Wow that took a long time to type. How are you all doing? I'm just doing great here in ธนบุรี (Thonburi)! I love this area a lot, and am having a lot of good experiences here!
This last week was solid! We had a good day on Tuesday teaching English class. We had a few new investigators show up. We have upwards of 20 people coming to English class regularly. It's really fun to teach, and is helping me to speak English more clearly. That should make you happy mom. It's really a good finding tool.
Here in Thailand, the most effective ways that new investigators are found and baptized are: 1. Referrals. 2.English class, and 3. Personal contacting a.k.a. tracting.
The first two are great, and yield a lot better results that the latter. The very best way to find investigators is through referrals. President Hinckley's talk, "Feed My Sheep" teaches us that. There are several excerpts from that talk in Preach My Gospel. I bet it's a wonderful talk if we read the whole thing.
Bancued is doing well. He didn't have any more ghosts visit him, or anything like that. He's also reading more and more in his Book of Mormon. He is Christian already, and loves the Bible. He has been baptized before, but it was by a different church so it wasn't a proper baptism. No authority. He told us that at his first "baptism, " all of the people there just got in a queue and then they were put underwater. There was no prayer, no calling them by name, or anything like that. It was definitely lacking. We are so lucky to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are blessed that our church has the authourity and power of God to administer in His sacred ordinances. We should never take the power of the Priesthood for granted.
We also have our investigator named Wallop. He is doing a lot better! He is reading and praying daily! It's so great to see him to start keeping commitments, and see him progress in the Gospel. I love seeing the Lord working with His children in what He knows is the best way! It really illustrates His perfect love for each of His children. We truly are begotten sons and daughters unto God. And He looks over us each and everyday.
Yesterday, we had an old member show up to the church. He hadn't been to church in years. He got baptized years ago, and was ordained an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood. But other things had blurred his vision of what matters most. Just like the travelers in the vision of the tree of life, the mists of darkness arose and obscured his vision. But, a loving Heavenly Father knew exactly where he was and knew exactly how to help him. So He brought him back to the church. It's so amazing to see that. I know that Heavenly Father has more love for each of us than we can even comprehend. And He is ALWAYS mindful of us. He is always willing to help us come back unto Him. His arms of mercy are ALWAYS extended unto us.
I love what Elder Holland said last conference, "Whoever you are, and whatever you've done, you can be forgiven. It is the Miracle of forgiveness; it is the miracle of the Atonement of Jesus Christ." What a miracle the Atonement is. To think that our Savior knows EVERYTHING we are going through. Surely, that is a lift to us even in the hardest of times during these last days. We can find strength and comfort in the rock of our salvation, and be saved by the mercy and grace of Christ Jesus.
This week, I was feeling like I wanted to study about faith. It's an amazing principle that has so much depth to it. I don't think that we fully understand the power of faith. But I looked in the Bible dictionary. There was a reference to Hebrews 11. So I went to Hebrews 11 to read the words of Paul. I was expecting a verse or two on faith, but to my surprise I found another amazing pearl in the pages of the New Testament. Comparable to Ether 12, and Alma 32 Hebrews 12 is an amazing chapter on faith. We learn that faith is what led Abel to make a more excellent sacrifice to God.
5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
I love that we are told that without faith it is impossible to please God. Why would we ever keep the commandments of a being in whom we don't believe? But faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed, can grow and help each of us live to please our God. Faith in God makes us want to live so that one day our Father in Heaven may say "Come unto me ye blessed. For your works have been works of righteousness."
How amazing would that be to have the Supreme Creator call us blessed?! It's hard to imagine, but it is possible. I promise that it is possible for everyone! By faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End, He can and will say that to EACH of us. Of this I testify in our Savior's name.
Well, I love you. I hope that all is well with you. Thanks for all of your prayers and letters. They are felt. And they uplift each missionary. I love you all and pray for you. I pray that we may all feel the Lord's love more as we prepare for conference.