Do you love me?

Another beautiful week here in Roi-et Thailand. I heard Zane got his mission call to Hong Kong thats SICKKK! i bet his APs that pick him up are gonna be some of my boys i was in the MTC with thats so sweet! Way excited for him. 

As for Elder Bunker and I out here in the promised land, we had an awesome week that started off with some fresh new haircuts. We held a little inviting party with some of the members and went to the nearby lake/exercise park to invite souls unto christ and had some way good miracles. One kid we sat down with, his name is Knot. We taught this awesome 18 year old guy who God was and how to pray to him. He was way excited the first time praying said he was down to come to the church to meet with us, so we made an appointment in 2 days. The next day i follow up called him and he said he had prayed and felt way good... and then asked what he has to wear to church. I told him that we dress up nice on sunday but on normal days you can wear whatever. So he shows up to the appointment the next day wearing a white shirt and tie, a belt with black slacks, and just looking ridiculously sharp haha. All the members thought he was a member. And the lesson we had with him- he might've as well been a member because he is just so real, and so full of desire to learn about and to follow Christ. He told us that he was way busy this week with schoolwork because he tests this week and has chores at home, so he didn't know if he could come to church on sunday or not- but coming thru he did! To add onto the miracles- we taught him after church and it was a great lesson, but after that lesson we had to go to Ward Council so we took off, and came back out to see that he was reading the scriptures with some of the other youth in a room together. One of the youth was practically teaching him without us even being there which is a whole other miracle because she is normally pretty shy, but we could tell the PMG class that we teach that she has been coming to each week helped her have the confidence to teach our investigator and read with him- thats what im talkin about! And final thought about Knot- the other night Elder Bunker called him on the phone and asked him if he knew the book of mormon was true. Knot answers "well it says in the introduction to read, ponder, and pray to ask if its true. I haven't prayed to ask yet, so i will do that tonight." pretty exciting hearing your investigator quote from the scriptures like that- so that is the story of Knot. Great young man. 

Miracle man number 2- also came from the exercise park this week. Nat, the 24 year old future entrapeneur of something great came to the church this week, and just like Knot, our lessons with him were just filled with the spirit and understanding, but just to throw in his personality a little bit... this last time we taught him and explained how he needs to ask God to know the truth. Elder Bunker mentioned that if he wants a specific answer he needs to ask a specific question and so Nat responded hahaha, "Okay, i will pray. And i will ask God a very specific question. 'Will Elder Bunker and Elder Chamberlin marry a thai girl and stay here in thailand?' and i know i will get a specific answer. and when that answer comes i'm gonna come find you guys and let you know" Hahaha but atleast he understand the principle of prayer. Good man.

We had our switch off with one of our DLs from Korat this week up here in Roi-et as well. I switch off with the legendary Reed, and Bunker went off with Krebs. By the end of our switch-off Elder Reed just graced me with maybe one of the greatest compliments i've ever received, and he was just like, "well elder chamberlin, you also broke my stereo-type of ZLs. I sometimes get myself thinking they just do all these good things because they have to, and have to set an example for us, but after spending all day with you today, from inviting to teaching, to just talking, you broke my stereo-type of ZLs... i can tell you truly love people." So that was a highlight of my week. A lot more and could say about the whole switch-off but i'll just leave it at that, that it was way great and inspired. One of my favorite quotes that came from our talk with eachother comes straight from PMG that i shared with him, "Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause. Lend your efforts to helping people... stand higher, lift those with feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hand down. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ." -President Gordon B. Hinckley. Great elders and it was way fun, and a truly truly inspired time for a switch off.  One of our investigators we found last week named Mint brought her friend Apple. Shes 24ish and they both have dates for the 6th ayy! Importance of asking for referrals. They both came to church this week and yeah- they are great. Investigators seem to be flowing in this week which was way nice. On sunday we kept having investigators walk in to sacrament, and LAs cruise on in, and i felt like a little match maker rushing around and having members go sit with different investigators and LAs and after 10 minutes of cruising around before the meeting started, i remember standing in the back just admiring our work as we saw members just killin' it on friendshipping and even members that normally keep to themselves and are little more shy, we saw talking with our people. A hard image to describe but it was a great feeling let me tell ya.

This Sunday was also a broadcast from Bangkok as Elder Stevenson of the 12 apostles came and visited us in thailand for the 50th year celebration of the church in thailand. An incredible experience listening to him along with others. He shared many great thoughts but my favorite and the thing that stuck with me the most was his testimony of the book of mormon and how he came to know it was true. First he asked everyone to stand, and he shared some words of praise to all in thailand, then he asked everyone to sit down except the missionaries, and then he gave us some words of praise, and shared his testimony of how he came to know the book of mormon was true. Throughout the whole broadcast there was so much excitement about the establishing of stakes and the preparing for a temple. A lot of mentioning of the historic moment when President Hinckley dedicated the Kingdom of Thailand and opened it to missionary work 50 years ago, and pointing to many of those promised blessings in his dedicatory prayer that already have and are now coming to pass. One final thing i loved from the broadcast as i listened and watched Elder Stevenson was the overwhelming feeling that he is a man of God. He is a funny father and a loyal husband, a great teacher, and a happy, outgoing friend. I looked at him and just kinda saw dad a little bit, and it was just like wow. I dont know what it was but it was powerful. 

We had Zone Training this week as well- tons of highlights and great stuff so ill try to summarize it up for you. It was all on our motives for why we do what we do. So why do YOU do what you do?!? think about it for a second. Ultimately i would hope that it boils down to your love for God and love for your fellowman. "What is the first and greatest commandment?... Love God with all your heart, might and mind. And love your neighbor like unto yourself"... We watched Elder Hollands talk on the "First and Greatest Commandment", the "Do you love me?" talk, im sure you remember it. And as we watched that, i couldn't help but imagine our 2 year missions being compared to the apostles 3 year discipleship with the Lord. And when he left them, and they, not knowing what to do went back to their nets, is like us coming home from our missions and going back to the same old stuff we were doing before! 
Okay I'm just gonna quote some of his talk- hopefully you go and read the whole thing:

After Jesus asks Peter for the 3rd time... "Do you love me?"... and now i quote Elder Holland:

"Peter said for the third time, “Lord, … thou knowest that I love thee.”

To which Jesus responded (and here again I acknowledge my nonscriptural elaboration), perhaps saying something like: “Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.”

Then, turning to all the Apostles, He might well have said something like: “Were you as foolhardy as the scribes and Pharisees? As Herod and Pilate? Did you, like they, think that this work could be killed simply by killing me? Did you, like they, think the cross and the nails and the tomb were the end of it all and each could blissfully go back to being whatever you were before? Children, did not my life and my love touch your hearts more deeply than this?”

My beloved brothers and sisters, I am not certain just what our experience will be on Judgment Day, but I will be very surprised if at some point in that conversation, God does not ask us exactly what Christ asked Peter: “Did you love me?” I think He will want to know if in our very mortal, very inadequate, and sometimes childish grasp of things, did we at least understand one commandment, the first and greatest commandment of them all—“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” And if at such a moment we can stammer out, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,” then He may remind us that the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments,” Jesus said. So we have neighbors to bless, children to protect, the poor to lift up, and the truth to defend. We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord. We can’t quit and we can’t go back. After an encounter with the living Son of the living God, nothing is ever again to be as it was before. The Crucifixion, Atonement, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ mark the beginning of a Christian life, not the end of it. It was this truth, this reality, that allowed a handful of Galilean fishermen-turned-again-Apostles without “a single synagogue or sword” to leave those nets a second time and go on to shape the history of the world in which we now live."

There you have it. The crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty. So let as be loyal to Him. I'll finish my little note to you guys with 2 Nephi 25:23. The often conflicted scripture of we are saved by God's grace after all we can do. I read that with an RC the other day and recieved a new light of revelation on what it means, "after we do all we can do". What is all we can do? All we can do is love him, and keep his commandments. After that the his grace, love and mercy, and his sons great sacrifice helps us return to his presence. I know that we have a loving father in heaven who knows us and loves each of us. I hope that we will all show an increase of our great love for him by keeping his commandments. (John 14:15) I love you!

your beloved missionary in thailand,

Elder Chamberlin<3

Dutch Mill Baptism and Valentine Party with Line Dancing

Valentine's Day in Roi-Et

Good morning family and friends! Tis' such a good morning :)

We just cruised into the internet cafe from a nice little pday breakfast danky danks. Life is good- and so was this week so i'll hit you up with the DL- p.s. happy valentines day rn;)

On the note of valentines day, we listened to a way cool little clip by elder bednar about love. He said that love isn't something that we just magically have for other people, its not something that comes by chance, but kinda like faith, its a choice. The word love has two forms- the verb and noun forms. In order for the noun form to come- we need to do the verb form. We have love for those people that we actively love. When you love people through your actions- thats when you truly increase your love for them. Pretty trippy concept but i liked it and i exhort you to actively show more love for those people that God has blessed you to be around you. Actively love them and you will see that your love for them will deepen, and in turn there love for you will grow. I love loving :) 

Another point of this week i really enjoyed was our meetings with our stake president and then later, with our elder's quorum president. First of all they are just both studs and i feel so lucky i have the privilege to serve with such great men of God. But the work progresses in such a more brilliant way when we are working hand in hand with the leadership- we go out visiting those in our quorum who are in need of visits with our EQP and others in the quorum every friday and sunday. It's a blast- and you just have this sense of brotherhood and comradery with those we go out with. To get some fire in the member missionary work- just take them out to do missionary work! its pretty simple. The bonfire of enthusiasm for the Lord's work is already burning you just gotta get some members close enough to the action to catch some embers ;) Right now we have a theme around thailand "Make St8ke" and we are working towards the vision of turning the 3 stakes in thailand into 8 stakes by the end of this year. before our theme was "BRAFT" which stood for "baptism, retain, activate, find, teach" and so elder bunker and i felt the need to make an acronym for st8ke'ing: "Serve, Train, d8rs, Kindle (the fires of faith and missionary work) and Exhort (which covers BRAFTing boiii) - anyways its clear to see some big things are happening this year. 

Also, went on a switch off with a brother to go give their family friend who is buddhist a blessing in the hospital. we got there and his family was way cute, and they said they were all buddhist but could they still get a blessing from jesus christ? so I explained a little bit about the ministry of christ and the miracles he performed and explained the principle of faith. i looked around and everyone in this hopsital room (a giant room filled with 50 some odd patients and there loved ones around) were sitting and intently looking at the white boy with a white shirt and tie and a jesus name badge teaching about christ. so even though i felt i little awkward with hundreds of eyes on me, me and this member layed our hands on his friends head and gave him a blessing as he was sleeping/sick. The member for some reason of another insisted that i gave so i did. i finished giving the blessing and as we took our hands off his head, we looked at him and in his peaceful rest he slowly opened his eyes, smiled, and gave the little thai "Wai" and thanked us. it was a very cool experience. 

In other news- We flew down from roi-et to Bangkok on tuesday night. Both the flight and MLC were a great experience haha. We were chowing down on some mama (top ramen) noodles that we had just bought before our flight, and everyone was boarding all of the sudden, and then next thing we know we are the only ones left in the terminal and we see the backstair set up to the plane being rolled away, and so we take off (with my gopro getting all this footie) for the plane and make it- the last two on. The roi-et airport is way cute. there is literally like 1 or 2 planes at the airport at a time, and 1 runway. 1 terminal, 1 baggage rotator thing, etc. Met some great people on our trip over there including a police man who jumps out of planes for a hobby and invited us to go with him. Is skydiving in the white handbook? maybe after the mish. So we get to MLC and boy do i love president johnson and our beloved APs Elder Wright and Paxton. So much greatness in that council as we learned from one another and received inspiration together for the mission. the over-reaching theme was "Love for God" and the question was posed, "why do we do what we do?" i could write a lot of stuff we talked about but ill just give you some favorite little one liners- "live to please God" "desire deeply to bless others" "invite with real intent" "love for God drives diligence and obedience". So a take-away thing i would invite you to think about is- what are the motives for the things you do? i would hope it's out of pure love for God and thus love for your fellowman. and if there are some other motives taking first place its okay, repentance is a beautiful and simple principle, and all repentance doesnt require you to move backwards before moving upwards again. sometimes just accepting your weakness and turning your will over to God is enough, and you can instantly begin moving forwards and upwards. 

Our flight home was the next morning at what we thought was 5:30. So we woke up at 3am to get dressed and quickly get a taxi over to the airport and be there by 4:30am. We get there and get thru security and all to find out we read the ticket wrong and it flew out at 7:30. so we tried to get a nice nap on the terminal benches that morning haha but yeah. However God's power of supporting us when we are tired is very real as we experience quite often over here. who would have thought that day we would be able to shower and get dressed and go out and work like a normal day- it just doesn't hit you until you hit the pillow. 

Our investigator Dutch Mill got baptized this last sunday- a way good day, and i learned some way good lessons from teaching her. One thing i want to share is how important it is to keep the commandments- no matter how inconvenient it may seem. The sunday she was getting baptized, her mom came as well for the first time. Right after sacrament meeting her mom asked me if i had eaten yet, and said that she and dutch mill were starving and were gonna run over to the store next to the church to eat. i looked over at dutch mill and then over at another RC who is friends with dutch mill, who both of them knew they shouldnt go buy food on sunday. it was pretty awkward as i didnt just want to be like "no dutch mill you cant go eat food with your mom no matter how hungry you are", but at the same time she cant just be going and breaking the sabbath on her baptismal day! her mom tried to rationalize and say she would pay for us and we didnt have to spend money haha and for dutch mill im sure it was so tempting and seemingly okay. but finally dutch mill was just like- "mom, i have to keep God's commandments" and she stayed at the church while her mom rushed off to eat. her mom came back for the baptism which was good but my favorite part of the experience was the lesson im sure that dutch mill's mom saw. and that is that commandments arent something thats ncie to follow sometimes, but when its inconvenient we can shmeag our way around them. i was way proud of dutch mill, and it was a beautiful day of baptism. 

Last little highlights of the week include playing a game we made up called "musical chairs or fall in love" for a valentines day activity. those who didnt have a seat had to run across the room without getting hit by toilet paper that we were throwing at them, and if they got hit they had to come line dance with elder bunker and elder smith haahaha, probably one of the funniest things ive seen in thailand. line dancing to thai "Isan" music. There is also a huge event in roi-et called "Bike for Love" which we found ourselves biking in when we went to this big park to invite haha. We all of the sudden were just biking side by side with tons of people and important officials wearing their pink "bike for love" shirts. It was some fun inviting hahah. Also- Elder bunker and I have been repping our new smart glasses we got last week. I've found people view me as much more intelligent with them on, and handsome too ;) 

Okay last lesson of the week: So I'm not no visionary man- but i had a dream this week that taught me a deep lesson. So ill summarize it for ya.

I was at a huge venue, almost like an amphitheater type place and there was a wedding that day for one of my older brothers or someone. And we were setting up tables for it and getting little details set up in the morning for it and it was gonna be a huge party- like crazy. So people start rolling in- friends from school that i recognized, family, mission homies, just EVERYONE. So everything is about to start and their is a huge live band and lights and everything and right as it is about to start, i realized i didnt have my suit on. So i ran up a little from the venue to a clubhouse type place looking for my suit that we had rented earlier that day. i get up to the second floor of the club house and all i see is empty boxes of suits that were already being worn by wedding crew. so i am rushing around frantically, and go talk to mama C, and run all over the place trying to find my suit, and all the while the party is going on. I peak out the window of the clbuhouse and it just looks so fun and it stressed me out wanting to find my suit and get it on even faster so i could go celebrate with everyone. eventually one of my boys, elder rogers, comes up and helps me find the suit in some random closet. i get it on and rush out excited to go talk to old friends and family and have a good time, and as i walk out, the clean up crew was already taking down the decorations and lights and tables and chairs, and people were walking out of the venue, and it was all too late. I had the worst feeling of being left out and it just sucked haha. so i woke up and made the resolution that i would never let somthing like this happen to me- that i would plan out well everything i do so i can enjoy life as it comes, and not stress over getting details prepared. But if i am ready for what is to come i can just flow and enjoy it. so be prepared my friends. 

Okay well- thats what i got for you guys. I love you- and will leave you with a scripture from studies this morning. 

"Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith." - Alma 44:4

Don't deny the faith, but place your trust in the everlasting one that gives us daily breath! I love you with all my heart and pray you have a fantastic week you champions<3

Elder Chamberlin