Saturday, December 5, 2009

Stuck on Jesus

Sara's zone during the sunflower and monkey festival
Sister Josephson with Sister Webb
December 1, 2009
Hi everyone!! It's been another great week!!
We got some good news about Som - she moved up to her new city where there were no missionaries and no church but couldn't find a job and really didn't like it. So she has decided to move in with her older brother who lives in Bangkok. Obviously there are tons of churches and tons of missionaries there. She also wants to keep going to church. That was really exciting. We met her to teach her one last time on Monday. We shared a scripture with her - Mosiah 4:9-12, and testified about how much God loved her. I was about to bawl pretty much the whole time. I hope she doesn't forget about God and what He has done for her.
We also had a really great week with Ruay. We stopped by her house to talk to her last night and we ended up talking for 30 minutes and she said some pretty awesome stuff. She said that when she compared her life since she started learning with us to her life before, it was like "black and white". She also said she is addicted to reading the Book of Mormon - she is already in 2 Nephi 12. Which means she has hit the Isaiah chapters so she is really confused but when she hits Jacob and Mosiah it is going to blow her out of the water. She also said that she is "tid" on Jesus. This word doesn't really have a great English translation - it can mean addicted or stuck to or that you need it. She is so awesome.
We had two new investigators kind of fall into our laps yesterday. One of our members has been inviting - she talks to people around her neighborhood and took us to meet a lady that she thought was interested and when we got there, there was another lady too. So we talked to them and they both have become investigators. This member is really awesome - she was a missionary in Thailand a long time ago but now has some really bizarre health problems and isn't quite all there and can't come to church very often, but she still loves the gospel and loves sharing it. I wish all members were like that.
Love you all!
Sister Webb

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another week in paradise!!

Today we woke up and the whole house had no water - we couldn't flush toilets, wash dishes, or do laundry. When it came back on, all the water was brown and disgusting. We had to wait for like three hours for the water to come back on and be a normal color before we could shower. Then I had to use S.J.'s shower because my bathroom is still completely waterless. It was quite fun. As for the heat, it is actually the cold season right now. It finally came. It is not that hot - actually quite bearable. I mean it is definitely still hot but not nearly as much. Last Sunday it was actually a little bit nippy. That was shocking. S.J. almost died. It was pretty funny. But apparently the cold season only lasts for a couple weeks so we are trying to enjoy it while we can. I miss snow. The cold season also makes showering very rough - the water in our buckets is FREEZING! And the morning are a little nippy, so we basically die every time we shower. Last week though I had TWO days in a row with a hot shower that actually came out of the shower head and not out of a bucket. It was a miracle. I doubt that will ever happen again.
Funny story. S.J. and I went to eat dinner the other day and we picked a restaurant we had never been to. Apparently we picked the local drunk hangout. We sat down at our table and this hopelessly drunk man comes over and starts talking to us. He tried to sit next to Sister J. but she wouldn't let him, so then he just moves the chair back and sits behind her and starts playing her a song on his guitar. He sang all sorts of stuff. My favorite was one in English - the words were "Does it bother you Nicole?" It was pretty funny. He read our name tags so he called us Webb and Josephson, but he eventually shortened Josephson to "Josie" - I guess Josephson is a little too long for a hopelessly drunk man to remember. Eventually, he went back to his own table but then he would occasionally yell out random things like "Josie! I love San Francisco!" The owner of the restaurant would periodically yell at him and be like "Can you be quiet for five minutes?" Then when we went to pay for our dinner, he payed for us! So basically we went on a pseudo date with a crazy drunk man. It was pretty fun. Then that same day we got hit on by a cross dresser at the store. Pretty funny place, this Thailand. I LOVE it!"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It was a day full of miracles!

This is me at McDonalds at that huge mall in Bangkok I told you about. I think this is a pretty sweet picture. There were Thai people in the window laughing at us. They must get a huge kick out of watching white people take pictures with this Ronald McDonald. But hey - I like the picture and I am glad that I could be the means of their entertainment.
So random tangent - I think I should explain the deal with Thai names. You are probably confused. The word "Phii" is a title that means they are older than you. You put that word in front of their name whenever you are addressing them. Nong is a title for someone that is younger than you, but it is the same deal - you call them Nong and then their name. The other thing is that all Thai people have a real first name that no one knows - they all have a nickname which is what they go by. Phii Ed, for example, is actually named Supanid Tangmeesang. But no one calls him that. Your parents pick your real name and your nickname. And here, when they say "Brother so and so", they use their first name, not their last. So the Thai missionaries that are here are Elder and then their first name. So I would be Sister Sara.
This last week for long planning, we dropped like a million investigators. We have to really have faith to drop them. One we dropped was our investigator named Phii Id. I don't know if you remember her, but she was a really promising investigator. Anyways, she got a new job and works 7 days a week and said she couldn't learn with us anymore or go to the Church. It was really hard for S.J. because they are really attached. But the story gets really good here. After this planning session, we were a little distressed because of our very small investigator pool - we dropped two people with a baptismal date and decided that if another didn't come to church this Sunday, we were going to drop her as well. So we only had 2 strong investigators. But then Heavenly Father poured in the miracles. We went out to work and our first appointment was with Ruay, the woman who we met in the market a while back. We committed her and her two kids to Baptism! Yay! We are so excited about them. Then during the lesson, the phone rang and S.J. turned it off but noticed it was Phii Id - we were like "why would she be calling us?" So we called her back after the lesson and she announced that she was going to come to Church tomorrow and wanted to start learning. She came to Church and met with us after and set a new baptismal date. Wow. It was awesome. It was totally out of the blue. Then, the woman (named Adjan Tee Waa) that we were on the verge of dropping, had this brilliant aha moment that night. She was like, I have been worshipping the God of Buddhism and your God at the same time. I need to make a decision. Then she was like "And I can pray and ask, right?" She said that before, she has only been praying and asking for blessings but has never straight up asked God a question. And guess what will happen when she does! Woohoo! Then she came to Church the next day for the first time in forever and our members were awesome - they were all hugging her and talking to her. So she is progressing again. This all happened in one day! It was a day full of miracles!
Phii Ed received the Holy Ghost this week. He was so happy. He just sat in the chair for a minute afterwards and smiled. You could tell that he was feeling the difference - feeling how awesome of a gift this is. He is getting interviewed for the Aaronic Priesthood this Sunday. I can't even begin to describe how much I love this family. He is an awesome member. He makes really good comments in Sunday School and helps us teach. He is a powerhouse when he teaches - he has a strong testimony that he really had to fight for. Him and Sister Baew are really a huge help to the missionaries. Man they are awesome. They are the happiest family I have ever seen. Which is really awesome because they haven't always been a happy family. This Gospel really turned them around. Yay! I love the Gospel! It is so amazing!
Sister Sara

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


"Thanks for water" celebration

Phii Ed's Baptism
November 11, 2009
"Yippee! It was amazing! He was so happy. After, he bore his testimony and it was awesome - he has never been super great at expressing how he feels, but you could feel the Spirit like radiating off of him. His family was thrilled too.
I told you last week about our new investigator named Ruay. We met her again and we are super excited - she prayed and asked if God was there and she said that she felt like there was someone all around her. Her two kids also read the pamphlet we left and the daughter whipped out a question about the priesthood - that is when you know they actually read it. Pretty sweet. She is reading the Book Of Mormon a ton and said that she would ask God about the things we were teaching - she already really seems to get the concept of asking God questions - she already believes in Him because of that experience. Both Sister J. and I really love her. She is just really real and fun to talk to and be with.
The sad news is that we lost Som. She just started saying that she wasn't ready for her interview with President Smith and then announced that she is moving six hours away to a town that doesn't have missionaries or a church. She has been living with an aunt and her mom wants her to come home. Then she didn't show up to three straight appointments. We aren't really sure what happened. It was really tough - S.J. talked to her during weekly planning last Thursday and I pretty much cried through the rest of planning. But I have come to believe that it is just not her time - she believes all of this and just has to be ready to change. When she is, Heavenly Father will put her in the path of missionaries again.
So now for my tidbit about why Thai people are so nice. I got my skirt stuck in my bike the other day - like really bad and I couldn't get it out. Within 60 seconds there were three Thai ladies there all trying to pull it out. We finally did get it out, but not before it was ripped to shreds. Then as I was leaving they gave me clothespins and helped me pin it so it wouldn't get stuck again. People here are so awesome.
Oh! Important bit of news -- both S.J. and I are staying in Lopburi another move. That is good. We are excited!
I love you all tons! Good bye until next week!"
Sister Webb

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I thought I would die I was so happy!

November 4, 2009
So, Phii Ed's baptism was awesome. When he got dunked in the water, I thought I would die I was so happy. He has really just been amazing and overcome so much to get here. This family is just amazing. They are going to be such a strength to the church. They have been giving us rides places lately and we just laugh the whole time - Phii Ed is really one of the funniest people I have ever met.
As for Som - she is still doing well. She was a little discouraged last week because I think President Smith really intimidates her. She doesn't want to waste his time if she is not ready. But she had a good interview with President Nurag and he really encouraged her, so the interview with Pres. Smith is on for this Sunday.
Pim is still doing well as well, although it looks like her big trial has finally reared its head. Her dad has forbidden her from going to church and has forced her to sign up for special classes on Sundays. She is really sad about it. We don't really know what to do. We are going to try to go over and teach at her house so he can see us and maybe meet us and know that we aren't scary or wierd. But I don't really know what is going to happen with that. Honestly I think Pim might just keep coming at the risk of their relationship - she really wants to come to church and really wants to get baptized. Dang Satan is good though. I hate him.
Other than that, our week was a little dry of investigators, to be honest. we got tinged by a couple and everyone was really busy with the holiday (it is a three day holiday). We did a lot of inviting. We did find one really promising new Investigator named Ruay. We met her at the market and have already taught the first lesson. She seems really interested. She prayed at the end of the first lesson and said "Dear Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ amen" We had to remind her to put something in the middle. It is such a foreign concept to them. But we went to the market the next day and she had already ready two chapters of the BOM. That doesn't happen often.
I love you all! Have a lovely day. The church is true.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Best Week Ever!"

October 28, 2009
Ok. Best week ever. I am so excited to write this email. First of all, Phii Ed passed his baptismal interview with flying colors! He is getting baptized this Sunday.
So now for the completely unexpected news of the week. Som interviewed for Baptism on Sunday too! We went over the questions with her and her answers were awesome - she was like "Yeah - I know there is a God because I prayed and asked if there was one and He answered me. I did the same thing with Joseph Smith" You have to realize how out of the blue this was. She was not going anywhere two weeks ago. Then we met with her and set some goals and she started reading the Book of Mormon everyday and she is a completely different person. She is happy. Two weeks ago she was one of the saddest, loneliest people I have ever met. Not any more. After we met with her she wanted to come inviting with us. She was following us on her motorcycle and I heard her singing to herself. It is honestly that God just reached down and scooped her out of her sadness and is guiding her through life. It is a complete transformation. Let me express how I feel about this. YYIIIIIPPPPPPPEEEEE! YYYYYYAAAAAAAAAYYYY!
HHAAALLEEELLLLUUUJJAAAAHH!! That is me screaming in delight.
Pim continues to be just awesome. Everything we tell her is like ok. I don't really have a testimony about that but I will go pray about it. Then she comes back and is like "check. got an answer about that one. What's next?" She is so awesome. She is still moving toward baptism. She has a day set for December 6. She doesn't want to move it sooner because I think it is her birthday or some sort of special day.
Anyways. I love you all. In case you were wondering, being a missionary is freaking awesome. This week was the best. I am so excited for Sunday. So I love you all, the Church is true, God's hand is in this work, and I think it should be mandatory for girls to go on missions. Just saying.
Sister Webb

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Oh Budda!!"

October 21, 2009
Funny story – we totally had a lady get up to say the prayer in Relief Society and pray to Buddha. The whole prayer was great except she opened it “Oh Buddha” instead of “Heavenly Father”. The Church still has a ways to go here, I think. Honestly I think she might of just forgotten or it came out automatically. But it was pretty shocking, to say the least.
Phii Ed has his baptismal interview this Sunday! He never did get one giant answer, but he finally put all the little answers together and realized that they were an answer. We are so excited. It is really cool. We are so excited for his interview. He is going to be such an awesome member. He is the funniest guy ever. He can't stay serious for very long - he keeps us laughing all the time. Most of the time I don't know what he is saying but I know it is funny, so I just laugh too. When I do understand, I laugh really hard.
We went inviting the other day and very possibly found ourselves a family of nine to teach. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Like five of them were sitting outside and we were passing out English fliers but Sister Josephson invited this girl and she said she was really interested. She started telling everyone around her that they were going to go to learn English and about Jesus. The whole family wants to come to English and we are going to try to set up an appointment to teach them. That would be like the best new investigator number ever. That will be tonight. I hope they are still interested. We had a cool experience this week – a member called and said that he wanted us to come teach his relative, who is 78 years old and has been Christian all her life. We went and taught her but we didn’t really know if we should continue because she speaks Isan (“country” Thai) and we don’t, and she really didn’t seem to understand anything, and she can’t go to Church because she is too old, and she can’t read, so we were debating what to do, and decided to go see her again, and she was at a neighbor’s house who listened to our lesson and wants to learn more – she was really interested and really liked what we taught about prayer. So we are going to teach both of them together – that way we can continue teaching the older lady and see if she can progress but we also have this new investigator who can understand and help her and learn about the Church herself. It was awesome.
So I have already gotten better with spicy food. We ate at the Church after meetings and it was way spicy (the members called it a little spicy) and I was able to handle it with only one water bottle. This week was another great adventure. I showered with my bucket and cup five out of the last seven days. It is freezing. But I like it because it is the only time I ever get to be freezing! The air conditioning actually works really well in our apartment and gets the room cool enough to sleep. For the most part I sleep really well here. I am already to the point of liking my bike. It is nice to just ride around and think and get a breeze.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The attack of the killer monkeys

A monkey's welcome to LopBuri, Thailand
October 14, 2009
So I went and played with monkeys last Wednesday. They are CRAZY! Sister Josephson bought some food to give to them and she got attacked while we were still out in the street and this evil monkey stole the whole bag. So then we go inside and this monkey comes, climbs up my dress and sits on my shoulders and starts looking for bugs in my hair. That was all fun and good. But then another one comes and does the same thing, but I couldn’t get him off. I kind of shook my shoulder to try to get him down and he started swinging from my bangs. No joke. I finally got him off, but not before he scratched my face pretty good. I feel pretty proud that I got scratched by a monkey.
As for our house: don’t let the picture fool you. It is not nice. I officially showered with a bucket and cup this morning because our showers died on us. We swept 10 cockroaches the other day. One of our favorite pastimes is spraying cockroaches and running around and trying to get them before they die and screaming if they come at us. It is quite the adventure.
I ate fish with the skin and face still on it yesterday. I am officially cool. Most of the food is really good but I have definitely had some nasty stuff too. As for the real Thai food, they rate the “spiciness” on a scale of 1-10, so when you order food you choose the dish and level of spiciness. I ate a 0 yesterday and almost died. I am definitely not a Khon Thai. The members have noticed and now make fun of me for it – we all had lunch together in between conference sessions and I was trying to hide how much my mouth hurt but they noticed that I went through like 2 water bottles in 5 minutes and all started laughing. Good times.
I still don't understand Thai. But we are working on it. One day I will have a conversation with someone. That will be exciting.
I have never sweat so much in my life (which by the way, I found it we are in the middle of the COLD season. I am in for a treat when the hot season comes around.) But I love it! It is great! And I love all of you! Being a missionary is amazing!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Guess What!? I am in THAILAND!!

Sister Josephson and a TIM TAM slam

One last look at the MTC --

October 7, 2009
Ok. First things first: My trainer! She is the amazing Sister Josephson, from Idaho Falls, Idaho. She has only been here 5 months but she is amazing. 2 of her first three companions were native Thais so she speaks the language really well. I absolutely love her. We had a Tim Tam slam together the second day and that bonded us for good. All the members here are crazy about her. She is hilarious.
My area: I am in Lopburi, which is about 3 hours north of Bangkok. It is a “medium sized” city, which apparently means it is nothing compared to Bangkok but it feels like a pretty big city to me. There is a ton of traffic. We ride our bikes EVERYWHERE. Other than almost getting clipped by buses every few seconds, it has been pretty good. My area is famous for its MONKEYS!! When I told other missionaries where I was going, they all said “oh! You get to go play with the monkeys!” Sure enough, on my first day, we were buying my bike and we walk to a corner and I kid you not, there were 200 monkeys in the street.
I will do my best to describe Thailand. First of all, it is HOT! I have no way to even begin to describe how hot it is. From the second we walk out the door, there is sweat pouring down our faces. Being dry ever is a thing of the past. Riding bikes actually makes it better because we get a breeze. We always spend a good 2 minutes when we arrive at someones house mopping our faces with handkerchiefs to try and look presentable. But we never do. I have never looked more hideous. We don’t wear makeup or do our hair. But it is all fun. They like me because I am really white – they think that it is beautiful.
As for the Thai language. In case anyone was wondering, it is hard. I was excited when I got here because when my trainer talks, I understand like 96% of what she says. But also in case you were wondering, farangs speaking Thai do not sound the same as Thai people speaking Thai. I would honestly say I understand about 8% when Thai people are speaking. It is getting a little frustrating. I am totally in love with these people and I want to know what they are saying! I can teach a lot because of the practice we had in the MTC – so Sister Josephson will give me parts to teach and I will teach them and people will look really surprised when I start talking because I don’t say anything when we are just having a conversation. But after my part is over, I sit and listen. But it will come. I already understand a lot more than I did when I got here.
The branch here is teeny. There are 40 active members. Sacrament meeting was really funny. S.J. plays prelude so I was sitting alone and this sweet member tried to talk to me and I just stared at her and then said “My kawjay” (I don’t understand) she just patted my arm and smiled at me for the rest of the time. Oh the joy. Then I was sitting innocently and I hear my name called by the branch president and then he sits down and they all look at me expectantly. I was being called on to speak! What the garbage? I just bore my testimony and sat down. It was terrifying. I said um… like a million times, which is funny because they have a word for um and it is not um, so um means nothing to them. Oh well. All the members now know I understand nothing so they just smile at me. It is really quite enjoyable.
I love being a missionary! This Gospel is so amazing. It is changing people’s lives, even here in Thailand where there are only 3000 members. When people come to know their Heavenly Father, it is an amazing thing to watch. I have loved the opportunity to teach someone about God for the very first time. God is in this work and He guides His missionaries. Yay for the Gospel! Yay for Thailand! This place is amazing!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I am so excited to be a part of the work!!

(Getting a hug from Carlie when she got her call to Thailand. March 11, 2009)

September 21, 2009
Elder Holland came to devotional last Tuesday. We are pretty spoiled. His talk was pretty much AMAZING!!! (So was Sister Hollands. She talked about fear and faith as it relates to missionary work - the fear to open your mouth. She promised us that if we strive to be repentant and pray without ceasing and continue to study, eventually we will be able to banish fear completely.) He is so powerful. I just scribbled furiously to try and get everything he was saying. Elder Holland started his talk by saying "Sister Holland has the fatal flaw of being absolutely perfect. It is a great burden in life." ... He also said: "Go out there and embrace your mission. Get serious about it! I know we ask a lot of you. No matter how well prepared you think you are, it will be sobering when you touch down. But be ready to not miss a moment! This only comes once! This isn't a dress rehersal!" He also talked to those of us who are learning languages and said that we wil be able to speak the language. He went through a ton of scriptures and the verb is always SPEAK. He yelled to us about giving our missions all we've got and NOT having regrets! "DON'T YOU DARE RUN THAT RISK!" DO NOT COME WITH REGRETS!!" . . . As you can tell, that devotional was quite amazing. After that I felt like I could convert all 62 million Thai people and the King on my mission. Wow. I felt so good after that! I still feel so good! It was awesome! I love Elder Holland! Yay!
So that was the high point of the week. The low point? For service we got to clean hair off the bottom of vacuum cleaners. Like years worth of nasty hair that we had to pick off with exacto knives. I recommend just buying a new vacuum when they get all nasty. That was like the worst thing I have ever done. You should feel sorry for me. But we survived. :-)
I was really bummed to think I had attended the temple for the last time in 15 months this morning, and after staying as long as I could, I was feeling concerned as I left the temple. But almost immediately, the words from How Firm a Foundation popped into my head - "Fear not! I am with thee, oh be not dismayed! For I am thy God and will still give thee aid! I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand!" It was really empowering.
I go to Thailand in SIX DAYS! WHOA! I alternate between freaking out and thinking that I need another year in the MTC to being ready to go and start talking to people and preaching the Gospel! It is really quite entertaining. I think everyone around me thinks I am bipolar. But for the most part I am just excited out of my mind! Thailand is going to be so amazing! The people are going to be so amazing! The Gospel is amazing and it can help so many people! I am so excited to be a part of the work!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Let the freak out begin!

September 15, 2009
Another week has gone by. I am leaving for Thailand in THIRTEEN days. Let the freak out begin. We are madly trying to study our grammar book and memorize scriptures and testify and trying everything we can think of to try and up our ability to speak Thai. It is quite the funny scene. Our teachers started this thing where every day they tell us an experience from their mission in Thai - to get us excited and help with our comprehension. Sister Knudson's are a little more fun because she served in Thailand (Brother Sakhaa served in Canada). Yesterday Sister Knudson told us about the first two days in Thailand - that we stay at the Mission President's home on Wednesday night, which she said was FREEZING (ironic, isn't it?) because they overcompensate with air conditioning. But then she told us about "moves" meetings - where they tell everyone where they are being transferred and who their new companions are. She said that she was expecting it to be this nice quiet meeting since it was in a Church, but after the opening prayer, the mission president got up and was like ok! Elder so and so! (Yelling), you are going to this city and this is your companion! And then everyone claps and screams and yells. I am really excited for that - and everyone from all over the mission comes, so we get to see everyone every six weeks. Yay! That will be so much fun.
I should tell you more about the other Thai district, especially because I like them so much. We have all become really good friends in the last week or so. All five elders are a lot of fun. Yesterday, I told them how it kind of bugs me when Elders stand up when I sit down, so, naturally, they all stand up when I sit down now. Should have known better. Oh well. I guess I will just have to deal with it.
I love you all so much! I am so excited to talk to you in two weeks! Get ready for some awesome Thai (even though I still can't speak it.)
Sister Webb

Sunday, September 13, 2009

That made us a little squirmy - we are all excited to go!

September 8, 2009
We got a letter from another Phii Thai - this one was from Elder Newman, the one from our stake. Basically his whole letter was in capital letters and just said AMAZING over and over again, and about everything. On the back of the envelope it said THAILAND=JOY! He went through the people, the food, the smells, the work, the other missionaries, and just praised it all up and down. He absolutely loves it there. Of course that made us a little squirmy - we are all getting so excited to go.
I can't believe I only have three weeks left in the MTC. Crazy. We leave three weeks from yesterday. We are starting to freak out just a little bit, based on the fact that we can't speak Thai. But Sister Knudson and Brother Sakhaa keep assuring us that we are one of the better districts they have sent out (because we are so small and get one on one attention) and that we will learn it quickly when we get there. Sister Knudson said that Thai is a language where they don't expect you to be the least bit fluent - they just give you a foundation and trust that it will come when you get there. Fun. I really do love the Thai language. Yesterday, we did an activity where we each shared a story in Thai about a Gospel subject. I told about when I decided to go on a mission and it was really neat to share the experience because I could actually say what I wanted to in Thai - I got the whole story across and was able to convey my feelings. That was awesome. We taught the Plan of Salvation in Thai in the TRC this week. Sister Meyers and I taught Elder Petvixay's Mom again. She is so much fun. We were really excited because we actually understood her when she talked and she is a native Thai so she is harder to understand. The lesson went pretty well. There were some pretty funny grammar mix-ups but we didn't get too confused. And if you think the Atonement is hard to explain in English, try it in Thai - pretty difficult. But overall, we were quite pleased. The Thai is really coming along.
So I heard that BYU beat Oklahoma on Saturday. You will never guess how I know. It was announced - in MISSION CONFERENCE! As in, the entire mission is sitting there and a member of the mission presidency announced it. Pretty funny. BYU sports are the only thing they will talk about that is not related to the work. I was pretty surprised, but quite excited. It was also announced in our Branch council leadership meeting by a member of the branch presidency, along with the score and several key plays. I love how we would probably never know if we went to war with someone but we know when BYU wins. Funny place, this MTC.
We went and did initiatories in the Temple this morning. I really love those. I also really love the Temple. We only get to go two more times and then we don't get to go for 18 months! Bummer! But there are rumors swirling that land has been purchased for a temple in Bangkok. I honestly don't think they are very trustworthy, but wouldn't it be fun if they announced a temple while the we are there? That would be awesome!

"Don't worry! - - When we die, we all die in Christ!"

Sister Meyers writing letters home
September 1, 2009
We got a letter from one of our Phii Thais -- Sister Larson. She is LOVING Thailand. She is out in the country part of Thailand, but she said the city she is in even has a mall. She confirmed that the people are so nice there -- she says that people tell her she is beautiful like 30 times a day! She also confirmed that we won't be wearing make-up (because it melts off). She says that the problem with trying to contact people is that they will start talking and the people will get so excited that they can speak Thai that they won't listen to what you have to say -- they just freak out and tell you how good your Thai is and how beautiful you are. (And she says she isn't even that good at the language yet -- but that it's coming since she is immersed in it.) But she told us to work really hard on our testimonies because she testifies a lot! Wow! We are so excited! I love Thailand. I can't wait to see what it actually looks like.
As for the funny Brother Sakhaa moment of the week: yesterday we were learning passive voice in Thai and there is a verb you use if it was a negative thing - so he uses the example: I was struck by lightning. Then he says, by the way - there is a problem with lightning strikes in Thailand - lots of lightning. So we get all wide-eyed and he says "Oh! I didnt mean to scare you. Don't worry." Then he pauses and gets a smirk on his face and says "Because when we die, we all die in Christ." He cracks me up. I know I say that every week - but he just makes me so happy. I honestly think he could cheer up anyone on the whole planet - you just can't resist him.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A temple dedication with 2,000 other missionaries!!

August 25, 2009
So this week was quite fun! We got a new roommate - she is going to Cambodia but speaking Vietnamese. Her name is Sister Harlan and she is quite honestly one of the funnest people I have ever met. We have really hit it off and really enjoy each other, which is good because she is a solo sister so she spends a lot of time with Sister Meyers and I. The bad news of the week is that we are not getting any new Thai sisters - just five elders. We are quite bummed about that one, but we are still really excited - they come in tomorrow! We also got four new English sisters in our branch this last Wednesday. I love being the coordinating sister because I got to go meet them on Wednesday night and give them a tour of the MTC, so we are all really good friends - we went to the Temple together this morning and had a blast. It is sad that they will only be here for three weeks - it is so interesting to watch the merry-go-round of English speakers come and go - while Sister Meyers and I just kind of stay. We have been talking about how some times it feels like we were born here, and we will die here. It is hard to imagine life outside the MTC - but we also feel like we just got here, and we are both a little freaked out by the fact that we are leaving five weeks from tomorrow! CRAZY! As of tomorrow, we will be known as the Phii Thai's. We are so excited.
Another fun event of the week is that we learned the famous Thai "Elephant song". We have heard the Phii Thais sing it before and we loved it, and we finally got to learn it this week. It is a pretty dinky kids song about elephants - its like "have you ever seen an elephant? - They are big and heavy and they have tusks and a trunk and ears and eyes" - But it is set to this really cool tune and we feel really cool when we sing it because it is in Thai. There are also actions. I will let you imagine what those are for yourself. Brother Sakhaa taught it to us and did the actions and we were pretty much rolling on the floor we were laughing so hard!
So we taught our first lesson in Thai on Saturday, and it went pretty well. I really love teaching in Thai because it forces us to rely more on Heavenly Father and the Spirit is just more with us. We had a couple of funny language moments (and some great laughs together) but the rest of the lesson was awesome. I really felt that we had the Spirit with us, which really helped get the message across even when we were speaking Thai so slowly that by the time we finished a sentence, the investigator had probably forgotten the beginning of the sentence. But Brother Duvall gave us lots of compliments afterwards, which he usually just gives us things to work on, so I guess it went pretty well. So, anyways, that was a really encouraging experience. I also feel like my ability to speak has kind of exploded this week - we are holding pretty much all our conversations in Thai and we are able to talk about a lot with out having to switch to English! So, that is pretty awesome.
We had more awesome devotionals this week. We also got a chance to go to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Dedication - they broadcast it here at 3:00 on Sunday. I thought all of the talks were really awesome! I love Temple Dedications. Doing the Hosanna Shout with 2,000 other missionaries was one of the most awesome experiences ever. I really loved that.

My brother Taylor is a 23 year old apostle

August 18, 2009
My funny language mess up of the week was when I was practicing for our "task" in the TRC - this week, we got to bring a picture of our family and describe our siblings. So, I was practicing with Sister Knudson and got to Taylor and said "This is Taylor - etc, and then I was going to say that he is an engineer. The word for engineer is wisawakaan, and I got mixed up with Agrasawok, which is dumb because they aren't even that close - but Agrasawok means Apostle. So, I told Sister Knudson that my 23 year old brother is an apostle. She was like WOW!! (obviously making fun of me.) The class got quite a kick out of that one!
That same day, Sister Knudson told us a lot about Thailand. She said that you shower twice a day because it is so hot and muggy. The seasons there are that March to May is "insanely" hot. Then, from June to October it rains every day, but she said that is good because it makes contacting easier - people get trapped inside because no one uses umbrellas - they just wait for the rain to stop - so people have no where to go and you can talk to them. Then, from October to February, it is the "cold" season. That means it only gets to about 85. They all bundle up and call it winter. Crazy. But Sister Knudson said she only had to shower once a day during the "cold" season, so that is something to look forward to. She also said that all sister missionaries apartments have air conditioning, so at least I'll be able to sleep!! On the Thai New Year, they have a "songkrang" - a nationwide water fight. Apparently the missionaries are actually allowed to participate because they get a lot of contacts and referrals from it. I am pretty excited about that. Anyways, while she was saying all of this, I got so excited! I can't wait to go to Thailand!! I honestly could not sit still in my chair and my stomach got butterflies! - - I love Thailand!!

Sawadii Kha family!

August 11, 2009
So this was quite the eventful week. Our Phii Thais left last night, which was actually quite a bummer. They are so much fun. And, we went from having fifteen friends to two. But, we are very excited for them, and now we have bottom bunks that don't squeak! I can't even tell you how happy that makes me. We aren't getting any new sisters in our room - so it is going to be me and Sister Meyers with a room for six people all to ourselves. We each get three closets and a desk and a half - - it will be nice, but quite lonely at the same time.
So here is my random spiel for the day on why I love the Thai language. All of their words are made up of smaller words, which makes words very descriptive of what they mean. My new favorite word is "talent" which is phaansawan - phaan means blessing and sawan means heaven! - I LOVE how that works and how their words are put together! It is SO much cooler than English, in case you were wondering! And as for why all other languages are wussy compared to Thai ( I just have to throw that in a little bit), there are seven vowels in English. In Thai? There are 105 vowel and tone combination's! Whoa! Some of the vowels have the most miniscule differences - it is so hard to hear the difference between them, but the difference is very important, as we have already figured out. For example, the word for "name" is chuu and the word for "adulterer" is chuu - there is just a very slight different vowel and the vowel in the word for name is not a sound we have in English. So, as missionaries, we have to be extra careful when we introduce ourselves to say "my name is" instead of saying "I am an adulterer." So much fun.
Well, I am still loving being on a mission! We were at a fireside and we sang "We'll Bring the World His Truth", which made me happy anyways, but they they changed the words "And we will be the Lord's Missionaries" to "We are now the Lord's missionaries!" Man, I almost lost it - that made me so happy! It just hit me that I have been waiting for this for my whole life and I am living it right now! SO awesome!

A CTR ring in Thai says "choose things good"

August 4, 2009
I learned what my CTR ring says this week - it says "Luag Sing Dii" - literally translated, it means "choose things good." I think that is quite awesome. Everyone is jealous of me and the one other Elder who have Thai CTR rings.
We learned some cool things about Bangkok and Thailand this week. Brother Sakhaa said that prime contacting time in Bangkok is 8:00 in the morning because of all the students from grade school up to university students, all go to school at the same time - and there are 8 MILLION of them - so they are everywhere. I am excited to see that - he says it is quite a sight. Sister Knudson said that we will nver get yelled at - the Thai people are just too nice. And, that all Thai missionaries know each other - it is like a family because there is only one mission that speaks Thai. She says we will know everyone from like five years in front of us and five years behind us.
I am getting better at reading Thai - I can now read a whole paragraph in a half an hour, which is a huge improvement from last week. Script is phonetic, but they have some pretty funny rules - silent letters and strange vowel combination's, and there are tons of cases where the letters will change their sound. Letters have a different sound, depending on whether they are in the middle or end of a word. So really, there is just a lot of memorizing to do - and then try to decipher what it says. I really love reading though. Thai is such a beautiful language - both in the way it looks and sounds. I am excited to be able to speak it eventually. We have also started working on teaching in Thai - I can teach the first principle of the first lesson (which happens to be one of the shortest). I love teaching in Thai because it forces you to simplify what you are teaching - All I can say is that God is our Heavenly Father and He loves us. But that is really all they need to hear.
We had a Spanish companionship come teach us a lesson in Spanish the other day. No offense Dad and Taylor, but learning Spanish is wussy. I understood everything they said and I haven't been here learning Spanish for six weeks. That is ok though. Spanish has a lot more practical application than Thai. Still though, know that I have it harder and am probably smarter than you. :)

If I can't speak Thai, the Spirit can

July 28, 2009
We have a real live investigator - Elder Petvixay contacted her in the RC and she didn't want the missionaries because she works all day but she has let us call her back a couple of times. Elder Petvixay is mostly the one who talks to her but I got to talk to her for a couple of minutes and bear my testimony about how the gospel strengthens families and how God is always listening to our prayers, even when it seems like He isn't. Her name is Josephine - she is from New York. It has been a great experience. We are going to call her again tomorrow.
We also had our first TRC experience - we had to do a fifteen minute task in Thai - we had to introduce ourselves, get to know the investigator, talk about our message, and testify. The first part was interesting because the two investigators were Native Thais. She asked us about our family, which Elder Petvixay was fine with but Sister Meyers and I had no idea what she was talking about. We just stared at her blankly. But the talking about the message and testifying went really well, although I said a couple words wrong and she had to stop me and ask what I was talking about. But when I testified, the husband said he got goosebumps. That made me happy. It also just showed me that even if I can't speak their language, the Spirit can.
I love you all so much! I love the Gospel and I love Heavenly Father - He is amazing. I have learned so much while I have been here at the MTC. I feel His Spirit with me all the time - and it is a great feeling! Sister Webb

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 21, 2009 "Look! Missionaries!"

Where do I even begin!? I love being a missionary! I had a funny experience the first day - I was sitting in the meeting for new missionaries and I turned around and saw a bunch of sisters with missionary tags on and I thought "look! missionaries!" Obviously, it takes some getting used to -- the new title and new calling.
I am just excited and I love every day! I will start with my companion -- Like I told you, her name is Sister Erin Meyers. I really like her a lot. We have a similar personality -- we didn't do a lot of talking at first but as we have gotten to know each other, we have really hit it off - we get along really well. She is fun and slightly sarcastic, which is good - because she wouldn't be able to stand me if she wasn't. She is from Oregon, and we are the only new Thai sisters. We are the smallest district in the MTC with the two of us and one elder. (His companion has already gone home.) It creates a strange situation with the Elder - he is a solo Elder so he hangs out with my companion and me. He is a really fun guy - he is half Thai, so the little bit of Thai he speaks has a really good accent - which makes him a great resource. However, he leaves in three weeks, and I have no idea what that means for our district. For me, it is a testimony to me that I am supposed to be in Thailand at a specific time and for a specific purpose. I am excited to find out what that is.
I live with five sisters. Four of them are going to Thailand (in three weeks) and one is going to Cambodia. They are really fun and willing to help with the language, which is awesome.
So a little bit about the Thai language - - it is INSANE. I got excited on the first day because they said that verbs are the same word no matter what - there are no tenses and there are no conjugations. There are also no plurals or articles. So I thought to myself, this might not be too bad. Oh was I wrong! That makes it so you have to say three times as many words to get out what you want to. The grammar is very different from ours. For example, the sentence for Our Heavenly Father (as in prayer), literally translated is Heavenly Father, of us and I (humbly). The word for Savior literally translated means royal person who helps to save us. Most of their words are a lot of little words put together. It is interesting but difficult. And it is very hard to learn the vocabulary - I have to use a word at least 10 times before it will stick - they are just so different and strange sounding. We are one-on-one / three teachers with three of us. And I love all of them. One, Brother Sakhaa, is a native Thai - he is a convert to the church and he loves the gospel. Obviously he is a great resource. And he is sweet and hilarious. Then we have a sister, Sister Knudson. She went on her mission to Thailand. She is new and teaching both Thai and "script" - (the written Thai language) - very fast. We can already pray in Thai, testify in Thai, teach about the atonement in Thai, and say a whole bunch of other things, like "I like to... or Where is" ... and a whole bunch of phrases like that. I counted the other day and we already know about 200 words in Thai! That is pretty impressive for four days of class! We have only had the third teacher once, - he is very goal oriented and serious - and he only speaks Thai in class. That is difficult, but I am really excited about that because I think that will help us learn a lot faster. Our first lesson with him was on the first two principles of lesson one - God is our loving Heavenly Father and the Gospel blesses families. I love talking about how the gospel blesses families because of how much it has blessed mine.
I have seen Sister Williams and Sister Lund all over the place - it is great to see familiar faces, although they will be gone in a couple of weeks and I will be here until the end of time. Twelve weeks is definitely going to be a long time when I'm anxious to go to Thailand.
I just want you to know that I love the gospel and I love the opportunity to serve a mission. I am excited about the work and the message we have to share. I have felt the Spirit so strong while I have been here. I love being surrounded by missionaries and surrounded by the gospel. I love you all so much! Think of me often!
Sister Webb

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Double your pleasure, Double your fun -- learning TWO Thai languages is better than One!!

Wednesday, July 15 -- day 1 at the MTC.
After you guys dropped me off, I went and got my name tag. . .
(She writes out in Thai what it looks like because I told her I wanted to see it. I'm looking forward to the photo of it! -- I can't put it in here for you because there are no Thai letters on my keyboard.)
Apparently, there are TWO ways to write Thai -- a Romanized version, and an original Thai version. We have two Preach My Gospels -- one in each! (Plus an English one, so we have three!) Thai is also the only language where you have to obtain TWO bags of books -- so everyone knows where you are going because we carry around TWO bags. When I got here, I had to get TWO more shots -- a polio (apparently there is a different kind of Polio in Thailand) and a Japanese Encephalitis. That one hurt. Still does, actually.
We went to an orientation where we had two missionaries teach an "investigator" while we all watched on a TV. The teacher told us to try and feel what our Heavenly Father feels for this investigator. It was cool because I got a spiritual witness that Heavenly Father loves us -- ALL of us -- and that is why we are here.
We had an orientation by the MTC President. He told us that we are now different people -- we have been set apart and are special witnesses of Christ. Everything we do, whether for good or for bad, represents Christ. That really motivates me to make the most of every second I am out here.
My companion is Sister Erin Meyers. As far as we know, we are the only Thai sister missionaries that came in today. I am the senior companion, although I really don't know what that means. (Sara's cousin Greg knows her companion - and she explains that here.)
We have class tomorrow at 7AM where I am told we will learn to pray in Thai.
I love you all so much! I am feeling pretty overwhelmed right now, but very excited -- I don't know what to expect, but I am sure it will be amazing!
Sister Webb

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sara's MTC mailbox number is: 164-0928

And she's off!!

We had a beautiful time seeing this very ready and very happy missionary off to the MTC. Having Taylor in from Virginia was such a treat, and we partied around the clock and filled in every minute with something fun and memorable. It was so great to not have school to worry about, and to have everyone available for all the fun. She was set apart on the night of the 14th and was dropped off curbside at the MTC before 1:00 the next day. It was a delightful experience right through to the end. She was beautiful and sweet -- loving to us, yet focused on her dreams. Those dreams are big, sweet, and becoming reality. She'll make sure of it. Our house will be quiet without her laughter, but we're planning to enjoy her good humor through letters. We love you, Sara!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sister Webb's Addresses

From July 15 - Mid October(ish)
Sister Sara Webb
Thailand, Bangkok Mission
Provo Missionary Training Center
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604

Mid October - January 2011
Sister Sara Webb
Thailand Bangkok Mission
50/829-832 Muang Thong Thani
Chaengwatana Road,
T. BanMai A. Pakkret
Nonthaburi 11120 Thailand

Only family can email me, but if you email my mom she can forward it to me - her email address is

My mom will post my MTC box number and departure date when I get to the MTC.