On Tuesday it was my half birthday! We had the funniest lesson in the WHOLE WORLD with Brother Nooy! I was asking him questions about his life and we talked about his son a little. Then I asked him, "You don't live with your fan right?" In Thai "fan" means other half, not married and married. He answered back (at least what we understood), "no engaged." We were really confused. Then he went on to tell us how he stays at his fan's on the weekends. We got really concerned and instead of clarifying, we jumped into a chastity lesson! We were all mixed up and confused. Finally after 10 minutes of talking about this we figured it all out! He was talking about his son being engaged! He is married and we were going on telling him that he couldn’t do anything with his fan! It was really embarrassing and funny! The rest of the lesson we were just in tears laughing.
The best miracle ever was with Saiya! Monday night we talked to her and she said that she was going to try to get permission from her dad to get baptized. Her parents are separated and she rarely ever sees her dad. She was very pessimistic it would happen. I told her that she needed to pray really hard and have faith that he would open his heart. The next two days I prayed my heart out for her and her dad! Wednesday night we were all at the Church and Sayia comes up on her bike, jumps off, runs and gives me a big hug! Then she said, "MY DAD SAID YES!" She was so happy and just glowing. It was so awesome!! She got baptized this Sunday and it was such a special experience! She has been waiting for 5 months for this and to see it actually happen was a miracle!
We kind of had 2 Thanksgiving dinners this week! The members wanted to do Thanksgiving on Sunday but Sister Carter and I thought, “There is no way we are not celebrating on actual Thanksgiving!" That morning we woke up and we yelling to the world HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We said it to everyone we saw, while riding our bikes even while inviting. Everyone was very confused. Being outside the US, no one knows about Thanksgiving! That night we cooked a meal and ate together as a district! It was fun and the Elders really appreciated it a lot. We played our family tradition game of passing candy (at home it was candy corn but here we used these cheap Thai-styled m&ms). Each time it's passed, a person takes an M&M and share one thing they’re grateful for until it's all gone. Thai candies don't taste all that great though so...we all made faces as we shared something and then crunched on the fake chocolate. Good times. On Sunday (the other Thanksgiving) we had HAM and CAKE!!! It was delicious!
A funny thing happened when Sister Carter and I were inviting by this school in the evening. They were having this huge reunion party with a Thai-dancing concert. I wanted to go in and take a picture of the concert really quick. We just walked inside the school and all these Thai students waived to us and thought we we're English teachers... awkward. After taking the pictures we thought to make a quick escape when this guy called us over and asked what we're doing. We said, "Uhhh... we just wanted a picture." He then motioned us over and said, "Sit down! Sit down and enjoy the show!" We were trying to refuse but he insisted and we felt it would be rude to say no. He guided us to this little table with these gorgeous Thai women and said, "Help yourselves!" So, there we were…at a Thai High school, at a huge reunion, at a fancy table, with two women, sipping water. Yeah, it doesn't sound as awkward as it was. One of the women knew English and tried talking to us. We spoke in Thai back to her and she was relieved. She kept chatting to us while we were sweating bullets. Literally, we were both sweating a lot. We kept looking at each other and asking, "How do we get out of here?" We completely forget the fact that she spoke English. Awkward. She was kind of laughing to herself as we tried to excuse ourselves from the situation. I finally blurted out, "Okay, we have to go. We have an appointment! Okay! Bye!" We booked it, and that was the end of that. I wish you could fully understand how awkward it all was but I guess it's a “you-had-to-be-there” kind of thing.
Another miracle! We met this man from Africa a few months ago. His name is Simon. He said he wasn't interested but we gave him our card and forgot about him. He called us this week and said, "Hey, I want to learn from you guys." He lives over 45 minutes away and no members was willing to take us. We told him that we couldn’t and he was super disappointed. He said, "Well, I am going to church. I have to pay my offerings! You will pick me up!" We told him that we couldn’t. Sunday morning rolls around and he calls us at 8:00 am and said, "Hey, I am at the bus station! Pick me up!" We were like, "what???" So, we called a member to pick him up since we couldn’t really pick him up...with our bikes. He came to church and I translated Sacrament Meeting and the second hour for him. We taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the investigator class. As we taught about baptism, he turned around to face me (I am behind him translating) and said, "I have been baptized in the Catholic Church before but I want to be baptized in this church." I asked him, “When do you want to be baptized?" "Next week." IT WAS AWESOME!!! We still have to teach him a lot but I am really excited!
I finished the Book of Mormon! It is actually the best book on this EARTH!! I love it so much!! As I was reading in Ether 12 again everything just became so clear to me and made so much sense!! I have studied this topic so much and every time I do it just makes me so happy!! We have trials and weaknesses so that we CAN use the atonement and grace of God and essentially become like him and become closer to him! "Come unto Christ and be perfected in him," Moroni 10:32. This week we also got the Ensign which means CONFERENCE! I was reading in the conference talk, "Lord Is It I?" and the whole talk fit perfectly with what I was studying. I love when it says, "But those who want to improve and progress, those who learn of the Savior and desire to be like Him, those who humble themselves as a little child and seek to bring their thoughts and actions into harmony with our Father in Heaven—they will experience the miracle of the Savior’s Atonement.” Although having weaknesses sometimes stinks in the moment, in the long run, it really does help us grow closer to Christ. On my mission, overcoming weaknesses through the grace of God and truly changing to be more like God has helped me more than anything else feel close to the Lord and truly understand the strengthening and changing power of the atonement!
Over this Thanksgiving week I was thinking about what I am truly grateful for. I am grateful for so many things but the main thing that came to me was “Change”. I am grateful that I have a Savior who overcame everything so that I can change to become more like him and live with him again. I am so grateful for this Church and the atonement of Jesus Christ. I can't imagine my life without this knowledge and that is exactly why I am here, to bring that knowledge, happiness, and hope to the people of Thailand!
Well I love you all! Thanks for all the support and love!!! Have a wonderful week!!
- Sister Herrmann
PS Remember how I said it was cooling down last week? Well it is back to BOILING HOT!!
|Thailand is so beautiful!|
|Im getting very good at carrying things on my bike|
|One day we got lost and ended up in an indian village and got stuck in these trees|
|Cooking with my Thailand Mom|
|Our own Thanksgiving!|
|My little girl got baptized. I love her so much! We are attached to each other!|
|We went to a zoo where the animals have issues. This cow has three legs growing out of its side.|