Sunday, November 13, 2016

Respecting People's Agency

Yup. Probably the hardest thing I have to deal with being a missionary in Thailand. But because of this, I had one of the most amazing weeks ever. Yeah. Ever.

The story starts last week Tuesday.

​These were the goals. We want to be balanced missionaries, working every aspect of the missionary game. Having to Serve, Contact, Retain Recent Converts, Active less active members, and work with strong Members. We wanted it all. Then on top of that we decided, we need to get stoked again. So we made another goal to get a total of 300 phone numbers within the whole district. The goal setting was Tuesday.

Wednesday. Oh yeah....
​Companion exchanges this time. Due to my poor planning. I had done companion exchanges almost every day this past week. Yeah. Forgot that there were a total of 4 elders that I need to do exchanges with.....
We planned our day and it looked way sweet. We had lessons with new investigators, progressing investigators, Recent Converts, Less Actives. We were going for the full SCRAM. But then that morning. We go and start making calls. And then yeah. Hah. Well. Every single appointment CANCELLED! Haha. Yeah. So Elder Ellis and Smith went hard. And by hard I mean from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. we went out inviting. Took a little time for lunch and dinner. But when it came down to it. We were every where, opening our mouths with everyone. And ended up doing alright. The total count for the day was 60 people contacted (Or in other words, a total of 60 phone numbers of people that expressed an interest to meet with us and change their lives) and probably a thousand other "seeds" planted. It was way too much fun. And we also found these sick Christmas lights at a store for like $5 dollars. It's like a 8m strand and has 6 different type of settings.

"Rangsit is lit"-Quote by Elder Decker ft. Elder Ellis x Smith

Thursday another switch off this time with Elder McKay. He's pretty epic. Not gonna lie. And we went from a day that looked like it was gonna be another 10 hours of contacting. But as we went throughout the day, appointments were made and new investigators were picked up. We got like 3 new investigators and a bunch of member lessons and just like wow. Things are working in mysterious ways.

Saturday was the 50th anniversary of the church in Thailand! Went over to the biggest church buildings in Thailand and had a huge meeting with members from all over the country and also from missionaries all over Bangkok. Got to see a member that I knew from Hawaii, and also a bunch of good friends from the other areas that I had served in. Apparently the pics are on Facebook <>.


After like 4 months of teaching this investigator, she finally got baptized! Her name in thai means shrimp. So Sister Shrimp was invited to learn more about the church. She was Protestant but eventually felt so strongly that she needed to start coming to church here. And as she continued to pray, read, and study the scriptures she progressed. Not gonna lie. This was a true test of patience and respecting people's personal agency when teaching her. And then Elder Decker baptized her. Rangsit is pretty awesome.

So to come full circle.
Respecting People's Agency.
Missionaries always say that they "Love the people where they serve." People often times will just say these words, then there are times when you show that your words are true. Serving with my heart, might, mind, and strength I tried my best to show to these people that I truly love them all. But for some reason, I had hit a metaphorical stumbling block. We were going out, working as hard as we could, but for some reason I was just so frustrated. So we had a discussion as a district about what we needed to do to become better. And this topic came up. Some really amazing advice was given. 
"When your eyesight isn't working, pray to ask that your sight to be removed and replaced with God's sight." 
This is so much more than just praying for charity. This is a specific and earnest call for help. So I did. And this made me so much happier. Seeing and loving and trying even harder to push and love even more than I thought was possible. As my sight was removed and replaced with a bit of how God sees these people, a lot changed. The work became happy and successful once again.
Mosiah 4:10 "...and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them."

Learn. Believe. Do.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

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