Monday, April 24, 2017

Loei and Baptism

So yeah. We go out and sight see pretty hard in Thailand. The sights are just so good. But honestly, the work is like 10x cooler and better.

Went through a giant rock maze.

But other than that, this week was a blur. Seriously. Like it flew by. We had two companion exchanges this week so I got the awesome opportunity to work with two super young missionaries. The first was Elder Christensen and we made a goal to go out and have a ton of fun. So we ate street food! Wherever we were, if I saw something interesting I stopped, asked for a sample of the weird fried thing and then had him eat it. The reactions were priceless, we ate weird fried stuff from the street, got some different flavored flower juices, and just ate some things that I had no idea what they were. By the end of the day we had seen amazing breakthroughs with investigators, some of them confirming to a solid baptismal date, and then right as we finished up our day Elder Christensen says "I don't feel so good, I think I'm sick."

He proceeded to spend the last 1.5 hours of the day in the bathroom.
It seems all the awesome food finally caught up to him. He also quoted that the best and worst part of the day was all the food that we had eaten hahahhaha.

Then the second comp exchange was with a missionary only on his 2nd transfer. His name is Elder Denny. He's so adorable. He was leading me around in his area. I literally have no idea where to go and where to find food, so he just took the lead in teaching. Well the lead in everything. It was amazing! He's got a strong desire to serve and he really knows what he's doing. Idk how missionaries are so on it these days, I'm pretty sure I was clueless on my second transfer.... It was your basic day of going out, and having a ton of fun. And miracles.

Just yesterday we had a baptism for this grandma. She's been an investigator for around 7 months now. At first she was just curious why her friend (another grandma that's almost 80 years old) always had these young white guys coming over and helping her with stuff. That curiosity had led her to meeting with the missionaries. At first she didn't want anything to do with them and she was just sorta anti. So the missionaries stopped teaching her. Then my comp and his comp from last transfer went to try and teach her. And then stopped teaching her also. But then the she started coming to church, showing some interest, and we decided to seize the opportunity. We probably saw her almost every day for the past month. She has read all of the Book of Mormon, literally every page from cover to cover including the index, and is in the Bible now. She's just so old that every time we ask her "How's your day, anything cool to do?" all she says is "I'm too old to do anything, all I do is read scriptures!" 

Literally such a breakthrough, we brought different people to help us teach her and all of these people really helped Grandma Lamduan come to this point to get baptized. The stone cut out of the mountain with no hands is rolling and coming forth to fill the earth!
"For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."

Read this in studies and just felt so amazed. To hope and wait for these things, these promised blessings in patience. But this wasn't the end, also found this amazing quote about faith from Elder Wirthlin.
"Faith exists when absolute confidence in that which we cannot see combines with action that is in absolute conformity to the will of our Heavenly Father. Without all three—first, absolute confidence; second, action; and third, absolute conformity—without these three all we have is a counterfeit, a weak and watered-down faith."
There is no holding back in these things that we do. It is absolute confidence, action, and absolute conformity. There is no compromising. It just is. You just do. You just go. If you're gonna complain about your conditions and just complain that's it. You did nothing, just complain. Always the smarter thing is to take some time, plan, then act. Act in full confidence with absolute conformity. This quote has summed up the things that I've seen on my mission. Anything less than the absolute is weak. So yes, our faith is weak, and that leaves a ton of room for improvement, and it's all about the improvement!

So work hard, give it all up, cause this is it.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

It's Songkran Time

Went to Bangkok.
​Got into Bangkok at like midnight, then taxied over to Rangsit and slept there for like 6 hours. Left to get into Asoke for a meeting and then switchoffs with the Assistants.
Sometimes you just gotta chill nice and easy.
Heard a bunch of buzzing noise as we biked around so then we found this dead rat. Cause of death unknown.
Went district inviting at this park. Apparently these ducks are famous in Thailand?

We still did work. Yesterday we had a ton of appointments set up with members. We leave the house at 8:30 am and the streets of Udon are just quiet. Like no one. So we go out and start teaching, get into a few different houses and teach members, less actives, recent converts, investigators. It was pretty chill until we go and stop to eat lunch. Grab lunch and then we just hear a bunch of loud party music and see people shooting water everywhere from the back of this truck. And me and Elder Rawlinson just look at each other like "No. We will not get wet." But we pass them and then start heading out to see one of the grandmas that we teach. On the way down we politely declined getting wet by all the people.

Get down to teach the lady. Straight MIRACLE. She shares how if we didn't bring a certain member to help us teach her, she probably wouldn't be getting baptized for a long time. But last time we met her we had given her two options, to be baptized on the 16th or the 23rd. She prayed and feels like the 23rd is the day. So that's the day.

On the way back up though. Well someone threw a little water at us. At that point we decided. Well. If we need to bike back up the street, might as well have a good attitude about it. So we biked and tried to avoid them. but when theres a child throwing a bucket of water every 15 meters and theres cars zipping past on the right side of you...well yeah. You just gotta accept it all.

"Look up to Jesus Christ—the wise advice of my father—strengthens my faith whenever I face challenges in life. He taught me how to apply the teachings of Christ, as in these words: “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.”"

General conference this weekend was way legit. So much good stuff! Just looking up! Especially here in Thailand. It's poured rain the past few days and now the water festival. Everything is wet. But in these times, we know that teachings of Christ are still true and that the work goes on. Just keep on working happy and everything will be alright. Miracles are real.

It's play time.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


We've spent the most of our time back in the middle of nowhere. Feels good to be back in the country side.

The area, Udonthani, is pretty big. It's interesting because it's very evenly spread out across the whole city area. There really isn't like one area that's just super heavily concentrated with a ton of people. So we have to get creative and go out finding in different areas during the day and then just sorta guess and feel where we need to go at night to go and talk to more people.

​We've been finding. Just like hours and hours of being out in the sun talking to people and staying stoked. With the occasional picture break for 5 minutes. Gotta keep work at a steady pace and take breaks when necessary.

Story of our lives this week. We've been biking around and like for some reason could not find a place to eat food so we went to 7-11 and bought some stuff to microwave. S/O to my comp for being so Chinese that he eats spaghetti with chopsticks.

And by eating I mean Elder Rawlinson bought some food, I bought some cookies and a liter of soda. That's been my dinner almost every other night.

The church here in Udorn is massive, I need to get a side view pic of it also. It's got a volleyball court, futsal, and then a basketball hoop.

Went out 35 kms to go share about why we wanted to be a missionary and what blessings we have received. The members gave us a ride out, but because they needed to stay their for the youth activity we had to try and find a way back into the city. So we chilled under this little hut and tried our best to wave down any thing that looked like public transportation.

Eventually flagged down this oversized truck with benches. Bad choice. LITERALLY THE SLOWEST POSSIBLE THING TO STOP. It took forever. Buses and like ​mini vans were zooming past us. But we made it back to the city so that's what counts.

Oh yeah, so back in the country side people like to speak Thai....a little different, with a bit of an accent. I've been in Bangkok so long that coming out here, I am shocked when people start breaking out into this accent cause in Bangkok it was pretty inapporpriate and most people got annoyed. But then I stop, remembered where I was, then let it go. I feel like a new missionary again cause sometimes they'll just go off in Lao and then I have no idea what to say. So throwback to my days of being that awkward friend at a party. I'm at it again ahahahahah.

I think they were going for like a golden gate bridge thing? but the bridge was blue.

So this Sunday we had a bunch of people confirmed to like come to church. But then it's 8:45 am church starts in 15, and none of our investigators showed up. They all called and said that they had something else or that they were sick.

So we prayed. And just used a little faith, asking that some door somewhere would be opened for someone to come to church that day. And then we went up and sat through sacrament meeting. We get out of sacrament meeting not sure what to think, but then we see a guy. We're not sure who he was but he was talking with a bunch of members. (Turns out the members didn't know him either, but they just do a really boss job at fellowshipping people and making them feel like they've been friends forever)

The prayer was answered. A less active member brought her husband who is not a member. Bam. 1st person.

Then we start the 2nd hour of church. A lady walks in and sits down in the class. #2. Then 15 minutes later another lady walks in and sits down. #3.

We swoop in, get their numbers, set up a time to meet them, and just like that what we thought was a mediocre Sunday got pretty good. Taught some of our other investigators and they're down to get baptized soon. Then Sunday night came. As a district we are working to achieve a goal called "Balanced." At night we weren't that close. But then when we saw how close we were to achieving the standard, me and Elder Rawlinson decided that we will try and get back out into the area as fast as we could to work and try to hit the standard.
So we did. Finished studies and planning then got out with 2 hours left in the night. We tried our hardest to get everyone else in the district stoked but they had just decided it was Sunday night and chill time. Which is alright. But yeah. A missionaries day doesn't really end until 9 p.m. and even then, the day isn't done.

But it was ok. So me and Elder Rawlinson go out and just start inviting and finding and teaching people in this park and getting return appointments and finding people that are pretty determined to get baptized this month.

It was epic. Met so many cool people, and also found this bridge.

"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."
Back story, the apostles are going about doing their apostolic things then some people come and command them to stop. These people use all sorts of worldly methods to stop and gain control over these people. But this was their response. To obey God rather than men. 

Obedience to God's commandments will bring blessings and miracles. I know that's true. People are so confused as to why and how we as missionaries can go out teaching and talking to people in this Buddhist country. But we do it for love, because we love God we want to obey His commandments. Love. Obedience. Miracles.


Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.