Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lots of Changes 7/15/09

Hey Everyone,

Its time to write about the adventures of the past week.
Elder Palmer moved to ChangRai. It is an area in northern Thailand. Elder Wiser died. Well, not really, its just a missionary term that means that he finished his mission, and went home to Kaysville Utah. Man, he is an awesome guy! Elder Webb is here in Ubon with his new companion, and I am still in Warin with mine.

Last Tuesday, we had our showcase night for English class, and we played kickball, which was alot of fun. A lot of Thai poeple have never played before, but they like baseball, so they had a pretty good idea how to play. It was a great night!

Earlier that day we found out that Elder Palmer was moving to ChangRai so we spent the day cleaning and packing. Wednesday morming we went to the candle festival, which was amazing, I got a lot of cool pictures of the floats, the candle designs are really neat, and yes thats the word, the designs are very intricate. The details that they they put on these must have taken months to do. Each of the floats were representations of buddhist artwork, with dragons, angels, and priests. Wow, its amazing!

That night Elder Palmer and I got on an hour long bus to Sisagate, met up with the Sisagate district, and took an all-night bus to Bangkok. It was a very long night, because I don't sleep very well, on buses or trains. When we got there, the assistants picked us up and took us to Pakkret, and we had the "moves" meeting. It was a great meeting! Almost all of my original district is gone. The two sisters, Bileen and Sucharit are finished and have returned home. Sister Sucharit is from Ubon, so it is really great to see her at church in Ubon, on the other side of the country! Man! Small world! Well, anyway, Elder Jones is a zone leader in Pakkret, and he has one more move left. Elder Frischknecht is now a zone leader in ChangMai, after spending four moves in Bangna! Man, he is great!

I'll tell you about our district. My new companion is Elder Volk. This is his first time being senior companion, and guess what, he is only one move ahead of me. So, I know him pretty well from the MTC. Sweet!!! The district leader is Elder Wright who is Elder Webb's new companion.

We went and renewed visa's in Bangkok, ate, and then got on a train and rode all night back to Ubon. It was another long night! Oh well, we got back all right. I am really surprised at how easy it is to get around this country! We got back Friday morning, unpacked and toured Warin for a little while. I showed him where some of the members are, investigators, temples, neighborhoods. Elder Volk is a hard worker. I’ll just tell you now, from what I've seen the last few days, he is the perfect example of “forget yourself and go to work.” He is an Airforce man, he’s from Waldorf Maryland, and really good at this missionary thing. Lol! It’s gonna be a great move!

The last 2 days we have worked pretty hard. Yesterday, we taught a man named Dome, and now he has a baptismal date for the 9th of august. Later that day, we taught an awesome lesson with Naraine, we had a baptismal date for him last move, but he didn’t quite make it. He is still learning with us, and we reviewed the Plan of Salvation with him last night, and with each section of the lesson that we taught, we tied the ordinance of Baptism into it. At the end we gave him a commitment to be baptized, and he’s like “ok, i’ll do it!”
We did the same thing with the lesson for Dome, and at the end gave the baptismal commitment, and he was like “sure!” It was really cool.
Its been great this week so far, and I know we are going to have a lot of success over these next five weeks.

Well, as for things here, I've been kinda tired lately, but I am exercising and eating a lot of fruit. The Swine flu is scaring a lot of people. I see a lot of Thai people wearing face masks. It’s a big deal here! I think there have been some deaths already. How is it in America?

Its been raining a lot here still. The rainy season hasn’t stopped. It seemed like it did for a few days, but then it started up again a few days ago. It rained all night the last 2 nights, and a lot during the day as well. Man, I don’t know how Thai people put up with this, it is a lot of rain.

The Ubon branch is going to have an open house on the 18th for the new church building. This building blew Elder Volks mind. All of Sunday, he was saying things like, “Whoa, this building is huge, Whoa, they have a family history center! Whoa, they have a copy machine, Whoa, they actually have PEC (a committe meeting) on Sundays, Whoa, they have deacons that pass the sacrament…” It was cool! This ward is pretty sweet, they do have a lot of programs and things that a lot of wards and branches in Thailand don’t have, and now they get to continue utilizing these programs with the blessing of a brand new church building. Currently it is the largest LDS church building in Southeast Asia. FOR REAL!

That’s about it here. Thanks for writing, it sounds like the trek was great! I never got the chance to do that, but maybe in the future. I can't wait for you guys to get the photo discs! These discs won't have the candle festival pictures in Ubon, they will be on the next one. If there is anything else that I have left out or forgot to mention, let me know. Thanks for your support! Take care and GodSpeed!!!

-Elder Schulte

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