I apologize in advance- my journal writing has not been up to par this last week and i feel guilty and will repent but thus as a result, a lot of the exciting details of our adventures get lost into the busy fabrics of my mind.
One way cool experience that happened earlier on this week was at an LA's house. She is a hair salon lady, and is the lady we had found inviting who hasn't been to church in over 10 years. She was baptized in Korat with her oldest son, and her younger son is still not a member. We had a way simple lesson on the blessings of the temple with her, and the spirit in the lesson was amazing- the only way i could describe my feelings was that it felt like my soul was smiling :) Good things to come...
We also found another LA this week with some crazy health problems, and he has to change the fluid in his kidney every 8 hours for the rest of his life. So his house is just full of these boxes from the hospital and he cant really travel anywhere because of his disease. I couldn't help but feel like there had to be some better more permanent solution- and it drove those feelings deep within me to want to be a doctor again and save Thailand from all things that im sure could be healed, but there is just no access to modern technology and tool and skill. We had a nice lesson with him and brought him the sacrament on sunday which was also a nice experience. He is just the cutest old man who just needs a little booster of his faith- and he will be a huge example for his buddhist family. When showing him his laminated teaching picture of the temple, this brother asked Elder Walker for it so he could keep it in his house- of course we gave it to him- and it was powerful to see how meaningful it was to him to have the vision of the temple in his home- he excitingly asked us, "there is going to be a temple in thailand right?! i heard its gonna be right here in bangkok too!" Im sure God will prepare the way for him to prepare himself and his family and ancestors names for the blessings of the temple that will soon just be a few blocks away from him- a big difference from the thousands of miles to Hong Kong
Our chinese investigator (who speaks thai fluently) is doing way good idk if i have talked alot about her yet or not, but her name is Fern and she is so good! I love seeing investigators marking up their scriptures real good... we had a lesson with her and her dad this last week (her dad is normally busy doing chinese tours) and we had another great lesson with him and he was determined to quite smoking this time. We taught about the gospel of christ and then had him write down why he wanted to repent and quit smoking. He wrote his reasons on a paper in chinese and it looked SWEET! even though we couldnt understand it, we took a picture of it. And fortunately elder purser in our house, he speaks chinese, so he translated it for us and one of his reasons he wrote down was, "I want to be a better dad.", and idk why but it touched me way hard. It made me super grateful for the blessings of living the gospel. His gospel really does make bad men good, and good men better as big papa always says. However its more than just that too- I re-read the powerhouse of a talk by sister bonnie oscarson from last conference. I read it this morning... the whole talk (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/do-i-believe?lang=eng&_r=1) but here's a sneak peak of it:
Think for just a minute about the profound claims we make as a religion. We believe that the same Church Jesus Christ established while on the earth has been restored once again by a prophet called of God in our time and that our leaders hold the same power and authority to act in God’s name that ancient Apostles held. It is called the priesthood of God. We claim that through this restored authority, we can receive saving ordinances, such as baptism, and enjoy the purifying and refining gift of the Holy Ghost to be with us at all times. We have apostles and prophets leading and directing this Church through priesthood keys, and we believe that God speaks to His children through these prophets.
We also believe that this priesthood power makes it possible to make covenants and receive ordinances in holy temples that will someday enable us to return to the presence of God and live with Him forever. We also claim that, through this power, families can be bound together for eternity when couples enter the new and everlasting covenant of marriage in sacred buildings that we believe are literally the houses of God. We believe that we can receive these saving ordinances not only for ourselves but also for our ancestors who lived on the earth without having the chance to participate in these essential saving ordinances. We believe we can perform ordinances for our ancestors by proxy in these same holy temples.
We believe that, through a prophet and the power of God, we have received additional scriptures, adding to the testimony of that in the Bible declaring that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.
We claim that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God and the only true Church on the earth. It is called the Church of Jesus Christ because He stands at the head; it is His Church, and all these things are possible because of His atoning sacrifice.
We believe that these distinguishing features can be found in no other place or organization on this earth. As good and sincere as other religions and churches are, none of them have the authority to provide the ordinances of salvation that are available in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
Here in thailand you get this line from just about everyone, "All religions teach us to be good" and that is the typical excuse they give for not being interested. But being good just isn't good enough! I am grateful that our Heavenly Father loved so much as to send His son, and our savior into the world to carry our burdens and take upon him our sins. He loved us so he gave us temples, where inside we can perform sacred ordinance to tie and seal us together with our families for all time and eternity. I'm grateful for his loving guidance he gives us through modern day prophets. He revealed eternal truths to them in times of old and does so now, he really doesn't change and I love Him for that too.
As for something funny from the week- one of our LAs that we are working with is a good dude but just straight lazy and sleeps at 6am and doesnt wake up til 6pm at night oft times, and then just makes clay statues to sell and then watches movies all night. He claims he just cant sleep so after weeks of trying to help him by the word and trying to take him out to teach with us to pump him up to change his life around, Elder Walker and I were finally inspired to just take him to go workout. We went to the nearby park and I invited while elder walker practically trained him like a coach hahaha. It was funny to look over and see them doing up-downs on these stairs and push-ups and all these other excercises while i was working out on these machines inviting the people next to me. I talked to this one girl for about 15 minutes and for a second i was thinking "did i waste a ton of time small-talking to this girl?" because typically the invites are shorter and quicker trying to find the elect in the crowds of people, but for some reason it felt right. after talking to her we had to head out so i asked for her number and she told me she couldnt remember it and her phone wasnt on her (the typical response for someone who just doesn't want to give you their number) so i happily gave her my number on a pic of jesus, and she said she would call the next day. She did, and we taught her, and she wants to be baptized. Miracles<3 So that was a sweet experience. And our LA said he went to bed alot earlier that night from being exhausted haha so that was good too.
Walker and I have been picking up our workout pace as well after meeting an herbal life lady this week at the park who somehow convinced us to come into her little shop right near by and get a free test on how healthy our bodies were. So we stood on a scale haha and it scanned or body fat percentage, muscle percantage etc. and at first it said my muscle % was 27% which i thought was pretty decent until Walker did it and he came in at 56%... i didnt believe it so i did a fast set of pushups and made her scan me again haha, turns out she read the number wrong and i was 57% woohoo! but either way we both decided we need better bodies so the alarm clock has been set for 6am and we have been way sore- hopefully we have the motivation to carry it throughout the transfer.
Well all is well, Thailand is the coolest place ever, and God is awesome. Being a missionary is the coolest job in the world- i would recommend you do it! Love you guys<3
the happiest missionary in thailand, elder chamberlin