Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

This last week was full of excitement. From 40 minute bike rides at 12:30am to get to a switch off, to  inviting out in the literal rice fields of Thailand. I love my life.

God knows me so perfectly. Even more than I know myself. I LOVE BANGKOK. That was the best 3 months serving with Sister Hayes. But he knows that I am truly Issan at heart. I didn't even realize it until I got sent back out here to ร้อยเอ็ด. But seriously. After just being here for 2 weeks, I can already tell that it was inspired that I was sent here. I have already met people that I know I am here to help, and I have already met people that are here to help me. This Gospel is so beautiful. In President Johsnon's group email this week, he quoted D&C 50:22 - "Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together." I have already witnessed the fulfillment of that scripture. Every time I teach or bare my testimony I feel the Spirit teach me things I haven't even considered before. And re-confirm the truths I already knew. I have witnessed the merciful hand of the Lord in my life as I strive to understand the cute old teethless Issan women เว่าลาวให้บ่เข้าใจ .... 555+ I love the old Issan speaking crazy women the most. They are truly without guile and just radiate the spirit. As we were trekking out of the rice fields a few days ago I held คุณยาย's hand, this 4 foot 11 inch 84 year old women, who has never left her humble home in the บ้านนอก's (coutryside) of Thailand in her life. Her hands were calloused, rough and stained red and I could hardly understand a word she said. But that didn't matter. As I looked into her eyes I couldn't stop smiling. I had so much love for this women who I had just barely met. How is that possible?? How could I feel so much love and desire to serve someone who I knew nothing about?? Other than the assumption that her life has been 100000 times harder than mine ever will be. Yet she still finds reasons to smile. She was filled with the light of Christ. And THAT is what it is all about. I could only have love for this women because I had a desire to feel Christ's love for her. I will never be able to understand her life like the Savior does, which means I will never be able to love her like the Savior does. Which is why I pray every single day to be filled with the love the Savior has for His children, because that is the type of love that "casteth out all fear" (Moroni 8:16), the type of love that fills every void. Literally every single chamber of your heart feels complete when you experience charity, which is the Pure Love of Christ or perfect love, there is no room to fear. I feel like I finally understand that scripture now. It was a long time coming, and I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I am progressing! Slowly but surly. The love I have for everyone here in Roi Et is unexplainable. The love I have for all of you back home is unexplainable. I am SO blessed. Life is so good, y'all. (To quote S. Larson from Arkansas) I love my Savior, I love my Father in Heaven, I love living! 

I keep praying for everyone to be full of this kind of love too, because it makes being happy in any circumstance possible. 
Oh and Happy Thanksgiving! This year I am thankful for every single person that ever had a part in influencing me to go on a mission, because it has literally changed my life, I have never been so consistently happy! I'M STILL HAPPY? LIKE WHAT? How many weeks and counting now have I said that exact same phrase? 555+ 
Life is so good! <3


Sister Burbank

Switch off in Korat!! Sister Nitaya is from Sisaket and she is dying next month!! Loved switching off with these two. They said I am like their mom because I am so tall. They look like my little ducklings. 555+ We literally biked 40 min. in the middle of the night though to get from the bus station to their house on Tuesday night. It was the craziest night of my life. 555+

Last week. Here are all our Elders! (Right to Left: Elder Burke, Elder Hales, Elder Christiansen, Elder Taylor)

FHE with Bishop! I love him! Him and his wife sang for us!! They are so good.

Eating ส้มตำ in the Issan. It doesn't get any better than this. I AM SO HAPPY.