Hey Everyone!Its been a great week, there are a lot of things that went on. First off, Both airports (Don Muang and Surinaphom) are both closed because the anti government group have taken them over, along with several goverment buildings. It just so happens that Surinaphom airport is in our area, about 6-7 miles from our house. On Friday night Elder Jones and I were on our way back from an appointment when we got a call from the zone leaders saying that all the missionaries need to be in their houses by 8:00 because the situation at the airports was getting out of control. The Thai army and police force were on their way to the airports to try and get them out. But the "yellow group" (the name for the antigovernment group) Has held the airport for several days, and I dont really know whats happening there now, because apparently the airports are supposed to open up really soon, the yellow group must be running out of food or something. Well, thats whats going on with that, but the missionaries arent in any danger. There have been no planes in the sky over this area for the last few days, only military helicopters. All flights and military planes have gone to other airports throughout Thailand .
Well many funny things have happened, Elder Jones and I are inviting a lot of people, and we have made many return appointments in the last few days, and have several new investigators. One of our investigators was baptized last week, and will be confirmed this coming sunday. The Sister missionaries in our district have 2 baptisms coming up real soon. Elder Jones likes to mess with people he meets, so what he does is go up to people and speak to them in english, and pretend that he is a foreigner who cant speak Thai. He will speak to them in english and say stuff like "Hello, what is your name?" and they will say something in Thai, and he will respond with something in english like "I cant understand Thai, can you speak english?" and they will try to speak english, and then he will start speaking in Thai and say "hah, just kidding i speak Thai." and they're all blown away that a "farang" can speak with them in extremely good Thai. So he has had some fun with that.
Well, last night Elder Jones and I were riding home from an appointment, and on the way we stopped at a store to make copies of some flyers. so we pull our bikes up to the curb, and the following conversation went like this:E. Jones: "Hey Elder Schulte, wanna see an elephant?"E Schulte:"Yeah I wanna see an elepant!"E Jones: "well turn around, there is an elphant behind you."E. Schulte:"hah, yeah right"( i thought he was just joking)E. Jones:"Well you said you wanted to see an elephant, so turn around and see the elephant"E.Schulte:"Yeah, like theres really an elephant behind me"E.Jones: "Yeah turn around and find out"E.Schulte:"Sure right what ever"OHMYGOSH!!!! THERE'S A GUY RIDING A FREAKIN ELEPHANT DOWN LASAN STREET!!!!!so i jump off the bike, and am like"we gotta go get pictures of it!!!!!!"So we go make copies and then, (OK this part Beth added from an email from William's mission companion's mom- William said, "Elder Jones let's go follow it, I HAVE to get a picture" So we started to go down the street and after about 10 meters the elephant started to cross the street and went right in between the two of us. He hurried and stopped, parked his bike and went running after it, handing to me his camera case as innocent as could be of where he had just parked his bike. As he was getting a video/picture of the elephant, I watched him(behind me) and the bike 20 meters or so in front of me from a safe distance. He came back with some great pictures and a awesome video of the elephant eating an entire stalk/bunch of bananas whole. And then after showing me, I said..."Well that's great but do you realize where you just parked your bike?" and he said..."yeah right there why?"...and I said "Well it's right in front of a 'sawng' " and he replied "What's a 'sawng?' " And then he turned around and saw all the flashing Christmas lights and ran and grabbed his bike and we got out of there. Anyways, we still can't stop laughing about the story. Holy cow! (Note from Mom, we still have no idea what a "sawng" is.)
Well, Thanksgiving was great! we went and ate with an american family(church members) in Bangkok, The Beck family is staying in Thailand because bro. beck works at the embassy in Bangkok. They have 3 kids. it was a lot of fun, there were other missionaries that came over, including Elder Volk, who was in the group ahead of me in the mtc. Dinner was wonderful, and dessert was great but the pumpkin pie didnt have any flavor, but we didn't say anything. One of the boys said"Mom this pumpkinpie doesnt have any flavor!" Sis Beck: "Oh, honey! thats because your dad made it!" Well, we had a great time, they are such a nice family, and I gave Sis Beck, your email address Mom, and she said she would send pictures of dinner sometime, I don't know if she's done that yet.
The blog sounds great! I've gotten letters from the Webbs, and I will respond to those soon! Yeah, encourage everybody( family, friends) to write letters. I enjoy responding to all mail. I havent gotten the 5 letters yet, but they will be coming soon. I am anxious to get the newsletter.
I study hard each day in scriptures and language, and as i talk to more people my ablilty to communicate in Thai increases. The spirit has been really strong, and I know that if I keep trying hard, the Lord will help me to be able to speak even better as the mission progresses.I found out that i can take my memory cards to a local store and they will put them onto a CD, so i will send you a CD full of pictures and videos, including pictures and videos of the elephant. I really like reading the general conference issues of the Ensign and Liahona. we are able to get them here, and i have some from previous conferences too. they are so good!!! and i would highly encourage you guys to read and ponder the issues of the last 3 conferences, they are extremely good issues,and i find myself reading a little bit from them each nightI saw that Elder Joseph B. Worthlin Died yesterday, do you know who they will call next? Keep me informed. Thanks for all your prayers and support, I feel like my prayers have been answers in recieving help and guidance and that the spirit works and prompts in many unusual ways, but we must listen when it does. Love you all!!!-Elder Schulte