Saturday, August 27, 2011

Got some pics from MTC in the mail!

Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 21:23:36 -0700

Hey Everybody!

How are you all doing? Things are pretty good here! I got your emails and I really appreciate them all. I'll try to write back to them if I have time today. Brooke and La, I'm sorry you have to go back to school. But its good for you.

Well, this week has actually gone by really quickly! It's good. I've been working a lot more on my Thai. I've been focusing on learning the teaching points in the "How To Begin Teaching" section of chapter ten in Preach My Gospel. They are really good points, and they are really helpful. Preach My Gospel is so amazing. We have been studying how to begin teaching the people concepts, not lessons, and those things are so important.

We didn't do so hot on finding people this week though. We did get one referrral from a member which was really great! It was the first one I have received. Member referrals are the best way to do missionary work. So, you should give the missionaries referrals if you trust them. It's important to have trust with the missionaries. I have been trying to talk with the memebrs in the branch here. Its hard, and I don't understand very much, but I understand more and more each day.

We taught our recent convert family this week. It was great! We were teaching them about temples and they asked some questions about other Christian churches and when they found out no one else has temples they were very uninterested. They also said that they are no longer Buddhists, but they are Christians which is really good. Thai culture and Buddhist culture seem to be very intertwined. I think it's a big challenge for members when they have to give up Buddhism. I had a cool experience when we were teaching the family yesterday and Sister Oy asked about Alma 7:6 and idol worship. I was able to help them understand, by turning to Mosiah 13:12. It's where Abinadi is giving the 10 commandments to King Noah. I didn't know the 10 commandments were also in the Book of Mormon until Brother Miles showed me one day in the MTC. So we cleared up Idol worship which was good. They didn't understand that the pictures of the Savior are to help us remember Him, not to worship Him. It really is such a testimony builder to see the willingness of the people to change. They are awesome! A lot of the younger branch members are doing great, and are working hard.

Yesterday I was blessed to see the baptism of two teenage girls who we had been teaching. Cat and Bee. They have both been learning for a while, even though their parents aren't the biggest fans of the church. But their families have seen the change that has come over their children, and they see that it has been for the better. This gospel truly is a gospel of becoming. We change from what we used to be--the natural man. We go through the refiner's fire to become who God needs us to be. Steel is made from ore through heat. Fine steel is made with more heat. The harder the challenges, or the more we have to sacrifice, the more we submit our will to the Father's will. When that occurs, the finer we become. We grow into the children He wants us and needs us to be.

One of the things I realized during a hard time this week is that in the end, everyone has their own agency. Investigators choose to accept or reject the gospel. Companions can work with the spirit or not. Sometimes, the choices made by others do affect us. But we shouldn't sit back and wait for them to figure things out before acting ourselves. We need to be proactive, and do something. We can choose for oursleves, and oursleves only. But we can try and influence those around us for the better. Don't let others' choices affect you negatively. Choose to be happy. "Choose ye this day whom you will serve." Joshua 24:15!

I was reading in Alma 43:18-21 today. I think it is so interesting to see that the Nephites are concerned about protection. They prepare with armour. The Lamanites prepare with weapons. They are all about destruction. In this great conflict, those of us on the Lord's side are not the ones on the offensive.

This week I went on exchanges in Mahasarakham. It was fun. Except we were late to our appointments. I'm going on another exchange today actually down to Khon Khaen with the Zone Leaders. I don't know what to expect.

John, bringing that sleeping bag was a good call.

All is well here. I love you all very much, and you're always in my prayers. Its weird, yesterday was Nate's 13th month mark! You'll see him soon! haha Have fun, be safe! I love your emails, and hearing from you all!

Elder Todd

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