Sunday, December 16, 2012

Elder Todd and his Zone in Pakkret

Merry Christmas from Pakkret!

Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2012 22:24:19 -0700

Merry Christmas!

This last week was a very busy week. The Bangkok Stake and the Bangkok North District pulled together to host one of the biggest Christmas activities that I've seen/been a part of. It took a lot of preparation. And since it was being hosted at our church, on Chaengwatana Rd., we got to do a lot of the helping. 

I don't know if I told you or not but I was called to sing in a choir. One of the members here, brother Art, wrote a musical that was all centered on Christmas. It was the story of a man who was handicapped because one Christmas he saved the life of a pregnant woman. Then seven years passed. He never got a thank you, or any closure. He was kind of bitter. The story starts with his friend from work having him over for dinner. Long story short-- his friend's wife is the lady. His doubts as to whether God lives, are totally cleared away as his desire was fulfilled. The production ends with the quote, "He saved a life, but Jesus Christ saved the world." It was really good. I can't do it justice. 

I also had the opportunity to really see how God sees us. During the last showing of the performance, there was this lady sitting on the very front row. I looked at her and she had this big tattoo on her shin. She just had a wordly look about her. I didn't give it much thought. But, I was shown that I can't judge on what I see. By the end of the play she was crying. She had felt the Spirit of the Lord. He taught me what he had taught Samuel of old. 
7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lordseeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

That was good for me to learn, and a lesson that we can all remember. It's such a large part of our life to become like the Savior. As we remember His birth, we should also look to His example. It's another lesson that I have been taught. I hear people say "Every religion teaches us to be good." Well, that statement whether true or not isn't relevant. Jesus Christ told us; " Therefore I would that ye should be aperfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.(3 Nephi 12:48)." 

No matter what others say to us, we can't settle for anything less that perfection. And it is only in and through the grace of Christ that we can be perfected.

Well, right now we're  low on investigators.  President was talking to us about this. Apparently, the assistants were saying to him that our numbers are low. We're actually lower than we were when President first got here.  Except in one area.  We are up in the number of Baptisms.

We've changed our way of proselyting. We have, as President put it, created a very effective machine that produces baptisms. If we look at percentages, we've really picked up. We're not spending time with people who aren't prepared or willing to do things.  But we've got investigators working to baptism. 

Right now, we have a really solid one. Her name is Nong. โหน่ง.  She's the member referral I was talking about last week.  She's doing really well and has a baptismal date for the 30th. She really is just someone who the Lord prepared for us. She's keeping commitments and not complaining. 

Well, I'm kind of out of things for this week. It really was consumed with song practice and getting the church ready. 

I love you all. Remember Christ at this time. 


Monday, December 10, 2012

December in Pakkret

Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2012 10:18:19 +0700

Hey! How is everyone?

Well, it's getting closer to Christmas. I really hope that you're all taking more time to really remember the Savior. It's cool for me to think about Him. I think about Him as the man I work for. It's really special to be in the service of the Master, and the best part is that we don't have to be full-time missionaries to do so. 

Elder Patterson and I have had the opportunity to talk to and help some of the members of our zone. It's been a special blessing and really has helped me understand more of my purpose. One of the things that has hit me as I have tried to focus on serving the Lord is something that was pointed out to me by another missionary. He was talking about how every temple and every church building has on its front, the sacred name of Jesus Christ.  He went on, pointing out that the biggest name on our missionary name tags is Jesus Christ. This missionary made the connection that we are like temples, and we also bear His name. That's a special responsibility, for as we learn in the epistle to the Corinthians, we are actually temples. As I pondered the idea, the thought hit me, that it isn't important whether or not we have a name tag on our person. When we were baptized we all promised that we would always be worthy to have the Savior's name on our hearts, and that we would bear His name through our actions. So that is my challenge to you this week--to  truly, in everything that you do, honor our Redeemer's name through actions. Faith- true faith in Him, will produce works that are worthy of His name. That's what I am focusing on. 

Well, we were busy this week. Right now if you asked us if we have a lot of investigators the answer is no. But the people that we do have are all excellent and full of faith. They seem willing to act. It's a great blessing as we focus more than ever on finding them that will receive us. 

One investigator is Fone. She's doing well. Unfortunately she hasn't been able to make it to church yet. She is an investigator from English class. She said she already told her family that she's done with any budhist ordinances becasue she's converting! What great faith! She's got a lot of questions. We taught her about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity this week. The question of "why" always seems to come up in these lessons. But she was willing to live them. She didn't have a problem with anything except drinking tea. So that's good. But the thing that was interesting to me was she couldn't seem to grasp the concept of the Plan of Salvation. It's so different from what they have been taught. I think we often take that for granted. Sometimes people just can't seem to grasp the fact that we're only born once. But other people feel that the Plan of Salvation just gives them what they were missing from life. Anyway, Fone is great and she's still progressing. 

Then, the other day we had a member say he had an investigator for us. He took us to this member's house who lets other members sleep there too. Brother Sam is his name. He's way good. Anyway, his Aunt Nong came to their house in an answer to Sam's mom's prayer. They cut suits and dresses. Tailor? I think is what we call them. Anyway, they just were overloaded with work. But Nong showed up. then she was surprised by the way all the other 6 people loved their religion. She was really interested. So we taught her. She came to a baptism on Saturday. After I said, "Do you want baptism?"   She said, "Well, I'm not ready to share my testimony."
But she definitely wants to learn! The Lord is blessing us. President Senior told us to stop asking the members for referrals. Well we did and now they're coming!

That baptism was special. It wasn't our investigator, but Elder Price's. I interviewed her last week. She had a great testimony! Apparently,the interview was a great excperiece for her. I attribute it to the Lord. But she chose Memto to baptize her. That was really a humbling experience. I'll try and get pictures next week. 

Also I have been asked to sing in a choir fro the Christmas program this Friday/Saturday. So that's great! 

Well, that's my update! Love you all!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Mission Tour and Pakkret Zone Conference

Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2012 11:36

Hey Todd family! 

Happy December! And happy วันพ่อ!! Or Happy Fathers Day!

Tomorrow is the King's birthday and in Thailand, Father's day is on the king's birthday and Mother's day is the queen's birthday. Interesting culture fact!

Well, as ever, I am astounded at how fast this last week has gone by! I am just loving every second of my mission! Things here are fantastic. This mission is my favorite thing that I have ever done! It’s great. There is so much to do, but so little time to do the Lord’s work. 

Yesterday, Elder Patterson and I got to talk about that very topic in our Zone Conference. We were told that we’d be giving a training, but we weren’t told what our topic would be until about an hour before the meeting. 

Zone conference yesterday was a special one. Let me give you a recap. We were asked last week to get everyone in our zone’s shoe sizes. Then the Assistants told us on Saturday that President was taking the zone bowling for a zone activity. So we went bowling as a zone yesterday! (24 Elders and 2 Sisters)  It was way fun! I got to bowl on a team with Elders Patterson, Price and Kampanat. We didn’t do too poorly. 

President was just wanting to celebrate the holiday season and the fact that our mission will be getting an increase in missionaries! That’s good! Then we headed to the Asoke chapel. We started the meeting. I gave a talk about finding investigators.  After me, President  Senior talked, and then Elder Patterson and I gave our training. 

It was special because we hadn’t had time to prepare anything, really. But during the time that we spend traveling and doing things around the zone, we’ve focused on discussing the needs of the mission. So, we knew what we needed to talk about! And the Spirit guided us. We were on the same page. We spoke about how we need to do everything that we can to help as many people come into the church as soon as possible. It’s just like what Elder Holland said when he closed his talk at the end of last April conference.  He said, “It’s getting late. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” It truly is getting late. There is a greater sense of urgency, and we as members need to be doing everything that we can to bring the Lord’s prepared children into the church. Zone conference was fantastic!

As for the work, we’ve been shifting the ways we find investigators throughout the entire mission. From door to door contacting, to just talking to everyone,  to really find “Them that will receive [us].”   As we've done this, our investigator pools have dropped.  But our investigators who actually get baptized has increased in effectiveness. 

Right now, we don’t have a whole lot of people to teach.  But I want to tell you about one of our investigators. Her name is Fone. She came through English class. We were teaching her and committing her to be baptized. 

I said, “Sister, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ…” before I could finish she said “I will.” I continued “ being baptized…” Again before I could finish she said “รับ” which means “receive” or saying she will get baptized. “ someone holding the priesthood authority of God?” I finished. “ทำค่ะ” or “I will.” Was her answer. It just goes to show that there truly are people out there the Lord is preparing for us! That was one of my favorite experiences this week.

In closeing, I leave my testimony of the Savior with you. When I think of Him, I think of the question best phrased by Job of old  when he says, “If a man dies, will he live again?” 

On that first Easter morning, Mary thought she saw the gardner. She did!  She saw the gardener who cultivated Eden, and endured Gethsemene, who gave us the Lily of the field, the rose of Sharon.  It's all part of the Lord’s vineyard. She knew, when He so lovingly said her name, “Mary..” that He does live! I testify that God our Father lives! And His Beloved Son lives. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all so much. This Christmas season remember HIM.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Miracles in the Pakkret Branch

Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2012 11:55:

Subject: Miracles.

Dear Family,
I couldn't have imagined as I e-mailed you last week the miracles that the Lord was going to pour out upon us this week. And it is all because of faith.  It's by faith that He extends His mercy and love to us and blesses us. 

Now with that, I will share with you one of the most amazing things that has happened to me on my mission. 

So, we had this investigator, Sister Ning.  She had been learning since Elder Patterson was a new missionary, over a year and a half ago. She had learned much about the gospel, but hadn't been baptized yet. We found out that she actually lived in our area. So we took up the teaching where the last missionaries left off. 

We set a goal last week, that she should be baptized this week. We planned on a Sunday baptism.  All week, we tried and couldn't meet with her. The lessons we had planned and the interview didn't look like they were going to happen. Then, on Friday we had an appointment. She had to cancel it in the end. But, she moved our appointment to Saturday evening. 
Elder Patterson and I still hadn't given up hope. We decided that what could really help her make the decision to be baptized, would be to focus on the temple. The Pakkret branch is planning to go to the temple next year in December. 
As we got into the lesson, we asked her how her reading was going. She talked about how she had read through Mosiah that morning. I asked, "Don't you love King Benjamin?" Then we proceeded to talk about his angelic sermon. We then pointed out the significance of the sermon being given at the temple. We talked with her a little bit about the importance of the temple. And how baptism was necessary.  It wasn't anything new for her, it was just reaffirming things she knew. 

We then talked about baptism, and her interview. We said that we had prayed and felt that the interview could be done before church on Sunday. She agreed, but then when we talked about the baptism being on Sunday as well, she seemed hesitant. She was really determined to be baptized in December. 

But we had prayed, set a goal and felt that it was supposed to happen yesterday. We prayed in our hearts, and prayed more. We talked with her. 

We said, "Sister, we have something that we want you to do."

 She said, "kneel and pray about it."  That was amazing! She knew exactly what she needed to do! 

So, we scheduled the interview.

There is something about preparation that opens the door for things to happen. Elder Patterson and I are firm believers in that. So, on the way home, we called her fellowshippers and asked them to prepare talks for the baptismal service tomorrow. 

Then I said to Elder Patterson, "Pack your backpack."  He got his extra clothes but we didn't stop praying. We were full of faith that this baptism was right and was going to happen.

We got up the next morning with all of our stuff and headed to the church. Sister Ning showed up and started the interview. Elder Patterson and I looked at each other and said, "We need to fill up the font." So we did. 

The interview ended and she passed! I was really feeling my faith increasing so much! Then we asked if she had gotten her own answer about when to be baptized.  She said the first of December. 
My heart dropped a little, but my faith brought it back up. We talked a little more and asked why. She wasn't sure, so we challenged her during sacrament to search for the answer. During sacrament, the Branch President got up and was talking about how the branch was having an amazing year.  He said that 39 people had been baptized since January, and the goal was 40. but we would be extending that goal out to 45.  

After the meeting we asked her if she got an answer and she said yes.  But she still wanted to go pray again and confirm it. So, she said, "Give me an hour and I'll tell you."

About 20 minutes later she called. We we're in a meeting so we had to wait. But after it was over, we called her back.

She said, "Elder, I got my answer.  I need to be baptized today. But, my uncle just got in an accident. I'm now at the hospital with him."

 At that point,  the question wasn't whether we were lacking faith or what we hadn't done right.  We felt we had done all within our power. The question became what does the Lord want us to learn? We felt that it was to accept His will and not try to force things in the last minute.  But at the same time we wanted to keep our faith strong because we knew that with faith, all things are possible. 
We decided we were going to take that lesson to heart. We knew that in His own time, His purposes would be brought to pass. Then at about 4:30 we got a phone call. It was Ning. She said she wanted to be baptized that night at 6:00.
 We said, "Done."
 We went to the branch president and told him that Sister Ning wanted to be baptized. 

He asked, "When?" "6:00" was our answer. 

He said "Today?" 
"Yes, today." we confirmed.

He then excitedly said, "FILL UP THE FONT!"  

He was so excited!! It was amazing! Then she showed up in her own baptismal outfit that she had bought a while ago. And Sister Ning was baptized. It was amazing! It was a true miracle. 

I testify that Heavenly Father is a God of Miracles, and operates today according to our faith. Jesus Christ lives, and loves us. I love you all and encourage you to press forward in faith! --


Loving the People of Pakkret!

Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 12:01

Hey! Happy วันขอบคุณพระเจ้า!!

Well, as ever I am absolutely astounded that another week has come and goneแล้ว.But as ever, the Lord has made it another great week! SO--here are a few of the highlights, just some of them, from this last week. 

First of all, the Church building here in Pakkret was just finished right before I got in country.  It was only dedicated a few weeks after I arrived in Thailand. It's located right on Chaengwatana Road, which is one of the biggest roads in the city, so there are a ton of people that see it. In Korat, we had maybe 20 people come to English class, so I was blown away when I got here and last week at English class there were 153 students! That was amazing to see. And there were about 25 or so new people. 

Things here in the Bangkok North Zone are really going well. We even have an investigator from English class. His name is Arm. He's solid. He is really interested. He's studied the Bible on his own, but never talked with any missionaries or any churches. He's now reading the Book of Mormon and seems to be enjoying it. I think He'll be getting baptized here in December. 

We also had mission tour with the Area President, Elder Kent D. Watson who visited from Hong Kong this week. The three Bangkok Zones all met together in the Chaengwatana building. Elder Patterson and I had to get everything set up, including food for 90 people. We ended up getting members to make food. Guess what they made? Not curry. Not anything with rice even! They made lasagna and peach cobbler! It was so so good! 

But more than the food, the meeting was amazing. The Spirit there was so strong! It was all about the Book of Mormon and how it's important for us.  We role played, inviting people to learn about the gospel using the Book of Mormon and had a section about how it answers the questions of the soul.  The Book of Mormon is amazing. Think about it, while reading about Lehi and his struggles with his eldest sons, we see a parent struggling to help his stubborn children. Is that so distant from many parents lives? No. It's just such an amazing tool. It's the tool that the Lord has given us to gather scattered Israel home.

One other amazing thing that has been taught to me on my mission, is that God is mindful of His children and what they need. Twice this week we felt that we needed to make appointments with recent converts. Both times we did, it was amazing to see why the Lord had prompted us to do so. When we saw them, they both just talked to us about how they felt that their faith was beginning to fail. At a crucial time for them, we were able to go and to share the gospel with them and share our testimonies.   Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can save this world from the sorrows of sin. Only the gospel will be able to bring peace and consolation to the human family. I saw that manifest this week in the Bangkok North District. 

Other than that, things are great! Elder Patterson and I are getting along really well. We have the same vision and are on the same page for what needs to happen. We are focusing on part member families. We had two long time members bring their wives to church yesterday. Neither of the wives have been baptized. So now we're working with them to unite them with their families so that they can go to the temple. That's why we find people.  That's why we teach.  That's why we baptize. To seal families and to prepare for Eternal Life.  

Thank you all for your prayers. You're the best and I love you!


Goodbye Korat, Hello Pakkret!

Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 13:49Subject: Pakkret!From:

Hey ครอบครัว!

How are you doing? I'm doing very well here. The big news isn't that it snowed in Thailand, but that I moved. I'm now in Pakkret which means that I get to go to church at the Chaengwattana church which is the biggest, newest church in Southeast Asia! It's so pretty! I'm with Elder Patterson from Arizona. He's way solid. He's really teaching me a lot of great stuff! I was sad to leave Korat, but it's like one of the members told me, "It's time for you to leave and have experiences in other places."

It was bittersweet to say goodbye to everyone--both members and investigators. One really cool experience was my last lesson with Cherry and Oom. We talked with them a little bit about the plan of Salvation. That was mostly for the benefit of Oom. But then we talked to Cherry about a priesthood blessing. When we asked her who she would like to give her one, she chose me. That was very humbling. I felt the spirit direct my words as I gave her, or rather the Lord through me, gave her a blessing of comfort and counsel, of encouragement and strength to help her quit smoking. It was the last thing that I got to do in Korat. She was moved by it as was I.  After that, no one really had anything to say. The Spirit was so strong. It was a huge blessing.

Then, we were off to Bangkok. On Thursday we were sitting in transfer meeting. I was sitting next to Elder Tolman and we were just talking having a great time. Then the meeting started! I got transferred and will be closer to Bangkok. Elder Patterson is really solid. He is two transfers ahead of me. He's got a lot of wisdom which is really important. We then had meetings all that day, first with President and Sister Senior, and then with the leaders of the branch. Things are busy. Then, we also have had to get mission tour ready. There will be all three Bangkok Zones coming and we have to prepare it all, the food and the musical selections. But it's looking good!
Elder Kent D. Watson will be coming. 

Then we decided to get out and visit some of the districts in our Zone to share with them a little about the vision we have for the transfer, and how our zone can reach our goal for baptisms. It was really different to be able to visit 2 of the four district leaders within about 3 hours. It was a 3 hour bus ride from Korat or Roi et to Khon Kaen. The wonders of being in Bangkok! Things are a lot closer than up country.

As we visited the Bang Khaen district they had an investigator ready to interview for baptism. So I interviewed him. Wow! He was so prepared! He talked about repentance and about the commandments and how great they all were and how it was repentance that made him know the church is true! 

We have some good investigators here.  There are two who we are hoping to baptize this coming week. The first is Lai, and the second is Ning. Lai--she's way solid! Just needs to learn the lessons all the way through and get her mom's permission. her mom is one of our prospective investigators. So please keep them in your prayers!

Well, I love you all. Keep calm and carry on!


Elder Todd

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2012 11:50:17 

Hey! How are you all?

Aren't things just fantastic? I have to say they are!

We had another week full of blessings from the Lord. One of them was that the family who we got to work with last week, Brother Ton and Sister Saeng, came back to church along with their daughters, Bell and Gift. It was a great thing to see the branch welcome them back with open arms! There were some members who were very excited to see them! During the fast and testimony meeting,  brother Tong gave a great testimony about how he was ready to serve the Lord! So that'll be great to get that family coming to church again! It really was a testimony builder to me that no one is ever forgotten by our Heavenly Father. God doesn't, or perhaps because of His pure love cannot, leave any of us alone. He won't ever forget us. 

We also had the opportunity to go to a leadership training in Khon Kaen this last Thursday. It was really good. So we got there, and the Assistants came in and said that President Senior wanted to be there but he couldn't make it. That was a bit of a bummer-- but the training was awesome. As it started, I looked around the room. I saw all of these 20-21 year old men sitting down holding a meeting. I thought, "this is so cool. We're not just here hanging out because there is no supervision. We're doing what our leader has asked of us."

 I asked my self why this was so. The answer came to me in the form of the Savior's words: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." 
We conducted that meeting with order and focus, out of a love for our Savior and our Leader. It was so cool to me to be with missionaries who understand their purpose. I'm grateful to the Lord for their good examples.

Another cool experience was a few weeks ago, Elder Khanakham, from the mission presidency was visiting Korat. He asked me if I would hold a training for the branch missionaries. He wanted me to help them understand how to use Preach My Gospel and how to teach. So, on Saturday I gave a training. I really felt the Lord's hand as I planned to talk to them about their role and how to use Preach My Gospel. But, as seems to happen so often times as we teach, I was the one who was taught. These missionaries, most of them young men, (priest age), were great teachers! And they explained the doctrines in very simple terms. I know that part of their success is that they are native Thai's, but that's not the point. The point is that it showed to me that it doesn't matter who you are, where you're from or how old you are. If the Lord wants to make you a teacher, He can and will. 

Well,  as far as our investigators, things are progressing. Thank you for your prayers for all of these people, especially Cherry. She needs the help. It's really sad to see someone so addicted. But, the Lord can help us overcome all things. That is the truth. This week we're really going to make a push for her! So as we do, please don't forget her. She's still coming to church and keeping commitments. We're just really praying for her. 

Oom is on fire! In just one week she's through 1 Nephi well into second Nephi! She prays daily as well! She did say no to baptism for now. It's one of those cultural concerns. Her in-laws aren't too partial to the church. And since she lives in the military base,  a lot of people have told her and Cherry that if they convert they're betraying their country and religion. That's something sad to hear. But these women aren't letting those faith shakers get them down! In the face of adversity they are standing strong. It will help as they prepare to make the covenant to stand as a witness. I'm grateful to the Lord for all the blessings we have received. 

Well, I love you all tons!

Love Elder Todd

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Referrals, Teaching, Exchanges in Korat--so happy!

Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2012 11:40From:

Well I cannot believe that October is over! I cannot believe how fast this last week went. Time is just marching forward too quickly.  But things here are as great as ever. Actually this last week was filled with blessings.
During this last week, the Lord POURED out blessings upon us here. I am still in shock, but am so so grateful. We taught a ton. We met with recent converts, less active members, investigators, and even met with some referrals. Everything just seemed to be going well. I know that it wasn't due to anything that I did.  It's the Lord stretching forth His hand in the work. 
We've been trying to be tools in His hand and not obstruct the work or try to do things contrary to His will. As we have made a concentrated effort to get out of the way for Him, He really has used us as a force for good among His children. Because of time limitations I will just share a few experiences. 
The first one happened yesterday afternoon. There is this family that we have been trying to go visit. They just stopped coming to church after they had spent several weeks in Bangkok taking care of some business.  After returning to Korat they missed church one week. Then, one week became two, and that turned into three.  Before long several months had gone by without them attending church. So last night, Brother O, โอ๋ a member here took me out to see them.  (Elder Wood was visiting another family with another member.)  We got out there and found the family--Brother Tong(โต้ง) Sister Saeng(แสง) and their family. We sat down with them and were just talking. We talked about love. Then I felt prompted to share from the revelations. I opened up to Doctine and Covenants 130:2 and talked to them about how it's so possible! Our families can be forever! I tried to explain that this is the reason why it's important for us to be active in the church so we can be worthy to enter into the Lord's house and make covenants there. Then I invited them to come to church. It turned into a discussion of what seem to be the classic feelings of many less active members, "Will people think less of me?" or "Will anyone talk to me?" "Will others look down on us for not coming?"   
That is not the way it is in this church. It cannot be so. The key to helping them IS the members. Brother O said, "Of course no one will think less! People will be happy in having you back. There is no need to worry!"   
I realized then, in efforts to rescue less active members, it's more important for members to have a role than missionaries. We move and get transferred. But the members stay! People need friends and support. It was an eye opener to me. They said they'll be back next week too!
I believe that I told you about brother Tam. He's the less active man who we were teaching with his wife and his kids. Well, yesterday, you can imagine my joy as I looked and saw him at sacrament sitting in the overflow! I was so happy! He came back!  The branch president talked with him, and is preparing him for a calling! A calling will help him get back strong and active! I was so happy! Life as a missionary is amazing. I love it so much. As much as I love you all, there is no where else i'd rather be right now than where I am. I love being in the service of the Master. 
Another great thing that happened was with Cherry. Well, she's still struggling with her smoking problem. The tic tacs--she likes them haha. SO, that was good! They do have some mints very similar that they sell here. But I think the Lord brought a way to motivate her to get over the last bump in the road. We went to teach her last Friday. She said that she had a friend for us to teach. So we sat down and taught her friend and Cherry was present. Her friend is Oom(อูม) and seems fairly receptive. We just taught a simple first lesson. At the end we gave what is called a "soft baptismal commitment." The-- "When you know that these things are true will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?"  She said yes. Then Cherry said to me, there's no way I'm going to let her get baptized before me. So, the thing that might be the motivation for her, is her friend. Now, I know that it's not all about comparing ourselves to others and not having races. As President Uchtdorf's wife said "It's a journey not a race." But sometimes, the Lord works in mysterious ways. Cherry has a good plan that she's following too. She should have quit by the end of the week. Please pray for her.
Well, there are tons of blessings. I have written about them in my journal.  But I only have time for a portion of the highlights.   
I love this work and this Gospel. My hand is set to the plough. I love the Lord and I cannot look back. For, as the Savior said, "No man, having out his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God."(Luke 9:62). I'm the Lord's. Looking forward, in this great cause.
Be faithful, and safe. 
Elder Todd

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bob, Cherry and Missionary Work in Korat

Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:44


How are you? Isn't life great?  This last week was a great as ever! The Lord really is blessing Elder Wood and me. A lot of really good things are happening in our area. 

So, the first update. Bob is not doing too badly. He is really close to being baptized. He actually passed his interview. But, he isn't keeping the Sabbath day holy. It's an important commandment. The Zone Leaders advised us not to baptize him this week, but to push it back one more week. It makes sense to me. We aren't just here to get people baptized and increase church membership. We're here to help disciples come into the church. We need disciples that will come and be strong members forever. So we need to help everyone keep God's commandments, and receive the associated blessings. The Lord really gave it to us pretty clearly, that we have 6 days to work, then on the Sabbath, we are to rest from our temporal labors, and not make others work. A lot of the members here are really strict with Sabbath observance. There is one family that wont even turn on their cell phones on Sunday. They just really want to feel the Spirit of the day. But Bob just needs to switch his day off to Sunday instead of Saturday. He said he can. He just has to switch with his mom. They have a store together, but after than that, we'll baptized him. 

Cherry is back on track. She kind of had some days where she was a little frustrated and smoked a lot. We gave her a lesson about patience. We read with her in Doctrine and Covenants 121:1-8. As we finished reading verse 8 she said, "patience... I don't have any!"   Then we talked about how we can grow in patience and just like with any other spiritual gift, we can pray for the Lord to help us be more patient. Granted that means we will have a trial more likely than not, but in the end it will be for our benefit. 

Then we were teaching her again the other day. We read with her about the Lamanites who buried their weapons of rebellion. We talked about how she needs to bury her rebellion, her cigarettes.  She said she had quit in the past. She just needed something that she could use instead of cigarettes, whenever she wanted to smoke. Something that morning had told me to bring a pack of tic tacs that mom sent me. I didn't know why I would need tic tacs, but I took them. Then as we talked with her I told her I had felt prompted to bring the mints.  I gave her the tic tacs and said if you want to smoke, eat some of these instead. She said it was nice to now have a choice--a better choice. She really seems dedicated this time. So that will be really good for her! Please keep her in your prayers. 

Things have been really busy as of late. We don't really have time to go out tracting. That's what I felt like I did in Roi Et. For my first two transfers, all we did was tract that city over and over. But since then I just haven't had that much tracting time. This transfer, we haven't had any time to do more than 1 hour of tracting. I miss it. But we're trying to talk to as many people as we can. It's all about finding who is prepared and who isn't. And often we can find out in a few short minutes. 

I've been thinking about something that I read in "Jesus The Christ."  James E. Talmage said that the Savior had to discern who were to be the 12 that would be called as apostles. In a similar way, we have to discern who is being prepared by God. We need to find those whose heart is soft enough for the Spirit to change them. So, we're just trying to weed through people that we pass on the street, or see as we eat meals, in parks, or wherever they may be.  We are finding some of them. Some say that they only want to study about Christianity. Others just want to talk to Americans.   And then there are those who are investigators in Christ. That want to know Him and follow Him. Those are the people who we are looking for.

Sorry, there was a lot that happened this week, but I just can't think of all of it! But the Lord is blessing us.

I love you all.  Be safe and keep the faith!


Elder Todd