It's always hard to know where to start because there is so much to say. Thanks for all your e-mails! I enjoyed reading all of them! It sounds like everyone is busy back home and life is, of course, moving forward. How's the squirt and her testing? I send out letters on Friday last week so I believe you should get them next week? I’m sending you some stamps from Thailand too…they're cute. Then again everything is cute here cause it's Asian!
Oh and before I forget, President Smith sent this to me:
3:15 PM (20 hours ago)
“Elder Victor Chen (Singapore) asked about you on a recent visit. He asked me to say “hello” for him. I told him that you were very happy as a missionary in Chiang Mai. :) I could tell that he thinks fondly of your mom and dad.”
[NOTE: Elder Chen is an Area Seventy over some of the Asia area. He is also a personal friend of the family]
Just thought I'd share. Ok, so I did better this week and made little notes of all the things that have happened and can hopefully share them in this short timeframe. First off our investigator Sister บอล is doing great! She has such great faith and Jollie, her friend that fellowships her, is amazing. I'm confident that she will meet her date on the 26 of May! We started teaching her the plan of salvation and we typically have to take it a little slow because she has lots of questions and we want to make sure we check for understanding.
I don't know if I mentioned it but with the new training program, the “new missionary” – I’m taking the lead in a lot of the lessons.
So since last week I've gotten to lead out in teaching and inviting. It's interesting because you all know that I'm a very social person but being here in Thailand and being social is hard for me. That’s due to the fact that I have a hard time understanding some things. People speak different dialects everywhere in Thailand; so for one of our investigators, I really need the gift of discernment to help me. Overall, I'm working on it and stumbling over my words; but I figure if I never say anything, I won't know how to fix it. I LOVE talking with ward members though. They are so helpful and so amazing. I want to share some of their stories in a minute.
Personal study is my favorite part of the morning. I loved it in the MTC and it has just increased so much more here. During my study, I plan it around our investigators and what they need and how I can help. During the week, I thought about what makes our religion different and true from others. I looked specifically in the first lesson of Chapter 3 in PMG and the answer circled around authority. It's amazing to think that from the beginning of the earth, the same authority has been taught and restored; from Joseph Smith to President Monson there is an unbroken chain of power. Authority that we have surrounding us especially in our own home with you dad and Trav.
I'm running out of time but today I thought about what baptism is. Of course, there are those answers like the cleansing of sin and it is symbolic of death and spiritual re-birth. But what is it really? I'm not sure I've settled on an answer but I came up (though pondering... which now I've discovered what it's like to truly ponder) that baptism is a build up of faith. Investigators are baptized because they want to make covenants with God and the promise through faith that if they obey, they will be blessed. I got so many answers this morning and always not have enough time to share. But another one of my answers came from the talk, “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” I'm so glad that I was in the YSA 215 ward. If Trav gets a chance, please thank Bishop for me. I've read this talk multiple times on the mission and it has a lot of power. But the paragraph that I got an answer from contained a quote from Elder McConkie (BTW, fun fact: his grandson was my MTC teacher!). Anyways I liked that it talks about exact obedience because that was the MTC goal I made for coming out to the field and it works! Of course!! :-)
But I’m still really with the family to finish the Book of Mormon. I’m currently in Mosiah 26. I loved how it talks about conversion because I love seeing it first hand! It's amazing! In verse 33, I think…it says something along the lines of Alma wrote the things he heard so he could have them. I thought about that and how sometimes when we receive personal revelation we don't always take the time to write it down. In PMG, the very first few pages say that when we record our thoughts, it shows God that we treasure what he has given us and He is likely to give us more.
So I don't have time to tell you Sister Imelda's story but she's amazing...I wrote it down in my journal because she's that wonderful! She taught us and she strengthened my testimony of the importance of missionary work. Such a phenomenal example! I would just encourage all of you to look for ways to fellowship and to balance your life by slowing down to enjoy the blessing of life. God organized it this way so it is right. ;-)
Well, we are headed to Swenson’s :-) hehe.
I love being a missionary. It's so amazing! We get to do it forever.
I LOVE YOU ALL!
Love Sister Yeo