Hello! Bonjour! สวัสดี!
This Thursday marks my year mark as a missionary in the Thailand Bangkok Mission!
I can't even explain to you how crazy that is.
I keep randomly saying to Sister Hayes: "I have been doing this for a YEAR?!"
She just laughs at me.
But seriously the time really did fly by.
I feel like it was just yesterday Uncle Bill and Aunt Linda Jones were dropping me off at the MTC, in Provo, UT. But honestly if there is one indication that time really has passed it is looking at the growth I have seen in myself. It's so cliche (meow) but this last week it was as if I had come a complete circle.
Saturday: Started off like any other Saturday morning. Woke up (6:30), grudgingly threw myself on the floor to pray (since I made a pact with myself before my mission that I would get out of bed and kneel ON THE FLOOR every single morning), repented for grudgingly throwing myself on the floor, then got up to do my short little work out routine to try and throw some life into me. Next, showered, ate a yogurt (or 2 or 3), a banana (or 2 or 3), and 3 cucumbers like I do every morning and then sat down for studies. Of course had an amazing personal study about Mosiah 4 and the true meaning of Charity. Then had an equally amazing companionship study with my perfect companion Sister Hayes, (honestly though, I think she is perfect), and then proceeded to prepare to go to our meetings. Met as a district with our ward mission leader (B. Suu) and talked about how we can save these ลูกแกะ, next we made our way to Sabushii for lunch (aka. All you can eat SUSHi) in preparation for Fast Sunday. Following that glorious afternoon, we met with a Recent Convert Sister and helped her overcome her fears of paying tithing. Which actually was a really spiritually led lesson. I feel like every one benefited from that. Anyway after we finished doing all of that, it was still only 6pm. Which means we got to invite for the last 2 hours of the day! So we prayed and then went to the church to grab inviting cards, then hit the streets of Bangkok, talking to literally everyone we saw. It's so entertaining to watch peoples reactions to us when we talk to them. Even now, after a year of inviting, I still get a kick out of it. So after around the two hour mark of just walking up and down the streets, we found our way back to the church. Then, the most ironic thing of my whole mission happened to me. As we are about to walk into the parking lot of the church, a man walks by which we obviously stop and talk to. Except as we are speaking Thai at him we realize he doesn't speak Thai, so we try English. Nope wrong answer. But closer. He manages to stumble out the word "French", which then makes Sister Hayes turn, stare at me and say "Hey you speak french!". I reply "Uh, no...I USED to speak french." which became very apparent when I awkwardly tried to communicate with this man in my broken French. He agrees to come inside the church though, and we show him the Sacrament room. Somehow we communicated him to come to church the next day at 9 am. By saying, "Tomorrow, neuf (9), tomorrow, neuf (9), yeah? okay!" He proceeded to leave, and Sister Hayes and I just stared at each other like "What just happened??" Then we burst out laughing...555+. We then just went home and planned for the rest of the evening and got ready for Fast Sunday.
Sunday: THE FRENCH MAN SHOWS UP! He actually COMES to the church at 9am. I am not even kidding you. Sister Hayes and I almost died. That isn't even the biggest miracle. We had 4 white visitors at church that day too from Australia. Two were a daughter (Zelda Matthews) and mother (Janet Matthews) from Brisbane area, Australia, and the other two were a husband and wife couple from Perth, Australia who knew Sister Aubrey Allen from Camas, WA! The two groups didn't even know each other, but the man from Perth served his mission in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and was born in England. And Zelda Matthews served her mission in Montreal, Canada. Zelda still could speak a little so she helped us communicate with Bassem (the name of the investigator). The coolest thing was that I could understand when they spoke, but I couldn't speak myself. SO CRAZY. But then as she is speaking to him, I realize something. He doesn't even speak French!! He actually is from Tunisia, Africa, and only speaks a little french. His native language is Arabic! But when Zelda asked if he was muslin, he said no, I am christian. That is about all we could figure out, since he really couldn't speak french either. So we ended up just getting his number and making an apt for Tuesday. Now we need to find a Book of Mormon in Arabic. Which they do have bytheway, and actually there is a member here in Srinakharin who lived in Egypt 6 years ago, and speaks Arabic (Which we didn't figure out until 6 hours after Bassem left, but its okay because she's talked to him now). She is also the same member that speaks Cambodian and is helping us with our Cambodian investigators who now have a baptismal date for this month!
Seriously this weekend was CRAZY. So many small world moments. I realized how determined I am now to re-learn French after my mission, and how much I actually LOVE Canada. Going back to my roots this week felt so good. Life is so full of twists and turns but in the end our identity will never change. Going even further back, I know I am a one of God's beloved children, and as I keep my divine nature at the forefront of my mind. I am guaranteed to never lose my way. No matter how hard the winds blow, and the storms rage, Jesus Christ will be my anchor. Which reminds me, Dad, my bishop here wants to go ice fishing with you. 555+
Honestly though! That knowledge is SO comforting to me. That no matter how confused I get in life, I can always have hope that one day, "everything is going to make sense." In the words of Great Aunt Rose (aka. President Uchtdorf). And that hope only comes because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Such a great weekend! Life is so GREAT isn't it?!?
Hope everyone can keep that perspective this week. Love you all!
Member braided my hair during church. Everyone sang "Let It Go" to me from Frozen the rest of the day. 555
Elder Sukhan coming back to visit srinakharin before he finishes his mission!
Also the last day Elder Williams was here. He ended moving to train in Sapan Sung! So fun. Love this ward.
Last P-day going shopping somewhere in Bangkok. Forget where.