11/9/15... Chiang Mai, you have been a dream!

FHE with Elder Kanikam of the Quorum of the Seventy @ his sister's house! Such a treat

I really can't believe another week has already FLOWN by! Time has been on FAST FORWARD lately for all of us I think, like what the heck.. Ty has been interviewing with DENTAL SCHOOLS?! so proud of you guys and everything going on. 

Sometimes it feels like I just want to pause time, slow it down a little bit, but it is definitely such a blessing here when we have some nice jam packed days then just delightful exhaustion when we hit the pillows at night. haha I literally sleep like a baby here, and according to Mags, I have been talking in my sleep a lot.......

yikesssss HAHA

So we have TRANSFERS this week- again the time warp, where did this transfer go!?- and we have LOTS to do today, not tons of time to write but I have a few good updates for you as always and I think it would be fitting, in the off chance that I could be leaving this place that I love so much, to include some of the greatest lessons I have learned in ChiangMai:

here goes!

So on the mission it is DAILY that you are praying to find new investigators, asking to be led to the right places, open your mouth, say the right things etc, and it is really fun to see how the Lord will answer these pleas in His own, often unexpected, ways..... 

like sometimes you are riding your bikes up to the church, and there right before your face, He has placed someone  RIGHT UNDER THE BIG BANANA TREE on the church property just laying down taking a little nap... And when that happens, you just say a little prayer of thanksgiving, laugh a little to yourself at the reminder that His ways and thoughts are not ours and that He will make things happen as He wants them to happen.

How cool is that? I have seen so often that the Lord will literally LEAD the prepared to us, through referrals, random misdialed phone calls, or in the case of เบญ (Ben), a little snooze in some nice shade under a conveniently located tree on a hot Thailand day.. HAHA So he is this quirky older guy who has been having some family problems and came to the Church because years ago he learned with missionaries and thought this was what he needed in his life. He has a date for baptism and really loved church so much. hahaha actually kind of funny, Sister Mags sat by him in sacrament and she said everything she did the whole meeting he just like copied her... like if she folded her arms or clasped her hands or stretched he just kinda followed right along. HAHAAAAAAA kind of cute/kind of weird you choose

One of the things I learned/ was reminded of this week, is the beauty of the reward at long last after diligent effort. How much sweeter is the victory or the fruit or the success after we have labored, maybe even been frustrated or discouraged at times, prayed, fasted, kept the faith and in the fourth quarter or last harvest or last opportunity...... it finally happens??? SO MUCH SWEETER THATS WHAT! 

We saw that x2 this week. One of the RCs that was baptized just before we got here, Sister โม (Moe) has been close to impossible to get in touch with since our arrival. Every so often we have gotten her to pick up one of her phones (**sidenote, it is not unusual for Thais to have like 2 or 3 cell phones... it is way weird. But you can imagine how much greater the grief when you cannot get a hold of someone when you have tried all THREE of their numbers 100+ times!! hahaha) but she has been way too busy with work to actually meet with us or come to church. Well, after only a handful of scriptures shared over the phone, not to mention lots of daily unanswered phone calls, she FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY! We were able to meet with her after and make a plan of how she can regain the faith she knows she once had and how she can continue so much FURTHER than that as well. Super fun to see her in the flesh, finally have a face to the name (she looks completely different than the small pic we had to go by!) and hear her share her testimony with us. After 12 weeks, oh so sweet. 

Then the other prolonged effort that finally came together............ Last transfer President called us and asked us to find a 17 year old girl who was recently baptized in Utah and is here on Foreign Exchange named Elly. (Super random/ fun detail, the wife of Elder Rendlund the new Apostle was the one who emailed President Johnson to make sure she was taken care of... so you can see that totally just added to our fire to make it happen!) Of course we accepted and were so excited to track her down! We had some phone numbers and an address and thought it would be so easy to get in touch with her... well NONE of the phone numbers were right, and after hours of driving around with the Stokers we realized the address was incomplete... Thai addresses are not set up the same as they are at home and are totally not way specific in a GPS system. So weeks go by, we finally get more info, more phone numbers, and these ones work! But they were to the home of the host family, and the cell of each of the mom and dad. The first initial call was super alarming to them, (hahaha "How did this white girl get our phone number??!") but time after time she was not home. I think I personally called each of the phones upwards of 50 times each, trying out different times of the day... Their maid started to get so bugged... "No Elly is not home. No I do not know when she will be home." haha, long story short, we finally get her cell phone number, coordinate with the Chambers to pick her up, and she FINALLY made it to church on Sunday!!! It was so fun to see her, hear her story, and have her in the church with the members- who absolutely loved her! 
Our girl Elly.. She is so cute! 
(that's right, you know I pulled out the flannel "Free People" dress round two... lets go!)
turns out her mom does massage therapy and Elder Rendlund's wife is one of her clients... I'm sure since this last General Conference she could start making a little extra money on ebay or KLS if she wanted to like "towel used by Sister Rendlund wife of Apostle Elder Dale G. Rendlund" idk just a thought..................... 

HAAAA just kidding

But seriously...... the Lord is so with us in this work. He is blessing our efforts constantly and we are so grateful, even if we have to wait till week 12 to see something tangible. sooooooo good!

Some of the other lessons learned, cultural tidbits and fun extras in ChiangMai:

-I have learned after weeks of careful observance, no two nationalities respond to foot tickling from fish spa the same way.... hahahaha so the computer place that we use is actually at a fish spa, and I am not kidding, people from all over the world come here and do it and it is the funniest thing in the whole world. Like way excited loud Germans, casual Japanese people sipping bubble tea while they do it, American girls scared out of their minds.... honestly it is so funny/ a shockingly incredible variety.....

right now it is English kids with their parents watching them, "Daddy it feels so weird!" (in a Harry Potter accent) haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

-There is nothing better than riding a bike! It is the best thing EVER when the traffic is crazy here to just weave between the cars.... don't worry Mom, I ALWAYS wear my helmet!

-Maybe stop answering the phone while riding though... I totally got hit by a motorcycle as I was answering the phone/crossing the road to park my bike on Saturday! The motorcycle drivers are CRAZY here.. he totally knocked me off my bike but it was not a big deal. I have totally wondered though "what would it be like to get hit??" and now I know. I think the lightning only strikes once type of thing applies here and I am good from now on........

-I really have no problem these days just kind of fishing ants out of my ส้มตำ (SomTam) I think my favorite ส้มตำ so far on my mission is from this place we eat at here everyday... and it is not a rare occasion that we find a few ants. Maybe that is the key ingredient???

-I LOVE whoever decided that every October, around the world, we will give the children the power for once... and there will be a Primary Program! I can't believe it was my second Thai Primary Program, just yesterday I was watching Bangnaas. There is nothing like the spirit that little kids bring when they sing the truths of the gospel as loud as they can...... NOTHING beats it!! 

tears as they sang the words to one of my FAV songs ever:

"I know He lives! I will follow faithfully. My heart I give to Him. I know that my Savior loves me."

Such a simple beautiful declaration of testimony and I add mine to that one... He lives, He loves us and the greatest thing we could ever do for Him, is just as they sing, to follow Him give Him our hearts. 

How can we do that better this week than last?????

and that is my last thought for you...........................
I sure love you guys, thanks for all  you do for me!!!
So Mags thinks if she is moving, she is going to Udorn, and I think if I am moving, I am going to Bangkok........ TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK! ChiangMai you have been a dream!
these are my minions... Brame, Ten, and Hunter. 
We teamed up on everyone in 4 square. HAHAHA I LOVE THEM!
only in Thailand! ...at the park and we happened upon this... 
casually cutting down the excess leaves... how funny is this?!
Mags cut her hair for her big 2-0!! Such a FOX
funnest Birthday dinner for Sister Mags at Sister Stina's house-- 
she is the coolest member here from Denmark. 
Apparently it is Danish tradition to put the flag on the table for birthdays... how cute is she?!
Stina is so gourmet!
The Canton's, Sister Mags Filipino "parents" in the branch here, 
took us out for her birthday! So nice!!

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