Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chinatown and Miracles

​Went back into Chinatown this past week for P-day.

​The teacher for the little kids class showed up late so me and my comp split the intermediate from the little kids and I taught in one corner of the room. It's one of the most adorable things ever cause these kids parents, some of them join our advanced class while others just sit on the couches in the lobby and chill for an hour.

Onto the real stuff for this week.
English class is intense. We have been working a ton to build up the English class and just get a ton of new investigators. It feels like this constant flow of just like, every morning when we step outside of the house we've got a handful of English Inviting cards to give out. And it's working.
Side Note: The second number on the English Inviting card is supposed to be our companionship number. But like it is the wrong number. So we just gotta get ride of around 1,500 more cards till we can get new ones with the right number hahahahah.
But yes, English class is a way legit finding tool to help people improve their lives!

Got some training this week. To summarize it:
Repentance = Change. Invite people to change. Or in other words. Invite people to Repent.

But the best part of the week is always the weekends. We were out going into the villages, and were on our way out trying to find a bus when we get a call from the other elders that they had forgotten their keys to open the church and we had an activity starting in 20 minutes. So we make it out to the main road, end up standing and discussing "How shall we get to the church today?" We are blessed with a ton of options: Sky Train, Van, 3 different bus routes, Taxi, or plain walking. Apparently we were looking very confused as we both looked left, then right, then up, then down. So confused that a nice man came up and asked us if we needed any help (speaking English). We reply to him in Thai, he gets really confused, we offer to teach him about English, he says he wants to learn about Christ. Fast forward to Sunday, he shows up at the church 30 minutes before, in a white shirt, tie, slacks, and dress shoes. We'll see what happens.

The more I work here in Bangbuathong, the more I realize how blessed you are when you just open your mouth and invite. When you give people opportunities to improve their lives. Through Christ, English, or quitting addictions. The prepared ones recognize who you are, but we need to do our part.

Back to Sunday, all the missionaries were asked to give short talks about missionary work so I'll just close with a quick thought that comes out of True to the Faith (Basically a doctrinal dictionary that explains stuff super clear). It goes on to say... "The most powerful missionary message you can send is your own example of living a happy Latter-day Saint life....If you are sincere in your friendship with them, they will be able to feel the spirit of your testimony and happiness."

Just live your life. Be happy. Choose the right. Think of how many people are effected or influenced by your actions, your words, your daily behavior. Can you begin to count the number of people? Yeah. Just live.

But if that isn't enough motivation, here's a promise in D&C.
"If it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"

​Keep on Living.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

My Calling is as a Missionary and Not the Ward Pianist

​The last lesson we (Elder Decker/Ellis) had taught was to this super nice man in the short sleeve short. He's got a family. And he's got a goal to be sealed with his family in the temple. Thailand needs more fathers like this guy! And then the Cambodian crouching down. Just found out he's getting baptized next week, by his friend that I had baptized a few weeks ago. Baptizing males. Let's go.

Funny stories time!
Yeah, so the one person that used to play the piano for church left on her mission. Leaving it up to the members. Although there are some members that can play a few songs, they all refuse to play....
So us missionaries are here, trying to fellowship all of the investigators coming to church just like chilling. Then they always say "Hey, the missionaries can all play piano! They can play every song!" Then they ask us. Just saying. Me and my comp did NOT receive callings to be ward pianists hahahahhaha. But hey, we are always down to help.

But if you think you can do it better. Do it. No need to say that we are bad missionaries cause we can't play the piano.

Just saying....

​But back to reality. The BBT is actually golden. Just so much amazing things have been happening here. The focus for our companionship right now is to find males and preach repentance baptize converts and active those males that have not been coming to church. It's been quite a break through week for us here seeing as we have got 3 guys that are preparing for baptism.
This is a literal first day miracle. As we were inviting on our way to go eat lunch my comp stops and just asks this guy about English. And he says he wants to change religions. Fast forward to yesterday, he brought his child and his wife's mother to church. Cause families.
Because I have never invited this hard ever before we have been going and just passing out inviting cards like crazy. Then one night the other elders get a phone call from an unknown number, asking if they were the Chinese person that gave them a card about Jesus. I'm the only Chinese one in the group. So then we get his number, meet with him, and he comes to church. He's had three distinct ecperiences that make him feel like now is the time for him to convert to Christianity
He's a taxi driver that was met a few months ago while missionaries were in his taxi. His church told him to not meet with "The Mormons." So he didn't...for a brief time. Then he shared something pretty interesting. He had said "Elders, I never want to meet with you. My heart. It tells me no every time. But for some reason, when you ask to meet and if I am free, I always make the time to see you. I don't know why, but there's something else pushing and encouraging me to meet with you two." Yeah. Pretty legit.
Things are starting to click over here in Banguathong. Crazy to think that a few weeks ago we came in to an area with absolutely NOTHING! We've almost got 20 investigators right now and we can't stop here. 

There's so much going on here. I can't even begin to describe how amazingly blessed we as missionaries are to be serving here. The ward leadership is rocking! They've got big plans. In the pic above, we had asked one of the bishopric members for help on how to get to a member's house. So he takes us there. And then we go and visit a bunch more people that night. Their willingness to serve is so amazing. 
Just saying. Miracles. 
Moroni 7:29 "...have miracles ceased? behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men."

Brother Stamp just got baptized a few months ago. He's awesome.

Fist bumps all around.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The BBT Grind

We rode a train for P-day......
​Cause it's Thailand. We went to this market place.
But the real destination was here. 
But yeah. We were supposed to go looking for oysters at this beach but one checked the tide so when we went the tide was still coming in. And it was like a few hours till the peak of high tide. If I had a tide watch I could've predicted this.......

But for the real meat of this email.
It has been an absolute GRIND in the BBT. Going out, working hard. I have never invited so hard in my life. Like I thought inviting for 3 hours at a market was hard. But then we had days where we just walked in markets and villages and just talked to a ton of people. We met some amazing people but at the same time...Yeah met some of those other people.

Fun stories from inviting:
Elder Kartchner is a boss and loves trying knew things. So he started carrying around two Book of Mormons. One in his bag and the other in his hand. And he wields it like a sword of faith. And goes and testifies and just like. Wow. It works.
Really though. That was the most fun part. Just seeing the power in wielding the scriptures (literally).
Just going out and talking to people, no matter how many or how few we may see. It just mattered that we opened our mouths.

Then a different story.
We are walking along through this market, see a guy sitting down so I go and sit down next to him. He's pretty chill, talking to him. Then it gets a bit intense. And he just starts sharing his personal beliefs how God and Christ can't possibly be real. That there is no way that Christianity is real. And I just sat there and thought. Well. What can I do? So I sit and I bear my testimony, sharing that these things are my beliefs. That no matter what he says he cannot change the things that I know are true. He doesn't take it that well. Then he starts raising his voice and it gets pretty weird in this market so we leave him peacefully, just sharing that there is a being that made you that loves him and knows his problems that can help him. But the guy wouldn't take any of it. So yeah. No miracle story from here. But just another testament that the work is real and that it will always move on.

Alma 7:11-13
 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
In this work. We aren't by ourselves. 
Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Week of Service

​This week was a lot of service. We got a text one night that if we were free the next day we could go to the Thai Red Cross Society and do some service. One missionary said he had helped here before so was like "Yeah, go in missionary clothes. We won't be doing anything crazy. Just packing boxes."
So yeah. We did. And packed these bags of rice, boxes of batteries and ramen noodles and ready to eat mackerel. All into shipping containers. To be sent down to southern Thailand.
It ended up being a 6 hour service project, but even after that the work was yet to be done.So yes. You can do just about anything and everything in a white shirt and tie.
Packing a shipping container full of food? Check.

Yeah. Just a bunch of random acts of service of helping with housework, gardening, lifting stuff. Just going out and doing. As we help, people realize who we are. Many of them will talk about us too hahahah..."Hey I don' tthink they actually speak Thai." "Yeah, they probably don't, but they're pretty skilled yeah?" "Skilled, not skilled, doesn't matter they probably get paid."
And then BAM.
We explain to them and share with them how we don't get paid at all to do these things. That's the biggest shocker for these people. For most people I guess. Why would you spend your time serving, where you don't really have a day off, where your "work" is a lifestyle.
Love. Always goes back to love.

A bell is no bell till you ring it,
A song is no song till you sing it,
And love in your heart wasn't put there to stay,
Love isn't love till you give it away.

"May this truth guide our lives. May we look upward as we press forward in the service of our God and our fellowmen....Our hearts will then be lighter, our lives brighter, and our souls richer...Loving service anonymously given may be unknown to man- but the gift and the giver are known to God." - Thomas S. Monson

The small things that we do may seem to go unnoticed, but they aren't. Every little bit of love that we share helps us become happier and way more relaxed and just joyful. Give that love freely. Just a quick thought about anonymous service and stuff like that.

For some reason these computers aren't loading my external hard drive so I can't get to any of my other pictures up...oh well. Life goes on. Love is still real.

But yes. Here in the B(ang)B(ua)T(hong) things have been going pretty well. We are going out and serving everyone, talking to people and just helping others feel of the love of God. The BBT is way way fun, and it's a real blessing to be serving here with Elder Kartchner, Elder Noyce, and Elder Holland. This is looking like the start of a pretty solid transfer.

Bridges Ft. The shadow from the pole and the light above E. Kartchner's head. 

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Crossing the River

​Gonna miss these homies in Rangsit.

​So I transferred, got a new companion, and we are re-opening an area. His name is Elder Kartchner from Georgia. And is literally a year younger than me at this whole being a missionary thing (got into the missionary training center this past June). Also that thing we are pointing at is our church building. HMU on the second floor of the Mitsubishi dealership!

The new area is called Bangbuathong, or BBT for short. It's literally on the other side of the river from Rangsit so that was pretty funny. Get the call and it's just like. Huh. well that's cool. Still never served in the actual Bangkok. But these areas right around the outer edge are way solid! This is such an awesome place.

​Met this guy from Yasothorn (Pretty close by...the middle of nowhere), helped him build the little shack right behind us. Well really. We failed. And he fixed it for us and thought it was funny to see two foreigners trying. He thought it was cool. But I mean it's the thought that counts, cause service. Stoked to eat some of his food tonight.

​On a bus so packed that we were standing on the stairs to get into the bus cause there was literally no room. Pretty scenic ride.

​Brother SONG. I just really think he's way cool

So highlights from this epic week.
Well a lot of people have not been at church because they all went back to go find their parents at home. So yeah. Pretty quiet in both areas. But BBT (Bangbuathong) is gonna be so sweet. we get there on Thursday. Just stoked. So ready to go hard and work.
So we do. Go and just invite and find. And find. And find.
We finished off with the past 4 days having 4 new investigators. And a bunch of numbers to follow up with.....
Oh funny story. None of them are Buddhist. Like is this even Thailand?
We have one Protestant, a Catholic, and then two that belong to the Christian Association of Light and Peace.
What else happened?
Went to go visit the Relief Society President. And her whole fam bam was there (None of them are members)!
And she was like "Elders, I got this, I want to share a spiritual message." We read a portion from the teachings of one of the prophets. To summarize it said "The Book of Mormon is true. If you don't believe it test it now." So she asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon and gave it to her nephew and told him "Choose any book and verse and let's read some of it together." She repeated this 2 more times with two of her sons. The answers were pretty intense and crazy powerful.

I'll leave the references here. Figure out for yourself.
It's way intense. The faith, the boldness, the complete trust placed here. That's what we need.
Just so much amazing things always happening here. Thailand is legit.

Also cause it's new years, set some goals, break some barriers, and change your life!

​Happy New Years!

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.