Monday, March 9, 2015

"I got bronchitis -- Ain't nobody got time for that!"

1. Last P-day we went to a zoo with our favorite members!

2. I saw a cow. I couldn't control myself.

3. Me and Sister Phraew. She's like my mom here.

4. Last picture with Sister Yanisa. I loooove her to death for forever :)

5. Me and Sister T!

6. This monkey accurately sums up how exhausted we all feel after transfer meeting.

[Transfer videos added at end of post.]

When it rains, it pours. Everything always happens at once around here. Those of you who saw our transfer video already know that...I'm TRAINING! A new missionary! Why President decided to trust me with that is...very humbling. But it feels right. Well, that's not true. It felt very wrong and overwhelming for the first 24 hours from the moment I got the call until the moment President Senior announced our names together and I turned around to see her...and then I knew I was doing exactly what I was supposed to. Everything felt right. Sometimes we get blessed with that confirmation right away.

Her name is Sister Terriipaia and she is a BABE. From Hawaii. This is gonna be a chill transfer for sure. She is so outgoing and confident and will talk to ANYONE. The members already love her, and I do too! She is so humble in accepting help...something I was not good at as a greenie and something I still need to work on. She is an example to me of complete faith and trust in the Lord. I feel so privileged to be her first companion in the field.

The next day we started out normal and were going to do our first day of studies together...but then I woke up and my voice was GONE. Anything above a hoarse whisper caused me to go into an insane coughing fit. So instead of studying in the morning we took a field trip to the Bangkok Hospital, which happens to be an hour away and one of the best hospitals in the world, to figure out what was wrong. I've had a cold for the last three weeks but it turns out that because I'm not getting better it's just been getting worse, different bacterial infections and probably a viral one too. It's bronchitis! The doctor said to sleep for about three days to make sure my body has time to heal...but three days in mission time is eternity! So I said okay (but in my mind, I said something like "fat chance!"), they gave me a bunch of drugs, and we went back home to sleep for three hours until we had to go to a church activity. The next few days were rough, and it's still kinda a challenge to sleep with all the random coughing fits, but we've been doing our best putting in work here. Thank goodness God doesn't ask us to be perfect right away, but accepts our meager best efforts and makes up the difference.

Not having a voice as a missionary is rough. Possibly the worst thing that can happen to you as a missionary. Someone once said, "If you want to punch Satan in the mouth, open your mouth and PREACH." And, well, you can't really preach if your vocal cords aren't working. It was pretty humbling and also pretty sucky. It's only today, three days later, that my voice is finally functioning at an almost-normal level. And I'm ready to go and preach repentance unto every freaking nation if my voice will carry that far!

I love our missionary purpose, as found in the beginning of Preach My Gospel: "Invite others to come unto Christ..." We get to do that every day here through service, teaching, inviting, baptizing, finding....I just can't get over how cool that is. Being a missionary is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I will never be able to overstate the influence it has had on me and will continue to have on me for my whole life.

Transfers were dramatic as always...I found out that Elder Hinkson from my MTC district is off to MYANMAR which means he won't be coming back to Thailand until he finishes his mission. I will miss him so much! But he will do miracles in Myannmar. I'm so proud. And Elder Curtis, Sister Herrmann, and Sister Brown from my district are training! And Elder Martindale, Sister Hatch and Sister Ong from my Nong-thai group (the district that came in the MTC after us) are also training! Sick!

We're on fire! Keep on keepin' on :)
Sister Z

[Transfer videos! The first spends a lot of time following the newly-arrived missionaries -- so fun! Look at 11:28 for when Sister Zoller gets to first meet her new can hear President Senior's clue for who Sister Teriipaia's trainer will be: "Do you like cheese?" Yep, that's our Wisconsin girl!]

[This is more of the transfer meeting. Sister Zoller is in the front row. The "red couch" is reserved for missionaries going home. Don't miss when the new companionships are named, starting at about 4:05 until the end -- they know how to embrace change! You have to love their enthusiasm for life!! ]

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