Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Not without the spirit

First off to answer everyone’s questions...I haven’t gotten the packages yet, but I will be going to Bangkok this Thursday and should be able to pick them up. Elder Tom (my Thai companion) will be moving and we are going to be taking him to Bangkok at 2 in the morning. It’s so sad I’m going to miss him so much, he's so funny, I’ll send you pictures.

Yes it's true I’m now officially 20, what a weird thought. For my birthday I got a call saying that the woman I was going to be baptizing wasn't going to be able to get baptized because of "something". She has to interview with someone else and then hopefully in a couple of weeks she will be able to be baptized. I’ll admit it was a sad day for all of us because she's had such a hard life and it finally looked like everything was going right for her. It’s okay though, God is in control and all will be just fine.. Isn’t it great to be able to say that and know it's true! I love this gospel!

For an update on boo (the lady we meet a couple of weeks ago). She now has a date to be baptized in about a month and is progressing great. She has a testimony and has already finished the book of Mormon and is starting over, it's so amazing to see the power of that book.

That’s great to hear about all the dating that's going on back home, and all the "experience" you are all having. It’s a bit scary when I hear missionaries talk about how their sisters, brothers, girlfriends, cousins and everybody else seems to be getting married. Now just realize that all of these guys still have to be interviewed by me, and he will have to go haul hay or put out a fence with me just to make sure he measures up, or at least comes close to my sisters.

This week we had a lesson with a way sweet guy named "wade". he was an attorney for six years, after which he became a judge over this whole city, meaning...he can talk and I mean prove his point every time. we started talking about the restoration and he said "that's just like Buddhism" we said a few more things and then he started talking and did he ever talk he was comparing all religions and saying they all were the same and that there was no true "religion" rather good thoughts that teach us how to be happy. Every time we tried to talk or say something he would turn it around on us. It was there that I learned something: words don't convert anyone, physical proof is so weak, and it is the spirit that converts. Finally we said "we can't change your heart and beliefs but the spirit can. It’s such a powerful concept.
Well I’m about of time I love you all and can't wait to talk to you in a couple of weeks. Keep it up

PS. I haven't heard anything about mother’s day yet, but I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Water Fight!!!!!

WHAT!!!!!! RM's yeah I don't think so, not in my house. You can just send him out with and kick in the pants and say come back next May... ok now that the ground rules are set up...who is this kid? Where did he go on his mission? Where does he live? Does he think he's bigger than me (hahahaha=))? I need info... oh yeah, info!!! Ok now that the brother in me is all out I will say: that's great, how exciting! So tell me all about it!

Hey Brittan congrats on the foot zoning thing, I have no doubt that I’ll come home with all sorts of problems and funny things inside me and I’m sure you'll fix me up just fine! Tell me more about it!

So an update on the family we met at lunch: we haven't been able to meet with them yet due to a Thai holiday called sonkran where the whole country shuts down for a water fight. We will be seeing them this week. The lady we meet on the street is doing great, and wants to be baptized, she came to church and said "this is the church of God, I feel so good here". She’s 40ish years old and has a family; the sisters are working with her right now so I’ll keep you posted!

I can't wait to tell you this, but I must preface it first: so this Saturday it's my birthday right...well...I’m going to be baptizing a lady Saturday morning. There couldn't be a better birthday present then that. She’s one of the sister’s investigators who is so great. She’s 30ish and has a little boy. Her name is "May". I’ll admit she's been in my thoughts and prayers a lot lately because of "stuff" that's been happening in her life. She’s been an investigator for a long long time and I’m so excited for her. When she asked me to baptize her I about started to cry, this is someone who has come a long ways and is such a great example of faith.

Ok, so to tell you about his holiday here in Thailand called sonkran. I honestly don't know how to paint the picture for you; there aren't words to describe this holiday. Take all 62million+ people in Thailand and put half of them inside the back of a bunch of trucks with 55gal drums of water and buckets; now take the other half of them and put them on the streets with squirt guns and even more buckets of water. Then take about every stereo system in the country and turn it up as loud as you can. Give everyone a bottle of powder (to put on people faces), throw two white guys in the middle, and then press "play"... it's out of this world!!!!! We were able to go out and play for a day and it was a blast. There were times that there were so many people around me that I couldn't move and every single person is going for the young white guys. It was such a blast. I was so sunburned and soar the next day but man was it ever a riot! another thing they like to do is put ice in the buckets of water so that isn’t extra cold which sometimes feels good but bucket after bucket after bucket gets a but chilly! This holiday lasts for three days. We were able to play for one day but the other two we were asked to try and work. We had a couple of appointments that normally take about 15 minutes for travel that turned into over an hour both ways. In white shirts and ties, nothing on us was dry and our faces and arms were covered with different colored powder (sometimes mixed with water which makes this mush stuff). We were a sight to see I’m sure. I wasn't able to get any pictures because if I would have taken out my camera it would have been destroyed, sorry!

How are grandma doing, and the McKay boys?

I love you all, keep it up


Ps. As far as safety, yes, I’m safe nothing is going on here in korat right now so no need to worry or lose any sleep.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Miracles and more miracles

Just to let you know everything's good here, this country is a little crazy at the moment and there have been some pretty scary stuff but I'm safe and loving life. It's one of the weirdest feelings walking down the street with army personnel all over the streets and bridges with their guns and such. It's really got me thinking about how glad I am to live in America; we really do have it too good. Here there are mobs everywhere, and a civil war going on down south, it's quite a topic of conversation with everyone over here. But don't lose any sleep over it, I'm safe and haven't been kept from working=)

I've got to tell you about another miracle that happened this week. We were going to find an investigator when we got lost, we called him up to ask where we needed to go and he gave us directions. After a long time we were able to find the place where we thought he told us only to find out we were nowhere close to where we were supposed to be. This has happened so much throughout my mission that my first thought was "Who are we here to talk to?" There must be some divine reason for us being here. We began to walk around when I saw a lady on the side of the road. As I walked by I said "hello", her response was "I've been looking for you". Not a typical conversation starter for Thailand. I asked her how she knew "Elder" she said I received a Book of Mormon about 6 months ago from you, I've read it and I know it's true. She then began to tell us her story about how she was a member of the "Seventh Day Adventists" church when she started reading the Book of Mormon. "I read it and knew it was true" She then went in and showed it to her preacher who said "it's from the devil". She wasn't about to take that from him and started defending it and saying this was the word of God. "I then left that church and have been looking for you ever sense". The sisters are now teaching this lady and she's doing great.

Another story...yesterday we were inviting when we decided it was time for lunch. We headed over to a "rice-with-chicken" stand and ordered our food. After getting some water we sat down and began to eat. After a few minutes I noticed a family sitting a few tables away and their son kept looking at me. This happens all day here so I did my typical "pull a funny face and smile". This little kid then got up and walked over to me and said (in English) "hello...can you teach me about God?" I wasn't sure if I heard him right but I grabbed out a picture of Jesus Christ and handed it to him. He eagerly grabbed it and began to read. We began talking to him again when his mom came over and said "Can you teach him about God?" we started talking and said we would love to. She said he saw Jesus Christ's name on your name-tags, and wanted you to teach him. She began telling us this story about how her son was once really sick for a long time, one day he just got better and said "God healed me". The lady then said "I don't know about God or who he is, but my son keeps asking questions about him and I can't answer them. We then set up an appointment to teach the family. This work is so great and I love it to death.

Oh and tell the McKay's I'm praying for Colton and Jacob too. So isn't it too great to know that God is in charge of everything and that in all reality everything will be okay. This gospel is so great.

I love you all so much

Monday, April 5, 2010

Count your many blessings

I'll admit I totally forgot it was conference this week until we were sitting in church and then it hit me. WHOOT WHOOT!!!!! I'm so excited and this week I don't think I'll have to translate unless a white guy shows up at church...not likely =)

It's great to hear about your sleepover thing at the house with stars and all, sounds like your keeping it real back home.

This week has been awesome and full of miracles. I'll start by telling you about a less active member we met with this last week. His name was "wiwat". For the lesson we talked about the restoration of the gospel and watched the restoration video. Before we started Elder Dearden said "During this movie pay attention to your feelings and the thoughts you might have." During the movie the spirit was so strong and by the end everyone was feeling it. We talked for a minute and then we asked him how he felt. He paused for a while and then said "I know he's a prophet, this really did happen didn't it...?" He continued to bear strong testimony of Joseph Smith's experience and then said "Sometimes in life kids leave their home for different reasons, but eventually they realize where their food and shelter is...this is my home (pointing to the church) and I'm coming home..." There isn't anything that happens to a missionary that can compete with that. The love that filled that room is describable. I think of the story of the prodigal son who was lost in life and finally had an experience that urged him to return to his "father". The part I love the most is when the son returned to his father. When his son was "yet a great way off"... his father "came running to meet him". Our father in heaven is always reaching out to us and as soon as we turn to him he will come running to help us.

Our investigators are amazing, I love them to death. It's so great to see their desires change as they come to understand this message. We have one man who we gave a Book of Mormon to, in less than a week and a half he's almost finished with Mosiah, he's so excited to come to church and loves the members. This in only one of the many stories, I'm blown away with the blessings I've received. "Count your blessings name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the lord had done".

Elder Dearden and I have decided our physical frames are...well...could be better. We have been drinking soy milk like crazy, going running, and tons of push-ups. After this week we went to weigh ourselves at the 7-11 to find out we are losing weight (not exactly the goal), it was a bit sad, but being the manly men we are, next week we will be working harder, thinking bigger and hopefully seeing results. Just an FYI=)

Well time is up, I love you all, keep it up