June 30, 2015

6/29/15 - The 9 Languages of the Thailand Bangkok Mission

How many languages does it take to serve a mission in Thailand?.... 9!!! This past week we have taught, invited, and just chatted in 9 different languages! Even though we had a lot of disappointment with investigators we learned so much and saw many miracles!!

1. English. I thought I knew this language until I started speaking Thai all the time. My grammar, vocab, and phrasing is all messed up!! You know it is bad when the bishop of the international ward asks you to pray and Thai words keep coming out of your mouth because you can't think of the word in English! 

2-5. Thai which has 3 variations including: Middle, East, and North! All these languages sound different! And don't let me forget the Thai-glish language which I have perfected!!

6. Laos. As we were contacting the other day we were in a hurry to get home. We both got an impression to stop and help the lady across the street and invite her. She just happened to be a Laos-ion grandma! She immediately wanted to know more. We called Sister News (who knew some Laos) and taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ! Unfortunately she has to go back to Laos next week BUT she is going to work with the missionaries there and get baptized in Laos!

7. Pakistani. This week we went over to eat dinner at some Pakistani refugees’ homes! All of these people have been coming to church over a year now and are just WAITING for their visas so they can get baptized! One of the brother's showed me some pictures from his country and it was a bunch of Christian homes getting burnt down. It made me so sad but amazed by the faith of these Christian families! They taught us how to pray in their native language :)

8. Cambodian. Some elders from Cambodia had to come to Bangkok for a surgery. We were able to teach some Cambodian members here with them. They taught us a little about how to bare our testimony in their language.

9. Burmese. In the past week we have picked up 6 Burmese investigators who barely speak any Thai or English. It has been interesting to me that even though they don't understand us very well they keep coming back to learn.

As I have tried to teach, invite and chat in all these different languages I have realized that there is only 1 language that I really need to know and understand and that is the language of the Spirit! "To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth" (D&C 50:14). In half the lessons we taught this week both myself and the investigators didn't understand much BUT because the Spirit was there it didn't matter. We all were able to FEEL the Spirit.

As I studied more about the Spirit this week I started to truly understand when it everyone says, "You cannot testify of Jesus Christ without the Spirit." In this life and at this time it is essential to have to Spirit with us or we drown spiritually! The only way to have the Spirit is by 1. being worthy and 2. praying and working for it. "You will not survive spiritually without the protection (and guidance) of the companionship of the Holy Ghost in your daily life. You must pray for it and work to have it." -Henry B. Eyring. I am so grateful for the Spirit in my life. Even though I am still working on understanding the Spirit, I know that it has blessed my life and the lives of others immensely!

Fun events that happened this week:
- The past president of Thailand showed up at our church.

- The other sisters and I sang and danced to Disney songs till much too late one night!

- We celebrated Christmas’ half birthday (June 25th) by acting out nativity scenes.

- I have become an expert at saving money. MSF comes in tomorrow thank goodness! 

- I beat the elders and Brother Lod in PIG when we had sports night. All that basketball with my dad and brothers in our driveway paid off!

- Last but not least, it was President Senior’s last week here. I am going to miss the Seniors so much! They have taught me so much throughout my mission and I will be forever grateful for them! I am so sad to see them leave but I am ready to welcome President Johnson! Here I go on another crazy week! Ready, Set GOOOOOO! Have a great week everyone! Love you all!

Sister Herrmann

June 23, 2015

6/22/15- "Sister Hermet" & Sister Hassaya

Well folks the awkward/awesome trio has come to an end and I have gained a new child who is Thai!! Let me tell you about my companion because I just love her so much!! Her name is Sister Hassaya and she is so cute and little and from Chang Mai and when I say little I mean TINY! She is literally half the size of me!! She actually doesn't speak any English which has made me realize how much my Thai can improve! But I have LOVED being able to speak Thai with her 24/7. We have been together just a short couple days but I feel like it has been forever! AHHH I just love her so much!! We had a really busy week! We visited a lot of less active members and 3 of them came back to church. It is amazing how showing our love and inviting them back works! One of the many perks of being with a Thai comp is when I am lost I just hand the phone over to her and she will get us where we need to be! She is such a good sport, if any of you don't know, I am a pro speed walker. It is just a habit that I have always had. My legs are twice the length of my companions so she is basically running all the time to catch up with me. I told her I can slow down but she refused to let me do that.

I have learned that when dealing with greenies they miss home a lot so it is my job to help distract them. I realized that though I love and miss you guys, it has gotten to a point where I know you are safe and I will see you soon so it is not a sad kind of missing!

On Friday we were trying to get to a less active member’s house. We had to take a couple busses and the MRT to get there but we ended up lost in the middle of nowhere. We were talking on the phone to the lady that we were going to visit and she had no idea where we were. Then suddenly a girl walks past us and say, "Who are you looking for?" We told her and that girl just happened to be her daughter. Later we came to find out that right before she found us she was planning on going home the normal way she goes home, but she got an impression to take the long way which led her to us. (Keep in mind this girl is not a member.) Her mother kept saying, "Wow, God really did lead you guys here to me!" It was a cute experience.

This week it rained almost every day. I LOVE THE RAIN. There is nothing better than inviting everyone to come unto Christ in the pouring rain! On Saturday we had a plan to teach a new investigator. When we called him on the phone we were a little worried because he sounded drunk and he didn't actually show up until 2 hours after the appointment. But he brought 4 friends!! We found out they weren't drunk just BURMESE! (The languages of Thai and Burmese are COMPLETELY different.) They didn't speak that much Thai but wanted to learn the gospel so badly. They didn't understand a lot but they did understand the things that the Spirit was telling them. They were all so happy! After the lesson was finished we wanted to give them pamphlets to read because the Book of Mormon is not yet translated in Burmese, so all 5 of them and some members walked to the office together to get the Burmese pamphlets. It was a way cool experience!

Our investigator, Gone, got baptized on Sunday!! It was a really good baptism! He was so happy! (For some reason he keeps calling me Sister Hermet and I don't have the heart to tell correct him! haha) He was one that the Lord truly prepared! When we met him he was actually searching for the right Church. The morning he met us he was planning on going out to find a church, he prayed to God to be lead to the right church and then found us!

This week I have been thinking about how much I have changed over the course of my mission! There are the little changes such as enjoying waking up early or cleaning a house or the love of working hard! (Who would have ever thought it.) I have also changed in the sense that my whole outlook on life is different! I understand that there is something AMAZING in everyday! Whenever something is hard or not the most fun thing to do I tell myself with a smile, "THIS IS FUN!" (haha) I am having my companion do it too! I honestly can see the hand of the Lord in everything that happens! Also, I have found that lots of things haven't changed but just increased! My love for the scriptures and people and Christ have become so much stronger. It is funny, the more I change and grow, the more I see how much I still need to change and grow. I have never felt so weak YET so strong in my whole life. Through all the weakness and trial of being human, the Savior pulls through for me every time to give me that strength which slowly changes me. "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I am so excited to devote these next 4 and a half months and then a lifetime after that to changing to become more like my Savior, Jesus Christ!

Well, have a great week everyone! LOVE YOU ALL!
- Sister Herrmann

PS There was stake conference for the other stake which has Bangnaa and Bangkapi and I was able to see a lot of the ward members! MADE MY DAY!

PSS Brim cut my hair!

PSSS I have now deeply organized the phone, area book, and house in every area that I have served!

PSSSS Happy 30th anniversary to my parents!! I am trying so hard to get my recent converts to get married! In Thailand it is a cultural thing to wait a long time before marriage…finish school, have a job and house, etc. I finally made a deal with them that when the temple comes they will be ready to get married! YAY!

My two children :)
Cleaning our house on P-day

June 17, 2015


I don't even know where to start since this week was literally all over the place and crazy, I guess the most important thing to know is that the work is still moving forward!! Working close to President Senior has its pros and cons--earlier in the week we were contacting right next to where President was eating lunch, of course the moment he looked over at us there was no one on the street--I finally saw someone way up ahead and started running to them. One thing that I have learned here is that everyone is watching us! This week there was a huge flood and one of our Elders wanted to get across the street without getting wet…he got very creative using these things on the street to get across. And before you know it, 2 hours later, he is all over Facebook and the news!!

I had 2 days of zone conference this week for the east and west zone! It was President Senior’s last one. It was so good and I felt the Spirit so much I just wanted to cry the whole time!! It was all about hope and not giving up, I really learned a lot! (SIDE NOTE: President is a really spiritual man but also a really funny man. This is what he told all his missionaries at zone conference, "I know that not one of you will have a free Friday night when you get home because my missionaries know how to find and contact!")

Our investigators are awesome! Teaching them is so much fun! It is so exciting to see the gospel take over their lives! Right now we have about 12 investigators but only about 4 are strongly progressing! I met Sister Suu in English class the first week here and at first she was not interested in our message at all! BUT then she prayed and her whole perspective has changed! Brother Gone is a 25 year old guy who has studied Christianity before. He has been to church a couple times and whenever I call and follow up with him he just says, "I feel so so so so good!!!!" Brother A is a 30 year old man who is just like the character Johnny Bravo!! HAHA, he is like that suffer "cool bro" type guy! When we showed him the font and explained baptism he said, "Wow, that’s awesome...awesome!" We are teaching another lady who is actually the mom of a returned missionary. She is so CUTE and has so much faith. She keeps telling me, "My son and daughter just changed so much after joining the church. What is this change I see in them?" This gospel is so cool! I LOVE THAI PEOPLE!

Remember Lod and Ploy? They are the cutest!! They were teaching us the restoration one day and they kept going back and forth trying to figure out what a particular scripture meant. As we were discussing it Lod asked, “Why are the verses so long? I read the verse and thought to myself that it could be restated in one sentence. Then Sister Ploy said, "Haha Lod, have fun taking that one up with the Lord!" They are awesome and already have so many friends in the ward!

Let me sum up the awesomeness and weirdness of my week in a paragraph. So my investigator bought us roses? We taught a lesson through sign language. (My acting skills really came to life!) I ate ice cream 4 times a day. The awkward moment when you invite someone and you are making this ugly squinting face because sweat is dripping into your eyes. ADVICE, never sleep on a tile floor, it is painful!! People come up with the weirdest rejection excuses here…"my dog will cry if I go to church, I just can't do that to my dog!" (said in a deadly serious voice). One of my favorites is when they point one way and then bolt the other way OR when they say in English, "I am Buddha!" Ahhhh, I love it. Because so many weird things happen here we wanted to try inviting American style by knocking on doors. We were so scared but finally got up the courage to do it! We knocked and were ready to talk all about Jesus Christ, then a Muslim woman with her head covered and wearing a full burka answered. We all just stood there shocked, not knowing what to do. We took the risk and shared our message after an awkward 15 second silence. They were not interested but at least they know more about our church! I am glad I get to serve in Thailand and don't knock doors! Ahhh being a missionary is the best!

This week I was thinking a lot about hope. I tried to imagine what my life would be like without the gospel and the Church, and all my sense of hope would be lost. It all starts with the hope that we are children of God and are saved through Christ. That hope leads to the hope that we can change and help others change too. We have to let that hope push us to keep moving forward. I agree with Elder Holland who said, “Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."

Have a great week everyone! Love you all!!! :)
- Sister Herrmann

PS My new companion comes Wednesday!
PSS HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mom, Chase, and Grandma!

June 9, 2015

6/8/2015 - Lod & Ploy = Awesome!

It has been such an amazing miracle filled week! I’m reminded of how important obedience is when earlier in the week three 20 year old sister missionaries were running through the busiest streets of Bangkok, in skirts, trying to catch the public transportation to make it home by 9:00 pm! I thought to myself how funny/weird/awesome missionary work is! AND why do we do this? Because the Lord asked it of us. I just can't even tell you how good it feels when we are obedient to Heavenly Father. It’s so hard to really describe the feeling but I love it!! This week we had MLC and zone trainings. Sister Nethercott and I found out that we would be STL’s over 2 zones. We had lots of fun going around to all the zones and districts in Bangkok East and West!

We had 2 baptisms this Sunday! Brother Kitty got baptized which was amazing! And his mother came and after the baptism she started to cry because she felt the spirit that was there! It was amazing. Sister Ploy also got baptized. Ploy and Lod are dating and they are some of my favorite people in the whole wide world!! To sum it up in a sentence, Lod got baptized last week, then this Sunday he received the Holy Ghost in sacrament meeting, he then got the priesthood during the 3rd hour and then baptized his girlfriend Ploy after church! It was so special! I can't wait to see them both in white again but the next time will be at the temple! They have the most amazing light about them! The cutest thing ever was hearing Lod in the bathroom practicing the baptismal prayer over and over again. I wish you guys could meet them all! Here are some of the things they say so you can understand just a little about how amazing they are and why they inspire me!

"I want to know ALL the standards and rules of this church so I can obey God exactly!"-Ploy
"When I came to meet with you guys the first time I just believed. I knew it was true!"-Lod
(Right after coming out of the font)” I feel like I have this responsibility to fulfill! I know that throughout my life I am preparing to meet God! I need to get to work!"- Ploy
"I just know that with the priesthood I am going to be able to help serve my God!" - Lod

Ploy was telling me that she gave up this huge modeling deal because it went against the standards of God. They pray and read every night together and are always discussing the teachings of Christ! I am impressed by them and feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to teach them!!

It is funny because this week in MLC (mission leadership conference) we got assigned to read the talk, “Bearing our Burdens with Ease" which just happened to be the topic of my farewell talk at the MTC one year ago! After studying it again and having been on my mission for a while I got something completely different out of it. I learned that we literally need trials to keep us going spiritually! I understand that if I hadn't had the trials that I had in my life I would not be the person I am today. So today I am grateful for my trials. Even though they are hard I have learned so much from them and my relationship with my Heavenly Father is better and deeper. Even though my trials make me tired, they do not make me weary. "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;" I know God will always be there for us to rely on him and he will strengthen us. "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."

Have a great week everyone!!
- Sister Herrmann

PS-  This morning was so amazing... I was walking to the internet cafe and all of a sudden a familiar face pops up and I ran to her and we embraced with the biggest hug! It was Prim from Sisaket!! She started crying & I started crying! Oh my goodness, I love these people! Also, remember when I hurt my foot and couldn’t wear closed toe shoes, well my toenail just fell off. It hurts but I was not really sure what to do so I just put some gauze over it and called it good. Wish me luck!