Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jan 24 2016: DENGUE

Walked out of our apartment today to find that it was WAY cold outside!!??? What the!? Walked to the computer shop so weirded out the whole way. Because we both haven't this way for a YEAR AND A HALF! It was really like a brisk fall cold. And all of the khon thais that passed by look like they were in intense pain!! Some were wearin big quotes and scarves!! seriously the weirdest thing ever. We even passed a guy that had made a small fire!!!! hahaha 

Monday: Way fun day. A cute RM member Sister Sunny took us out exploring! We took a boat (multiple boats) down the big bad dirty thai river to wat Aroon! Where we got in for free because we could speak Thai. Yes! And we had a little Thai dress up fun too...  See attached pics. Haha so many people asked to take their pics with us hahaha.

Tuesday: Went to ze immigration office to renew my visa! Fun to the sisters in my group and then the elders too.. except for the majority of the elders in my group.. the ones that I was good friends with are all in Laos and Myanmar. So didn't see them! But it was a fun time @ ต.ม.

Wednesday: Took a trip to dentist! Poor sister Rem's mouth had been suffering with a cavity. I stayed with her while they checked her teeth and did the work but when they took in x ray I couldn't go in.. haha they told me to go sit down and when they close the door this huge horrible red light turned on above the door way! We were pretty nervous about the whole getting teeth done in thailand.... because most people's teeth here are missing or rottin.... but it turned out to be WAY good.. The dentist was a girl! Who turned out to know some of the members in the international ward. #cavitymiracles

Thursday: We got to watch the World Wide Missionary Training! It was so cool. So inspired. The theme was- Teaching Repentance and Baptizing Converts. Loved it and learned so much. Actually it was cool hearing all of their words and definitely getting new personal revelation but also having a lot of things they said be something that I have already learned on my mission.. and know I will continually learn.. So many things they said.. That I just know to be true.  One thing that I loved that was said.. Was when we "treasure up" the words of the scriptures that we are storing in a big treasure chest that the holy ghost can draw from and then bring to the front of our minds when we need it.. or better yet when someone else needs it. So don't just read.. Treasure! (bruno mars treasure just came on in my brain and a ben dancing in the back round hahaha-- hahah also way funny sister rem and i were quizzing each other on each others families... I asked who is tiffany married to? she said "christmas morning in a broad day light" hahahaha)

Friday: Switch off with the cutest little khon thai you ever did see! Sister Laoli! It was so fun to be with her. Her laugh is so contagious and she is so good at teaching. I love when I here people teach the missionary discussions in their native language along with the spirit. That evening i spent an hour on the bathroom floor at the church. With a horrible migrain, pins and needles everyone and a fever. Ha my body is failing me! But it was all okay.

Saturday: Head ache still remained and felt not good.. Went to the hospital they did a test for dengue fever..... they had to do a blood test ouch! We she pulled the needle out.. I think she did it wron and I had blood literally gushing out of my arm and all over everything.. hahaha.........The results came back with a negative to dengue! Well he actually said the results are positive.. hahah but i knew I didn't think i had dengue haha they just tested me for it and prescribed me meds for my head ache! But yeah that was funny... The time I almost had dengue fever in thailand. 

Saturday evening was a stresser. We talked with Sister Saa for 30 minutes on the phone. She started telling us that she is giving up now.. She can't do it all anymore. Because her family is making her feel so horrible. She said that they told her if she doesn't stop going to the mormon church that they won't let her see her daughter anymore and that she has 2 months to decide... Obviously the made her really upset. She told us she is just so confused... And feels terrible. We talked with her for a long while. And prayed with her. She said she couldn't promise that she would be at church the next day... But that she would pray.

Sunday: Sister Saa came. Oh when I turned and saw her standing there wet from the rain with a sad look in her eyes the spirit confirmed to me that heavenly father was with her and her faith is great. Many members talked with her.. And gave her support. She felt so good to have come. Before she left we watched the joseph smith movie with her... When it was over she said.. Wow his story is just like mine. It is hard to watch people you love suffer! I wish she could see it how Heavenly Father sees it... But then of course it would be too easy. I know there will be miracles from this for sure. Saa is amazing. Please pray for her.

Oh everyone. Read the scriptures and pray every day. 
Don't be a Sunday Christian.
Go and serve somebody.
God is so real and he loves his children.

I love being a missionary.
Sister Coates

rem @ the dentist
us by that rivva


Jan 17 2016: hostility

Hey fam. Love you all.

Monday: Had an awesome FHE plan with RC's and Investigators! Get to Ubon's house.... And all the people we invited pid nat. couldnt come. It was okay though. Heavenly Father needed a little bit of strengthening for these wonderful members. Feeding lambs today was not His plan but feedin his sheep was. So we answered some of their questions about PRAYER. Oh which were.. How can I pray and avoid saying the same things over and over everyday? How can I get the desire to pray even when sometimes I don't feel like it?...... It was cool to talk about these things with them. I realized at how much knowledge and how big a testimony heavenly father has given be concerning this subject.... In short one thing that I felt to share was... Before praying. Remember who you are about to talk with. God the creator of the universe. Your Father. And remember who you are. The child of that being. I know heavenly Father loves it when we talk with him. 

Tuesday: Brother Jack called us at around 12 and said.. Hey sisters I scheduled a meeting with one of my friends to learn with you today.. So if you could be there around 2:30 that'd great. Miracle. Miracle. Miracle. This is how heavenly father intends missionary work to be. The missionaries are there to help the members with their missionary work. If you want to help the missionaries give them someone to teach. And make them brownies.. haha just kidding.

Wednesday: Had a splendid lesson with Sister Noon! Oh she continues to impress me with her scripture reading.. And starting to make others at the church want to read more too. Guess who we met with tonight!? ROBYN! Oh is was so good to see her. And so cool to see Heavenly Father working in her life. I know she doesn't always see it. But it is so clear he is there for her. 

Thursday: Had a cool meeting with Sister Johnson today. Oh. I love her! She is such a good friend and is filled with so much inspirational thoughts. Each time I talk with her I feel like I am talking with a mom and good good friend that really loves me..... This evening we had an appointment with Sister Saa.. We had planned to go over the Restoration with her..... And  were able to do just that after she told us all the opposition she had been facing. Recently her relatives from America came to visit her here.. They had been so happy that she decided to start going to church and get baptized.. But when they found out she was going to the Mormon church they were SO mad.. And telling her that she could go to any church besides the Mormon one.. Telling her that the mormons just want her money and have all these too strict rules and how they are crazy..... And wow.. for a moment while listenin to all of this.. I just couldn't understand why people would be getting so upset! But then of course it dawned on me.. That obviously it was satan fueling the fire. And that those they really just didn't understand. They have never been to a mormon church... they've never taken the time to learn for themselves! Also a cool moment that I have had many times on my mission.... Was having the absolute unwavering surety and knowledge that all the negative opposing comments are simply not the truth. Sister Saa was WAY upset... But mostly because she couldn't understand either why they were bashing on something she loves so much and knows to be true. I was SO proud of her. She stood up for her beliefs. She is the most faithful person I know. She responded to us that night with: "Its okay sister! I am a child of god now!"

Push along! Pray for Robyn and Saa. 

Friday: Another switttttch off. Ya! Both sistas came to our area again! Not going to lie. Setting up two full balanced schedules for one day is not an easy task.. But wow did Heavenly Father help sister rem and I. I had the opportunity to switch off with Sister Hoftman. It was a good day. The theme for the day was "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have JOY".. We are here to have joy. Sports night: playing basketball with thai and pakistani people is the funniest thing on the planet. They go crazy. They have no concept of rules. Dribbling the ball? no no no. :) 

Saturday: The Ellsworth planned a big burrito part with a big family of investigators... It was such a huge that day. Burritos and families. God is good.

Sunday: Palm to face moment. Elder Grange asked me to say the prayer before we left their house that evening... I decided to pray in English.. bad idea. I was trying to say "we are thankful for the Grange's hospitality" instead i said "we are thankful for the Grange's hostility".... Oh goodness. I need to practise english prayers!

Oh I know that the church is true. God is real. 
I love being a missionary.
Sister Coates

 khon thais on the song taw
followed a monk

Monday, January 11, 2016

Jan 10 2016: transfers are no more

Oh so strange.

Monday 4th: We went shopping.. And that was a lovely thing. Got a text from the AP's... Saying that I will be joping (dying in thai) on March 15th.. Rather than.. 18th.. Only 3 days but what it felt strange. I used to always hear from friends on missions that they felt like they were never not a missionary. They were born one and will die one... And that is a true statement. unreal.

Tues: Way cool day. We sat down to teach one investigator at the church. And when we finished the lesson.. Another investo walked in... And than after that finished 2 more walked in... It just kept going. and going. And God is real. Also... Taught advanced english class.. which was a mistake I will never make again. Or i will just never teach grammar again. Even before learning thai i was just average at English..... But now... WOW. I had the class in uproar. NOT EVEN JOKING..... Everyone. A GERUND IS NOT A VERB IT IS A NOUN...... If you can remember this... Everything will be okay.

Wednesday: MLC! Oh today was TOOO good. Lots of fun big new things.... So in the middle of the meeting... President pulls down the projector... hits play on his laptop and then sits down... the video is of this very small meeting of seemingly important church leaders taking notes.. and one of the 70 explaining that it isn't necessary for missionaries to travel with companion when being transferred because they are in a public place..etc... And then he asks Elder Oaks to stand and validate/confirm what he said.. And then Elder Oaks stands up... And he might as well have been holding his judging hammer thing, wearing a powdery wig and addressed our mission by name! BUT he got up and said that transfer meetings are no longer part of missionary procedures... and down went his hammer and the thailand bangkok mission transfer meeting videos!! Hahaha So yes. you heard right. No more transfer meetings! Kinda sad.. But not really because I am beasically dead. And only have one of those anyways.. So I dont know how I will die.. Just peacefully step on to a plain! hahaha... The rest of the training was so good though. Working in unity with the members so important. And the other big change.... There is no longer any time restrain put on a person being baptized other than the standard of PMG... No more... have to go to church 2 weeks and quit smoking in 2 weeks.... I think this time frame was preventing a lot of missionaries from focusing on the actual needs of the investigators. So i am way excited to see the new change implemented. A lot more listening to the spirit and following preach my gospel.

Thurs: Had my "JOPing" meeting with all the sister in my group! And President and Sister Johnson.. Lots of good advice for having a plan before the badge comes off... We went around and trained the zone.. In Bang Khae and Thonburi! It was priceless when we told them about the no transfer meeting news..... We waiting till after we said the closing prayer... They were so shocked! Rem and I were so busy all day! We hadn't eaten anything since breakfast and only ha 15 minutes to be home before curfew... so we RAN to the mcdonalds for a chicken burger! Which turned out to be a giant chicken nugget slapped with mayo..... hahah fun fact about thailand... Mcdonalds is SO hi so here. But it tastes worse than america. khon thais literally flock to mcdonalds.... Sometimes I just laugh and think... hmm they should come check out the mcD's in taylorsville... or kearns! haha

Frid: Switch off with Sister Bee from Laos! It was so fun to be with her and catch on to her greenie fire! We had a big and busy day. A high light of asoke came at the end of the day.. when E rich (a lovely member in the asoke ward) came up to me and told me she really liked my watch and that she wanted me to give it to her for her birthday next year and to not shower in it... hahaha love her! I will send a pic. she is glorious and famous in the mish. I truly love her. 

Sataaaday: Another international day of teaching.. Taught our chinese investo Fu Hong. Oh that was funny. We got into this weird habit of saying the word cleanse sin in chinese and the rest in english... so it was like "fu hong we will be having a SHEE SHO on the 31st...... willl you prepare yourself to SHEE SHO on that day?? haha too good. And that evening..... We went Sunil and Huma's house... Lovely pakistani family. So nice............ I dont remember if you all remember what happened last time I went to a pakistani house............ I got so sick.... the worst food sick i had been on my mission........ So huma so sweet.. Goes into her kitchen... and comes out with the SAME DISH that i had had at the time before...... I for real said a prayer before every bite. Oh.... I felt horrible after...... but thank goodness they didnt force me to eat anymore. And i think it is now official. I am allerigic to pakistani food. 

Sunday: Happy Birthday Elder Paxton! He is 20... Wow weird. Found out im the oldest one in my district. hmm. It was a good sunday. Our awesome investigators Watermelon and chicken egg came..... Watermelon's hair made everyone jealous. :) Finished the evening eating cake at the granges! Asoke is good.

 58 For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life, and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand. And now, my brethren, what have ye to say against this? I say unto you, if ye speak against it, it matters not, for the word of God must be fulfilled.

Found this gem this morning. I really like it too! The book of life! Ohhh... sounds cool. At the beginning of my mission I had a really cool missionary tell me that God doesn't count all the people we don't invite.. but all the people we do. Therefore inspiring me to invite that many more people. The same concept can be applied with our mistakes. Heavenly father doesn't count all the times we messed up.. but all the times we rose up and did better. All the times we did works of righteousness. And I really know that to be true. Heavenly Father forgets and forgives our sins as soon as soon as we humble our selves and repent. This verse makes me want to go fill my book of life with so much good. :)

Heavenly Father is good.
I love being a missionary. 

Sister Coates

Jan 3 2016: favored of the lord

What happened in the two days since I last emailed? 
Not too much.. But a ton at the same time. Summary:

Friday: Went Ice skating with the district! Was fun... Felt very strange to see that much ice in one place... To feel that kind of cold again! It felt amazing. Fun time too. And because my companion is a Canadian. She is also of course a figure skater... In the past! She impressed us all as she made fancy twirls, twist and fishies... haha She even managed to impress a fellow falaang from Russia who came and asked her to teach her how to increase her skating speed haha.. We invited her to church and got her number. hahah referral from iceskating.

Saturday: Weird wierd day because everyone is still out of bangkok for the holidays. BUT we still managed to have some great lessons with Sister Noon and others. She is so excited to get the Holy Ghost.

Sunday: Had the most epic sacrament meeting of all time. And no! It was not in the Thai branch this time. It was international.... Goodness gracious.. I will have to tell the long story one day.. But short story.. There was a Thai member... Got up to bear their testimony/rage against faraangs... And she pulled this sweet 14 year old boy up to translate..... He did an amazing job. I don't how he was able to soften all the words she said. I don't think the any of the non thai speakers would have known that what she was saying was so horrible had the spirit not completely left.. But this awesome kid did such a good job translating. Closing remark of her testimony: "if you love me you will ask me to marry you.. but if you dont have 1 million baht dont even talk to me. In the name of... Amen"... The rest of that story.. Use your imagination.. Haha So fun in Thailand I love it so much!!! 

That night we went to the Granges' for dinner. Oh how I love them. It was so nice to be in a place where the was a warm family spirit. We love love love Elder and Sister Grange! On the way out Elder Paxton shared something that really impressed me... He read us 1 Nephi 1:1

 I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parentstherefore I was taught somewhat in all thlearning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days,nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had great knowledge of the goodness and thmysteries of God, therefore make a record of my proceedings in my days.

He explained that something he has learned on his mission was that being highly favored of the lord... does not mean that we will not have trials... But in reality it will mean quite the opposite. Heavenly father lets us have "afflictions" because those are the very things that let us become. Grow into something beautiful! With this view.. we can better face the challenges that come into our lives with the sure knowledge, hope and faith.. That we are favored of the lord. Just like Nephi. And we like Nephi can know of his goodness.

I so love the book of mormon. thailand. all of it. 
I hope you all have a wonderful week. Talk to you again on Mondays! From here on out.

I love being a missionary.
Sister Coates

oh... I couldnt not take a pic of this and send... It might not be a good thing that i did.. but I thought it was so funny that the members did it I had to.... do you recognize what they put out to eat for all the members on sunday?

Dec 31: LOOK UNTO GOD & LIVE 2 0 1 6

Happy. New. Year. 2. 0. 1. 6.

there was a lot that happened in the past 2 weeks! So many miracles. I'll fill you in. :)

Sun 20th---> SISTER SAA WAS BAPTIZED!!! Oh she truly is the coolest. And it was amazing to see her baptized. Definitely an experience I will never forget. She is completely changed for good.

Mon 21st: Christmas family home evening!!! I will never forget teaching these people here why we celebrate. Who Mary and Joseph were. The wise men and the shepherds. Everything. Priceless moment haha- we had just begun telling the story.. reading from the bible that a baby came unto Mary saying she would be the mother of Jesus... When Sister Saa stops us and says.. Ohhhh I know! That is why we say "Merry (mary) Christmas!" hahaha Love/.

Tues 22nd: Sang Christmas carols to the English class! 

Wed 23rd: Had another Christmas FHE with a few LA members... It was way interesting. haha But we felt the spirit. I know they did too.

Thurs 24th: Christmas EVE with President Johnson and his family! It was fun to feel of their warm family spirit and invite the other members to feel of it too. 

Fri 25th: CHRISTMAS MORNING IN A BROAD DAYLIGHT Oh i Skyped the best people ever today. It was so good to see all of you. I have missed ya. That is for sure. Every one looked so good. I love you all so much. Thank you for staying with me on my mission. 

Sat 26th: Taught Fu Hong. Our Chinese investigator. Lesson was first in English, to Thai and then to Chinese. Woooo!

Sun 27th: SISTER NOON WAS BAPTIZED!!! Oh it was amazing. She, as well has sister saa, has been on such a journey. As we were taking pictures together.. .she turned to us and thanked us for being so patient with her. I told her that we were so grateful to have had the opportunity, and to have met her! And that she is now part of big new family.... At which she started to cry. It was a special special baptism. No doubt she will remember for the rest of her life and i will too. Sister Saa received the Holy Ghost. She was smiling from ear to ear. She loves coming to the "christ" and learning about "heavenly". :) love her

Mon 28th: Found out an RC from one of my old areas... location will remain disclosed haha... that used to help all the time is actually a renoun SCAM artist... wanted in like 50 different places... And is now in prison for the rest of her chiwit.  So there's that. 

Tues 29th: an LA from Chaing Mai came for English. We got to know her a little bit after.. She told us this story about how her little 5 year old daughter is way afraid of ghosts... and asks to hold "the word of god" while she sleeps at night so that the ghost wont get her... When given the option she chooses the book of mormon over the bible every time saying that BOM is the only one that keeps the ghost away.

Wed 30th: Found a fabulous salad restaraunt... seriously SUCH A MIRACLE. It is SO cheap and Hi so... What sister Rem said describes our emotions that day perfectly: "I am so happy and still can't believe that I am eating broccoli. I don't even like broccoli!" :) 

Also today taught some way awesome new investigators... one's name is: Chicken Egg... the other one is an old guy with a balding head except for one long raggedy lock placed around his forehead... And his name is: Watermelon... So there's that. :)

Thurs 31st: We taught an old LA member that has been struggling between churches.. and is super mean haha.. But this time we had a prayer in our heart to just be able to teach so lovingly and through the spirit as we shared about the temple. And it went lovely. There was a beautiful spirit in the room. Do all things with love and the spirit. And everything will be okay... We explore invited today,... as Asoke... And every where around was completely MOTE of PEOPLE. Everyone went to the Ba nog for new years. It was nice though.. Before our curfew at 6 we ate at our favorite hi so thai restaurant and reflected over the past year as missionaries. All that was learned.All that was become. All them miracles that took place.  And took in the wonderful, shining with a perfect brightness of hope for the new year to come. for all that is yet to come. that is one thing I have been blessed to receive .. A perfect brightness of hope. I never really knew or could understand what that meant until now. 

I want to challenge everyone to receive this perfect brightness of hope too. It comes.. As you become familiar with the savior and his grace. It comes as you kneel in prayer. It comes as ou look unto God and live. In these past weeks I've loved studying the words of Jeffrey R Holland from his talks Remember Lot's Wife and The Best is Yet to Come.... When he said "“The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember thafaith is always pointed toward the futureThe past should be learned from 
So look forward! The best is yet to come. And I feel so grateful for this past year that is simple filled with glowing embers that have changed my life for ever. In ways that I never even imagined. Good bye 2015 the year I was a missionary and served my heavenly father every single moment! And hello 2016! I am so looking forward. 

Family I love you! i hope you all have a wonderful new years. Please read those talks I mentioned! Ponder them. Apply them! Change. Bring on the new year <3

I love being a missionary.  

Sister Coates