Monday, February 23, 2015

These aren't just coincidences. Week #39

Hello everyone! Another great week here in P-lok! Full of many miracles too!
I'll just start with my favorite miracle this week. So on Saturday night we had this lesson with one of our investigators. She kind of came to us through a little miracle in and of itself. Sister Morgan contacted this man and got his number. We then called him and he wasn't interested. A couple days later he calls and says he has this employee that is interested and gives us her number. So we call her and teach her and she is pretty golden. As time goes on, it is impossible to get a hold of her. She doesn't have a car or anything so it was really hard to try and meet with her. So finally we realize if we pray as we call her, she picks up every time. So we finally get a lesson scheduled to go teach her at her house. We made plans to call her and have her explain to the tug tug driver (kind of like a taxi) where her house is. So we are calling and calling and she doesn't answer. Finally we realized, duh we have to pray. Immediately she picks up. She explains where she lives to the driver and then he explains to the member that was going to help us teach. So we get to where she lives and we call the member. Well that night the Elders were having a baptism (because it took a while to get a hold of our investigator and get to her house it was later than we had planned) and our member was the one baptizing the investigator that night. So we have this momentary panic of who can we quickly call to help us teach. All of a sudden this member rides right up to us on her motorcycle and says, "Sisters is there anything I can help you with?" Sister Morgan and I just look at each other and turn to her and say, "Yeah!" Its crazy too because this member is kind of LA. She's got a great testimony and wants to be a missionary but she also doesn't ever really go to church. She also doesn't answer her phone anymore either. But thats not the point. Ha ha So it is Saturday night and this member is out with her friend but instead they just both come join our lesson and she helped us teach. What a blessing! And I feel like that was the theme of the whole week. Just lots of little miracles that has let us know that Heavenly Father is not only watching out for us but He is also helping us accomplish His work.

This week was also fun because we got to go on a switch off to Lamphang. It was about a six hour bus ride north of P-Lok. Turns out P-lok is a good 6 hours away from everywhere. Chang Mai, Bangkok, Udorn. Everywhere. Anyways, we were waiting for our bus that obviously had to come late. A couple of the members were waiting with us. We told them we were scared our bus was going to be way ghetto because the tickets were cheap. One of the members said it is only bad if it is orange. She said she rode on the orange bus before and it was awful. But other than that it should be ok. So she looks at our tickets and then says, "Its Orange for sure!" So we sat there for a while terrified to get on this awful bus for a six hour drive. Luckily I think something went wrong with our bus. Because after a while some other  bus came and they said this isn't going to Khon Kaean its going to Lamphang. So we get on the bus, and what a relief. It wasn't bad at all! But once Sister Morgan went to sleep I went and sat on the steps by the bus driver hoping to be able to see some of Thailand with the headlights. Well we were in a canyon, with construction, going at a decently scary speed, majority of the time on the wrong side of the road. Ha ha Although the best part was, I don't know what that scary speed was because none of the gauges on the bus worked! It didn't say how fast we were going, how hot the engine was, or how much gas we had. Ha ha Luckily we made it to Lamphang in one piece! Lamphang is pretty adorable. They live in this little house that is kind of like a cottage by the river. Its a pretty small town though.

So it was another really good week here in Thailand! Oh and it rained yesterday. I've missed the rain! Its barely rained since I have left Bangkok. Riding a bike in the rain isn't quite as fun as walking with an umbrella through it though. A little bit more wet and muddy.

This week I want to close with this spiritual thought. There is a phrase that has made it all around Thailand that says, "all churches teach good things." While that is true, the scriptures teach, "Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually. But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God" (Moroni 7:12-13). Even though all churches teach good things and all good things come from God there is still absolute truth in the world. In the last conference Elder Bednar said, "Absolute truth exists in a world that increasingly disdains and dismisses absolutes. In a future day,“every knee [shall] bow” and “every tongue [shall]confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10–11). Jesus the Christ absolutely is the Only Begotten Son of the Eternal Father. As members of His Church, we witness He lives and His Church has been restored in its fulness in these latterdays." I know that this is the true church. I know that if you want to know for yourself that it is true, all you have to do is ask Heavenly Father having the faith that He will answer.
I love you all!
-Sister Nethercott

Last p-day we couldn't decide what to do... Then my brilliant companion came up with the idea to get foot messages by the river! It was less than 4 dollars for an hour. How will I ever leave Thailand? 
Our bus ride to Lamphang. 
That is the emergency exit... A wooden hammer. ha ha 

 Sister Pawadee from Laos. She is who I switched off with.

Some cool wats in Lamphang. They are everywhere there!

 The house and the river in Lamphang.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Elephants and the Glories of Heaven Week #38

If anyone knows Brecklyn, it has been a dream/bucket list item of hers to ride an elephant. One of the things she was looking forward to most about going to Thailand. This letter makes me so sad for her, but amazed at her understanding at the same time!

Hello everyone! I hope you have had a good week! It was a great one here in P-Lok. 
For my letter this week I am just going to share what we call here a เบรียบเทียบ (briabtiab: it kind of means comparison). This comes from my activities of last p-day. So we went on an adventure with the members... Surprise, we got to visit elephants!!!
Here is my understanding of the kingdoms of glory in Heaven.
1. Outer darkness: not even knowing elephants exist
2. Telestial Kingdom: being able to see elephants
3. Terrestial Kingdom: being with elephants and getting to sit on an elephant
4. Celestial Kingdom: Riding an elephant
So we go and visit the elephants. Next thing I know, we get to ride them! So as someone is getting on they ask me to take some pictures. Well before I know it, I turn around and everyone has already claimed their elephant and they are climbing on. Turns out, there weren't enough elephants for everyone to ride. So they handed me a rope connected to this elephant and said, "she is too old to ride. But you can walk her." So last week, I got to experience my version of the Terrestial Kingdom. Ha ha You are happy because clearly being with the elephants is better than not. But you can see everyone else having the joy of riding the elephants in front of you. Honestly, (yes this is very childish of me) I wanted to cry a little watching everyone live my dream right in front of me. It just made me think about making it to the Terrestial Kingdom. You're so close and you know there is something so much better than what you have. Yet you are just short of obtaining it. Ha ha I know kind of silly and a very missionary thought process. Now I am over it and I just laugh at the fact I got to walk an elephant through the forest in Thailand on a leash. Ha ha But it really got me thinking. The atonement is such an important thing in our lives. We need to make sure that we are repenting and applying it. I never want that feeling of walking instead of riding again. And that in comparison to eternal glory is nothing. So because I love all of you, I guess I am calling all of you to repentance! ha ha I am so grateful for the blessing and the gift of repentance in my life. I know I am not even close to being perfect, but that doesn't matter if I am trying to improve each day. I can improve and progress only through the atonement of Jesus Christ my Savior. 
That is my "comparison" for you all today.
Beyond that, this week we had two miracles of baptism! Sister Mate (with a silent t) and brother Brasit got baptized yesterday! They are both so good and solid. They were so open and accepting of everything we taught. I know the Lord has been preparing them. I am just lucky to have played a part in His work.

I hope this week you all enjoy yourselves in whatever life brings you!

-Sister Nethercott
The baptism!
 The waterfall

 More elephants and our ride there. Actually that is us hiding. They like to over charge farrangs to see the sites and the members bought the tickets so they had us hide. Ha ha
 Me with the elephants!

Here is me walking my elephant... It was actually really annoying. It kept stopping to eat the trees. Then he'd rip the trees out of the ground and whack me in the face with them. ha ha

 Part of my P-day adventure

 The primary activity. There were 2 kids.... But they made this yummy treat! Ha ha

Monday, February 9, 2015

Still working hard! Week #37

Ok I am keeping this pretty short because a member is taking us somewhere today. I am not exactly sure where, but I think maybe more waterfalls. Ha ha
So this week was really great! We were able to get a lot of new investigators. They all seem to be potentially strong investigators too. I am really excited about them. I just hope the investigator we have been working with since coming here to P-lok will progress, He was supposed to get baptized this week but decided to go to Bangkok instead... But thats ok. Right now we are teaching quite a few men. It makes me really hopeful we can get more priesthood holders to help out in this branch! They couldn't function without Elders right now. Our DL is in the branch presidency. So hopefully God has prepared these men to come learn, gain a testimony, get baptized, and help the branch! 
So this week was just a lot of teaching and in our spare moments we'd get some contacting in. So it was pretty busy!
We have been working hard and seeing some miracles here from it! I hope we can keep up with the pace the Lord has set. We are now supposed to get 2 part member family lessons in each week. This is a little harder because a lot of the members have already tried to share the gospel with their families are seem a little scared to try again. So please pray for the hearts of the families to be open and accepting of the gospel! The gospel is centered around families, not just individuals so we need their families to come to know the Savior too!
This week we had zone training. It sounds like they are cutting down a little. Sorry that the facebook page was banned. But hey, now I can actually surprise you when I move and you won't already know where I am! Ha ha
I have been reading the Thai Book of Mormon side by side with the English. This week I was reading in Mosiah. I never realized how much I love King Benjamin. I would recommend everyone to go read his words. He has such a strong testimony, knowledge, and understanding of the Savior. Which is kind of crazy when you consider the fact Christ hadn't even come to the earth yet. What a great example of faith. I just want to emphasize what is said in Mosiah 5. Only through Christ can our sins and our transgressions be blotted out. We must take upon ourselves His name to be seated at the right hand of God. This doesn't just mean when we are baptized we are done because we have taken upon ourselves His name. It means everyday we should be relying on Christ and His atonement. We should be progressing to be perfect even as He was perfect. We don't have to perfect in all things. Pick something today and start there. Through Christ we are able to overcome all. Lean on Him.
I hope you all have a good week! Love you!

-Sister Nethercott

 Last P-day

 This waterfall looks bigger in person than in pictures. Ha  ha

 Just SOME of the creepy knick knacks in our apartment as you requested mother. :)