this week ive had the coolest experiences and seen the craziest miracles so far fersure.
first things first i love you guys and i feel so #blessed to have grown up where i did with the people i did.
so i guess ill start with the first miracle - and then the dissapointment that came (which tends to happen a lot out here haha). i was praying to find a new super golden investigator bc our teaching pool right now, a lot of them are not progressing super well, skipping appointments, etc and so its like were not tryna waste our time out here and i remembered words from a letter that elder calderon had me read earlier, that "the field is white already to harvest, and we are called to harvest, to baptize, to bring people unto christ." and there are a lot of people who are prepared and ready to keep commitments, and to follow christ, they just havent met him yet kind of a thing. so basically its a commit or drop kind of thing. so heres the miracle: on tuesday while contacting i met this guy who already had a book of mormon from missionaries a long time ago- he has read it, knows its true, knows joseph smith is a prophet, and wants to get baptized, and im like dude why arent you at church? and apparently he has school on sundays. so he is super ready and stoked to get baptized- we meet with him the next day, set a date to get baptized that sunday (if he comes to church which he said he could), and then he's like can i just get baptized tomorrow? and so we were like yeah sure hahah. he had already been to church a few times in the past and then he passed his baptismal interview and everything was set up perfect. then that night he called us and said that his mom thinks he should wait until after he is a soldier- for two years... so we meet with him to go over his concerns, talk about how helpful to him it would be to have the holy ghost with him in these next crucial years of his life, etc. and hes like okay ill think about it. he calls us that night and says that his mom told him he was born buddhist and thus should just stay buddhist. other than the fact that thats the worst excuse ive ever heard, i was bummed to see someone so ready, so prepared by God to just throw it away. we'll see what happens with him- he has a book of mormon, has our number, knows the truth, its just up to him to really pray to God and find out for himself what he should do. so yeah that was a bummer- but again im super grateful for the mentality Elder Calderon has helped me to have out here to "just flow dude" as he always says. when you just flow with it, dont stress, trust God, and just serve, things always work out. its the lords work and people have there agency so theres no need to get all super dissapointed when things dont go the way you think they should- God has a plan!
so a dopppee story of just goin with the flow this week- actually yesterday.
sunday we had an appointment with brother manat, hes about 60 and the only member in his family but just such an awesome humble man. and we had a couple appointments after him as well. so on our way to his house which we had to bike to (pretty far btw) elder calderon's bike tire popped again haha. a little frustrated we walked around looking for someone to fix his bike, and we finally found someone that could do it. so we get to brother manats house and learn that elder calderons tire is flat again haha. so because of this incident (but really not God knew what He had in plan), we showed up a little later to brother manat's house and had no bikes to ride. there we were able to teach his grandson, boo, whos a stud and said he wanted to come to church this week and on top of that brother manat told us he has a friend that always sees him going to church and wants to come too. so that visit was super solid. now because we were late to that appointment (and cant take our bikes to get anywhere) and on top of that it started POURING like super insane out of nowhere haha- sister nancy a member was gonna pick us up. she called us and said she couldnt- which worked out for the better because then brother manat offered to take us in his truck and visit the other families with us. perfect. brother manat, a new member of a couple months, who wants to share the gospel but says he always feel like he doesnt know enough, will be coming around to teach with us, strengthen his testimony, build friendships, etc. so the drive to brother hua's house (our next destination) was a little sketchy bc brother manat's truck's air conditioning and heating was broken so the window was WAY fogged up from the rain and the stuffy air in the truck, and so we were like wiping the inside of the window with our hands as he was driving so he could see more than just the headlights of the other cars hahah. pretty sketch. anyways we finally make it there, and becuase we were late from the bike incident, we were there visiting brother hua at just the time that his wife (nonmember) came home. she sat down with us without us even inviting her, we taught her about prayer, and simply the godhead, and invited her to church. She said shes always really wanted to go to church but hasnt been able to because her kids have school at that time that she is busy with but that ends this month. so she'll be coming in march. and i see a baptism following a couple weeks after that ;) she is super awesome, and the gospel is gonna bless there family so much. we closed with a prayer and brother hua's wife (her name is oi) invited her kids to come pray as a family. it was a sweet experience to see her do that. we left that visit feeling confident that the lords hand was definitely in everything that had happened thus far, and went visit one last member, and brother manat came as well. moral of the lesson: just FLOW haha. elder calderon said that should be the sixth principle in the gospel of jesus christ along with endure to the end. so grateful for the things hes taught me hes a stud. and yeah he goes home this next week. he says it hasnt hit him yet and he feels like hes just always been a missionary. i think he is getting pretty excited though. but he doesnt show it haha- glad he isnt getting trunky and lazy- he still works hard even in the last days before he goes home.
hmmm lets see. so i also was asked to give a talk at church in sacrament meeting this friday haha. at first i was like yo theres no way haha- but calderon, like usual, just reminded me to just flow, and so i prepared a few things on the topic of the great two commandments: love god, and love your neighbor (i didnt even know how to say neighbor in thai yet haha), and spoke in sacrament sunday. to my surprise not only was i able to talk for more than 2 minutes which i thought would end up happening haha, i was up there for 15 min somehow, throwin down doctrine, scriptures (which i just had elder calderon read so my talk would flow better), and testimony. got to share my favorite scripture John 14:15 "if ye love me, keep my commandments" and then talked about blessings that come from each of God's commandments, and pretty much taught lesson 4 from prech my gospel. the gift of tongues is so real... i sat down after the talk and was like wow- i just felt powerful, like super filled with the spirit, and was like dang that was intense. i thought maybe the thai ladies were just being super nice to me after sacrament meeting saying that i "phuud gang!" (speak skilled) but my comp confirmed that it was super legit- no credit on my part, because i obviously am not super skilled at thai haha, but the lord definitely strengthened me and helped me to teach with the spirit that day.
alright so last super cool experience this week. on thursday we got a call from elder meeker from the mission home that we need to check our email. we did, and learned that there is this member named elizabeth living in utah right now who's grandma is super sick very suddenly. she wants to be able to make it home in time (a week from now) to see her grandma still alive, and asked president senior if he could send missionaries to give her a priesthood blessing. her grandma is in a hospital in pichet about an hour and a half from pitsanulok where we are, but we are the closest missionaries to the area. so we take a train friday to pichet to do awesome missionary things and bless this lady. we get there and calderon tells me that elder meeker said we are the first missionaries to ever be in this part of thailand. so thats a super cool... one of the grandmas (named branahm) other daughters was there to lead us to the hospital once we got there. i had learned how to do the annointing in thai and so i did that and elder calderon sealed it and gave the blessing. it was suuuuchh a cool experience and the spirit was strong. the grandma (branahm) who could really talk nodded and said she believed she could be healed. faith is all thats required, and so we read a scripture with them and than headed out. while in pichet waiting for the train we were able to take some pics at a dope huge buddha statue too which was cool.
our boy brother bing got baptized saturday and is just such a stud haha we love him so much- ill send a pic at his baptism.
everything else is just continuing on as normal. i love being a missionary- every day is a challenge but so fun and rewarding- and i feel like a learn so much. time FLIES here its crazy ive already been out a month. the language is coming slowly but surely. im happy and well, and so grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve the lord, especially in an area as this! i love it here. i love and miss you fam and hope you are well!
final thought- i loved elder holland's conference address talk "are we not all beggars?" definitely a powerful message and i love his thought he shared about president monson right at the end of his talk. god is so real.
read alma 30: 40-44
everything proves the existence of God! i am so grateful for this beautiful world we live in.
Love you all, and god be with you til we shall meet again!
p.s. did anyone else see that kathrine chavez's family (from ladera ranch) is on mormon channel.... whhaaat? super cool