Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 5 in the Field!

I can't believe it's been a whole transfer already!!!
Transfers are on Thursday this week....Today I find out if I am staying here, in Srinakharin with my Trainer...or if one, or both of us are being transferred!
There's only a very slight possibility that that will happen...but still...makes me marvel at the fact that my fate for the next 7 weeks will depend on that one phone call! 
My mind is full to the brim with many different thoughts and emotions that I don't how to do justice and formulate into words...
But maybe sharing with you a little snippet of an email I sent to a dear friend last week will summarize some of my thoughts and feelings at this point in my mission:

If I am honest, and search deep into my soul...
This mission is mind bogglingly (is this even a word?) hard!
Sometimes I stop dead in my tracks and ponder...

'WHAT?! I am doing what now? I am in a country where I cannot speak the language, talking to random people, stopping them mid stride, teaching people in the most random corners of Thailand...
Feeling so inadequate beside a trainer who's been out only 9 months, but fluent in Thai...who doesn't always fill me in on what's happening...
Feeling so lonely because I feel like an awkward, lame appendage that doesn't understand conversations and cannot contribute...
People turning us down over and over again, often giving us annoyed looks...
The heat...
The overly spicy food...
The long days from 6:30am to 10:30pm...
And so many other things...
I should've quit and gone home by now!'

BUT, I feel so much strength and happiness by being here. It's hard to explain...
In my head I know there are so many reasons to be stressed that it should make me sick.
But, I get up everyday without any thought of wanting to quit and go home...
Yes, it's only been 3 or 4 weeks...But so much has happened that it could have been several months!

The Lord is so very merciful...
Despite my endless imperfections, He blesses me with the chance to see so many wonderful miracles, each and every day.
He truly does care about just one little girl, lost on her mission. 

2 Corinthians 4: 8-10 , 17-18

 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The words contained in these verses are so true! 
We can be happy and we can endure our trials without distress and without despair because Christ atoned for our sins and because He endured through it all.
He knows how it feels.
He knows each of our feelings because He has experience it! 
We can gain strength from Him.
God gives us challenges because He knows we can handle it.
He qualifies whom He calls.
No matter what our calling is in this life, He will give us what we need to succeed. 

With that said...
Here are some highlights from this past week!!
To finish off the week...our ward had a baptism!!
Br. Cruise, one of the Elders' investigators was baptized by Elder Larson who is finishing off his mission this week and going home!
This wonderful brother is so full of light! His smile says it all!
How beautiful it is to witness a soul turning towards their Father in Heaven, and accepting to follow the example of Jesus Christ and to covenant to apply the Atonement in their lives! 

Last P-Day!
We went to the Crocodile Farm!
And be jealous....because we got to play with a tiger cub and a leopard cub too!!! 

Getting ready for Christmas!!
We got these beautiful inviting cards to use to find people! 

The Christmas Story is on the inside!

And our beautifully decorated home is always a pleasure to come back to after a full day's work!

I finally got the chance to see Sister Phan again!!
It was on Friday, exactly 4 weeks, to the day from the last time I got to visit her! (I lied 4 weeks ago about being able to see her every week apparently)
And...I also realized that I wore the exact same clothes as the first day I met her!
It's crazy how much has happened in the 4 weeks in between visits to see her...
But she was glowing just as brightly, if not more this time! 
Her angelic smile, so full of love, is Heaven sent, and her faith is never dwindling! 
I feel so inadequate next to her...
I love her so much!
I was on exchanges with our STL that day...
And needless to say, my STL, Sister Tau, also fell in love with this miraculous woman! 

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