Monday, April 21, 2014

"I Can't Read"

Dear Beloved Family & Friends,

First of all, Happy Easter. Let's talk about this last week. Please prepare yourself comfortably in your Americanized swivel chair.

So Songkran. An excuse to be inconsiderate of people's dry state. It's hot outside... hmm. Splash! Buses, motorcycles, businessmen, ANYONE is fair game. If you think about it, the splashers (me) are really doing everyone else a favor. You look warm. Splash. You look like you're sending a pizza to that house over there. Oh you are? Splash.

(The city streets of Bangkok on Songkran. This is another one of our Districts by Siam Square.)

So our branch threw one heck of a party. It was soooo fun. Clean, happy, and fun. The members are adorable. I've sent home some grand proof. For instance, sweet little Sister Ging dancing like she just doesn't care.

I even had a water-bending fight. It was probably the strangest thing ever, as we were in the cultural hall and there was obviously no elements being thrown around. But I definitely felt like I was in a Japanese movie. So what it turned into was a crowd around with a sort of Avatar dance-off. Elder Trabing threw it right back at me, so we were sending an invisible "water" stream like that cartoon. Turned out to be way legit and in the member's imaginations they were actually seeing us throwing back and forth a big ball through the air. So at random moments in this 1 minute fight, the crowd surrounding was like "OOO!!" and "Ahhh! WHOA!!" Like. .... I don't know if they know this... but there was no actual ball. But it did look legit.

Anyway. That's how I spent my water festival.

Other than that. Let's talk about crazy.



Sis Croft and Sis Hughes were on a switch-off, and they found a man on the street that was seemingly normal. But then he gets to the church the next day for an appointment, and I will describe this man via hashtags. I'm assuming those are still popular in America.
#killedaman you'renotcrazybysaying"I'mnotcrazy!!" 
#whydidyoubringthatbigbranchofwoodfromthatnearbytree (apparently, as we were told, he carries it around because he's afraid of dogs?) 

That may look like a lot of rubbish. Try to translate it by reading slowly. Then take it in. That's pretty whack.

Anyway. Needless to say, we aren't teaching him. And when he called 12 times the next day Sister Croft proposed the following brilliant idea: "What does the Pizza Company say when they pick up? We could do that!"
Me: "......"
Her: "...Hey! It's an idea!!"

But here's the miracle story for the week.

The other day Sister Croft and I did find a man on the side of the street that was interested, clean-cut and normal. His name is Chaad. We decided to try out what Elder Campbell used to do and take people straight off the street into the church. A member was there, so we gave him a tour. He was so humble and really taking it all in.

Next day, we meet with him. But before that: "Oh no. Not again! No Book of Mormon??? We're all out??" A terrible problem, seeing as this man clearly needs it for his conversion! So we search the library of the church. Nothing. Classrooms. Nothing.

I pray and say: "Heavenly Father, this man is sincere! But I have no scriptures here. We're out. What do we do?" I get the feeling there's a book in the building. It's a small impression. I think, "Go to the stage."

The stage?? I was just using the stage for the branch activity. It's barren.

We keep looking in the church building. I just know there's a book in here, I feel it. I feel like Heavenly Father has placed it for us, and I'm being dumb and can't find it.

I open the door to the dark stairs up to the stage. In the tiniest and smallest room of the whole church building, lies on that staircase, one lone Book of Mormon.

I pick it up, entirely in disbelief. How did this get here? I look it over. No name, no markings.

One lone Book of Mormon on the steps.

We meet with Chaad. We teach him about the restoration and how he can know for himself through this book. I know he'll take it. He does, so graciously. But then with a look of shame and almost a tear in his eye, he says:

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you. But... I can't read."

I look at him and I hear myself promise him that if he wants to read, God will teach him how to read through the study of this book. I promised he would learn how to read. The look on his face told me he yearned for it. And as soon as the promise was out of my mouth, I knew it wasn't my promise to him.

A follow-up call to Chaad almost put me in tears. He said, "Sister, I'm trying so hard to read the Book of Mormon. I'm really trying, I'm doing it."

God literally prepared a Book of Mormon for us to find, for a man who can't even read. 

That's how far God is willing to go for his children.

I love you all,
Sister Painter

 This is our newly called Area Seventy.  I Love him.  He is the first ever Thai Seventy.


  1. Bother Wisit is a wonderful man! I met him during the 40th Anniversary of missionary work in Thailand celebration. I was overjoyed to hear him announced as an Area Seventy.

  2. Another miraculous-finding-of-a-random-Book-of-Mormon-in-the-church story. Love it. Thanks for sharing, Monica :)