Sunday, February 26, 2017

Swallowed Up in His Will

A second group of members are “honorable” but not “valiant.” They are not really aware of the gap nor of the importance of closing it (see D&C 76:75, 79). These “honorable” individuals are certainly not miserable nor wicked, nor are they unrighteous and unhappy. It is not what they have done but what they have left undone that is amiss. For example, if valiant, they could touch others deeply instead of merely being remembered pleasantly.

This morning, we had plans to go to an amusement park for P-Day. Elder Wannasri my companion opted not to go as he doesn't like roller coasters. The two other companions living near the mall Bangkapi didn't want to go either as it was about 400 baht. About$14. That's a lot in Thailand. Anyways, it would have resulted in 3 Elders going and 3 Elders staying and doing something different for P-Day.

Early in the morning however, I felt that I shouldn't go. For what reason I don't know. Perhaps the feeling of irreverence. Or perhaps and more importantly, because it was contrary to the will of Him that sent me. Early in that morning I brushed away the feeling. During my morning studies that day, I again felt impressed that I ought not to go as I was praying. This time, it wasn't just a thought, as it somehow and indescribably pierced my soul. Though I may not know the exact reasons I ought not to go, I am happy to say that I heeded to the still small voice of the Holy Ghost. By so doing, I walk with peace and a firm determination to complete His work.

Neal A. Maxwell has a talk entitled "Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father." This talk has been one that has again, left an indelible impression upon my soul. He describes three groups of people. More often than not, I think I might fall into the second or third category. The quote above describes the second group of individuals. Those that are honorable but not valiant. I feel that missionaries especially myself must exert a great amount of effort in seeking humility and trust in Jesus Christ and in giving the glory unto our Father in Heaven. It is very east to take the glory of many miracles that we have seen here in Thailand. However, this ought not be confused with having great joy, confidence, and pride not in ourselves but in the most high God. Confidence in Him is where true power, miracles, and even love is born.

I testify of the living Christ. I know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us perfectly. Who knows our struggles, burdens, pains, and afflictions. I know that he has a plan for each and everyone of us. I know that should we accept His plan, or accept His will, we will have the strength to overcome these trials. Though our burdens may be great, compared to the glory of God it is nothing. Of these things I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

I Found Him

I met a man with great faith this week. It was actually right about when we finished our inviting session at the Mall Bangkapi. His name was Brother X. We were meeting up with some other Elders for lunch and I felt that I might as well invite the man right next to me. It was the usual conversation. He gave me his number and I quite honestly didn't expect too much out of it. Thursday, I received a call saying that he can't come to the church on Friday as he had said he would earlier. I wasn't even discouraged. It was the same old with potential investigators dropping appointments. But then he asked if we could meet that day. That had never happened before. So we met.

A former monk, a Buddhist from birth, was completely lost and without direction at 32 years of age. He said he just wanted something to believe in. He soaked up every word that passed through our lips. We ended up meeting Friday as well. We committed him to be baptized on the 5th of March with a goal to stop smoking as well. He told us that he has always wanted to stop smoking but it was just hard without having any purpose in doing so. He really wants to be baptized. I really want to help this man. Never had I had an investigator that I myself physically invited. He feels like a great friend to me. Someone I was called to help from the beginning. He came to church as well. He loved it. He gets along with the members and said it feels like family. The joy that I felt is just indescribable. The mission has become extremely personal to me. These sacred 2 years I would not trade for anything.

I know that I was called to Thailand by our loving Heavenly Father. How easily I could have missed Brother X. I am so grateful that the Lord gave me courage to open my mouth and speak. I found him. At least one of the people I have been called to save. A great man, an investigator, a friend, and brother. I know that my paths have been directed. I know that the Lord has been preparing the people here in Thailand to receive this gospel! To soon have a temple! I pray that I will never voluntarily bind my tongue to the things that I know are true. That I might testify always in thought and deed of the living Christ. Of these things I know to be true, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Pictures are of me fishing for alligators and eating food.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

I Will Not Shrink

New Companion Same Area
Elder Wannasri! He is Thai! Therefore, most of our conversations are in Thai. He likes to joke around in English which is a lot of fun. Although I am technically the Junior Companion, I am the Senior of the area so planning and everything else in between hinges on me. However, it has been an exciting past few days. Honestly, he is one of the most humble people I have ever met. So lucky to be his companion.

The Work
Our investigator pool is rather shallow at the moment. Too many baptisms last transfer (Not complaining), and not enough inviting (Needs repenting). Therefore, we have to go through a sort of repentance process by finding investigators all over again. We have been doing a lot of that. Inviting. It is so funny to look back to my first time inviting here in Thailand. The fear that once was no longer is. I now have no reservations to talk of Jesus Christ. I don't even beat around the bush. They are either interested or they are not and it is their very salvation on the line. I have no right to hold the burden of fear. The root of it all is that I feel that I am just forgetting myself as I learn to more fully follow the Savior. I feel that I was often one of those people the Savior talked of pre-Thailand. "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." I simply didn't know. I couldn't know! Not with how I was and what I allowed to influence me. But it is only when we are on this higher plane, that we can see the great obstacles we have overcome. It is only then, that the Lord expects us to never retreat, and to keep pressing forward. To keep drawing closer and closer unto Him. I have come to the realization that the purpose of life is in learning to more fully accept the Savior into our everyday lives and by so doing returning to live with our Father in Heaven once more.

I Will Not Shrink

Elder Holland gave a humbling Easter address regarding the mortal ministry of Jesus Christ and his atonement. He talks of how his circle of supporters grows smaller and smaller until even his most trusted disciples reject him. I have so often criticized the actions of his apostles. How could they who have seen Him do such a thing! How could they ever reject the Christ! Too rarely do we think "Was it I?" When my actions stand contrary to his, I reject him. When I refuse to open my mouth and testify of him, I reject him. With what I have felt, I cannot reject Him. Should I not dare reject him, I must stand for him. Therefore, I will do these things. Lest I be convicted by my own conscience.

Ending On A Lighter Note
I really get into some of these emails. Anyways, the work is indeed progressing and it is just such a blessing to be a part of it here in Thailand. I'm going to China Town and some sort of puppet show so that should be exciting! And a Thai village of a sort. I believe. We tend to have pretty awesome tour guides taking us around (Members or our next door neighbors) so P-Days tend to be exciting.
English Class, Some Thai Wat?, and Favorite Place to Eat. (This is me not using Google Drive so everyone can see everything.) Sorry for the headache. I love you all very very much.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

สวัสดีทุกคน (Hello Everyone)

The reality that I have been a missionary since September is a very strange thought. With time flying by in blurs, I could become a trainer in 4 days! Luckily the prospects of that are low, that I might prepare a little better both spiritually and with the language.

Today's Agenda
I don't know how this always happens but Elder Libey and I are going to run some errands together today. Some members invited us over for dinner. I believe it to be a farewell for the Elders Sisters that are leaving the area/district. I believe I am staying here. I'm okay with that. Hopefully good food is part of today.

Brother Butter and Sister Sky got baptized! Now we only have 1 investigator as most of our investigators have gotten baptized. Therefore...We have got some serious inviting to do....

​Baptismal Pictures.

​Dabbing Squad? Why is it a thing in Thailand..

The Work + Very Short Message
It is so much fun. Yesterday while inviting, I shared with a nice man a spiritual thought about Love and God. He ended up hugging me afterwards saying thank you. A definitive first. Grabbed his number too so hopefully he gets baptized. Too early to tell though.

Wouldn't it be lovely, if it was the goal of every person on earth to spread the message of hope, love, peace, and joy? I feel that may very well be the greatest difference between Heaven and Earth! The desire within our hearts to honestly do good. May we ever so strive to follow the example of our Master Teacher in desire and deed, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The world in the eyes of Brother กร้อ

​The Sisters in my district trying to use the GoPro.

I'm investing in a GoPro Stick so I should have more footage to share in the near future. BAM