Thursday, April 13, 2017

Speaking Bluntly

Hello Familia

Sorry for the lack of extending a notice to you all but P-Day for the Thailand Bangkok Mission was moved to Friday due to the biggest water festival in the world taking place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I don't think I will be able to explain the magnitude of how big this event is! It spreads over to Laos and Burma, stopping production of all things related to business because EVERYONE gets out and plays! Stores shut down for the holidays we had to find a new emailing place for the day.

My perspective on P-Days has changed greatly comparatively to my first transfer in Thailand. Doing missionary things is literally what brings me the most joy. Therefore P-Days isn't the most exciting thing anymore. Knocking doors, inviting, an teaching is where my treasures lie. However, Thursday has been a difficult day as nobody is home, inviting is futile(tourists and people not from Asoke, not to mention empty streets as everyone is partying), and time passes slowly when there is no work to be done. However, today we are permitted to take part in this water festival with overpriced waterguns. It sounds like fun by what I have been told by it.
Some Strong Emotions
Yesterday we walked passed(so we did not enter it) a soy on our way over to a mall called Terminal 21. I literally felt all good things depart. The Spirit was gone and a near tangible evil presided over this soy with loud music, dancing mobs, and surely some other bad stuff. As soon as I felt it, I just looked away and bolted, fled, and departed from it. The missionaries I was with later told me that any missionary that is seen on that road is sent home immediately. I'm sure that gets exaggerated but any missionary that feels comfortable in such an atmosphere has no business teaching and inviting others to come unto Christ. To put it bluntly. So contrary was the spirit that presided over that street, there was no room for even temptation to enter. It was pure evil. 

I have some very strong emotions regarding the calling we hold as duly ordained ministers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I speak strongly, because nothing else seems to be enough to clearly demonstrate the emotions I feel when I talk of these things. I truly cannot wrap my head around the concept of disobedient missionaries. You are literaly the face of the church. The investigators first contact with the church, and perhaps even the very idea of Jesus Christ starts with the missionary that invites them!  They must be able to see his light in you. How can you ever expect to do so when his Spirit cannot dwell within you? It may not be a great idea for me to train because I might singe the greenie with my overly enthusiastic flame I have within me regarding this work. I talked with President about training my good old friend Elder McCown(Entering Thailand next transfer) in the MTC. He will be an excellent missionary by what I have seen and know of him. I think he would just add to the flame. No promises by President but I made sure to let him know I would love to serve with him.

I love this work. It is everything to me. Sometimes I do get a little emotional when I talk of these things. But it really is because I love it with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. Everything I am and have become has revolved around these six months. Some life lesson learned within every moment of tribulation. I'm sorry for anyone that is affected negatively by my at times overly enthusiastic self. Maybe a comp or two who thinks I am too focused on inviting or another aspect of the work. I can get a little hard headed sometimes. But I like this flame. Elder Rawlinson my first trainer is the one that got it started. I felt we did too much. Now I say not enough. I am so grateful I had such a hardworking Elder as a trainer who instilled within me a desire to serve with everything I have.
Brother Peach
Elder Nance and I dedicated one two hour block inviting session to inviting straight English. We went to a University to do so and didn't have too great success as I quickly found out most of the students were Dentist and Veterinarian students who had labs the time of English class. However, I sat down with one guy and he didn't seem too interested in this English. However, we just got talking on other things and the opportunity to introduce myself came up. I explained who I was and what I did. That being one who teaches about Jesus Christ. Turns out he was super interested in learning about Jesus Christ. I hit a goldmine. I briefly introduced the Plan of Salvation and set a return appointment with him. New Investigator!(Elder Nance was inviting solo within sight when all of this went down.)

The following week I called him but to no avail as he didn't pick up his phone. The day of our appointment, I called him the final time and by miracle he picks up. He confirms our appointment at 12:30 and I was getting so excited. There's just something about physicaly inviting someone yourself. We arrive and find that he is late. We begin wondering if he is coming at all. He doesn't pick up the two times we called and didn't reply to the text I shot him. As we "gave up" and began leaving I hear a voice. "Elder!" I was so happy to see him! He even brought a friend along! We sat down, we taught, and we testified. We gave him a Book of Mormon and taught them how to pray. It is all the stuff I love most. I think I found another Brother X. By the way, Brother X has plans to get baptized on the 23rd! I got special permission to go and baptize him myself as we promised a transfer ago. Luckily Asoke and Bangkapi are pretty close to each other.

Other Random Stuff
These not yet baptized daughters of God on the MRT this morning thought I was Philipino. I understood what they were saying about us and they didn't know we understood. It was quite entertaining. Anyways, I thought it would be best not to join in on their conversation. Most Thai people can magically tell that I am not one of them without me having to say a word. Most think that I am Korean and very very rarely Japanese.

Tomorrow I met three 5-6 people that were Japanese. That was rough....Rougher than my Thai now. Two were on their honeymoon and they were asking the do's and don'ts of our church. Japanese is so hard. I forgot most of it on my mission. Replaced by Thai. Luckily my Grandpa in Japan is going to the English classes the church offers for free so we will still be able to communicate. Shout out to Elder Call for making sure he gets to church!
Pictures
Pictures taken with a 30year old camera if I'm in the picture. If I am not, it was taken with a 50year old camera. Except for the eternal mirror selfie. Hahhaha Unfortunately, the internet run I am at today doesn't have a slot to read SD cards so modern day camera pictures for next week.
Closing Remarks
I love you all. Thank you for taking time to send me some emails back. It's nice to hear from other people from back home. Letting me know that I'm not alone in this cause against good and evil. Sorry for the perhaps too blunt rant I had regarding obedience. It's just that these two short years are becoming more and more preciouse to me by every passing day. I want to live it with no regrets. I know this to be to be a true gospel that is able to change our lives should we let it. I know that in this cause lies happiness. Of these things I know to be true with all the sincerity of my heart. It has changed me.











Sunday, April 2, 2017

Notes from Zone Conference

​I am so tired. Be it I am tired every single day. However, one thing that I learned is that this "tiredness" goes away as soon as I start working hard. It really is the cure to all things!

Here are some notes from Zone Conference. They are really just goals I set for myself.

Nothing but your best is enough. Teach boldly and simply in every lesson. Testify of the living Christ without any reservations. I need to become more converted myself. Grow in my desire to serve free willingly. Make the sacrament more meaningful to me.

Especially the last one. Too often do I overlook the significance of the sacrament.

This week, I had the opportunity to attend a Bible Study with Seventh Day Adventist's. They were from the Philippines and an hour late to our appointment so I was getting a little frustrated with them. However, I'm glad we exercised patience as they became our really good friends. Initially, it was clearly planned as to how they were trying to "convert" or "persuade" us to the supposed falsehoods of our religion. The spirit of contention was present, and I really just wanted to get out of there. However, I did what I was so called to do. Instead of fighting back, I did what was against my carnal nature. I desperately tried to accept their point of view, stated our point of view, and then testified about something that we could both agree on. That being that Jesus the Christ lives. That we have a loving Heavenly Father who loves us and who wants us to be happy more than anything else. It was like magic. The Spirit was back and present in the heart of every man and woman in the room! With the Spirit present, we closed with a prayer and had a delicious dinner. The chicken was soooooo good.

One thing that has taken me quite a while to understand is that the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are not God's only people. Regardless of religion, race, color, and or everything at all, we are all Sons and Daughters of our loving heavenly father. Being a duly ordained minister for the church, I have had my moments of spiritual pride. Speaking honestly, many of them. However, this new outlook has helped me further and better embrace the Thai culture and people. Rejection hurts less and hope wells up within me in great abundance. There is no greater work on the face of this earth. These past 6 months I would not trade for the world.

I  attached a very short video showing a bit of Asoke and Bangkapi. I will actually make a real, half decent video.....in 18 months when I have a little more time on my hands. I'm really going to miss these kids in this video. They were our investigators although they couldn't get baptized due to the lack of parental consent. I really hope they have the chance to get baptized in the near future. The music is from LDS Youth..haha By the way, we had a baptism two days ago! Will have pictures next week.


video