Friday, December 27, 2013

So for me, none of these things move me and crabs

Dear Family,

We get to skype on Christmas for an hour! :D So I will be getting on on my Christmas day, as in your Christmas Eve. :) I'm pretty stokeddddd! And transfers are this week, so I have no idea whether I'm moving or not. I probably am.

So the paint is almost off of my arms. There's about 4 more freckles.
As for strange things: here's a story for the books. We were getting a ride back home from Sis Waruni, and all of a sudden we hear a thump inside her quiet car. We're like, "What was that?" and Sis Packard swears something hit her foot. Then she screams and says: "THERE IS SOMETHING IN HERE." And before we know it, huge crawling things are next to us on our seats, and seemingly everywhere! So Sis Waruni goes: "Wait, is it a crab??"


So apparently she didn't have time to move them or put them anywhere, so she threw in like 4 crabs into her car just to wait to be moved, but forgot about them! So we're in this car, like I swear "Snakes on a Plane" or something, and these crabs are coming after us for being on their seats! So we're all screaming because they have nippy claws and they DO bite, so all 3 of us are both screaming and laughing, TRAPPED in this car win the darkness knowing that they're coming for us.
....So we ended up pulling over and eventually said crabs were either removed or put in the car compartment for safe keeping. Totally bizarre.
We also baked a cake on monday, stored it in our refridgerator and ate it consistently for 5 days...
This week was way cool-- we had 6 people come to church! YAY!! And in that group was Nang, the woman we've been working with for weeks and weeks (like 16 weeks, and even before that, other girls went and taught her.) She finally committed to a baptismal date, AND she went to the gospel class, for the first time! Miracle. She has been a tough one for a long time, it we were seriously just so baffled that after all this time, everything we had tried finally worked to help her see what she wanted. And there ya go! She's getting baptized! But I'm convinced, still, it had nothing to do with us, but with the amazing spirit. Had her husband never been bitten by a monkey, I KNOW she would not know what a prompting felt like!
So with the gospel class this sunday, I found out last minute that everyone that would usually be the teacher... was not at church. In fact, there wasn't even bread for the sacrament until someone ran to fetch some! Uh oh! So I'm praying way hard like, "NANG IS HERE FOR CLASS FOR THE FIRST TIME, PLEASE GIVE ME A TEACHER FOR THIS CLASS." We needed a miracle.
And so I go into the room for class, seemingly no teacher. Uh shoot. Pray some more. MIRACLE! Sis Jan, my dearest friend, waltzes in saying she got called to be the teacher. Oh thank goodness. It really was a miracle, because nobody had a clue what was going to happen and how awkward that would be! It turned out to be such a good lesson that Sis Bunlawm had to put her head in the door and stop the class because it has gone over to long. :p
They put up Christmas lights on the church, and it looks legit. They're getting ready for their Christmas WEEK party.... oh dear. It's supposed to bring in a ton of people, but unfortunately us missionaries will be moving part way through so it's really hard to help them with it or know who will be here!
I love the members here. And the Thai's in general. If I'm moved, that will be okay. But I will MISS these people. This area changed my whole mission.
So as a spiritual thought, I've experienced some hard things recently, but has made God's plan for me pretty clear. I'm just supposed to have my full heart in this right now. Life has taken some crazy turns along the way, and trials happen, but I read the words of the Prophet Paul this last week that touched me right to the heart:

"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."
 I will take the rest of my mission and do whatever God wants me to do with it. I will be whoever he wants me to be. I will say whatever it is I'm supposed to say. I gave up everything to be here right now, and I intend on taking that notion and putting everything I've got into where am I, where-ever I am.
Right now is not about me, and I can figure out school, work, life after the mission, AFTER the mission. Until then, I'm just optimistic about everything. I sure do love the gospel, and the atonement. Christ has taught me some doozies of amazing revelation in the last few weeks. I have been thrown adversity because the work of Thailand is about to TAKE OFF. We have a plan to have 200 baptisms in January. That's gonna happen. So with that, adversity comes. Opposition comes before every miraculous thing. Take for instance Joseph Smith's own experience.
So for me, none of these things move me.
I would not trade my mission for anything, for it has really taught me lessons that are more valuable than I can express. I love God. He is so good.
What an amazing season! Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good week.
Sister Painter
 Sis. Packard and I in a chicken coop.

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