1/4/2016... I hope you are feeling good about the fresh start of 2016!.....time flies when you are having fun..........


howsssssss it????? 

You are back home, back to the grind, and I hope you are feeling good about the fresh start of 2016! Can you believe it...... I feel like yesterday it was 2004 and I was wearing a denim jean skirt listening to my hitclips. WOW

time flies when you are having fun.......... and that is exactly what these past few days have been. The updates are few considering that we JUST talked (it had to end sometime this P-Day changing madness.................) so here goes:

We had the BEST New Years day with พ่อแม่ from บางกะปี (I have written about them and sent home pics of them lots before... They are the CUTEST couple ever in like their late 40s who are totally not members, but take care of the missionaries like we are their own children. OMG I can't even explain how cute/generous/hilarious they are) So Sister Forte had served in บางกะปี (Bangapi) where they live, so they called her and asked if we wanted to do something on New Years. So fun!! So leave it to them to totally plan in great detail the funnest day ever. They picked us up and we went out to this way cool tourist boat thing, got off at the COOLEST port then went to the Grand Palace and this other coolest wat! The Grand Palace was a little crazy cause it was free for New Years so there were literally one million people. OMG

Me and แม่ ("Mom" from Bangapi!) LOVE HER
cutest PORT EVER

Then we had a switch off the next day with the other Sisters and it was so so fun to work with Sister Smith for the day! We have realized that in a lot of ways we are literally the same person- including but not limited to the fact that she is the only other person I have met that writes with the left hand and rests the pen on the fourth finger instead of the third. hahaha and to top it off--- She totally knows the little Indian kid from Diary of a Wimpy Kid (...they come back from Summer break and everyone has grown a ton and has mustaches now and he is all "Thank goodness for kids like Sherad Goopta") Apparently they went to the same middle school or something. hahaha such a solid claim to fame right there. ANYWAYS,

We had some way cool lessons that really just confirmed something that has been on my mind/ a realization I have come to.

 We visited this less-active sister named Helen from the Philippines who has been a member her whole life, been to the temple etc, but since fallen into inactivity. The spirit was so special as we talked with her and her RM son about keeping our covenants and Heavenly Father's unfailing love. Then we planned to teach Ryan, the guy from the Ivory Coast at Brother Joe's house- and right when we got there, Ryan called and said he couldn't make it. But it was perfect, cause we were able to teach Joe's daughter Ashley who had just been baptized a few months ago. As Joe's wife shared about her journey of finding the church (raised in Georgia in a strong Baptist family) and Joe shared about his (years ago would have never thought he would be associated with a church and hold a calling and be the kind of person he is today), and now Ashley is a member too, I had the most special confirmation of how much Heavenly Father loves them and loves all His children. 

And the thing that has been on my mind is this: That in the end, it doesn't really matter what our life looked like---- Maybe there were terrible, hard, awkward, sad, strange, or weird things that happened that make us think, "why me? why was this my lot?" As I have seen lots of different situations on my mission- broken families, abuse, disability, divorce, inactivity, addiction etc- where these people would be more than justified in asking those questions, I maybe have even asked them in their behalf, it has been impressed upon my mind that really the only important thing is to make covenants. That is why we are here, to make and keep covenants. Whether there was a time when we didn't keep them and painful, real repentance was necessary, ok. Whether it took us until later in life to understand the covenants we made and to keep them more fully, ok. Whether we didn't have the opportunity to make them until later in life, but we still make them nonetheless, ok. The Atonement covers it all, and as we realize that, we see why we need these covenants (baptism, temple ordinances, the sacrament) that bind us to HF and remind us of Him and His love, and we are made whole by them. We are renewed weekly and filled with peace. Those questions- the awkwardness, the terribleness, the hardness of anything we ever face dispels because of them. 


Speaking of covenants, Sister ใจ (Jai) and her son are going to be baptized next Sunday if all goes according to plan. They just loved church yesterdayt and it is definitely so so cool to see their excitement and happiness to have found the truth. 

So that is all I have for you people....................We are happy happy and feeling renewed and refreshed for the start of SWEET SIXTEEN

"Listen up everyone!!! This is the plan......" She had 10 missionaries aka "her children" with her...
and she is like just over 5 feet tall SOO CUTE
she is so fun

The boat tour!
fun bicycle art
i hate animals.......
hahaha this is so Thailand... from the cutest port ever, you look immediately to your left and this is what you see. twoworldsinone

then on to see the COOLEST WAD!
it had this wrap around staircase through like the jungle, then these amazing views. way cool
finally, I have been looking forever, "THIS WAY TO HEAVEN"........ hahahaha

hahaha playing with this cute kid walking up the stairs behind them...... 
he turns his head, so classic. asian baby warior hairdo 
got to love it/ got to appreciate the time it took to create it HAHAHA
this is Thailand..... the restaurants at the mall look like this HOW CUTE HUH?!
Add still Christmas to the Thais........ hahaha I have no idea when they are going to take all of this down. 

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