How are you? Isn't life so great! ? I am just having a great time here in Korat! This city, and more importantly the work and the members, are great! That's one thing I've really been grateful for this week is the members. They play such a key role in the growth of the Church. If we will not work with them, and are not on the same page with them, then we can't contribute much real growth here, if any at all. We shouldn't just look at members as objects either. It doesn't work to say, "Okay, today we're teaching two women so we need a male member in each lesson so we'll just get any member who is free." No, it's about praying and finding the right member who could really help that particular investigator.
We had one experience with that this week. We were going to teach Cherry, but her friend who usually helps us teach, was sick. Elder Schad and I were in a little bit of a dilemma and we weren't sure who to take. We thought about the friend's father-in-law who is the first counselor in the Branch Presidency, but he was out of town. We knew there had to be someone right. Then I thought of a brother named Aut. He is an older man who wants to help us teach. I thought, "There's something telling me that we should take him." So we called him up and he went with us. As we started the lesson and followed up with Cherry on her smoking, he piped in. He shared his experience about how he was an alcoholic. He told Cherry how hard it was for him to quit, but that he did it! He told her that when the Lord helps us, we can do hard things! It's true. And she has made some amazing steps. She has gone from smoking 80, (yes that is right-- eighty cigarettes a day), to 4. And we committed her to have quit completely by the end of this next week. She is willing. SO we'll keep her in our prayers. Smoking is the only thing that we know that's keeping her from being baptized. She said she is sick of being an investigator and wants to be a member. So, we'll see how that desire drives her. But she is progressing really well!
In other news for baptismal daters, Biew, passed her interview with the Zone Leaders! They told me that she could have passed in 10 minutes. Usually they take 30 minutes, sometimes an hour. I know that it's nothing that any of the teaching missionaries did, but that the Lord had prepared her. I found out a little more about that preparation. She saw the Savior in a dream, and from that moment on, she KNEW she HAD to find His church. She talked with her friend who is a member, and he brought her to church. The rest, as they say, is history. Wow, I haven't heard that phrase in a while. Anyway, she accepted, kept commitments and is progressing to baptism! It's such a testimony that the Lord is preparing people for His gospel.
Then there's Keng, the guy we found tracting in the rain. Wow. Way solid! He has a date for the 6 of October. He has come to church and likes it and likes reading the Book of Mormon. I can't believe how much the Lord is working with him. It just really shows and is a testimony to me of God's love for all of His children. It's real. Keng wants to know as well. That's what's important.
There is some bad news with Captain Jack. He broke his promise to keep the word of wisdom. He got plastered, and got on his motorcycle and crashed. Apparently he isn't in good condition. So we're praying for him. Maybe it will be a confirmation to him that the Word of Wisdom is something that he needs to keep. It just goes to show what we learn in the 130 section of the Doctrine and Covenants. If we want blessings, we have to keep the commandment associated with that blessing. Or we can look to the overarching theme of the Book of Mormon. The Lord says, "Inasmuch as ye will keep my commandments yes shall prosper in the land and inasmuch as ye shall not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence."
One thing that I got to do this week was teach district meeting. It was great. The Spirit really led me in what to say and do. I taught about Praying with Faith from chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel. I also used some snippets from a talk that Jennifer sent me from Elder Pearson on Personal Prayer given at BYU Hawaii. It was a fantastic talk. I would suggest reading it. I know that the more meaningful we make our prayers, the closer and closer we can feel to God. I'm really trying to just hand the reins over to Him in my work and follow Him in everything. I want to give up my heart and kill the natural man. I don't want to be frustrated by trying to do the Lord's will but still having a natural heart. The Savior came to kill the natural man, to root him out. He promises a new self for us when we will yield and let Him change us and our hearts.
I also got to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday. It was crazy- the Lord helped me so much, I think that it was the most fluent Thai I've ever spoken, and it's all because the Lord loosened my tongue. It happened because of the prayer of faith. I promise if you will pray with faith for the Lord to loosen you tongue, that He will let us all speak miracles and bring to pass His holy purposes. For this, thanks be to God.