Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Really Big Bats

Hello family.

This week has been a way cool week. I took a lot of photos, but I didn't bring the cord to upload them to the computer. I may have to do that next week.

Anyways I found out that even in Thailand they have a holiday that celebrates something about their dead, but I don't really know the details. It's called ลอยกะตง or pronounced Lie-Gra- cong That's a heavy O like in comb not the ah sound. Anyways its comparable here to the 4th of July. Crazy Fireworks, all kinds of festivals and shows. It's a party. At night and depending on how close you are to a body of water They have a tradition of making boats and placing a candle in them and floating them down the rivers and canals. Also they have these cool lanterns that they light that work like hot air balloons. You light a flame in them and then release them into the sky. and they float away. It's really cool. Elder Ito and I and the two sister missionaries, Sister Josephson and Sister Webb, had a opportunity to celebrate with some of the members here in Lop Buri where we did both things. I'll try to remember to bring the cord next week so that Ican send pictures home next week.
Today we went and saw sunflowers. A little ways from Lop Buri there is a place where sun flowers grow and covers fields and fields and mountains. Its awesome. It's also a very popular activity, for the missionaries close enough to do it, to do. We had a member take us to them . Pictures of those will also be sent home.
On the way back Brother Oat took us to see two things. First was a Wat ( a Buddhist temple) that was built in some of the caves in the Mountains of Lop Buri. These caves were infested with Bats. Really Really Big Bats. Brother Oat says at night they fly out to eat in a huge crowd. Kind of like in the Batman movie, as Elder Ito explained to me. As we were walking through the caves we couldn't see any of the bats because it was really dark, but we could smell and hear them. I pointed my camera up and took a picture to see how many bats and how close they were to us. I wish I hadn't. The pictures revealed that the walls above us were covered with bats and that they were only about 3 feet above my head. Needless to say we walked very fast out of the caves after we saw that.
After the wat we went to a Restaurant kind of place (you really can't call it a restaurant to American standards). Basically they built a make shift dock with drift wood and placed some huts on it. This is all floating on a lake. We enjoyed a nice lunch/ dinner here Of papaya salad with shrimp. Its called som tum. Its something that I have become addicted to. Its also very very hot/ spicy. I think this time I was crying by the time I finished eating it. I also have learned with Thai spice, Pepsi won't cool your tongue. Only ice can do that.
Also this morning, Elder Ito and I made the trip down to Bangkok in order to renew my visa. It needs to be renewed about every 3 months or so.

That's pretty much the excitement for the week. Most of our investigators have continued to learn and progress closer to baptism. If every thing goes as planned we should have a baptism at the end of this month.

Man, skiing already. That's something I miss. I didn't get a chance to ski at all last year. Oh well the mountains will still be there when I get back..... hopefully.

I remember the first time I went down to Ceder City, that was a blast. Stuart, Matt, Kevin, and I stayed at one of the Ceder City's swimmer's house for the night. It was a blast. We made friends that night that Stuart and I have always kept up with since then. We even had a few chances to hang out with them when they came up or we went down to compete the years after. Is the swim team going to be housed or stay in a hotel?

That's sweet about the mission calls that came. I think Elder Porter will be glad to here where Caleb is going, if he hasn't already. He is the other missionary in my group that knows the Becerras.

Not counting the crab I don't think I have eaten anything with more then 4 legs. Last week I did have the opportunity to eat Pig ears. That was chewy. I also found out where I can go to eat a scorpion. I may try that in the weeks to come after I build up the stomach muscles.

The interview was in English thankfully. It might have been difficult to do in Thai. I always like the one on one time I get with President Smith in the interview. It gives me a chance to ask some questions about mission work that I can't answer myself.

Well I have been thinking about it. Next week Elder Ito goes home and I get a new companion. It very well could be a native. Which would help me a lot to understand the language and culture here. But it could also be very stressful as well. No matter how it turns out all is well. The Lord will give me the best companion to help me progress at His speed.

Say good luck to Caleb and Stacy for me, as well as Richard. Will you grab his address for the MTC next week for me? I don't know if I'll have time to write him the next few weeks. but I want too.

OK time is up

I love you all.

Elder Brandon J Holt

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