Sunday, January 29, 2017

1-29-2017 Sakon Nakhon Thailand

Hey there Dad!

So we have a little while longer to email now! It's all good fun! But exactly right. We leave a ton earlier, plan in the morning, proselyte, companionship study can be cut in half, we plan when stuff happens. It's just a blur! But it will work out. To be honest, if our investigator needed to meet in the morning, we've already switched our schedule around for that! Not much new, but is more... acceptable now!

Sounds like things are fun at home! Work sounds great! Hope it keeps going well for you, and is enjoyable at the very least!

Food is good! Just getting acclimated. Honestly, I know we say don't drink out of the water they give you but... too late. All of the other missionaries aren't sick, and I suppose my genetics would make me half ok with it... But I'm not sick yet! It just isn't expedient to buy a whole ton of water everytime, and I can't buy a case of water because I would have to carry it on my bike... So we have a couple problems! Oh well. Everything has actually been fine! No stomach problems as far as I know! Last week was worse, but yeah! All better now.

Speaking about food, we ate red ants last P-Day, and red ant eggs (and my tongue almost got bit). But it was fun! We harvested them ourselves! I'll be uploading a lot soon!
As far as last week, both Brother N and P are progressing well! It's harder to meet with Brother P because he doesn't have a phone, but we meet with him pretty often! He is great, and still super accepting!

However, we think we can get Brother N baptized this coming Sunday! We just need to pray with him, and help him overcome his problems with the Word of Wisdom. Patience, time, and faith is the best cure!

Went on Switch-Offs yesterday with Elder Johnson. It was fun! The greenie and him, the junior companion in the other companionship, riding all over Sakon Nakorn. We had 6 lessons planned but... every single one got canceled! Oh well. So yesterday, I got very comfortable with inviting, and realized that I should probably speak a little slower when I'm nervous. Oh well! It's a work in progress, and always have to try!

Thank you Dad! I try, especially here, and now! I want to look back on my mission and think that I tried my hardest, served worthy of my calling, and left no regrets! That's what is compelling me! Diligence and effort are something learned as we exercise diligence and effort. Though, not everything may be easy, there is a quote from President Monson, who quoted a poem.

Good timber does not grow at ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees.
The further sky, the greater length,
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, in rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

I read that in a conference talk called "I Will Not Fail Thee, I Will Not Forsake Thee". By President Thomas S. Monson. It's true! We all have to face our trials.But the harder that life, and the adversary might rage against us, we grow stronger, and soon become unfazed, and stronger than we could imagine possible. We just need to brave the storm, keep moving forward, and keep growing! There is no other way. As in Ether 12:27, we might discover some weaknesses, but those will become strengths in their own due time. Meanwhile, in our afflictions, we can remember 2 Nephi 4:26 to the end, We don't need to be bogged down if something doesn't go our way! Just shake it off, and keep moving forward. So, that is how a mission has been so far for me. Recognizing my weaknesses, gaining strengths, finding more weaknesses, and gaining strength. To be humble and accept these weaknesses is the way of life, and always working to improve despite those weaknesses is a humbling experience.

This has all been realized while I have been trying to learn Thai. Listening and learning is definitely not a strength of mine, but it is necessary! I know I have to keep moving forward, but it is difficult! Like you said, patience and time. I'm very used to actively working, actively memorizing or working somehow, but just listening is a passive sort of learning for me, and much harder for me to do! But, the Lord will provide a way for each of us! Meanwhile, I will try my best to learn this language, so I can more effectively communicate the Gospel, and help people to gain a hope in Christ, to become more converted to the gospel! I really liked this scripture, in Mosiah 3:4:
4 For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may also be filled with joy.

These are my people (on Mom's side anyways!) So, I just need to simply go preach!
The ants were... sour, and they almost bit my tongue. They bit everyone else, but I was too quick for them! They were vicious little things though. We got them from a tree! I have the pictures uploaded already so you can see! It was a lot of fun!

My companion is doing good! We're starting to teach more together now, more 50 50, which is nice! We only have 6 in our district, 2 sisters 4 elders, and us 4 elders live in the same house, so it's fun!
Is Mom learning Thai yet? I told her to last week! We had the weird little brown ball fruits which we had in hawaii... Don't know what they're called, but they're good!

We played badminton this week. I haven’t really played that before. Yep! It was fun, and good exercise. They thought I had played before but I just had good spacial awareness, and played only a little at home! We did both! My forearm hurts though... but I just want to play volleyball... :( oh well! One day!

I'm still working out, but the food is so cheap it is hard not to overeat... But good! I bought a jump rope, so that should help! They like la khra instead (its like foot volleyball).
Its about badminton sized with a special kind of ball that they used... but i'm not that skilled at kicking a ball.!

Yep! I bugged mom about learning Thai!

The ants were... interesting! Don't worry, the members bug you as well if you gain weight! She already does! Her Mom too, so... Its all good! Not all the time though! Just poking fun!
I try hard here! There's nothing else to do. Work hard, and we will be blessed. If we work hard and see nothing, its just a test of our faith, to see if we will keep faithful. As we must always! By the way, I've been here for 1 month!

I'm just glad to be here, and to learn Thai, and to help people come unto Christ!
That;s how the mission goes! But adversity must be faced in order to grow! Tough times are alwyas there! So no reason to get down. I really do like those verses in 2 Nephi 4 though. They really speak to me if I'm ever frustrated!

Yep! Faith is everything here! One whole month, and I look at how much I have progressed! Now, i hope to keep it up, and keep learning, and keep helping everyone!

But don't worry, not all has been smooth sailing so far! But, can't get down when things don't go your way! Right now, i'm just frustrated about learning how to speak, and understand correctly!
Otherwise, life is pretty straight forward! Inviting is difficult, just street contacting or waiting outside of Big C to contact people! Its hard to talk to them!

The branch is good! Still friendly. I'm sure you've received pictures from Sister First already, but it is a lot of fun! About 76 came to sacrament? It was pretty good! Need more to be a ward though! And a stake!
All right, that's it from me! Say hi to everyone at Church for me! Love you lots, and talk to you soon! The mission experience is one I wouldn't trade for anything!

- Elder Collin Decker

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