We spent several days in the province(?), I think that’s what they’re called, of Kalasin. This was an area Jordan served in during his mission. This was the one area that he wanted to visit. I asked him why this particular area and his simple answer was, the people. I can see why. It’s a small area. Beautiful. And yes, the people here are wonderful. They’re friendly, they’re lively, and they’re genuinely loving. My heart actually ached a bit as we left. We spent three days with them. I could spend many many more. Who doesn’t love being told continually how wonderful and beautiful they are? Yeah, a girl could get used that. I can see why he loves them. And I can see how much they love him. He's the type of person that makes such an impact on the people that he meets. When I first met him he drove me nuts! He still does. He’s one of those people who can infuriate me to no end one minute, and then have me smiling from ear to ear the next. And I can tell the impact he had on these people. After 4 years they still remember him. They remember things he told them, things he taught them. You don’t remember things like that unless some sort of impact was made. I told him that I thought it was a great testament to the kind of missionary that he was and he said “well maybe in this area.” Meaning, “What about the other areas?” Well, what I have to say to that is that sometimes the perfect storm happens. And with God, it is never a mistake. A great many times in my life I’ve felt that I was in the “right place at the right time.” This was just one of those times for him.
We didn’t do anything really “touristy” per se why we were there. What we did was even better. We just spent time with these people; eating, talking (I didn’t do a whole lot of this, but it was really okay), and laughing. I’m a quiet person to begin with, a woman of few words. If you’ve had the privilege of knowing the unquiet me, you are part of a choice club. So you can imagine the level of quiet that ensued as I spent three days with people who spoke a language I could not. I couldn't understand or speak a lick of this language and so could rarely participate in conversations, yet never once was I bored. Not often did I know what was going on or what people were speaking of, but never did I feel left out. There were those who could speak some English and they made a great effort to speak to me, which I appreciated a great deal.
Since these were people who were members of the LDS church, we spent a lot of time with other members, and met the missionaries in the area. We met a missionary who had only been in the area 10 days, same amount of time that I’d been in Thailand. Poor child. Walked around kind of in a daze haha. They were very nice though. We went to a baptism and subsequently a confirmation at church the next day. I did something at church that I rarely do. At the request of the relief society teacher I shared my testimony. In English of course as the sister missionary (from Orem, Utah) interpreted. I felt a little inadequate speaking to these people. But it was nice.
The couple that had been taking care of us drove us to the bus station with one of the other members, Sister T. I'm sorry, I seriously can't remember any of their names. I feel terrible. But it was so very nice of them to drive us to the bus station, it was a little over an hour to the station. They waited with us as well until the bus came. Then as we were leaving, A's wife grabbed me and gave me a huge hug. She told me how nice it had been to have me there and to make sure that Jordan came back again. Then her and Sister T proceeded to give me some gifts. My heart was full. They were so feet. Admittedly my eyes were a little wet as we boarded the bus and left.
|The Dinosaur Museum|
|Sister T and A's Wife|
|A and Jordan|
|Sister T, Me and Jordan|
This is what Jordan posted on his facebook after our first day:
"Had another amazing day with Tristyn. We made to Kalasin!! The day started off with running to the bus station, barley catching two busses and then having some amazing friends, Kyle Anuchit and Wipawan Saisam-ang pick us up and take us to an amazing hotel then off to eat some yummy spicy papaya salad with Supachai Klungsaeng then off to see more friends. Lots of scooter rides and then a fun dinner with Maliwan Phanjerm, the missionaries and some others. This place is the bomb. The people are so amazing and so it the food!"
Now that I'm home, I have to say, this was probably one of my favorite parts of the whole trip.