1. Our baptism, Brother ทอ้ป! He is an incredible guy and so completely prepared to enter the waters of baptism. I've never seen an investigator progress so smoothly and without any problems whatsoever. Such a blessing!
2. A great awkward district picture from general conference!
Another week. I've been here in the field longer than I've been in the MTC now! Man, 9 weeks in the MTC was hard. And 10 weeks in the field is even harder.
I've been sick this week. Being sick in the mission is way hard, because you just feel awful like you can't do anything and your whole purpose is to go out and do stuff! Not really sure what the problem is, although all signs point to parasites! When I was a kid, having parasites was one of my biggest fears. Along with riding a bike. And living in a foreign country. And talking to strangers. And pretty much everything I do on a daily basis here. I've learned to ignore fear for the most part, which is in every sense of the word a miracle because I've always been so afraid of everything.
That said, Satan is a sucker and anytime I'm not trying my hardest I get scared of all of those things again. I've don't know if I'll ever get over some of my fears -- that's part of enduring to the end, fighting onward.
This weekend we got to listen to General Conference in English! Which is such a blessing. I loved it and needed the spiritual strength from it really badly. God always gives us just enough to keep going. On Saturday we went to Maha Sarakham, the province next to Kalasin, to watch conference with our Elders. It was so much fun! And because there are no sister missionaries in Maha Sarakham, the members just doted on us the whole time. I can't complain. ;)
I also finished the Book of Mormon again this weekend! That's by far my favorite book in the whole world. I have such a testimony that all the answers to life's biggest questions are in that book. Any issue that requires divine guidance can be resolved from reading the Book of Mormon. I wish every person in this world had an opportunity to read it and pray and ask God if it's true. Because it is true, and God will always answer that prayer.
In Thai, the hymn "Come, Come Ye Saints" ends with the phrase "ทุกยังดี, ทุกยังดี." (All is well, all is well). When you translate the phrase directly from Thai to English, it translates to "all is still good." It implies that everything is okay, everything is still okay, because "with God behind us, and His arms beneath us, we can face whatever lies before us."
I wish I could say I was happy and joyful working here. That's rarely the case. This whole transfer (and really, since getting into country) has been an uphill battle that I haven't always been winning. It's hard. And most of the time, I've been feeling a void where I normally feel my spirit building in strength. I can't say at this time that I've seen the Lord answering my prayers, or helping me feel like I'm not alone. I feel very, very alone here.
But I know what I once knew and felt. I have felt answers to prayers hit me like a brick wall. I have felt the presence of the Lord and His angels helping me and my family in the past, and so just because I can't see it or feel it right now, doesn't mean I'm going to just give up. I will hold to what I once felt until I have an opportunity to feel it again.
I would encourage all of you to read or listen to Elder Hamula's talk from the recent General Conference, and recommit to take the sacrament at church every week for the rest of the year. I promise that as you commit to do that (even if you do it every week already) and if you sincerely try to focus your thoughts towards the Savior during the sacrament, you will feel an increased desire to follow the Savior, and an increased capability to do good and be better. I've seen it in my life and I know it is possible for everyone.
And for those of my family and friends who are not members of the church, may I please ask that you read Elder David A. Bednar's talk, "Come and See." He explains so well why I'm out here being a missionary in the middle of nowhere in Thailand and why this work is so important.
Love you all. Have a great week!