Sunday, October 28, 2012

Referrals, Teaching, Exchanges in Korat--so happy!

Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2012 11:40From:

Well I cannot believe that October is over! I cannot believe how fast this last week went. Time is just marching forward too quickly.  But things here are as great as ever. Actually this last week was filled with blessings.
During this last week, the Lord POURED out blessings upon us here. I am still in shock, but am so so grateful. We taught a ton. We met with recent converts, less active members, investigators, and even met with some referrals. Everything just seemed to be going well. I know that it wasn't due to anything that I did.  It's the Lord stretching forth His hand in the work. 
We've been trying to be tools in His hand and not obstruct the work or try to do things contrary to His will. As we have made a concentrated effort to get out of the way for Him, He really has used us as a force for good among His children. Because of time limitations I will just share a few experiences. 
The first one happened yesterday afternoon. There is this family that we have been trying to go visit. They just stopped coming to church after they had spent several weeks in Bangkok taking care of some business.  After returning to Korat they missed church one week. Then, one week became two, and that turned into three.  Before long several months had gone by without them attending church. So last night, Brother O, โอ๋ a member here took me out to see them.  (Elder Wood was visiting another family with another member.)  We got out there and found the family--Brother Tong(โต้ง) Sister Saeng(แสง) and their family. We sat down with them and were just talking. We talked about love. Then I felt prompted to share from the revelations. I opened up to Doctine and Covenants 130:2 and talked to them about how it's so possible! Our families can be forever! I tried to explain that this is the reason why it's important for us to be active in the church so we can be worthy to enter into the Lord's house and make covenants there. Then I invited them to come to church. It turned into a discussion of what seem to be the classic feelings of many less active members, "Will people think less of me?" or "Will anyone talk to me?" "Will others look down on us for not coming?"   
That is not the way it is in this church. It cannot be so. The key to helping them IS the members. Brother O said, "Of course no one will think less! People will be happy in having you back. There is no need to worry!"   
I realized then, in efforts to rescue less active members, it's more important for members to have a role than missionaries. We move and get transferred. But the members stay! People need friends and support. It was an eye opener to me. They said they'll be back next week too!
I believe that I told you about brother Tam. He's the less active man who we were teaching with his wife and his kids. Well, yesterday, you can imagine my joy as I looked and saw him at sacrament sitting in the overflow! I was so happy! He came back!  The branch president talked with him, and is preparing him for a calling! A calling will help him get back strong and active! I was so happy! Life as a missionary is amazing. I love it so much. As much as I love you all, there is no where else i'd rather be right now than where I am. I love being in the service of the Master. 
Another great thing that happened was with Cherry. Well, she's still struggling with her smoking problem. The tic tacs--she likes them haha. SO, that was good! They do have some mints very similar that they sell here. But I think the Lord brought a way to motivate her to get over the last bump in the road. We went to teach her last Friday. She said that she had a friend for us to teach. So we sat down and taught her friend and Cherry was present. Her friend is Oom(อูม) and seems fairly receptive. We just taught a simple first lesson. At the end we gave what is called a "soft baptismal commitment." The-- "When you know that these things are true will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?"  She said yes. Then Cherry said to me, there's no way I'm going to let her get baptized before me. So, the thing that might be the motivation for her, is her friend. Now, I know that it's not all about comparing ourselves to others and not having races. As President Uchtdorf's wife said "It's a journey not a race." But sometimes, the Lord works in mysterious ways. Cherry has a good plan that she's following too. She should have quit by the end of the week. Please pray for her.
Well, there are tons of blessings. I have written about them in my journal.  But I only have time for a portion of the highlights.   
I love this work and this Gospel. My hand is set to the plough. I love the Lord and I cannot look back. For, as the Savior said, "No man, having out his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God."(Luke 9:62). I'm the Lord's. Looking forward, in this great cause.
Be faithful, and safe. 
Elder Todd

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