September 30, 2014

9/29/14 - Our 99 Year Old Baptism

Wow, this week was really great! We were able to meet all of our mission goals and there were so many miracles! On Monday for p-day we went to these ancient Buddhist wats which were really cool! We also shopped and I have discovered that shopping is the best in Thailand! EVERYTHING is so cheap! We went to dinner with the Somsak family at this fun place where you cook everything yourself! It rained a lot this week so I have just gotten used to biking in the down pour!

Our investigators are so awesome! Our grandma got baptized…it was such a miracle, 99 years old! So we visited her and her daughter told us that she can only meet with us at the church because when we go to their house her brother hears and gets mad. So we were planning on teaching her this Sunday and setting the baptismal date for October 5th. On Sunday she showed up at Church and told us over and over again, "I want to get baptized TODAY!" We were hesitant because she had not learned everything yet but we prayed about it and continued to teach her. She had her baptismal interview and was baptized! After her baptism when she bore her testimony she just kept saying into the microphone, "I am so happy that I am baptized,” over and over again!

Our next investigator is sister Rakdii. She is a literal ANGEL. We call her our golden investigator! She comes to all of our activities, loves the church so much and has such a strong desire to be baptized! She usually goes home on the weekend which is pretty far away. We told her that she NEEDS to come to church every Sunday! She told us, "Well I guess I just won’t go home on the weekends!!" It amazes me how much faith she has already! She is getting baptized next Sunday! There is also Aon who we found in a bike shop. He is in his 30’s and on the phone he always tells us he is too busy to meet but we still set appointments. He says, "I will come if I have time," but he ALWAYS shows up! Same with church! He is so awesome and wants to follow Jesus Christ! He is getting baptized next week too! Bother Moo’s daughters, Bell and Diaa, are awesome. They are really shy but they are learning the gospel and want to be baptized! Then we have all the girls with the momma permission problems, Aom and Baan and Uum! It is hard because their parents don't let them come to church or meet with us so they really need all the prayers they can get!! Something that stinks here is that they do extensive testing in schools for about a month which is happening right now. They study a lot on Sundays and are never free because they are ALWAYS studying!

We taught a lot of lessons this week, one right after another! So I learned a little lesson this week, FOLLOW THE PROMPTINGS OF THE SPRIT! Lots of times I get promptings to do things and I do them but I don’t see the results. On Wednesday I was riding my bike to a lesson with a less active member and passed by this girl. I immediately got the impression to turn around and talk to her but I pushed away the thought and kept going. Then the feeling came stronger and stronger! I finally stopped and turned around. I invited her to church expecting her to say NO but she said, "I have been to this church and have been thinking about it a lot lately, can you teach me more?" just goes to show that God is in charge and knows his children. It is just so crazy how God is preparing the hearts of so many people (Alma 16:16)!

This Sunday we had a goal of getting 150 people to Church because they were doing the quarterly counting thing! The night before, we went out with the Relief Society and visited all the less active members and asked them to come to Church. We also called everyone in the whole area to come to church! The next morning SO MANY PEOPLE CAME!!! Sister Bangery, a recent convert, brought a lot of her students to church and about 14 out of 17 of our investigators showed up! It was AMAZING! We had 175 people at church! What a miracle! It was such an amazing day!

Contacting has been interesting this week! I have been thinking about changing things up a little. I tried dancing, singing, going to the gym and running (in my skirt) with people while talking to them about the gospel. Surprisingly it worked! There is this guy I gave a pamphlet to about the plan of salvation, 3 weeks ago. I explained the importance of the gospel and always check on him but he still hasn't read it. Finally, I said, "IF YOU HAVE TIME TO POOP YOU HAVE TIME TO READ THIS PAMPHLET!" Yeah, I know I probably shouldn't have said that, but I did, and he read it the next day! Too funny! I love telling everyone about the gospel! When we were contacting the other day the Elders kept calling me over and saying, "They know you.." haha, it happened 4 or 5 times! It just shows that as missionaries in Thailand, we talk to EVERYONE!

So on Friday the members asked if we could do a dance with them. We said yes and then found out that it will be in front of 100's of people and we have to get all dressed up! We practiced on Sunday which just showed me that I STINK at dancing! Oh well, I am going to do it anyway! Teaching piano is fun but definitely more difficult in Thai!

In the Book of Mormon I have been really studying the missionary work of the sons of Mosiah! Wow they are so amazing and I learn so much from them! Each story shows a different aspect of missionary work. I love in chapter 17 how it talks about how they suffered so much affliction but they still called on the Lord thinking ONLY of others’ salvation and how they can bring them to Christ! In Alma 18 Ammon is just doing what was asked of him and being exactly obedient. He showed love and service to King Lamoni which caused King Lamoni to wonder what was different about Ammon! We can be missionaries just by our example! In Alma 21 it talks about how Aaron taught by opening the scriptures and sharing them. There are so many ways to teach people about the gospel and do missionary work! We just have to use the opportunities we are given! I also love in Alma 24:27, "Many righteous were killed which brought thousands to the truth.” God sees the big picture and He knows us. He has a specific plan for each and every one of us!

I love the scriptures so much! I love sharing the gospel everyday with everyone! I love being a missionary! The missionary purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel though faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. What a great invitation! Have a good week everyone and enjoy conference!!

- Sister Tessa Herrmann

September 23, 2014

9/22/14 - I LOVE being a MISSIONARY!

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! This week was different because we had transfers. Tuesday night we got a call saying that Sister Croft was leaving for another area! I was so sad!! Sister Croft was such an amazing missionary and taught me so much! I am so grateful for her!! I am going to miss her a lot! My new comp is Sister Carter! She is really nice! She has never been a senior companion before and is new to the area so a lot more responsibility has fallen to me. It has made me realize how much I love these people and would do anything for them. As I plan and pray for the Thai people I love them more and more. I never want to leave this area! The day we left for Bangkok the whole branch came to the train station to say goodbye. Wow, I can't even describe the love I have for them!! In Bangkok at the transfer meeting I stuck to Sister Croft's side because I was so sad to leave her! I got so see all my friends from the MTC and Elder Tanner from high school! It was so much fun!

This week I got sick with a cold. All the members now have colds as well, so they l said I spread it to them! Oops, I hope not! On Tuesday some photographers from the church came and wanted to take some pictures of us…it ended up being an all day ordeal. They followed us around taking pictures of us teaching, and inviting and riding our bikes etc. It was so weird. Also, since I had a cold it looks like I was crying in all the pictures because my eyes were watering!

So my investigators are so AMAZING!! Sister ปาน and Sister ออม are awesome. They have learned so much and are just waiting for their mom's to give them permission to get baptized! For เซญา we still are working with her mom. They are all so strong! Guess what! Our favorite 100 year old investigator is getting baptized and has set a date! Pray she doesn't drown!! Two of our recent converts are getting the priesthood and now Brother หมุ can baptize his kids! We are hoping to have them baptized within the next couple weeks. I am so excited for their family! I can't wait until they can go to the temple together as a family! We have 2 new investigators this week! They are pretty solid! Sister รักดี (our miracle girl) and Brother อม! I just love them so much! I am starting to feel like the sons of Mosiah. Thinking about people not accepting the gospel and not realizing the importance of it hurts me. During the week we visit lots of recent converts and have lots of Investigators lessons! We usually teach about 20 lessons a week. The members here are so amazing! They render so much service! For example this family (the Somsaks) picked us up from the train station at 5AM and then took us all around town helping the new missionaries out. They fed us lunch and dinner and literally spent the whole day helping us. Then the next morning they drove us to an investigator’s house which was really far away! Then they came back and cleaned the church and that is how all the members are. They are such a great example to me of service! I want to be more like them!

This week I have really been focusing on the scriptures. I love what it says in Nephi 15:24 "And I said unto them that it was the word of God; andwhoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast untoit,they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction." I was thinking if we use the scriptures the same way we use our phones we would have strength to make it though any trial. We will not perish of we hold fast to the scriptures! If we don't use them it is at our own cost… "Now I need not rehearse the matter; what I have said may suffice. Behold, the scriptures are before you; if ye will wrest them it shall be to your own destruction."

I also have been noticing how the Lord strengthens us. In Alma it talks about how there was a war and the Nephites did fall but were strengthened. At that time the Nephites were good people and obeyed the commandments of the Lord. It just shows that bad things happen to good people. BUT if we keep obeying the commandments and rely on him the Lord will give us strength to push us through our trials. Ahh I love studying the scriptures! I wish I had more time!

I was thinking about something the other day, how much I love our investigators and want them to follow Christ and get baptized and read their scriptures etc. And when they do that I am so happy and when they don't I am so sad!! Then I thought that it is probably the same for Heavenly Father. When we do good and obey he is up there cheering for us and is so happy but when we do bad he is so sad... We are all Heavenly Father’s investigators. How I feel as a missionary has given me a little glimpse of how Heavenly Father feels about us. He loves us so much and yearns for us to follow Christ.

Pres Senior is the best. I love him! My foot is all better!! I still have scabs but they are better and are going to scar for sure. That is so exciting about Chase Orwin getting baptized!!! I miss the temple so please go for me.

I seriously love being a missionary. It is the best! I am sad it is for such a short time. Telling people about Jesus Christ and how they can live forever with him and their families is the best calling ever. I see miracles happen ever day! The Lord is really in all the details of our lives! Well I am going to go visit some ruins now peace and blessings!

- Sister Herrmann

P.S. I should have listened to you Mom when you told me to practice the piano because I might need to play on my mission...I now not only have to play but also have to teach piano lessons. Now, I remember that Spencer also taught piano lessons on his mission.

Sisters from my MTC district at the transfer meeting

September 16, 2014

9/14/14 - English classes are funny!

{Remember how last week Tessa's memory card was not working? Good news- it is now working! So there are a lot of pictures from this week and last}

Well this week was not the best but it was still great! On Monday my foot/leg was in a lot of pain and I had a really hard time walking so the mission office told me to go to the doctor. We waited for 3 hours and got 2 tubes of antibiotic ointment. They basically told me my whole foot/leg was infected from the mosquito bites. The hospital here was not like it is in the US and talking to the doctor in Thai was difficult! They called me Sister Hellman at the hospital. That night at FHE Sister Boom saw one of my infected bites and freaked out. There was a lot of puss in it and even touching it hurt…she said, "we need to get this stuff out!" I told her NO WAY! She then grabbed my arm and started squeezing while I was screaming!! haha! Contacting this week was really hard because my foot and leg were so swollen. It is much much better now.

So we have the most interesting pool of investigators! We have all teenage girls and a 100 year old...AND they all have some type of family situation. They are so amazing (for example…Sayaa is already working on Personal Progress in Young Women’s!) and they just want so badly to get baptized but they don't have permission from their families. We also have been teaching the little children. They are so cute. It is hard to teach them because their understanding is so limited. We give them pictures to color and one little girl said, "Next time, can I please draw Jesus?" Wow, that just melted my heart!!

Teaching English class this week was probably the funniest thing ever! Thai people literally laugh at things that are not even funny! For example, we were playing “Simon Says” and all the white people got out first and they thought that was so funny! Also we played telephone and the line was, "I love bananas" but they got, "I love Madonna." They were laughing so hard they were on the ground dying! So good!!

This week I also got sick with a sore throat but it only lasted about a day. I just pushed through it. A lot of our appointments with members and investigators were canceled. I hate when people just don't show up. It is probably the most frustrating thing ever! Another reason why people canceled a lot was because it has been raining a lot. Thai people HATE the rain. If it is raining they won't go to school, work, or anywhere...they just stay in their house until it stops!

We had a Sunday miracle this week! We were at the market contacting and I invited this girl who was Christian and had heard many weird things about our church. She said, "I need this Book of Mormon to see if what they say is true!" We told her we had one at the house and we would run back and get it. We ran back, got it, and then called her but no answer...we searched for her but couldn't find her. We were so sad. Then when we went to our dinner appointment, right as we sat down she called! We hurried over to meet her at the market! While we were waiting for her we pulled out our pass along cards and suddenly this random girl runs over to us and said, "I have been looking for this church for weeks!" You guys are an answer to my prayers!" So we have an appointment and we were able to give the Book of Mormon to someone who wanted to read it. It was perfect. SO AMAZING!

This week we had our district meeting focusing on accountability. It really struck me as I started to read and study the subject, how much I need to improve in this area. I have been noticing that when I am accountable I show the Lord how much I love him and really want to serve him. Being accountable is doing your job without being asked. It is giving 100%. When you are accountable you don't fear because you did what you said you’d do! One thing it says in PMG is to always give an accounting to the lord each night. I’m trying this. So awesome!

This week we celebrated Elder Okimoto’s birthday which was so fun!! One temporal thing I learned this week was how to kill a cockroach. Hahaha just kidding, I learned how to watch Sister Croft kill a cockroach!

Well, I love you ALL!! My mission is amazing and helping me to grow, really stretching me! I learn so much everyday and see the hand of the Lord in my own life and the lives of those around me--each and every day!

- Sister Herrmann

Visiting a Wat. I am sweaty. 
Infected and swollen foot (LEFT) and normal-ish foot (RIGHT)
Friday night ward sports night
Bangkok malls are huge! 
I sweat this much on a daily basis. Gross. 
Jun's Baptism. I love her!
Learning to cook Thai food
Sister Sans Restuaraunt
Where I want to live