I know. I'll start with a scripture.
"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."
Yesterday this scripture realized itself in my life. This is how:
Yesterday was district conference, and everyone from the district came to Udorn for the meeting. We had a area 70 and President Senior. The meeting was so special to me. To be able to see so many of the saints in Thailand meeting together in one place. When Christ told us that where two or three saints meet together, there will His Spirit be also, he was so right. I could definitely feel His Spirit in all of the meetings and His love for these people. After the meeting in the morning we taught a couple lessons and then had Brother แสม's baptism. He asked for one of the members to baptize him and it was so special for me to stand in the room and watch him make the most important decision of his life. A couple people have said that he is going to be the future branch president. I hope so. I love him so much and am so proud of him.
After his baptism we went to the hospital and gave a blessing to a member there. We then went to one of the funeral ceremonies of another member's father. His father had been in a motorcycle accident just a few days ago. He told us that when people say, "life is short", it means a lot more than those three words. He said that one minute he was on the phone with his dad asking him when he was gonna be home cause he had food ready, and 20 minutes later he got a call from the hospital saying his dad was gone. He told us to love our families while we have them, cause it could be any minute when everything changes. He asked me to stop crying because it was making everyone else cry. Today, during another meeting of the funeral, he invited us and a few members to come sing at the funeral, (which was a buddhist funeral, his dad loved the gospel but was Buddhist and so it was at the wat.), he asked us to sing with him, "God be with you 'til we meet again", "Each life that touches ours for good," and "Nearer, My God, to Thee." Before we sang he asked me how I'm always so positive, I told him it was something you have to train yourself to do. He told me it was just in my blood and that he wishes he could be more positive. But right after that he said something I didn't expect from a young saint in Thailand who had just lost his father. "Death is just part of the Plan. It is the hardest part of the plan, and we all have to experience it in some way in our life. But I know that because of the Plan I can see him again." So much hope from such a humble man! Before we sang he asked me again not to cry so we wouldn't all cry while we sang. We were in the Wat and there is no special spirit in a Buddhist Wat. But when we sang together these hymns I could feel the spirit, and I know that the hundreds of people listening could feel it too. I could see it in their eyes.
After the first funeral ceremony last night we went to the park to look at the Loy Kratong, or ลอย กระทง, or the lantern festival. I learned yesterday where the floating lanterns on Tangled came from. Thailand. Of course. There were hundreds of lanterns floating on the water and thousands floating in the sky. So beautiful. I'm starting to feel like Thailand is just my long lost home. Like I've finally come home.
Yesterday I also learned of the power of the fast. Only as a Missionary do you ever fast for one purpose, and that purpose is to help others. I have seen the power and faith that comes from a true and honest fast and the miracles that are born from it.
Remember that guy who we ran into last week. Well he's doing awesome. We went to go pick him up to go to church yesterday but his dad said he had already left. We were kind of bummed out cause he wasn't there. We got to the church to find him eating and socializing with the members already. What a champ!!
I think yesterday was the greatest day of my life. :)
I love you all!
Elder Christopher Osborn
Oh, and just in case your still reading with me, I'm in Alma 17
Another picture of thailand............ :)
This is my first baptism. brother sam. he's the one on the left. with the bleached hair. hahaha love him!!
And another beautiful one....
So pretty! Totally blows tangled out of the water!!
Bahahahaha Sister Phelps and Sister Her totally photo bombed that pic!!! Oh, and look at those guys' guns.... I was a little scared at first, but then we invited them to go to sacrament meeting and go to english class and they turned out to be pretty cool. :)
And this is the view from my desk this morning. :)