Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm Cold!!!!!! =)

I’m cold!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know you probably thinking “Thailand?” I
thought the same thing when I walked outside and got hit by a gust
of cold air. We have just entered the windy week here in Thailand
which marks the transition into the cold season. Now when they
say cold season it’s very relative to who you are. It was said best
by a man in our branch named Udom; he said “There are three
seasons in Thailand first we have the hot season followed by the
hotter season then shortly after that comes the hottest season
and then it starts right back over.” Although this week is a bit cold,
I’m loving it. This week is called the windy week and its crazy
because there is a constant wind, and I mean a wind blowing
against us: sand in the eyes, legs burning from exhaustion, it’s the

So to answer some of your questions, we have a branch of about
500 members in Ubon, 100 of which are active members. It’s one
of the biggest branches in Thailand and I would argue one of the
best and kindest as well. As far as how we find people. It usually
consists of riding bikes around and stopping to talk to random
people or going to parks and walking around. As far as sending
pictures in emails, it’s a go, send as many as you want I would
love to get some.

Speaking of inviting, it’s a very hard and yet a very rewarding
experience. I get the opportunity to talk to people all day and I get
to hear the same things over and over. There is this saying in Thai
that goes “go good get good, go bad get bad.” It’s the idea that by
doing good you will be bless in the next life, which I totally agree
with, and tell them so, but then it’s usually followed up with “All
religion is good.” This is where it gets tricky. People agree to
learn more, because religion is good and teaches how to be a
better person, but they don’t agree with the idea that the only way
to receive true happiness is thought Christ and His atonement. It’s
so frustrating because I will teach people and I will ask them how
they feel about what we are teaching them and they say “I know
it’s true,” but yet they're not willing to do anything. They feel the
spirit and know that the things we are teaching are true but for
some reason aren’t willing to put their faith into action and follow
the Savior. It’s so frustrating, although this message is a whole
new concept for them. In our church there are commandments,
rules if you will which “limit” what a person can and can’t do. The
mindset in Thailand is “If it feels good, and you like it then do it.”
following the word of wisdom is hard; and the hardest
commandment I have seen is the law of chastity. The people over
here are very “active”, they begin breaking this as early as 10-11
years old, it is considered perfectly normal and encouraged. It is
very hard for some people to give up. But through the midst of all
of this there are so many that humble themselves and allow the
savior to take them by the hand and lead them through these hard
addictions. It’s incredible to see, and has really helped me grow. I
love these people with all my heart. It’s so frustrating trying to put
my feelings into words because I want you to know the love I have
for these people. They are so kind and are willing to do anything
they can to help anyone. I see people give up their food and money
to other causes when they can hardly feed themselves.

So this past week was one of the greatest weeks ever. Boom (the
man we baptized) was able to baptize another investigator. It was
such a spiritual experience seeing the growth and progression of
this man, he has the greatest desire to learn and to grow. He is one
of those people who have the light of Christ in everything they do, I
know very few people as Christ-like as him. This gospel really does
change people, and I see the hand of God working on people every
day, and I see them being molded and shaped into the people that
will one day run the church in Thailand.

Well I’m out of time; I love you all so much. Remember the
examples you are for those around you and understand that the
Lord may be using you at any given second to influence the lives of
Elder Parkinson
PS. you might want to check the spelling on this one, it's terrible.

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