Sunday, April 28, 2013

April 16, 2013

It's crazy to think that it was only just a week ago that I talked to all of you on the phone from the airport. it has seemed like a few months have passed, and it's definitely crazy to be here in Thailand! Well, i really don't have much time, because my first computer froze on me, so then i had to switch and start ALL over on everything, including my letter to the president, so that was frustrating. so here i am with about 26 min left so i'll see how much of my new Thai life i can tell you about. i'd like to just give you a run down of every single day since i last talked to you because sooo much has happened!
So the traveling here part was good. I talked to a lady named Donna Nelson (ironic because i have a friend named Dawna Nelson) on the flight from SLC to LA. We talked the entire time, and eventually i tried to give her my BOM, and she said she'd accept it, but then she said i better give it to someone that it would benefit. she was super nice about it, but she didn't have any interest in religion at all. she said she would add me on FB though, and i got her contact info. so i guess that's a start. Strike one for the BOM though. haha. in the LA airport me and Dorles were talking to a couple from China and we ended up giving them a BOM. woo! they could barely speak english and we couldn't speak Mandarin so i'm not sure how much they really understood...but they have a BOM now. so that's good. the flight from LA to Hong Kong was LONNNNGGGGG. and i didn't sleep well. and there's no leg room, and by the end of that flight i was gross and didn't look presentable to meet my mission president. oh well.
the 29 of us got to the airport and eventually pres. senior and his wife got there, and there was one of the senior missionaries video taping EVERYTHING we did. we felt like zoo animals the whole day. "hey we're the biggest group of thai missionaries ever. watch us eat, talk, sing, etc." anyway, we took a train to the mission home, and one of the office elders was talking to a thai girl on the train, and he asked if any of us wanted to practice Thai. so i volunteered. i basically couldn't say hardly anything, but she gave me her email address and i gave her an English lesson flier (that's what we do every Tuesday is teach English) and that's where a lot of investigators come from. The rest of the day was long, and they kept taking pictures of our group, i think one is gonna be in the Liahona?? That's what they said. We had the Dan Jones experience, where we went out and placed a BOM. Pretty sure the construction guy had no idea what I was talking about. ohhhh man this is fun. we were all dragging and falling asleep by the end of the day because we'd been up for about 2 days straight at that point.
we stayed in a hotel that night in Bangkok and then went to the church for new missionaries meeting and then transfers meeting. oh my i wish i could just tell you everything in detail because i'm skipping over so much but there's so little time. so i'll skip to transfers meeting. they lined all the new missionaries up and walked us into the room where all the other thai missionaries were waiting in the audience. It was seriously like a ceremony, because everyone was cheering and clapping for us as we filed in. i felt pretty special haha. so i bet you're wanting to know who my trainer (or m33) is. Guess what. JEN ITRI IS MY TRAINER!!! hahaha it's so great!! what are the chances?! the one friend that I had serving in Thailand and she ends up being my trainer. oh man i'm so excited. she only has one transer left after me. and every single sister in thailand had to train except for two of them because we had so many sisters coming in! anyway, dad, i saw sis. Yeo and she came up and gave me a hug and took a pic of us both. all of the trainers seem great!
my area is Srinakarin, it's part of Bangkok. and it's been closed for a while, so we are opening up the area! there's only 4 sisters in the area and no elders. apparently it's been closed for a while because there were problems with elders and the members...and now they're opening it again. so most of our time has been spent setting u[p our house (which we got the night of transfers meeting) and we're still living out of suitcases. sis. itri and i live with sis. madsen who is new too, and sis. wiganda, who is a khon thai (Thai person) and she's awesome! sooo basically we're a foursome and we do everything together because we're setting up the area. We LOVE our ward. we got to watch general conference with them and they are ALWAYS feeding us. even though i can't communicate with them a whole bunch, i still feel like i've formed relationships.
so let me tell you about Son Khran (not sure how to spell it) basically it's just the new year of Thailand. And the whole country shuts down and has a huge water fight for 3 days. no big deal. we got to 'play Son Khran' as they call it, on Saturday and Monday (pday) and basically jsut had a HUGE water fight with strangers on the street for 6 hours straight. And they come by with chalky powder stuff and just wipe it all over your face. SO FUN! We got to teach a sweet little taxi driver the letters of the alphabet and the numbers in English, and he's probably goin to be a new investigator. I get to teach English tonight, so we'll see how that goes. I love it here. It's definitely the hardest thing I've ever done, but nothing worth having comes easy. sometimes it's easy to feel like i have nothing when i'm not able to communicate. personality is kind of lost, ability to speak is lost, and i'm in a whole different country with tons of people i don't know. but i know i'm not just in  a companionship, i'm still in a trio! because God will not leave me comfortless, He will come to me. He came with me to Thailand, and He will come with me whereer I may go. Learning the language will come with time, and i fell like i've already learned so much, especially becasue sis. itri and sis. wiganda are always speaking thai to eachother. i hope all is going well at home, and hopefully i'll have more time to expound next time. Love you all!

Sis. Steele

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