Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 09:18:31 -0600
Subject: Week 9
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
How is everyone? I'm glad to hear that Nana's funeral went well on Saturday. Mom, that truly is amazing about all of the Wallins just randomly showing up at the viewing! I think that it is probably a nudge from the Lord reminding us to get more family history work done or something like that.
Well, another week gone. Not much has changed though. The fireside on Sunday was really good. One of the District presidents, President Sonne and his wife, Sister Kay Sonne spoke. They did a really good job! President Sonne talked to us about how it is difficult to focus, especially when we try to focus all of our time and energy on one thing. He talked about how a lot of the time as missionaries, we get tired. He told us a story of President Hinckley and how when he was 92, he still would go and go and go, no matter how tired he was. This was really good for me because I've been really tired lately. But now when I feel tired, I think of President Hinckley. I know that if he could do it at 92, I can for sure do it at 19. President Sonne said something else really interesting. He told us that about a stake conference he attended with President Hinckley. As President Hinckley was leaving the stake center to get into a car, he said to M. Russel Ballard, "I hope they'll do what I told them."
Isn't it kind of a sad thought that the prophet would have to speak those words? We should always be willing to follow his advice, and he should never wonder if we will obey. He should know that we will obey, and do so with a happy heart. Something else that President Sonne talked about that I liked was not fearing the people, and being bold. He said that "Boldness shows your faith that obedience brings blessings." Its true. Obedience does bring blessings, but as Russel M. Nelsons wife told us the first Tuesday I was here, "Obedience brings blessings, but EXACT obedience brings MIRACLES!"
We have also had some really good lessons from our teachers this week. Yesterday, Sister Wongwiraphab was teachig us about accountability from Preach My Gospel. It was really good. It's in the back of the famous and helpful chapter 8. There is a parallel to fishing in Preach My Gospel. It talks about two types of fishermen. They will both "go fishing" for 12 hours. But there is a difference. One will get up and drive to the lake, spend all of his time getting ready, eating breakfast and finding that perfect spot. Then he has to eat lunch and all that stuff. He has his line in the water for two hours or so. Then there is the fisherman who gets to the lake and gets his line in the water immediately. He has his line in the water all day. It's obvious who we want to be. As missionaries, we should have our line in the water from the moment we step out of our apartment. We should be constantly looking for opportunities to grow the kingdom. The missionary handbook says under Preparation Day, "Look for opportunities during the day to find people and teach." There is not a single minute that should be taken off these next two years. P-day isn't a personal day to take off from the work.
Last night, Brother Miles talked to us about the restoration. He showed us pictures of city streets in Thailand. We looked at the Cities of Udon and Bangkok. He would pull up a picture and say, "That guy on the motorcycle, you'll talk to him at a stoplight about the gospel. See that shop vendor? He needs to hear the message fo the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." He would point at every person saying "Khon Thai"(Thai person). It hit me last night, that these are real people. Thailand is a real place, the gospel needs to be taught there. We read Joseph Smith History verses 1-54 as a class. It was really powerful to read it thinking of the people we had just seen. Brother Miles talked to us about being bold, and not being afraid. I know that I won't speak Thai when I get there. I won't understand most of what's going on. But Brother Miles said, be bold and talk to someone. Share the message that you have with them. He showed us the Airport in Bangkok and said something like, "Believe it or not, you'll be there in two weeks. You'll get off the plane and you'll hear the loudspeaker and you'll think, is that Chinese? What is that language." He said that it'll be hard, but he challenged us to talk to at least one person in the airport, about the message of the restoration of the Gospel. I know that these people are being prepared by the Holy Ghost, to hear this message. Some will be on different levels than others, but if I talk to them, they will remember me. Even if what they're thinking is, "Wow, I couldn't understand what he said," or, "He spoke really bad Thai," I just hope they will remember the chirch of Jesus Chrsit of Latter-day Saints.
We know that this life is a time for men to prepare to meet God. We know that we all make mistakes. But we try to become more like Christ everyday. One thing that I have discovered to help me "become like my only master" is the Christlike attribute test at the end of Chapter six of Preach My Gospel. I know that we've got a bunch of Preach My Gospel books at our house. Next family home evening, will you all take that assessment, and try to work on the attribute where you are lowest? I invite all to do so.
Well Everything is well with me! I hope that you all are safe and well. Mom, I'll send a cd with my MTC pictures home next week. Travel Plans on Thursday! I'm so excited to meet the Thai people! They are going to be wonderful!
I love you all so much! My prayers are with you!
Love ELder Todd