You may have noticed an absence of my witty charm and fun-loving nature from the letters that I have sent every week. That would be because I was having hard times. Yes. I learned quickly that a mission is hard, lessons fall through, people don't make it to their baptism dates and don't want to pay tithing. But I believe I have also learned, all be it a little more slowly, that the Lord blesses you when you work, that the refiner of silver watches the silver in the fire, and that happiness can be a choice; most importantly I have learned the power in the sacrament.
Last week I really missed the temple. I wanted to go, to have the feeling afterwards that I can conquer Satan, that I have power. But the closest temple being in Hong Kong, that was not an option. So I asked myself what can be done? Well, when we take the sacrament we renew ALL our covenants. So I thought really hard about the temple when I took the sacrament, and I felt the same power come over me. I did that last week, and this week as well. I asked Sister Somboonnit if she feels like she has a new companion - she said yes. I am myself! Woot! No more zombie Sister Barber!
Anyway, Sister Somboonnit has been sick this whole week, and the week before that, and the week before that. She really should rest. She got a blessing on Tuesday for her migraines and they are gone! But now she has a fever, a cough, a sore throat... but no more migraines! Like I said, we have been working through her illnesses. Dan Jonesing (sorry I didn't explain it too well) is street contacting. It is when we go up to people and start conversations with them with the intent to invite them to learn more about the gospel. However, right now our mission president has asked us to do a specific type of Dan Jonesing where we go up to people and ask them if they know what baptism is, explain baptism, and invite them to be baptized. No-one has said yes... BUT! Every time we have done it there has been a noticeable blessing from the Lord. One day we Dan Jonesed and later that evening we got a call from someone who said his friend had talked to him about Christ and he wanted to learn more, and another time we got a referral from some elders in Asoke (the heart of Bangkok) that was a person they had found Dan Jonesing in their area, who lives in our area. So, although I do not love it yet, the Lord has helped me understand it. Actually, this week marked the first week that I did not feel like and/or actually cry after Dan Jonesing. Good times.
We have two daters currently. Phii A is doing good. She is soaking up information that we are giving her. We taught her the word of wisdom and restoration yesterday and asked her if she would live the word of wisdom, and she was like, "definitely." I know for a fact that she drinks coffee and tea, but she said she would give it all up. I don't think people should be this easy to teach. Our other one is Phii Tuun - she has only met with us once, and was supposed to come to church on Sunday, but didn't. Sadness. We think her fann ( an evil Thai word that tells you nothing other than they are a significant other) might be against her learning about Christ. Grr. We think she is not married, but she lives with her fann and has two kids. She is 20.
We have mission tour tomorrow! I have no idea what that means other than the leader of the Thailand area will come and talk to us.... and I have to memorize a bunch of stuffs. fun fun.
For Thanksgiving we are eating with a farang ( white) family. It should be good. Mmmm - farang food. I made macaroni and cheese last night. It tasted a little weird because the cheese we used was really good quality cheddar, not our usual orange brick. Sister Somboonnit was not a big fan. She said she's never eaten anything like it. I also cooked for the elders, they live in the same apartment building as us. I don't know if they liked it, but they were pretty stoked to eat farang food.
Thai culture lesson: The Thai people are not shy about things they like. Like their idols. Their idols are everywhere. Everywhere. Most people have what are called pra. They are necklaces with idols on them. They also love their king. There are pictures of him everywhere. Everywhere. If I met him, I would immediately recognize him. Some people wear necklaces with the king's picture on them. (I would also recognize his wife, but not as well). The king also has his own flag. I see his flag about as much as I see the Thai flag, and the Thai flag is everywhere. The Thai people are as proud of their flag as Americans are of theirs... not to mention that the king's birthday is coming up on the 5th of December. That's right! Mom and the king have the same birthday! It is also Father's Day here.
That's all from Thailand. Basically between the Thai flags, idols, and pictures of the king, I'm amazed they managed to squeeze in buildings.
Keep being awesome! Please help the missionaries! I feel bad for every time I ever told the missionaries "no" when they asked for referrals. Referrals are like manna from heaven. Keep sharing the gospel. stand as a witness of God at all times, always remember him.
Loves loves loves!