Monday, August 11, 2014

Bangna Letter--August 4, 2014

It was really interesting reading your responses to my email last week. Sorry I scared you. :)
I guess I should have explained more of a backdrop of what the norm is in this mission (or at least my norm because I don't know what others are doing). Usually a baptism a week, 3-5 people with dates, 5-8 people at church, 10-15 investigator lessons, 25-30 other lessons, and 5-8 new investigators. I think that is why last week was so hard, because it's like everything came to a stop and refused to start moving again. 
You know how we are supposed to apply scriptures stories in our life? These past two weeks have been an application of Nephi's experience in retrieving the plates. First try--no go. Second try--actually ending up worse then the last time. Third try--totally succeeding in maybe an unexpected way and actually ending up with more than you planned on. That's my goal for this the third week. Onward and upward! :) Though don't worry, not planning on doing anything like what Nephi did to Laban....unless it's Satan of course. :)

So...the miracles of this

Let's start with yesterday. A member took us to visit another member who was sick and is struggling spiritually too. It's hard to visit people like that. They are tired and just ready to give up. She and her husband work from home and it's been really tiring. Strained relationship in marriage, at work, and with people at church. We tried to give her encouragement but she just seems so tired. Obviously, we aren't giving up on her. We are going to try to go over and serve her a couple times a week for the next few week. Talk to her more at church. Things will improve. BUT. that obviously wasn't the miracle...not yet anyway. So we left her house but the member stayed. We decided to walk home instead of getting a taxi. We were just walking in a busy neighborhood. Made me think of how missionaries used to work in the past. We weren't knocking on doors or anything but if we saw anyone, we would call out to them and start talking to them. Last house on the street--of course it has to be the last house--we met someone who is at least interested enough to learn what we are talking about (most people just wave us away). She is this really cute little old grandma who just happened to come back from her own church. One of her daughters was with her. This daughter has had a problem since birth with her ears - she can't really hear and her speaking is just grunts. She is probably around 30 now(?) They opened the gate to talk to us (they live in a huge house) and when the daughter saw my picture of Christ, she grabbed my hand and rushed me into the house. Luckily the grandma and my companion followed us. The daughter--Mary--started showing me all these pictures in their house of Christ. She was sooo excited. The grandma asked if we--as teachers at a church--could pray for the daughter--in particular lay our hands upon her hand and give her a blessing. We started explaining the Priesthood and how we can have two people who have the Priesthood authority of God give the daughter a blessing. Right after we finish emailing we and the Elders are going back to the lady's house. She really wants to feed us lunch too. 
My thoughts about this are as follows: One, we read in the Bible that sometimes people have issues (like the blind man) just so the power of God can be manifest. But, we also read about the early apostles who couldn't preform miracles like Christ (at first). Christ said that miracles of this kind (I can't remember which kind--casting out devils?) only can happen after lots of prayer and fasting. Also, sometimes people's physical problems are just their trials in this life. After we explained the power of the Priesthood we also explained the Plan of Salvation--mainly the resurrection. Mary got really really really excited that she would be able to hear either after the blessing or at least when she gets resurrected. They seem like an amazing family. Wish us luck...aka pray for us please :) 

Other stuff. 
Dam got baptized!!! On Thursday...haha. When we were calling and inviting all the members, they were all completely confused that someone was getting baptized on a Thursday. 

In Thailand, there have currently been 1200+ baptisms this year. When President Senior first got here, he said that he had a vision of 1000 baptisms in the year. Everyone thought he was crazy, especially considering Thailand's track of only 30-50 (maybe 70 in a good month) baptisms per month. So yeah, now we are aiming for 2000. And an average of 4000 people attending church weekly by the end of September (retention and reactivation). 
It reminds me of the scriptures when people called Lehi a visionary man. Despite the impossibility of it, Jerusalem was still destroyed. People may think God crazy and they may think His servants insane but God knows the beginning from the end and all that stuff. It's best for us if we just trust Him. 

Um...yeah. Don't really know what else to talk about. LOVE YOU ALL SOO MUCH!!!
Also, I was just reminded by another missionary that I have to do some college stuff--like get an ecclesiastical endorsement. ugh. ew. ugh. *shudder* college ... wow it's been so long since I've thought about this stuff. Ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. I love you guys but I'm not ready. sorry. *mental freak out* yeah... breathe. breathing is good. 

So yeah. Love you all! Have a great week! We will too! =D

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