Whoever said you couldn't find Christmas in Thailand???
Apparently they were just not looking hard enough because the Christmas Spirit is definitely here in ROI ET!
But lets start at the beginning...
Monday-Tuesday - I flew to Bangkok......WHAT? Being STL feels no different until they make me go to all these meetings!! 555+ But it was really great to see President and Sister Johnson and hear everyone's testimonies. I think what impressed me the most though was hearing us all sing the opening and closing Hymns...it has been a while since I have last heard Hymns sung in English and with that kind of Spirit. It was incredibly moving. I wish I could somehow capture that feeling and bottle it up for rainy days. It was so wonderful.
Wednesday - Still in Bangkok....So 7 new Thai Sister Missionaries came into the mission this last Wednesday, so we had a mini transfer meeting. Sister Larson is now training Sister Phosawad (S. Pat) from Don Meaung and she is AMAZING. I love her so much. Presdient Wisan baptized her when she was 8 years old, and she knows the Grover's pretty well. We have so many mutual friends, so she loves to just sit and chat about that. I love it. She is 24 years old and just a perfect missionary. I am learning so much from her.....Her first day in the mission she went and harvested rice once she got back from Bangkok on Thursday... 555+ Gotta love Roi Et.
Thursday - Sister Larson and I went together to go train in Korat with the ZL's. So Sister Yang (My companion) and Sister Phosawad (Sister Larson's new comp) traveled back to Roi Et alone together. SO MUCH TRAVELING. At this point I haven't been back in my area since Sunday. Since Monday we went and visited a bunch of tourist sites outside of Roi Et, and Monday night we flew out. So my energy level is like zero. But I think this experience has given me so much respect for the Apostles and President Monson, and President and Sister Johsnon for that matter. Their schedules are even more busy and seriously CRAZY. I don't know how they do it. God really does strengthen you out here...that is REAL. Until you experience that you will never truly understand what that means.
Friday - All of the Sisters in the Zone came and spent the night in Roi Et!! We literally had 10 Sisters here at once!! It was crazy. I wish I got a picture....But it was alot of fun and honestly everyone was just happy....No drama...No contention...I think back to before my mission and how without fail if you put 10 girls in a room together who had completely different personality someone would come out of it offended. But that just isn't the case here. And it's only because we all are consecrated servants of Christ. We aren't focused on ourselves. The Gospel of Jesus Christ works....10 completely different Sister Missionaries are evidence of that...NO CAT FIGHTS!
Saturday - CHRISTMAS ZONE DEVOTIONAL - SO MUCH FUN. I don't even know how to describe it. We watched The BEST TWO YEARS. Which was hilarious and I feel like makes so much more sense now that I have been a missionary. 555+ Afterwards, Sister Larson and I did a duet with Elder Reid (Yes from Harmony Ward) on the piano. We sang a medley of White Christmas and Silent Night. Elder Reid made it up....it was incredible. So much fun singing with Sister Larson. SHE IS A BOSS SINGER. Also had an interview with President Johnson and that was so wonderfully inspired. Nothing beats interviews with your mission President. All in all it was such a great day and we even did a White Elephant exchange and a catered Turkey Dinner!! We ate Turkey in Thailand!! Miracles.
Sunday - MIRACLE: We went and visited an LA with แม่ Jumpy after church named Brother First. He is an 18 year old RC who has just been struggling lately. So we biked out 7 km and visited him. Turns out he is an incredible singer and guitarist so the lesson turned into a straight up jamming session. After him and his 15 year old sister performed for us, we had the impression to perform for them. Sister Yang happened to know Come Thou Fount on the guitar and I happen to know the words. So we sang for them. You could see the spirit working on them. After words we shared the true meaning of Christmas. Showed the "A Savior is Born" video and committed them to pray every single night and write down one blessing every night until Christmas. They accepted and then the miracle happened. His 15 year old sister at this point knows nothing about us really. She has been to church once and prayed once but she really doesn't know anything about what this Church is about. But the spirit prompted her to ask us a question...and that question just happened to be "What is Baptism? What is this thing my brother went and did?".....It took us completely off guard and we realized how much better the spirit was at being a missionary than we were. We explained baptism and then asked her to give the closing prayer....she prayed and thanked God for finally understanding what baptism is and for having us come over. It was so simple. But such a great cherry on top to an amazing week. Fasting WORKS! God is REAL...this is not a cunningly devised fable. After that lesson we proceeded to bike another 12 km in the opposite direction...to visit the Elders Quorum Presidents wife who was sick. Which makes a total of about 20+ km biked in a single afternoon...in a skirt. You would think I would be sore today! But not at all. I feel completely normal. Seriously! MIRACLES....
So that was my week! I hope this gives a little insight into why I am INSANELY happy right now on my mission. God is protecting me and comforting me ever single second of this journey. I can't even explain how good that feels.
I hope everyone has caught the Christmas Spirit and can help others learn the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Christ was born to be our Savior and Redeemer, and that is why we celebrate! Rejoice the Lord is KING!
Me and Sister Phosawad from Don Meuang
Selfie with the Plane :)
Cambodian Sister is coming to serve in Thailand! And get this she is friends with the Cambodians we baptized in Srinakharin. SMALL WORLD.
Christmas Party Saturday with Sister Yang!!
พ่อ Jun as Santa!!! 555++++
Our Zone Christmas Picture! Merry Christmas from the Roi Et zone!!