Monday, October 18, 2010
Oct 18-2010-Kohn Kaen
Just as I predicted, I moved to Kohn Kaen with Elder R. We are now the zone leaders for a huge new area with 30 or so missionaries to watch out for. We have no free time cause this district is so large and spread out; Some of the areas are 5 hours away from us. (a long way on bikes) We have to sacrifice two full days to do baptismal interviews or companionship exchanges.
---- I think we need a private plane-- :> Also we need to work with the companionships a lot more than usual simply because they are all so new. We have some companionships that have a senior companion that has been in country for only 3 months!!!!
Even though Kohn Kaen is 2 hours down the road from Udorn, I still traveled 8 hours to Bangkok to transfers meeting. The trip was a little crazy. In the past the mission has used trains for traveling to Bangkok but recently we have just been renting very large tour buses. This puts the responsibility on us for getting all of the craziness figured out. The bus driver this time was completely clueless. The biggest problem was that the drivers compartment was not connected to the area that we sat in (it is a double-decker bus) so, we were unable to communicate with him. Often times he would get lost and simply pull over and not do anything for a long time. I've never been a bus driver, but I swear its not that hard. All you have to do is follow the big green signs that say "Bangkok."
The funniest part about the whole trip was when we were finally arriving at the chapel in Muang Thong. We were pulling down the street that goes to the church and we hear the buses engine die. I was confused... because typically you want to park the bus before you turn of the engine. I made a joke that it would be funny if the bus died. We hear him try to start the engine, and yes. The bus was dead, about 10 feet from the church. Pretty good place to break down, except for the fact that we were on a little tiny 1 line road blocking everyone from leaving their driveway and going to work. I got off the bus and noticed that there was gas all over the ground so I had everyone evacuate. The genius bus driver went outside and let up a cigarette. He then stuck his head under the bus, while continuing to smoke the cigarette, only to find out that the gas tank and tubes were leaking like crazy. Yeah, not the smartest guy ever. I'm just glad that God was looking after us.
The transfer meeting was pretty hectic. Many, many people leaving and many, many people coming in. In the end our zone was renamed to the "Isaan" zone and was given almost 30 missionaries, the majority of which have been in country for less than 6 months. Needless to say, the mission lacks training and we have very few people that can give that much needed training.
After renewing my visa we got the bus all packed up and headed back to Kohn Kaen. The ride home was just as much of a joke, the driver got lost. I arrived in Kohn Kaen late on Thursday night. Today is Monday and I still have not worked in my area! Friday was shot because Elder Ri was really sick. Saturday was shot because we had to go to Sakonakorn (which is a 4-5 hour bus ride one way) where I interviewed a baptismal candidate. Sunday was used at a two hour branch council meeting followed by a very long, but very needed planning session at the house. Hopefully tonight I can get out and work in the area.
Anyways. I'll give you an update next week.