From: Bryan Todd
Sent: Sun 1/1/2012 8:58 PM
Subject: Happy New Year!
How are you all doing? Well, it's a new year here! I hope you all had a
great new year there. It's a really really big deal here. Pretty much everyone
leaves their homes in Bangkok and comes back to their birthplaces. There
was a lot of traffic and a lot of people here in Roi Et because of that.
New Year's Day here was an interesting experience. We had to be in by 6:00 PM so
in the morning, we just went straight out of the House without studying. We did some service
for some of the members, but not a whole lot of work got done that day. It was
hard because a lot of people had just been partying and drinking and stuff
for the whole week.
There is this one referral we have who told us he had
been drunk for 5 days straight, and he was still just drinking. He actually
has some potential if he can overcome the Word of Wisdom problems. He really likes
us too. He found out that I like to golf, and next preparation day he wants
to take Elder Wagstaff and me golfing. So, if he remembers that, next week
we will probably be emailing you later than usual.
This week was still a good week though. We have this new investigator. His
name is A. He is a referral who came to church last Sunday. I taught him
after church and Elder Wagstaff taught him on Tuesday (I was on an exchange
is Mahasarakham). He didn't have any religious beliefs. He never really
went to the Buddhist temples. But he was interested in learning. He showed
up to church with long hair, and a crazy long thin, unkempt mustache.
People were kind of wondering who this guy was. But then on Friday, we had
a really special lesson with him. We got to his house, and he had gotten a
haircut, was clean shaven, and had on nicer clothes. I didn't even
recognize him at first. Then, as Elder Wagstaff and I pulled out our
scriptures, I look at the pictures we both have on our cases of the Savior
being baptized. I had the strong impression that today, he would commit to
baptism. So, we taught the lesson, including the first vision, and talked about
Joseph Smith. He believed. Then I committed him to baptism right there, and
he accepted. It was such an amazingly sweet experience. We hadn't planned
on him being baptized anytime soon, but he is ready. This experience built
my faith even more that wherever I go, the Lord is preparing His children
for the ordinances of salvation.
The Book of Mormon is such a powerful tool in this work. Preach My Gospel
says that, "The Book of Mormon combined with the spirit are the most
powerful tools of conversion." Its so true. That book, really is amazing.
I listened to Elder Hollands talk, "Safety for the Soul," and thought about it
as I concluded a reading of the Book of Mormon on Saturday night. Then, as I
started it again, I read the words of Nephi when he gives his testimony of the
divinity and truth of the Book of Mormon. Right in the third verse of the entire
book, he says, "And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make
it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge." (1 Nephi
I thought about that. Readers get a strong testimony that the book is true
right at the outset of reading it. Nephi tells you right off the bat. And that
is the mindset we must all read with. I know that if we read the Book of
Mormon, desiring to know if it is true, that we will know, by the power of
the Holy Ghost. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It is correct. It
is the way that we will overcome trials, and hardships in life and come
nearer to God.
In 2 Timothy 3 the great missionary and apostle Paul tells
us, "This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall
I promise that the way we can make it through these "perilous
times" is through obeying the commandments of God. We must be reading, and
treasuring up the words of eternal life EVERY DAY--Especially, the Book of
I love you all, and pray for you all daily. My the Lord bless and keep you,
and may you walk in the paths of His righteousness.