Monday, July 5, 2010

With Sister Larson at a beautiful park in Bangkok
July 4, 2010
Hello everybody! It has been a great week here in the belly of the beast. I will tell you about all the investigators that you are familiar with. Pim is still our superstar in every way. She is getting interviewed for baptism on Friday. If she doesn't pass, no one in the history of the earth should have ever passed a baptismal interview. All we have left to teach is tithing and fasting, both of which she already knows. She is hilarious - she learned about fasting in primary so now it is the answer to every question. We were teaching about the Sabbath day and we were like "So what should we do on the Sabbath?" "FAST!" Ok - yes - we fast the first Sunday of the month - good answer. What else should we do? "FAST!" She just really likes fasting for some reason. So we are excited to actually teach fasting tomorrow. Her little friends learn with us too - they are hilarious. When we ask them to read a scripture, they all read it together - very loudly and with a beat. We just try really hard not to laugh. We figure it is a good thing - all the neighbors can hear the word of God whether they want to or not. It is also really funny because the grandpa is OBSESSED with making sure that we have a glass full of ice and Pepsi. The lesson will be going along and it will get interrupted because our ice has melted a tiny bit and he has to make sure the cup is full. He is a great guy but we are really sick of the ice interrupting the lesson. :-) We are excited for her baptism. She is too - she tells everyone her baptismal date. We are trying to get the mom of the other two girls interested - she said that she is going to come to the baptism. We had a really good showing at church yesterday - 8 people. Do you remember Laa? We have only taught her once because then she left town. She is back now and came to church yesterday. She is adorable. We are excited to teach her again. The elders love her too so there shouldn't be a problem when they pick her up after we leave. She is the one that is a referral from America and is trying to get back to America. We are trying to help with that. We also had Lek - a 19 year old investigator who wandered into church last week. She only went to RS but that is a step in the right direction. In RS we somehow got roped into a musical number - the teacher wanted to sing some random song about every man being free to choose and it isn't in the hymnbook so we got to sing it for everyone. It was completely random and really funny. Luckily our investigators were all there to watch us make idiots out of ourselves. Good times.

One week and about 2000 pass along cards later . . .

June 27, 2010
So this week has been interesting. We have officially become inviting maniacs. It is pretty much all we do. We go out in the morning and we have a stack of pass along cards. We walk down the street and hand them to anyone who will take them. About half of people will take it out of your hand. We stop and talk to people who are sitting or standing for about 15 seconds before they get bored of you and hop on a bus or just stop looking at you. (When they turn around and stare in the other direction, we take the hint.) We have calculated that we have given out about 2,000 pass along cards this week. There was one morning when we were really excited because we invited ALL morning and talked to hundreds of people and only a couple were mean to us. They all rejected us but most were really nice so we counted it as a great morning. We have gotten a few potential investigators out of all the inviting - but just three or four. But that is ok - because at the end of the day we feel good because we talked to masses of humanity and did our best. When we first got here we had a hard time with talking with everyone because they were all on the move - but we are getting better and talking to more people. It is actually kind of fun.
Thailand is literally breaking records all over the place. Last week the mission found 417 new investigators (that means that they were potential investigators, had an appointment with an opening and closing prayer, gave a commitment, and have a return appt.). When Pres. Smith first got here, that number was in the 70's-80's every week. The work is really exploding. The new schedule forced everyone to invite all morning and now we are getting good at it - and it is paying off. We are trying hard to find a family to teach. We did find one but of course they didn't live in our area. That is ok - we gave a good referral to those Elders. I suspect that baptism records are being broken too - I am sure we will find out at zone conference.

Hello from the Beast!!

June 13, 2010
It has been an interesting week. Lots of things to get used to here in the beast. But it has been good ... really good.
Our really good news of the week is that we found our superstar investigator. It seems that there is always a superstar that is ahead of everyone else. This time she is 11 years old. She is the granddaughter of a member. She has been coming to primary for months now but of course the elders didn't give her the time of day because she is a girl and 11 years old. We have started teaching her and she already has a rock solid testimony and a baptismal date for the last Sunday of the moves. She is adorable. Her name is Pim. We teach her twice a week and she is our high light. We are teaching her tonight about the Plan of Salvation and Sister Larson made these sweet little visual aids - it should be pretty fun.
We met a lady from Taiwan on the street the other day. She can't speak Thai but she speaks English. We brought her a mandarin Book of Mormon and she kind of freaked out - she was like "I have this already!" A friend gave it to her in college. She even went to a Mormon church after she broke up with a boyfriend and said she felt peace there. She said that in Taiwan everyone knows who the Mormons are. It was really cool. She said that she is coming to church this week. But because she can't speak Thai we had to give her to the International elders. But that is ok - we would have just had to hand her over when we moved anyways. I just think that Heavenly Father has been preparing her for awhile.

We're not in Kansas anymore!!

June 13, 2010
OK. So you know how I said I didn't think I was going to move? Turns out I lied. I am not in Korat. In fact, I am in ASOK. That might not mean much to you. Maybe its nickname will help you picture it. It is "The belly of the beast". The beast being Bangkok. I have gone from outside of Bangkok my whole mission to the belly of the beast. It is crazy. Completely crazy. I am in total culture shock. This is the area that got closed because it is the center of where all the protesting was going on. So we are opening it. Here is the other fun bit of news - President has already told us that he will be closing our area at the end of this moves to the Sisters again - so we are in this limbo area. He told us that we are here to find investigators for the Elders. So that means inviting all day long. So far our system is that we just pass out English fliers and if anyone stops to ask a question about it or even slows down, we hit them with a gospel invite. We stick pass along cards inside the English flier though. So basically we just pass out pass along cards and talk to the occasional passer by who slows down for a second and a half. We also hit bus stops - people are stationary there - but you still have to be quick - the bus comes at any second. We have found a couple potential investigators that we have appointments with this week. We will see how that goes. We tried to meet a whole bunch of people at church but I can only remember like one person's name. They are all way excited that there are sisters here. Too bad it is only for six weeks. Right now I am just in culture shock and kind of longing for my bed in my sleepy little neighborhood in Korat. Give me a couple weeks and I will be used to it.
It is crazy that I am where all the stuff happened last month - you would never know by wandering around and just looking. It is completely normal - we have been right where all the protests were going on and now it is just life as normal. It is like it never happened. We still haven't seen the buildings that got blown up - they are the only trace of what happened here a month ago.
I can do this! I love you all! Sister Webb