But more importantly, today is the day that I enter the fourth quarter of my mission. It's a pretty scary feeling; realizing that my mission is moving towards the end. I don't like it. It's moving way too fast.
One thing about the church in Thailand is that pretty much everybody is a part-member family. It is hard to come by a family where everyone is a member.
This week we've had some very interesting experiences. Sister Senior has asked us to share personally meaningful scriptures when we visit members instead of the usual verses. As missionaries we love to share verses that we feel will increase their faith or assist them in repentance. Sister Senior said to just share meaningful verses. Ones that are special to us.
We lucked out and managed to get in on a family home evening with several families in the branch. They invited us to share a spiritual thought before we ate.
It was my turn to share something so I opened up to Enos and we read the first six verses.
This is basically what I shared:
"When I was younger I remember going on a campout with the neighborhood boys. We went out for about a week and we were given a special assignment while we were there. We were invited to read the book of Enos three times a day; morning, midday, and evening. I didn't read it everyday, nor did I read it three times a day. But this chapter has stuck with me ever since. I still have very powerful feelings every time I read Enos.
I grew up in the church, so my dad was very much like Jacob, speaking often of eternal life and the joy of the saints. He taught me in his language and he taught me of the Lord. But not much of this really meant much to me until I was older. I didn't go into the forest to hunt beasts, but like Enos, I began to feel weighed down by my sins and mistakes. My soul hungered for forgiveness. My dad's words sunk deep into my heart. I went through the process of true repentance and the Lord answered my prayers. I began to have faith in the Savior."
One of the members present spoke up and shared a piece of inspiration she received while I spoke. She told us how right now her children may not understand why she is a member of the church or want to do anything with it yet, but as she countinues to speak of eternal life and teach the Gospel to her children, she can hope that one day they will understand and those words will have an influence.
During the meal another member invited us to her home the following week. Another member invited us to his home to visit him and his family.
The next day we were trying to think of who else we could go visit, when we got a call from a young man preparing to serve a mission. He invited us over to his home to meet with his family. Of which only he and his sister are members.
On Sunday Elder Jeng made a connection with some Japanese members in the international ward. We'll be visiting them this evening.
Sister Senior told us that as we shared personally meaningful scriptures the members would trust us and our calling and would want their families to learn with us. She was right!
Last night we had a special lesson. We've been a little short on investigators recently because we've been devoting less time to finding on the streets. But we had a first lesson and we taught the Restoration. It was very different than usual. At the end this wonderful investigator asked each of us to share our personal experiences of receiving an answer about the Book of Mormon. It just so happened that this brother who is waiting for a mission call was helping us teach. When it was his turn to share he began to speak but then put his head down and I could see his eyes begin to water. He asked to pass. Everyone else shared their experiences and it came back to him. He had gathered himself and began to speak. He told this new investigator that he had sent in his application to be a missionary like us. He said that he was about to do something very wrong, but hadn't done it yet. But when he felt the Holy Ghost testify during that lesson the Holy Ghost warned him to not do that wrong thing. He confessed that he was about to cancel his mission papers and not be a missionary. The Spirit had told him very powerfully to go on a mission during our lesson.
Afterwards we sat down and talked to him. He told us why he was about to cancel his mission. And he told us why he was now determined to serve. We gave him a few mouthfuls of advice and told him to just remember that feeling he had and everything will be okay, because the Lord does not abandon His servants.
He'll be getting his call in the next two weeks.
We may never know the effects of that one small lesson. One investigator willing to get baptized, and one missionary redetermined to serve.
The Lord is very good at what His work. He's been working on this since the world began. Yet He does most of the work through small experiences like that. We'll never know what influence this Brother's mission will have in others' lives, let alone his own. We'll be waiting excitedly for a call in the mail.
An investigator that I interviewed asked if I could baptize him. This is Brother Tam.
This is our first family home evening. If you look closely you'll notice many things about Thai culture and living.
And we found this at a bakery. Of course the following joke was cracked, "ye cannot serve God and mamon"