My companion is Elder Davis, who was in my district in the MTC! Having a companion in the same group as you is pretty unusual, and we are so lucky to be up here. We both have 2 transfers left (due to a change in the length of transfers we get a bonus transfer!) and we are the oldest missionaries in the mission. We're expecting to finish our missions up here. Which means we have a lot of work to do.
We're up her as zone leaders in a massive zone. There are only 12 companionships, but there are 5 districts and the areas are spread out. Also Burma/Myanmar is in our zone too. (Maybe we'll get to do switch-offs there!!!) The average distance between us and our districts is about a 4 or 5 hour bus ride.
Chiang Mai is an ancient city, which means it is also a tourist city. So we run into tons of tourists!!! Tons, from China and basically everywhere else. I'll have to get used to being around Caucasians again. With the increase of foreigners, there is a dramatic increase in persecution too! Which we love. The nice part about being here is that because we're not in Bangkok, people listen to us. We meet so many people! The malls (we have started comparing them to synagogues) are massive and busy. The sad part is that we're starting to get kicked out of every place. We normally just invite in the parking lots and on the street but now they're telling us that no religion is allowed to teach in the parking lots either. So it looks like we're going to have to bike a little bit farther to find people. But I trust that it'll work, maybe even better than the malls.
We moved in with one dater in the area, Sister Pat, she got baptized on the 7th. When we first met her we thought that she was already a member.
We're working with two other awesome investigators, Brother Pawn and Brother Gaw.
Brother Pawn is so nice. I love to teach him. He really understands the gospel. Recently he's been struggling to apply the principles, but we had an amazing lesson with a member of the district presidency. I wanted to cry it was so good! Brother James basically taught everything. He taught the plan of salvation in a very powerful way. He taught some deep doctrine, but used it to apply the Plan to Brother Pawn. Since then Brother Pawn has accepted a baptismal date for this next Sunday and is progressing really well.
Brother Gaw is amazing! Our first day in the area we called one of the names in the contact book and invited him to a FHE activity that Monday. He told us that first day that a customer came to his mom's coffee shop and talked with him about the gospel for a while, instilling a desire to read the Book of Mormon. So about a month before we got there he went to the church to get a book of Mormon. The Elders taught him about it and taught a couple commandments. He said that they didn't contact him again until we called. He said he was already planning on going to the church that day anyways. During that month he had read up until 2 Nephi 16 and had started keeping the commandments. We've had some powerful lessons with this man, and he has so much faith now. He's more than a golden investigator. After our most recent lesson he told us that the room was full of the spirit and that every time one of the members spoke, they spoke with the power of the Spirit. He just gets it. I feel like we're not teaching him, we're just reminding him of what he already knows and telling him how to apply it.
I love missionary work.
Sister Pat's baptism!
A really pretty temple at the highest point of Thailand. Temple run anybody?
Two temples on another part of the mountain. If any of you watch Avatar the last airbender this is definitely the inspiration of the dragon dance thing! So we did some Karate over there.
Another advantage of serving in Chiang Mai is all of the foreign food! It's so good!!!!