Saturday, April 29, 2017

4-23-17 Bangkok Thailand

Hey Dad!

 Transfers are actually next week on Thursday. We find out on Tuesday if someone leaves. Chances are... he's going to leave and I'm going to stay. The only reason being that he has been here for four transfers and President Johnson apparently said "Wow you've been there forever! You can expect a change of scenery next transfer." Something like that. So needless to say, he's probably moving. As far as who might be coming in? I have no idea. I feel as though my first trainer, Elder Bjarnson is also going to move into this Zone, or just to Bangkok because he has been in Sakon Nakorn about 4 transfers. Could he come here? Maybe! I would be fun for sure, and really weird, but it would be fun! Every transfer has its surprises. There are lots of people probably going to move around this transfer. The other possibility is if they whitewash us out, meaning we both go... I don't think that's going to happen, but the ways of the Lord are not the ways of man, for sure!

As far as the bike situation goes, I have no idea only because it is about an hour away in Asoke! So I can't really check... Speaking of Asoke, the Zone Leaders are apparently going over to the Mission Office today so I asked them to check to see if my package has arrived at the Mission Office yet. You did send it to there right? That should be the only address you have, and it should get there if all goes well. If not, well... We'll see!

On the topic of speaking Thai: Its going good! I'm understanding a lot more, and trying to improve constantly! My number one problem, not only speaking but in life is: nerves. Nerves throw a lot out the window for me. Be it track, not so much Cross Country, playing trumpet or speaking Thai, nerves get me way bad. I don't let it show too bad, but the effect is present for sure. I definitely speak too fast when I am nervous. So, it's a work in progress, but it always goes well if I try to speak slowly and clearly, accent or not. Otherwise, I think it's going fine! Always getting better. Right now I have a lot of words written down, but not a ton memorized... But if I try a little harder, I'll get there. 

We had a baptism yesterday! One of our Recent Converts (RC), Sister Rin, has been pretty much baptizing her whole family. She was the first one to get baptized in her family. Then her brother-in-law, Brother จี้ (Gee) and then his daughter, Sister Rin's niece, Sister Alisa. But yesterday, it was her Dad who got baptized, Brother ประกอบ. Basically she and her entire family were crying (mostly those who were members already). She works hard, and tries hard to help us, and her family! She has been a big help for sure!

So, this Friday, we had an interesting story. As you know, 98% of people here are Buddhist, or so. The next largest is Christians, then Muslims, mostly around Bangkok. But then you have the subdivisions of Christianity, such as Jehovah's Witnesses.With that as a backdrop, I'll continue. We were contacting in a market over by the government complex called the Ministry of Public Health. That place is particularly good because government workers don't need to work on the weekends. We go there fairly often, but it is only open on Friday Mornings, so off we went. Well, only 10 minutes in, we have a man beckon us over. So we go. He sits us down, and tells us in Thai, that he is Jehovah. However, in Thai, that could mean that he is a Jehovah's Witness, which wouldn't be the best because some people do like to Bible Bash here. Well 5 minutes later, he tells us he knows all the scriptures because he says he is Jehovah. Well. Needless to say apparently we met Jesus at the Friday Market... He then went on to say something along the lines of how all religious are just part of one, and that Buddhism and Christianity are actually the same. He also said that Mormons are the most correct church on the Earth... just not 100% correct. So, I guess that's ok? It was funny though. The member who went along with us was very confused though, so we then went back, sat down, and explained the things we do need to worry about and how everything else will just fall into place. Funny though!

Last Wednesday we also went to a soccer game! It was a lot of fun. Apparently the team here in this area, called Mueang Thong, is the best team in Thailand, so it was fun to watch them play. We also got some souvenirs, a nice exercise shirt, and a cool scarf. That was a lot of fun! I have pictures too, so it will be good. All in all the experience was about 700 Baht, or... 20 Dollars. In reality, the tickets were less than 10 dollars per person, so rest went to souvenirs! So things in Thailand can be pretty cheap. Just getting here is expensive!

Life here is normal! The country does a good job at cleaning up! They made it seem like it didn't even happen... Super weird! It also becomes illegal to shoot squirt guns after SongKran so no worries there either. People are pretty respectable about those things.

All right, that's it from me! Love you tons! I know I'm on the Lord's errand and if we give our best effort, the Lord will not let us fail!

- Elder Collin Decker

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