November 9, 2015

11/9/15 - Forever Changed!! Last letter... see you in America peeps!

Please join us for Sister Tessa Herrmann's mission homecoming on Sunday, December 13th at 800 East 1200 North in Orem at 9:00 am.
God is good!!! This past week God helped me have the perfect ending of my mission. I was really worried that the week would be really stressful but it was probably the most peaceful, stress free week of my whole mission. I got to meet with so many of the people I love and share the message that I love most. Every single lesson was just an overwhelming testimony to me that God loves all his children. I also felt a deeper understanding for the first and great commandment, “Love thy god with all thy heart, might, mind and strength.” I have seen so many people change their lives because of their love for God....because of it they receive strength beyond their own. For example, our Grandma Daw who can't really see and has no money to buy glasses, still reads the scriptures every night, even though it takes her 30 minutes to get through a verse. She told us that she doesn't get tired until after reading. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." I am a witness that this scripture is true. Before my mission I didn't really understand this. But now I get it. The more we love God, the more you see him work in your life and the lives of others. I have seen this up close and personal! IT’S TRUE!

I never thought this time would actually come. I have been trying to soak in every last minute--the bike riding, the duk duks, speaking Thai, eating Thai food, the culture, the members, teaching, inviting, wearing Christ’s name on my chest, testifying, everything. It’s crazy how fast the time flies when you are in the service of your God. These past 18 months have meant everything to me, my life will never be the same. I am forever changed.

"And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?
Behold, I answer for you for our brethren, the {
khon Thai} were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.
Behold, thousands of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God.
But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his and he will raise them up at the last day."

I am eternally grateful for my mission and ready to be a disciple forever. I went to the land of the smiles and lived my best 18 months!
- Sister Herrmann

November 3, 2015

11/1/15 - SPRINTING!!

Sister Herrmann finishes her mission THIS MONTH! She will officially be finished on November 12th but will stay for a while to travel the country with her family. Her homecoming will be on December 13th in Orem!


This week was unbelievably packed! Let’s just get the awkward moment of the week out of the way. Monday night I got a call from the office elders who were putting in baptismal records and they said, "You are the one who taught Kanun, right?" "Yes...", "well it says here that she was born October 15th 2007…and she was baptized the 5th of September. That would make her 7 when she got baptized." I started freaking out a little because her mom told me at least 10 times that she was 9 years old. I guess I forgot that people here don't really remember ages or birthdays. So we are going to have to baptize her again. Whoops.

We had the most break through lesson with Sister Pat. The other day I asked her who Jesus Christ was. She said she didn't know anything except that he is the savior. I asked her what that means and she said, "Honestly, I don't know." After that discussion I was so upset because I swear we taught her about him at least 10 times! I reminded myself that it took me 19 years to get to my understanding of the gospel. So as we sat down with her again, the first thing she said was, "I get it. When we pray, God will answer our prayers but maybe not in the way we thought he would answer it." She then explained some beautiful experiences she had with prayer. Since we were on such a high note we decided to watch, “Finding Faith in Christ”. By the end of it she was in tears. I asked her, "What does Jesus Christ, our savior, mean to you?" Her answer literally brought tears to my eyes. She said, “I know that Jesus Christ took on all my mistakes and pains and afflictions so that he can comfort me and save me from my sins." After she said this we all just sat there feeling overcome by the spirit. She was crying because she finally understood what her “savior” meant and I was crying because SHE finally understood what her “savior” meant.

On Monday we went to the white Buddhist wat in the mountains which happened to be 2000 stairs straight up. I could hardly walk for 2 day after that. It was way fun though!! Wednesday and Thursday I was traveling to and in Bangkok with Sister Nethercott to renew our visas. All the missionaries we saw just couldn't stop reminding us of what was happening in the next couple weeks. It was good to see everyone.

On Friday we went and visited the children- Waa and Tacktie who live 2 hours away. We brought the Elders with us to interview them. We played with Kway in the water, and had fun little bike races. It’s always so cute when they say, "Sister... are you going to come back next week?" They planned to get baptized this Sunday but Brother Sombat, their grandpa, told us that it is probably going to have to be the 8th because they have no money to get down to church this Sunday. The kids were crushed, but knew that sooner or later they would get baptized!

On Saturday the whole day was full of ward activities. In the morning/afternoon we had sports and they get really competitive here. It was literally war--Blue vs. Orange. Even the old ladies were getting into it! We played from 9:00 until 3:30. In the morning they had relay races and tug of war and in the afternoon they had sports. Near the end they were having a girls’ basketball game and everyone was dying laughing because I just stood by the basket and kept rebounding it over and over because I am so much taller than all of them. At about 5:00 we started getting ready for Halloween. In Thailand everyone thinks that for Halloween we dress up only as ghosts. So when I walked in as a cat they were all confused and asked, "What ghost are you...?" HAHA! We had a bunch of games planned--eating weird food and the game where you put your hand in the box and it’s creepy, slimy spaghetti for worms, etc. Thai people have a lot more courage than Americans do. The person in charge told us that our games were WAY too boring. So she brought eels and frogs and millions of worms for people to grab and also hundreds of bugs for them to eat. I was in shock that they just did it!!!!! Here's another shocker for you…I ate some crickets! It was a great Halloween.

I have realized there is honestly nothing better than the gospel, feeling God’s love and the Holy Ghost. The times I am teaching or learning about the gospel are the times I am truly the happiest. I have one more solid good work week in my area and I am going to "lift up my voice as with the sound of a trump, both long and loud…preparing the way of the Lord!" I'm going hard and strong and giving it my all! I am SPRINTING to that tape. Ready....set...go!!!!

Have a great week, love you all! I will be sending my last email next week! จุ๊บจุ๊บ :)
- Sister Herrmann

PS Watch this fun Thai video about working through problems to the end!

October 27, 2015

10/26/15 - Forget yourself and go to work!

Wow, what a crazy good week! On Tuesday we spent all day teaching children which just happens to be my favorite thing! It was out in Bua Yai which is 2 hours away out in the banog. Four grandchildren of a member want to be baptized so we couldn't turn them down. We struggled to find someone to take us since there is no public transportation but finally found someone. After district meeting we started the long drive, which was so BEAUTIFUL with the rice fields, the shacks, the kways. The kids were waiting to be taught in the middle of a rice field. They listened to the lesson like little angels and were so well behaved. After accepting what we taught they took us out back to go play!

On the way home I was thinking about these people who have no screens, no air conditioning, not even a roof or running water—nothing. They were playing in the fields with the fish and kway all day. I enjoyed watching the mom of the 2 year old just playing with him everywhere he went. Whether it was throwing rocks or running out in the rice fields, she was right there loving and laughing with him. She told me that it is like that every day. I was so impressed because this mom literally has nothing but because of her children she has everything! Furthermore, she actually plays with her children and gives them so much love and attention. I want to be a mom like that—one who enjoys being with her children, one who devotes all her time and attention to raising, teaching, playing with, and most importantly loving her children. I am so grateful for the mothers I have seen in Thailand, my sisters, Caitlin and Rachel, and most influential, my Mom, for teaching and showing me the kind of mother I want to be.

On Wednesday my testimony grew hearing what happened to Maa Daws and her money situation. She said the night she got home after her baptism her daughter who had been fighting with her, called and said, "Mom, I love you, I paid all the rent for you house…you don't need to worry about it." The weird thing is that Daw never told her daughter about how worried she was about the rent payment. Wow. God really does prepare the path ahead if we just SIMPLY keep the commandments. I love seeing this amazing miracle happen over and over again.

On Thursday my companion was very sick. I feel like it’s almost worse to be the companion of the sick person than to be sick. Being productive in the Lords work for 16 hours straight without leaving the scary Thai house is SO HARD! I called 10,000 people, filled out records, studied and watched the district. When Friday came around I was SO excited to get out!!! With the sunshine on my face, the HOT October air, and preaching the good word of God, there is nothing better. Working is SO much better than lounging at home. I feel like I really get the whole meaning of "forget yourself and go to work" quote. When you work you automatically forget yourself which makes the work 10 times more enjoyable! We taught LOTS of lessons plus it was Friday night sports favorite! This week we had a huge missionaries vs. members tournament...I’m afraid my competitive side kicked in, down by 2, came back for the win!!! So fun!

As we taught Brother Bow this week we read in Mosiah 24 and my heart was going to explode!! He kept laughing because after every verse I would jump in and say, "Ahhhh this is my favorite verse! The scriptures are so exciting and just make so much sense! The statement in Preach My Gospel is so true, "The Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is your most powerful resource in conversion." I know that I’m converted each time that I read it!

On Saturday it was hard as we went and visited some LAs. I would look into their eyes and I could just see how unhappy they were with their lives. We met with the old branch president who broke a commandment and his wife left him and his life completely fell apart. We finally got to meet with Chaluies granddaughter whose parents are both dead. She was baptized at age 8 and has slowly fallen away. She now sells alcohol and lives with her boyfriend. It literally broke my heart to see these two people who are amazing children of God but were so obviously unhappy. We tried our best to love them and help them feel God’s love. Once again I am reminded that there is only ONE way to true happiness and that is through following the commandments. I also realized how important family is--not just our immediate family but our ward family. There is always someone who has a heartache and just needs a friend and to feel loved. Please look around, pray for guidance to know who is in need as almost everyone has a burden and then go lift it for them, "...when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

Sister May got baptized this Sunday. She seriously was a golden investigator because she was SO prepared!!! We were just calling through a list and she agreed to meet with us without hesitation, even though she lives an hour away and is in the middle of school and boxing season. We found out she had been taught by the missionaries about 5 months ago. After they left no one got back in to contact with her and she has been praying every day since. She’s going to work miracles in this church!

I honestly love Thailand so much, it feels like home. People always say, "A mission is not necessarily the best years OF your life but the best years FOR your life." But I personally feel like they are the best for my life AND of my life! I feel so extremely blessed to be a missionary and wish it could last forever. I am trying to enjoy every second! Have a great week and remember I love you all!

- Sister Tessa Herrmann

PS They came and cut off our electricity circuit again…so we slept at the church again. This is the third time this has happened while on my mission BUT only one time was my fault!!

Here is a video of Sister Herrmann speaking Thai! Link: