Sunday, June 3, 2012

June in Chiang Rai

Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2012 
Subject: June already! Wow.



How are you all doing? Things here are great! The Lord truly blessed us a ton this week, and I mean a ton. So, first of all. As I have started my new study in Preach My Gospel, I have realized that there is no point in studying if I don't apply what I learn. The same is true for investigators, and for members alike. For all of you, if in your personal studies, you don't apply the principles that you learn, if we don't follow the inspiration that we recieve, then our studies have no effect, and we aren't showing the Lord that we value the greater light and knowledge that He so freely gives us. In retrospect, it's probably one of the biggest lessons that I have learned from my first year as a missionary. It's a great lesson, and one that I will remember throughought my life.

One interesting thing that happened this week occured as we were waiting to meet a member to go to a teaching appointment. This white man walked by, and we said hello to him. Most of the time people give us a dirty look or they just ignore us. But this guy got a big smile on his face and came over and started talking to us. He was from Norway! I told him that my brother-in-law was of Norwegien descent, and said that his mother's last name was Langeland. He corrected me on the pronunciation in Norweigian, (sorry John I butchered it), but he was nice. He asked us what we were doing here so we told him that we were missionaries. Then when he found out where we were from he proceeded to ask us how many wives we had. Yeah, we still get that even in Asia. But we talked to him about how we don't do that and he was surprised. He seemeed interested to learn more, but was heading home soon. So I gave him one of the two English pass along cards I had with the Salt Lake Temple on the front. He was very interested in the temple and said he'd go learn more!  I only hope that good things happen with him! It's just important to be missionaries always. 

I love Alma 6:6. "Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God."  It's a great scripture for all of us, reminding us that we need to always be looking for missionary opportunities. So I hope that you all look for opportunites to share this glorious message. 

I'll illustrate this with what happened at church yesterday. We were expecting 2 maybe 3 investigators to show up at church. Well, we were blessed greatly by the Lord. We had 3 members bring 5 friends-- all referrals that they had given to us! They alll came to church and we were able to teach them the Gospel after church! One of them is a singer, one is a 10 year-old little boy, and the other 3 are college students. So we got a good mix, and the best news is that they are all interested to learn more about the gospel. They all seem interested that our church is different from other Christian religions. I'm just grateful that we have the unique message of the restoration of the gospel at our center. It's so great to be able to share the truth with them.  In the end, we expected 2 investiagtors at church  but that number turned into 7! 
I echo what Elder Nelson said last conference "Thanks be to God." I have been so grateful to Him this week. 

This week started off rough. We weren't having a lot of success. We were getting frustrated. But I was humbled. I read Mosiah 3:19 and realized that I really did need to put off the natural man and better submit to the Father's will. The last line about submitting as a child submitteth to the will of his father has really been in my mind this week. Humility is something that I'm learning and I'm learning it well. I feel that the more I have reconciled myself to submit to the will of God, the more the blessings have come. 

Let me tell you of one. Last week, we picked up a former investigator named T. Well, he had some concerns about Joseph Smith and whether he really even lived on the earth. He had a concern that his family wanted him to be baptized Catholic. But he knew the truth. So, we tried to get an appointment with him on Saturday. He said he wasn't free but  we could try calling back if we wanted. Well, we called. He said he could see us. So we went to the church to see him. Our member we had called to help us wasn't there, he had forgotten. But another member was there. Sister Gay. So we asked her if she could help us. We had planned to watch a DVD that would help him understand the restoration. He said he had already seen it a couple of times.  So instead, and following the spirit, we began to talk about the restoration. We talked about it for about an hour. We talked about all of the things that have happend as a result of the restoration. I talked about how I had wondered myself about Joseph Smith, but how I had come to know the truth. The spirit was there  and it was so strong! I watched as his breathing started getting heavier.  His heart started going faster and it was as if I could actually see the Spirit swelling within his breast. He then said he wanted to be baptized! So we committed him for Saturday the 9th. He accepted! I cannot thank the Lord enough for that blessing. I know that the Lord had been working with him. So please keep T in your prayers this week. 

Well that's all I have today! Thank you for praying that we will get new gators(investigators). They have been answered. I know that the Lord's hand is in this work. It's His work, His church, His Kingdom. 

I love you all!

Love Elder Todd

Forward in Faith

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