Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A crazy, wet Thailand

I think I must start with the water fight. I have never seen anything like it in my life. We went out Tuesday morning in our shorts and t-shirts and got a bucket of water dumped on us a couple feet from the house. It was still getting started at that point. We went to a member's house who lives on a busy road. They had a huge bucket of water with a hose running into it and then we each had little buckets that we would fill and throw at people. You throw water at all the motorcycles and bikers and walkers. Then people come by in the back of trucks and you have little wars - they stop for a minute and you throw water at each other. Some people were throwing really cold water. That felt good though - it is after all the hottest month of the year. I can honestly say that my entire body was wet within about 5 minutes of this. And then people will get out of the car and smear baby powder on your face. That freaked me out the first time. They usually ask permission and then just smear away. Because we are farangs we are instant targets. People really want to get us. It is so much fun. After a good couple hours of this, we met up with some other members and bought water guns at 7-11. Mine broke the first time I used it so I traded it in for a bigger and better one. It had a backpack that held the water and if you held a little button down there were two nozzles that sprayed two ways. It was a pretty sweet water gun. We just walked into the center of Korat and got plastered. I have never had so many people touch my face in all my life. We just got hit with buckets of water over and over again. It was so much fun. We wanted to get in the back of a truck but there were no members doing it and we figured getting in a truck with someone we didn't know wasn't a great idea. Man it was fun. Everybody has work off and is just partying. Fortunately the first day (the day we played) is usually the most tame - after that it gets a little too crazy - a little too much alcohol. The second days we made sure we had long things to do. One day we went out to a members house and pretty much watched the elders help them build a house. We weren't much help there. But we taught their daughters (they are recent converts) so that was good. We managed to stay dry until the way home - from the church to our house (about a five minute bike ride) we got about 9 buckets of water dumped on us. We were completely soaked. It was crazy! Luckily we had study right then so we got in pajamas and hung our clothes out to dry. After that we got a taxi and went out to meet a new investigator. Taxis are a good idea because people can't throw water at you. They try to get you to open the door. But we don't
Ok. Now for the truly exciting news of the week. WE HAVE TWO BAPTISMS THIS WEEK! Phii May has officially split from her husband and passed her baptismal interview with flying colors. She is getting baptized on Saturday and getting the Holy Ghost on Sunday. Then she is moving to Bangkok. She has more faith than I have truly ever seen. She has nowhere to live and no job. People keep telling her that she is going to have to crawl back to her boyfriend and she told us that she tells them that they don't understand that she has God on her side and that with Him she can do it. I honestly think she has more faith than anyone I have ever met. We still don't know what she is going to do. But she is definitely getting baptized. She has been investigating the church for five years now and has such a strong testimony. I just can't believe I get to be a part of it. Elder Parkinson is going to baptize her and it is on his birthday. Isn't that just wonderful?
Phii Ow also passed her baptismal interview with flying colors. No surprises there. She truly is amazing. She is getting baptized on Sunday. She stopped coffee cold turkey and agreed to pay tithing and truly has a testimony. I love her so much. She just never ceases to amaze me and never ceases to be adorable. She is really ready for this.
A cool little tender mercy - my favorite hymn in the world, as you may know, is How Firm a Foundation. Particularly verses three and seven. (It actually might be four and seven in English - the verse about Fear not I am with thee) Anyways, When we were setting up the baptism programs, both Phii May and Phii Ow picked that hymn. Isn't that cool? We decided it was not a coincidence. After we set up the baptism program with Phii Ow, we were riding away and getting sentimental about our week and the miracles and then we got attacked by a stupid little yippy dog that scared us to death and ruined the moment. Typical Thailand.
There is a really cute old man that lives across the street from us. He sits on his porch all day. Sister Hulme started going to visit him and singing to him and we have been going over every couple days since I got here. We just stay for about five minutes - we chat and then we sing a hymn or two. It has become the high light of his life. He gets really excited when we see us and the lady that takes care of him said that he is only in a good mood if we come. He also told her that he wants to be a Christian because we are Christian. He is the most adorable thing. He is in his 80's and definitely shows it. A couple days ago he patted our heads. This might not mean much to you. But you must understand - you don't touch people's heads in Thailand unless they are your children. So him patting our heads meant that he considers us his children. we pretty much cried after that. He has really become a special little friend. I have a picture of him to send next week too.
We met Phii Boo - she is the lady that ran into the Elders and said she already has a testimony of the BOM. We were having a really hard time getting a hold of her. We decided to try and find her house - she had drawn a map and written directions, which we couldn't read, so we went to what we thought was the general area and started asking people. After asking about 12 people for directions, we found two little kids who knew her. They let us follow them to her house. We called her and she didn't answer so were going to leave and then the two little kids started screaming into the window. Finally a little girl popped her head out and said her mom was asleep. Naturally we were going to leave - the two little girls told the girl to wake her mom up. Turns out that was divine intervention. Phii Boo came to the window and screamed when we told her who we were. She talked about a mile a minute for a good half hour. She showed us her BOM - it is completely marked up and she has read the whole thing. She came to church yesterday and told us that she felt really good and knew it was the true church. Whoa. That doesn't happen super often. She wanted a Doctrine and Covenants and wants to get baptized. We were like, well, we can arrange that. But we have to teach you first. I think she is a pretty promising investigator, if you agree.

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