Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mar 7: see you sisaket

suuuutyaaad sisaket

last monday: We had family home evening at the Sangviens house!! Do you remember them? The senior couple that I served with in Udon! They finished their mission and live here in Sisaket. <3 It was good fun. We played the joseph smith stick game... I ate a little octopus... And spleen. The spleen was horrid.
Tuesday: Elders were in charge on English night... It was pretty great... We watched Johnny Lingo.. hahahaha... The english words our students learned this week were "Johnny Lingo" "Mahana you ugly!" "8 cow wife!".... hahahhaha
Wednesday: Go to Tum's house.... Come to find out.. That her son Gii .. Has been reading in the BOM and praying everyday.. and we haven't even met with this guy! He is 13 years old.. And a modern day khon thai joseph samith. He also asked for a book of mormon to give to his friend.... What! so cool.... We biked to Blaaamii's house! Had a great review about the gift of the holy ghost! It was so cool.. We asked her to say the closing prayer.. It was the first time I've ever heard her pray for more than just happiness and good health. She prayed about the things we had taught about! Miracles. People becoming. growing. coming unto chirst.  
Thursday: We taught Buey and Ott the word of wisdom and law of chastity. Ott has a bit of a smoking problem... 10 cigarretes... everyday... But when we taught him... we started to suggest that we would help him quit by making a calender.... but he said no.... not so! That he only had 3 cigarretes left.. and that he'd smoke those... And then be done. Whoa. These people have such faith! 
Friday: Last zone training in Ubon!!! It was a little bitter sweet... It was such an awesome training! I felt so pumped! Missionary work is the best. It never ever gets old. They emphasized the training... on the need to STUDY BELIEVE LOVE LIVE & TEACH... In that order too.. When we STUDY we start to BELIEVE.. it becomes delicious unto us! so much so that we LIVE it because we really believe or we want to know it's true... because we had studied to know it... As we live it... We see the changes and the peace and the truthfulness of it.. We learn that it is commanded of us... So we must share it. We TEACH....... So it is pretty important to study. :) Go find out if it is a good seed.
Saturday: Taught Gii a full lesson for the first time! The plan of salvation! Whoa. His eyes sparkled as we taught him. He listened intently the WHOLE time. And excepted a date to be baptized.  His mom wants him to go buad... go be a monk before he is baptized.... so his date is a little out there. BUT we are planning to get her on board too. She just needs to get outta that buddist bidness. She believes in Christ and the things we have taught her.. But is trying to hold on to her beliefs at the same time. She hasn't put it all together to realize that... Buddhism is not true. Sister Kwak and I have a plan to send sister pet over to talk with her..... We call sister pet---> The Dragon. She is scary good. :) Favorite part of the day was visiting Buey and her daughter at the hospital. We visited with the ward mission leader and the relief society prez. Just sat and talked... I drew her daughter pictures.. while sister kwak made her oragami animals.. as she has been stuck at the hosptial for a week with no toys... There was such a special feeling there. It felt so good to just serve in such a small way. Buey is so excited to go skirt shopping and come on sunday! She also is excited to have her kids come and grow up in the church... Whoa. That was cool to hear. I won't see their baptism. But I feel so incredible grateful to have seen this beautiful family come unto Christ and to have seen the atonement work in their lives.
Sunday: Blaamii got the gift of the holy ghost.. And it was perfect. The elder's investigator Sister Boo was baptized. I was a speaker. I have learned so much. Baptism is so important and amazing! The evening finished with dinner at the bishop's house. Good last sunday in Sisaket <3
This may or may not be the last email as a missionary... We shall see about that! About that we shall see. But in the case that it is... I just want to share my testimony..
I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It changes lives. I know that God is our Heavenly Father. I know that he loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. It is through following him only that we can have eternal life with our families. I know that the Holy Ghost is real. He is the cleaning and purifying agent. I know that this is God's work. I know that whether you have a badge on your chest or not we are all called to the work. It is the most important work we could ever do. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I so love that book. I so love the gospel, Heavenly Father and my Savior. And I so love being a missionary. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Sister Coates

pics: me and that little octopus.. not the most appealing pic of my face... ha! chewy chewy chew
-bike ride through the wat...

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Feb 29: L O O K


Sisaket has seriously just exploded with miracles. 

Last week i mentioned that we had been out adventuring on our bikes with we came across two different families... and I mentioned that I was so excited to see the miracles to keep coming from them.. And my word did they this week!

Tuk & Tum: We road past their house and asked if we could come back the next day to teach. They said yes. And we came back exactly when we said we would. And they were pretty open to what we shared. They accepted the challenge to pray! And then this week comes. And we go to visit. Sister Tuk is the one that has been to church before.. She said that she had tried praying and didn't really feel anything... But then later after talking with her.. She realized that she hadn't really been praying in a quiet peaceful place or with all of her heart. She told us she was going to go and try again. As for Tum.. She told us that she hadn't tried praying.. But that, that night when she was trying to sleep all she could think of was our faces and the things that we said. She was beside herself when we told her it was was the spirit. We have been over to their home 4 times now.. and every time we leave.. I feel SO good. I know that it is only a matter of time until they are baptized. They are going to be AMAZING members. In our last visit Tum told us that she started reading the book of mormon.. Actually she had her 13 year old son read out loud because her eyes are not so good. And pretty soon she fell asleep... BUT he kept reading. And wants her to take him to church with her.... OH.. my. :) During the entire lesson.. Gii (Tum's son) was sitting on the other side of the wall listening to what we were saying. So cool. When Tum saw him she told him to come in and listen. :)

Buey & Ott: Taught them the Plan of Salvation. Buey LOVED it. At the end... She said.. Wow I love this. And I understand so much more than I did last time! She told us that she prays everyday and again with her family. Ott reads the Book of Mormon and apparently sleeps with it in his arms!!! What on earth!? They accepted a baptismal date. And their 12 year old son sat close by listening to every word. Miracles miracles everyone. 

Usually we teach these two families back to back.. And while riding away down the beautiful sunlit Sisaket streets I feel like could be a missionary forever. 

Tuesday-Wednesday: Went to Roi Et to switch off! It was fun.. I got to switch off with Sister Larson who is in my same group. It was fun to see how she has become on her mission and to be able to talk about the craziness of it all. Roi Et is beautiful. I got a sweet sun burn. #bikedallday!

Taught Blaamii her last lesson before her baptism! Blaamii is a sweet 8 year old that has been waiting to be baptized for some time now. She turned 9 this past Sunday and was baptized! It was such a special privilege to have been one of the missionaries that got to teach her sweet little spirit. She is SO bright. In her testimony she said: "Ever since I came to church I started to know Heavenly Father. I know that He lives. The sisters taught me that we can repent. We ask for forgiveness and we don't do it again. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen." It brought tears to my eyes and a lot of others who were in the room. She is going to be a great influence on her family. 

Fun: Got to help some RCLA young women begin their personal progress.. I was so impressed with how well they responded.. as usually they are way rowdy and don't pay much attention when we come... It was an answer from hevaenly father that we needed to help them start their personal progress.. as they sat quietly and actually thought about the things we were sharing. Faith. We we only believe.. That is not faith. We need to act too. They got it. The spirit was there. 

I loved the first presidency message for the month of March. Go and read it. The aim is to INSPIRE.

From David O McKay "The kind of life you live, your disposition, your very nature, will be determined by your thoughts, of which your acts are but the outward expression. Thought is the seed of action. Character springs form the depths of the soul. You tell me what you think about when you do not have to think, and I'll tell you what you are."

Lift your thoughts. Better yet: 


6:34 Therefore, fear not, little flockdo good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock,they cannot prevail.
 35 Behold, do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which have commanded you.
 36 Look unto me in every thoughtdoubt not, fear not.
Oh God is so good. Sisaket is so lovely. We are working so hard. I feel bad sometimes because i'm more or less working Sister Kwak to the bone. She is such a trooper though I WAY WAY like her. Such a cool missionary. But I don't feel bad when I think about the senior companions I had that taught me what hard work really was. I gotta pass on that legacy. 

Onward pressing onward
with a triumph song we'll sing
God our strength will be
press forward ever 
called to serve our king

I love being a missionary.
Sister Coates

-Sister Kwak. Blaamii, and me! she is a beaut.
-doing personal progress. we're like this.

 Color smoothies of Thailand. Hello 35 baht. 
Green: Kiwi, avacado & banana. Coconut water!
Orange: Cantalupe, carrot, banana and pineapple. coconut water

Ride to the bishop's house. Sunday night dinner: massaman, pongkarii curry, kay yasai, and KHAW NIAW MA MUANG

 There was a cockroach. I was on duty. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Feb 22: 5 0 Y E A R S

oh craziest week on the planet earth
all day today was spent playing with elephants.. so i am going to type as i possibly can. Sorry if you cant understand.

Last Monday: Got a call after leaving the internet shop from P.J. President. Johnson. Transfers call round 2? My khon Thai khuu was emergency transfered. Bye bye sister Hassaya! :( We ran home packed her things.. Bought a Na khon Chai air ticket. And theeeeen left for Asoke. 

Tuesday: Met my new Khuu! Sister Kwak! Oh she is too cool. She is 100% Korean from Canada! She this is her 3rd transfer. And I already love her. The office elders tried to take us to the bus station.. But we got lost somewhere in Bangkok and missed our bus. We left later that night.. SO we got to hang out in Asoke for the day! So awesome. I felt like I was back at home! Saw sister Saa! Oh you know she is doing so good.

Wednesday: Got to Sisaket 6:30 in the morning. And work'd hard all day long. Craziest thing.. And another first.. We taught a witch doctor. At her house too! It was actually pretty nice for a khon thai in the issan. The only set back was it was filled with Pra.. As in... idols. idols.. engraven images.. i cant even think of what the darn word is in english!!! Just her whole entire house was literally filled with buddhist worship stuff. And so that was cool.

Thursday: Another good day.. We both are so new to this area.. And sisaket is SO confusing... so we got lost a few times. BUT it has been all good.

Friday: WHOA. Today was crazy. Okay. So I sister Kwak that we were just going to go on an adventure. And get really lost in the ba nogs... So that is what we did. And my word it was a miracle. The other day while visiting members.. I just was so impressed after hearing their stories of how they met the missionaries.. that we needed to change it up a bit. Actually go up to people in their houses... and try to teach them then and there... Or another thing that really impressed me and the members was that all the missionaries came back exactly at the time they said they would... SO... I wanted to do just that... and so... We just started riding our bikes.. We'd been riding about 30 minutes.. and we started stopping at all houses that we could see people in the yard.. Which was quite a few... Every single time we stopped we got one of the following responses: 1 milliion angry dogs, 3 old issan grandma khun yaays saying jaaaa no no no, or YES. It was way sick. There were two houses... that we were passing.. I could see people inside. And I was about to just keep riding when I saw one look up at us... And then the other person smiled back at us... SO we turned around... And asked if the next day we could come back at teach them. They said yes.

Saturday: Woke up and for real felt like I had been hit by a train.. go biking all day long. It was SO TO WORTH IT THOUGH! We headed out to those two houses with appointments... with a member sister nitaya.... And we taught them. For the exact fifteen minutes we had promised... And then had to stay longer because of how many questions they had! They wanted to know more... And kept telling us that they were feeling goose bumps each time after we bore our testimonies. Whoa. So that was the first house.. I will go into greater detail next week... And house number two.. Had a little family in it. So issan.. by the end of the lesson.. They dad was like... yeah.. i already believe in this stuff.. So i will have my wife start praying tonight and then we'll come to church.......... Wat. Both lessons were so amazing. Sister Kwak and I talked later that... These people honestly probably didn't understand... hardly anything.. because we taught the restoration in like 7 minutes. But what they did understand was the feeling that came as we testified and promised that Jesus is the Christ. that we can be with our families forever. I am so excited to keep teaching these people again.

Sunday: Oh sunday was so cool. There was a huge conference all over Thailand in honor of the church/ missionaries being in Thailand for 50 years!! Elder Gary E. Stevenson came and spoke... It was so cool. He has SO much energy.. He testified that we would be happy if we would keep the commandments. Everything that was said was exactly what Thailand needs at this time. I am so excited to see the saints here continue to see miracles..... There was a baptism today! Brother frong.. He has been waiting since he was 14 to join the church because his parents didn't approve. He is finally 18 and clean. So cool. Sister Kwak and I set out to visit some less actives.... i thought I knew where this lady lived..... But we just ended up adventuring again.. Which resulted in sister Kwak being bit by an angry momma dog. Didn't break the skin. we were safe.. it was actually really strange.. we didn't even really react when it bit her.. just kind of got back on our bikes sleepily and rode off with hundreds of dogs barking at us... It was a blessing from heavenly father for sure! Had we tried to get out of there fast.. we probably would have some followers!! the night ended at the bishop's house for dinner. These people are so good and faithful. And so full of selflessness. They do EVERYTHING for the members. the missionaries... for heavenly father. They are the definition of losing their lives for the sake of the savior and then finding it. They are so happy.

Monday again..... OH my goodness. Today was so crazy: 
-we played with elephants.... ALL day LONG. It was so much fun. That was the last thing on my list that i wanted to do here before... the day. Chang chang chang nong kkeuy kii chang rxx blaw!
-Got a notification from BYU....... o.m.g.

I know that God lives and loves us.
Stay tuned for the miracles to come!!! There is going to be A TON!!!!

i love being a missionary. 
Sister Coates

This happened. We took a ride on this beauty for about 30 minutes! Walked us all over and then into this big lake where Elder Hunt and brother Tee fell in the water! It was actually kinda scary not going to lie. I thought we were going to fall off multiple times.. The scariest part was when our elephant started SCREAMING... Like howling horrible monster sounds... It sounds SO angry and was making all the other elephants scream too! I for real prayed out loud that we wouldn't die. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Feb 14: L O V E

HAPPY VALENTINES!!!! I love you all. 

Monday: We went to the zoo for p day. AKA the only thing to do in Sisaket hahaha. But it was so beautiful! So green! I felt like I hadn't seen a tree in ages!! And the air was SO fresh. And clear.. I didn't realize I hadn't been breathing real air for the past 7 months in Bangkok! It was a pretty park.. And a totally Thai zoo... As in the enclosures were just surrounded with chain link fence. And some crazy lookin animals... including water buffaloes with... Down syndrome? And every other strange disease and deformity. Saw a kwaay (water buffalo) that had like 5 extra legs...... so that was an adventure. For family home evening we had a valentines lesson! Gave everyone a red paper heart with a scripture about love written on it.. It was a success! Love the scriptures. 

Tuesday-Thursday: Were filled with bike rides to as many members as possible! Sharing a little valentine message of love and encouraging them to share this message with their friends. It was a way special experience to go and visit so many people.. Even though they weren't nessicarily less active.. or a new member... It proved to me that all are in need of encouragement. Everyone wants to feel needed and loved.... (im pretty sure that is a josh groban song <3 :}) Oh.. I have learned so much on my mission.. This life really isn't about us. But everyone outside of ourselves. Give said the little stream. Give O give!

Friday: Had an awesome zone training in Ubon! I wasn't able to take a bunch of notes because I was translating the whole time... (wooo by the end I struggled so bad to speak english with the other missionaries... and my head hurt!! haha)... But I really like the message of the training.. President Johnson asked everyone to evaluate why they are out on a mission. And explained that our number one reason should be because we love God. And if that was not our main reason... Than to make a plan to submit and realign ourselves. That was a cool moment for me... I sat that for a few moments to really ponder why I came out on a mission and why i was still on a mission.. all these almost 18 months later... And I was able to answer honestly that it is because I love my Heavenly Father. And oh how that love has grown. I know that He lives. I know that this is his church. This is his work. Also from the training I loved he motto for the  transfer : "If I am not teaching. I am finding someone to teach." Inspires me to work so hard i'm so excited!! 

Saturday: Sister Hassaya was out with a head cold. She literally slept all day long. In the mean time... I was able to do a lot of things.. One of which was study the words of President George A. Smith (every time I read his name i thought of how dad would always say "his initials spell the word gas" laugh laugh laugh :}hahaha) But I way loved one thing he said that I felt was the theme of my week... Something i have really been able to apply.. And will be able to continually... he said: "You cannot drive people to do things which are right, but you can love them into doing them, if your example is of such a character that they can see you mean what you say". I love that. 

Sunday: Valentines <3 Or in Thai: Walentine <3 hahahaha It was truly a miraculous day....  Which made all the work during the week so worth it. We seriously worked so hard this week.. And I know that it why we saw miracles this sunday.. There were 20 more people at church than last week! We are 5 investigators come and 9 less active members come! WHOA i cannot describe the feeling that comes when you see someone come to church that hasn't been for a long time... a perfect brightness of hope for that person.. for heavenly father's plan... It doesn't mean that everything is fixed.. or that that person has a perfect testimony.. But they are where they are supposed to be. And they are safe. We had two miracle investigators come after church! One of whom I did not thing was interested in the least because she like  wouldn't make eye contact when we had first met her! But in the lesson with her... She asked SO many questions.. And just told us that she was at a point in her life when everything was going down.. And she was starting to question why she was even buddhist because it wasn't helping her in the least... It was SO cool SO SO cool... Teaching her about Jesus Christ... About what he did for us.. What life can have when we have faith is him. I could see her really thinking about it.. and a change in her countenance after the lesson. I am excited it see her journey take a start. If I am not mistaken.... her name "oo" (pronounced like... chimney soot "oo") means camel in thai.... :) love it.

Oh Thailand is so good. Sisaket is beautiful. The weather is finally warm again!! <3 I've eatin gooy thiaw like every single day here (nooooodles) for 30 baht... So cheap finally. We are helping people feel God's love. We are feeling it too. And we are seeing miracles.

I love being a missionary.
Sister Coates

                          -what i did for the members while my companion was dead asleep! yay for valentines!

me and hassaya making some pappaya salad with lots of prick!! (chilis) it was wayyyy hot. 

-the zoo... the hippo could have jumped and been able to bight elder bundy's arm off...

-a member made us marcrons! they were chocolate and delish- made me think of you anny!!

this has to be put in the bathroom stalls taht have an actual toilet. 

-this was in front of my face when i woke up one morning! hahaha inside the house hhaah

Feb 7: S I S A K E T


Yes transferred from the most booming busy area possible in Thailand.. The magical Asoke.. To the most ba-nogg (boonies) TINY TINY town.... Sisaket! (See-suh-gate). It is SO peaceful! I can actually hear myself think a little. But all those thoughts lately have been in Thai as my new companion is Sister Hassaya! Yes. A khon Thai! She is from Chaing Mai and has been serving for 6 months. I am the first faraang companion she has had since her first companion (4 transfers ago). So lots of fun here. We have been having a lot of fun exchanging stories!! She is super sweet and sassy.

It was sad and a little hard to leave Asoke.. But I am so grateful to have served there and for all the amazing miracles I was able to witness. Right now I still feel a little shell shocked.. As Sisaket is the exact opposite of Asoke in every single way. I like it though!

Thailand... STILL SO COLD! I don't know what to do either! I only brought one suit case to sisaket filled with the necessities... since.. well there are only.. 5 weeks here. 

Monday: P day... Went out with a bang by going shopping one last time at Central world!! Can't beat Forever 21.. and Top shop.. haha. Glad that I went because there is nothing even remotely close to that here in Sisaket! hahaha That evening we went and had family home evening with sister Saa. In her tiny one room home. She was SO happy that we all came to visit her. Planning that evening.. The district leader called and gave us the transfers news. Where he told us where we would be going and who our new companions would be.. That was weird knowing before the actual transfer meeting!

Tuesday: Ran around making last visits to LA's and such. Last district meeting... It was sad.. I felt like I was being kicked out of the kingdom... Leaving all of my friends behind! I will for sure miss the Asoke crew. It was so awesome working with the APs and office elders. And That sister Rem... Oh!

Wednesday: Prepared the greenie lunch!!! We got 22 new missionaries! Only 4 sisters too! It was way fun though.. We were for real running every where. Got to visit Sister Gan and Noon one last time. It was a little hard! Oh we all cried. I love them all so much. They are so incredibly faithful. I am so thankful to have been a part of that miracle. We took the greenies out inviting... Which was way fun... And again opened my eyes to how real the Gift on Tongues is.... It is nothing short of a complete miracle that I can speak and understand Thai. And to end the day with a finale... We went to Robyn's. She taught us how to make pizza and cookies... To which we  both had no idea... It all felt so foreign. I haven't baked in aged. Haven't seen an oven.. in ages!!! But it was great seeing her. I am so glad to have met her.

Thursday: Went to the office at 5:45 am.. With one suit case and my bike. Stuffed in a taxi with another khon thai. We road in a bus for 8 hours to Roi Et... Theeee isssan. Where I met my new comp Sister Hassaya!!! We took another bus...3 hours... to Ubon..... And slept there..... Both so dead.

Friday: Woke up.... Stuffed my stuff in the back of a truck... And road to sisaket.... the closer we got... The more and more boonies it got.. hahaha. It kinda reminds me of Udon. It is in the Issan... But more south.. It touches the cambodian border.. So lots of Sister Saa's around here! Hahah everyone speaks issan.. and cambodian. Good thing i dont speak either of those languages ahahah. 

Saturday: Had our first coordination meeting.... It for real about knocked my socks off... It was SO organized. And the members were SO involved. And so excited.. And had split up the work.... I am excited to work here.

Sunday: Shared my testimony in sacrament meeting.. Again the gift of tongues is so real. It was interesting to reflect back to my first time bearing my testimony in saphan suung. So much has changed since then. This area is so awesome.. But needs a lot of help! So I was busy all day trying to figure out who was who! Haha it was fun. It was fun going to visit some LAs today... It is such a different pace from asoke.. I had to remind myself that I need to relax and sit down and talk with people for a moment. Let them know that I love them. For dinner we went to the bishop's house... where they fed us the biggest feast i have ever seen. I missed home made thai food more than i can even say!!!!! oh it was delicious. These members here are absolutely incredible. I am so excited to work with them

I am already learning so much from being in this area. In this district. With this new khuu! You'd would thing that after 17 months there wouldnt be much else to learn! But that is not true. Still learning and growing every single day. 

In honor of Valentines day next sunday (meeep!) here is a scripture I way love in Moroni 8:16:

Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.

I know that when keep Heavenly Father's commandments we are showing our love for him. I know that he gave us the commandments because he loves us. He has said that greatest commandments are to love lord with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves. For Valentines this week I want to encourage everyone to go above and beyond following these commandments. Show someone else the true love of Christ.

I love you all. 
I love being a missionary.
Sister Coates 

Look who finished her mission and is in my new area!!! Sister Nittaya (served in the same area as her when in udon!!!)
The Sangviens are here tooo!!!! So nice to see a friendly familiar face!
My gorgeous companion!