May 26, 2015

5/25/15 - ... and then a huge rat fell out of the ceiling!

MAYracles just keep coming!! Some small and some big! Now that this transfer is coming to a close, I just want to express how grateful I am for my companion, sister Forte, and the members here in บางกะปี.. I love them so much! They really have become my family and show me so much love. I know I say that about every area I’m in but it is true!! Last Monday I got my birthday package from my mom. I was going to wait till by birthday to open it but patience was never my strong point. It was the cutest birthday package ever!! After reading all the little notes and seeing the pictures that Caitlin gathered from all of you, I just felt the biggest wave of love and gratitude come over me and I couldn't hold back the tears! Thank you so much to everyone who took part, it really meant so much to me! It was probably the best birthday present I have ever received!

This week everything was going smoothly until Wednesday when 2 of my RC's got in car accidents (Brother Satapon in Bangnaa ran a red light and just got destroyed AND Sister Gung was on her scooter and got hit from behind.) Thankfully they are both OK! My favorite old man in the ward died of a heart attack and then we get a text from lugblaa saying that she was ready to be baptized on Friday! (If you don't remember her she is the one who had a baptism date 3 days in a row but canceled each of them because of parent issues!) Long story short, she was on and off for baptism about 10 times…afraid that she was going to break a commandment, off... explained that the spirit will help you keep all the commandments, on... a member tells her she can't get baptized, off...we told her she definitely can, on...thought she couldn't get baptized so she made other plans with her mom far away, off...told her that this was her salvation and that if she puts it off now Satan will keep trying to get her to push it off...on! Those were probably the most stressful hours of my life! FINALLY she called us and said, "Sister, I am in a taxi now and I am getting baptized!” She got baptized an hour before the cute old man’s funeral. It was quite the event but truly a MAYracle!

That night we had a long sit down talk with Donut and her mom. We were so hopeful that she would get baptized! We bore our souls to her. She is ready and she knows the gospel is true but she is really afraid of water AND afraid that if she does it without her dad's permission she is going to be in a difficult situation. We made a plan. We decided that she is going to come to church every Sunday for the next month. She knows that if she is keeping the commandments that there will be a change in her and hopefully her dad will see it and let her get baptized! She told me that no matter what happens she is going to get baptized before August! It wasn't baptism but it was one step closer to baptism!

Sister Maliwan (the LA we were working with) has totally jumped back into activity! It is amazing to see her come back to the Lord! She is so much happier! I love her so much! We have been working so hard this week and have just been so HAPPY! I 100% believe that when we are serving the Lord we are truly the happiest we will ever be, even when we are exhausted!!

This week my knowledge and testimony of faith grew so much!! We knew that if we had faith, prayed our hearts out and worked our butts off, miracles would happen! It was amazing to see the blessings that came. It was amazing to feel that extra strength from God as well. The times that I felt the weakest and most disappointed he was right there to pick me up and give me the strength to press forward with faith. I remember on Friday night I was just simply EXHAUSTED. I knelt down to pray and I just asked my Heavenly Father for the strength to be able to finish my day out strong. I felt just like the people of Alma, "And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren {and Sister Herrmann} were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord." I have a strong testimony that doubt and fear are opposed to faith. In the past I have been one to have a lot of fears but it has been amazing to see how faith can demolish fear. Recently whenever I am scared to do something and that fear kicks in, I say a little prayer, put all my trust in the Lord and do it. It has resulted in so many little miracles! I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that through him anything is possible! It has been an amazing week of growth and spiritual experiences. I am ready for another one, BRING IT ON!

Funny moment of the week: There were many but my favorite was while we were teaching a lesson, watching the restoration video, we heard weird noises above us. Then all of a sudden there was a loud thump sound and a huge rat fell out of the ceiling! We all started freaking out. Of course this had to happen right at point in the video when Joseph Smith sees the Father and the Son. It is OK because the Spirit was still there after we calmed down!!!

-Sister Herrmann

May 19, 2015

5/18/15 - MAYracle is a real thing!

This week was full of miracles! MAYracle is a real thing!! At the beginning of the week we literally had nothing! We prayed harder than ever before and God helped us find some of his elect! We have these 3 awesome investigators, one who we had been teaching, one who was a street contact and the third was brought by our RC Sister Gung! (We were sitting in Swensons and Gung runs up with her co-worker and says, "SISTERS, she is catholic and wants to become Mormon!”) AHHH I just about died! Then the next day we called to meet with her but before we could say anything she asked, "Can we meet tomorrow morning please?" When we met with her she accepted it all!!! MAYracle!

Another little MAYracle that happened this week that is going to turn into a HUGE MAYracle is a 10 year old girl named Donut. Her mom is a good faithful member and we have all been trying to work with Donut for a long time. Recently Donut has stopped coming to Church. She is a very sassy little girl and didn't like to meet with the missionaries, SOOO we had to get creative! We decided to take her out to ice cream! We all instantly became great friends! We got to hear about her roller blading club and her Harry Potter obsession but most importantly her desire to be baptized! She wants to get baptized but her dad doesn't want her to. We told her that we were going to try an experiment. We told her that we are going to pray that her dad will open his heart and that she will have the courage to talk to him! She was scared but agreed to try it! She is in the process of praying really hard and is going to ask her dad this week! She showed up to church on Sunday and is really excited for this experiment!

We had 2 baptisms in our district this week! Brother La (the miracle we had last Sunday) and Sister Bingbiang! They are actually 2 of my favorite people ever! We love talking to Brother La, teaching him and helping him with his questions! AND sister Bingbiang is the Elders’ investigator who has been an investigator forever! She is like one of my best friends! It was a happy day!!

I could go on and on about MAYracles that happened this week but I just want to end with the most amazing experience ever! We biked to Sister Maliwan’s house who has been a member for 20 years but is less active now. She was such a good and faithful servant of Christ and was always serving. She was a seminary teacher, a relief society president, etc. but about 5 years ago her husband had cancer and was going to die so he got a blessing and was healed!! Then the real trial came. He left her and the kids for another woman. She's scared to come back to church fearing that she will receive more trials. She didn't understand why God wasn't helping her after all her faithful service. (OK, so backtrack about 4 hours earlier that day. I had a strong prompting to spend all my study time for this woman. I was really confused because I was just planning on sharing a spiritual thought but I got the strongest impression. SO I studied so hard for her. While I was studying I felt that God was telling me exactly what she needed to hear. I didn't really think much of it at first).SO when I was at her house I shared my studies with her. The 4 scriptures I shared were; Mosiah 3:21-22, Mosiah 4:25, and Alma 1:25. After talking with her and explaining these verses and how they apply to her situation she said something that made me tear up. She said, "I know God wants me back because he lead you here Sisters, did you know my problem? How did you know exactly what I needed to hear? Those scriptures were perfect." When she said this I just wanted to cry and thank my Heavenly Father for the opportunity of helping one of his children and for sending revelation through me to her. It was such a testimony builder for me. She came to church that Sunday for the first time in years. It was a MAYracle!

I know that God has sent me here to find his elect and help gather ALL his sheep!! I am just so grateful that the Lord is working with me. I honestly had no idea what this lady’s problem was and what she needed but God did! Ahh, being a missionary is the BEST!!

-My toe got slammed in the door and blew up like a balloon and I had to wear flipflops…OUCH!

-They decided to change something to do with the electricity at Church for the first time in 20 years on Sunday from 8-5. (Satan thought he could stop us HAAA!!! But we weren't going to let him! Church was still on! It was a literal oven--no air, no lights. Everyone was DYING of heat but we were still happy to be at church!

-Sister Forte and I had a 3 hour discussion about the millennium! WOW very interesting!

-Everywhere Sister Forte and I go we are making up songs... as in, changing the lyrics from normal songs and making them about baptism, miracles, and missionary work! We really enjoy it! We are on hit number 6 right now!!

Well as you can see I am having a blast here in Thailand! I am learning more than I ever have. I am so grateful for this opportunity! And, as it is written—“Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive. And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts."

- Sister Herrmann

May 13, 2015

5/11/15 - “I am a missionary in Thailand moment"

I just finished skyping my family and it was the best! I love them so much!!! I am just so grateful for my family! Talking with them made me so happy that I am here in Thailand to give the people here the thing that makes my family so happy—the gospel and eternal covenants! ALSO, shout out to my mom! Happy Mothers Day!! She is the best ever!

This past week was a good one and made me want to never stop being a missionary! The world is a scary place and my heart aches for the people we taught! We meet with a couple of less actives who are about to give up the fight and their testimony of Jesus Christ. It is the most heart wrenching thing ever to see people fall for Satan’s lies! BUT then I hear these people pray and I feel such a sense of hope! We taught this lady from the Philippines who is basically homeless and stuck in Thailand because of some unfortunate events. We met with her and she said, "Sisters I have nothing--no food, no clothes, no money, nothing... besides God. Please help me grow my faith in Christ because right now that is all I have." When she prayed she didn't just pray, she yearned, pleaded, cried to her Father in Heaven. We were all crying but at the same time we felt so hopeful. We just all knew that help is around the corner! It reminds me of the scripture in Alma 5, "notwithstanding a shepherd hath called after you and is still calling after you." He is always there no matter how deep in despair we are. Even with seeing all these people go through such hard times, I know that the Lord will take care of them! Alma 26:7, “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."

This week we had a baptism! It was our recent convert Sister An’s friend!!! She was so excited and happy to be clean!!! It was exciting! It is crazy how every baptism we have is so so special!! We also had a miracle. We were kind of struggling with investigators at church and about 15 minutes after talking about it we saw this man who looked familiar and we decided to go talk to him. He had never learned before but had been to church 3 times! Over time we introduced the gospel and then invited him to be baptized! He said, "I need this." That is basically it! He has a date for next week! We ended up giving him to the Elders to teach but we are so excited for him! It really was a miracle!

A couple of fun things that happened this week--we had an inviting activity where the whole ward went out inviting with us! We made a huge sign and sang songs and just had a blast!! It was a lot of fun and the Spirit was so strong! We also had an “I am a missionary in Thailand" moment! We were eating lunch and had to run to the church for an appointment! Right before we left it started to POUR rain!!! But that didn't stop us! The owners of the little shop gave us plastic bags to cover our heads and we were off. We rode our bikes basically blind looking like idiots! We were laughing so hard!

I love Thailand. I love the Lord. I love his restored gospel. I am so so so so blessed to have been called to represent him in the Thailand Bangkok Mission! Well there are so many things that I could talk about but I have to go เที่ยว. I love you all! Have an amazing week! DON'T FORGET TO PRAY! CTR! WWJD!!!

Love, Sister Herrmann

P.S. I am so sorry to hear about Sister Moss. She was always so kind.