Monday, September 28, 2015

Look out Lebron...

You could say my week was a success due to one thing: I dunked a basketball. BOOM. Look out Lebron - I'm coming your way. I think the next step is the Thailand National Team then the NBA.

In other news... I dunked the basketball AGAIN. HAHAHA so sorry. I just have been dreaming of that moment for a long time. It has got to be that extra spiritual missionary boost that gave me the hops - or it could be my sandals ;) 

Morning Thai Culture Studies

This is what Thai people do when they have little kids...They put them on their head and hold the umbrella above them. I just failed at it hahahaha. 

Chillin' with Woody

Just FYI - Last week we went to this HUGE mall in downtown Bangkok for P-Day. It is called Terminal 21 because it is themed like an airport. 7 stories tall - it has 7 different floors with 7 different cultures and shops according to that area of the world. So last week Elder C and I took a little trip to the Caribbean, Paris, San Fransisco, London, Tokyo, Istanbul, and Hollywood! I even got a picture with my boy Woody from Toy Story! The best thing about it though is that the bathrooms are themed as well... so you KNOW we went into every bathroom just to wash our hands on every floor hahahahahahhaha.  [Mom comment: P-Day (Preparation Day) is when the missionaries take care of personal needs (laundry, shopping, cleaning, etc.) and visit local places if they have time.] 

Terminal 21 - San Francisco


The main thing that I took away from this week is that numbers do not necessarily reflect effectiveness or effort. We set our goals according to the appointments we had set up and had the faith to achieve those goals each day... but when someone doesn't show even when you have confirmed... that does not mean that you are a bad missionary. You have done your best. It was their choice not to come. The same goes for investigators who choose not to read their scriptures, who choose not to pray or to come to church. Agency is a double-edged sword. Other than our appointments not showing up, this week Elder Chamberlain and I made some huge progress on records and LA retention [less active]. God really helped us out. I was feeling pretty bad Sunday because not one of our investigators showed up to church. But Elder Chamberlain reminded me that we had 3 rescues (LAs that have come back for the third time). Our efforts are never wasted. The work goes on! 


Elder Arne (AP [Assistant to the President] who is leaving). 
STUD - I did my first contacting with him my first day here.


[Mom comment: Notice the picture of Jesus in the lower left corner:)]

1. For funerals, it is not uncommon to gift the family a fan as a parting gift. It is soooo hot here in Thailand - everyone needs a good fan! 

2. For whatever reason, Thais don't understand the Farangs (white people) doing dishes. They think that because we have dishwashers we don’t know how to scrub with a sponge and hand dry stuff. So this week when Elder Chamberlain and I were cleaning up after an activity, the members were all saying - "Wow! They are so skilled!!" Hahaha we just chuckled.

A member's house in Thailand. Gotta love the jungle! Also notice the way they squat. It is pretty typical in Asian countries. I have started doing it. It is very comfortable. They are doing dishes.

3. I may be able to wash dishes, but I can’t mop a floor like the Thais do. I just started mopping after the activity (again to the Thais amazement). They were like, "Wow Elder Smith-Driggs, you are really good at that!" Hahahhaha - after I was done mopping, I went and taught a lesson... then returned to the kitchen to see them re-mopping the entire floor because I did it wrong. Hahahahaha they were so embarrassed hahahaha! They are the sweetest people on the planet.

4. Just some food for the week: Squid noodles, street food, spicy octopus curry, lots of spicy pork. And I did order my soup without the chicken foot in it. Like an actual chicken foot. The broth was DELICIOUS, but I couldn't bring myself to eat the chicken foot quite yet. [Mom comment: Thank goodness!  His friend went to the hospital after eating a bird’s head.]

Some great street food! Curry - it costs about 75 cents USD. 

Food stand lady - We eat lunch from her often. This is where everyone eats food in Thailand. And it is DELICIOUSLY SPICY. Sanitary? Let's hope...there aren't any other options hahahaha.


1. In English Class I learned a new word! I was teaching the advanced class and it came time for conversation topics. One of the KhonThais asked me what my vocation was. I stared at him blankly and asked what that meant in Thai. Yeah - it is basically what I do for work. Even Elder Chamberlain knew what the word was. I guess it wasn't in that list of 100 top SAT words I memorized in 10th grade hahahahaha. [Mom comment: I failed you son;)] 

2. The Farang lady asked us yesterday if we wanted to be cleansed from sin hahahaha. She yelled from her little cart, "Farang yaagja laang baab mai?" Hahahahaha - we knew it was going to be a great day. 

3. Bro Chili, the ward mission leader, bought a shirt (as shown in photo)... I don't think this needs any explanation. Hahahahahahaha good thing we had a Sharpie on hand.

Flynn Rider

Spiritual Thought: 

During church, I was thinking a lot about understanding. The Thai language is not the easiest thing to learn:

It looks like this: ภาษาไทย 

Sounds like this: PhassaaThai (with tones)

Now imagine that at fluency speed. 

Yeah. Understanding is big. Right now I have a hard time understanding people. It made me realize how little we understand about the spiritual language from our Heavenly Father. He is trying to communicate with us through the Holy Ghost. Do we understand it? Are we trying as hard as we can to develop that ability as we are trying to learn a new language, learning a new job style, adjusting to having a family? Everything comes back to the ability to understand. How do we understand Heavenly Father better? I don't have an answer. I never do. This is just a spiritual thought not a spiritual thought and answer hahahhaha. I wish I had the answer. But if I did.... I would have no opportunity to grow. The unknown is the playing field of our brain. We have the tools to win the game. We have the scriptures, we have prayer, we have the Proclamation to the Family... but we don't have our overall strategy. The play book is in His hands. So we need to be the kind of players who trust the Coach. I promise He will lead us to victory. He will lead us to understanding.

May God be with you all as you prepare to receive the amazing revelation we can get when we listen to General Conference. [Mom comment: That is a biannual meeting broadcast via the internet from SLC to people everywhere.  Our church leaders speak to us about uplifting topics meant to bless our lives.  Here is a link to all sessions of General Conference, starting with the women’s session from this last Saturday: I have a non-LDS sibling who likes to find talks from past conferences to listen to for life inspiration. Links to past conferences are on the left-hand column.]

Also... everyone remember it is my mom's BIRTHDAY on October 5th - so make sure to send her lots of love because I can't. SHE DESERVES IT! I love you Mom! Happy birthday coming up soon! You are the BEST! 

[Mom comment: I love that boy for remembering:)  Please write him - not me;)  That would be a great gift!]

Love always,
Elder Smith-Driggs  

Beautiful sunset...

1 comment:

  1. You Rock, man!!! It's good to hear from you, and see pictures of you and E. Chaberlain. It looks like you are both enjoying your time together! Thank you for being such a great missionary and sharing the blog with everyone!
    Rob Nielson