As many of you know now, the Church has released a new initiative based on Easter.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Monday, March 23, 2015
This week we did a little coordinating with the assistants in order to start something special here in Bangkhae.
Last time the mission changed a lot was right when I came into country. A couple missionaries figured out that they can actually talk to everybody. And not just talking. Inviting everybody to be baptized. They saw great success and there was a couple trainings and it spread to the rest of the mission. Then the mission baptized thousands. Now that we've got a jumpstart we're going to finish the families of all the people that came to the church.
The only problem is that the mission is confused now. We're working with families more and many missionaries are being less diligent and talking to less people and overall just forgetting the things that brought us here. No missionaries have "figured it out" yet. A simple step by step process to bring a family to Christ. All the way from the contact on the street to a new family in the church.
Considering that the Bangkhae area has every single type of missionary in one place. Zone leaders, a district leader, a sister training leader, and two training companionships, Bangkhae is the best place to do a little test. So we made some new inviting cards that are all about eternal families! And we're figuring out a "way" to make this style work. Just like what happened almost two years ago with baptism. It's starting to work. We're finding that the Thai people do not generally understand the work "eternity" or "forever". So our question for contacting is "Do you understand the word eternal family?" This question actually works pretty well. People don't just think that we're looking for a certain place called families forever. Which was the problem when we'd ask if they were familiar with eternal families. The plan is to get the work in this way to start moving fast. So that we can push it to the rest of the mission and watch the work explode again.
So please pray that the Lord will prepare families for the Gospel here!
Tomorrow is Zone Conference! So we've also been doing a bunch of stuff recently preparing for that. Tonight we're having a special FHE for all of Bangkok. We'll be watching Meet the Mormons! Yeah! First movie in a really long time. hahaha
Love you all!
Here's a picture of some cute kids that really liked our bikes (one is wearing my helmet). They asked Elder Weaver if his bike cost a million dollars.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
I don't have a ton of time to write so I'm just going to spurt out things that are on my mind. Okay?
This week I had my first mission leadership council. So I got to go back to my previous area and receive a fantastic training from the assistants and president.
After, we did our first switch-off so I went with Elder Stone for a day, we also needed to move some furniture to our house so we took the office van back to Bangkhae!!
We got lost so it took us 3+ hours.... But we had a fantastic conversation.
I had a blast with Elder Stone, who is my replacement in the office.
On Saturday the Bangkok West District had a Relief Society activity to celebrate the anniversary of the Relief Society. So the Elders in our district were asked to translate for the entire activity. It was way fun! I realized how bad my Thai is. haha
Translating to English is a monster but translating into Thai from English was super easy.
We got to train our zone last week too! It was really cool to go out and train all of the districts.
In our Taxi rides we got to have some great conversations with the drivers. One of which made me super happy. One of my first invites on an eternal family that was received gladly and with excitement. We talked to this guy for 1.5 hours about families and he is so excited to go to church with his family now!
Today we're going on an excursion to go get suits cut! For super cheap. We're gonna have a party!
Sunday, March 8, 2015
This last week has been quite interesting. It was transfers week which means that we spent a lot of time in the office doing all of the random stuff for the mission. I got to see the transfers board several times before it was completely finalized, so I was very excited when I first got to see where I was moving. In our mission we don't normally find out where you're going until the transfers meeting. But there are great perks of being in the office! It's like a spoiled Christmas!
On Wednesday night after dinner with the new missionaries, President pulled me aside and said that he was going to change my assignment. I said of course. He explained where I was going and who I'd be with.
Then later that night (quite later, after in his room with the Assistants for a long time) President called me into his office.
He had me sit down and asked, "Do you remember what I told you after dinner? I'm going to change your assignment again. Will you train in Chonburi?" ( for all those unfamiliar, Chonburi is an area that currently has no missionaries. It is a massive area as well. Nobody really knows exactly why there are no missionaries there. So when President asked me to train in Chonburi, it means not only would I be opening a brand new area, but also training in the process.)
I was stunned but I answered, "Yes".
President Senior said, "-- Or you can be zone leader in Bangkhae." To which I answered, "Yes". He said lets take the latter.
As it turns out the entire thing about Chonburi was just a joke, but I was pleased that in that circumstance, when faced with an extremely difficult assignment, I was still able to say "yes".
During transfers the Bangkok west zone leaders in Thonburi white washed out and Elder Tanner moved to assistant, while president moved the zone leaders from Thonburi to Bangkhae.
Here we are now! Elder Weaver and I white-wash opening the zone leader area in Bangkhae! We don't know exactly why there are now eight missionaries in Bangkhae, but there are. The church building is beautiful and massive, so we're gonna fill it up with people.
Elder Weaver is my พี่ or in the group just older than me. He has been zone leader before and is way solid! This is the first time in almost a year that I've been junior companion, and it's great! I learn Thai from him, I learn how to contact from him, etc. It's so nice!
We're also in the same house as two other companionships, both of which are training.
It's really fun to white-wash again! Especially because we both are experienced missionaries, but we have no idea where anything is, so we just walk around and talk to EVERYBODY. We almost got balanced key indicators in three days. It's way fun to just work and work. I'm also out of the office which means we're out working all day now! We've seen lots of miracles and it's much hotter out in the streets than in the office.
Bangkhae is on the outskirts of Bangkok, so it's just as busy, just a tiny bit more spread out, so instead of walking 5 minutes to get places, we walk 15-30 minutes to get places. It's fine though, plenty of people to talk to.
Everyone in our area just feels an excitement in the air. We all just know that this is going to be a special transfer. We're going to do some serious work here for the next six weeks.
A couple days ago we were teaching about family history when Elder Weaver shared a verse from D&C 138.I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.
This was the first time that this verse meant anything to me. I was lost in thought and realized that my Grandpa Osborn is still preaching the gospel of repentance. I felt so much love and unity when I realized that we're doing this work together. That both sides of the veil -- Grandpa and Grandson -- are working together for the redemption of those who are in darkness and under the yoke of sin.
When the testifying influence of the Holy Ghost faded enough for me to speak, I told these recent converts that one of the reasons that they have been brought to the church right now was because their ancestors may have accepted this Gospel of redemption and are ready for the ordinances to be done in their behalf.
I've been wondering, Has Grandpa Osborn been teaching my investigators grandparents?
How wonderful!!! This work just goes on and on. After my mission I'll still be doing the same work, maybe just in a different way. And when I pass on, I'll just keep declaring the Gospel of repentance. I couldn't hope for anything better than that.
I love all of you,