Monday, October 28, 2013

Bonogs and a baptism!

Hello Familia that I love!!!

This was a great week! A lot of great things happened and a lot of weird things happened, too.

So, we set our new district goals for the transfer. We are hoping for each companionship to get two baptisms. It's a stretch, but I really think it can be done! We're going to have to work really hard and have a lot of faith, but I can see it happening. Cream is getting baptized next Sunday! She wanted to move up her date and her mom supported it! I am so happy! They both came to church yesterday, and we have now taught Cream everything. We just have one more lesson, she has her baptismal interview on Thursday, and then she will be baptized on Sunday! Happy Day! Mahasarakham is going to have a new member of the branch as well as a returned less active member! For our second baptism, we have a few investigators that are getting close to baptism and we are going to help them progress and ready themselves for baptism the best that we can! It's exciting!

Anyway, I am really enjoying being companions with Sister Crockett! She's so cute and we feel really comfortable teaching together. One thing that is also fun is how she street contacts. We'll start talking with random people we meet and get to know them a bit. Then we show them a baptismal pass-along card and ask if they're familiar with the picture/ baptism. Then we explain baptism to them and how they can become clean from their sins and start again, and then extend a baptismal date to them. I've never done this before, but it is way fun! And I am still always a little surprised at the people's reactions. They generally give it some thought and then either explain that they might not be available on that day, or that they are interested. It definitely helps us find out who is interested in our message and who is not. We've had some great lessons with people this way, and we have some great potential investigators from it. So, it's just way fun to try new methods for teaching and contacting! I LOVE IT!

We've had some awesome days out in the bonogs this week! One day when we were out there we were able to give six mini lessons to people out and about. I love going to bonogs because people are not busy at all and are willing to sit down and talk. So, we got a lot of numbers and have been busy trying to set up second appointments! I feel like Heavenly Father is really blessing us.

 We decided to go out to the bonogs to find some of the people we'd contacted into. We found one lady sitting on the side of the road chopping wood. She invited us to sit down by her and we taught a brief lesson on the restoration. It went well, haha, but as we were teaching her some lady walks out of the woods holding a machete and talking to herself. I do not feel okay being near crazy people with machetes. Anyway, after that we had some great lessons with more bonog people! 

I think this week I learned how much I love having the Spirit with me. I know that when we are in tune with the spirit we are safe and protected. It is such a gift and I am so grateful for it. I know that as missionaries we are so protected and watched out for.

So, we decided to introduce E. to the elders and see if maybe they could connect with him better or help him understand the importance of baptism better than we could. We went together to his house on Friday and taught/ introduced the elders. It was a great lesson and the elders will continue teaching him. 

Every Friday we also have Sports Day. The goal is that members will bring their friends and the English students and their friends will come. We've met a few new people through it. So that's good. But on the 9th of November there is going to be a big stake (district) tournament at Mahasarakham, so the branch members have been practicing like crazy! We play with them, too, and I have to say my nonexistent volleyball skills are actually improving! Volleyball is way more fun than I ever remember it from P.E.! haha Maybe because we're not graded. 

Anyway, Saturday was awesome! We had a lot of great lessons, one specifically with Sister B. She's been previously taught by elders, but could not get baptized because she has to do certain Buddhist rituals for her deceased husband. However, she really wants to be baptized as well as her three children. I am really hopeful that she will be baptized before this transfer ends. She's the sweetest, most sincere lady and I just love her!

Also, for this week’s finding activity with the elders we did a puppet show in the park. Elder Chelson came up with the activity. It was a complete flop, but I think it has some potential. And we ourselves were thoroughly entertained! haha

Yesterday was a great day at church! Yuwi and Cream came and they chose Elder Chelson to be the one to baptize Cream. After church we went inviting and contacting and ended up in the middle of nowhere at this fish sanctuary. It made us laugh, but it was actually pretty cool. There were a whole bunch of catfish that you could feed and they had pavilions set up all over to sit in and feed the fish. Pretty sweet!!

So, we were so close to having balanced key indicators this week. We ended up having more lessons than we needed, we had two new investigators, two investigators with baptismal dates, but only one investigator at church (we need 2)! That is always the problem! It is so hard to get people to church! But, I feel like we worked really hard this week and I still feel satisfied with our efforts. We were definitely blessed this week!

Oh, so this was sad. This morning around 6:00 I hear someone outside yelling "Sister Stevenson!" and I was still half asleep, not totally there. Anyway, by the time I really woke up and figured out what was going on, the person outside had left. I figured it was Sister Ud so I called her (and it had been her).  She teaches seminary, and when she went to the church this morning to open it up, she realized that someone had broken into the church and damaged alot of things. She asked us to call the branch president and then she asked the elders to go take pictures of all the damage. So, we went over together and it was way sad to see. One of the doors had been left open so the intruder easily got in, but then destroyed a lot of the windows, broke into the branch president’s office, and went through a whole bunch of cupboards. A lot of the doors and windows are completely damaged and there is wood/glass/nails all over the hallway. I don't know what they've done since then, but Sister Ud went to get the police, so hopefully they will be able to help. Awful! 

I feel so blessed to be serving here in Mahasarakham and I just love being a missionary. I feel like my love for this country/people/work is growing more and more every day. I am also feeling a lot more confident in my language. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

I love you all so so so much! Thank you for being the most wonderful, supportive family ever! I miss you all like crazy and think of you all the time!


Liz :)