Sunday, February 26, 2017

I'm amazed that I made it through another week.

The thoughts that go through my head every time I sit down to start typing an email. Like wow. It's been another week. But these weeks are all so different. So much weird stuff happened this week....

"Look at the flick of that wrist"​
Went over to go eat lunch and teach a members mother. But usually its just these two women so we have to wait for a member guy to come so we can go inside the house. But then the member yells at some guy to go and open the door for us. All we see is a big tall shadow behind a wire door, so typical Thai culture, we lift our hands up and wai him (wai is the way to greet the people). To our surprise we see this white guy from France named Bernard. Long story short, he's been living and traveling between France and Thailand for the past 30 years. He married a Thai lady for like 25+ years, has a son, and speaks Thai a lot better than he speaks English. Start speaking to him, and he shares with us how he speaks Thai better than he can speak English because he is in a part of France that they speak more German than they do French. It was interesting. Also plot twist, he is the strong Buddhist person in his family and his wife (who is from Thailand) loved to read the Holy Bible. Can you imagine the look on the members friend when they walked in seeing one Chinese, one Mexican, 3 Thai people, and then a French guy all discussing about religion in Thai. Yeah. Thailand. Never gets old.

Last English class in the village. Found some new investigators and reconnected with some young members that we honestly thought disappeared off the face of the earth.....

Had stake conference this week. Highlights from this stake conference....

At this stake conference, because we were a newly created stake a few months ago, at this conference there was a new Patriarch called. Out of the 4 stakes in Thailand, I have been at the stake conferences where 2 of the new Patriarchs were called and then I have served in Samut Prakaan with the first Patriarch of Thailand and then also in Rangsit with the second Patriarch of Thailand. Pondered on how amazing that is. Like to have a Patriarch I feel is a sign of stakes really being. They holds such a special spirit and just being around them makes you smile. You can feel of their love, their excitement, and their desire! 

From one of the speakers she had shared a simply process to progress...It started by learning, then desiring, then I uh....missed the third point.....Then searching and the accumulating factor was humility. Being humble with the things that you have been given. Learn to desire to ----- to search to humility. Sorta doesn't make sense and it's probably way outta context but I'll just leave that there....cause I already typed it hahahah.

But onto the real stuff.

He said at home he helped his parents make salsa,
so this member let him help stir fry these peppers and onions.
What we have been doing recently as a district has been a Book of Mormon initiative. If you can recall from my emails last month we had spent a large amount of our time in villages, at markets, and on the streets just going and talking to people. And from doing this yeah, we found a lot of people. But now we are trying to change up the tactics. Laying the base for a foundation to be made by working with members more. We have been going and visiting houses and sitting down and teaching with members and less actives about the importance of the Book of Mormon. Once they start sharing their testimony about how The Book of Mormon changed their life, we hit them. With the scriptures. Literally and not literally. We bring out the book. And challenge them right there that if they believe these things to be true that they need to go, write their testimony in the book, and then prayerfully select a person to hand it out to and bear testimony to them. At first we were a bit scared, cause this is a bold thing to do. But the results have been pretty solid. These members are now getting their own active part in missionary work. Not every referral we get is perfect, but we see more how these peoples hearts have been softened from the loving and sincere testimony of their friends.

Oh and one other piece that I thought was way cool.... coming out of the Discussions of the Lectures of Faith by Dennis F. Rasmussen he states, " is revealed in the action that it calls forth. Prior to that action, faith, like ability, remains hidden and unused. It exists as a capacity as a potential action. It is there-it can be used or put to work-but that will require action."

If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Monday, February 20, 2017

BBT-Beach Boys (of) Thailand

You know. They say that your preparation day is a day to do the things that you need to get out of the way so that you may more fully focus on the work.
​I mean come on. To hold it was 1 US dollar.
It's all so true. Our RC B-Christ took us to go see a pet fair and then take a quick stroll on the beach last Monday.
​From the previous week. It has been....interesting.
​Yeah....This kind of interesting....

Had the opportunity to attend a meeting where one of the speakers shared about how this work doesn't simply start when we get to an area, and neither will it end once you leave the area. Made me ponder about the time I've spent in Thailand. The people I've met. The lives we've changed.
Throwbacckkkkkk to the first Sunday in Thailand.
These are individuals. Each person, with their own life. Their own story. Like dude hold up. Woah. There's like a billions of individual stories. Woah. It's easy for this absolute marvelous fact to get lost in the mundane grind of day to day life.

Story 1-
Was at church yesterday and just so happened that a member from one of my old areas (Lopburi) had came and visited. She shared that one of the investigators I had taught while my time in Lopburi really missed meeting with missionaries and was so thankful that me and Elder Merrill had taken the chance and taught him. He still isn't 18, and every time he talks to his legal guardians about getting baptized they always tell him no. But this July, he'll be turning 18. Way trippy. That was a year ago, but as soon as the member told me his name. I remembered him. Remembered how shy he was at first. How he was sorta scared. Then how he made friends at the church. Then just so much. 

Way trippy. Leading to...
Story 2-
I've been looking through my old planners and my old journal entries just you know. Reminiscing, trying to find some wisdom in my old entries and such. Each day I read in my planner and my journal it takes me back to that time. My time is truly running out here in Thailand. I see some of my close friends serving in areas that I loved, and I just wish with all my might that those chapters in peoples lives that we had started or picked up from other missionaries are still going. Moving with the hope that the work we put in is still valid and in use and will be used. Idk. Just way legit how I can look at most of the people in my early planners and remember their stories, or just remember influential lessons. Walking out from a lot of those lessons. Like everyone was changed. The member helping, the investigator (whether or not they got baptized), the missionary. 

Pretty much the theme of this email is to go hard, not give up, because MIRACLES ARE REAL.

Believe in Miracles. Believe in Miracles. Believe in Miracles.

Also. Really love this video about love.

Love is truly the remedy for everything. The love that God has for US. The love that kept Christ going when he atoned for our sins. 

It's all about love. And miracles :).

Love you lots. Take it easy. Eat some good food for me or something.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Transfer 14

So I feel like I'll just start posting up a ton more pics cause Thailand is way legit.

​Idk. Just thought it was funny cause I heard about all these weird warnings about this game and then I saw this on one of the train platforms.

I am still in the BBT, same companion, for one more transfer. It's gonna be way legit.

​Rice with a little bit of everything.
I'm sorta blanking right now...Can;t remember too well what we had actually done this week. I promise we do stuff. Just sometimes it all blurs together and I just sorta forget. It'll come to me as I keep on typing...Maybe.

Bamboo and chicken.
Last weekend we had passed by this restaurant as we were looking for the house of a part member family. After meeting with the family we go back and start talking to the owners. They are this way sweet couple that have been making food in this village for almost 30 years so they know every single person in the village. They were trying to talk super fast in Thai to make it so me and my comp couldn't understand them, and they were talking like "Should we just give them free food?" "Yeah, let's do it. They're young and need some rice" "Okay, if they offer us money, let's say no." "Yeah let's say no." So they didn't charge us for their food. A couple that we had just met like 20 minutes ago. Just wow. That was unexpected. But then we went back, got to pay for our food this time (yay!), and then sat down and got to teach them. They're open to learning because of two things. 1-They've never learned about Christianity before and 2-They've seen people change from Buddhism to Christianity and it makes them wonder, why would anyone change.
Pretty stoked.

Then more chicken and some pepper and basil and an egg.
Don't even have to question if there is rice or not.

Now I'm starting to remember. We had a way cool experience where one of our investigators had taken us to visit his family members. He's the only Christian person in his family, and has been learning with us for around a month, but really wants us to start teaching his family. So he takes us to his house, first expecting to just meet his son. But then he goes and has us sit down and teach everyone in the house. Way stoked cause we taught a bunch of guys that day and we need more MALES.

Traffic has been pretty bad recently in the BBT. We aren't sure why. From the church to our house at nights, usually it would take like only 10 minutes by bus. But for some reason it has been super congested traffic. It doesn't look that bad, then you get to the major mall, and it slows down. Then you try to get through this massive roundabout and you're moving slower than a water buffalo. Like seriously. It's way slow, and has been faster for us to get out of the van/bus and just walk home. Or we can take the train system back home. So this week has been a lot of jumping on this train and getting off right at the front of our neighborhood.​

Yesterday at church two of our investigators got confirmed as members of the church and also received the gift of the Holy Ghost. It's way crazy to see how much both of these men had changed. One, despite being super busy from Monday-Friday with work, always makes time to meet with us on Saturday and then comes to church faithfully on Sunday. Within just one month we have seen him grow from having next to no idea about how God could help him, until now having a trusting relationship with our Father in Heaven. He loves the gospel, he loves the church, and most importantly he loves God. Then our other friend that got confirmed. He's awesome, and truly feels like he has found the restored gospel, after studying in Buddhism and then becoming Protestant, and then as he studied more in the bible and eventually to the point where 2 weeks ago, he opened his heart and decided to meet with us.

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;...And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!...And 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"

Omelet and vegetables and chicken....over rice.
We're in it for the long run. Working for the possibility of eternal happiness. Eternal stoke. This is the motivation. The love that keeps my hope alive. Missionary work really happens on the individual basis. Conversion is a process that is not the same for every single person. The fact that each person has their own personal conversion story, not at all like that of someone else, no story will be 100% alike. Through God's plan and His eyes we are worth much more than we could ever imagine. We are individuals. Although we may share similarities, we are very individualistic in our personal quirks and such. 

One by one. Step by step. Person by Person. 
That's how we do it. 

Cause this is Thailand.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

White Washing ---> Making Miracles

​So this week was pretty legit. Took a selfie with a bunch of our English students in an effort to get this class pumped up even more. Shared a video from the church about how to use social media. Social media depicts who we are. We share everything over social media outlets. So what's something good to share? Christ. Cause we are disciples of Christ, and volunteers sharing His love. So yeah, got a bunch of English students to take selfies with the whole class then they posted it all up on their social media stuff. English class is gonna blow up here. Yeeeee.

Saw this guy outside of the mall before we went in to go eat lunch. Had a feeling to go talk to him, not sure what I was gonna talk about. Then I see him taking video of the traffic and the SkyTrain (things that I do also) and just totally bonded over GoPro/Action cameras. He's super legit, way down to learn, and also lives in Rangsit (aka the area that I just moved from). Still super chill though. Got his info and sent it over to the missionaries there.

Got permission to do like a mini English program in the villages. Used a members house, invited quite a bit to try and get people to our English class....the majority of our students were 15 year old girls and their friends from school.....It's chill though cause they have families and parents and their friends also have families and parents. And like families. Finding families.

We always have the craziest weekends. Every weekend is just so action packed. People here in the BBT are hard working Mon-Fri type of peoples. Elder Kartchner invited the guy on the far left to English class on our first day of the transfer and he flat out told Elder Kartchner "I don't want to learn English. I need to change religions." He went out walking that day with a determination and a desire to become Christian, then he met us. And now he's planning to help the rest of his family feel of the same love he has experienced. He got baptized by a member that's been a way strong example of faith and the two are best buddies. Then the other guy in the middle. We met him last week Friday. The other elders forgot their church keys at the house, it was 6:10 p.m., we had a ward activity starting at 6:30 p.m. and our companionship was the only that had keys to the church. We get a call from them so we get to the main road and are jsut sorta like "Well what would the best way to get there?" We could walk, ride a truck taxi then a bus, cross the bridge take a bus or a van, taxi, Sky Train? Idk. We had a lot of options and I guess we looked like typically lost foreigners. Looking right, and left, and up, and left, and right, and down. All over. So This guy comes up and asks us if he can help us (speaking English). We answer him in Thai and then invite him to English class, get his number, then he sees that we have a church close by his house. In a rush we just say "Yeah, every Sunday at 9 a.m. at the place on the map." He shows up on Sunday, we get our first lesson last week Monday. Then yeah. 



"And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell? Behold, I answer for you....this is the blessing which hath been bestwoed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work. Behold, thousands of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God."

It's pretty cool to be an instrument in God's hand. 

Not sure what's gonna happen soon cause this week is transfers week, and although I just moved here, idk. Who knows what could happen?

Believe in Miracles.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.