November 21, 2011

First week in country

Well, do I have a story to tell you.

The mission home and office never flooded. He did indeed evacuate,
but just for a little bit. The office elders say mail is good, it is
working. I even got a letter already. Most people are back in their
areas - sortof. More later on that. My area isn't flooded. Sort of.
I'm actually in Bangkok, in Samutpraagaan. Except I'm not in
Samutpraagaan exactly. We've left our home, and ten of us live in
Baangnaa. Elder Mateos' area (Don't want to spell it) is underwater.
He's in Baangna as well, along with one of our Phii Thay, the older
district in the MTC. Also with us is Elder Thomson, who graduated
with me. Pretty fun.

We all pack into one room to sleep, as it has the AC. Ten people, one
room to sleep in. I'm very grateful for my blanket. It is folded in
thirds and is half of my mattress and pillow. We have some pads, but
they aren't stiff, so you just feel the floor through it. I've not
been jetlagged. Great blessing. But things still still can be really
tiring, so I sleep just fine. My stuff is a few levels up. There's
about six levels, staggered. It's crazy having three areas in one
house. Also fun to have so many elders around.

Second - My Trainer, my Pa, is Elder Seymour. He's way cool. He is
insanely nice. He complemented me for asking questions when I woke
him up to ask where the matches were (explaination forthcoming). He's
not even joking though. He loves everyone - everyone. He answers
all my questions. He has a lot of fun, and has had a lot of success.
I'm so blessed to have him as my companion. He's been sick, and I
don't know much, so we've not got a lot done yet. The new training
program takes up time, so we are out from one to nine. We're going to
have a lot of fun together and get a lot done.

It's pretty warm here. I like the humidity. It's nice. The fans are
pretty important. It's worth it to have pages flapping around. Rooms
get hotter than outside.

The food is all farang food - McDonalds, Sizzler, etc. Thai food is
basically unsafe to eat. The water smells a bit like moss. We can't
drink it, or anything made with it. So, we have hundreds of bottles
of water in the apt. We do shower in the water, and can boil it for
washing.

Thai is great! I love hearing it. Church was fantastic. I came in
planning on talking to people, and did what I could. I can't
understand most of what I hear, but learning it is definitely in
reach. I'm not worried. I understood when they said that the new
missionaries would bear testimony before the talks. I am pretty
confident, so I went right on up, happily said hello, introduced
myself (wherein I said I am from the car Utah, not the state.
Everyone laughed, but I just laughed too, commented on my abilities,
and went right on from there.) It was way fun. I love it. I tried my
best to follow along., but I don't understand most everything. You
just do all that you can, work hard, and the LORD will take care of
everything else. Inbetween classes was INSANE! We have three
branches meeting in the Baangnaa building, (hopefully we'll get back
to our building next week, we don't have any flooding) and the halls
were packed, and we had people to talk to! So much crazier than I'd
ever seen at church. It was fun talking to people. They understand
me quite well. I just have a small vocab and grammar, so I can't say
much, and I only understand what is in my little knowledge. Still,
it's great. By priesthood I was falling asleep. All the Thai is hard
to focus on after a while. I couldn't understand, and it was really
warm. I just loved church though.

We got to go and give a blessing. Well, one member gave it. It took
a couple tries, the first time he just gave a blessing. He got it
right after that, we had a handbook to explain the ordinance properly.
After that we had FHE. Broter Niin and Sister Ben are recent
converts. We did the lesson, game etc. We also had their non-member
daughter there. We'll be back next week, they're going to get some
friends to come join in. Really fun.

Well, we've got a great week ahead of us. I look forwards to it all.
So many things are different, I just love it all. Such a great time.
It's just the best. I love being here.


Love,

Elder Robert Buss


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