Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Day Has Come

I've left BBT.

​s/o to the guy in the green on the far right. He got baptized yesterday!
Jumped on a 9 hour bus ride.
It was alright cause I got a ton of leg room.

​Funny story about getting on this bus. So the nice good buses left at 9pm and we were trying to get back to the area as fast as possible. So like we just jump in taxis. But we had to get 4 peoples stuff and 4 bikes over to the bus terminal. So we took 4 taxis. And to top it off, none of us had phones. I've never used this bus terminal either so we came to a consensus with the taxi drivers where the meeting point would be so we did it. Jumped into taxis and left. Get to the terminal and I realize that our meeting point was pretty broad so I just sorta stand and wait by myself with all this luggage and bikes. Eventually they find me, only to say that the bus leaves in 10 minutes. So we run up to the 4th floor of the terminal, buy our tickets, then run out to the back to board our bus. We had to haul all of our stuff like all the way across this station and we still had no idea which door the bus would leave from so we are running around looking super crazy and totally lost and there's all these Thai people just staring at us. But we find the bus, and I drop all my stuff down, Get the tickets checked, then next thing I know the Elder I was with was running all the way back to the street to go and grab the rest of our stuff. And then the bus people are just like "What are you doing where is he going?!?! The bus needs to leave now!" So we rush and we are just tossing bags on luggage on bikes and its such a big mess. And it was so sweaty and gross. But it was way legit. That was the adventure on this really ghetto bus that drips water and had a huge crack in the window.

But we made it and then had to get all of our stuff to the next meeting point. The church, cause we still didn't have a phone but figured hey, there should be something going on at the church at night. So we just sorta show up and ask to borrow some random person's phone.

Can't capture the full craziness of this pic. We fit all our luggage inside, and then i was holding this bike up against the side of the little tuk tuk and it was like bungee corded to the corner and then the other side was literally held by my leg as seen in the lower left side. Yeah. It was sweet.

​Cause this happened.

Elder Rawlinson.

We knew each other from BYU, we were both in the same ward. It's way legit. Cause we just look like two Asians. A lot of people just think we are both Thai, or they think we are siblings. It's pretty fun. So stoked to be working with him this transfer. We are out here in the countryside (Essan) in a place called Udorn. So stoked.

I sit down to do a baptismal interview over the phone and this happened.
This park that we have been inviting at has been the birthing place of miracles. People literally come here to just contemplate life. So some highlights from the park
-We sat down and taught this lady that wasn't sure why she felt like she needed to sit at that one place.
-A 17 year old girl from Canada that could speak Thai accepted a baptismal date for 3 weeks from yesterday because she wants to find more happiness
-Meeting so many families!

This is the command over and over and over again.

"He saith unto him the third time....lovest thou me?...And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."


Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Become Creators of Circumstances

​Went over to Rangsit and played some bowling with new members and investigators and the Rangsit fam.

It's been a way epic week of crazy work. By crazy, just so much things going on all over the place. We had a massive family night at one of our investigators house. He made real spaghetti! None of that weird stuff with ketchup in it. But like real real homemade sauce. SO GOOD.

So funny story. This past Tuesday we had 52 people at English class. Yeah. Like what? How? I don't even know. But even funnier is that our English class attendance rivals that of our Sunday meetings....or so we thought. Cause plot twist. Sunday comes around, and we got 76 people at Sacrament meeting. There has been pretty steady growth ever since the first Sunday of this year where we had all of around 30 members....But yeah. We are here expanding this ward's vision of what is possible. Their goal for this year is to get 80 people at sacrament. And wow. Like bam. its been 3 months in, and they've almost got their goal. Yeeee.

So confused. The guy in the internet cafe is blasting Taylor Swift today. Thai gamers like to listen to Taylor Swift? Back on to the real stuff....

Lunch break. Fun fact about serving with Elder Ellis. You will almost never eat dinner cause we don't have time for it. So it turns out my companion has supplemented this by eating two plates of anything whenever we stop to eat. But then it has gotten to the point where like anytime he sits down to eat he has to eat two plates to feel full. So sometimes he ends up eating like a total of 4-5 plates of rice in one day then like a bowl of noodles, and a countless amount of fried food on sticks that we buy off the street.

Here in BBT, we have become creators of circumstances. These transfers have not been us sitting around praying for the work to be easy, but rather it has been us going out and doing. Just doing. Enduring. Serving with faith, hope, and charity. And now it's all coming together. The pieces are starting to fall in place. Under the direction of our district leader we have made a BBT Title of Liberty. Something to get us stoked each day that we wake up and remember why we work each day. It's something around the lines of "We the missionaries of BBT strive to become creators of circumstances be viewing all those around us having the potential to be baptized. We are soldiers of Christ working with one repentant soul at a time. Believe it. Pray about it. Fight for it."

Pretty inspiring stuff to wake up and see a two meter tall poster of Captain Moroni with these words every morning. It's been a fun two transfers of creating the circumstances that lead to baptism. This upcoming week will be a big one for us here in BBT. It is looking like 3 of our investigators will probably be getting baptized this Sunday. The interview process is rolling along and now the only problem we have is trying to find a pair of pants and a shirt that is big enough for one of the guy investigators....It's a good problem to have.

"3- But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith. 4- Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith."

We will never fail as long as we hold fast to the faith that we have right now. 

This week I had read a talk from President Ezra Taft Benson entitled "Do Not Despair." It goes through 12 "tools" that we can use to overcome feelings of doubt and sadness. Many of which I have used in the past. So going through I'm thinking, meh. Nothing new. But then I get to point #11. It is simply entitled "Endurance." The explanation on this point is that at times there is simply now way to remedy the sadness other than just having some endurance. So that's what the answer was. To just endure. And oh how happy am I that I have been enduring. It gives some advice on how to endure, my personal favorite was to recount the victories and be STOKED (well he didn't use the word stoked, but yeah....) for the future. So that's it. Endure and stay stoked. I like it.

Last quick story: I had baptized the guy in the white on the right at the end of last transfer, and here he is at the last Sunday of this transfer baptizing one of the other Elder's investigators. Yeah. Even more crazy is that these two have the same exact birthday, just 20 years apart. ​

And that's a wrap for the week. Creating the circumstances for teaching repentance and baptizing converts.

Endure with an eternal stoke.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Thailand computers....

Well I've been trying to type up this email and this computer has crashed on me and stopped working like all the time. So this will be a short email.

Long story short this week was EPIC.

We went so hard. And just ate so much food. And I stressed out a ton so we ate a ton of stuff. And all I do in this area is eat. So yeah. Pretty sure I averaged like at least a liter or two of soda per day this week. The correlation between stress and soda is a direct correlation and between stress and my actual food intake is an indirect correlation.

So yeah. A lot of soda, especially this pink lychee pear soda. So good. So unhealthy.

Well. Looked like a bunch of the go pro pics got corrupted cause the computer really isn't good and like can't transfer or handle files.....Meh. There went the pics for this week hahah. Uhhh

What else.

Elder Kartchner has been really incorporating the whole "Do everything like a Thai person" lifestyle. Therefore we have decided to be like Thai people, go to markets and set up a big sign that promotes our free English program. So that's what we did. Two elders at the booth and then two other elders just going and talking to every single person in the whole market. Such good inviting. Big things coming soon.

A new member Bro. Kris really likes to scooter. He told us how he would ride the scooter to get to the sky train and then ride the train, then get off and go to visit his mom. We thought he would scooter only for like 500 meters. But it ended up being he got off the train station and then scootered for FIVE (5) KILOMETERS. DUDE. DEDICATION TO THE SCOOTER GAME.

The activities here in BBT have been thriving and we have been consistently increasing the attendance each night. Only way is up when you started from the bottom.

Epic stories about investigators will probably come next week. Maybe...

Like I said. The pics are all corrupted. Oh well. Maybe it was meant to be.

The work is thriving miracles are happening. BBT is going crazy. 

Am I on the scooter? the world may never know.

"...The things which are impossible with men are possible with God."

Never stop believing in miracles.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Walk Ups and (a) Walk In

Didn't really get any pictures this week. So we'll have to do some supplemental throwbacks.

​Well I got these pictures of these dogs. They are similar to husky's but they're called Alaskan Malibus? Or something like that. One of the recent converts has decided to start up a puppy farm so he's got 4 of these massive wolf sized dogs in his house. But this one is still a baby. Barely 2 months old. It's so fluffy.
Probably the cleanest restaurant I had ever eaten at in Thailand. Got invited to go eat with some of our English class students.

On the topic of eating food. Also got to meet up with Bro. Saiyoot from Hawaii! Pics probably on facebook....Funny story that he has a house in the area that I am serving in now and also one of the other missionaries had served in the branch that Bro. Saiyoot is from!

Image may contain: 6 people, people sitting and indoor

Follow up on the Book of Mormon Initiative:
We are still going house to house, person by person, giving each member a fresh copy of a Book of Mormon and challenging them to write their testimony and prayerfully choose a friend or person to give this special book. It works so well. So simple. I'll admit, it doesn't yield the same results as going and inviting for hours and finding investigators and teaching on the streets. But now, we are working with the members, not just through them. Each of them are actively getting their own part in this work of salvation. So amazing seeing the testimonies of these people. They have been seeing MIRACLES. MEMBERS. MIRACLES. MISSIONARY WORK.
Woah. Everyone. Literally everyone that we have committed to do this. We aren't teaching them anything new, we are simply renewing these old thoughts to them again. These old thoughts/ideas/feelings aren't even old. They're just as valid as they were 80 years ago as they are today and will be tomorrow.
The members in BBT are on fireeeeee. They are so stoked for missionary work. They call us telling us about how excited they are that they are sharing the Book of Mormon with their friends. It's like we've got 20+ greenies (new missionaries) that have no language barrier and are working off of pure charity.

But the stoke doesn't stop there. Investigator pool atm. Is on fire. People are desiring to change, and that's what we are here to help them with. Change.

To get back to the title of the email....

We go to the Central West Gate mall. Absolutely huge. Packed on the weekends, just thousands of people inside. Normally we invite outside a bit, but once you're inside the security doesn't really appreciate when you walk and invite. So we get over there to go meet Bro. Saiyoot for dinner and are waiting for him for a few minutes. In the span of 15 minutes we have two walk ups. All four missionaries were there at the same time, so when the first guy comes up and asks "Hey are you the Mormons?" me and another missionary from the other companionship just jump on the opportunity. We start talking, he asks where the church is at, then we ask for his number. Both of us hahahah. And it was literally a race. Elder Noyce pulls out his planner and pen, but I pull out the phone. Get his number and call to his phone right there on the spot and get a follow up appointment. But the fun doesn't stop there. We walk a little bit more into the mall and a lady stops Elder Noyce asking if he's Mormon. At this point he gets stoked, talking to her with his companion, then she asks if she can start reading the Book of Mormon and they get a follow up with this lady too. Two walk ups ===> two follow ups. In Central West Gate. What?? 55555

Sitting and chilling, all the investigators that had committed and confirmed to coming to church with us just didn't. Bunch didn't show up because they all got pretty sick recently....But that's alright. It's chill. Cause like that's just how we roll. It's Sunday. The day of rest. And miracles. Chilling, listening to the teacher teach about prophets then a member brings in this guy that can't speak Thai. I look at him, get up from my seat, sit down next to him, start translating for him. He's from mainland China. He had the gospel library application and everything....It was so funny, while I was translating I wasn't sure how much he was understanding and like if he was understanding all of the gospel vocabulary. So I would periodically stop and ask him "Do you understand about this word _____?" His answer was the best, "No, I'm from mainland China." All the time. Literally all the time. He's so chill. Turns out, he's been in Thailand for 2 months, teaching Chinese and Japanese at a school in our area. And he has a friend that is a missionary in Tokyo! The missionary friend has been trying so hard to get him to church and finally he accepted to go! The stoke just never stops. He's free every day after he's done teaching school and on the weekends. Oh yeah.

"And now, my son, this was the ministry unto which ye were called, to declare these glad tidings unto this people, to prepare their minds; or rather that salvation might come unto them, that they may prepare the minds of their children to hear the word at the time of his coming."

Reflection on how blessed I have been. I'm not the first generation. Or the second generation of members in my family. So grateful for those that had received the teachings and applied it to the lives and for the people before me that have perpetuated these things. Way sweet opportunity missionaries have to start helping people make these multi-generational bonds between families. Declaring the glad tidings to all. 

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.