DEAR LOVED ONES!
This week was super fun. We had a crazy awesome talent show that had a great turn out-- a full bus to go to Khongaen to meet up with the other branches in our zone area. They competed, sort of, and our branch definitely went all out with incredible costumes, etc. In fact.... even us missionaries got dressed up! I'm sending tons of photos.
A hilarious moment of this week: we met a lady who had lived in Indiana for a little while. So she could speak a little bit of english. ....She was like 90+years old with no teeth and so she would say with her flappy lips: "I lub pizza." and then proceeded to tell me in Thai that she didn't care if it was square or round. She loved pizza. And then, a snake came out of nowhere!! ...And she chopped it in half with a wooden plank board!! A picture is included for reference. We laughed so hard. That snake's teeth were actually huge. She saved us!
We had 5 investigators at church. It was insaneeeee. The night before I talked to our investigator we have been teaching for 6 weeks who had still never gone to church. Nang turned out to have a misunderstanding at some point with other missionaries, and us, and members, until she thought that if you go to church, it means that you are deciding to be baptized that day at church. I cleared that one up on the phone and the next day we left an hour early from our house to go to her house and pick her up, so to speak.
She sees us sitting outside her house and she says to me, "Sister, I don't have time to chat for a second. I'm working." I felt like I should just smile and not budge. So I stayed there at the table and just told her that her haircut looked nice. We were near her young son, who was sitting on an ice chest with a baby chick sitting next to him as he ate his rice. He turned towards the opening of the home shop and asked, "Mom, do you want to go to church?"
I didn't hear a response. Then I heard her son say: "Go." Pretty soon, she comes out and asks if she can come in pants. I'm all for it. I see her son jump off the ice chest and get a helmet.
They were both coming!
Just a few minutes before that, we went and literally... woke up our other investigator. So while she was showering and getting dressed, we went and saw Nang. So Yuuy, the one getting ready, eventually asked if Nang could take her.
So all 3 of them: Nang, Got and Yuuy rode on a motorcycle next to us and all 5 of us went to church that morning, met by 2 more investigators of ours, Biw (Molly and Mary's nephew, who is now hoping and praying he can be baptized before the day we ever move) and Nan, a tiny cute little lady. I just love the thai's. All of them.
Buk moved to Bangkok for 'close-term' of school to go test. So she won't be back until Biimay and Est's baptism day. That was so sad to say bye, but I have a feeling I'll see her again. :)
I just can't express what my mission has done for me and to me. It has changed everything. I admit, the beginning was hard. I didn't know really what I was doing. And you know what? Everything clicked when I came to Roi Et. I told myself this transfer was my game-changer.
It turned out to be my life-changer.
I have a firm testimony in the teachings of the church-- in the ability to watch people change their lives. I am a firm believer in the rules of how to be a successful missionary-- when we work hard to make our goals, miracles happen. Miracles are always happening.
I realize nothing that I do is done alone. This is truly the work of God. When we got here, approximately 70+ people would be at church on Sunday. Yesterday, we had 110 people. Do you know what that means? It means He's real. He's listening. He's doing.
I love my mission. I love it more than I can say. It has changed everything.
Sister Monica Painter