June 9, 2013
This is Sister Painter reporting live from Udonthani, Thailand. We have commenced "Projecting Finding Lost Sheep"-- they shall be found!! Though seemingly difficult because addresses are a thing of the... never here. Not even a thing of the past. :p
I'm glad everyone is home safe from who knows where: Disneyworld, North Carolina, Armenia.... :) Welcome home everyone!
Anyway, this week was pretty... evolving? Yes. Evolving. In many aspects. My investigators, my recent converts, our finds, but especially me. I'm finding something is happening to me. I'm not quite just Monica anymore. But it's so hard to describe how this week changed me. I don't know how to say it. But it did, and here I am finding myself smiling, working as hard as I can, and just... enjoying myself. Loving the whacko junk that happens, the opportunities to change something that needs change, and most importantly, watching people I am growing to love change. Watching hearts change is a miracle. A literal miracle.
So with that said, I want to talk about BANG! She's 11 years old. Her 'siblings' of sort already were baptized 2 weeks ago, if you remember: Khayhong and Onn. But she was seemingly uninterested. She dropped us. She avoided us. But after those two girls were baptized, she walked into the room to hear again. And since that day two weeks ago, we've been teaching her again and she (as well as the other 2 girls) have become like different kids. Yesterday we watched the Joseph Smith Resortation DVD with her. Afterwards, we asked if she had any questions (it was a review). She looked at us, and thought for a long time. We figured, being 11, she wouldn't have a lot to ask.
Not so. She asked with much sincerity, "...How did Joseph know where to find the plates?" Sister Pannida and I looked at each other and said, "WHOA. Great question!" And we knew that she had watched very carefully, because it didn't say anything about that!
Needless to say, she is getting baptized the 15th. She is a different girl than I met her. All 3 are. I think I've changed because I've watched these 3 spaztic unruly kids become resectful, sweet and loving. They live in a house with 17 people, but one doesn't even have parents. All they needed was someone to show them where to find love.
Anyway, I still don't know how to express my feelings. But I love those 3 girls. They started on our first lesson completely afraid of me and refused to talk or look at me. Now it's as if I'm a safe haven to them. The gospel changes lives, and changes people. What a miracle it is.
Anyway, as for the rest of the week, we had the opportunity to give a large group of about 50 people wheelchairs this week. They were so humble and thankful. They thanked us publicly for like 2 hours-- maybe it was a little much (and boring), but wow. So cool.
I did end up playing violin for zone conference. I played Joseph Smith's first prayer. :) It actually went really well. We arranged it ourselves. Now guess what I'm doing this week? They've asked me to play out in a public street market while we had out english and gospel cards. That's a good way to get attention. I'll let you know how that goes! Haha. I'll be playing and some missionaries will sing as well as hand out cards. (What is this, like Jared's dream activity?)
We had a Dan Jones day. Meaning we went out and talked to every person ever. It was tiring, inaffective, and we got hard core rejected by everyone. :p Let me testify there is a better way! REFERALS! Find those ready to receive you! Work with members! Ask everyone!
So training is almost at its close in about a month (hey next week's my birthday!!). Sister Pannida has done a wonderful job. And furthermore, somehow... I was entirely and fully trained in the Thai language. Let me testify again: all things are possible.
I've grown to love Sis. Pannida more than I can say! There is a simplistic child-like-ness about many Thai's. Not that their like kids, but they are amused and made happy by the smallest things. I wish more Americans were like Thai's-- they world would smile more!
So, as a closing report: I'm beginning to see the bright morning and I have a feeling the sun hasn't even come up over the hill yet.
Love from Udonthani,