another week out here in the lords vineyard! its hard to know where to start.... this week was so amazing but i feel like i say that every week. they honestly get better and better though ahha.
so i guess starting with the adventures of last P-day, our district (me and my companion, and 4 sister missionaries) cruised to some cool waterfalls and i felt like i was in like disneyland at some points and like the shacks or the little log bridge or different things werent real- haha but they were so that was a good time. ill just send a lot of pictures to talk about my experience there. it was way fun.
soooo hmmmm. i guess ill just start with the best part of the week sunday. our boy barnie took his first steps of coming to christ by getting baptized this week. i was lucky enough to have an english speaking homie from cameroon (africa) be the first person ive ever baptized not proxy. it was a super cool experience and he is such a stud. he is already stoked to go home and share the gospel with his family, and he invited his roomate to the baptism and church. his friend is now taking the lessons too. his names jay and they are both such studs. its crazy how God works- a kid from california, and florida are in thailand and God guided Barnie to come to thailand and teach english (but really for greater reasons barnie just didnt know yet) to run into missionaries here in thailand and learn about His Gospel- here and now. crazy.
another miracle that happened this week was our experience with this deaf lady named phuu bay. my comp can only communicate with her through writing thai and she can write back or like make gestures of apporovement or disapprovement. we started teaching her this week, she had already been tochurch before, and she passed her baptismal interview (still not sure how they did it) and she got baptized this sunday too. so awesome.
i feel like this week was super pivotal for me too in understanding more fully like what im doing out here. idk how to explain it but like understanding my calling as a servant and representative of Jesus Christ. on tuesday elder calderon shared a talk/ letter with me that is super hard to get apparently but he got it from another missionary. its a letter of a missionary who served in france and he is writing after his mission to a friend just starting his mission, and sharing experiences and lessons he learned from his trainer. His trainer was named riccardi and was a super bold guy who would always say things like "fear no man". and this elder recounts all the seemingly crazy things he would do from preaching in the streets (what seemed super embarassing to this missionary) or be bold in inviting, or teaching. idk its super hard to remember the details and summarize it- but i remember one thing it said was that boldness will never be overbearing if the people know its in love and care for them. i guess long story short some things i took from it are to be bold, to not be afraid of sharing this message of jesus christ, becuase its true, its changed my life, and it can change other people's lives too. so when im at like a huge plaza where theres tons of people walking by me in every direction (like this last sunday night for example) and doubts like "oh they wont be interested anyway" or "there just gonna laugh at me" or whatever the fear that satan is putting into my mind might be- to open my mouth and let the Lord work through me. it was such a miracle and a testimony to me that night when i was inviting that through talking to every one, regardless of if it was a group of teenagers or an old couple wearing buddhist necklaces to invite people, and just say SOMETHING even if i embarass myself because of my thai. what i found was that i was able to speak wayyyy more fluently than i ever would have thought, i understood people, and invited according to what i could discern (or the spirit discerned) as their needs. i think on average our mission said something like it takes 90 people to find the one that will say yes. one last thing i learned from the letter, was that rejection is a good thing. for the next two years my purpose is to bring people unto christ- but this two years is also the time that Christ is testing me and seeing what kind of a servant i am going to be. will i always be obedient? will i work even when things get hard? will i trust in him with ALL things and rely on him? so yeah this two years is to help other people but its just as much to help me grow and prove to God the disciple that i want to and am striving to be for Him.
we had zone leader conference this week which was awesome. we got some news of the new mission goals. for this next month our goal is for every companionship to get 2 baptisms, the next month is 3, and the month after that is 4. to get that though we are working a lot with members, especially part member families. our focus on family and temples is so awesome- family history is becoming a larger part in the work, and they also stressed the benefit of referals in the training. ah theres so much more i want to talk about but it probably wont make sense and its hard to write it all so i will leave it at that haha. i love having the mission wide goals it gives sucha greater sense of purpose and drive and unity knowing that we are all working towards the same vision- a temple in thailand (and preparing the people for it).
the days have really been going by so fast its crazy. ive already been here for 3 weeks whaaaat?!
a quoute i liked from our zone training this week was "if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten" - kind of cheesy but pumped me up to want to step up our game, and work more effective.
there are so many awesome things about thailand and being on a mission in general that i guess i would just say you've gotta experience it yourself to know how truly fun and amazing it is. it changes you in ways that i didnt even know i needed to be changed in.
hmmm welll time is short i gotta go ride some elephants today yieww- i know christ lives, he loves us, and knows each of us perfectly. through christ we can all become better. "the purpose and central blessing of life is change. it is to be changed to become more like Jsus Crist. it is to incorporate into your character, the qualities of His character. It is to move from one degree of intelligence to the next, and from there to the next, until you see God face to face and know Him as He knows you." i know that through jesus christ we can all change and that this is central to God's plan for us. He loves you, i love you! life is so good! happiness comes from obedience its so true- obedience to God. it seems to easy, or maybe it seems restricting, but it really is so simple and true. There's a lot of things that can make us happy in this life- but the way to true joy and eternal happiness is in and through Christ! He is such a homie! So grateful for him. Love you guys and keep lovin life over there in the states- it really is such a blessing to live in the beautiful place we do, dont take it for granted.
much love, Elder Chamberlin<3
p.s. favorite scripture for the week: 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
"1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
we can do a lot of great things- but if we only serve (talking about a mission specifically but it applies to all aspects in life) with our might and strength, we are missing out on the blessings for ourself. Serve with all your HEART might MIND and strength- and let your whole character change too. <3