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

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