Sunday, October 9, 2011

#1 General Conference in Thailand

Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2011 11:25:01 +0700
Subject: week 9

Hey everybody!

How are you doing? This week was an amazing week! Especially because of general conference! It was amazing! Sister Itow didn't want to watch it in Thai so she got it on a flash drive in English so we were all able to watch it in English.

It was weird to me during the Saturday afternoon session when it hit me that I was in Thailand watching General Conference. I was learning the same thing that you all learned last week. I don't think that I have ever gotten so much out of conference. It makes me want to be a better person all around. Elder Holland, and Elder Christofferson, and President Uchtdorf's Saturday afternoon were some amazing talks! But really, they all were.

Well, this week was a pretty good week here actually. We taught some good lessons to our progressing investigators. Unfortunately, because some investigators won't keep commitments, they aren't counted as progressors. It's hard to see people who have started on the path to true happiness choose to not keep going, or to see them choose to slow down.

One thing that I have realized this week, is how much our own attitude and our own choices affect everything. We have a lot more power than we think we do. As we were reminded in conference, only we can choose for ourselves. 2 Nephi 2:27 is one of my favorite scriptures on agency. Sometimes peoples' agency can be very frustrating. But during those times, I take a step back, and remember that I have my own agency. And I remember the tremendous blessing that comes with it. I realize, with that blessing also comes great responsibility.

I feel as if more and more in the world, the lie is being told, that we won't be held accountable for our own actions. THIS IS A LIE. In the end, every man, woman, and child will be held accountable for each and everything that he or she did in their lives. Whether it be choosing to be obedient, choosing Christ, choosing eternal life, living with God in His presence forever, or choosing eternal misery. It is up to us if we choose happiness or to put ourselves into captivity, and the chains of sin.

To some investigators, and even to many members of the church, it may seem like God has given us so many commandments, and they bind us down. In reality, it's the opposite. God gives us commandments to set us free. God is all about giving us freedom, giving us our agency. That's what we fought for in the premortal life. Satan, all he wants to do is bind us down. To trap us in the gulf of never ending sorrow. To lead us into crooked paths. If we start down those paths, we can always return. The sooner, the easier, and the better. But, choose this day to serve the Lord (Josh 24:15). Pray continually for the Lord to help you avoid those crooked paths. Let your heart be continually drawn out in prayer unto your eternal father.

We invited Tan to conference. He said he could come. I was so excited for him to come hear the words of the prophet! But then on sunday morning, about twenty minutes before, he called and said he didn't have a way he could come. I was really sad. He is so good! I feel like he has the desire to be baptized, to come forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witness unto the church that he has repented of his sins.(D&C 20:37) He wants to come read his scriptures at the chuch, but when he can come, we aren't free to open it up. We have been teaching him there, and I think he likes the spirit he feels there.

Pawn was out of town this week and doesn't know when she will be back. We started teaching these poeple who live out in the middle of a rice paddy. They are a member referral. They were actually expecting us t come to them. Its good because they came to us, but since they are old, and rooted in Buddhist ways, it will probably take some time.

This week i was on an exhcange with Elder Christensen. We were here in Roi Et. We taught some good lessons. We were inviting in a neighborhood, and there is a house that has a big "Beware of Dog" sign. The gate was open and I was a little hesitant. The lady who lived there was standing outside. So we started talking to her. We taught her and her 18 year-old son about prayer. It was really good! She was saying she was actually looking to change religions. At the end of the lesson, they each said their own prayer. The son asked if God lived, then we he was done, he waited and we didn't even tell him to do that! It just shows that the Lord is prepearing people everywhere for His gospel. No matter who you are, no matter where you are going in the world, I promise that you can baptize people. I know that the Lord will prepare people. You may just be starting the planting of the seed, but I know that every missionary in the world, who is obedient, who tries, and who is diligent, does some good to build the Kingdom of God on the Earth, preparatory to the Second coming of the Messiah.

Well, All is well here! I hope you are all well! Do your part in wherever you may be in the vineyard. The gospel is true. i promise you that. I love you.
Elder ทอดด์

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