September 5, 2014

9/1/14 - Eaten alive by bugs!

WELL HELLO :) This week was super great as usual!! On Monday we had P-day in Ubon! We went to the huge mall there and went to Sizzler--finally some American food! It was a fun time and I love my zone!

Every week I have some funny contacting stories! This week I contacted these 2 girls and they were trying to speak English to me and one of them said "I want to be a guy in the future," I was just like hmmmm ok....” Then the next day at English class I found out that she actually said, “I want to be a GUIDE in the future,” not a guy! I was so relieved! The scariest part about contacting is the creeps.... yeah, SO CREEPY! Since we contact at the same places the shop owners know us really well. We talk and they watch out for us. One day we hope they will all get baptized! We tried something new this week and started contacting right in front of the church! We just stop everyone in their cars and on their scooters and ask them if they want to see the church! It actually worked really well.

So this week a lot of unfortunate things happened to Sister Croft. One day we were just walking around and a big thing of bird poop fell on her face! And then were doing nightly planning and her chair just broke and she fell on the floor. She kills me!

So I decided I have a obsession with Asian things and just love all things Asian! I also love Thai children. I think I will adopt a Thai child some day. They are the cutest things. When they smile it melts my heart. We teach English class on Tuesdays which is very interesting! I felt like they are teaching me Thai more than I am teaching them English!! It is fun though! The best part is when they say, "Thank you teacher, see you again tomorrow!"

So Elder Hartman and I are complete opposites when it comes to food. He loves healthy food and every food I like, he hates. We have so many conversations about food. He always plays the game, "would you rather..." haha. The best one this week was, "would you rather only eat fruit the rest of your life or live alone?

One thing that I hate so much but I HAVE to do is phone calls!!! It stresses me out so much! A lot of times I just say, "You are going to church right?... ok see you Sunday!" Fail. So the members in this area are so amazing (like I say every week)! They really are the best members in the whole world! So funny Thailand talking about "tongsia" (diarrhea) is normal. I told Sister Ribbon that word in English and had her say it to the other missionaries and they all died! We told her that you DON'T talk about that word in America and she was so shocked!! Thai culture is the best :) We have an RC named brother Nooy who is so funny!! He LOVES the sister missionaries! He calls about 1000 times a day! We taught him a lesson on how to be converted unto Christ and guess what…he showed up on Sunday in a suit and tie really early and stayed all 3 hours! YAY!

I feel like I had a lot of tender mercies this week! There were times when I was contacting and I would just get down and off focus and I would pray for help and the next person I talked to was interested and so nice! Also, there was one day where I felt like I was not very effective and the sister training leaders called me and told me that a guy I contacted the one day I was in Ubon showed up at the church and is getting baptized now! I am so grateful for those many little tender mercies from the Lord :)

We have sports nights every Friday which is SO fun! This week we played Missionaries vs members in Volleyball! The best thing ever was hearing brother Somsack yelling "Go America!!!" When Thai people speak English it is the cutest thing ever! We have so many awesome investigators! We have sister Baan and Sister Aom who are 17 and 13, both of their mom's won't let them get baptized but they both really want to! We have Sister Sayaa whose mom is starting to become interested which is good!!! We have Sister Un and Yut who are both 15 and want to get baptized but they have to come to church a couple more times because they are young. There is Farm and Field who are sisters, 16 and 18. I don't know how to describe them…they get confused a lot but they are so cute and want to learn more! There is Bii who is 18 and he is gets caught up in the details of things and we are trying to help him understand the main points of gospel. We have Brother Moo's daughters. Ok, this is so awesome! Last time we taught them they were not listening and wouldn't talk and were very hard to teach. We went to teach them this time and guess what? The whole neighborhood was there!! They came over, sat down reverently and listened to what we taught! They were so cute!! We asked, "what type of things are on this earth?" some said things like people and food and animals and then one girl shouted, "CHICKEN!" Then when we were going to close with a prayer, we asked one of them to repeat after Sister Croft. She started, "Heavenly Father" and then 10 little voices repeated, "Heavenly Father" ... well ok…it was so funny! We are trying to teach Brother Moo the importance of the priesthood so that he can baptize his children! We also have Sister Myrees mom. She is 100 YEARS OLD!!! We walked into her house and she was lying on the floor. She is the smallest lady I have ever met. She is literally skin and bone. I just wanted to pick her up but I was afraid I would break her! She kept touching my leg saying, "Barbie doll" haha! She is going to get baptized but it is going to be hard because she can’t stand and can only sit for a little while! She told us she just wants to live with her husband forever! They already did the temple work for her husband. Wow, it is the cutest love story ever! She just wants to make it in this life a couple more weeks till she is baptized! We tried to teach Sister Maaw’s mom. That was sad. We got there and her mom kept yelling, "I’m deaf, I’m deaf!" poor Sister Maaw. She told us, "I have been such a good faithful daughter of God for the past 10 years and my mom just won't listen..." Hopefully her mom will listen next time. There are just so many good things that happen here. So many miracles! We had a baptism this week! Also Sister Maaw came to church for the first time in years!! We have been inviting her to go for the longest time and she finally came! YAY!

I am getting really used to bugs. When I see a bug I just squish it with my fingers. I would never have done that before! The language is a struggle but it will come! The hardest thing about it is the tones. Every word has 5 different tones and if you say the wrong one it means something different. In English we use tones to express feelings right? In English if you said, "I am so happy!" your tone would go up. But here your tone goes "straight down" like this "I am so happy..." So it actually sounds like you are sad. I always say the tone wrong!! It has rained a lot here! I love it when it rains! This week has just been so awesome!

This week I have been trying to work on how to pray better. Prayer is such a simple thing but SO essential! There is a quote in PMG (Preach My Gospel), "the trouble with most prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the phone and ordering groceries- we place the order and hang up. We need to meditate, contemplate, think of what we are praying about, and then speak to the Lord as one man speaketh to another." As I read this I thought about how I talk to my dad. That is how we should pray. It should be like a conversation. This week I also learned how to be bolder. In the scriptures there are so many stories about how they were so bold. Also the Savior was so bold when declaring his gospel. I don't know if this is too bold but lots of times we just go up to people that are smoking and invite them to stop! Some people actually say yes!!

I also learned how to cook a Thai meal!! YAY! Wow, I am so grateful to be out here serving!! Being a missionary is the best ever! It is the hardest but most rewarding thing I have ever done! I love you all! Spencer, I’m so sorry that you were in the hospital and had all that stuff happen. Glad you are out and I will pray that it doesn’t come back.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Herrmann

Sizzler! So yummy!
English Class
We made Massoman
Our Church
The Street
My companion's chair broke
The cutest kids!
My whole body is covered in bites like this. 

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