Sunday, April 28, 2013

April 21, 2013
hey hey hey!

This week has gone by slow and fast at the same time. i always think of everything i want to write home about during the week and then once i sit down in front of the computer it all escapes me! first of all, thank you to sarah morrow and the sweet couple from wallsburg, because they gave me my first batch of real live mail here in thailand! i love hearing sarah's stories about asher! anyway, after last pday, i was having a rough few days...and i don't know why. probably because...oh yeah i can't speak thai ahha. and i think being away from home hadn't really sunk in until i finally reached thailand. so i had a few days of moping, but then i got so busy that i forgot about it! it's really true that if you lose yourself in the service of others, you'll really never have to worry about yourself. the first tiny miracle i had this week was on tuesday night (we teach English class once a week every tuesday). I got to teach the introduction course for any of the brand new people that are just registering. so i taught with sis. wiganda (by the way i LOVE her, she's hilarious, and she's thai so it's really helpful to have her around and listen to her speak and everything). She told the lady (Fon) all about the registration process, and then I got to teach her how to pray, because we pray at the beginning and ending of each English class. I had already talked to her a little before in my broken Thai, so we were pretty much best friends by then, naturally. I taught her how to pray, showed her how to pray, and then we asked her if she would try praying for herself. As she started praying, immediately the spirit came into the room, and i had to try so hard not to cry! I got to hear her speak to her Heavenly Father for the first time in her life, and it was so awesome. Everything that I had been worried about or struggling with didn't really matter right then. so cool!! Hopefully we'll get to start teaching her, because she has Saturday's and Sunday's off, which is REALLY rare in Thailand, becuase usually everyone works, which is the main thing that holds them back from baptism. Anyway, my second tiny miracle for the week: teaching Sis. Nuun. She's been investigating for a long time, but still isn't sure about her belief in Jesus Christ and doesn't believe in prophets. As we taught her, i testified of the BOM, and the importance of reading it every day, and then asking God if it's true. During that whole lesson, i actually understood her! i had been so frustrated with never knowing what's going on, but i saw a tender mercy from God in helping me to understand one little lesson that day. We also taught Ping that day, and her mom is a recent convert in our ward. Ping is 17, and probably the shyest person i have ever met. it's really hard to get her to open up in lessons. but we taught her how to pray and asked her to read the BOM. 

So yesterday was our first real Sunday here, and the four of us (new missionaries in the are) bore our testimonies in sacrament meeting, and we were also the musical number. So basically we were the stars of sacrament meeting haha. we sang 'a child's prayer', and then broke into parts with one part english, one part thai....yeahhhh maybe not a great idea. i think it was really hard to understand, and our tune was a little off, but i think all thai people are tone-deaf so it's all good. anyway, sunday was good, and my head was about to explode after our meetings were over because of all that was going on that i didn't understand. in RS we did the little thing where you break into groups and talk about things. usually i'm right by sis. Itri or Sis. Wiganda, so they can tell me what's going on in English. but i got put in a group by myself. so the RS pres. was in my group and asked me what i thought about what she had just read....and i didn't even know what the topic was haha. luckily one of the investigators in my group knew english pretty well so she helped me. haha the poor RS pres...put into a group with 2 investigators and the missionary that doesn't know what's going on. we had a great group! after church we taught Ping and she had been praying and reading every day! She committed to be baptized on May 19th! I'm so happy for her. We wanted to teach Sis. Nuun too, but she told us she couldn't because she had a headache and she's lazy...she's a fiesty one. we eat every sunday with the members after church. so i'm well fed. the other night, the bishop gave us TONS of mango sticky rice. SO GOOD. and my stomach hurt after because i ate so much. but don't worry, because as far as i know i haven't gained any weight yet...knock on wood. i was bragging to sis. Madsen yesterday that i hadn't gotten one mosquito bite since i'd been here, and it was about 2 min. later that i got  aHUGE one on my arm, that i have not scratched at all...and it's still huge. We still don't have our house completely set up...still waiting on desks, dressers, etc. WE FINALLY got a fridge and a washer, so we don't have to keep all of our food in the church fridge now. although we still spend a lot of time at the church, getting water, cooking, etc. soooo our church may or may not be haunted. i guess it's kinda had a history of that in the past. we had a few weird encounters, so we had the elders bless it when we had district meeting. now it's kind of a running joke that we have a phii (ghost) in our church. i think he's a friendly ghost though (i just have to tell myself that to keep myself from peeing my pants, because i've always been a paranoid child..)

Funny story for the week: we call our ward mission leader (bro. aam) every night to report about our day. So one night Sis. Itri had me call. i looked through her phone and found his name, and asked sis. Wiganda if it said 'Bro. Aam'. she said yes. So i called him and he answered, etc. I reported everything we did that day, asked him some questions, and he kept responding in thai...and i was confused becuase he had just talked to sis. madsen in english. i kept telling him i didn't understnad, but he just kept going. finally i gave the phone to sis. Itri and when she hung up she said, 'oh yeah that was bro. aam, but it was a different bro. aam from the iisaan (the countryside of thailand). hahahaha. so i basically just told bro. aam what i did that entire day. in english. and he didn't understand a word. idk why he didn't just hang up on me. anyway, that was pretty funny because i'm pretty sure i spent about 10 min. with him on the phone. 

well, that's probably all for this week. i know that my stories/experiences may not mean to you what they mean to me, because you can't place a name with a face, and you don't exactly know the places or people that i'm talking about. but i hope you know that these experiences and these people mean EVERYTHING to me! they are REAL people, and i get to learn with them, grow with them, and see them become the people that they can be with Christ. There are two of our investigators (Bro. Aay, and Sis. Lin) that have been investigating for 2 years, and have had a lot of obstacles stand in their way. They are getting baptized this Sunday! And i can already see that they are different people. i love them. And i know it's not just Buddhist people in Thailand that can change because of Christ. His Atonement is for ALL of God's children. So---since i'm in missionary mode, i wanted to challenge you read the BOM every day, and if there are things that you're wondering or questioning, ASK God. He'll answer you. because a Father answers His children. 

I love you much.

peace and blessings. sis. steele

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