Sunday, January 15, 2017

1-15-2017 Sakon Nakhon Thailand

Hey there Dad!
Wow! It still seems super cold in Washington... It is "cold season" here but really, it's like summer in Washington. It was a pretty good time for me to come here! Solid 80 degrees doesn't really bother me at this point. So pretty mild!

Hey hey, I'm glad Mom is getting better! Lots of people got sick here too, just last week or so. Must be a Thai people thing... :) And plan good! I can take you only around Sakon Nakhon right now... but that's ok! We'll see about after my mission!

Oi, Kai got his driver's license? That's weird! At least he can drive himself to school now! That should be lots of fun! Just hope he keeps working hard in math, and don't let it get him down! I realize how much I miss the simpleish life of school, but I wouldn't trade it for now! Just a little reminiscing.

As for the SongTao, it's the TukTuk you were talking about! So pretty self-explanatory from there. In reality, it is a little less than a Song Tao, but it almost looks like one!

Otherwise. this week has been a blur. One thing I do know is that inviting is not fun right now... but it might be in the future na? Being rejected isn't my problem, not at all. My problem is what happens if they do want to talk, and then I don't understand what I am hearing... It's tough! It's important to respond to their needs but it is difficult to keep track of the conversation! Such is the nature of learning the language. I don't know if this really counts as a serious affliction, the the Lord said that "[He] will consecrate [our] afflictions for our gain" (somewhere in 2 Nephi 3 or so). I might have paraphrased a little. But its tough! It is not easy by any means, nor did I ever expect it to be easy. But really, the #2 item on my prayer list, constantly, is the ability to understand what people are saying to me. I can get by in a one-sided conversation just fine, but a real conversation? That's tough, but I know that this takes time. The Gospel and learning things here takes time. Teaching, and understanding both take time to develop those skills right. Speaking as well! So, I know that I have to bear my afflictions and be patient, but it isn't the easiest to gauge "How am I doing?" But faith and trusting the Lord, as I have learned, is what is necessary here.

On to the week. Last P-Day? Didn't do very much, because volleyball didn't pan out, but that's OK! Probably won't do much today either, but that's how it goes! There's always next week.
We had to drop one Sister because she said she wasn't "ready" to read the Book of Mormon by herself. Alas, such is the life of missionaries. We tried hard to have her keep it, but she just gave it back to us. Maybe she'll be ready in the future. We're called to harvest, but sowing seeds along the way makes the work far more productive, and good for the people who come after us!
Brother N is doing great. He's come to Church twice now, and he's receiving the lessons well! He says he is going to try to quit drinking coffee! We just need to get him ready and strengthened for a baptismal date!

Otherwise, the big news is... Sister If got baptized! It was all really cool, but very surreal as well. She passed the interview, but she'll be confirmed next week on Sunday. She has a little 11 year old daughter who we gave to the Sister Missionaries to teach because we both feel that they will have more success than we will there. We had our font outside, water kind of cold, but my trainer did the Baptism! My Great-Step-Grandpa (My trainer's, step-trainer's, trainer) helped him along the way with the words. We dunked her three times... but that's OK! It was great for her, and the Spirit was definitely there. We're super happy for her. We just want her to stay active and strong in the church, and keep her testimony.

We got a new investigator called Peter! Cool experience. We were just street contacting (as usual) and we came across this guy in his shop. He invited us to sit down when we started talking to him, and we ended up teaching a pretty simply Restoration lesson! At the end, we said (I said) "Joseph Smith received a record of past prophets, a Book from God, called the Book of Mormon. We know it will help us in our life, and yours, and we would like you to have it." At first he denied it, and I couldn't understand what he was saying so I thought "shoot, too early!" But Elder Bjarnson understood that he was saying, "I can't take this! It's too important!" That was pretty sweet to hear. He pointed out his goosebumps and everything. So we'll see how that goes!
Alright, that's it from me! Missionary life is difficult, and the language as well, but all these things take time and faith! I love you lots, and talk to you soon!

- Elder Collin Decker

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