It was so great to be able to skype home on Christmas! One of the hardest parts for me is not being able to tell everyone everything about all the experiences I am having in very much detail. There is just so much to tell! I guess you will all have to wait for the extended addition of these stories after I get home.
So after 3 weeks in Thailand I guess you could say I'm pretty much a native now. Except for the fact that I still can't speak Thai, and am still very white. Which I am constantly reminded of multiple times a day at the amount of people that stare as I walk by. So no worries, everyone, not ever am I going to be mistaken for a khon Thai. But yeah other than the fact that I am not anywhere close to being khon Thai, I am pretty much a native. 555 (by the way "555" means HAHA in Thai"). My trainer and I have finally figured out the area, and found the best places to eat and invite! Which are pretty much the only places you really need to know where they are, and the church of course. The members are incredible. The RC's (recent converts) here are so amazing and we have so much fun! They are all so willing to help us teach which is a blessing. I love teaching, and as much as it pains me to say it. I actually have come to really love inviting too. Sister Alley and I have so much fun just trying to talk to random people in Thai, and have them laugh at us. A blonde and a redhead! How foreign can you get?? 555. But anyways. I have figured out how to actually have conversations with people. I may not really know what they are saying, but I can at least get by which is saying a lot because the first week I couldn't even fake it. Which is essentially what you have to do. Fake it till you make it. You know you were successful when you get through an entire conversation and the person leaves thinking you speak Thai! 555. That is the best feeling. Another great experience I had this week was actually at church on Sunday.
I love Sundays because they are so relaxing. I get to just fake my way through playing piano, and partake of the Sacrament. Oh and listen to a bunch of talks, and lessons in Thai that I don't understand. It's pretty chill actually. This Sunday was especially good though. We had an investigator show up to church that we had contacted the night before and he was willing to learn more! We gave him a Book of Mormon after church and explained how to pray and he said he would start! That is one of my favorite things about being a missionary. Teaching people how to pray and hearing them, most of them for the first time, pray out loud. They are the most simple prayers you have ever heard, with the most simple language, but the Spirit is felt so strongly in that moment. You can feel of the power prayer really has. Sometime's I think we take it for granted how familiar we are with prayer that those powerful feelings get dulled. I love the reminder I get at just how special an experience it is that we get to personally have a conversation with our Heavenly Father whenever we want. So many of my personal spiritual experiences in my life have come because of prayer, which is what makes teaching others to pray one of my favorite things. Another amazing experience we had was after church when we were reviewing the Restoration lesson with one of our RC's. He was baptized on the Monday before I got here, so around 3 weeks ago, and we have been working with him ever since. He actually just received the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday, which was great! Anyways, as we were reviewing the lesson we got on the topic of the Atonement. I felt the need to share a few scriptures that I had recently found in my personal study about the reason the Savior had to die. I shared Heleman 14:15 which says, "For behold, he surely must die that salvation may come; yea, it behooveth him and becometh expedient that he dieth, to bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, that thereby men may be brought into the presence of the Lord." and after we spent a few minutes explaining more about the Atonement, light entered his eyes, and his countenance changed from confusion to understanding. You could see the Spirit working in him and testifying of truth. It was incredible. I followed with D&C 19:16-19 and let him read the Savior's own account of the Atonement. It was so powerful and the Spirit was so strong. I take this knowledge I have so much for granted it's crazy. Even the simplest of truths are unknown by so many people. Especially here in Thailand. Just the concept that we have a loving Heavenly Father is foreign. I am so blessed with the opportunity to share these simple truths every single day with people I meet. I can't say very much in Thai, but I can say the basics, and honestly that is all these people can understand right now. Which is a blessing for me because it gives me an opportunity to participate and feel apart of their conversion process. It strengthens my testimony to see the power of the Holy Ghost work in their lives. I could do this work forever. And I will!
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year!!
It's already been 2015 here for hours, and you're missing out so hurry and catch up!! ;)
Love you all so much!