Yet again, I don't know where to start.
Oh yeah. So our miracle friend, บ. โต้ง is still a miracle. He got baptized yesterday. I don't think I've ever met a more enthusiastic person in the Church. He loves the Lord, he loves faith, he loves repentance, he love baptism, he LOVES the holy ghost, and he thinks everything is sacred. On Saturday, Elder Hunsaker interviewed him, and after said that he was awesome, and that he had to stop brother tong from talking sometimes, cause he just starts going sometimes. After, he was so pumped that when the Sisters gave him their phone and asked him to give directions to the church to a new investigator who couldn't find it, he misunderstood and started asking this guy if he has faith in the Lord, or if he loves the gospel, and all this other stuff. It was hilarious!! When he got baptized yesterday, he didn't know which person he was supposed to be in the baptism picture, so he put his hand to the square and we had to help him do it right, then, when he went under his feet didn't stay put, so he just slid under like a banana. Afterwards, there was such a light in his eyes and he was so happy. He bore such a heartfelt testimony. Normally he says everything in the name of Jesus Christ Amen, but during his testimony he only said it once at the end. We're a little worried that one day a member will correct him and he'll go inactive. That kind of stuff happens all of the time here. People get offended so easily and throw their salvation out the window on a little comment of little or no consequence. So sad.
As of today, our mission has 98 baptisms in one month, by tonight, it'll be 99. We can say that this Bovember is really working. There are miracles all over thailand. Our district and zone have set records for baptisms this month. The Thailand mission has only had over 100 baptisms in a month 4 times. And we're gonna do it again. And the cool part, is we're setting the stage to keep doing it every month.
It's so cool to see the work hastening in Thailand.
แสม is still doing so great. Now that he's a member he is being used almost every day to help all of the missionaries in Udorn teach. He loves to help teach and has such a powerful testimony that he is definitely going to play a role in the Church's growth in Udorn. I love that man!
So one story from this week:
We were contacting out in front of seven eleven at night, and I saw this kid walking into the alley right there. I ran after him, and asked him if he had ever been baptized. He said no. I asked him if he wanted to get baptized after I explained what it was. He said yes. I told him we would have a baptism on . I got his number, he insisted on writing my name, and he wrote down our appointment and asked what time we would have the baptism! He forgot his phone number so I was worried we would lose him, but I prayed through the next day that he would come. He came, and it turns out his best friend is an investigator with the sisters. We handed him over to them so they could learn together. They will get baptized on the 8th together (maybe the next week... I can't remember right now).
The sisters tell me that they're both doing so great and are so accepting and so excited. They would get baptized , but they're only 16, so they have to wait a bit.
I would have never expected the spirit to cause me to run into a dark alley after a teenager. He would have never expected that going to seven eleven at a certain time turned out to be the turning point of his entire life.
These miracles are everywhere.
Okay! Sorry, I forgot to tell you what scripture I wanted. It's the one I shared last week on the email, Alma 29:9-10 . I really feel like this scripture defines my mission and I get teary eyed every time I read it.
I have a story for you. Feel free to share it with others if you want.
Yesterday, we went as a district contacting at the biggest park in Udon. We go together on sunday nights with a few members and invite people to be baptized there because it's so busy at that time. I normally don't like to talk to Falangs - people who aren't thai - but Elder Wilko is super brave and started talking to an Australian man. The reason why I don't really like to talk to people who aren't thai is because everyone who comes here is usually here running away from the real world. So they are all very interesting people. This man told us that nobody can know of a surety anything. And that we didn't know what we were teaching was true. He spoke what would be considered "blasphemy" to us, imposing his theories on life and religion and not giving us time to even respond or bear pure witness and testimony. I left the conversation honestly so mad. It was a waste of time. I had thoughts of how that man has no hope and how when he passes on he'll realize what he's done with his life. I found myself analyzing our discussion for a while, finding all of the logical fallacies in his argument, all of the things I could have said to put it all back in his face. All of the parables and analogies I could have shared, all of the scriptures I could have used. And as I kept thinking about how I could have convinced him, I just got more and more frustrated with myself for not being able to say it right there, and it just made me more mad. I wanted to go back and bear my testimony to him that I know truth just like I know the sun will come up. I was in a horrible mood.
I finally caught myself and realized that I couldn't continue on inviting others to wash their sins away and be happier if I was in the middle of this inner battle of pride and contention. I sat down and did as Enos did and wrestled with God in mighty prayer. The members noticed and though something was wrong. Elder Hunsaker stood by and watched over me as I poured out my heart to God for him to bless that man, to help the people of Thailand come unto Him, and asked for forgiveness. I stood up and Elder Hunsaker and I went to get one last invite, with the hope that this next person would be prepared and ready for the gospel.
On the way back I continued my prayer on the bike ride. I asked God where the happiness that Alma 29:9 tells me I will have. I thought, "How many souls have I brought unto God?" I realized I had played a role with bringing a few people, and had brought one person unto Christ, from the first time we met him, to his baptism that day. I began to be filled with that joy that is promised as I remembered the little success that all the Prophets and missionaries had, and remembered the Savior's words, "And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake; For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you." A mission isn't all flowers and baptisms. Every day is hard and most people don't care what you say, and many will mock you. But it is all worth it in the end because I know that I've brought a soul to Christ.
I love you dad. Thanks for giving me this opportunity and raising me so well.
This is Brother tong! What a champ!
More baptism pictures... I love Udon. The members are so great here.