Monday, April 19, 2010

Explaining Songran 4/12/10

Hey Family,

Wow! Crazy weekend! Conference was great, watched it in Thai. I caught the jist of it, it ended up being a great language study. Yeah a lot of redshirt activity this past weekend, 15 people died including a reporter from Japan, and they are not happy at all. About 500 people were injured. Basically, the government gave orders for the army to start spraying them with rubber bullets and tear gas them as well. We were watching conference at the church on Saturday with several members, and between one of the sessions, someone pulled out an antenna and connected it to the tv to watch the rioting, which actually was happening on a road three miles from the church. I suspect the deaths happened from the redshirts running away, a lot of trampling, it really looked like a lot of chaos on the tv. Holy cow! Now the redshirts are starting to vandalize and steal military vehicles,is what someone said yesterday, and soldiers on the streets and bridges that we use, as of last week, are starting to arm themselves with m16 rifles. But it seems to have died down today, thank goodness, they are not going to ruin my songkran play time. We will be going out to play in just a sec. Oh yeah, I got a phone call from Elder Young at about 10:30 last night saying that a lot of very worried moms called and emailed wondering why they didn't get emails from their sons yesterday. It was because today is our preparation day. It was changed to today because of interviews yesterday. So, we will go out and play here. We are all dressed up and ready to g! This will be a real relief after last week. Results didn't look very good. We'd make appointments, go to the respective places, and they wouldn't show up, or cancel. Alot of potentials (investigators) that we found either didn't have time, or decided that its not convenient to learn right now. I expect that being unavailable had a lot to do with Songran week. Alot of poeple go to other provinces for a week. This week will be especially fun. We will really try to find stuff to do. I told him (Elder Young) about this in the interview yesterday. He said not to worry about it too much, to keep finding, have a positive attitude, and everything will be alright. Also, I am just really going to take advantage of the time, and really study and understand the gospel and lessons better and the language, to be ready for after Songran week.

The Songran Festival marks the Buddhist New Year. To answer your question, Mom, yeah, people go "do good or make merit" at the wats (the temples), but members of the church don't do that. It's just way fun! There really isn't as as much of a religious theme in it like they say there is. It is the absolute most fun water fight you will ever be in. Three straight days of getting soaked and powder dumped on you, oh yeah!

Well, I got your package, thanks so much! It was great to snack on the goodies and share them during conference. Thanks for the pictures,Mike, you're huge! Sounds like a lot of fun in Virginia. You guys look a lot different!

Well, time is about to run out. That's really exciting about the new callings in the stake next week, keep me up to date, thanks!

-Elder Schulte

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