November 15, 2010
Ever sense I came here I’ve realized one thing...Thailand grows tons of rice and I mean tons. Everywhere I go I’m surrounded by fields upon fields of rice, and this week I was able to go and help harvest a couple of fields. I can't even believe how long it's been sense I’ve done any kind of physically tiring work, I thought I was going to die. I went and bought a straw cowboy hat for the occasion which was awesome! It's exactly like the movies: you use this scythe thing that cuts the stocks of the rice, after a couple of days of laying in the field the rice is dry and they gather it into this big machine thing that spins it and separates it from the stock. It’s so cool to see and even cooler to do. I’ll send you pictures later.
We met this new investigator this week that is going to be quite a case. Like normal he's a drinker, but this man is exceptionally bad he sits down to "drink" 24 times per day. He drinks so much that his whole body shakes all of the time. This last week after we taught him he walked about 3 miles to come to church which was very impressive. Alcohol is something that really just takes over people’s lives and it really does control them. It’s so so so big here; people begin drinking as young as 12-13 and smoking even younger than that. It’s such a sad thing to see these people whose agency is being controlled by a drink, it's something that just blows my mind and I don't understand why anyone would even think about doing it.
Speaking about drinking, this week we were riding our bikes down a road when we passed this bar for white people. I noticed one of the guys as someone we talked to a few days earlier, he was on the porch so we stopped and said hi to him. We were having a great conversation when all the rest of the white men saw us. One man came over and got right in my face and said "hey you moron, oh i mean Mormon...I guess they’re the same thing..." anyway he began to really just make fun of us and our beliefs. They kept asking us questions about doctrinal things, finally I said "sir, I’m more than willing to talk about religion but yelling and arguing is going to do nothing, I would love to share what we know to be true but I won't stand here and argue with you" one of the man said he was sorry and the "ring-leader" left for a minute. We kept talking for a minute and then the "ring-leader" came back and began giving his false accusations and arguing. I turned to my companion and said we were leaving; after that we shook hands with our friend and I offered my hand to the other 5-6 man and every one of them laughed at me started making fun of me. I walked away from that experience surprisingly grateful, the first scripture that came to my head was D&C 122:7-9 when the Lord is telling Joseph Smith that he doesn't have it so bad, and that he needs to press on. I began to think about how in the future when those man stand before God to be judged they will be sad and will regret a lot of their decisions in this life, I honestly felt like I did everything I could to help them in that situation and they rejected it. I really hate seeing that because I know of the happiness they could have and about the purpose they can't see for themselves. I just hope they get another chance to accept it.
Sorry I'm out of time, I love you all