March 24, 2015

3/23/15 - Satan did not win!

This week was such a great week! Miracle after miracle happened! I guess I will start with my bad camera got stolen. I was really sad- but on the upside it made me realize that though pictures are important, they are not everything! I guess I will just have to buy a new one. It is a good thing that everything in Thailand is cheaper!

One thing that got me really pumped this week was our district meeting! We wanted to set a new vision for the ward. We really focused on how to get the ward and the missionaries all on the same page. We also talked about how we need to get everyone that can, a temple recommend! It was a great start to the week because it pushed me all week to work harder! In my district we call it "the new bidazzle!!!" (My district is so funny I can't even handle it!)

We have been getting lots of new investigators! We are meeting with this Chinese girl! We had to teach her in the English language and I just decided I am giving up on English. It was probably the hardest lesson because I just kept going back to Thai! I just cannot remember English words anymore! We have 2 new atheist investigators- which is really fun! Also, one day we were trying to find our RC's house and he didn't answer his phone. Finally we asked a random guy if he knew our RC, (our RC apparently lived in this neighborhood). He didn't know him but he was very interested in our message! Just goes to show that the Lord works in mysterious ways!! I bet the Lord is having so much fun up there deciding how the miracles happen! Wow, that would be fun! Also our 15 year old investigator, Yok, called us bawling about how her mom kicked her out. It is super sad BUT it is making her turn to the Lord!

So on Friday we went to go visit Sister Suu's teacher who has cancer. Suu and Bua came with us and we just talked to her and shared a spiritual thought. She was so happy that we visited because she is very lonely. BUT the best part of this experience was after when Sister Bua came up to me just glowing and said, "Sister, I just barely met Sister Suu's teacher and I have SO MUCH love for her! I can't even explain it, it feels so amazing!!" I thought about what she said and replied, "Sister, that is what it is like every day as a missionary." Since that conversation I have been thinking how lucky I am to be serving a mission in Thailand where you instantly fall in love with people that you don't even know! "And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things. And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul."

We bought Sister Forte a bike this week so now I am the happiest missionary ever and get to ride my bike, YAY! We would not have been able to buy it without the help of Paamaa! They are the best! On the way home we were talking about how to keep our bike's from getting stolen. Maa was saying all these funny things in her cute Thai accent in a deep low voice. She would say, "Don't you know who’s my daddy?!" Haha we were DYING!

One really awesome thing this week was all the referrals that we got! I think it was Wednesday and they just came one after another. In the morning the sisters in Bangnaa called us and gave us 2 investigators who live in our area that are basically perfect. Then in the afternoon the Asoke sisters told us they had an investigator as well who lived in our area. And then that night I got a call from Elder Curtis in Chang Rai saying that their investigator who has read almost half the Book of Mormon is moving to our area! It was amazing!

Last but not least is the miracle of Sister Dik. So we met with her on Wednesday night and she said that her boyfriend, Christian, was going to be leaving on Friday! She told us that she knew she was missing the Holy Ghost in her life and that she needed to get baptized. She was basically kicking Christian out even though she loves him. Then on Saturday night she told us that she can't get baptized because Christian started drinking again and wouldn't move out. It is a Church rule that you can’t live with someone of the opposite gender even if you are being chaste. So she went to stay at a friends and was just brought down into the pit of discouragement! I thought to myself, "Good one Satan, tempting Christian to drink so he wouldn't leave, making Dik feel like she couldn't get baptized." I wasn't going to let Satan win this one. So that night Sister Forte and I prayed really hard and called her back! I read to her 1 Nephi 3:7 "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." I explained to her if she would obey God by covenanting with him through baptism then the Lord would prepare a way for her! I told her that Satan was doing all he could to get her to keep putting off her baptism. After a nice long spiritual talk she agreed to be baptized. After I hung up the phone I felt like I made a mistake. I felt like I needed to call her back and make sure she was doing this for her and what she believed and not because I told her to. So I called her back and asked, "Dik, do YOU want to get baptized tomorrow?" She said that she did and I told her that I didn't want her to do this for us or for the ward but for HER. She answered and said, "Sister, I thought about what you said. I can see Satan trying to get me to postpone the baptism. Gosh, he has been trying for the past 6 months and succeeding, I can't let him succeed anymore. I need to get baptized and make this covenant with God." That answer assured me that she is ready to do this for herself! So we were all set for the next day at 2:00. (She was driving all the way from Loperi where her friend lived.) She called us at about 12:30 and said "Sisters, I am not going to make it in time!" I turned to my companion and said "No Satan is not getting what he wants!" So we talked to the members and had it moved back to 5:00! She finally made it to the church at about 4:30 looking a little uneasy and stressed. She got dressed and she got baptized! When she came out of the water she had the biggest smile on her face. When she bore her testimony she was tearfully expressing her gratitude to the Lord. She has passed through so many trials but has made it through the first door. After, I talked to her and she was just glowing. She told us she was the happiest she has ever been. Lastly she said, "Sisters, thank you for sticking with me and helping me realize Satan’s methods and the Lord’s voice. If it wasn't for your persistence and help I would not have been baptized today."

After this whole experience I thought of a talk that I read in my studies. "I don't believe missionary work has ever been easy. Nor that conversion is. Nor that retention is. Nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depth of our soul." Although working with Dik has been a roller coaster and has caused us much stress and worry, it was so worth it in the end. Everything about the gospel takes effort because we have to resist the temptations of Satan. BUT whenever we overcome Satan's temptations, it is SO worth it and we grow so much closer to the Lord. I am grateful for all the experiences that I am having on my mission. I am learning so much! Thank you for all your love and support! I can't wait for another week here in Thailand!

- Sister Herrmann
Dik got baptized!!
Sister Forte got a bike! 
Happy Birthday to my sisters!

March 18, 2015

3/16/15 - Where was the hand of the Lord today?

This week has been so crazy!! (I think I say that every week.) Last P-day we all squished into Beam’s little green car and went to Auttya which was SO FUN! We went to a bunch of wats and the water market! So here is a little funny awkward story--we were taking pictures at the ninja wat and I wanted to take a jumping pic and put my feet together. So I tried it and all of a sudden we all hear a huge ripping sound. I totally ripped my pants all the way down the seam. HAHA! Everyone was dying. I just hid behind my companion wanting to die. Good thing we bought elephant pants at the stop before! It was a great day! I have the best companion ever!! We are always talking, laughing and having a good time together! I am so grateful for her!

On Tuesday I got a call letting me know that I am going to be the STL (sister training leader), which is basically zone leader for the sisters! It has been really fun getting to know all the sisters better and helping them with their problems. On Wednesday morning we had MLC (mission leader conference) and it started at 8:00 AM. Of course it was the one day our alarm didn't go off, so we were late BUT the meeting was delayed so it ended up being perfect! And I still got the really yummy pancakes that Sister Senior makes!

We have had a lot of missionary work help from the ward recently! I get a couple calls a day from members asking us if we need help teaching or inviting or anything! They are so awesome! We also have a RC in the ward who drives us everywhere which is so nice! I love this ward, they are GREAT!

On Saturday we had this special Relief Society meeting in Asoke! Our ward was asked to dance in it and our ward leaders told us we had to dance with them! In the morning we were in and out of teaching lessons and getting ready for the dance. At the meeting in Asoke all the ward members from Bangnaa were there and I got to talk with them! They are great! Our dance was SO FUNNY! We messed up so many times but that is what made it fun! After the dance we decided to go contacting. And guess where we went contacting (with permission)? OUTSIDE THE ONE DIRECTION CONCERT! It was so fun! There were so many people to invite! It was such a great night!

I have to make a shout out to Paamaa! They are like my parents here! They are always feeding us and taking us places and giving us treats and so much more. They are amazing. (They are actually not members. They do everything like they are members but they haven't accepted church membership yet. We are working on it!)

We have been teaching a LOT this past week! Dik was supposed to get baptized but they couldn’t find Christian, her boyfriend, a home. So she is going to try for next week. But Mai and Job GOT BAPTIZED! It is amazing to see the change in them. When I first met Mai I was kind of scared of him but he has completely changed! You can see it in his countenance! Now he smiles and laughs and seems so happy!! Job is actually the little brother of Sister Say in our ward! He is the cutest thing ever! He totally accepted everything and already has so many friends at church and just LOVES it! It was the cutest thing right when he came out of the water he said, "Sudyaadluey!" which means "that was so awesome!!" I am so grateful I have been able to see both of them change through the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

At MLC president gave us a "vision" paper which basically outlined what we do in this mission. I love this because it reminds me what I need to be doing every day. He outlined it into 3 sections Faith, Miracles and Unity. That is how our mission works. At the very end of the paper it said "Thailand Bangkok missionaries are HAPPY!" Heavenly Father’s plan for us is to be happy! We need to find joy in everyday things! I remember in my first area my trainer would always say, "Sister Herrmann, where was the hand of the Lord today?" Some days were really bad and I didn't want to answer the question. But once I started doing it daily, I realized that so much good happens every single day! There are so many things to be happy about. So I want to challenge all of YOU to find the good in every day! Ask yourself, "Where was the hand of the Lord today?" I promise you that you will find more happiness!

I love being a missionary! I love training and being STL to help out other missionaries! At first I was really worried because it is a lot of responsibility but it has really stretched me and is helping me grow to become more like Christ! I love this gospel so much! Have a great week everyone!

- Sister Herrmann

Job got baptized! His outfit was so big on him!

March 10, 2015

3/9/15 - I love training & my new companion!

Wow, this week has been one of the best weeks ever! I am so so so happy! So much has happened I don't even know where to start. So a week ago I got a call saying that I was moving and to be honest I was really sad because I LOVE Bangnaa! Saying goodbye was REALLY hard...especially to my RC's! They are all so amazing! I am so proud of them! (It was so cute, my RC Prim, who is 9, ran up to me and hugged me so tight and said, "Don't go don't go!” and then started bawling!) Saying goodbye to News and Kwan and June was really hard as well! Lots of tears because they are my best friends. Bangnaa has been amazing to me. I am so lucky I was able to serve there with the most amazing people!

Last Monday for P-day we went to the driving range to hit some balls. (I still got game!) In the middle of that I got a call from Satabon who said, "Sister Herrmann, I am ready." I burst with joy and want to just cry of happiness! So on Wednesday before the going away party we had a baptism for Satabon. It was an amazing night. He told us he felt like a new person and was so excited to be in the covenant. I was about to leave and he told me how grateful he was and started tearing up. He said, "Sister, thank you for sharing the gospel with me. Thank you for being so persistent and never giving up on me, I can't thank you enough." I am so proud of him.

On Wednesday I got a call from the AP's telling me that I was going to be training! I was scared out of my mind...white wash training is a little difficult I have heard. BUT I knew that with the Lords help I could do anything he asked! My new companion is Sister Forte! She is an ANGEL! We have been together 4 days and we are already best friends! We are always laughing and having a good time but both really focused on the work as well! I am so grateful to be serving with her! Plus she is so good at everything already, she is basically training me! I moved to Bangkapi which is basically across town form Bangnaa! It is a GREAT area! They have lots of YW in this ward which is great! When we first got here we were literally starting from scratch! We had Friday, Saturday and Sunday to meet our goals: get 2 new investigators, teach 2 part member family lessons, get 2 daters, 2 referrals, 10 lessons and some other things. We had 0 as of Thursday night when we arrived! That is when God started working miracles! We have achieved our balance goals, got everything we needed and then more. There is no way we could have done all that in 3 days without the Lord directing things.

We have a bunch of new great investigators, 3 of which have dates for this Sunday. We taught Dik, who was a former investigator, a lot. She was living with her boyfriend but really wants to get baptized. When we taught her I told her to truly pray and ask God if the 15th was the right day for her to be baptized. On Sunday she showed up to church, pulled us aside and just started bawling! She told us she decided to split with her boyfriend because she knew it was the right thing to do and she knew that he was not the kind of guy she wanted to marry. I was so proud of her. That must have been really hard for her. I testified over and over again that, "If we keep the commandments, the Lord will bring us to the Promised Land." She is an amazing example to me of spiritual strength! One of our investigators is a little brother of a member! He came to church for the first time yesterday and wants to get baptized! We taught a bunch of other part member family lessons which is now one of my favorite things. Seeing families start to come together in the church is such a blessing.

This week we have had so many miracles just left and right. We had a lot of fun too! We had sports night where we killed it at soccer and we had Siigila which is like fun minute-to-win-it games. We ATE SO MUCH FOOD! It was Elder Brockwells birthday so we had Mukatab which is an all you can eat meat buffet where you cook the meat yourself. AND last night our mom and dad of the ward fed us steak and fries and cake. Every night we have gone home feeling sick because of the amount of food we have eaten!

I love this whole training thing. It is seriously the best! New missionaries have this fire about them that I LOVE! It motivates me to be better! Sister Forte and I are just having the best time ever! WE LOVE BEING MISSIONARIES!

I love you all! Thank you so much for your letters and emails I really appreciate them! Have a good week!
-Sister Herrmann
Satabon gets baptized!
Tessa and her new companion, Sister Forte.