Monday, August 11, 2014

Bangna Letter--July 28, 2014

The subject line was "an experiment in Murphy's Law"
So...this week was probably one of the hardest weeks of my mission - so I feel really bad for Sister Autamakul. But, before I bore you (or worry you as it might be in Mom's case) with the stories of how everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong in the worst possible way, I would like to report that everything is better now. The storm is over--not just the eye of storm but the whole storm. Heavenly Father and I have had some nice long talks and we--meaning my companion and I--took the sacrament yesterday. It's so nice to think that we can be clean from our mistakes and our weaknesses every week. This is not just true for our members and investigators, but for us too. 
Also I feel that God has forgiven me for my mistakes and weaknesses already. You know when people talk about repentance and forgiveness and they all say that God remembers them no more and we don't either? I think I'm learning to understand what that means. I know that this past week was the hardest week I've had (you can read that in my journal [or rather, she can, since we can't see her journal]) but still, I don't remember that pain or that stress anymore. All I can think about is the hope that the sacrament brought and the motivation to do better. It reminds me of Alma the younger's experience. He remembered his pains no more. When you truly repent and take the sacrament, you are no longer held bound by your mistakes and weaknesses. You are truly made free.  

More evidence that things will only get better came from my Sister Training Leaders last night during our Sunday-night-zone-sisters-talk-thing (conference call with all the sisters in the zone to talk about that week--talk about miracles, follow-up with each other, talk about investigators, etc). They shared D&C 6:33-37. I loved all of it but especially these sections: 
"34 Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.
 35 Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you."

So the stuff that went wrong was that even though we went contacting 2+ hours every day we didn't meet anyone truly interested, literally were not able to teach any new investigators (except for on Sunday and that was one person who isn't free till next Sunday), and the two people that were supposed to be baptized yesterday (and had been looking super solid) had unknown problems surface and didn't show up to church yesterday and haven't been answering their phones since. So that was challenging. 
BUT! This next week shall be miraculous. Why?  Because this is God's work - not ours - and we are built upon His rock. So fail, we cannot. 
ALSO! One of our eternal investigators wants to get baptized! His name is Dam and his obstacle was that his parents asked him to become a monk before he gets baptized. Awkward... :) We got him to come to church every Sunday and for all the other activities for the last couple of months. We wanted him to be a dry Mormon before he went to became a monk for a little. This Sunday he came up to me and asked, very nicely, if he could get baptized next Sunday. We figure he can get baptized this Wednesday or Thursday so that he can be confirmed this Sunday. Miracles. God works miracles. We still have no idea what to do when he has to become a monk at the end of this year but we figure we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. :)

Other news...(aka responses to emails)

-Dad. No! Father-daughter camp! It must happen. It needs to be a calling :)
-Also Dad again. I agree about the Sunday thing. As a missionary, Sundays are literally our most stressful days. No resting. 
-Mom. I have no idea about the Mosiah 20-24. I just looked over them about they are about war, people of Limhi, more fighting, etc. Parts of it are about escaping from bondage so maybe that? no clue.
-Mom. While I cannot completely deny any involvement of that smiley face [Saturday Linden and Debra stained and sealed a door from the basement, and discovered "someone" had drawn a smiley face on the door. The smiley is now preserved under sealer.], I would like to mention that I have no recollection of such incident and therefore I am innocent. :) Also, you guys should send me an updated picture of the house. :)
-Jayson's 3? What? No. you're joking right?
Delsa- I am sooo impressed that Rachel is actually learning Chinese. That's insane. That will help her so much with learning another language - especially an Asian one. Also that will be fantastic for her mission because I literally meet so many Chinese people here. I'm also really impressed about the fasting thing. She has a lot of faith. And you can tell Audrey that no, my bike is not in a tree again. That's hilarious that she still remembers that and thought about that. 

I can't think of anything else to report though I know there was probably something else I should have mentioned. Everything is good here or will be soon. We are happy and not stressed. We sing a lot. I would like to warn everyone that I can't remember the hymns in complete English any more. If I will be singing any hymns, it will be an awkward mix between Thai, English, and humming. :)


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