Sunday, September 4, 2011
Well, this is the start of my fifth week here in Thailand! I can't believe it. It's gone by pretty fast, looking back on it all. This is the last week of this transfer since its a short transfer. It doesn't really mean anything for me though. We should be getting two new people in our district. We should be getting one of the sisters from the younger district I was with in the MTC, coming here to Roi Et. That will be way fun to have another missionary I already know here! Also Elder Merrel up in Mahasarakam is moving, and Elder Christiansen is going to get a new companion.
This week is the first week where we haven't had any investigators with a baptisimal date. So it was kind of weird not to have the usual people to teach. But we found 8 new investigators which was great! I feel really good about them. Four of them live out in a neighborhood where there are 14 other members, which is pretty high for Thailand. So it will be really good if we can focus on that area and find a lot of new members there.
Yesterday was district conference and one of the men out there got the Melchizedek Priesthood! He is the only one out there with it, but its so good to have that power there! Earlier this week I was getting a little frustrated with finding people. It was just such a difficult process. But then I remembered something that Elder Bednar said to us at the MTC. He said, "This work is never about you, and it is never about me. Get out of the way so the Holy Ghost can fulfill His purpose." Once that thought popped into my head my entire attitude changed. And even though we didn't find people to teach, the rest of the day went differently. It was so much better when I just tried to focus on the needs of others.
I also realized that there is a difference between knowing my purpose as a missionary and internalizing it. When we internalize the missionary purpose we will forget about oursleves entirely. That's something Dave told me. He said that I'll forget about things like my birthday because when you have true missionary purpose instilled in your mind, all you care about is the eternal welfare of the souls of those around you. Its how Alma, Amulek, Ammon, Aaron, Omner, Himni, Nephi & Lehi and all of the great missionaries were able to have so much success. They are such great examples to look up to, even in regular life.
There was this one lesson we taught this week that was really great. We had been teaching another investigator at this sisters' shop, and a 21 year old boy came in and was waiting for his mom. While he was waiting, he sat and listened to the lesson. Afterwards, we got his contact information. This was last week. Then this week, we called Him up. We had an appointment with him on Wednesday, but he had to cancel because of the rain. So we rescheduled for Thursday. We talked to him about God. We asked if he believed in God. He said yes he did, because his aunt had told him there was a supreme creator. We taught him how to pray and about prayer. The concept for him clicked on the first lesson. It was amazing to see how the spirit worked so well with someone who had been prepared by the Lord for the gospel. It was so amazing.
Also, something way cool happened on Wednesday as we were out inviting. We were in this neighborhood where we hadn't planned to go. We were walking down the street when we heard, "Elders! Elders!" We turned around to see this 20 something year old man chasing us. He is a less active member that only remembers how to pray. He said that life has been really hard for him lately, and that he wants to learn the lessons again and come back to church! It's so great to see the way that the Lord will work with His children. It truly shows that He does care, and does love all of us.
We had some pretty crazy rain this week. We're deep in monsoon season. It's such a blast getting caught it the rain, but it makes it really hard to work. Well, all is well here, I hope all is well at home! Thank you for all of the letters and pictures! They're wonderful! Be safe and smart! Don't do stupid things!