We played fun party games inside and played soccer in a room upstairs. We even had some LA members come. We then went inviting at this Saturday night market while some big Korean culture celebration was going on. Last time I checked we were in Thailand, not Korea. I bought some cool stickers for my friends ship book, and then found some more cool stickers I put on my bike. We saw some members selling stuff, and then went home because a few raindrops started to fall so everyone bailed and went home.
On Sunday it was a pretty normal day. We had 6 investigators come to church, and a lot of La members. A good amount that this area has not seen in a long time. So after church we and some meetings and then went LA hunting. We visited an LA who said she would come to church but did not come to church. We visited her, found some LAs that no one has seen forever, and then a member took us to a former investigator’s house who is still interested to learn. It was a pretty successful day, and we got work done.
On Monday we went to the fabric market and invited there, and then I had to get some more bike stuff at the shop. We met with an RC at the church and he brought a friend with him who was interested in learning. We then went inviting at the Tesco nearby, and talked to an LA who works at the pharmacy there. After being there for a while we went back to the church and taught Nat and his girlfriend with a friend they brought. He was not too interested to learn though. After teaching them we went to this big ice cream place and had the farewell party for bro Ice, the Ward Mission Leader. He is moving home for a few weeks to work. After that we went home.
On Tuesday we cleaned the house and ate at a member’s house and taught his family. His son, bro Night, will be entering the mission field here in Thailand in 4 months. We then invited people and visited an RC at her house a huge distance away. She needs some help painting her house, so we planned for the next day. We then taught English and taught an RC after. pretty slow day.
On Wednesday we had the Zone leaders come and work with us. We ate food and then we painted the old ladies house. We painted the outside walls white, and cleaned the place up. There was a guy playing guitar next door which added to the experience. After that we taught Nat again at the church and went inviting. We took the Zone Leaders to the bus station and set them off, and then we ate dinner. After that we went home.
So on Thursday we woke up and planned for the week. We then went and visited an LA lady. She has tons of puppies that live outside and get wrecked by bugs and the weather, so we offered to wash them. We went home, changed our clothes, and for some reason we had dog shampoo in our house so we brought that with us. We then cleaned, chased down, and fixed up the little puppies. They did not like it, but they looked much better and happier. After teaching her a lesson we got dinner and went home at 6 because of our curfew. We ate food at home, cleaned the house, and watched movies. At midnight fireworks started to go off all over the town, and we could see fireworks going off across the river in Lao. It was a pretty cool thing to see.
So today we will be hanging out with Kenny in Udon and going bowling or something. I love this area, and things are going fantastic. Expect more success stories next week!