Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Letter#12 Bangkok-Nov-17-2009

Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand

Hello All,

Crazy week. Lots of work.

So, big event this week was moves meeting. We found out that two people were leaving Mahasarakham. Turns out that Elder Cline and Elder Nance were leaving. We left the area Tuesday afternoon to go down to Bangkok to meet our new companions.

The train ride down was about as good as 10 hour train rides can be (not very good.) But I did manage to get a little sleep. I was very nervous about my new companion and was hoping he would be as good as Elder Nance. I had a great 13 weeks with Elder Nance. I'll miss my daddy.

Side note: There is a big metaphor of play names for certain people. Your trainer is called your dad. You are called his kid. Your second companion is your uncle. If your kid trains you are called his grandparent. Your greeny area is where you are born. Your last area is called where you die. Branch Presidents companions are called the Branch President's wife. Etc.. All very silly.
End side note.

Moves this time was wild. I saw my whole MTC district there. (some of them I hadn't seen since the first day in country) It was a very big moves. Five Zone Leaders were being replaced, a Branch President, and an Assistant to the President. Craziest part of the moves was that my companion, Elder Nance, was called to be Assistant. Very very exciting! He had kept it a complete secret from me, I had no idea! Everyone was pretty shocked, he had kept a really good secret. He will do a great job.

I was assigned a new companion, Elder Gardner. He is a sweet guy. He is from Chandler, Arizona. He has been on his mission for about 16 months. Last moves he trained an Elder from my MTC district, Elder McConckie. I am really excited for this moves, even though it will be short. (it will only be five weeks, and one is already over)

Things have been difficult the last week because he is new to the area. He does not know any of the investigators, members, or locations. So I have been leading the companionship. He is catching on very quickly and I have been able to relax a little bit more. It has been fun to feel what it is like to lead though. All I can say is I am not ready yet. Maybe in another moves or two.

Elder Booth also got a new companion. His name is Elder Murphy, he is from Missouri. He is actually in the group 6 weeks ahead of me, so I know him from the MTC. Cool. So that means inside Sarakham we have Elder Brown, Elder Gardner, Elder Booth, and Elder Murphy. We have a great team here; the Son's of Mosiah would be jealous. :p

Cold season is finally setting in. It is absolutely awesome!!! Yesterday I went the entire day without sweating! It is kinda silly. All of the natives here think it is freezing! So, they wear really big jackets. They also put jackets on all the stray dogs because they believe it gives them good karma!

Cultural note: Speaking of dogs... I don't think I have ever talked about how many dogs there are here. They also think it is really bad karma to kill animals, so they have a really bad problem with dogs/cats. It is gross! They all have a lot of diseases and are so unhealthy you can't touch them. Oh well.

Speaking of Food: Every meal here is served with rice... except occasionally it will be served with noodles. There are different varities of rice though. There is white rice, brown rice, and sticky rice. Sticky rice is crazy good. On top of the rice is usually some sort of meat... pork, chicken, or fish. They eat lots of vegetables here as well. There is usually almost always an egg. Some of the food is bland, but I have found ways to keep things interesting.

Speaking of food. We just left Swenson's. Do you know what Swenson's is? It is a delicious American icecream chain that I never heard about until I got here. Apparently it is all over California. Yay for food chains. So we have all the essential food chains here! (I understand my friend Nate serving in Cambodia doesn't have any of these luxuries) In my city we have a couple 7-11's, a Swensons, a KFC, and a McDonalds. Everything a person needs to be happy.(Sorry Nate):{

I was writing to someone else and told her that you learn a lot on a mission.
And I thought I would share that thought with you guys as well. I told her that I
think that God invented missions to build strong members, not to gain new members. Because if God wanted to gain new members, He could just do it. I think it is designed to be more of a learning experience for the missionaries to prepare us as future leaders/fathers. God wants it to be hard, to help prepare us for life. I feel like my perspective of a lot of things has grown so much. I don't know how I would have ever gained such insight without this mission experience.

That's all I got.

Enjoy America.


Elder Brown

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