Sunday, August 26, 2012


Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2012  

Hello hello!

Another week has flown by already. Wow, I just can't believe it. Time is going by too fast! I love being here, and find so much joy that I just never want it to end. I love Korat. I echo Ammon's words "I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day that I die." The branch here is amazing. I was sitting in Sacrament meeting yesterday and looked around at the people. I thought that it was so interesting that I had just been here for over a week but I felt so much love for these people!  I wondered to myself how is it so? The answer is that we all have our hearts knit together in a spirit of unity and love because we all rely on the same Savior, and we know Him. The Gospel of Jesus Christ truly transcends all things. Race, age, miles, it doesn't matter who you are or where you're from, the Gospel is there for us. I love these people so much, and am so happy to be in Korat. 

I want to talk to you a little bit about one of our investigators. Right now she has a baptismal date for the 22 of September. Her name is Biew. She is solid. In the scriptures we learn that one of the qualifications that the Lord has given us for baptism is to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Well, last Tuesday was the first time that I taught her. I just felt prompted to ask her why she wanted to be baptized. She got tears in her eyes and looked at me and said, "We've all made mistakes. We all need forgiveness for them." The Spirit of the Lord filled the room. It was amazing to really see someone just willing to lay it all on the table, let go of her old life and seek forgiveness as she bear her crosses. I love the scripture in Luke 14:27 about discipleship that says, "And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me cannot be my disciple." We all need to do what we can as we are determined to become disciples. As Elder Holland says, the path to salvation carries a cross, a step or two must be taken to the summit of Calvary. Salvation is not an easy experience. It's all about being true disciples of the Lord, and Biew is willing. It's so great to see that the Lord has prepared her so well. 

There is another investigator, Bob, he is an interesting one. Elder Schad was thinking that he wasn't progressing, because he wasn't when I first got here. They had been stuck on trying to teach him the restoration and hadn't moved on for several months. SO we decided to just  go on. It's amazing, as we did so, we found out some of his concerns-- he is smoking and gambles. Sometimes, we get stuck on something but we need to just put it aside and go on and so often times things will resolves themselves on their own. It's amazing. And now Bob is reading and coming to church and praying. His smoking and gambling is diminishing too! It's great to see!

Another great experience happened when Elder Schad and I were going to go tracting.  We had planned to go to one place, and we felt, well Elder Schad since he knew the area,  felt we should go somewhere else. So we did.  A former investigator whose name is, no joke, Jack Sparrow, saw us there and told us he had quit drinking and smoking! He'd also moved out from his girlfriend's home and was ready to learn again! We haven't gotten to teach him yet, but we will soon! Great things happen when we follow the spirit!

I think that you all remember when we went to California about 3 or 4 years ago and we did the color test thing. Well, I was a yellow at the time. I was told by some people in my District this last week that I am super red now. I think it's because in an effort to try and help everyone to perform to their fullest potential I've been reproving betimes with sharpness but not following the second part of Doctrine and Covenants 121:43 "and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom [ I have] reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;"    

So that was a good reminder of the importance of what I felt in Sacrament yesterday, to feel charity toward all within the household of faith, and those without.  So I'll be working on that even more. I still want to be serious and not a goof, but I think that I have come to an unhealthy balance of stress and strictness. I need to remember that unless I can love these people, "And though I have all faith, so that I could move mountains and have not charity, I am nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2)." So I encourage you all, as soon as your knees hit the ground each morning and each night to pray for that. I promise that it will help us all as we as family and friends band together in a spirit of charity. For this, thanks be to God.


Elder Todd

Sunday, August 19, 2012

New Home Back in the Isan! NAKHON RATCHASIMA

Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 11:50:08 +0700


Hey!  Well, this last week was transfers, and I got transferred.  I've moved to โคราชหรือนครราชสีมา. also nicknamed, Korat.  The real name is Nakhon Ratchasima. It's a way sweet city! It's big. 

It was funny.  We went down to transfer meeting and President had the transfers on a slide show presentation. So Korat comes up, and I see myself come up on the screen. Then my new companion comes up. Its a Thai elder--Elder Schad! He was up here though on exchanges, so I didn't get to see him until the evening. But, I'm really enjoying getting to speak all Thai. It's great fun! i also got to see Elder Gardner! He is In Saphan Mai with Elder Doria from the MTC! They'll do a great job there. Elder Doria is way solid, really diligent, and he taught me all about that in the MTC. 

This last week has kind of been a crazy one. I was way sad to leave Chiang Rai.  I was sorry to leave those great investigators there.  But the Lord called me here and I know that I'm supposed to be here helping this branch. 

I wanted to share with you, an experience about a lesson in Chiang Rai. So there is a DVD called,  "Finding Faith in Christ."  Well, we were going to watch it with Form. But I forgot the DVD. So the branch president said, "Here I'll download it off of, but you'll have to translate it into Thai from English."  So I did. That was fun. 
I'm sure that a lot of it wasn't quite up to par, but after we watched it,  From really seemed to understand more about the Savior. The next day we taught him again. It was the last lesson I taught in Chiang Rai. It was just all about the Atonement. I shared Docctrine and Covenants 19:15-18 with him. It hit him powerfully, I don't know who can't be moved by those words, and he is ready from baptism. So cool, so special. 

Then after a 12 hour bus ride to Bangkok we got there at about 4 in the morning and waited for 5 hours until transfer meeting. It was fun to see everyone there. But like I said, after transfers Elder Schad wasn't there. I had to wait until our Zone's bus went up. So, I was copmanions with Elder Tolman and his new companion Elder Slaughter for a day. That was so much fun.  Elder Tolman and I still want to be real companions. One day. 

When I got here I found out that I had to interview two investigators for baptism. That was an interesting experience. It really is a special thing for them to share that they have repented and changed their lives. It's amazing to hear them share their testimonies with me about various points of the gospel. The other way cool thing is that the Spirit confirmed to me beforehand that they would both pass, and as I interviewed them, I had it confirmed again and again. This work is great.  Tell anyone on the verge of going on a mission to go.

I love you all,

Elder Todd

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Great week in Chaing Rai

Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 


Wow,  it sounds like I just know more and more people that are coming to Thailand as missionaries. It's weird but it's fun. I know that everyone who comes here will really come to enjoy this place. It's fantastic. This land is so great, and so in need of what this everlasting gospel will bring to them Nakrab.

This last week was just full of different experiences that really built my faith. That's one thing that really I received in abundance this last week was stronger faith. So I'll start with Tuesday. We had some mail that we needed to send to the mission office that day. We didn't have a whole lot of time, but we had to send it that day. We got in the queue at the post office. We had about 50 numbers ahead of us. I was kind of just stressed, but that morining I had prayed for more faith and something told me that this was an experience that would help. So, I tried to be patient. Then this lady who we had invited a few weeks ago saw us in line. She said, here's my number, I don't need it anymore. She gave it to us. It bumped us up to be the third in line! It was undoubtedly a blessing from the Lord .

We also went to talk to Form. We wanted to find out his intent behind being baptized. He said he's not sure. But he knows that when he reads and prays he feels something that he doesn't know how to explain. Obviously it's the Spirit. But these feelings we can't describe. Because they're from the other side of the veil. I have no doubt about that. They come from a loving Father in Heaven, who knows what His children need, and he wants to help them. But we have to humble ourselves and come unto Him. 

I had read a talk by Gene R. Cook- I love his talks- called, "Qualifications for the work." In it, he talked about getting into people's doors. He said if the Spirit is with us, and we act confident, and nod when we ask to come into the door, and take a step towards the door, then we show our faith. He said that if the Spirit is there, it won't be intrusive. If done by the Spirit it will be done right.  We weren't having a whole lot of success out tracting. But we finally got this guy to open the door. I had that talk come into my head. I thought, okay here it goes. So I tried it. And guess what! It worked! He let us right in! And accepted a return appointment. His name is O. I feel like he has a lot of potential. 

Then we had a member, Sister Bim, refer a friend named T. He is a 16 year-old kid, but interested. We  went and taught him all about the Restoration. He really liked it, and was recording our lesson so he could listen to it again. He called us after too, and was asking if he can pray when he eats food and should it be before or after or what. We told him he could. He really likes the message so far. He told us that his mother died. So tonight we are going to teach him about the Plan of Salvation. It built my faith in a promise that Elder Holland gave, that if we listen, we won't have to wonder what to say. It will be given to us, by the Spirit and our friends. For this, thanks be to God.

And Oi, well she is on fire! We got to teaching her about the Law of Chastity this week. And she LOVED it. She talked about how too many kids in this world look at unsavory images, or watch t.v. of the same category. But she thinks that this is something that we should talk about even more. At first she was confused because at English class she found a pamphlet that was the old translation, which was "The Law of Virginity." The new one is way better it is "The Law of Sexual Purity." So we're trying to get rid of all the "Virginity" eggasaans. เอกสาร. Pamphlets I guess. I just like the Thai word more. 

One last thing. On Friday the Zone Leaders were up here on an exchange with us. We went to teach our investiagtor Ploi. We were just teaching her about God, and how he is our loving Father in Heaven. Something told me, commit her to baptism. I thought, is this the spirit, or me? But I went for it. She said  yes! The 20th of October. The Lord's hand has been stretched forth. For this, thanks be to God. 

I love you all. Be safe, smart, full of charity and love. 

Elder Todd ทอดด์

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Zone Conference in Chiang Mai/Gardens in Chaing Rai

Doi Tung Gardens of the Thai Royal family

Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2012 


Greetings from Chiang Rai, or Jiang Hai if you want to say it in the Northern dialect. 

Well, this last week was a solid week! I really enjoyed it. I enjoy every week, but this last week was especially good.

Last Monday was really cool. We went up and visited this place called Doi Tung. It's about two hours away from the city of Chiang Rai, and it belonged to the King's mother. Mae Faa Luang. There was this villa that the royal family used to resort to, and it has this HUGE beautiful garden.  There's also a place called the "Hall of Inspiration." It talked about the royal family and how they played a role in really helping this country. I gained a lot of respect for them. But the garden was so beautiful.  It had all sorts of flowers, even Cacti.  It was just beautiful. I'll try and send some pictures. 

Then we taught Ploi. It was a good lesson, but short. She likes things short, and is able to focus better. But we didn't get to see her again because she went back to her home province for the Buddhist holiday. 

On Tuesday we had a decent day. We taught our investigator Oi.  She is doing really well! She has been reading the scriptures, and praying. She likes it. She even talked to her neighbor about the gospel. But she doesn't fully understand that we can only have one God. So next time we teach her we are going to teach the Ten Commandments. That's always good. 

I love what President Monson said last October. It was something along the lines of, "The Ten Commandments are just that, Commandments. They are every bit as requisite today as when God gave them to Moses." They really are solid and good for all of us to base our lives on. 

But back to Oi.  She really liked learning about the gospel, specifically faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. She is really good, and writes down things that we say. It really makes me grateful to know that she's writing thoughts that are not mine, but rather what the Spirit of the Lord gives me in the very hour that I need it. That's a promise I learned to really trust in while I was in Roi Et with Elder Wagstaff. He made me talk so many times, and I really grew from that. I've been trying to do the same for Elder Haughton. He has said that it really helps him to listen and focus more because he doesn't know when I'm going to give him the time to teach. Fun stuff.

We also taught Form. He is doing well, and looking ready for baptism. But, he came late to church yesterday. So, before he can get baptized, it looks like he is going to have to go one more time. But I think it will happen for sure. He is progressing.  We are going to teach him about fasting today, and that's all that is left on the teaching record. It's been nice because we can go see him in the early afternoon, in the heat of the day. He teaches Kung Fu in the evenings. So it works out perfectly. He did tell us he has a question he wants to ask us about tonight when we see him. พอดี he just read 1 Nephi 4. So I can almost guarantee his question will be about Nephi Killing Laban. It seems just about everyone has that question. 

Anyway, then we headed to Chiang Mai for Zone conference. It was wonderful! President Senior and Sister Senior are way solid. What I really enjoyed was Sister Senior. She talked about how Nephi was a builder and how he always did the best with what he had. (The broken bow, the ship, and finally the Temple in the promised land).  That's good for us to hear in such a remote area because we have 1 tool--The Book of Mormon. There are no Thai pass along cards or anything like that. Elder Haughton Likened us to soldiers on the front lines-- out of ammo, with fixed bayonets. That's all we have to work with. So, we're doing our best.  I meant to bring my notes from Zone Conference, but I left them on my desk at home. I'm sorry. But it was good and the Spirit was there in great abundance, that is for sure. 

Then we went to the bus station where I found out I had made a mistake. I bought tickets to go home for Thursday, not Wednesday. And there were no more buses going to Chiang Rai. So we had to sleep at the Zone leaders' house again. We got to do some work with them which was fun and we got to see more of Chiang Mai. It's a huge place.  Then we got back here on Thursday Morning.

That day we taught Lek.  He is doing really well. We finally got him to come to church! He enjoyed it. But he is afraid that he can't change his religion because his ancestors were Buddhist. The spirit is working with him, so we'll see. Elder Ballard said "When the Spirit touches the hearts, hearts are changed." I have full faith in that promise. 

I hope that all of you will allow the Spirit to touch your hearts too, so that you can change to become more like our Savior. I know that He lives and love us. This work is His work. We all have a part in it. We are supposed to be voices for good! 

Well, I love you. Be safe and smart. 

Love Elder Todd