August 20, 2014

8/18/14 - "White People"

Wow, this mission is amazing! I love it here so much!!!!!! First, I’d like to explain about how we do “contacting”! It is one of my favorite missionary activities! We get to contact for 2 hours everyday and we usually get about 3-8 numbers each time. We usually contact at the mall or the market! It is funny because the people who I least expect to be interested are actually the one who are interested! We get so many different reactions such as the awkward laugher. These are the people who just look, laugh, and walk away. Most people just smile and say no. Some people just run away because they are scared of “white people”. And then there are the creepers! A lot of people here ask, "Do you have a boyfriend?" and all I say is, "nope, I am on a mission…would you like to go to church?" There was this girl we contacted the other day who said that she saw us everyday but no one ever talked to her and she was just waiting for someone to talk to her! It’s funny because after we invite someone and they reject us I can see them watching us feeling so confused about our happiness. On Sunday we went contacting at this special huge market where tons of people were walking!!! Sister Croft just starting singing hymns in the middle of the market while I passed out cards and invited! It was awesome to see people feel the different spirit from the hymns.

As I mentioned last week, I feel pretty famous here because everyone is always pointing at me and yelling “farang” which is like “white person” in Thai. I love talking to people because I’m a missionary and they think it is the coolest to talk to a white person. Often they ask to take a picture of us. Contacting rocks!!

I’m learning that there are some things that are normal here in Thailand but not in America. They always talk about being fat. They will straight up tell you, "Wow you are getting fat." They always ask, "Have you eaten yet?" It’s kind of like our, "hey, how are you." It's the best. I love Thai culture.

When we meet with new investigators we usually take them through a church tour and explain about sacrament and baptism and then we go through some of the commandments! We had a lot of investigator tours this week. One night we had 4! I love first meetings. The spirit is strong and they feel different.

On Monday night we had FHE at Brother Somsak's house. The bike ride there was amazing! Thailand is so beautiful…especially the sunsets!! Riding there was like going through the jungle!! I really enjoy riding my bike. We ate, played Uno, and talked a lot! They are the cutest family ever! Love them all so much! Sister Ribbon and Sister Beam (their daughters) literally kill me they are so funny!!

Tuesday night after contacting we were going to Sister Bangalees house to teacher some recent converts. We got lost for awhile and were so close to going home but we found it and ate some chicken feet yum… It was fun teaching them! There are about ten, 14 year old girls who are so cute and just love the gospel so much! Sister Bangalees is their teacher and introduced the church to them! They are such strong girls and face so much adversity but stay faithful! We taught some members at their homes this week and man, there are some really poor houses!

On Saturday we went to go teach a member’s children. They lived out in the boonies. Their house was literally on the ground with a little wood for a roof. The kids were deathly afraid of us because we were white. It took us a long time to finally be able to teach them!! It was sweet because we had their dad pray and he was so nervous to pray in front of his kids!! We didn't think that going there would have any impact but the kids showed up at Church on Sunday for the first time! The dad was so happy, it made my day!! (Parenting in Thailand is different...the parents just want their kids to be happy so they let them do whatever they want!!)

On Tuesday all the missionaries teach English class. On Wednesdays there are piano lessons, and on Thursdays there is Book of Mormon class, and on Fridays there is sports night! And on other days the branch has different activities. It is so much fun!!! It is such a great opportunity to bond with the members.

Our investigators are amazing. We check in with them every day and see how they are doing with their commitments!! They always are keeping them and doing so well!! Some of our investigators are having a hard time because their families are so against the church and won't give them permission to be baptized. It is so sad :(

I have always heard people talk about how Sunday is the most stressful day and I never really understood until now. Three of our investigators that said they would come to church didn't I felt heart broken. It is the saddest thing! Church is so important and they need to come! On Sunday we had a baptism which was awesome! They looked so happy! We visited a lot of people and then went to Sister Booms for dinner. Sister Boom is the most amazing woman ever! I instantly fell in love with her!! She is always laughing and making the best out of things!

It has been such a good week! I really like something my comp. said, "God calls us in our weakness so that we can rely on him." I love this work even though at times it is so hard. There days when I am so tired and just want to lay down but I remember that the salvation of souls are at stake and that this is Heavenly Father’s time. I can't wait for this upcoming week! The weather is hot but it doesn't bother me that much! The food is different but I will get used to it sooner or later. I beg my comp. to take me to 7/11 everyday! I am covered with mosquito bites but that's alright! I love Sisaket! I am so happy to be serving!!

Everyone be safe and read your scriptures and pray! LOVE YOU ALL!
- Sister Herrmann

P.S. In answering Mom’s questions about what I learned temporally and spiritually this week, temporal--how to use a toilet in the ground and clean a baptismal font with spiders. Spiritual—every second is spiritual here! I can’t just pick one! The language is hard. Everything they taught in the MTC is not how they talk in this area where they mix both Laos and Thai together—2 languages! It is really hard but I try my best and that is all that matters!

Riding our bikes to FHE
This is "Somtum". It is so gross but I ate some. 
Brother Somsack's family. They are so amazing!  
Sister Bangalee's house with these cute girls! 
This is my home! 
Sister Croft makes most of the calls because I am not great a talking in Thai on the phone yet.
My Precious wall!
Just some water buffalos crossing the street
Gross spider
Cleaning the font
At Sister Boom's house. She is my FAVORITE person! She is very loud and just so funny and laughs a lot!
Sister Croft started singing in the middle of the market

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