Thursday, April 22, 2010

Songkran celebration

Hello Family

How are you? Well it's been a really really crazy week. I will start with the last time I wrote an email. After we wrote emails really fast we hurried and ran home and changed into our playing uniform, which is for me a Red Hawaiian shirt with rolled up kackie pants and flip flops. Next we had to find a place, which was safe for us ( meaning no drinking and no girls that aren't members and with people who know the missionary standards), to play. So we called a sister that was a return missionary and we joined up with her and several other members. Next we had to buy our weapons for the fight. Elder Jolley and I chose little black buckets for about 20 baht. We had been told by some other missionaries not to worry about buying squirt guns because they were expensive and ineffective. So after that we arrived on scene and helped the members get ready. Turns out they use all kinds of things to do stuff to the water. They place red, yellow, blue and green dyes in the water, they get powder ready to throw, they buy large blocks of ice, and they fill up large barrows of water and place them in the back of trucks. It was a lot like getting ready for a war. And then after it started getting hot, the game began.

People hopped into the back of pick-up trucks and rode around. They use buckets and squirt guns and pots and pans, and different powders, and soaked those on the side of the roads. That's where we played. We used our buckets and hoses and cold water and fought back. Each truck would only slowdown or stop for a few seconds but we would both be soaked through after the fight. I think this was one time that I was grateful for the heat here in Thailand. especially after they threw ice water on us. It was a blast.

After a few hours of this fighting going, on the group we were with loaded up a pick-up truck and took off around the town. We stayed behind and guarded the area because it would have been breaking mission rules to hop into the back of a truck. so we continued the fight for a few minutes. After a few minutes they returned, soaked. After a hour or two more they stopped the fighting between trucks because of a parade.

This is when it got really cool. The whole idea of Somkran is to be wet. Throwing water and putting powder on peoples faces is representing giving blessings to them. So the idea is who ever is the wettest and has the most powder on their face has the most blessings. So when the parade came down the street the buckets of water and hoses squirting water were aimed at the people in the parade.

They had all kinds of things. Dancers, bands, floats with women in traditional Thai Dresses (those were really fun to watch, because they would get the most wet because everyone would aim the water at them. Sometimes they had umbrellas and sometime they wouldn't. Sometimes they would have men whose job was to hold the umbrella of the women. It was really fun to watch them try to stay dry, but look elegant at the same time. And do it with a smile as well). Sometime people in the parade would come out and drop water down the back of our shirts and rub powder on our faces. Sometimes the people watching would go back into the parade and sprinkle water on the people in it. I think everyone wanted to get the white guys wet and covered in powder, because they seemed to target Elder Jolley and I a lot. There was one time several girls ran out of the parade at us. That was interesting. I have never seen Elder Jolley run so fast. LOL

The whole thing was really fun but, at night we had to go back and go to work. Needless to say nothing got done that night because we had English and we figured no one would show up, which was true. So we stayed in our house and cleaned a little bit.

The work the rest of the week was really slow and hard, because all of our investigators were either out of town or they asked not to meet us for the week so they could spend that time with their families. So we tried to do what we could. Invite where it was dried and see members. We saw a lot of members. and a lot of our recent converts. The interesting part is how Somkran turned into somkhram, which is war in Thai, for the missionaries, because we had to try our best to stay dry in between our appointments, it was tough but doable.

We did get to know some of our members really well. I got to try something that I have had my eyes set to eat since before I came to Thailand. Yesterday we went out of the main city which isn't really big, to find a less active member. His name is Brother Bong. He is a sweet guy and is in the possess of coming back into the church. We went out yesterday to get to know him a little better as well as share a few spiritual thoughts with him. At church that day he asked me if I wanted to eat any strange foods I told him what I wanted to try. He then told me he had some and would cook some up for Elder Jolley and me. Here is thing number three that I have eaten that's impossible to get in the states, It's Rat. We got there and after we taught him he BBQed some rats and gave it to us tail and all. It really didn't have much of a taste to it but it was good. I couldn't help but think of Tessa eating rats at the same time. Now I can say I have eaten the same thing that I fed my hawk. LOL

Thanks for the letter for Stu. Its good to hear from him and here whats going on in his life right now.

I got a phone call from the Zone leaders this week. They said I'll be going down to Bangkok to renew my visa so I should get the packages in 2 weeks or on the 29th.

Ok I have to go now I love you all. Thank you for all your love and support.

Elder Brandon John Holt

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like it was fun. Ask him if he has been to this restaurant yet?
    Hajime Restaurant, Bangkok, Thailand.
    It's supposed to be run entirely by robots. And Grandma June wanted me to send him her love.