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

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