Monday, October 21, 2013

Thai sign language and a new sister training leader

Dear Family,

This week I officially needed a heart-monitor because I had a HEART ATTACK! ..... Well, almost. But seriously. This week was probably the craziest since... I don't even know when. I am staying in Roi Et for another 9 weeks with Sister Packard though! Didn't move.

So I may as well start with the incident that caused it. So on Monday, Elder Yuen got a call that he would be training and needed to be in Bangkok the next morning by 9am-- it was already 4:30pm! So.... needless to say we all went for our very last Swenson's ice cream, had a tearful FHE , he got packed in 20 minutes, and we had a quick last photo and said goodbye. It was so fast and so hard that we were way sad.

My District in Roi Et
Next day, we're at district meeting. Sigh, 4 chairs. The other two have already left. It was raining in Roi Et. We began the meeting saying it felt weird without the other two. BOOM the door bursts open! Elder YUEN says frantically, "Have you seen my backpack?" and ran to the closet in the classroom. The second he bursts open the door, me and Sis Packard are SO SURPRISED that we SCREAM. Like, the loudest and most sincere of my whole life. :p WE COULD NOT BELIEVE OUR EYES! He was dead to us! Then he grabbed out his backpack (which he has a history of losing) and ran out the door with, "Okay bye love you all!" ......... WHAT JUST HAPPENED. He was gone as fast as he was back!

Then I realize, "We just got punked!!" and we run back after the door. Elder Cahoon and Yuen come in cracking up. Turns out the night before, their bus was full and they couldn't go. So they stayed until transfers because they would miss the meeting anyway, it being the last bus. SO MEAN. But then we all got to be together 2 more days, and then we ALL had to go to transfer meeting together! Road trip! It was so fun. And so we're all on the bus and Elder Yuen is getting all his important zone leader phone calls so we all know what's going down when we get there. We all got invited to come back Sis Packard and Elder Thomas had to renew visas.

Turns out that wasn't all! I overheard Elder Yuen say my name. I would have to be at a meeting at 9am. ..... What. Well, then he told me I had a calling! And so the next morning I attended my first meeting with Sister Senior, the Mission President's wife. I'm now a Sister Training Leader (STL) -- and I cover the Eesan! I follow-up with 4 companionships in Udon, Mahasarakham, and Kalasin. So like I told mom: Basically I now go to the Mission Council Meetings (Just Assistants to the President, Zone Leaders, and Sister Training Leaders with President and his wife) each month in Bangkok. It's kind of way humbling because now I have a direct line to President's office with the needs of the sisters in my areas. It's really been rewarding so far because I get to think of all the other sisters' well-being, not just me and Sis Packard, as well as exchange, followup with language milestones, etc. with them. It lets me look outward rather than inward. I'm way excited.

This week we built a fence the morning after we got home from Bangkok at 2am. We were like zombies chopping down trees. We literally chopped down the trees to make the fence. That's no joke. Hacked down the trees, lifted them across the jungle, and built a fence around their "cricket farm". Oh yes. This is real life.

We adopted Elder Wilson (my old district leader in Udon)-- he's way funny. He's quite an addition!

We had some set-backs with Est, but we will not give up on this amazing boy!

Oh, and hey. We taught a mute person. We literally have a mute investigator that can hear some words but not all, but cannot speak a single word, just scratchy sounds. Her name is Pumsii. We taught her who God was and how to pray with Sister Jampii, who knows Thai sign language. Pumsii prayed for her first time. Needless to say, I am learning Thai sign language now. ...Wait, is this real life?

I love you all,

Sister Painter
Rode by an elephant family. Way cool!

Sis. Pannida, my first companion is going home tomorrow.

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