Monday, July 14, 2014

Just Press Forward and Give Thanks

Well, this was an awesome week here. It ended a little bit disappointing, but I learned a lot of things this week.

So, the zone's goal for us here in Khon Kaen was to have 9 baptisms by this coming Sunday. So, we have been working like crazy to find people that could come to church yesterday. I was a little bit stressed the whole week, but it was motivating. We spent at least 3 to 4 hours contacting every day. And I feel like Heavenly Father really gave us a lot of miracles and opportunities. We met a lot of people that were interested and a lot of people that said they would come to church. We also made teaching appointments during the week and we met with a few of them. We got three new investigators named Tree, Amnuay, and Tongchai. These three are all really awesome people that are definitely interested. We pretty much spent the entire week street contacting, teaching recent converts, calling EVERYONE, and following up, etc... We've been very careful to be so obedient and to not waste time. I felt like we really worked hard and did just about everything we could to get people to church. As of Saturday night we had about 7 people that had agreed to come to church and that we had confirmed with as well. However, Sunday came around and not a single person showed up. We also had hardly any recent converts there, too. In sacrament meeting I was seriously on the verge of tears. Usually I don't really let things like that get to me. But I think I just felt so frustrated because we had worked so hard and prayed so hard for these people to come. Not only that, but I also feel a lot of pressure to make our goals from the zone. I literally almost started crying, but then I was asked to translate for two English speakers, so that kept my mind off of it. As the meeting started Brother Da walked past me and dropped a big handful of letters into my lap from the Bangkapi members (they'd had a countrywide YSA activity in Pitsanuloog and he'd met them). That was a huge tender mercy from God right there and just what I needed! So grateful! Gave me a huge boost!

After the meetings the elder's investigator got baptized, so that was a highlight. This kid is way cute. He's a teenage boy that designs clothes. 

We unexpectedly got to teach a recent convert that is preparing to go on a mission. She always brings the Spirit with her wherever she goes and is so awesome! After that we taught a less active lady that came to church. She kind of stressed me out. haha But, it was a blessing to talk with her. She's dealing with lots of trials and she wants answers from God now. She said she's been waiting for answers for three months and she thinks it's high time she got some by now. We tried to help this lady understand that sometimes answers take a long time, much longer than just three months and that they don't always come in the way we expect. Also, just because we pray and read the scriptures that doesn't mean our trials are going to disappear. It's how we choose to deal with them that really matters. Anyway, since this lady felt so tried and tested and without answers she went to some dangerous extremes last week. And in the lesson she just kept going on and on about how God is giving her more trials that everybody else. I was kind of tired of hearing it, so I finally cut in and told her to just go home and write down ten things she was grateful for. haha I don't think that is the kind of help she was looking for, but I'll follow up today and see if she did it. 

Anyway, the reason I share that story is because talking with her helped me take a look at myself. I realize that I can get impatient easily, too. For example, yesterday I really wanted a lot of people to come to church, and they didn't. I feel like a lot of times I am one that wants success and I want it now! I think I need to take my own advice and trust in the Lord and His timing and just be grateful. So, good lessons learned this week. I feel happy that I know we sincerely did our best and put in all our effort to make things happen. God gave us a lot of miracles, but in the end, sometimes people just choose to not do what we want them to. But from all this I feel really excited for this coming week.

This morning I was reading the Psalm of Nephi in 2 Nephi 4. I especially liked where he says, "Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions. Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation." I think this is the best advice. When we have set backs, we just need to keep pressing forward even stronger than before and only give thanks and praise to God! So, we're going to hit the streets hard this week and start again! Should be awesome!

Here are a few fun things that happened this week:

I seriously LOVE street contacting! Especially now that I'm in a new area. I love finding new places and talking to everyone. This week we contacted into some fun areas of town. We found some really cool wats and some random lakes too. Sweet!

A few days ago the branch mission leader took us all out to get vegan food. Makes me laugh! Being a vegetarian or vegan in Thailand is the biggest oxymoron I’ve ever heard! It was pretty good, though. And the somtam was amazing!

I'm back in mosquito city! haha For some reason I hardly ever got bit in Bangkapi. Maybe it's an Esan thing. But before we leave the house every day we put on a ton of sunscreen and then top it off with a nice layer of bug spray. Not only that, but in Thailand people tend to burn things a lot. Everywhere. So, my clothes always kind of smell like smoke from air-drying them.  I just feel like I'm on a big camping trip all the time!

Okay, so that's about it for the week. I love you so much!


Liz :)