Monday, May 31, 2010

Successful Gym Trip

I FINALLY FOUND A GYM! Halalujah! And man did it feel good to exercise in an air conditioned space! I loved it I felt so good. Then to top it off I killed all those hard worked calories with NOI NAH! Oh man, that stuff is heavy duty heaven! I loved it! My first time trying it. Today I bought my plane tickets to fly up for Bangkok for a week and then we are going to go to Chaing Mai for another week after that. I’m excited to get out of the house a bit more and see a little bit more of the country.

Thailand sure has a sense of humor

Tiip, she has got to be the funniest Thai lady I have ever met. She is hilarious! I think that she is going to take Duang and me to Phuket sometime before I leave in July. I think it will be a lot of fun. Hopefully it won’t be too windy and we will be able to go to Phi Phi Island.

Birthday Today! :)

Birthday was great! I got to skype with my family in the morning. I had wonderful sisters that savataged my suit case before I left the states and they not only slipped cute inspirational quotes and little candies into all my bags, but slipped birthday letters into my pocket as well. Thank you girls! You almost made me cry. =) Khun Ma and Pa bought me American food for my birthday. They figured what American girl wouldn’t like pizza and soda for her birthday. They were right. I’ve also been wanting to go to the market to buy young coconut. Kuhn Ma made sure I had some fresh to try for my birthday. 
God must know I love the rain because it poured for my birthday. I went and played in it and before two minutes was up I was literally soaked. Dinner we had a big party with singing, food, cake, and more. I love this family so much. They made it a special day for me

American Idol in Thailand? haha

I met Duang’s uncle. He spoke a little bit of English. From the impression I got he is some sort of DJ and music artist. When he found out I was from America he got super excited and wanted me to sing as an American on one of his shows. He treated me like some future celebrity or something. However I’ve never heard of half the songs he wanted me to sing so I told him we will see…

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Well today is my birthday and what a wonderful day it has been. Thank you for all my dear wonderful friends and your birthday wishes. I'm very grateful for you all. =) My birthday has been really fun. I woke up this morning and got to skype my family and a few friends. For dinner we had a big birthday party for me, Duang, and her mom. We all were born in the best month of the year which was of course... MAY! We sang, ate cake, and had a lot of fun partying :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Went golfing for the very first time in my life. I wish I could say I was a natural but.... that isn't the case lol... I was lucky to hit it past 50. The owner of the court even came out and kindly told me next time he would give me private instruction to help me work on my swing. I must have looked desperate. haha. But the good news is I had so much fun! I also went to the park to feed the catfish, took a walk to the turtle park, and ate dinner at Duangs Aunts restaurant. It was great! Love thailand.
Went golfing for the very first time in my life. I wish I could say I was a natural but.... that isn't the case lol... I was lucky to hit it past 50. The owner of the court even came out and kindly told me next time he would give me private instruction to help me work on my swing. I must have looked desperate. haha. But the good news is I had so much fun! I also went to the park to feed the catfish, took a walk to the turtle park, and ate dinner at Duangs Aunts restaurant. It was great! Love thailand.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day of Buddha

Yesterday I went back to the temples to get more photos (since the others are gone :( ! ) It ended up being a much more succesful day than the first because they were celebrating a holiday for Buddha. The way Coon Ma phrased it was the day they celebrated their god being born, enlightened, and died. There was music, ceremonies, altars, and signs all around. I even got to go up into the pagoda with D and Coon Ma. They said it doesn't happen very often.
Well, I have a sad blog to post today. All of the pictures I have taken up to this point are gone! Somehow my disk got a virus from the computer I was using them to download and when we were trying to fix the disk it messed up my photos and they are all gone! So now I can't use that disk anymore and I have to start over on the photos. Good thing it was only a week into the trip. Still, I had about 200 photos... Anyway in order to avoid that sadness again I'm sorry to say it but I will not be narrating my blog with anymore pictures until I have them safely uploaded to a CD where i know they aren't going to dissapear. That would be tradgic if it happened again. So I'll still write what I'm doing but just not illustrate it with pics till I get home.... Sorry folks. I don't want to start a riot.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lucky Gong

This gong is the wish maker. Thai's come here in the temple to make a wish and then they rub that middle part of the gong with their hands. If they can make the rubbing make loud ringing noises then your wish will come true. I believe it. I saw a guy do it while I was there! :) It was cool!


I've never seen so many Buddha's in all my life. Most of the Thai homes have a Buddha room where they go and worship. The hand positions of the buddha mean different things. When the hand are both up like they are saying stop that is Buddha reminding us to avoid temptation and to stop that which does not bring us unto God. There is a Buddha with lots of arms and 4 faces. The faces represent North, South, East, and West which are symbolic of all seeing. Duang says the multiple arms are to symbolize Buddha doing multiple things at the same time. The Buddha with the okay sign on both hands in the Lotus pose is wisdom and meditation. And the Buddha that is sitting and looks like he is sitting in a chair with spikes coming out is the Monday Buddha. There is a Buddha for each day of the week. There is a Buddha to pray for for each situation. Rain, guidance, fertility, love, etc. I think its interesting that most businesses are still closed on Sunday but that Duang says that it has nothing to do with religious orientation... she didn't know why they do that.

White Blood

There are many stories that go along with Thai culture. Many of the monument Statues have stories to go along with them. There is a statue at the temple of an old queen and king. The king was told that the queen committed a crime. He sentenced her to death since all the people were enraged by this accusation that was made against her. The queen refused to admit her crime and plead innocent. None the less she was sentenced to death. She said that if her blood was red when they cut off her head then she was guilty of the crime but if they killed her and her blood was white then she was innocent. The people said that on that day when they killed her that her blood was White...

Stories within ancient Thai Tradition

Many years ago, Thailand used to be ocean just like a lot of other places. There is a statue of two people sailing a ship. Many Thai people burn incense and bring flowers in memory and honor the first 2 people that sailed here and settled Thailand. It is over 3000 years old.
Sunday was good. It wasn't like my typical Sunday but still uplifting and I feel like a lot of good things came from it. It was the first time I had slept all the way through the night and I woke up very early. I read and studied for a couple of hours before I came out to have breakfast with the family.
Duang knew that I would be sad we didn't get to go to church this week so had our own spiritual lesson. She brought out the piano and I was able to play hymns for quite a while. Little and Duang sang with me the opening song. Duang said the opening prayer and then we taught Duangs sister Little about the Godhead. Little goes to a Catholic school right now so she is familiar with Christian teachings. Duang asked her at the end if she believed what she said was true and Little said she did. I could tell she was intently listening to what Duang was saying. I am amazed at the great missionary Duang is. Everywhere she goes whether it was on our plane ride home or talking to her family or extended family she is never afraid or reserved about sharing the gospel. It's like on the plane ride to Thailand she would always ask who ever we were sitting by what they believed and proceed to talk about the LDS faith. She would then turn to me and ask me to explain more in depth questions and explain to our plane neighbors that I was going to be serving in NYC as a missionary. She really is an example of light and truth. Her family are "good people". I'm coming to love them more and more. Now that Duang has been reading Thai scripture she is able to explain the gospel to them in her language I can feel her testimony and conviction of the gospel principles. She is an example to me of courage and what we should all be more like. I love her and I'm so grateful to be a guest in her home this summer.

After our little Sunday school lesson, we went to her Aunts house where her grandma had made all the family and delicious meal. We ate talked and visited. Duang once again talked to her Aunt and Grandma about LDS faith and answered their questions. Her family is so intrigued that I'm planning on going to NY in September to be a missionary. Then Duang Family and I left to go to the park. This park wasn't like the parks in the U.S. It is much bigger. There is still the parkway trail with hills, and ponds, etc. Everything is so much more green and lush with color. It's truely beautiful. They also had a miniature zoo. Coon Ma knows how much I loved going to see the Monkeys in Petburi so we went and saw the monkeys at the park. I was loving it but the rest of the family didn't like the way the animals smelt lol. They kept saying "Mhen" which means "it stinks!" So we had to leave sooner than I would have liked but it was a fun day. Different from most my Sunday's in Utah. Still full of the same spirit though.

Buddhist Temple Feild Trip

I went to one of the Buddhist temples yesterday with Duang and Coon Ma. It was good to go with her mom because she was able to answer a lot of questions I had about the Buddhist faith. I enjoyed the beautiful buildings very much. I have many pictures of the large pagoda that is located in the center of the temple yard. You will notice the large pagoda in the background and the smaller memorials that look like miniature pagoda's. Evidently the Pagoda was built in such a way that it never casts a shadow. I don't know how they did it. It doesn't make sense to me, but I still think its cool. Duang says the one time in history that the people say they did see a shadow that something bad happened to the rest of the people. It's just this particular pagoda that was built this way though. The smaller pagoda's around us can be compared to the equivlents of our cemetaries. People are buried all around but the large pagoda is reserved for the Buddhist God. They don't open the doors ascending to the pagoda very often but since it was a Buddhist holiday I got to go up and walk around the Pagoda. It was rad!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ling (Monkey) Galore

So we drove to the South Yesterday since the riots are so bad in Bangkok. We did a couple of really cool things along the way. I had lunch at a restaurant with Duang and her parents. We seem to eat a lot of fish. It is coon Pa's favorite. I ate it for breakfast lunch and dinner yesterday. I had a iced ovaltine drink. They love ovaltine here. It had so much sugar in it though! I had a hard time drinking all of it. Duang's was a strawberry milk drink. We also stopped on the street so I could take picutres of all the monkeys on the street. Petburi is the name of the city we stopped in to take pictures with the monkeys. Duang said we would find nicer monkey's to pet but that we could still get out to see them. Notice in the background of the picture all of the school children. The student uniform is associated with the particular school the student attends. These children would walk up to the monkey's and then jump back and run around the monkeys. It was so funny to watch.

So the food here is amazing! This is a picture of just breakfast my first day here. Every meal looks like this. We go to the market almost every day to pick up some food. I've tried lots of cool things here so far. Monkut, Rumbatan, chickens feet soup(nails and bones intact), chicken blood, siphoon, curry, etc. I'm getting quite the culture experience. I don't know how Asian's stay so small! I'm having a hard time keeping up with all the food we eat all the time. It's so good though!

Duang's Family

I'm staying with Duang's family. I call her dad and mom, coon pa and coon ma. She has an older brother that is my age. His name is Top and he goes to school in Bangkok. He will be joining us in Nakkon Sri Thammarat after he finishes his final. Duang is 18 and my friend from school that lived in my same complex this last semester. I met her sister today when we went to go pick her up from school. Her name is Little (Pronounced Liton) and is 14. She is darling and so nice. All of her family speaks Thai but her brother and sister understand most of the English I say. They just have a hard time talking back to me. Duang is the only fluent English speaker in her home. I made a deal with Little today that I would give her English lessons if she would give me Thai lessons. It's really hard for me to be the only one that can't talk in the house. I lost Duang today in the house and I couldn't even ask any of the family or workers where she went. They just looked at me like I was crazy when I asked "Duang?" But don't worry once I found her I immediately learned the phrase "Duang, eu ni cha?" Means- "where is Duang?" :) I have put the phrase to good use.

Friendly Buggers

Well I'm in Thailand and I have made new friends very quickly... I don't know why the misquitos like me so much. I think the garlic helps but what can I say... I'm irresistable :) Anyway, other than that Thailand is Awesome! I love it here! Duang's family has taken me in and made me feel so at home. Everything here is so pretty.

The streets here have put a new definition of crazy driving. Colton, never say that cali has crazy driving. It's all a matter of perspective. I feel disoriented because cars drive on the opposite side of the road from the states. And the drivers wheel is on the right hand side of the car instead of the left. haha. The streets here are very crowded and lots and lots of motor bike scooters that zoom up and down the car lanes. People don't use their blinkers very often and usually just honk if they are worried about someone moving over as they are passing their lane. People drive very fast and I don't think speed limit is enforced very much. I've stopped looking at the speedometer because I get nervous. It is usually some where between 80 and 100. Although I don't know if that is in miles per hour because the car goes to almost 200. Lots of people drive small trucks. Kids pile in after school to carpool home. When I say pile I really mean pile. I think I counted 15 kids in the back of the small pickup truck today driving home from school. It's so normal but it would be considered so dangerous in the states. haha It's cool...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Leave for Thailand in 4 Days!

Today has been awesome! I leave for Thailand in approximately 4 days. For those of you that might care I opened my mission call today. I will be serving in New York, New York South Mission. Spanish Speaking and I leave September 8th! I am so excited! =) More details of my life to come soon