September 21, 2015

9/21/15 - Paa Swong, Gan, Pad, Wune, Baw, Shampoo, Tonggon, Wit, Wiwat,Tong, Mit, Yogi, & Miw

This week flew by!! Last P-day ended up being horrible but fun in the end. We got lost about 10 times, walked 5 miles because we didn't take our bikes and the lady we had planned to have FHE with told us to just go home because we were so lost AGAIN. And to top it all off, that night my companion’s hair was so snarly she had three huge clumps that we were unable to brush out! The hair wasn't salvageable so I had to cut her hair!! (The next day we went to a salon for a professional cut and now it is adorable!!)

Tuesday it was raining really hard and the rain lasted all day and I was freezing cold. I have never been so cold in my life in Thailand! When it rains Thai people freak out and turn off their phones and basically hide so we had to go out and find them!! We went to Paa Swong’s house because he was getting baptized that night. While we were there he said the prayer all by himself and said more than just "baptism"!!!!! We were so proud of him!! We had district meeting which is always fun. We play the game jeopardy with Thai vocab and spelling and my competitive side comes out. By the end of the game my companion and I were blocking each other out to try to win. I think next week I will be the one to come up with the questions and not play!

PAA SWONG GOT BAPTIZED--best night ever! It was pouring rain so we went to pick him up. He changed into his white clothes (he reminded me of a cute temple worker) and by the time he was ready he was EXHAUSTED and had to sit down for a couple minutes. I think the reason I LOVE Paa so much is because he reminds me so much of my grandpa Herrmann and my dad. They have the exact same sense of humor. It has been so fun teaching him. When he went into the water Sister Jo and I were so nervous that he was going to drown or something because his knees are so bad and he can't really bend them. I was praying in my heart the whole time that things would go smoothly. Brother O (the one baptizing) said the prayer and then wrapped up Paa Swong in his arms and immersed him the water and it couldn't have gone any better! Paa couldn't have been happier. He had a huge smile on his face. His smile gets me--he doesn't have very many teeth. He is such a cute little grandpa, it was a great night

Wednesday we headed to Ubon for zone conference! We got to the bus station on time but the bus showed up 2 hours late because of the rain. It was a 6 hour bus ride so we spent a lot of time studying and talking on the bus. It was SOOOOO fun to see and be with all the missionaries!!! We played a bunch of “minute to win it” games and ate ice cream and headed back to the hotel!! Sister Brown made sure that our rooms were connected…yeah, bad idea. We talked and talked and talked which was fun but we were so tired the next day!

Thursday was the actual zone conference. It was SUCH a good conference. I learned so much! We talked a lot about what we can be doing right now, today, to be able to accomplish our transfer goals. The last zone conference before a missionary goes home they give their “dying” testimony. So that meant that Sister Nethercott, Sister Brown and I bore our testimonies. I was kind of nervous but when I got up to speak my whole mission just replayed in my mind. I decided to bare testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ, because He has been the center of my mission. That night everyone in my zone rode on the same bus which was really fun. Korat was the last stop and we got in at 2 AM. I was asleep the last 2 hours and when I woke up I had a HUGE bump on my lip (see last picture). I was freaking out a little because it was so huge!! I am guessing it was some sort of bug bite. It went away by the next night.

Friday and Saturday we went back to work. HARD WORK! We taught a lot of investigators and LA's! We went to visit Pad, the cute girl who works at the hair salon right by the church. She was working on writing down some sentences in English to prepare for a job interview where she has to introduce herself in English, so we helped her with that. Then Gan came early and brought her "parents". So we split, taught Pad the commandments and taught Gan and her parents who were awesome. They are Protestant as of a year ago. They said they are not satisfied with their current church and are very concerned about their salvation. They wanted to know what they had to do to gain salvation. It was super cool to teach them! Later we went to find LA’s. Then we taught Wune, and she is amazing. She is one of the girls from English class. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and it was such a spiritual lesson and she believed everything, and especially loved the part about the temple. We also taught her the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity and the Sabbath Day. She said she would quit drinking coffee and talk to her boss that night about getting work off on Sundays. She said she believed in Christ and she really was willing to do everything to obey the commandments and get baptized. When we asked her about her prayers, she said she had never had very many friends and that when she prayed she felt like God was really listening to her, and it was so nice to talk to somebody who could understand her. She is so sweet. She ended up staying for game night, which was super fun. We played the fruit game and then Brother Baw came and we taught him. He seemed a lot more willing to take charge of his work situation and really do something about it. And then in his prayer he asked God to help him get work off to be able to be baptized.

Saturday morning we visited Shampoo, an LA, and taught her husband and mostly talked about God and Jesus Christ. Then we went and visited Paa Swong and taught about the Holy Ghost. He was mostly concerned that he had a white shirt but not a tie to wear to church. We told him we would give him one. We taught Tonggon at Jenny's house. We finished teaching the Plan of Salvation but he did not believe what we were saying. We taught that because Jesus Christ was resurrected, we all will be resurrected as well. And he said, "No, Jesus Christ was the only one that was resurrected. It is not possible for anyone else to get resurrected. We're all just going to die." We read verses in 2 Nephi 9 and Mosiah 16 about the resurrection, and he rejected them. So that was fun. Then we went and stopped by Lee's work and talked about the temple. We went LA hunting and found a former missionary and one of his friends, who both work on Sundays. It was weird because this former missionary seemed totally content to not go to church and just work instead. How did that happen? We also visited Wiwat, and his mom wasn't there! It was a miracle. We were able to teach him and give him a BOM and we told him we would meet him at the end of the street to take him to church the next morning. He was so worried he would forget the time because he didn't have a watch. I took mine off and gave it to him and he was so excited for the plan to go to church! We went out to dinner with a member and then our appointment was pushed back an hour. So we made calls and then sat on the hammock that Brother Tong had set up really high in the palm trees. I got to follow up with Wit, the investigator, and he had watched the restoration video and told me the whole story. Then he said he had more spiritual experiences he wanted to share with us. He said he felt really stressed about work and school and all these things in his life. And then we talked about obstacles to his baptism, and talked about how salvation isn't easy, and it wasn't easy for Joseph Smith and it wasn't easy for Jesus Christ. At the end, I asked him if he believed in Christ, and he said yes. And then I asked if he believed this church was the true church. And he said yes. It was so cool to see how Wit has progressed! Then we taught Boss, a man who had learned everything with missionaries a while ago and then his phone broke so we had no way to contact him. Then we ran into him on the street last week. He has read to Alma in the BOM, he still has not smoked a single cigarette since he learned about the Word of Wisdom, and wants to be baptized. His problem is working on Sundays, so we talked a lot about that.

Sunday was a crazy day! We went to pick Brother Wiwat up in the morning and we saw him walking out of his house with his head down holding the BOM and watch in his hands, and his mother right behind him. She made him give it back and then started beating her chest and pointing and yelling at us threatening to get us kicked out of Thailand. And then she dragged Wiwat back to the house so he couldn't come to church. It was so sad. We went to church and Pad came running down the street to be able to make it on time. Yo, Gan's friend, also came. Gan and Brother Sawong got confirmed. And then in the middle of the second hour, a member motions us out of the class and there is this huge family in the hallway. A grandma, a mom, and 5 kids. And they explained that one of their neighbors, who isn't even a member, suggested they go to church, and that they had come 3 times already to this church but every time it wasn't open. And then they came today. We shepherded the kids into primary and then brought the two women with us to Relief Society. Brother Baw came for Priesthood and so we helped him get to his class. That was his first time at church! After church, we went over to the family's house, and before we even taught them anything, they explained how they had recently felt that they wanted to be Christian and that they wanted to be cleansed from sin. And we sat there in awe. We taught them the gospel, very simply, and about the Word of Wisdom. We asked them if they wanted to be baptized next Sunday and they were so enthusiastic about it. I'm not sure if I've ever met more prepared people. And the kids are SO cute. We then went over to their neighbor's house, because one of the kids was theirs, and taught the Plan of Salvation. We then taught Pad and helped her with her English. We taught the Plan of Salvation and she liked it. Then she told us that she believes in Christ and has the desire to change and be baptized, not because of us or anything we teach, and not because she is experiencing suffering and needs help, but because something within her just believes and wants to change to be Christian. So that was awesome! And then we taught Baw and confirmed his date for this Sunday. We taught Mit & First and Yogi & Miw at Miw's house. It felt like a really amazing gospel conversation instead of us teaching them. We talked a lot about the blessings they received when they were confirmed and how God has a plan for us. And Miw said that she never believed that, but now she really does think that God has a plan for her family. All of her insights into the gospel are spot on and it is so cool because she is experiencing it for herself. And then she prayed at the end, and it was the most humble prayer. She expressed so much gratitude to her Heavenly Father and then asked God to bless me and Sister Jo and our families. She asked for nothing for herself, just for others. I was so inspired by her example of praying the way Jesus taught us how to pray. She is a completely different person.

What an awesome week! I am loving it! And there is so much to do this next week to help all of these people learn and be baptized!

Whenever people challenge my testimony, I come to realize how strongly I believe in the thing about which I am testifying. So I would like to bear my testimony of the resurrection. I absolutely know that Jesus Christ allowed Himself to be slain on the cross to complete the Atonement, and that after 3 days, He was resurrected, His body and spirit coming together, glorious and perfected. And I know, that in some way, incomprehensible to us, that His resurrection brought about the resurrection of all mankind. Because He died and lives again, we all will live again in perfected bodies after we die, and we all have the opportunity to have eternal life with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know this is true!
“And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.”

PS I have become obsessed with my helmet. It is like my seatbelt or my life jacket. I always have to have it on!!! haha! Have a great week everyone!! LOVE YOU ALL!
- Sister Herrmann
Cutting my companion's hair
Coco yens
This is how you ride your bike through flooded streets
Zone Conference
Shampoo's house
Brother Wiwat (with my watch and the BOM)
Our cute new investigators
My huge FAT LIP! Pictures don't do it justice! 

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