Coming home from your mission, that is a weird feeling. I didn't sleep for days because of so much packing! And then Thursday night, I decided to pull an all-nighter since we were leaving for the airport at 3 a.m. Not the smartest thing ever but I wanted to spend as much time as I could awake in Thailand since those moments would be my last. Parting from President and Sister Johnson was the weirdest feeling. And then sitting on the airplane, looking out and seeing a place that had become my home slowly disappear behind me. I couldn't believe I was actually leaving. So on my 26 hour journey, I had a lot of time to think! I was sad I was leaving, excited to see my family, in denial I was leaving, and excited to see home again. I thought about the things I'd learned, all the amazing experiences and adventures I'd had. Heavenly Father had been so good to me, taught me so many things. I promised myself and Heavenly Father that I'd never forget. Going out to see my family was one of the most exciting feelings. I actually didn't really believe that they would be there haha! But they were! And seeing my family again after 18 months was what I imagined it will be like in the next life, when we will all reunite once again. Families are forever! And it rang so true in that moment. I was a released as a missionary 3 hours after being home. I walked in with tears. The thought of not being a set apart missionary, not having my badge on was heart wrenching. The thought that it was all actually ending just made me sad. But upon being released, I didn't feel any different. It wasn't like some magic spell I was thinking it would be, and the feelings would instantly leave me. Nope. I felt the same, and I felt in my heart that the Lord had accepted my work. Now He has a new work for me to do!
The last email home, never thought the day would come. It's been a
super bittersweet week but the Lord has been blessing me so abundantly
We spent our Pday in Lopuri. And I just gotta say, if you want
Planet of the Apes to be a real thing for you, just go to Lopuri because
these monkeys rule this town. They were climbing all over us! One stole
my earring and flossed it's teeth with my hair. Others were swinging on
Sister Soyson's hair like vines, another bit Sister Htway (so we got to
pay a visit to the doctor hahaha!) and after a while, I was kind of
done. But it was a fun day trip haha.
District เที่ยว! We went to Lopuri last Pday!
Monkeys climbing all over us, so fun!
Yeah that monkey was definitely eating my hair!
This monkey stole Sister Mags water bottle,
unscrewed the lid and started drinking from it.
Sister Oy. I've been working with her since I came to Asoke. She's
had so many dates to be baptized but there were things that needed to be
sorted out first. I absolutely love this woman though. She's been
through so much. I watched her fall, pick herself up, fall again, get
back up, even shed a few tears with her. She's has such a strong
testimony of the atonement and it's healing power but it wasn't until
she finally took the Lord's hand that she gained confidence back and her
faith flourished. She called us a last Saturday saying that she was
ready to be baptized finally. I got to watch her be baptized on my last
Sunday, the day we had been waiting and working towards. She was so
happy, and once again my heart was full to see someone I loved so much
enter in the path. Such a blessing!! I testify that the atonement is
real, and it works! I have watched it's power and seen it heal and
cleanse the hearts of His children.
Oy's husband, George, got to baptize her!
So you know I realized that it was all worth it. Riding my bike in
the searing heat, waking up at 6:30, going out to work even when I was
sick, being chased by rabid dogs, talking to people even when I didn't
want to talk to anyone, all the canceled appointments, skipped meals,
setbacks, investigators that dropped us, rainy days or days that were
hotter than hades, eating things that I didn't want to eat to make
someone happy, being yelled at by crazy farangs, not being able to watch
movies or listen to music. It was all worth it. And as I look back I
can't even think of one bad day because in the end it always turned out
to be a blessing. It was all so much fun. And I can't believe it's
coming to an end. It almost feels like I'm in a movie. It's the end and
we're all going our separate ways. The mountain was conquered and now I
have a new adventure and mountain to climb. Heavenly Father has blessed
me so much to send me to Thailand. I honestly always wondered why I came
here, such a random place. But here at the end of my mission, I'm so
grateful that He did. Thailand will always be apart of my heart and I
don't think a day will go by that I won't think of it. This had been the
greatest adventure, one that sometimes I wanted to turn back from and
run. Sometimes the mountain seemed too hard to climb and I felt alone
and inadequate to climb it, but one thing I've learned is that I'm not
alone. Faith has been one of the gifts that God has given me and has
kept me pressing forward. I have seen God's hand in everything I have
done. He's been helping me all along the way.
Words cannot express my love and adoration I have for this country
and it's people. Thailand Bangkok Mission (TBM): The best mission!
I love my Savior. I love my Heavenly Father and I love His
children. I have loved being a full time missionary and servant of the
Lord. Luckily now I know how to be a better servant and follower of my
Savior, and I know that it will benefit me for the rest of my life.
I will see you soon family! But until then, I still have 4 more
days of work to do and I'm going to get as much out of it as I can! I'm
really going to miss this.
Love you all!!!
From your loving full time missionary,
doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about
where you are and, with His help, where you are willing to go."
My Thai sistas!!
One of my dreams came true on my last week!
Got to help with the Red Cross and wear these cool vests!
Happily helping with helping hands :)
We had a baptism!!!
One of my Pakistani families,
I'm going to miss them so much!!
This lady is making Roti. It's very fattening but very delish!
This week was full of lot's of running, rain showers, teaching,
sweating, miracles, and baptism!! Our investigator from Nigeria, Prince,
got baptized! We have been teaching him for the past couple of months
and he was so ready to be baptized. He's one of those investigators
who's faith really touched me. I remember when we taught him the word of
wisdom, he'd had a problem with drinking but as soon as we taught that
it was a commandment not to drink, "ok, I will not drink again." And
after that the test came when his friends tried to get him to drink. He
stood firm though and refused and said he wouldn't drink it. He drinks
soda instead now haha. It's been a great blessing to him and his family
though. He's felt the blessings of keeping the commandments of the Lord
and being obedient. It reminded me of Nephi. I hope that I can be like
that as well when the Lord gives me a command. The Christensen's (one of
the senior missionary couples) helped us teach him and Prince has grown
to love them a lot. And he really wanted Elder Christensen to baptize
him. So that was fun that they got to be there for that! Two other
investigators of the other missionaries also got baptized. Such a
So this week we've had lots of referrals. One from President
Johnson, one from another senior missionary couple, people that have
just randomly called us asking to learn. The Lord is blessing us so
abundantly. The first time I came here to Asoke, I wondered why Heavenly
Father was sending me here. But I trusted in Him and knew that I didn't
need to know but was excited to see what would happen. And then I got
put into the international ward. Which really hasn't been the easiest to
open up. Starting from scratch, it kind of seemed impossible at the
beginning. I wondered if I had made a mistake in asking President to let
us open up the international ward, nothing seemed to be coming from it.
So we just made a goal that we would go visit a member a day. We called
people like crazy, setting up appointments in advanced, traveling all
over Bangkok to go and visit them. Then recently this last week, I
started seeing and understanding. We visited a Pakistani member who has
begun to fall away from the church, and kind of going unnoticed. We
randomly just called his number in the phone, not really knowing who he
was and he invited us over. He told us that no one had ever visited him
at his home before. Then we visited the Nepalese family in the ward who
told us missionaries hadn't been over in forever. It was so fun getting
to know this family and hear their story. I left with a filled heart,
understanding that this is why I'm here. I don't think I'll ever be able
to explain how much these people have touched my heart, but they have
helped change me. I think that not only does God know that these people
need love and strengthening from us but I also need them.
Well I can tell you all that I've completely gotten over my fear of
talking to people. Especially with talking to big scary white people.
Thai people are a lot less intimidating. So now every time I feel the
fear of talking to those white peeps, kick that aside and open my mouth.
And they always turn out to be really nice. I've met a couple of
crazies. But most of them are pretty normal and quite nice :) Funny
looking back at the beginning of my mission how I'd rather melt away
into nothing than talk to another person. Now I'm asking myself why it
was so scary in the first place. Haha!!
Really though, I have a testimony of the gospel. I have a testimony
of the atonement. It changes you, it really does. It's changed me so
much. I'm not perfect, but I know I'm a whole lot better than I was at
the beginning of my mission. That's one of my greatest rewards.
Something I've learned: When you're constantly going about doing
good, sometimes we really just don't understand or see how much good we
actually do. One little tiny act of service could mean the world to
another person. And sometimes we'll never know it and that's ok, we are
the hands of the Lord.
God is great. I love my Father in Heaven. How lucky I am to be His servant.
Love you all so much! Remember to be constantly going about doing
good. If we want to see a difference in this world, we must be that
Have a great week!
From your loving sister missionary,
Brother Prince got baptized!
We visited this cute Nepalese family and they made us
food. So delish!
Let's just say that I'm a little obsessed with curry.
Well life just keeps going faster and faster. One of the things I'm
most grateful for in being a missionary is that it has taught me how to
love the time and take things as they are. I guess I can say that I've
learned how to enjoy the journey. It's been fun reminiscing over my
mission. And it's all beginning to flash before my eyes again. Glad that
I still have some time left to make more memories!
This last week was just another one of running around Bangkok with
my Burmese and Khon Thai comps. We're always running around everywhere!
Sister Soyson always asks me if that day, we could please not run. Haha!
But we end up having to run. We were running for the train that was
about to leave one day and me and Sister Htway got in. But the doors
shut right in front of Sister Soyson's face. It was like slow motion and
yeah, we couldn't do anything about it. Thankfully she got on the next
train and we met with her at her stop! That was a really intense moment
since we were running late for one of our appointments! Yeah we have
lots of fun adventures. I love my two companions! I feel like they are
exactly what I needed for my last transfer. They both make me laugh and
not take myself too seriously. Sister Soyson has been a member her
entire life (her parents were missionaries here too!) which is very rare
for Thailand. She's 23 even though she looks likes she's 16. She's just
super sweet, cute and smiley. Very Thai! Sister Htway is a total tomboy
and likes to tease us. She's also a convert to the church, and has a
family that doesn't really support her. She hasn't been able to write to
her family because they don't know how to email. BUT her dad just got
an email today and emailed her! I just keep looking over at her shedding
tears of joy. She's so happy. Life would not be the same without these
two! How lucky I am to have met so many amazing people on my mission. I
wouldn't have been able to have done it this entire time without the
members, missionaries, investigators, people. They have all touched my
life in some way. It has been their light and their faith that they have
shared with me. I have seen God's hand in my life through them. Through
their example and their love. I'm so grateful.
I don't have too much for this week. Last Thursday I made a comment
about how it hadn't rained in a while and within an hour it was pouring
rain. It's been pouring all week! Such a nice change from the sun and
heat. I learned how to play the piano again (haven't played in
forever!). I learned that ice cream doesn't last very long in Thailand,
I'm lucky that English is my first language (because everyone wants to
speak it), I love senior missionary couples, I love Japanese food,
Pakistani food, you name it. I just can't seem to eat Thai food haha!
And most importantly I've learned that miracles come in the most
unexpected places. You keep on working and doing your part, and the Lord
does the rest. That's grace. And I've learned about the power of one.
One person can make a difference no matter how small and unnoticed they
seem to the world.
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi
That's been my life motto, and I hope to live up to it! If you want
to see a change, do something. If you want to see something happen,
something change, you have to do something.
"You'll get what you've always gotten if you do what you've always done."
And last but not least, my testimony. I have one, and it has been
something that I cherished and fallen back on when it was hard. I know
for myself these things are true. I'm not here telling fairytales, I'm
here proclaiming eternal truths, things that are real.
Love you guys! Have a great week!!
"I am not obedient because I am blind, I am obedient because I see." -Boyd K. Packer
These are my companions. Aren't they cute? :)
Visiting Brother Haily and Sister Nok.
She told us we were her daughters
since she didn't have any.
I have so many mothers in Thailand!
Elder and Sister Ellsworth took us out for Mexican food!