Sawadii kha! Sabaydii may kha!
This week has gone by so fast. The other week seemed to trudge by so slowly because we did not have that many lessons throughout the week. But, God has surely provided His miracles this week.
Me in front of a really fancy Thai house.
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We met a man named Chuchad. He is very intellectual and knows pretty much everything about every religion except ours. He recites scripture off the bat and even recites some Hebrew... recitations. It's pretty crazy and a little overwhelming at first because of his vast knowledge of the Bible. He works as a Physics tutor and teacher and he's just a very knowledgeable person. But the one thing he doesn't know about is the truthfulness of the Gospel and the Book of Mormon. The second meeting we had with him, he had marked up the Book of Mormon really good. He kept comparing it to the Bible and all these other things. He said that he isn't one to rely on feelings and would rather rely on his knowledge. But the thing is, you need to open your heart if you want to know of the truthfulness of the Gospel. It is only through the Spirit that we can testify and know that these things are true. If he only wants the knowledge of the church and does not progress, we will have to unfortunately drop him. But if the spirit in the lessons touch his heart and he wants to change for good... we shall surely be there.
Recently though, we have been doing a LOT of contacting. It's a standard to "invite" people for 2 consecutive hours and we end up doing like 4 hours or something since we don't have that many investigators to teach in the day. It's really exhausting. We would bike A LOT and I would be scared to death as taxis and motorcycles would cut me off. And then we went back to walking and taking the small "buses" or truck things called song tows. Anyhow, we have recently been inviting in front of the mall called Sea Con. There are a lot of people there so it's more ideal to "sift" through the people. It's been a goal to find the "elect" and not create the "elect". Meaning, if they don't seem interested at all right off the bat, don't try to push for their number etc. It's not worth our time. Especially when we set appointments with them and they totally phit (bail) on us! If they are interested, then cool! So, anyway...
We were on this bridge leading to the mall and we were going back and forth going up to EVERYONE. The reactions people have are sometimes really funny. We'll be like, "hey, are you familiar with baptism?" they'll shrug their shoulders, do a little nervous laugh and walk away. Or I get the hand. Or they will say, "May pen lay" (It's alright). Or say "I'm Buddhist!" Which to that... I'm like thinking, "Well yes! 99 percent of Thailand is Buddhist. I know." Or they'll say, "May mii weela!" Or, I don't have the time. Yep. So is the life of a missionary. There was one man who I approached and did my speal about the church and baptism. I said, "You can have true happiness!" he still said no. He walked away and then came back to my companion! He said, "That other girl approached me and said something about true happiness...I am usually really busy and I didn't think I was all that interested. But, then something stopped me and said that this would be a good thing!"
Now we are teaching him and he is so sweet! His name is เทพ (Tabe) which means "Angel". He is amazing and already keeping the commandments! It's truly a miracle! And he has accepted a date to be baptized! He is so good! I hope everything works out... I don't know if he understands the true importance of the Gospel though since he talked about encouraging his son to be a Buddhist monk... not good. Understanding will come in time. That's the important thing. We keep bumping into him a lot and one time he said, "Hey, I am going to Seven, do you want to come?" We did and he ended up buying us these drinks for us. It was so sweet. The members are taking really well to him too!
I thought we would have a baptism this week, Jaky... but it didn't happen. Our investigator could not show up to his interview because he was sick. He stopped answering his calls and his friend would answer for him. We thought that he was avoiding us! He talked to the Elders though and he was set on being baptized on the 2nd of January. He didn't come to church because he was really sick. So, this next week for sure we will probably have two or three baptisms!!! I will let you all know, of course.
This week, we didn't know if we would have "balanced key indicators". Meaning, we have to have a total of 10 lessons with a member or Recent convert/Less active lessons, two new investigators for the week, 2 people with a baptism date, 2 progressing investigators and 2 people who would come to church that week. We had everything except we weren't sure if we would have anyone come to church. Half the people we contacted this week lived in different areas and we had to give them up as referrals to different missionaries. We weren't sure if anyone would come to church! But then, Tabe said he would go! (even though he said he wasn't sure). And then a couple in our ward brought a friend to church! And then I got a call during sacrament from an unknown number. I went outside to answer and it was Zaphia! I had met her last week and she said she was interested in learning more and free on Saturdays. When I had called her last Friday she didn't sound very promising since she said she wasn't sure if we could ever meet in the upcoming week. She called and said that she was there at church! She even brought her boyfriend! I was so amazed. I couldn't believe it. From having no people say they could come, to 4! It was so incredible! Zaphia was so sweet too! I asked her if she liked church and she asked in the lesson, "So... how can I become Christian? I want to be baptized!" Perfect. She and her boyfriend (who she is living with... oops) live in a different area but we are going to still teach them since it's more convenient for them since he works here.
Overall, God is good. He is a miracle worker.
This week too, we have been watching this inspiring video that the mission made. It has the song "When you Believe" from The Prince of Egypt and clips of all these missionaries baptizing people in Thailand. It was so inspiring! At one point, they have a voice clip of Elder Holland that I would like to share. It's from his talk: "Lord I Believe"
"These things I declare to you with the conviction Peter called the “more sure word of prophecy.”16 What was once a tiny seed of belief for me has grown into the tree of life, so if your faith is a little tested in this or any season, I invite you to lean on mine. I know this work is God’s very truth, and I know that only at our peril would we allow doubt or devils to sway us from its path. Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."
I would like to invite everyone to exercise their faith on the Lord and not give up hope. Help hasten His work and help the missionaries in your ward. They need it. This is His work, and His Glory. Anything is possible.
Also, I would like to share these little videos from lds.org. I love the Bible videos and the Mormon messages. I know I have mentioned this before, but I will say it again. Please watch them! They are so good!
Yeah, there's a lot... but there are more! If any of you get the chance, shoot me an email and tell me what you thought :)
I love you all so much. Stay safe. Be happy.