Is it summer yet?? It's blazing hot here!!! It definitely is starting to be hot season. Except, this morning it's been raining so there’s been a nice break/cool breeze; even a little chilly.
Well what can I say? The tender mercies of God will never cease to amaze me. I wish that in a few simple words I can explain how much God is in the details of everything. This week we faced another empty investigator pool. After our last three investigators got baptized, we had no one to teach and those who were somewhat progressing suddenly went MIA. It's interesting how much my perspective and stress levels have changed in this area. 3 months ago, when we were faced with this problem I was so stressed and I felt that with S. Zatarain still being somewhat new, I had to help set a good example for her and that I wasn't quite living up to it. But of course Heavenly Father just wanted us to show that we were willing to work and then He would take care of the rest. The result: 3 baptism! (all of which are doing well and I'll tell you a story soon) Now that we have this same problem, I don't feel that same stress and we just worked and give our best every day. Well, as we are taught in the church, we are to fellowship those who are new and help nourish and give them the good word of God. We spent most of our time visiting all 9 of our recent converts. That itself takes quite a bit of time. We also visited less actives and just worked and prayed so much to find new investigators.
So the plot thickens. Sunday comes and we are still in need of 80 people at church to get a new church building for Phitsanulok. One of our former investigators, Boom came again. She's been coming for about three weeks but during the week days she's a little flaky and won't make a firm appointment to meet with us. The three hours of church was so filled with the Spirit and there was something different. Fast and testimony meetings always seem to be my favorite because a miracle occurs. I wasn't there for Relief Society because I helped Sister Mink in Primary (which was so much fun and made me miss teaching Primary in our ward) but S. Zatarain came and found me after church and told me that Boom said she's ready to get baptized. All she said was she's ready with no further explanation. She'll be baptized on the 30th of this month after district conference!!! Yesterday, was a bunch of little miracles! Sister Bang, one of my absolute favorite members is going to Utah at the end of July for a student exchange program. She's been applying and trying with so many programs to get a host family and finally she got it! So I'm excited after I get home, I'll get to see her and welcome her come to Utah and then you can meet her too! :)
Next is brother Gap. He's been an ETERNAL investigator. He's been coming to church for a year but still hasn't been baptized because he can't get permission from his parents. They want him to do a Buddhist tradition first and he'd have to wait till he's 20 years old and right now he's 17 and then he can be baptized. So yesterday during our lesson we asked him, “Have you explained to your parents what baptism is?” He told us what he said to them and we realized that his parents probably don't understand him based on what he told us. I shared with him my favorite scripture in D&C and why I wanted to be a missionary. I told him why it was so important to me. We committed him to pray about why it's so important to get baptized for him personally. Then we committed him to pick a date for himself on when he wants to get baptized. I gave him my calendar and he said the 10th. We clarified and he said March. THAT'S THIS SUNDAY! S. Zatarain and I sat there for a minute and thought. We asked him a few more questions and then made another appointment to meet with his parents. We are seeing them tonight with the branch president to explain what baptism is and why it is a blessing and ask their permission.
This morning S. Zatarain and I talked about his lesson and how we can most effectively teach so that his parents will feel the Spirit. They don't need to know the mechanics of baptism; the details of who stands where and who say's what. We talked about how it revolves around faith. We want to help them understand who God is and what kind of love He has for them. We want them to know the Savior and feel that their son is not just getting baptized. He's following the Savior who will teach him perfectly how to be like Him and how to be saved. Part of the reason they want Gap to do this Buddhist tradition is because they believe that is how they'll go to heaven. Baptism is the first step but we all can't be saved if we don't have faith in the one who will lead and show us how to be saved. Baptism is our purpose but it is more so the individual’s desire to act as a result of their faith. It's God's plan for him, he'll be baptized on Sunday!!
Our prayers are answered every single day. We almost lost the phone on Wednesday. S. Zatarain realized it wasn't in her bag. We said a prayer and backtracked but we didn't find it. We got to the church and Brother Guy said, "Did you lose your phone? Someone called Brother Fair and he went to go pick it up for you." It was such a neat experience. Speaking of Brother Guy, he is the CUTEST recent convert. He has such "new member fire"! During dinner yesterday night, the elders told us they were teaching with him and when the investigator sat down Brother Guy assigned who would say the opening prayer and closing prayer. Then during the lesson he pulled out the missionary pamphlets and would explain parts of it. He also wants EVERY church book possible. He's been persistently asking the Elders for a Preach My Gospel book ever since he found out about it. The best part was when he found out about the triple combination: Book of Mormon, D&C and Pearl of Great Price. The Elders let him borrow Brother Gap’s for a lesson and at the end they needed it back to give back to Brother Gap. When the Elders explained and showed us what his face looked like we couldn't help but giggle. They said he looked like a kid who just got his ice cream cone taken away. Anyways, he is the perfect member missionary. When he got a calling to be a home teacher he called us right away and talked for 10 minutes about how excited he was. I love, love, love all the RC I get to know and work with.
Have a great week!
LOVE YOU ALL