Monday, February 21, 2011

Update letter to Mission President

Sister Amero wants to share her letters to the President
Dear President Smith,
I am so blessed to have the Book of Mormon in my life and the opportunity to share it with the world. I am thankful that we have a living prophet who has called me to this great and Marvelous work.

Thank you for calling me last week, I ponder often on the council you give me.

Despite being off my feet I still kept my purpose in mind. Even though the zone leaders brought over two games for us to play with all the time we had on our hands. I had so much to do. I was so close to finishing the Book of Mormon and... I FINISHED THE BOOK OF MORMON!! Woo Hoo!! 3 times now. I feel so good! The scriptures are awesome and I am on a mission because we (the world) have the Book of Mormon. I am surprised I don't pass out with joy, that my joy doesn't over take my physical frame like in Alma chapter 19.

Since I was done with the Book of Mormon I opened up the New Testament and started reading some highlighted passages one of which was 1 Cor 10:13. And I got to thinking. It doesn't say sin in it. And what does common really mean? I asked Sister Hirschi and she said all temptations are common, everyone faces them. I got to thinking no temptation is so flashy, sparkly and tempting all common and everyone is tempted. I then thought "what tempts me?" "Home. Home tempts me, it beckons me, it is such a heaven on earth, joy is there, happiness and loads and loads of peace are there. My soul hungers for this. Oh, how I desire to be there." ... This is a common temptation, "you are in Thailand" I told myself as if I forgot. But I want to think, it is not a common temptation, look around you! Look at all the valiant steadfast missionaries. I don't think they are home sick, they LOVE the work and love helping people come unto Christ and they have a smile doing it. THIS temptation is not common. Then the verse says (1 cor 10:13) there is a way to escape, I then started thinking about home, that's an escape from here, my mind goes there when I thirst for peace and comfort, when I become overwhelmed and stressed. Nope, that's not the escape it is talking about. So, let's see, other escapes- The scriptures. Scriptures always make me happy, sharing them, reading them, discussing them, delighting in them, applying them, reading them, cross referencing them, finding new meaning, finding context, oh the joy! Never once have I thought "I wish I wasn't reading them." It is satan who tells us you don't have time, they won't understand them if you try to explain." The verse in 1 Cor also says there will be a way to bear it. The scriptures are how I bear it. The scriptures give me strength and desire. I will always make them my constant companion.

Sister Amero trys Dragon Fruit

I received my recipes from home and I desire to cook them. I only have a hot plate and a microwave though. But there is an oven at the church and I can bake before district meeting on Tuesdays, maybe... So I want to make pumpkin spice cookies. Two problems though- 1 there are no choc chips here, and 2 there are no cans of pumpkin so I could blend pumpkin in a blender, if i had a blender and not use choc chips. I am just thinking, ask for family to make them and airmail them for my birthday or christmas,but that would probably cost like 50 dollars to do that. Oh well.

So I went to the doctor on Thursday, my foot was swollen and infected again. (ingrown toe nail). Lets just say Thai medicine is not American and I am SO grateful, even more than ever for the USA, and all the laws they have. I sent a full account of the Doctor office happenings by copying my 4 journal pages so they are in the mail traveling to you now. But I did not add- I asked the Doctor to wash his hands and he
told me "this is not a sterile procedure... and it would not be cost effective" seriously? cost effective? I wanted to give him 6 baht to pay for the soap and water. Then he said "it is already infected and you will be taking antibiotics so you do not need to worry" ..... So yeah that added. I did say in the Journal pages that Sister Hirschi passed out, which wouldn't be too alarming if her whole body clammed up like she was having a seizure. She had to see a neurologist and got three stitches, because the table to the ground was a high drop and her face hit first. Also when the nurses rolled her over no one supported her head, the sound of a skull SLAMMING against cement floor is an unbearable sound. She later said when she came to that the back of her head hurt. I told her lightly what they had done.

I had dragon fruit for the first time this week, it is white with black seeds on the inside and hot pink/purple on the outside and taste like the coconut jello from Hawaii that we make on the stove and cantalope- those two textures combined.

In a lesson with our baptismal daters - 2 weeks away! This is so exciting, since we started with zero investigators, due to opening an area and all. We started with nothing, so I have seen them from start to endure. On Saturdays we tend to just read the Book of Mormon with them seeing that they have never read anything like it, the language is foreign to them. So Sister Hirschi helped the Grandma read in the other room
(don't worry I could still see my companion no rules broken) and she asked me to do all the reading in Thai by myself! 2 Nephi 32. I did it. Yay! I didn't really know what they were saying when I asked "what does this verse say" "yeah that's right" also with a member who talked with no yielding so she did breathe when she talked, meaning no breath for me to say "read __ " or "yes, thank you."

We also had correlation meeting that night, like every Saturday, the new mission leader asked me to give the spiritual thought, my vocab is very small, and I don't know how to read so had Elder Murphy read 2 Nephi 32: 8. Seeing i just read that chapter hours before and talked about it the vocab was: satan, evil, prayer, not, happy, holy ghost and spirit. I said "satan tells us not to pray, the spirit of god tells us to pray, the evil spirit, or satan does not want us to pray because he knows when we pray we feel the love of god." all in Thai.

I am thankful in the MTC our class was just me and companion, yeah, we were a district of two. We had two classes a day,for just two of us, each class had to begin with a spiritual thought so we each gave one a day, in Thai.

So yeah, this week we didn't have many lessons taught or inviting because one- swollen foot and it hurt to walk, and two- Sister Hirschi had stiches so we had some time to study. I FINISHED THE BOOK OR MORMON! I LOVE THE SCRIPTURES! Read 'em, and have joy. I have read the BofM 3 times now but this time read it through highlighting "god" and "lord" and "jesus" etc and in yellow the general story. It made me really look for Jesus and once again my testimony of the gospel has increased! The book is true, it is not fictional, though the doctrine is so exciting like every time I read it, like my personal Narnia, it's such an escape which everyone can experience. Since I know the Book of Mormon is not fictional but is written by real people, it is a story of real people, the writing of prophets of old. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet because it is through the power of God that the record was translated, The Book of Mormon is not fictional but real and there is no way a man, anyone, not just Joseph smith could write such a complex book with how many cross references there are to the new and old testament and within the book itself. IT IS AMAZING and every story can help you and apply to your own struggles and trials as the people in the Book of Mormon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines Day P-Day activity

Senior sister missionaries and young sister missionaries serving in the Bangkok area met at the mission home for an activity. After introductions and a sister meeting, we made valentine’s, had lunch (including heart cookies, of course), and took many pictures. We all had a wonderful time!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sis. Amero's Newest Message for Posting

This week my companion was sent to Laperie, and I got to stay here in Sirnakerin and was given a native Thai sister for a companion. That was an adventure but not too bad, seeing she attended BYU-Hawaii,so could speak english. Her family lives in Thailand and her first p-day she went home to unpack,because she was in Hawaii when she got her call so she had to return home to unpack and take what she did/didn't need for the mission. How weird is that? She also told me she said she wouldn't go on a mission if she got called to Thailand thinking that God would see she can speak English and her desire to learn a language. Which is opposite of what I think. I think whites shouldn't come here because the church should be sending out its own native Thai's here. It is hard to get into homes. People look at us as strangers, see us as someone they cannot relate to because we don't look like them and don't speak very well. It was so much easier inviting when you have a Thai person with you, they can relate to her and she can speak.

The Thai companion wasn't very kind to me. It made me grateful for the companion I do have. She told me not to look so bored in lessons even though she knows I don't know what is going on and I am confused. So, it isn't boredom that I feel, it's confusion. She told me to have better eye contact, and to talk louder, and be bold. I wanted to give up, and apparently she did too in her first transfer. If I lived 2 hours away I think I would be tempted too, but she said she didn't because her parents,family and friends would be sad and she cares about them so she stayed.

Religion here is considered culture. So a lot of the time people think we are trying to replace their culture with ours. It is rough. They also think that we and our parents are rich and just send us over here for an adventure or something. If I could speak I would tell them my parents are not paying for me to be here. I worked hard and it is all my own savings. And if I was so rich would I really choose to come to a third world country? (You can't even flush toilet paper down the toilet)

Bugs. A daily occurance. Every day I find at least 15 ants in the apt. and that is on a good day. If I was home I would probably freak out if I found bugs in my hair, on my clothes, on the table, desk, .. oh yeah, note to self- ants like toothpaste too. So now I roll them in between my fingers like a booger and crunch their nasty insect skeleton bodies.

I found a lizard, it lives in the table, kind of scary when you know where it is and your legs go under the table, it is the kind of lizzard that bites you and won't
let go. How you get it off is by breaking its spine to kill it. So you stay away from them, my khuu (companion) told me not to worry and they are more scared of us than we are of them. (haha right, like poisenous snakes)

I Was thinking about D&C 4 the other day and how it says the field is white and ready for harvest, referring to mission work and the plant, people, are prepared to come unto christ. I was thinking it really doesn't matter if you plant a bunch of seeds in the mission or if you are reaping the plants. Both are essential parts of the harvest, as long as you are doing one and working hard it doesn't matter how many seeds (people you invite) or how many plants you reap (baptisms/0 you get.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Katrina has been serving in Thailand for 1 month now. She sent home a few photos and inspirational notes. She continues to work hard every day and enjoys speaking English with anyone who knows it.

Katrina says these are a few favorite experiences from her week.
One of our first dinners at the apartment, we forgot we had to buy groceries the night before and since we are new to the apartment there were no staples in the apt.and no food, so the elders made us curry, and rice and even cut up watermelon for us and gave us peanut brittle from trader joes, which must have been a gift from home, they can't cook but the act of kindness was great.

I made french toast to celebrate my 2nd week in the country, and used whipping cream instead of milk, and used my pumpkin spice that was sent to me from home. The French toast turned out great and when the Elders stopped by to drop off a box of 24 BOM they were blown away by the smell. It was a time that I wish I had my own kitchen though, a hot plate and microwave is not that way to live.

Yummy Icecream....we went to a recent convert house and they weren't home, and the relative there was buying icecream, he asked if we wanted some. We told him, no we are good, and then all of sudden Icecream is in my hand! He gave anyways, after I said no so many times, and it tasted amazing with real coconut in it, and rice at the bottom, evaporated milk, and jelly (like tapioca but big) and since my companion was fasting, she gave me hers, after trying to pawn it off to two children on the walk back to the church.

Randomness- we were walking in a mall to go to the post office and someone says in perfect english "You are LDS, I know" so creepy, no time to see who it was walking by and all. It sounded like he was from Africa though, there are a lot of Africans living here.

We get stared at a whole lot, being foreigners and all, young and white, and two cars almost hit because one couldn't take his eyes off of us. LOL

We were lead by a stranger- contacting in a neighborhood and someone says the name of someone, like repeating it, so we follow the person and we are delivered to a golden investigator family, who learned with mormon missionaries before. Strangers do recognize us as servants of God!