Monday, January 30, 2017

I'm still alive.

Update
No exciting story to tell about the lateness of this email so I apologize. Zone Conference was on Monday so P-day was pushed back one day. Sorry for the worry Mom and Dad.

If you haven't already heard, there has been some schedule changes for all missionaries worldwide. It is so nice! We can now be out of the house by 8am instead of the usual 10am (12 for greenies). Weird thought that I could be training from next transfer.

Sorry about the photos from last week. I forgot to tweak the sharing settings. Google Drive can be a little difficult to work with sometimes.

Baptisms
We had one baptism this past week which was awesome. Do you recognize the Brother giving baptism? He is our former investigator and now member Brother เก่ง ! Sister ปุ้ย is the one getting baptized. Brother มอสส is the one getting baptized from the other Elder's companionship. The Brother right next to Sister ปุ้ย.​


We were supposed to have three baptisms but we will be having two instead next week. Sister Gif was first contacted at the Mall Bangkapi. She brought her twin Sister Sky. Sister Sky then brought her friend Brother Butter. Brother Butter and Sister Sky will be getting baptized first this Saturday. We will have to work a little harder with Sister Gif. She is a wonderful girl but we feel that she is feeling guilty for some things in the past. We're letting the Atonement work through her. It is so amazing how by Sister Gif, two more souls were brought into the embrace of the Savior. We had a powerful lesson with Sister Gif yesterday. We taught about temples and I shared my experiences my first time entering the temple. The joy I felt. It was the first time I taught that I got a little teary eyed. Good stuff.

Anyways, repentance and the Sabbath day is something I have been paying special attention to as of late. How beautiful it is to be freed from things holding you back! I love that through Jesus Christ, everyone can change. No one has to be defined by what they did in the past.

So awesome hearing about everyone's mission calls back home! Keep the emails and joyful news coming! I love you all!


​Cute Biker Gang (Above)


​The Ancient Ruins! (P-Day two weeks ago)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hello



​Ancient Ruins! This was a picture from last P-Day. We're taking it easy today.

video

Elder Libey and I love to eat here. The lady that cooks our food is super nice. Fire bender.


​This is the soy/street the church is on.


​The mess of market and apartments that constitute a large part of Bangkok.

Some pictures as I really don't send enough. Sadly we are still at our 2 down 7 to go, but we will have at least one baptism next week! I got to baptize the Sister's investigator yesterday though so that was a really neat experience. ​


*Weekly email: not revised as it should be. Expect poor grammar and spelling.

I got a musical playing device (Approved by the AP's) so I have downloaded some music from LDS.org. Nothing like working out to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir right? "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning..."I don't miss my old music as much as I thought I would. Away with all that is carnal!

For all friends and family sending me pictures, thank you so much for that. It is always a lot of fun seeing family and friends from home. If you haven't already, send me some pictures! 

We have three really solid investigators and I think that at least one of them will be ready for baptism next week. Really pushing for them to enter the waters of Baptism! I have seen how an investigator who gets baptized changes, becoming more committed to reading scriptures and attending church (As they ought to!). This gospel changes lives. Brother เก่ง who is one of our recent converts has started wearing a white shirt and tie to church. It makes me so happy to see him smile and laugh at church. This really is a gospel of happiness.

Admittedly, some days I feel like my Thai is awesome. Give me a few more hours and I am humbled down to the dust of the earth. I still have so much to learn, but I definitely feel that I have improved greatly. I sometimes have to go on switchoffs with a priestholder (non-official missionary who only speaks Thai) and it can get a little scary. Especially when it is a lesson I do not feel comfortable with. However, the Lord consecrates my performance. One of my favorite chapters to teach is in 1 Nephi Chapter 8. Those that tread the path of Christ will eventually and undoubtedly fall away unless they grab hold onto the iron rod and press forward. Press forward until you come out of the mist of darkness!

*One interesting experience I had this past week. I invited a guy from Zimbabwe who totally started going on a rant (in English).  He saying that the Bible was not real and on and on about chakras and the third eye and whatnot. What was rather interesting is that he professed not to believe in a religion but took principals from many religions. He contradicted his own belief. The cool part was that he could not confound my words. Quite frankly, he was highly intellectual as well so I couldn't confound him. As he was taking up a lot of my inviting time, I had to cut him off by saying something along the l ines of.."We can go on all day with our philosophies and theologies and we will get nowhere. You are a good person. It was nice to meet you." We shook hands, and I extended to him an invitation to pray to Heavenly Father (As he believed in God) and to ask whether my message were true in the name of Jesus Christ. In my two years, I assume nothing will come from it, but I hope I have planted a seed. I don't think I have ever spoken so boldly, and testified as such. Thinking back, this man was large in stature, but there was not an inkling of fear in my heart. I could not be confounded as I knew in whom I trust. I am still learning how to testify like Elder Holland. Maybe next time I'll singe his eyebrows a little. Elder Holland's words. Not mine.

Anyways, Always Testify.

Elder Miyagi.

*Don't forget to send me pictures.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

He Has Won The Victory!

For the"Skim Readers."
Alive. 2 baptisms down, 5 to go. 

Celebrity in Town.
I learned yesterday that we have quite a celebrity in our ward. His name is Nate who is from California. His parents moved to Utah while he was on his mission. Anyways, he has a YouTube channel called "My Mate Nate" where he just has fun! He is quite famous in the younger audience of the Thai people. He has about 1.7 million people subscribed to his channel and he has quite a bit of success here in Thailand! I got talking with him about cameras and such as that was a similar interest of ours. A possible continued hobby after I am no longer needed in Thailand (Although I'm still going to come back here like Nate.)

Baptism!
We had a baptism yesterday. And possibly one more next week, and one more for certain and possibly three more the week after. I apologize for the bad grammar in advance.

P-Day!
I am not even going to try to spell the place we are going to in English, but it is supposed to be the ancient settlements of the Thai people. Pictures next week for sure. However, I will attach pictures from several weeks ago.​

 
Above, service at an LA's house with the Sister Missionaries.​


Kings Burial Grounds.​ 

video

Switch off's with the Zone Leader, Elder Bundy during my first transfer. Getting to teach little children English!​


Kings Burial Grounds Continued. 

We Need Him.
Despite all of my many flaws and imperfections, I considered myself a nice "chap".  I went to church every Sunday, I even went to Missionary Prep. I did that which was expected of me and maybe even a little more. I felt that I had a testimony and I fear I let it get to my head. I learned that those that are content with their spirituality (their relationship with God) are closer to hell than those who recognize their great state of sin. It very well may be the oldest trick in the devils handbook. 

In this great state of helplessness that only the righteous perceive, they find peace in the Savior. 2 Nephi 4:17-19.

A righteous man knows himself to be a sinner, while one who is wicked thinks himself to be good. Therefore, a righteous man trusts in Christ and understands that he needs Him, while a wicked man thinks himself to be fine all on his own. 

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to serve here in Thailand! I am beginning to more truly comprehend the true nature of Christ and feel that with His help, I am beginning to stretch to His stature. Through His grace. Through His love. I know with everything that I am that Jesus is the Christ. I am His disciple and servant. I declare His word and I will never stand ashamed. In this cause I am sure. Never have I understood my great state of helplessness so deeply, and the greater enabling power of the Savior's love. By and through Him we are saved, for He has won the victory! 

*A few poorly paraphrased sentences from C.S. Lewis was used in this weeks email. As usual.

**Sorry for not being able to reply to some of the personal heart felt emails sent to me this week. I promise I read them. And I really appreciate them. I love you all.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Great Week. Work Progressing. 6 to Go!

Great Week. Work Progressing.


We got an awesome investigator entering the waters of baptism, beginning her journey on the straight and narrow gate on the 15th!(Splash). We got some crazy goals between my companion and I for this transfer(6 Weeks). The goals is 7 baptisms. 7! On the 15th, it will be two down, five to go.
Sister อูด is so ready to get baptized already. We honestly could have baptized her due to her spiritual nature yesterday but she still needed some discussions. She is extremely sensitive to the Spirit which is what I imagine, every missionaries dream. She was crying when we introduced the Atonement. She has already read into Mosiah, reads and prays consistently and knows of its great worth and importance. A golden investigator given to us by a member referral! Go members!
Inviting is still hard, but through prayer and patience it has grown into a favorite activity. It's always fun to talk with the people. You have to talk their tongue. Not just the language their body language and everything in between. When they sass you, you fight back with the same eager enthusiasm and they are typically taken by surprise!(All within the bounds of that which is expected from a missionary) It is then that they take time to listen to you, and hear your message. You really do have to get in their space and face a little bit to make them stop but I'm sure they won't mind once they're baptized.


How could I forget, Sister กีฟ! Elder Rawlinson invited her outside of the Mall Bunkapi. This was the day I got half lost. We have had several discussions with her and she is interested in the idea of becoming a missionary! I'm hoping she retains this great enthusiasm as she continues to take the discussions! So many good things are happening this transfer! We have some other investigators but I will make note of them on another day. Sister กีฟ came to church yesterday, and she absolutely loved it! It is so good when this happens!






I feel that I have spent far too much time looking at a metal plate and sheet of glass 5 inches long and 3 inches wide for far too long pre-mission. For cheap entertainment nonetheless! It really is no wonder that many if not most of the intellectual greats existed before the invention of such things. You would think we would be producing great intellectuals by scoops by what we have available in terms of education especially in America, but technology isn't helping most kids and adults learn! Rather, it is more distracting to them. I love technology. It's great. But undisciplined, it is like a debilitating disease that mitigates your potential. Imagine your brain to be like a hard-drive. Fill it up with cheap entertainment and that's all you are going to be able to put out. Poorly constructed sentences, and shallow understanding in philosophical and or theological teachings and texts. In this sense, the saying of "You become what you eat" totally makes some sense. Cheap entertainment, or one of the Greats! A secular thought I just wanted to share.


Thanks for listening, Elder Miyagi.

P.S. I don't spend as much time as I should proof reading these emails. Sorry for grammatical errors. You are awesome.








Sunday, January 1, 2017

Lost in Thailand?



Fun story. Yesterday, on our way back from inviting at Mall Bunkhapi, I took a nap on the bus. Yes, you got it. I awoke to being the last person on the bus. Not only this, but the bus was pulling into (for ease of communication, I suppose we could call it the) "bus headquarters." It wasn't even a bus stop as it was literally past the last stop! This all happening due to a terrible miscommunication between my companion and I which resulted in me resuming my nap and missing our stop. A miscommunication made in English. Fortunately, my abilities in Thai has improved a little. I borrowed a lady's phone and called the number on the back of our inviting cards, informed an Elder of the situation and asked him to alert my companion that I was in good health and to meet me at the church. After which, I called down a taxi and returned to church! On the way, I had a good discussion with the taxi driver. I learned that he had two sons, one being 24 and the other 15. He was 47 years old and loved to sing! I didn't ask him to sing. I didn't want to put the both of us in an uncomfortable position..Anyways, he was not interested in the great message as he was Buddhist, but I gave him an inviting card with the information of when and where church is. I practically took him to church already as that is where he dropped me off so we will see what happens going further. Probably nothing will come of it, but his conversion would be an exciting story! If anything, this experience allowed me to plant a small seed. I hope that at the very least, he has had a good first impression of missionaries.


This is probably one of my favorite experiences on the mission. It was neat to find out that I really am improving in the language! Kind of having to play the role of senior companion in finding my way back home! What was particularly surprising to me was my lack of fear for I knew in whom I have trusted. It was so much fun! (Not promoting that you separate from your companion to gain experience for the fun of it.)

I heard that I will have an Elder from home joining me in the Field soon! Elder McCown! I have been informed that he will be entering the MTC in March so I might just get to see him in April or May! As expressed by some others, it would be an amazing experience to get to serve together as it wouldn't be too surprising for me to begin training from next transfer. Do I feel ready for that? Honestly, no.

I have been beginning to experience what is surely true conversion. Should you have asked me as to whether I have been committed and converted to this gospel before my mission, I would have argued that I was. 100% Fully, to the core, every atom of my body infused to the gospel! I was wrong. I have underestimated what is required of you to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I have much to learn and am so excited for this beautiful journey. I know in whom I trust, and am willing to give everything up to follow him. I know that He lives, and by and through him we find the greatest joy. This being the only joy that can satisfy our souls.