So I'm in Thailand! la, it's the strangest thing. People here have smartphones and ipads and the works but they live in tiny shacks without air conditioning. Those kinds of contradictions are everywhere here and you just get used to it apparently...I haven't quite done that yet.
Before I get into everything, I'll talk about the journey to Thailand. Truly, God looks out for His missionaries, because there's no way 14 teenagers and young adults could have made it to Thailand with all our luggage as safely and smoothly as we did. We arrived in Bangkok tired and hot, and President Senior met us! He's pretty cool. I have to say, I wasn't expecting him to be as cool as he is. I went into my interview with him and within five minutes found out he's a HUGE Green Bay Packer fan. So, you know, he's obviously pretty righteous. ;)
Transfer meeting came and went, and in less than no time I left my district and hopped a bus to Kalasin, about 9 hours from Bangkok. My trainer is Sister Ladle. She's from Ohio, BYU student, she's been out here for about a year. She's so fun and honestly everything I could have ever asked for in a trainer. We get along really well (which is good because we spend lots of hours walking the hot streets of Kalasin inviting anything that moves to go to church)! We got into Kalasin at 4am Friday morning, got a ride to our apartment, slept for two hours, and got up at 630 to start my first day in this area. Woot. I've never wanted sleep more than I did on Friday. Maybe it was the lack of sleep combined with the fact that I haven't ridden a bike in two years, but I crashed my bike in a parking lot and have a bunch of bruises and a beautiful scrape to show for it. It finally stopped oozing pus today...so that's good.
Weeell. We haven't been having much success here in Kalasin. All our investigators dropped this week, a few people have just disappeared, and no matter how many hours we spend walking around asking people if they want to come to church and be clean, no one is really interested. They always say "may mii weyla" which means "don't have time." If they understood even a particle of what it was we were inviting them to do, they'd have all the time in the world! Ahh well. Maybe they're not ready. Regardless, we always ask. And while it should be kinda discouraging that we're not getting anywhere, it's not. I know what we're doing here is important enough to forget about the rejection. Rejection is our opportunity to prove our perseverance and patience to wait for the Lord's timing, and I could spend my whole mission waiting if that's what He needs me to do. And who knows but that we're planting seeds, softening hearts, or maybe even just making people's days. We met a man from Minnesota yesterday, and while he was in no way interested in what we had to say, he was more than happy to speak English with some farangs like us. Our purpose here is to love the people and invite them to Christ, and we've been doing that all the time.
Saturday I saw my first elephant! it was a baby, about as tall as me, and while we were "Dan Jones-ing" (inviting people to come to church/be baptized) it came up to us and decided it wanted to follow us around. Obviously, we invited it to church, but I think the language barrier was too much. Ah well. We tried.
Well, there's so much to say but no time left. I love you all! I love this work, and I love the people of Thailand! Have a great week!
Weirdest thing here: so one time we were biking somewhere and I saw a truck with a double decker cage just packed with pigs. That might be the strangest thing I've ever seen.
Coolest thing here: RAIN. it pours for five to twenty minutes a day and then just stops. I'm sure I'll get sick of it eventually but for now it's just awesome.
1. My beautiful scrape!
2. Water Buffalo! We weren't entirely sure if they wanted to follow us or charge us. It was a little bit nerve-racking, but also super fun.
3. So many scenes here look like they're straight out of National Geographic. Never gets old.
4. Sister Ladle on the wayyy back road to a member's house. We had to hurry and get back before it got dark since there weren't any street lights there...we made it, no worries!
5. So we made an apple cake for a ward activity...but we needed cinnamon and ground cinnamon doesn't exist here. So we bought sticks and ground them ourselves.--