Sunday, June 2, 2013

Doubt is Stupid

So for starters, I promised you a video of what Song Kran was like. Here it is.

This video was made possible by Bill and Janeen Taylor who I believe are going for the Parent of the Year award. That seems like the only explanation for the incredibly generous care package I just got from them. First of all, they surprised me with a brand new lappy!!! The old one wasn't faithful enough it seems, so mom and dad came to the rescue. While I can't say a laptop is essential to serve here, it makes life undeniably easier. And just better. Add to that: enough paint brushes for me to go to art college, amazing cocoa powder for baking, so many vitamins that if I take them all, they will turn me into a super hero, much needed phone accessories, a dress, tahini... I just can't go into it all. That suitcase was a treasure chest.
Thank you dad and mom!! Your support is much needed and deeply appreciated. Love you guys.

Service is going great. Just a few shots...

The slums and the high rises.

Rounding up the kiddies for a Bible Study.

A Thai style house that I thought I would be seeing a lot more of here. But they like to adopt the Western style  of building which is nowhere near as efficient or beautiful as the Thai style unfortunately. You can't see but it's up on stilts over the garden with a beautiful porch wrapping around the entire house. 
Everybody loves this brother. You would too!

A Thai sister from Arizona Skypes into our meetings.  She is often walked around on the laptop so she can say hi to the brothers and sisters. These girls went up to talk to her arm in arm today and it was just so cute. Cut studies with the girl on the left (Nong Dia) and Amy studies with her mother.
Today Nong Dia gave her first comment that she prepared all by herself :)

The kids like My Book of Bible Stories but they LOVE the new comic strips. And they remember so much more too because it makes a deep impression on them. It's a powerful teaching aid. I'm so glad we have them!

We did something new. We have so much territory to work that basically if it's outside of Pattaya, it doesn't get worked. So 20 minutes out of town is a bit of a dead zone. Sister Toy lives out there. She is recently baptised and it's killing her that she has no one to help her work her territory. So Glen & Janelle and I are going there on Thursdays to start making something happen. It's like working in a need greater territory within a need greater territory. We all started studies. And if we had spoken Cambodian, we could have started even more! Plus, Toy treated us to lunch and coconut ice cream. Here you get served coconut ice cream with sticky rice and red beans. I liked it even though I never thought I would be eating ice cream with my beans and rice.

Cut got a return visit referred to her from the branch. We went on Saturday and met the girl. She is so ready to come into the truth. She had a Bible already and it was all underlined. Her first two questions were, how do I know Jesus is real and how can I draw close to God? We jumped right into the Bible Teach book. Unfortunately, she lives in a giant government funded apartment complex. So studying in front of her building over the loud music, drinking and dancing (at 10 AM!) was a bit distracting for us. Also, we were getting stared at. One guy finally came over with his phone and asked very politely to take a picture with me. When he tried to cuddle up though, Cut made him knock it off. Ah, awkward. So next time, we'll try to find a better place to study.
Another problem is that this girl is pretty far away so Cut was worried about being able to afford the drive out every weekend. She already has a tight budget because she quit her old job and took a pay cut to be able to work with witnesses and have more time for service (remember, she's still not baptised yet). But she prayed about it and the next day she got a check from a side job and someone treated her to dinner. She then realized that Jehovah was taking care of her. She texted me this:
"Jehovah answered me so fast! It makes me think about why I had doubt on him. He never late for us. I will take care of Nong Som (the new Bible student). He done his part so I have to do the same :)"
True! It's wonderful to be there with someone when they realize how closely Jehovah is paying attention to them.
And she bought me a super cute dress! I love this girl.

Managing to do a little recreating as well...

We found a nice quiet and clean beach far away from downtown. Then 400 Chinese  tourists found it as well.  They may be old, but they can still dance Gangnam Style. I watched it all from the safety of the water.

Literally for this pic we said, 'Let's try to be models!' Notice everyone's interpretation of what a model looks like. Very telling. This is officially my first hike in Thailand. My next one needs to happen at the crack of dawn though cuz this was way too hot. Six countries represented in this shot by the way. Love meeting everyone from around the world!

Shawn and Zina keeping the magic alive.
We stopped for coffee but the trampoline was a bonus.

Now a word about cockroaches. I am a cockroach magnet. If one is going to fall from the ceiling, it will fall on me. If one is going to run over someone's foot, it will be my foot. It's not like our house is crawling with them but every night, 2 or 3 intrepid little bugs wander into our house causing immediate pandemonium. For some weird reason, I thought they would respect the sanctity of the bed. I thought they would just stick to the floor and the kitchen. That was silly of me. Last night I woke up just in time to whack one off my face before it crawled over my... MOUTH. That. Was. Too. Far. We flipped on the lights and tore up the bed but it got away and we were forced to go back to bed with the intruder on the loose.  So for the rest of the night, every time the fan tousled my hair, I freaked out. Didn't sleep so good. Now on the hunt for some kind of cockroach repellent. Because this can't happen again. For serious.

At least there haven't been any snake encounters! Even hiking. So that's good.

Another good thing, Thai people are understanding me! And the other day when a Thai brother needed to assign a visiting Japanese sister to someone who could communicate for her door to door he looked at me and said (in Thai), "Oh! Lexi! You can speak Thai. You go with her." Music to my ears. I am good at accepting my little baby steps of progress and appreciating them. Important for the morale :)

This was the cutest talk I have ever seen. So heartfelt and bubbly. Didn't catch my favorite bits but you'll get an idea. It's fun to hear our Russian brothers and sisters give talks in English! Hopefully one day i'll sound as good in Thai as they do in English :)

Reviewed our notes from assembly for family worship  and came across a few awesome points I forgot!
Last year we spent something like 1.6 billion hours preaching. That equals 182,000 straight years of preaching without stopping!! We each did our little bit to contribute to that incredible number. The anointed couldn't have done all of that without us. Nice to know we're helping out.
We are the average of the 5 people we hang out with the most. Interesting concept, huh? Trying to figure out who that is in my life... but if our personal study is regular and deep, then Jesus can be one of those 5 closest associates for us. Good motivation for increasing our study program!
An finally... every Olympian starts out as a tiny helpless baby, unable to do anything. It takes years and practice and trial and error to get them to the point of being that beautiful machine that accomplishes the nearly impossible. I wonder why I like this one??? Oh yeah, it's because i'm at that drooling, helpless baby stage. So...patience.

Sometimes I worry about clothes. They wear out here pretty quick and i'm trying to be a good girl and not spend a lot on clothes even though they are literally EVERYWHERE. It would be so easy to go shopping every day here because they're SO CHEAP. But anyways, I have that whole budget thing so I can't. Trying to figure out needs and wants too is always a risky business. So I stress about it. Needlessly. Because Jehovah comes through. Clothes just... show up. I've gotten clothes from several sisters that sort of clean out their closets as they leave Thailand, Amy shares with me, then there's the occasional present like today from Cut or in my care package from mom and dad... It just all works out. Jehovah's even looking after our wardrobes.

The other night there was a shortage of brothers at the English meeting so Zina had to run the sound booth. So I guess what i'm saying is... come help us in English!!