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!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Jan 31 2016:Wrath of Thailand

SHOUT OUT: LYNC ITS YOUR BIRTHDAY! GO LYNCOLN isssya birtday! we gonna party like issyabirthday :P I hope you have a fun day buddy i love you! I promise to hang out and get icecream when I am hope! And guess what? I love you!

I had to decided between a few subject titles... and concluded with that one. One other possible subject title that was considered was: Buffets and Bacteria Infections..

OH but... All is well now! Thank goodness for priesthood blessings and antibiotics!!!

Also.. This past week was like the coldest in the history of thailand.... fun fact. It was MISERABLE! It was like... 60 degrees and FREEZING. I layered my sweaters and skirts for real. Dont know what on earth I am going in Utah.

Monday: I was so sick after emailing last week that we had to run/walk as fast as we could back to the apartment where I died.  I was able to put my life together to go pick up a newly set apart Thai sister missionary who stayed with us for the remainder of the night. Until she would head out for the salt lake MTC - headed to the Sydney South Australia mish.

Tuesday: Woke up at 3 in the morning. Took the new sister to airport! #sisterasokeduties Finished checking her bags and sent her off by 5 am... Got in a taxi back home for an hour of sleep to no avail as the taxi broke down in the middle of the high way.. We had to get out and push it to the side of the road. Imagine this: two 20 year old falaang girls... pushing a taxi... in the middle of bangkok... at 5 am.... Yes. We were able to sleep for 30 more minutes and then it was Zone Conference time. It was a wonderful meeting. Also, my last one. I got to bear my testimony. It was wonderful to say it in English. I have learned so much. There is so much yet to learn and become. Afterwards.. I was able to get a priesthood blessing... As I was being Thailand tortured (if you know wattaaamsayin...)... And it was such a special experience. It was amazing to see Heavenly Father work through the faith of all those who were in the room and worthy priesthood holders.

Wednesday: Went to the hospital.... The doctor man was checking my tummy- like pressing on it.. And I just about punched him in the face.. It hurt so bad! Not becuase he was like... hurting but because I had such a horrid stomach ache! So he pronounced me with an inflamed stomach and a bacterial infection and perscribed me a variety of antibiotics..... There was a silver lining..... And because of that... I decided that I could somehow manage to go see Robyn... There was no way I could miss this.. Because we had already planned to bring sister grange... and go somewhere special... yada yada yada... IT WAS A MISTAKE!!!! It was way cool where we went.. The most hiso hotel buffet on the river.... Seriously so hi so. The inside of the hotel smelled like jasmine.. In the bathrooms they had little mini lotions.. that I had the thought to take as they were like the little complimentary ones... but no i decided i wasn't that ghetto.... walk away. But we ate the buffet. It was so good. Oh it was so good. But even after eating a few bites of bread... my stomach started to hurt... So by the end of the evening.... Lets just say when were finally home and I was finished... I came into our study room and cried. hahahahahaha 

Thursday: Stayed home all day long. So needed. So sick. So bored. i watch The Restoration for the 15 millionth time. And I still love it..... As well as the other church movies.. Only a Stone Cutter.... Testaments.. The goods. 

Friday: Took things oh so slow. 

Saturday: OH IT WAS SUCH A GOOD DAY! I felt fantastic. Good health is so taken for granted. A falaang called in.... and told us he wanted to learn. He sounded WAY nice on the phone. We weren't sure if he was really going to come meet us หรือเป่ลา.... But then... HE DID.  First white investigator taught on my mission! It was the craziest experience ever! His name is david and he is from seattle. To be honest... At first I was nervous... A little scared that I wouldn't be able to find scriptures for him... because he was really smart and had a lot of knowledge so it seemed about christianism, etc ,etc.. but what was amazing was that I learned that the gospel really is so simple and the same for a thai person who knows absolutely nothing about god and for a white person who has so many thoughts from so many different sources. We were able to share the same simple scriptures that I have studied in the book of mormon my whole mission.. all of his questions were answered and lead back to prayer. scripture study. etc. It was really cool. He was not what I was expecting either.. I kept expecting him to say.... Oh just kidding im a member... or.... start bible bashing. But no.. He actually got out a peace of paper and started taking notes and wrote down the scriptures we asked him to read. So that blew our minds a little. In short.. I know God was aware of the prayer in my heart and sent his spirit to guide what we needed to say.

Sunday: A miraculous sunday for real. SO many less active members that I have been trying to find and contact and met with everything! WERE AT CHURCH! At oh it was so heaven sent because Elder Kannakam (the area 70) came!!!! and there was a combined RS and priesthood meeting where finding heavenly father's lost sheep was the topic.. The spirit was so strong.. and it was just so not a coincidence. ...... Also another first timer... We taught a new investigator today. A lady monk. It was pretty cool. She is meeting with us again and took the commitment to pray daily.. saying she feels so peaceful when she prays to god. Not too sure how that all works out with being a buddhist monk and all.. but we'll take it! Overall... it was a really good sunday in Asoke... And possibly a wonderful finale in asoke as well? I would be sad if I had to go... There are so many people here that I have become so close with.. But whatever happens. I'll go where you want me to go.

I also have to give a little shout out to my companion Sister Remington because I know for sure we won't be companions for this next transfer. She was an answer to so many prayers and most definitely one that I was supposed to meet here. She helped me grow and become so much. I am so grateful for the two transfers I got to be her khuu. 

The work is so good in Thailand everyone. Heavenly Father is so real! It is so fun to be here at this time. I feel so blessed. I keep getting all these pictures from friends going to the new Provo temple... And I can't help but get butterflies knowing that so soon... Thailand will have that too. 

I love being a missionary.
Sister Coates

pics attached:
that is a pic of the food that cause the worse pain of my life..
sister rem, me and sister noon our awesome RC... and the lady monk! Yeah they wear white. Her name is Cat... or in thai is is Meow :) yes that is cat in thai.