After receiving 110 pictures this week, I had to pick & choose which ones to post!
Sorry it has been a couple weeks. Last week we toured ayutthaya which left us just enough computer time to email the mission president and no time to email anyone else. It was really cool though! There were ancient temples and I even got to pet an elephant! If we would have known, there were elephant rides there we could have done. But I think I would rather wait until Isaan or somewhere with better scenery to ride an elephant. Last pday was so hot and sunny though! We all got burnt! Oops... Ha ha
Brecklyn LOVES elephants so I'm guessing she was on cloud 9!
Sunburn at the internet cafe
Alright now to the questions.
I did think to use Japanese with President Senior but I didn't get the chance to introduce myself the way you suggested. He just walked right up to me and said Hello Sister Nethercott, how are your parents enjoying the move to Malaysia? Or something similar to that. Ha ha
I didn't load up on mangoes, I just missed a really good mango season. :( So next year I will eat a ton! My favorite food would have to be mobing, or garlic chicken, or fried chicken, all with sticky rice. You eat so much rice here! All of the sisters put on a ton of weight I guess. I swear I can already see the weight I have put on... Ha ha I haven't had much spicy food yet... I tend to avoid it. And I always ask no pid. I have had a tiny bit which to me is really spicy! Ha ha I will adjust one day. Its only been a few weeks.
There is an order to the lessons but you can change it according to the needs of the investigator. It goes: Restoration, Plan of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, The commandments, and then Temples and Ordinances. Some lessons are taught together though. It all just kind of depends.
So as I mentioned last week, we moved into our apartment that Thursday night. So I spent my first full week in Thailand in a hotel. It was so nice to move in! The problem was the apartment we found was the equivalent to 30 US dollars too expensive a month. They send us to go find somewhere to live without any instructions about how much to spend or where to look. After a few days of back and forth between us, the mission office (English speaking) to the mission office (Thai speaking), and the land lord it took until Thursday for them to decide on which apartment. Its nice though. I am so spoiled in my first area. Its so high so here. (Which means high class). Its really clean in Bang Khen and there isn't any trash on the sidewalks. It also doesn't smell which all the other cities I have been to do. Ha ha So there are two buildings in our apartment complex, we are in the different one from the Elders. But they share the same gym surrounded by a pool mote. I should have taken a picture... Sorry next week!
We don't cook in our apartment yet. They don't have ovens or stoves or anything really. We have to go by a hot plate and then we are supposed to cook at least 2 meals a week. (2 meals a WEEK? That's rough! haha) President Senior said it is important for us to learn to cook Thai food because when we go home, everyone will want us to cook. Its just hard when you can buy a whole meal from a street vendor and its only 30 baht or 1 US dollar. And its good! How sanitary, that's a different question. Ha ha. I haven't gotten sick yet though. :) I haven't been to any members' homes yet. They have cooked for us a couple times at the church. They also will buy us food (which sometimes we have to pay for) from a street vendor or something. That is kind of just how everyone here eats.
If the sun is out and it isn't cloudy or raining, it is hot! Even when it is cloudy or raining its still pretty hot, but its an endurable kind of heat. Yes our apartment does have air conditioning. Pretty much everywhere that isn't outside or a bus has air conditioning, so that's nice. Although the entry room/hallway of the church doesn't have air conditioning so its always really hot where everyone spends most of their time. Ha ha
Alright so the update on those contacts we made the first week. One completely fell off the face of the earth... That was sad. He was so happy about it all! I don't think he was ready for some of the commandments... And the other one that lives right by the church, she says she is too busy with school and everything. But that's ok because we have 2 daters for this Sunday. One was a referral and the other came to English on Tuesday. I don't know if she will be ready for sure but just pray hard for them and hopefully nothing falls through! Other than that, we had 5 investigators come to church on Sunday. So things are going pretty well. :) It is sad though that our 2 miracle investigators from the first week dropped us. Oh well, it just gives us more time to find the people that are ready! :)
Oh and to answer grandma's other question. I am in a walking area. I haven't had to buy a bike yet. Its actually kind of nice not having to deal with that and just taking buses if we go anywhere far.
So missionary work is pretty repetitive. You study, eat, contact and hopefully teach, then eat again, then you hopefully have a lesson, if not you contact again. Its a lot of contacting. And it is kind of hard in the city, not because of a lack of people, but because everyone is always in such a hurry and they live such busy lives! When contacting we usually ask, "are you interested in going to church?" The responses we get are almost always the same. May wang which means Im not free. May me wayla, which means I don't have time. Sadsadaphud, which means I am Buddhist. Or just a simple May or May Sonjay which is no or not interested. If I get any other response than that, I tend to not understand. Ha ha. Or if they say yes, I don't know what to say because I can't understand yes yet because it never comes out as yes. It usually comes out in a lot of Thai words which will end with where? Then I pull out our cards that have a map and try and get their number. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen as often as I would like. But when it does, it makes the last 2 hours of contacting worth it!
Lessons are great. Im starting to understand the Thai people better. If they speak slowly and clear its easier. But Thai people don't ever speak slow or clear. Ha ha. The more I hear the same person speak, the more I am able to understand them. Which means I am just barely starting to understand some of the members. Ha ha. But they are all saying my Thai and my reading have improved a lot. I can't really tell but I hope they are right! :) I think it has more to do with I was too shy to even try when I first got here but now I feel comfortable to attempt speaking. Ha ha But in lessons I love when investigators pray for the first time. I don't like when they tell me they want to read the whole Book of Mormon before praying though. Whats the point when you can't even understand it? Good thing the Book of Mormon teaches a lot about praying. If what we say doesn't establish the importance of prayer, I trust that the Book of Mormon will.
Beyond contacting and lessons, we have activities at the church. Mondays we have family home evening which usually consists of eating and playing a game and sharing a spiritual thought. Tuesdays we teach English which I think is fun because it is the one time I understand what is going on. :) Friday we have sports night where we play chair ball (which is pretty similar to basketball) and then dodgeball. That is when Elder Curtis's dark side comes out. Ha ha. There is no mercy from him during dodgeball. Saturday we have Book of Mormon class where we have some members and hopefully some investigators come and read a few chapters of the Book of Mormon together and then discuss what we read. I guess some evidence that our greenie reading has gotten better is that they don't trade verses with us anymore to make sure we get the shortest ones possible. Ha ha
So yeah the mission is way fun! I love every minute of it. Even though days full of contacting can be long and exhausting and hot, I still love it! And there is nothing better than ending the day with a croissant grilled ham and cheese sandwich from seven. They are so good! Ha ha (She really must be our daughter, always talking about food!)
Well the spiritual thought I will share for the week is from the chapter we read in Book of Mormon class. It is in 1 Nephi 9. Nephi is saying he doesn't know why the Lord told him to make two records. One for history and one for the ministry. He was probably confused because his father Lehi was also keeping a record of the ministry. I could go long and share the story about the lost transcripts but I'll keep it shorter. 1 Nephi 9: 5-6 "Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not. But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all His works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all His words. And thus it is. Amen."
Sometimes we are commanded to do things and we might not understand why. But Heavenly Father knows everything and He has a wise purpose or a reason for the things that He asks us to do. We just have to trust Him and follow or do the things He asks us to. Chapter 9 is only 6 verses so it wouldn't take long for you all to read it! :)
Well I love you all and I hope you have had a great week!
Love, Sister Nethercott
P.S. And the icebucket challange is huge here! Ha ha I have seen it done 4 times just this past week at the church! I am so glad I am not on facebook right now. It doesn't look very fun!
8 Missionaries had to cram into this tug tug (and 6 of them were Elders!)
Funny etiquette sign
Our cool Ninja fighting pictures
Cute Thai children
The semi sketch place I ate... Its not sketch here but I would never eat here in the States. Ha ha