Wednesday, August 26, 2009
letter #2 from Mahasarakham,Thailand 08/25/09
Well it is week 2. Things are starting to settle down in Mahasarakham. I am getting into the routine of how things work.
Just some quick news about mail. The mail situation will not be nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. To send mail to me you need 1 international stamp. (98 cents I think) After you send it, it will arrive in Thailand in 14ish days. After it arrives at the mission office, the office elders forward all mail to the correct areas every week. (that must be a sucky job). So from the time you send a letter until the time I get it should be about 3 weeks. So write me some letters! I'll try to do likewise but I am still pretty busy.
Packages are a letter bit different. First off... if anyone desires to send me a package for some strange reason... do not send it UPS or Fedex or DHL. When the package gets here, it would cost me like 50 bucks. Please send packages USPS or USPS express only. (that is the regular postage service) Not sure how long packages take to ship... probably around 3-4 weeks. Packages can be picked up at moves meetings and at Zone conferences... so that is every 3-6 weeks. So if you want to send me a Christmas present, now would be the time to do it. Be aware... packages are expensive. :)
I don't have very much time to write today, simply because i wasted a lot of it trying to figure out how to upload pictures...
Language. The language is very difficult here. Sometimes it is better than others. Some people just speak so un-"chad" that it is ridiculous! The area I am in is equivalent to the South in America. The speech and slang is very different. Usually people can understand what I am saying (at least they pretend like they can), but it is very difficult for me to understand people. Girls are easier to understand for some reason. (too bad we can never teach girls...) I'm continuing to study every day. We get 1 hour in the morning for language. That is useful, but I think just being outside talking to people doing more for my listening and speaking skills than anything else.
Speaking of teaching girls. Obviously the rules on teaching girls is very strict. We pretty much can never do it, unless it is a referral, we have another priesthood member there, and it is at the church. President Smith is particularly pushing this lately because of the antics that happened last month. That makes things hard.
Funny thing though. We were in a lesson last week teaching this 20 year-old named Man. (so yes, clearly he was a man) After about 10-15 minutes, 6 girls and a gay guy walk into the house and sit down to listen to our lesson. That was very awkward. Elder Nance and I just pretended like they weren't there. After about 15-20 minutes they left. I guess they got sick of hearing our incoherent ramblings.
Man is good though. We met him after a few hours of very fruitless inviting. We saw him in a garage playing guitar by himself and asked if we could come and talk to him. We sat with him and played the guitar for a few minutes. He then asked us if we could teach him more about Jesus. It was fairly surprising. When we teach him next we will bring a member with us. I have good hopes for him.
We really do have a lot of investigators, a lot of progressing investigators, and a lot of investigators with a baptismal date. The problem is, they are all new. There were very few when I got into the area, but now things are starting up and we have tons of people to teach. We just need to get them going to church.
We have been having a lot of brain-storming sessions on how to be more successful at getting people to church. I feel like this week is going to be a really really good one.
I am out of time! Sorry it was so short this week, I'll write more next week.