Tuesday, July 2, 2013

One Year Left!

June 23, 2013

Dear Family and Friends!!

I don't mean to alarm anyone (or myself) but I literally have one year left on my mission as of this week. Uhm?? One year, only. I've already been a missionary for the first 1/3. Just shows how fast time flies.

But with that said, I am now on my last week of training. Meaning, this week my task is to be the senior companion. Easier said than done! What a headache! I kept wanting to just KNOW what I should go and do, who we should teach, etc. But it turns out people cancel and you have to remake your plan every single day if things fall through. It's a lot more of a mantle than I realized. I have a lot of respect for Sis Pannida's job. So I've been doing the planning, calling, directions, leading lessons, teaching by myself as if she can't speak Thai, everythingggggg. Needless to say this week came with a few hiccups and rough patches. But, in all sugar-coatedness, FIGHT ON!

As for my birthday! Thanks for all the birthday wishes!!!
I actually got real sick on my birthday (and lasted until this morning, really), so I ended up having to go home and sleep. So... I woke up the next day and my birthday didn't really happen? So I got ice cream the next day and realized, "Hey! It's still my birthday in America!" So I feel just dandy about it.

And the district celebrated my birthday during our wednesday's district meeting with cupcakes and a TERRIBLE rendition of the birthday song. Oh, it hurt the ears. Elders are hilariously.... whack. But they get it from the Thai verson of the happy birthday song, so really, they were just copying what we see allllll the time. So good!! Sis Pannida even took a video. It's worth 1000 words.

So as for weird and crazy things this week:

I literally saw a movie-style crash. But this time is was just a guy and a really fluffy orange dog. But somehow it was still epic and insane! Sparks flew (not romantically but actually quite unrealistically) as he tumbled, and his red motorcycle too. The dog ran away, clearly whimpering and gonna die or something. No doubt the man's arm was broken. His clothes were ripped up. So me and Sis Pannida basically saw the whole thing because we were riding perpendicular to that road and nobody else was around driving. But suddenly a crowd appeared from the not-so-busy-but-suddenly-busy road and I explained to this lady what had happened. She looked up and realizing I was as white as they come, said, "Was it a big dog? ... Whoa! You speak so chut!" It was kinda funny for the dramatic situation. It's the last thing I expected her to say. Kind of comical. The guy was ok, ps!

As for a few other things I saw this week, this is for Jared Hammer: "I'll tell you when I get home." (HAHA! My turn to say it!!)

As for spiritual: the house of 17 people is doing amazing. We stopped by almost by surprise and found them DOING everything we had committed them to do and more. We caught them being faithful without knowing we were coming! BEST THING EVER!

And what I learned most of all as I've had to figure out being the leader, is that people will walk in circles if they don't have a goal in the distance. Utchdorf said it, and I believe it. I highly suggest reading the 1st presidency message from this month.

Also, I don't know how best to describe it, but last night I had a coming-to-understanding and I realize that God actually speaks to his children. He is NOT silent. I know that for a fact. He is in the details of our lives. He knows exactly who we are, and how and when to speak. I testify of that.

"How far is Heaven?
It's not very far.
When you live close to God,
It's right where you are."
-Monson, 1986.

I love you all! Thank you for ALL your support!!!
Sis Painter

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