Monday, January 6, 2014

Hello dear family! =D

Well, I would like to announce that everything has gotten a lot better. Mom and Barbie, do you remember when I was younger (aka like middle school and high school) and I tried really hard to be angry at you? When I would go into my room and then emerge again 5 seconds later apologizing? Yeah, that inability to stay angry at someone has come quite in handy. Basically, things have improved a lot. We've been exactly obedient and everything has been fine, at least on my end. My companion still has some hard feelings that she just hadn't been able to shake but that has been resolved as well. On Saturday night a member that she really trusts gave her a Priesthood blessing of comfort and guidance. Things have been a lot better between her and the Elders since that. Yay Priesthood! :) I've had some good honest talks with the district leader and everything is all good. I really like one thing Aunt Kathleen told me that her mission president told her--"these young elders were also learning how to lead, so to be patient with them" These Elders really are trying to do what they think is right but they too make mistakes. Now our nightly follow-ups (which my companion still does not want to take part in) involves answering the questions, my district leader teasing or mocking me, and me retorting. All very friendly. My siblings have taught me well. :) So yeah, the Elders and I are friends again. Example, a couple nights ago my district leader (who is native Thai) asked if I was mad at him and said yes. Why? Because he keeps on correcting my Thai and won't let me respond to his yes and no questions with "uh-huh" and that other sound that means no. He laughed. We're all good.

Dad, I really like your comment that "However, you are responsible for your actions, not theirs. You must focus on your behavior, not theirs. You must be above reproach, even if they are being immature." I like that plan. No matter what happens or who I am with, I need to make sure my actions are above reproach. And I really like the imagery about exact obedience. The safety belt one made a lot of sense. Thanks :)

And Mom, thanks for your advice on working with others. I like the comment about how God does not call perfect people to do His work but imperfect people so that they can improve. :)

Thank you everyone on your council. :)

So, what else has happened this week?


So, the miracles of this week comes in the form of an investigator named Brother ตุ๊ (Tu)and a member named Brother ตู้ (Tuu). (yes, the names are super similar and yes, that is frustrating sometimes).

Investigator first. I met him one random day contacting but that day I had met a lot of people. That night I was writing about all the numbers we got (yay keeping records) and I literally could not remember who this guy was. All I wrote down in my planner was red shirt but no face was coming to mind. Well, the next day I called him and set up an appointment but he didn't sound too interested. Then the day of the appointment came and I called to confirm. He straight up said he wasn't coming. I invited him to the baptism (of the Elder's) that night to be polite but was never planning on seeing him ever again. Well, he showed up to the baptism and made an appointment with Sister Ng on Tuesday. And then he came to church yesterday. And he has a date for the 25th of this month. He was really skeptical about what we were saying at first but he really wants to know the truth. He is willing to act. It was soooo amazing how God worked with him. One of his first questions was "Have you ever seen God?" My response was obviously that I hadn't. "Then how do you know that He is there?" Excellent question. Let us explain about prayer and faith. This investigator is actually really cool. I'm excited to see his life change as he embraces the gospel.

Now the member. He's not an LA (less active) yet (mainly because he has to come to church for his calling) but testimony wise, he is really really really r.e.a.l.l.y. struggling. He hasn't read the scriptures in about a year. He's only 21 but he looks 25 or 30 because he is always stressed. We have a goal for him to be a missionary (and not a less active) so we have been working with him and reading with him. We've been doing this for about 2 or 3 weeks and this morning he said he read 1 Nephi 1! We're sooo happy! Beforehand he would read the scriptures we assigned but he hadn't started reading on his own. But now he has! Yeah little victories. And he has started working on his mission papers again. He has gotten so much better. And when he smiles he actually looks his age. So yeah, to all those reading this paragraph, please read the Book of Mormon every day. It is so hard to start up again once you stop but so easy to keep on going. There really is a power that accompanies daily reading of the Book of Mormon. This book is true and is the word of God. If we want God's guidance in our lives, we need to read His word.

Today us four sisters are going to the zoo! Time to invite some monkeys and zebras to get baptized :)

Oh, in other news, I have a New Year's goal to read the entire Bible (Old and New Testaments cover to cover) before the end of 2014. I am currently in the late 20s (or 30s) in Genesis. I've just read about Abraham, Lot, Issac, Jacob, Esau, and all those crazy stories. I know the Bible is the word of God but seriously, I prefer the Book of Mormon. I am also really excited to read the Bible once it has been restored back to it's original glory. I feel like these stories would be a lot less...different... if the Bible were translated correctly and hadn't been edited.

So yeah, Sister Slaugh is happy. She is getting a new camera soon. Life in Chiang Mai is great. Unity has been restored. Sorry that sounded cliche. But yeah, no worries folks. Life is good and the work is progressing. Thailand has a goal of 200 baptisms this month. Last month was 95 and the month before that was 110. Prior to this new contacting method, every month there has been between 35-65 baptisms. Yeah Thailand! :)

So yeah, I LOVE YOU ALL VERY VERY VERY VERY MUCH!!! =D Forgive and forgive all the time. :)

~Sister Slaugh

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