Monday, April 11, 2011

April 5, 2011 First update from Texas

I am already seeing miracles!  It's amazing!
My last Sunday in Thailand - Since conference isn't until next week in Thailand due to the translation we had fast Sunday.  We fasted that a girl we were teaching for a while would be able to come to church because she was working.  And our fast worked!  She got a better higher paying job and has sunday off.  She said she would accept a baptismal date when she gets moved into her new apartment and saves enough money for the down payment to move, so yay!  It's great.

Monday- Travel 25 plus hours and arrive in Texas, United States and it's still the same day, with time difference and all, so weird.  I obtained 3 addresses while traveling. 
Paul- I met him on the Thailand to Tokyo flight, he was doing some Christian thing like teaching english in Cambodia, there for 3 weeks, from Nebraska.  Wants to do the good thing in life.
Barb- I Met her on Tokyo to Detroit flight, she was the flight attendant. This was an over 12 hr flight so she was one of the few who actually stayed up.  I didn't sleep on that flight either.  She wants to find happiness, she flies as an escape.  She is from the hoppin' city in Tennessee.
Steven- I Met him on the Detroit to Houston flight. I taught him the restoration and plan of salvation lessons.  He had lots of questions and spiritual experiences with prayer and receiving guidance.  He lived in Utah for a while and wants to go back because it is a beautiful place to live, although he didn't have a good experience with members trying to convert him. I helped him see where they may have been coming from.  He seemed very open.  He has a daughter who is 9 and a wife named Brandi.  I gave him the baptismal commitment and he said yes! He expressed how if he could really have the gift of the Holy Ghost all the time that would feel awesome and he would want that if he really could. 
I am so blessed  I have the opportunity to be a missionary and serve the Lord in the capacity that I am.  I know he answers prayers and truly wants his children to be happy.  He has a plan for everyone to have happiness in this life and the life to come and family can truly be together forever and I get to share this amazing message! 
So I just interviewed with President Saylin yesterday when I arrived in Texas. Wow, the Lord's hand is truly in this work!  President said while he was trying to arrange where to fit me and place me with who and where when I arrived, he said "I wanted you to be with Sister Rogers but I knew that wouldn't really work because she is training her greenie but I got the prompting that is who you should be with" and then her companion unexpectedly went home that morning!  While I was traveling here, I was on the plane, they didn't even know they would be a missionary short before and I was already on my way, and thus an opening was made. Heavenly Father knew this and saw the need for me before anyone else did and even knew who I would be with.  I have a testimony that Heavenly Father truly has a plan for each of us and there is always a way for his great and marvelous work to go forth among the children of His.
My companion is Sister Rogers and she is amazing.  This would have been her last transfer but she got an extension.  Right now it is 3 weeks into their transfer,  She is from Idaho and the only person I have met that is paying for all her mission by herself like me.  She is ready to hit the ground running too.  I told her when she asked "aren't you going to eat it" I was doing a sugar fast, she said "Oh I should do that too" so we can be more unified and get baptisms, "I'll do anything for baptisms" she said.
It's weird not conversing with people of the Buddhist faith, they say things like "I already got baptized.  I'm already saved" and "It doesn't matter how we come unto christ as long as you know Jesus is your personal savior" this was in the airport, in Detroit actually, but crazy, because the people of Thailand never say that.
After spending the last six months working only Thai (3 in the MTC and 3 in Thailand) it feels really weird to be back in America. Upon arriving I am in a van that actually has seat belts in the back seat and on my way to the mission office of Texas Houston south Mission.  We ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant and they give you water in a pitcher with lots of ice verses buying bottle water and pouring it into a 6 oz. stainless steal mug (like one from REI you would take backpacking with you).   I also thanked the waiter for ordering me the best Mexican food ever, since I hadn't had it in over 6 months and asked if I could send him a Book of Mormon and he gave me his address. I told him two 19 year old boys would be delivering it.  I love being able to share the gospel and follow the promptings I receive and have the confidence to speak.  We are truly finding people who are being prepared to hear the gospel and they are being put into our paths. :)
It felt different showering and using two knobs to turn it on, yeah, hot and cold!  I felt very weird drinking water out of the tap. :) When I was doing dishes my companion rotated the faucet, "you know it can go hot" "Oh, I totally didn't realize."  I also kept looking for ants in the kitchen and there were none! And there are no mosquitos when sleeping. 
The next day it felt funny being in a Toyota Malibu on the wrong side of the road sitting in the front of the car and seeing stores like Marshals and going to Walmart to do grocery shopping where you can order photos at the same place you buy food.  So weird! Stores are like warehouses, but in Thailand if you wanted to go to a place like the electrical center in Walmart you went to a elec store, same with shoes, or stationary, individual stores, but here- it's all in one place. I keep forgetting I'm in Texas and can't just drive home.  America is home and I feel like I am home since I see familiar stores and huge highways and roads and all the people aren't asian.
Also across from the mission president home is a Thai couple the missionaries are teaching, and I can help! It's not my area though, I am on an Island, and my apartment is right next to the beach, we can see it as we drive out of the parking lot, so cool! 

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