Wednesday, August 19, 2009
#1letter 9/19/09 from Thailand - Mahasarakham area
The picture on your left is Danny's first picture from Thailand, the young Thai man (named Stop) in the front row sent it to us the day Danny arrived! Stop is a face book friend. It is taken in front of the Mission Home. It is great to see a picture of Danny and the other Elders and Sisters, THANK YOU STOP! The picture on your right is the Thailand District's last day at the MTC celebrating just prior to the group leaving for the airport and Thailand!
Hello from Thailand! (Excerpts from Danny's email)
I am very excited to write this email! I have so much to say and so little time to say it. I will try to get as much important information and fun stories into this letter as possible.
So District 29D left the MTC! It was a sunny Monday afternoon. The MTC will not be the same without us. We left in celebration. We had party hats, streamers, and a banner. We celebrated our graduation in style, and headed for the airport…..
….I tried to sit down and write some letters on the flight. Got quite a few done, then I tried to send them out! Turns out LAX does not have a mailbox. Go figure. Sorry to everyone that hasn't heard from me! I really did try, I promise. Communication will be very difficult here...
While on the point of communication, I'll address it. Mail takes 2-3 weeks both ways. Mail has to be sent to the mission home. Then I can pick it up every time I am in Bangkok... which is at MOST once every 6 weeks! So mail will be fun to communicate, but it will be slow... So email will be the quickest way to communicate. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be able to respond through my family and they can forward my email to you. I get to use the computer once a week, so that will probably be the best. My email messages back might be short. Sorry! I don't have very much time to use the computer!
...After a long long journey through many airports and multiple problems we finally arrived in THAILAND!
It is amazing! I love it here! The country is beautiful!
When I arrived at the airport we were greeted by the APs, President Smith, and his wife. We then headed to the mission home. The mission home was really nice! The food there was so so so so good. It was a pretty nice place in a nice area. We got all of our business taken care of. Then the next morning was moves meeting.
It was a very fun meeting. The entire mission (around 150 missionaries) were there for this meeting. President Smith talked for a bit. He gave us a big talk on obedience because he just sent a group of missionaries home for breaking the rules:< Then the outgoing group talked and gave us advice. Then it was our turn (the new guys.) We went to the front and introduced ourselves in Thai and talked about ourselves.
Moves then took place. They called out who was going where and who they were going with. It was very intense!! I was the last person in my district to get called. I am assigned to serve with Elder Nance in the Mahasarakham area. It was great to finally know where I am going and what I will be doing!
So I am almost out of time so I will just try to hit a few more important points before I leave.
Food! Food is great here. Anything that I have bought from a restaurant has been very very healthy and delicious. (not sure about sanitation though...) I have been given things from locals and from members that has been very scary. I am not a huge fan of weeks old chicken inards-on-a-stick!!!!
My stomach may not survive!
All of our meals (except for breakfast) we eat outside the house. We just stop by little shops or stands and buy food. A good sized meal will be around 20-25 baht at a nice sit-down restaurant. That is approximately 50-65 cents. Everything is delicious! Some stuff is very spicy, but I am learning to deal with it. Out here in the Esan (in the country) the food is the spiciest and the sketchiest, so if I can handle it out here... I'll be able to handle it anywhere.
There are 7-11's everywhere! Seriously on almost every single corner. (in Bangkok there are like 3 on a corner) So we can stop by 7-11 - if we are ever in need of a treat that is some-what American.
My companions are about ready to leave, so I will have to rap it up with the story of my first teaching appointment.
We teach about 6-7 lessons a day, so we stay very busy. My first teaching appointment was on Friday (I think) with a man named Nawy. We biked out to his house. When we called him, he insisted that we came hungry so he could feed us. (not a good thing) We also brought a member with us. When we arrived at his house he was angry that we brought a member and told him that he had to wait outside his driveway. (that is when I knew things were going to get sketchy)
We went into his backyard. His house was right next to a lake. There were chickens running around everywhere. We sat down and he fed us this really sketchy stuff. I ate it to be nice. (didn't get sick, yay) He then pulled out this paper out of his wallet. On the paper was a bunch of crazy writing in Thai with weird drawings and symbols of infinity.
He started talking about how he believed in Heavenly Father and that he had a dream about Spiderman, Batman, and Michael Jackson in heaven. It was very very very confusing. He went on to talk about his drawing and how it related to God and Neptune.
We then asked him if he read the Book of Mormon. He said yes! But we found out that he just put it under his pillow at night and read it through "osmosis".
At this point we ran for it! He was a wacko, so we said a prayer and kindly invited him to church next week. Most of my other teaching appointments have not been quite that strange. (I've had some others that have gotten close though.)
It is great. I love it here. The people are great and willing to learn. The members are awesome. The food is awesome. The country is beautiful.
Sunday was great. It was District Conference. A member of the quorum of the seventy was there. It was so great to see all the branches! Lots of members!
Anyways. I have to go now. I hope to hear more from you next week! Pray for me! Pray that I can learn this dialect. (they don't speak Thai here :( it is some crazy dialect of Thai that is impossible for me to understand, I'm hopeful that I will pick it up though! :)
Love you all!