Hello amazing family and friends!
Great things happened this week!
Last Monday was way fun because we got to spend the day together as a zone and go to a really pretty waterfall. It was super tall with many levels. If we weren't missionaries we could have climbed up the waterfall. They have ropes attached to the rock under the waterfall that you can grab onto. So pretty! I kind of felt like I was a Nephite walking through the jungle!
So, this last week we've really been preparing Brother Suthep for his baptism, which happened yesterday!!! He has a lot of faith and he travels an hour to come meet with us. He is in his late 20's and is from the mountains. Anyway, he was raised Christian, but was never baptized. As he learned more with us he came to develop his own testimony and really wanted to be baptized. However, he's definitely had some times of uncertainty or worry. He understands how important it is to keep the commandments and he was worried about breaking them, such as not being able to make it to church every Sunday because he lives a little ways away. In the end we helped him understand that it is his choice and that if he wants to come to church every Sunday and keep the commandments, then he can. It's up to him, not anything else. He decided that he would make that commitment and he was baptized yesterday! It was such a happy day. He gave a wonderful testimony and later in the evening after we had already returned home he gave us a call to thank us for helping him. He said that if we had not encouraged him he may not have decided to be baptized because he was scared. He said that now that he is baptized he is so happy! What a miracle. Such a happy day! I am so excited for Suthep. He has such strong faith in God and wants to do what's right. He's such a great example to me!
Another one of our investigators, Brother M., is progressing very well. He's in his 80's and has been coming to church and keeping commitments well. He loves to read the profiles on Mormon.org. So cute. We'll have to make him one! He takes a little more time to teach, but he's doing so well! So excited for him!
We also have another investigator that has a goal to be baptized this coming week. Her name is F. She's in college right now and she is one that also has great faith. Her mother is very against her investigating the church, but she still comes. The only other big concern she has right now with getting baptized is that she's deathly afraid of water since she almost drowned as a child snorkeling. So, we've been trying to comfort her, and one member at church is a swimming instructor and offered to take her swimming to help her feel better about the water. I'm so grateful for amazing, willing members who are so dedicated to help us and I think that's going to make a big difference with F. She's such a sweet girl. Very quiet and thoughtful. I feel really blessed to be teaching her right now!
A few days ago we met with a recent convert that is now less active because of a temporary job. Her name is Sister I.C. She is absolutely amazing. She is working right now to support her parents and siblings, but is going to be getting Sundays off asap. She has a powerful testimony of Jesus Christ. She wants to be a good person so that others that see her will know she loves Christ and is representing him well. I was just blown away by her testimony and I felt the Spirit so strongly when she shared it.
I think this week I just had so many spiritual experiences learning from the amazing investigators and members here in Chiang Mai. These people have so much faith and are so dedicated to the Gospel. It's so inspiring to me and I just feel so blessed that I was sent here. The members here just radiate with love for one another. They are always serving each other and just have this really special light about them. Truly disciples of Jesus Christ. I am so happy here!
And I just love serving with Sister Ference! She is an absolutely amazing missionary and person. She's so focused and works so hard and is extremely organized. She's an excellent teacher and just so much fun to be around. What a blessing to be serving with her!
So, for the last week and a half we've been running for thirty minutes every morning and then doing an additional 10 or so minutes of strength training. I feel so good! I've missed running! So glad that Sister Ference is in shape and loves to work out!
Well, these are the main things that happened this week. There's more, but it's in my journal and I’ll tell you when I get home!
Just know that I love you all sooooo much!