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.