Elder Dillon Haughton 3rd Week in Thailand!
Hello World!! So this past week was super busy! Full of elephant poop, thundering rain, baptisms by water and fire and anointing with oil in Thai. . . oh and the occasional train (yikes). But I’ll start from the beginning:
I rode an elephant!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so cool, her name was Lisa and she was six years old (or at least I think that’s what the guy said). She pretty much took us around the jungle, eating along the way. The trainer was getting so ticked because the elephant would always stop and start eating. He had this little staff thing he used to keep it going though, besides the amazing views and getting to touch a real elephant and sit on its back (in a little carriage thing).
The highlight was one time the trainer (or rider) was pretty ticked and kinda prodded it harder than usual and the thing trumpeted. . . No other sound on earth or sounds from movies can prepare you for that noise. . . It resonated throughout the entire canyon, or valley, jungle, whatever. That was really great to hear, so stinking loud and just awe inspiring. It was crazy too while we’re riding, this little kid is riding by on his bicycle and isn’t surprised there’s an elephant walking down the street, but the elephant starts wrapping its trunk around the kid and he freaks out and bolts. The trainer just starts laughing (haha). It was pretty funny. So that was an amazing experience. I thanked my elephant afterwards for all it had taught me and it gave me a hand shake goodbye (note to self: elephant noses really do have those big holes in ’em. I don’t know why, but that was really cool to see that). Oh and elephant poop is the size of a medicine ball!!
So the week goes on . . . we continue to prepare Brother tii for baptism and help our other investigators. Then one of the members here who was a former missionary, but had to get sent home for medical problems needed surgery. So we go to the hospital and give him a blessing. Elder Todd did the hard part and I did the anointing which in Thai is more complicated then most calculus equations!! But I managed and he came out just fine 🙂 Very spiritual experience seeing as the hospitals here are pretty sketchy (haha).
After that the really only other event that holds super significance was the baptism of Brother tii. Elder Todd did it and it was amazing. Before the ordinance one of the members, Brother Gawn, sits by me and pulls out his Thai Preach My Gospel. (Now Brother Gawn is the most amazing guy you can meet. He is 19. A convert of about a year and his family and he are a part of this hill tribe, that lives in you guess it, the hills! Most of the his tribe can somewhat speak Thai, but for the most part they speak this language that he’s been teaching us alittle and it sounds like nothing i’ve ever heard and there is no written form so it’s pretty neat!) So he’s been a member for about a year and wants to serve a mission really bad and he pulls out his Preach My Gospel and starts reading some of it with me, going through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and stops, then says, “I’m going to teach this people,” and he said it so thoughtfully so ready, so lovingly and I just thought why can’t we all have this resolve? This love for the Gospel and for Jesus Christ. He truly has saved us and bore our griefs and more often then naught we set that aside for the things of the world. Why can’t we all want to serve and know this is Christ’s church without stubborness of heart and follow willingly. I encourage everone to ponder what this message means to them – the message of our church. For it is a message of happiness and I see that now more than ever out here 🙂
After that I watched Brother tii get baptized and it’s in moments like that where you just want to spend forever in. But time moves on and there’s much more work to be done. One of our other investigators who was there got called out by Brother tii when he was speaking about getting baptized and it was great because he agreed to a baptismal date!! And on Sunday another one of our investigators, Maprang (famous singer here), agreed to be baptized. She really is golden! She told us about how she prayed to make it church on time and all the lights were green for her going to church that day. She was like, “Of course, I believe in God – that never happens here!” (lol) We asked her who she would like to say the prayer and she gets on her knees and goes . . . umm . . . “I would!!” It’s hilarious. She knows I can’t speak Thai well, so she always stops and goes, “You understand no?” (hahaha).
It’s finally just hit me that i’m kinda a baby here. I was helping the members cook the other day and took me 10 minutes to figure out where they wanted me to put the watermelon (in the fridge, of course). Like if my companion left me, I’d die because I couldn’t order food. I could make noises I guess and point to my mouth, but that’s kinda what babies do and it’s really hard! But the members are patient.
I have no idea why they tagged me as Moses in that photo! They are always giving nicknames (lol). It’s so easy to love them. Here the people are truly amazing! So yeah . . . there’s always so much more that happens, but i’ve gotta write the rest of my family. I hear my little sisters going to college!! ahhhhhh! 😀