Frogs Taste Like Sea-Food Bacon

THAILAND!

Facts about Thailand and my mission:
1. It is hot. Like, you can’t even imagine heat. It’s the hottest here than it’s been in over a hundred years so even the kohn thai (thai people) are really hot too. And it’s not like I can walk into a building or a house to escape the heat. Most buildings are pretty hot too, including our apartment. But good news! Hopefully I’ll sweat off all this awesome food I’m getting haha. And a really good conversations starter is always “Rahn maak chay may kha?” (it’s really hot, right?) Before my mission I feared having to take cold showers…I never thought I’d be grateful for them!!
2. Right now I am serving in Srinakarin ศรีนครินทร์ (thanks for typing that in Thai for me, Elder Wager haha) which is in Bangkok! My companion is Sister Hasaya and she is the best “mom” ever:) I love her. She is kohn Thai so her Thai is obviously fluent and she is so good with the people. She has already taught me so much. We also  have two elders in our district (Elder Wager and Elder Blad) who are awesome missionaries and sometimes they give us snacks which is also awesome.
3. For transportation we either take taxis or soong taws (I don’t want to use the Thai keyboard because I’m khiikhiet [lazy] and nobody would understand it anyway haha) which are great for inviting (street contacting) because they can’t run away from us (which people will do…one guy I swear was about to run into oncoming traffic when we started talking).
4.  Kohn thais are the NICEST at rejecting you! You ask them if they want to know more about Christ and they smile and shake their head and say “may ben aray!” (it doesn’t matter, no thanks). Most of the time they take the cards though to be nice haha.
5. The food is delicious!! Seriously….the fruit, meat, everything. Wish I could share it with all of you but since I can’t, I’ll just keep it for myself.
Funny Stories!
1. I accidentally called a color “to tempt” (like temptation) instead of yellow….
2. Remember how they used to call me Sister Caper or Sister Caspin in the MTC because my companion and I have similar names? Well Sister Capin and I DIED when I got my new Thai nametag. The nametag is in Thai and english and while the Thai is perfect, in English it says, “Sister Caper” haha the name lives on!!
3. Kohn thai are very familiar with Casper the Friendly Ghost haha. Many a people have already called me phii which means Ghost haha.
4. My Hair EXPLODES in humidity….Like…whoa……Where’d that curl come from….Thai people love it though because they all have straight hair.
Okay, the real point of this email and if you are about to serve a mission, please read:
The mission is not at all what I expected. From how people talk about their missions or from the emails I’ve read, it seems like missionaries  despite  all their trials swim in miracles, that the Holy Ghost constantly whispers profound words to say at just the right moment, that paths light up to follow and that people leap into your path to hear the gospel. You go from 9 weeks in the MTC, 9 weeks of the MOST spiritually uplifting weeks of your life and expect the whole mission to feel just like that. But instead you get thrown into a new, foreign land where, if you’re like me, you may even have a foreign companion thus creating a bit of a language barrier. (And yes, if you are serving state side or in an english speaking country you will feel the same way). And in total complete honesty, sometimes, actually a lot of, the first week you will feel completely and utterly alone. Every muscle will ache, every emotion will feel drained, you will even feel a bit of a tug on your spirit saying “why are YOU even here. YOU can’t do this. YOU may as well give up now because YOU are wasting time even trying”. Sometimes even your bed (your place you normally go for comfort and to escape) can be a little, scary, rickety, top bunk on a bunk bed where when you breathe the whole thing shakes. But I learned a lot this week. I learned a lot of lessons that I hope I will never forget.
1. The Lord is ALWAYS there for you. When Christ was on the cross, after suffering for all our sins and pains, after faithfully doing the will of the Father when even He asked if He had to, the Father had to briefly withdraw His spirit from His Beloved Son. God knew in our lives we would feel alone (even though we aren’t) thus His Son, who had to suffer everything, had to be completely alone on that cross. I can’t imagine what that would feel like. Doing everything the Father asked and then having the comforting power of the Father’s spirit, the spirit that confirmed everything He was doing was good and true and right, taken away. Yet, that isn’t even the most powerful part of the Atonement. To me, the part that hits me the most, is that even after the Father withdrew His spirit, when Christ was completely alone, Our Savior, always the perfect example of consecration, commended his spirit into the hands of the Father. On the cross He didn’t just give up and die, He essentially said, Father, I know you are still there, accept my spirit (my will), I still give it to thee. In our lives, right now on my mission, we will feel alone. We won’t even always be able to feel Christ’s love envelope us like it does after a really good testimony meeting. But that is when, in those moments of loneliness, we need to give our will to the Savior and the Father most. That is when our real sacrifice and growth starts on this earth: when we give our all to the Father and have faith that He is there, even in the depths of despair.
2. We must take a few steps in darkness. We hear this a lot- about how faith, to be faith, is taking a few steps into the darkness and still trusting in the light, in Christ. I always thought, oh I’ve done that. When I decided to serve a mission, when I moved to New Jersey, etc etc. And I did! But looking back, in those moments it really wasn’t darkness. The lights were just a little dim. And I’m sure in the future I will look back on this moment and say the same thing; that the lights were just a little dim. But for right now, this is the darkest path I have ever walked. I entered a foreign country (and again, those serving in english speaking missions will have very similar experiences- my kohn thai companion experienced this when starting her mission and she knows Thai already) and was told that the most important work was on my shoulders. I was told that I would witness miracles beyond compare. I would change lives. But when I walked the streets of Bangkok this past week and attempted to hand out cards and invite people to come unto Christ, I felt empty. I didn’t know how to help anyone, I couldn’t help anyone if I couldn’t talk to them! And that’s where it was time to take some steps into the darkness. Each hour I  had to tell myself the following: “God has ordained me to do this work. God has a plan for me. He has prepared people for me but I must talk to everyone to find them. Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and He has felt like this before. This is the Lord’s work and thus I have the Lord’s assistance.” And then after saying all that, I had to go and do. Words to speak didn’t pour into my mouth but I had to keep speaking and trying. It’s funny how after 9 weeks of hearing apostles speak and constantly feeling the spirit and being around hundreds of other worthy missionaries, my faith didn’t grow exponentially until I was in the field and felt alone. Faith is believing, not seeing. I could see all the benefits of being a missionary in the MTC. In the field it was so much harder and that’s where I took steps into darkness (and still am).
3. I can’t (and shouldn’t) try and control things out of my control. Since I can’t control what I don’t know, all those things that I don’t understand/don’t know, I can’t control! I should focus on what I do understand and do know and step by step try and learn more each day so that I can know more, thus “control” more. This one may not make as much sense but I think those who know my personality well might understand better.
4. LOOK FOR MIRACLES. Even if they’re so much as the Elders gave us a package of oreos. This week the members were my miracles. Two sisters in particular treated me like their own daughter and two sisters treated me like their own sister; even to the point of holding my hand when we crossed the street (because in thailand you just cross right through the HEAVY traffic. Kind of scary haha).
 
OH yeah…..the email subject line…yep! True true. The nongkiaw (greenie- directly translates to little green) ate a fried frog thing. Mmmm delicious. The ward members all kept joking and teasing me that I should eat it. So I did. Sometimes you got to do what you got to do so the ward members will like you;)

Goodbye America!
I love you all! Be strong and of a good courage!!
Sister Casper
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Men are that they might have joy!!

It’s my final week in the MTC! It feels surreal. The time has flown by. I’ve seen miracles everyday; I’ve learned more about my Savior and my purpose on earth each hour; I’ve felt God’s love through every trial; I’ve eaten the same meals everyday for 9 weeks….

I head out to Thailand in less than a week. On Monday April 18th at 2:30 am (when all of you have your heads on your nice little pillows, dreaming of cake and ice cream) I will be on my way to the airport to fly to Thailand! I am very very excited. I thought I’d be scared, nervous, feel unprepared, but, while I do feel a little bit of everything, what I feel most is peace. Peace that the Lord will guide me; peace that if I try my hardest, Christ will carry me through; peace that my purpose is greater than any challenge. I am excited to serve the kohn Thai (people of Thailand).
Oh! Exciting moment from the week. Yesterday, Elder Dugquem prayed that we would have Chickfila for dinner and guess what we had for dinner??? Chickfila!! If you think miracles don’t happen in your own life, you just aren’t looking correctly;)
Our “investigator” Phii Nok was “baptized” on Saturday!! I can’t believe we have to say goodbye to them this week:( I love Phii Nok and Pha Bangeerd. We love to teach with them. This week after Phii Nok’s baptism, we taught about temples. It was a beautiful lesson about forever families and covenants until Sister Casper tried to explain baptisms for the dead…I said something along the lines of in the temple we do baptisms for dead people….Phii Nok was like, “HOW??” and asked if we “unburied” dead bodies and baptized their bones. We all broke down laughing. It was hilarious. Our teacher (who role plays as the investigator, Phii Nok) couldn’t look at us with a straight face after that.
As many of you near BYU/the MTC have seen, they have added a new addition to the MTC! As part of a cool ceremony, we had the opportunity to sign our names onto a beam that was just placed on the top of the new building. So just so all you future missionaries know, especially those in the distant future who will use the new building 20 M, my name is now going to be above you, watching over you. Sounds like a pretty cool thing to tell my kids;) “mom’s always watching. She’s even over you in the MTC”
So many amazing experiences in the MTC. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. You could offer me the perfect job, millions of dollars, and I would still choose all that I have learned in the MTC about my Savior and God’s plan for me. I still need to repent everyday and I still make so many mistakes but through reading the Book of Mormon, searching out God’s will for me, and sharing His great gospel with His children, I have grown and changed so much.
As many of you know, I have a wonderful best friend on a mission in Russia: Elder Foulk. He has taught me so much about the importance of consecrating myself to the Lord. This week I studied consecration, humility, and charity further in my own personal studies and I can’t even describe the feelings and impressions that touched my soul while studying. “Swallowed up in the Will of the Father” by Elder Neal A Maxwell is a beautiful talk. Elder Maxwell said “The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give” are actually the things He has already given us or loaned us…consecration thus constitutes the only unconditional surrender which is also a total victory” This week, please consider your own purpose on earth. Pray about it. Study consecration, humility, doing the will of the Father. I ask this of you because I know through my own experience that the Holy Ghost will testify to you what you need to do and will bring a peace and understanding to your soul that is incomprehensible.
I want all of you to be happy in your lives! I am so grateful for each and everyone of you.  If you aren’t happy with your life, my heart hurts for you. God sent us to this earth to learn and grow through trials and experiences and be happy!!!! “Adam fell that men might be and MEN ARE THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE JOY”:)
I won’t be able to email next week but the week after that look out for my first Thailand email!!
A picture of us just being awkward and happy:) Missionary work is joyous
Our names on the beam!!
A beautiful sideways picture of our zone:)
Thought you’d all appreciate a picture of me chilling on the bunk. My companions like to take pictures of me doing random things *photo creds to my companion Sister Capin*

In the wise words of Elder Dugquem from testimony meeting on Sunday “Life is good. The church is true”
— I love you all!!
Sister Chloe Casper

Full-Time Missionary
Thailand Bangkok Mission

Overcome!

This week was amazing! So many miracles, spiritually uplifting devotionals, and hilarious moments.

To start: the picture above includes Sister Asperti, Sister Dhakal, Sister Capin, Sister Yin (the beautiful Cambodian sister I hosted that I told you a bit about) and me! She just left for temple square! She will do so great!
So, this week….hmmm…Not much time but so much to say. Well, to start let me share my favorite miracle from the week (wait…can I have “favorite” miracles?? Oh well…it’s one I REALLY liked;)) Here goes: On friday I woke up sick (yay!) with a sore throat and a bunch of sneezing (Good news! I definitely broke the record for the greatest number of consecutive sneezes in one morning). Anyway, it only went downhill from there with more congestion and coughing. On Saturdaymorning (conference morning) I woke up still sick. All the missionaries piled into 19M to watch conference and I braced myself for a long morning trying to keep my sick, tired body awake. Before the session started, I bowed my head and closed my eyes and silently pleaded with God to give me the energy I would need to stay awake during conference so I could hear His words. As conference started I felt okay but near the middle I seriously felt that drowsy lull of over exhaustion begin to pull me down.  I remembered my prayer and out of nowhere I received strength and energy that I KNEW was not my own. I can’t remember off the top of my head what I learned from the talks in that session but I definitely learned God is looking out for me; He cares about how I feel and if I am willing to do His will, He is willing to give me strength to do it.
This week we also learned to teach the Law of Chastity in Thai! Some really funny moments came out of that. In a lesson with an investigator, one companionship of Elders told Phii Nok that he couldn’t look at members (may hen samachig) instead of pornography (may hen sulamog). Another group of Elders told their investigator he just couldn’t look at women at all! Fun week haha.
By the way, apparently there are snakes in Thailand that can kill you in five seconds…So guess who has asked to be transferred to serve in Canada! Kidding:) But not about the snake thing…they’re real.
My companions and I discovered one of the tricks to good missionary work this week! It’s something we’ve been trying to be better at for 7 weeks and I know I will continue to try and develop it for the next lifetime: charity!! Having the pure love of Christ for our investigators and everyone! We did a role play the other day with one of our teachers (Brother Merkley) and he pretended to be Phii Jan, a Buddhist man with a girlfriend and a child. We only had a 15 minute lesson with him and taught him the simple, powerful truth that he was a child of God. The spirit was extremely strong during the role play. At the end of the lesson, when we timed out and resumed normal class, my companions and I genuinely missed Phii Jan, wanted to teach him more, and desired to help him come closer to Christ. We had only known him 15 minutes!! And it was a role play! But that’s how we should love everyone we meet, even if we only wave to them in passing.
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This is how we end especially great classes or district reviews:) With a cinnamon roll. The person making the great face in the picture is our AMAZING teacher, Brother Sugi.
I cannot express the love I have, the love I have developed in my heart, for my Savior and Redeemer. I say that every week but that’s because every week it grows and every week the love I have for my Savior becomes more important and vital to me.
Ow Chana!! (translates to overcome but it literally means to take the win!) Overcome all your trials! Take the win for your Savior! It is possible to overcome because of His Atonement!
Commitment this week? Count your blessings:) Everyday right down all the blessings you can think of.
I have a happy heart, because I have a greatful heart:)))!!