So this week has been a little weird huh? With the email in the middle of the week last week it was a little different, but that's ok. It's been a good week for me though!
The lightning was cool! Made some cool sounds as well. Elder Cherd told me that thunderstorms aren't all that uncommon here. Sounds like it should be fun! Rainy season is just about here, no matter if it is hot or not, so we will get some periodic rainstorms here and there. Should be lots of fun!
I was sitting there just the other day, thinking to myself "Wow, Kaleb is going to be home soon. Isn't that weird?" In reality, I was only thinking about this because I found out the other day that my companion, Elder Cherdchaiyaphum เชิดชัยภูมิ is actually on his last transfer. He's going to จบ here. Weird huh? So, it looks like I'll be here for another little while, probably this transfer and next transfer as well. So, in another 6 weeks, you can probably say I'm going to stay here, which will be good. I'm glad to help, wherever I am. But I've learned a lot in the short time that he's been here. It sure has been lots of fun! I can just speak in Thai all the time, and at times, don't really have to speak in English, at all. Think in Thai, speak in Thai, try and improve my accent, and the whole bit. Lots of fun!
Funny story though. The day of transfers, Elder Bastian had to leave way early in the morning, about 4 or so in the morning, and the other companionship in the ward met us at our house here in Pakkret. So Elder Bastian and Elder Knudsen headed down to the office with each other while Elder Whitaker and I just slept until our new companions arrived. Well, as it turns out, the Sisters from our district had told my companion to go to Central Plaza at Chaengwattana (which is a mall) because they didn't know how to get to our apartment. So, Elder Whitaker's companion makes it safe (who happens to be Elder Pflueger, my MTC companion), and we go to Central, which is also right across the street from their apartment. Convenient as well. So, I go with them to go and try to retrieve my companion because he would be waiting there, probably, on the street or some odd like that. Well, it turns out that he had talked with Elder Bastian before leaving, so he ended up going straight to the apartment. Now I was at Chaengwattana with the other companionship, while my companion was at the condo. This meant there was only one solution: I take a taxi to go over to the apartment. But, by myself. Again. It wasn't bad at all. I pretty much understood 85 percent of what he was saying and the whole bit. Just some words here and there that I didn't understand but understood what he meant. It was good, and I managed to get home by myself (yay!). Then the rest of that day was as normal, proselyte and teach, find some people. It was a lot of fun!
Yesterday, some students from BYU performed in a fireside at the church building, which we had the opportunity to see because we were there all day. Lots to do that day. Teach at the church, help with choir, actually have church, go to the Ward Council Meeting, it was all good fun. And, at the end of it all, we had been there since 9 in the morning until 5:30 in the afternoon, or evening, depending on how you see it. The fireside started at 6, so, what was the logical thing to do? Stay and watch the fireside with one of our investigators, and count it as our Personal Study time, so we don't have to feel bad about going. It was pretty good! They're all here to perform around Thailand and Southeast Asia and the Fireside was good, for all the members, and for us as well. Fun! Speaking of firesides, we are actually going to have one of the Apostles come to Thailand on the 25th of this month, so it should be lots of fun for us! He's going to have a special meeting just for missionaries, and then for members later that day. It's going to be such a cool opportunity! I'm excited for sure.
Right now, the work is great. Lots of people to work with, lots of people we are trying to help. Right now we have 7 people who have a baptismal date. It's going to be hard work, but we're going to help them reach their goal for sure! Just need to work hard with them.
The Lord helps every one of his servants for sure. He loves everyone, every single sheep, every single child of God. I just pray, always, that I, and the other missionaries who are around me, can be effective instruments in the hand of the Lord, and try to follow his will always, and overcome the world. It seems like I have had to overcome a lot while I have been here on my mission. Fears, lack of skill, language, a whole lot! But, I know the Lord guides us, and we just have to have the humility to accept his will, be exactly obedient, and we will have everything we need, and help those around us.
Love you lots! I love the country, the work, the language, and the people! This is definitely the true church, and this is God's truth on the Earth. Talk to you soon!
- Elder Collin Decker