Nook (On the left by Me) and Praew's (On the Right by S. Zatarain) Baptism!!
The Young Men; Half of them are RC's, Two investigators and and Less Active members that came back!
Branch Activity at the Waterfall
Hey, it's almost March and that seems so unreal. How was everyone's week? Is it warmed in Utah yet? It's started to get really, really hot here. Lately, we go through more water in a day than we have in a week.
This week was crazy! I've been trying to think about what to write because most of the events happened towards the end of the weekend. I had some health issues on Wednesday and had to stay home for a few days; therefore, we didn't get to do as much work as we had planned. The Elders gave me a blessing and now, I'm just about back to normal. Nothing to worry about! Nook and Praew's baptism was also another miracle because I feel like every obstacle that could have been thrown at us came our way.
We found out that Sister Nook needed a second interview so we had it all set up on Tuesday but then we found out that she hadn't told her parents that she was getting baptized. She had just told her older sibling who is like her second guardian and that sibling and said it was okay. We told her that we would like to go meet her parents and just get to know them and provide encouragement for them to support her in this decision. She was a little shifty in letting us meet her parents because "they're never free." It was really difficult to meet with them plus I couldn't really leave the house for more than a few hours. Thursday night we get a phone call and this lady told us that she's the mother of Nook and she gives full permission for her daughter to get baptized. She said Nook told her (the mom) that she really wants to get baptized so she is okay with it. Friday comes around and that is when she was scheduled to be interviewed again but we had already left the night before for Chiang Mai for training. We made so many phone calls and our branch president and young women's president plus her daughter; Sister Bang helped out so much. She passed and so the next tricky part is planning the baptism. We needed clothes, they asked Sister Zatarain and I to give talks and we needed to arrange things according to when the members would be home from the ward activity at the waterfall.
The next morning, we went to the church and set up, clean up and turn on the water and managed to find enough white clothing for the girls. When we got back to the church, the next concern is the pressure of the water. Since everyone, including the missionaries were going to the activity, no one would be there to monitor the water flow so Elder Harris said we would have to turn it to half volume. The branch activity was great and so fun. Members, less actives and investigators all went. It was interesting because Sister Praew told the branch president that she was having her time of the month and she wasn't sure if she could get baptized. Sister Zatarain and I thought it was ironic because she was playing in the water at the waterfall the whole time. We figured it wouldn't be a problem if she was already soaking wet. The cool part was, at one point the branch president, Elder Harris and us missionaries talked about baptizing the girls in the river since all the members were already there and everything. The final decision was to do it at the church. When we got back to the church, it's about 1pm and the baptism is supposed to start at 2pm because the girls needed to get to school by 3pm. We looked in the font and the water is only half way. This isn't the first time it's happened so I wasn't too worried but we were more so worried about time. We asked the girls if it could be at 3pm and they agreed. Apparently, their class started at 4, but they told us 3pm to give themselves enough time to get to school. We rushed home, changed and tried to look somewhat presentable ourselves, then went back and it all worked out!
This week, we are going to go try to find more people to teach! We need a huge boost in our teaching pool. Please pray for those who are ready to open their hearts and the members as well. Just about every baptism here has come from member referrals and English class. In other news, Brother Guy received the Aaronic priesthood yesterday!! He was so happy. We also went to meet his mom and for some reason, in my mind it made me nervous because we had heard that they were upset that he spent so much time at the church. When we got there, his mom welcomed us with a smile, took us by the hand gave us water and talked to us for an hour. She was just being a good mom when she expressed that she was concerned about what Brother Guy was doing for so many hours away from home. She would call him and he wouldn't pick up his phone and sometimes, he would even turn it off. Honestly, it made me laugh, I told her I used to be like that; I won't answer mom's phone calls because I was having fun and didn't want to come home yet. Then, we shared with her that the message we teach and have taught to Brother Guy is about change. Then we all can be better and improve and the gospel makes us happier. The lady needs the gospel! You just look at her eyes and can tell that she's tired, but she has so much love for her two children and all she wants to do is give them happy lives and success. She's so cute and sweet!
Lastly, I've been reading in Alma and this past week I came across chapter 5; a well-known chapter. This time I loved how much it talks about how the Lord, "changed their hearts". One of my friends talked about the talk given by Elder Christofferson in May 2011. "As many as I loveth I rebuke and chasten". It really hit me this week because at one point in the talk he says (something to the effect of) though it (chastening) may be hard to endure, we should rejoice and be grateful that the Lord thinks we are worth the time and trouble to correct. I loved that because ever since the start of my mission I've had a hard time with not being the perfect missionary because I know I have my faults and many of them too. But God doesn't expect us to be perfect all at one time. It's a constant change of our hearts and that we just need to try. The goal still is to be perfect but we definitely need His help if we are to understand how to become. It set up a perspective for me. Our lives are not necessarily on a time scale in the sense that we don't know when we will die but our missions are. It is specifically for 18 months or 2 years. It's a mini measurement of progression and how for the rest of this life we will never be done working towards perfection. The scriptures are great!
Well, I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful week!
I love you all!