So, you heard right! I'm sure Sister First already sent you that video (I'm pretty sure that's why she was taking it anyways). So I'm getting E-Transferred all the way to Pakkret! I will be serving there with Elder Bastien! You know, that missionary that Brother and Sister Van Horn were emailing about a couple weeks ago. So that will be fun! I haven't even จบ (finished) being a greenie here in Sakon Nakorn and I'm already getting transferred! I found out shortly after Zone Conference this week when Prathaan Johnson asked me "Hey, can we talk for a couple minutes?" So naturally, I thought "Have I done anything questionable recently?" Thankfully, the answer was no, and I know the answer was no because I make a great effort to not do anything dumb. Anyways, we go into a room and tells me how a missionary is going home, and how he wants to send me to Pakkret. I said of course! Truthfully, I'll miss Sakon Nakorn, and all the members here, but the work goes forward! I'll go anywhere the Lord calls me to go, and I'll serve him with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. That's all that is asked of us, and so I will do, willingly and joyfully! I'll be leaving this Friday, so it's good that I know in advance, but I don't know how I'll be going there. Anyways, it's going to be exciting! Everyone has good things to say about Elder Bastien, so I'm excited to serve with him! No biking in Pakkret though, so I'll be walking a lot! Apparently, he likes volleyball so... P-Day activities? Should be good, and the work continues onward! I do hope I will come back to the Issan one day though!
So we had Zone Conference last week! That was a lot of fun! I learned so much, and I love our Zone Leaders, but I also love Prathaan Johnson too. He's great and I know he cares about each of us, as missionaries. One thing that was a little bad was the fact that I slept on the ground with only a blanket and a pillow but hey, what can you do? It was fun! My back was a little sore, but it was good experience! I learned a ton, and I know a little better how to best serve here, and help further the work the best I can!
Sounds like things are exciting back home! That's great that Kai made it! Hard work pays off, huh? Hard work is a great thing, even if it is stressful from time to time. It helps us shape our work habits, and sometimes, even who we are! I know the mission is a refiner's fire for me, and is helping me a lot! Sounds poorly organized, as it often is, but that's ok! They put it on for the students so it is nice for them!
Be careful while hiking! Just a couple fallen trees means there could be more... but you already know that, so I know you'll be safe, for the most part! I saw the videos though, looked like it was raining hard! By the river at least! We actually got rain the other day too, so that was cool! It got really cold yesterday (I even felt a little sick). So that was fun! I do love the rain though!
The investigator over there sounds so cool! Sounds like a lot of challenges that are similar to what we face here. "We work on Sunday, but we'll try." That's just how it goes!
No lingering effects! I'm A-OK. For the most part. Just a couple trips to the bathroom here and there more often than before, but nothing like when I actually has food poisoning!
My suit coat fits fine! My weight is about the same, some days more some days less. It just depends on how I eat most of the time. Either way, it's about the same! Exercise is still good. Core every other day out here, and making sure that I'm still stretching as well! Flexibility would be the worst thing to lose out here. It's waaaayyy too hard to get back. So, I'll just maintain it for right now!
This last week, we had 6 investigators at church! It was great! Still dealing with the same problems, Word of Wisdom, for a lot of them, but we'll keep working! We just committed one of our investigators, who is 12, to be baptized! I'm so excited for him, and I hope he continues on this path!
As far as language goes, I don't know how word could spread... But I try my hardest! Prayers everyday, constant refinement. Preach My Gospel says that we should strive to master our mission language, so I'm trying my best everyday. However, I still have a lot to learn, which is great! I love learning, and I love challenges. However, I still have to keep my eye single to the glory of God, and to bring in those people to Zion. These people, all people, deserve nothing less than all of my Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength. We are missionaries. We are representatives of Jesus Christ and we are his instruments here on the Earth, his servants and friends. We are here to preach, and to bring all to the joy of the Gospel. It is a wonderful responsibility, and I am glad to be here in Thailand, to help bring even just a few souls unto repentance and the kingdom of God.
I love Thailand! I love the language, and I love the people. The missionaries, the members, and the people outside the church, are all great. I'm so grateful to be here, to learn, to grow, and to express just a little bit of my gratitude for the Atonement and this church, through serving Heavenly Father, the Best I Can.
Love you lots Dad! Hopefully, you'll keep having good weeks! Talk to you soon!
- Elder Collin Decker