|Sis Her and I sitting on Temple grounds|
Sawdii Kha Everyone! Sabydii may?
I have learned so much here. I am starting to witness a change in myself that I have never seen before. I know I say this a lot but my actions surprise me at times. And the small miracles that I see are simply amazing. For example, there was a rather large, rainy storm that passed through Provo a week or two ago. We were told to stay inside and not face the thunder and lightning outside. The aftermath was a little messy with branches scattered and two trees being uprooted in the MTC. But, when we made our weekly trip to the temple the next day, all the flowers looked like they had not been touched. There were no stray petals or uprooted bushes. It was completely clean and undisturbed. I thought it was a miracle. There was no possible way that the workers could have replaced all the flowers so soon. (since the storm happened at night and we were at the temple at 7 am) It was like walking into a sanctuary compared to the mess all around the temple gates. I was in awe. The Lord loves his Holy Temples.
|(From left to right) Sister Maughan, Sister Peterson, Me, and Sister Her pointing to Thailand on the map!|
This last Sunday, I saw a devotional that changed my perspective (hopefully) forever. I wish I could tell you all to watch it so that you could feel as I did, but I don't think you can find MTC devotionals online at all. It was a previous recording of Elder Bednar speaking a Sunday Christmas devotional. His talk was called "Character of Christ". He talked of how Christ, our Lord and Savior, always turned outward when we imperfect beings would turn inward. A lot of times we simply want something and we want something now. And when we don't get what we want, we lash out and justify our actions. Many think, "woe is me, woe is me!" And the Savior, who had every reason to do the same... never did. Even as he hung there on the cross he pleaded to the father, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." He was concerned for his mother Mary in his last moments, ever thinking outward and never himself. I find this completely incredible. Bednar made it a point that we must all learn OF Him rather than about Him. For by learning of Him can we actually be like Him.
Bednar talked about how this mission that I am serving is NOT about me. This is about my Savior. He said plainly, "Missionaries complain of not having investigators or baptisms or this or that. Get over yourself. This isn't about you. Who cares about what you want. This is about Him and you need to think outward like He did." I just love that. It may seem harsh but it's so true. I am here doing what my God and Savior wants me to do. I am doing this for the people of Thailand and their Salvation. I am not doing this for me. But in losing myself to the work will I ultimately find myself.
I think it's really sad that people convert themselves to people or programs of the church. Or they may get stuck on one little thing about frivolous details of the church. And when things go awry for them, they think, "I guess this church is not true." No. This church is most definitely true. This is Christ's church. You are simply not true to the church. You are not truly converted to Him.
I am striving for a true conversion to my Lord and Savior. I am learning more of Him as I study his miracles and parables in the New testament. I love the Bible videos the church is doing. I would highly recommend whoever reads this to watch them. I love especially when Christ declares that He is the light of the world. He is the I Am.
Brother Burgess did this excellent activity with us. He had done a mock trial with me being in the "jury" and everyone else having their respectable parts. He was the "prosecutor" of Christ and the rest of my district had to defend Christ in their roles. It was so hard for me to sit there and not say anything. But by the end, I was allowed to share my opinions and I wanted to defend Christ till the very end. I was desperate to get the last word. But in a logical setting like the one we were playing, it is so very easy to lose when you're on the defending side. Especially when my teacher was so good at twisting words and being able to get the upper hand. I felt so helpless. But we had to follow "history" and Christ had to be "put on the cross". I felt devastated. But, my teacher proved a very good point. He said, "even though you know that Christ had to follow through with the atonement and his trials before Caiaphas, Pilot, Herod and the Jews, would you still try to defend Him until the very end? Would you reach out and stand as a witness before Him?" I will always remember that.
My goal is to become a true disciple of Christ. I want to be proud of Him and not be ashamed. There is a verse that I love in Alma 26:36. It says: Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.
I want to be like Ammon and boast of our God on High. I want to lift my head high and look people in the eye and proclaim, "I know that my Redeemer lives." I will strive to do so. I am not perfect by any means necessary. I am no better than any other sinner. I am weak, but the Lord is strong. He can make weak things strong like unto Him. It is only through Him that I can be capable for the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical strain that the mission puts me through. I would invite you all to know of Christ. Study Him more and practice His teachings. We think that we may become Saints through busy work but that just makes us go insane. We can only become Latter-Day Saints through Him. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I love you all and I hope that all is going well.
|The Tomseth's sent me a cool package. I'm showing off my noodle necklace that Trevor made me.|
|I found Elder Brewer on my Temple walk on Sunday!|