Sunday, July 17, 2016

Lao is coming soon . . .

My dear family and friends, I have some exciting news! I have been called to serve in the country of Lao! I have known for quite some time now, but I haven't been able to tell any of you - but now I can!! WOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Lao is a communist country bordering Thailand. They speak Laotian (which is kind of like Thai but not really...the tones are different...kind of like Cantonese and Mandarin). It is a non-proselyting mission, so I will be teaching English for the duration of my days there. And I get to do service all the time. There are only 6 missionaries in the country...it should be a great experience, and I can't wait to serve the people of Laos! I can feel all of your prayers, and I am so grateful that you pray for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 


Something that gave me great comfort was talking with the elder that I was replacing in Lao. His name is Elder Robert Pratt, and he just ended his mission from Lao. He told me some words of advice. In Thailand, you TEACH about Christ. But in Lao - you SHOW about Christ. I can't wait to serve in Lao, and I am excited for this new opportunity.

Leaving from Lao... going to Lao. Thanks Elder Pratt, we love you man.

ALSO... S/O to my sister Eliza. She is turning 18 years old this week. And going to college. She just sent a picture of a boy kissing her cheek. Boys are gross. Darn it Eliza - you are too stinking old..... but I love you anyway and am so happy for this big moment hahahaah Happy Birthday sweetheart :) Love you! 

The Work: 
I am currently waiting for my visa here in Asoke (downtown Bangkok). As soon as I get that, I go to the apartment, get my stuff, and hop on a plane to a new land, a new language, and a new culture. Please pray that the visa will come soon. I am currently in a TRIO with Elder Hollis Hunt from Riverton, Utah and Elder เชิดชัยภูมิ (Cherdchaiyaphum) - or Elder Cherd for short. He is from Korat here in Thailand, and we are in the same group! 

Elder Hunt and Elder Chert... amazing guys

We are having the FUNNEST time here in the heart of the city! Asoke is like Times Square of NYC. Our church building was the first church building here in Thailand, and it has been really fun to be in a huge bustling city again! Being in a trio is great. It feels like we are in a gang or something just walking on the streets like business men... absolutely a blast. Not to mention that Elder Cherd and Elder Hunt are HILARIOUS hahahaha. The Lord's work goes on in all countries with all people! 

Three amigos
The Culture: 
1. Asoke is downtown - so many people. It reminds me of Tokyo - just hotter! 

View from apartment

2. We went to the international ward yesterday for church. It was super awesome to hear church in English! I haven't had that in a solid year! The countries that attended (I wrote them down): Iran, Mexico, Pakistan, Korea, Hong Kong, China, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand, America, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Burma, Nigeria, Canada, Great Britain, and the Philippines. I love the church. It is global, and it is true! 

Hey แม่ วารุณี !!! We say "Hi" from Asoke!

The Funnies: 
1. We met a kid (like 5 years old) on the street, and his name was Nehor. Elder Cherd turned to us and said, "กลับไจนะลูก." (Thai speakers will understand - sorry fam.)

2. When we get on the MRT (subway) to go home every night, Elder Hunt and I do a little skit on the subway really loudly saying, "Hello sir... I don't know where to learn English.. and I have no money... WHAT SHOULD I DO?" He answers, "Well sir... did you know that white people at the church located at _____ at this time ____ teach for FREE?"... And we just talk about English really loudly (because everyone is silent while on public transportation). The Thai people just love it and laugh. And we get people to come to English class. Win win hahahaha. 

English is on Tuesdays 18:30-20:00. Visitors welcome!

3. Elder Cherd accidentally taste tested a coffee doughnut, and when Elder Hunt went to taste test, Elder Cherd said, "Elder no! It's coffee!!!!! Suck!" Hahahahahaha we all laughed about it.

Caught ya sleepin' Cherd

4. While I was praying at one of our investigator appointments, a cat came into our little circle and started coughing up hairballs during the prayer hahahahahahaha. I couldn't contain myself and started laughing. So we prayed again. 

5. Quote of the day: "Anyone can eat when they're hungry, a MAN eats when he's full." - Elder Hunt.

6. Elder Cherd AND Elder Hunt got nailed ths week trying to get out of the MRT station with their cards. You have to pay for the subway so you have to go through these queues, but if you don't go fast enough, you get nailed by these red bars. They both got nailed. I didn't hahahahaha. You would think I was the veteran or something ;) 

We need baptism!

Spiritual thought:
This past Sunday I had the opportunity to check out Family Search. I thought it was pretty boring until I found out that I could read journal entries from my ancestors. I spent all of Sunday School and Priesthood reading about my ancestors (both Smith and Driggs)... totally feel bad about that, and I need to repent, but I WAS SO EXCITED to read about my ancestors. I finally got the appeal. Everyone says it is so great and so much fun. I was sitting there like, "This is great work and all.... but it isn't very fun at all:/.... Why are they trying to appeal to us by saying family history is a "fun thing to do?" Brothers and sisters, I have needed to repent big time. I have had some of the most amazing experiences these last couple of weeks reading about my amazing ancestors. You can check out the website and look at your family tree, see their pictures, what they did in their lives, memories that other people have of others.... it is incredible. I am actually writing this out of my own volition. This is not an assignment from the mission president to talk about this or anything.... I just genuinely enjoyed learning about my amazing heritage and would encourage you to do the same. The hardest thing to do is pressing the start button. The hardest hurdle to cross is to actually go on the website and log in... after that.... seriously it gets pretty fun! I am not kidding! So give it a go and read about great great great grandma from England when she joined the church... that is your family line! HOW COOL IS THAT!

I love you all so much. I am so grateful I have had the opportunity to serve in Thailand and who knows? I might come back to serve here again?! But for now, I have been called to Lao to show about Christ. And I can't wait to go! I love you all so much and thank you for your service back at home and your prayers. God bless.
Stay sweet.

-- 
Love the Lord and Laugh, 
เอ็ลเดอร์ สมีธ-ดริกส์

Elder Smith-Driggs  

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Elder Smith-Driggs. Wow, so exciting. You will be great and what a wonderful opportunity to learn another language. go "show about Christ", it's all His work. Blessings to you! Babbi Hill

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