Monday, January 25, 2010

Larva, Yummy!!!!

Mom you sure know how to scare a poor boy to death, after I
finished your story I looked at myself and I was all sweaty and
shaking. You scared me good. How is your hand now? What hand is
it? Can you still write and stuff? I'll keep you in my prayers. I think
I'm the one who broke that light, so I owe you a big SORRY! I just
want to punch myself. Keep me updated.

Two days ago I had another interesting food experience, except for
this one I brought on myself. Elder Schulte and I were going home
after a wonderful appointment, while waiting for the bus to come
pick us up I looked over and saw this man sitting on a bench with
a little bag of something he was eating. I walked over to see how
he was doing and to take a look inside the bag. he opened it up and
showed me a bag of maggots, and I'm talking two inch larva things.
He offered me one, and I, knowing that I could top any "Guess what
I ate" confidentially said "sure". I reached into the bag and through
the slime and who knows what else, I found a big juicy looking one.
I pulled it out and Elder Schulte gave me a look of "no you're not"
and then with one swift motion "to the lips to the gums, watch out
stomach here it comes". It made a pop when I bit down on it,
(another good reason to chew with your mouth closed) and then
my mouth was filled with an describable nasty taste. I was finding
it in my teeth for hours after. yummy!

This week had been one of miracles, we have been able to get a lot
of investigators progressing and coming to church. We got a referral
from another area and we had an opportunity to meet with him the
other day. He's learned with missionaries before and already had a
testimony. He got a new job in order to go to church. His first
comment was "I want to be baptized, what do I need to do?" It's
such a blessing, this area started out as nothing, when I moved
here there were no investigators and now we have about 13 and
some of them with dates to be baptized. It's so great to see the
work progressing so well, and I attribute it all to the lord, Elder
Schulte and I wouldn't be able to do any of the stuff we have
without his help. Every day little things confirm that there is no
such thing as coincidence or good luck; it's all part of the eternal
plan for each and every one of our lives.

Something else I have really learned is the importance of speaking
with boldness. It's something I've never been sure how to do
because I want to be the nice guy but at times it's hard to really
tell them what they need hear. I talked to Pres. Smith about it and
he said "Overbearance" is yelling at them, "boldness" is anything
less than that. He said the scriptures is the way to declare with
boldness, it's the word of God they will have to fight, not the
missionary, it's our calling to warn, at times it takes some
"hellfire and damnation" scriptures to get the point across. This
week your little boy has really thrown down the law, and told
people just how it is. Even drunk people yelling at their wife, and
the all too common unfaithful taxi drivers, have tasted the wrath
of God, if you will. It's such a great work we are all a part of, and
how great is it to know that Christ is at our head leading us all along
the only path that will triumph in the end. I absolutely love
declaring this word. It's like I'm the person in the store over the
loud speaker telling the little kids where their parents are and
how to find them.

I love you all so much, keep it up.

PS. I sent the package about three weeks ago, it should be getting
there this week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's so funny that those are the exact chapters I read when I feel like that, and at times I've read them more then others but every time I am filled with the spirit and have a desire only to work harder. It's such a great feeling when you are to the point of breaking, and then you look inside yourself and realize that this is the time the savior has set aside so that he can really get to know me and let me get to know him.
This past week has been full of miracles and unplanned opportunities. Before this week started we had about 8 potential investigators and now after this week we have over 25. It's been a week full of sacrifice. we've gone without meals, I gave up most of my p-day last week and I have been working as hard as I could, it's amazing to see the blessings. We have three families that we are seeing next week, most missionaries haven't ever taught a family in their whole mission. we have been supplying a bunch of the mission with referrals, some of which are families. Just sitting back and seeing the blessings is a very humbling experience.
I love you, thanks for the letters I love them.
SHE FOUND ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The other day we were walking
through a huge market with thousands of people. I was only
focusing on trying to keep my eyes from seeing all of the obscene
pictures and prostitutes everywhere when all of the sudden I
looked up and saw "her" my heart sunk down into my feet, which
you might thing would slow me down, but no, I pulled some
crazy matrix move and dove behind a group of guys the whole
time trying to send the vibe to my companion that the bird of
prey was out and on the hunt. Somehow he got the vibe and we
were off. I've never moved so fast through so many people in my
life. Through the market, past Seven-Eleven, into a taxi and back
to the house quicker than you can even imagine. Whether she
saw me or not I don't know, I saw her once and then like Joseph
in Egypt, I ran.

Yesterday I found out that a kid I was teaching in Ubon just got
baptized. I was out of my mind excited last night; he is the
greatest kid and will make the greatest missionary. He's so strong
and really has a testimony of this gospel. He has really changed
his life around. I love seeing this happen over and over and over.
This gospel fills the empty gaps in life and change lives of
confusion and misunderstanding into lives of purpose and
happiness. I love this work, and am so grateful you are all there
with me along the way.

I love you all so much, keep it up back home

Monday, January 11, 2010

Can't Shut-up

This past week has also been a great opportunity for me to
reflect back on all the blessings I have received. In the midst of
persecution and all the "joys" that come from being in this huge
city I have been able to really pay attention to the small miracles
that happen every single day. This past week we were in a
lesson and a sister asked a question, I started telling about it, and
took her on a tour of the scriptures and ended with a powerful
testimony. After the lesson Elder Schulte stopped me and said "do
you realize you were talking just like a Thai person in there." As
I thought back I couldn't believe the things I was saying and the
feelings I was able to portray through words.

This past week President Smith committed us all to start the Book
of Mormon again and mark every work that refers to the Savior.
It's been such a great experience because as it says in 2 Nephi
25:26 "We teach of Christ, we write of Christ..." It's amazing
how much he is throughout the Book of Mormon. I have really
begun to understand how powerful the scriptures are in the
conversion process. Within its pages is the fullness of the gospel,
everything we need to know in this life to gain salvation and in
the next. The spirit I have felt while reading is something
describable, every morning I wake up with a thirst to read more.
It's amazing how much your little boy is growing up (physically,
not so much =)

Think with me of you will back to a time when you were sick
and your voice was a little weird. Remember how your voice
would crack every time you tried to go high. Well now think of
speaking a language where over half of the words have a high
tone and every time you try it your voice cracks. Yeah I know it
makes for quite a laugh and for some pretty funny invites.

Something what just kills me is thinking about how I used to be at
home. Not that I was quiet but I had a hard time just talking to
someone, especially on the phone. MOM....I DON'T SHUT UP, I'm
talking all of the time; drunk people, sober people, taxi drivers
with 8 wives, and bus drivers so angry that they spit when they
talk. I absolutely love it. I'll admit sometimes it's a bit awkward
when you're talking to a guy and two prostitutes walk over and
sit down by you, and then you have to try and get the return
appointment while trying to deal with the other two problems.
It's a crazy world out here but I couldn't ask for a better place
with better people. My companion is going home in July and he
almost gets emotional because of how bad he wants to stay. I
already feel the same way, when I talk about my love for these
people I'm on the point of tears. They really have changed my life
and helped me become the person God would have me be. They
are shaping me into the son, husband, father, church leader that
I will become. I truly am like metal being tempered in the fire.

I love you all so much, keep it up.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Decade

Hey fam.
It's so good to hear your all doing great and that you
enjoyed the holidays. Isn't it crazy, a new year, a new
decade. It's a time of reflection and also forces one to
look into the future. Dad your going to be in your fifties
after this decade is over, and who knows maybe even
grandparents. (That's a subtle hint for Tara and....=).
I've looked back at what has happened over the past decade
and in some cases I'm very much the same. When I was nine
I was scared to death of girls, and when asked to dance I
would tell them "NO". Then I think of me today and I'm
about the same. Girls are one of the scariest things in
the world to me over here =). But I'm blown away at the
spiritual growth that has taken place in my life due to
scripture, prayer and the example of those who have helped
shape my life. I was a kid who went to church in hopes that
Pauline Maxwell would bring treats, and now I'm on the
other side of the world testifying all day long about what
I was taught through the past years. I have learned to live
by faith and lean on the support of an all knowing, all
loving, Father in Heaven. I am able to testify along with
Alma and Amulek that Jesus Christ is the Savior and that he
will in glory appear to us again. I am not discouraged by
my weaknesses because I know that through them I will be
made strong and that I will receive help from family,
friends and my Father in Heaven. This is such a glorious
gospel and it really is "glad tidings of great joy"
spreading all throughout the world. It so humbles me to be
a part of it.

We have this older member here in Thonburi who is about
60ish. He only has one leg and has terrible health. He
comes to church every week but has to be helped in. This
past week he was really weak and I had to carry him up two
flights of stairs to the sacrament room. Yeah I was tired
for sure, I haven't carried anything heavier than a Book of
Mormon for a while =). After the meetings were over he was
walking out on his crutches and I could tell he was really
tired. I walked over to him to see of I could help him,
right as I got there his crutch slipped out from under his
arm and he fell. I managed to jump forward in time to catch
him. I was able to carry him out to the car and help him get
in. It's hard to see because I really love this man and he is
getting weaker and weaker and weaker every week.

Well I'm out of time, but I want you all to know that I
love you and am so thankful for your example and for your
letters. I can't even say how grateful I am for you all.