Aug. 12, 2013
This is my very last day in Udonthani! I was informed that I have to be in Bangkok for transfers TONIGHT so I can go to a "trainers" meeting tomorrow morning before transfers on Thursday. So I'll be in Bangkok for 3 days staying in Saphansung.
I found out that I will both be leaving my area (transferring), whitewashing (two new missionaries not familiar with the area) because I am getting a new greenie! I'm starting over again! I don't know where I will be, but I know I am leaving Udon.
I want to reflect on this area a bit. I really loved it because of the members-- I have some eternal friends here. It was also the hardest experience in my life thus far. But from that, I learned a lottttt. So I'm taking everything good that I've collected and taking it with me to this new area, and leaving anything bad here. :p This'll be a brand new Sister Painter. A brand new trainer, and a brand new attitude! MY NEW AREA WILL BE MY MISSION'S GAME CHANGER! I'm stoked.
Last night I rode home side by side next to Yuuy while she was on her motorbike and I rode my bike. It was like I was on an outing with a friend I'd known forever. She is literally my Thai twin in so many ways. We finish each others sentences and thoughts! When I hugged her goodbye, It hit me how much I was going to miss these members here. Especially Yuuy, Jack and Bii. They are my closest friends here. So mom and dad-- expect to be taken to Udon when you come get me!
As a fun fact, a little boy playing the computer in front of me keeps tapping my foot. I can't tell if he knows it's me, or he's just taking his computer game too seriously. Now he's singing in a tiny Thai voice. This is real life.
So Melissa asked me if I had seen anything more gross and weird than a chicken leg on a playground. To answer that: Every. Day. Of. My. Young. Life. In fact, just last night, was eating at my branch mission leader's house at a massive party. One of his millions of huge dogs got in (its fine their all nice) but it was hungry! So it went straight to the kitchen. I saw it walk passed me way fast, then it was gone. Then it was swaggering back again with a CHICKEN HEAD from the neck in its mouth. No body, just the neck and sad dead head. Hahahah. That was more funny than gross.
This week my favorite part was going on exchanges to Sagonakhon. Not the bus ride, because it was long and not fun, but actually being there in a different area. I'd never left Udon before! That's when I started thinking that maybe it was going to be time for me to go. And hey-- apparently it is. I know I need to move-- with change comes progression.
In Sagonakhon I felt like a real missionary-- happiest day of my mission. That area is so amazing! It is seriously so clean (well, comparitively... my standards are fairly low. I'll probably freak out upon walking into a Walmart in America.) I saw giant Buddhist temples that were soooo cool!
We went to their park there and it was gorgeously green and happy. We went inviting there for a couple hours (Sagonakhon has never had sisters there before, and there hasnt been Elders there for like years and years.) So I found this student named Naam Phueng. That means Water of the Bee (AKA Honey.) Cute right? She turned into Sagonakhon's new investigator. I have never made a faster relationship on an invite, nor taught more smoothly upon first meeting. It was probably the best example of a good invite that I've ever done..... and of course it wasn't even in my area for my greenie to see! So I hope with all my heart that whoever continues working there will take care of Honey!
But either way, that day I felt a lot like Christ walking around in that park talking to the Thai's. I found myself feeding fish at the lake there and talking about the meaning of life with a man. It was so natural. AND SO COOL. I'm Thailand literally walking around telling people what they need to know to have peace in life while just smiling about. How cool is that.
But let me tell you a story. This is how to get blessed on your mission: prioritizing. So we're biking along and I see an elephant walking on the side of the road! This is literally only the second time ever in my life, so I think "I WANT TO SEE THAT ELEPHANT" but I knew we had an appointment that we needed to be at in a couple minutes farther away. So I rejected the opportunity and we went to our lesson. It went well! Then I told Sis Broeder this: "If God loves us, we'll find that elephant again."
AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, that same elephant was waltzing down the exact road we took!!!! Needless to say, I pulled over an elephant like a traffic cop I was so excited. I asked the guy: "Where you taking this elephant?" and he was so excited that I spoke Thai that he let us pet it and take pictures with it. It's hair was like 4 inches off its skin and so your hand wouldn't touch the skin because the hair was so strong and coarse! The guy that was with him said as emphatically as possible: "His name is DODO!!"
So there you have it. You serve God, you pet elephants. Then we let Dodo go his way and watched him cross the street at a stoplight using the crosswalk, running way fast (in elephant speed terms.)
And to end things awesome: Our investigator Knot has been feeling the Holy Ghost all his life in tiny blips, KNOWS it was the Holy Ghost, and it getting baptized next month! Every lesson we have with him, its like the spirit is POURING the words we need and how we can connect it to his concerns. Yuuy (my favorite member) said to me during the lesson that it was like she was a new investigator again the spirit was so strong. "You're teaching BOTH of us!" My favorite part was when they could NOT figure out how to describe something they were both thinking. They didn't have the write Thai words to explain. Then I said something and they both go: "THAT'S EXACTLY IT!!"
Trust the spirit to tell you what to say, and you'll discern the needs. EVEN in a foreign language than your own. The spirit speaks all languages!!
I'll keep you posted where I'm going!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!