Monday, September 8, 2014

Bangna Letter--September 8, 2014

I am feeling quite excellent today. This week has just been really good. And not good in the sense that you would think—meeting lots of people and that kind of stuff—but good in the sense of just being happy, having fun, seeing little miracles, and getting lots of answers to prayers. 

First, the house looks weird. Not weird in a bad way, just different. It's taller. I like it. I also like how the-car-which-I-drove is still there. I'm looking at the before and after pictures and comparing the two. The front door, meaning the front entryway, has changed. More windows. I am very glad that the trees are still taller than the house. :) Overall, I like it. :) I approve ... not like it matters but still. I like it. :) 

Yay Seminary! That's super exciting. Hmm ... what would I like to say? Oh. So on Saturday Elder Allen (the head of the Missionary department) and Elder Funk (Seventy) came to speak. They kept on asking us if we had certain scriptures memorized—scripture mastery scriptures. I mean, they didn't mention that they were scripture mastery but they were. Also, a ton of the scriptures in Preach My Gospel are scripture mastery scriptures. It is literally so important to know these scriptures. They make being a missionary sooooo much easier. It really really really truly honestly really comes in handy (and is necessary) to know the scripture masteries. God chose these scriptures Himself which means that He thinks they are important. And whatever God thinks is important, I would say is probably pretty important. :)
So yeah. Also, one of my investigators is also attending seminary. He really likes it.
Also, doing your reading ahead of time is sooo important. If you want to get more out of seminary, do the reading beforehand. Mom isn't the only one that needs to prepare for these lessons. Seminary has the ability to change your life, but only if you let it. It gives you an amazing opportunity to feel the Spirit and receive spiritual strength that is utterly necessary for daily life. God won't force you. It's your choice whether you will do the preparation and pay attention. I am so eternally grateful for seminary because it got me though high school. I didn't just "survive" high school but I flourished and loved it ... because of the daily spiritual strength I got from reading my scriptures, praying, and participating in seminary. Try it out. :)

So the fun stuff from this week. 
One, you know the random words I've been learning (cleaning stuff, house terms, family terms, body parts, etc.)? They have been coming in handy. It's cool how literally everything relates back to the Gospel and everything can help you draw closer to the Gospel. 

Also, the Gospel is true. Want to know why? Because it helped me learn about English grammar: gerunds. One of my English students asked me to teach about it tomorrow so I've been trying to prepare this past week (like a little in the morning). First, let us all feel bad for people in Thailand learning English because either their teachers are Thai (who can't speak perfect English) or people like me who haven't studied English in a year so yeah ... good luck. But anyway. So one book we have about English talks a little about gerunds (and I faintly remember it from high school) but still, I didn't feel confident enough to explain it or to make my own examples. So what did I do? I started reading the Liahona and found examples so I could figure out how to teach it. Haha. It’s a really silly experiences but it works. :)

Let's see. Oh. Friday. 
Last Monday we were told that we (and the Elders) were going to be teaching a lesson on Friday at 4pm (we had to provide the investigator ourselves) and that Elder and Sister Allen and President and Sister Senior would be assisting (the wives in our lesson and husbands with the Elders). Why? Because the Allens and the Funks were in town and wanted to see how lessons went in Thailand. So Sister Senior and Sister Allen helped us teach an investigator named Earth. It was a really good lesson. I was struck at how much love these two Sisters had for him. They just really really really wanted to help him. It was so amazing to feel of their utterly sincere love. We talked about fasting. At the end of the lesson, both Sister Senior and Sister Allen said that they wanted to fast with Earth this Sunday and that they would have their husbands fast too. Like me tell you, that fast was definitely answered. A mission president and his wife and a general authority and his wife fasting for a 17 year-old boy's family to feel God's love—how could it not be answered? 
Sunday morning Earth runs up to me and tells me—very excitedly—of his experience with prayer—that he knows that God loves him. Also, he had been hinting for a while that when he prayed, he also prayed for a certain "cherry" on a cake. I was pretty sure that it was for love because was worried but I was also pretty certain that he had a crush on one of my male RCs. So yesterday he told me that God gave him the cherry but it was different than what he originally wanted. Originally he wanted a red cherry but what God gave him was a white cherry without a seed—completely good. So ... I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure that he got an answer to his prayer for love but it is now in harmony with the law of chastity. So yeah. Two very obvious miracles that occurred in response to fasting. Also, we also were finally able to meet his mom yesterday and she was very friendly with us so things are looking a lot better on the family end now too. Yay! He is on schedule to be baptized this upcoming Sunday. He is very excited. :)

Saturday (jumping up and down and back and forth and feeling bad for everyone at home trying to make sense of these emails. Hopefully you have your hands on a Urim and Thummin or something like that. Don't use google translate—it is soooooo hilariously bad at Thai-English translations). 
I was asked to attend MLC Saturday morning. MLC means missionary leadership council and is for zone leaders and sister training leaders. So yeah. President Senior hasn't said anything but I think it might be that I will be a STL this upcoming transfer. I'll let you know how it goes. 
But anyway, Elder Funk and Elder Allen lead the MLC this time and it was sooo good. At the beginning Elder Allen asked us if we wanted his message to be straight-forward or sugar-coated. We obviously all said straight-forward. And straight-forward it was. Blunt. so very very blunt but sooooo good too. Like someone stabbing you with a knife but it's okay because they need to cut something bad out. It answered sooooo many questions that had been floating around for quite some time. Like ... you are taking a really nice nap and someone wakes you up with freezing ice water but it's okay because you were driving a car and were about to crash if you didn't. 
After MLC, all the missionaries in Bangkok gathered to hear more words from them. Same. Blunt but soooo good.
And all the time, you could really feel God's love. Haha. Kinda comical and weird but so true. God truly chastises those He loves. If He didn't love you, He wouldn't try to help you become better. God truly loves us and wants to help us. He doesn't tell us to repent because He hates us. He tells us to repent because He wants to bless us and He can only do that if we repent and keep the commandments. On the same topic, He doesn't give us commandments because He wants to restrict us but because He truly utterly absolutely adores us and only wants our happiness and our salvation and He knows that only by following the commandments can we truly be happy and blessed and safe in life. God loves us. 

In comment to Mom's talk about commandments, one of my favorite verses in D&C is in 1:17. "Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments." God knows what will help in this life. That's the reason why He gives us commandments. To help us. Because He loves us.

I love you all very very very very very very very very very much and am grateful for your prayers. :)
Stay safe. Pray sincerely. Share the Gospel. Love God.
~Sister Slaugh
(ซิสเตอร์ซลอ in Thai)

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