Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Open Your Mouth and Preach!

HEELLLOOOOO dearest family and friends! 

What an amazing week it has been here at the wonderful MTC in beautiful Provo, UT. I just love it here. My thoughts this week are with President Packer's family. He was a great man. We had the opportunity to watch his funeral - what a testament to a great man of God. I cannot wait to meet him one day. 

Some great lessons learned this week - the one that tops the list would be "Open your mouth and preach"... as my title suggests. It comes from a letter I read this week from another missionary. The quote goes something like this: "If you want to punch Satan in the mouth, open your mouth and preach!"  I love that. Not just because I want to punch Satan in the mouth, but rather that the most important and crucial thing we can do to affect those around us is to share light and truth. 

One way I have learned to do this is through the Joseph Smith story of the first vision. I have almost completely memorized it in Thai, and it is an amazing testament to the power of speaking with the Holy Ghost. We are promised as missionaries that as soon as we open our mouths to speak... and actually speak the story of the first vision... the investigator and we will be filled with the Spirit of God. This is conditional on our faith and obedience, however (D&C 50:21-22). Elder Allen and I do our best to teach with the Spirit of God, as we learn time and time again that the Spirit can speak fluent Thai. 

How I study the BOM every day... I feel like Joseph Smith or something translating this langauge! 
But I can read it OK! 

Another lesson this week - confidence. I have always felt like a relatively confident person. I was reading in Alma when I realized that I need to be more confident in my God. My strength is independence... but my weakness is DEpendence. If I am confident in my God, I can do all things. If I am obedient, I can learn Thai (Moses 6:30-32). 

Now for some logistics... Sister Mon (as you can see by our adorable asian picture), is still with us!!! Her visa did not go through (she is from Myanmar, remember?), and so she is a solo sister with our district for as long as it takes her to get her visa. We love her so much, and she treates us like her little kids. We even call her Mee ("Mom" in Thai.. said like a sheep going "meeehhh"). She is awesome! But no one can compare to my awesome mom - YOU ARE THE BEST MOM I LOVE YOU. 

My dad is pretty great too.... but all the packages come from "Mom".... so who's the real hero? Idk... just a thought Dad. Step it up on those packages. Mom's already sent me a boat load of medicine that I really love and think about taking every second of the day ;) hahahahaha love you guys. 

Funny translations this week? This one TOPS THE LIST. 
One of the Cantonese elders, Elder Cox, was teaching a volunteer at the MTC. It was his first lesson. He was talking about the plan of salvation. All of a sudden, Elder Cox got very somber as he explained, "Through the plan of salvation, even though I have lost people I love, I can see them again....Have you lost anyone you love?" The investigator just bust up laughing hysterically hahahahahaha. The word for "kill" and "to lose" is very similar, just a tone difference. So Elder Cox had asked the investigator if they had killed anyone they loved hahahahah -classic Cantonese elders. KonYakcon (Peasants).

In other news, my comp got his AP scores back. We were about to get into bed, and he mutters - "Oh, Elder Smith-Driggs, I got my AP scores back today." "How did you do????" I asked.  He smiled shyly and then said casually, "I got straight fives!" "Elder... how many did you take?" "Six."  "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? RIGHT NOW MY COMPANION IS A GENIUS!"  He just chuckled......It's not even a big deal.

Final news for this week:  I now sleep talk in Thai... so that's a good thing. Those of you who know me well know that I already sleep talk, and it's super funny.  Now just imagine me calling out to my companion at night and telling him that he is a peasant (in Thai). Gotta love that language barrier hahahahaha 

Last thought for the day: I challenge you all to think about this this week. It has helped me here at the MTC quite a bit. In Luke chapter 22, we learn of the process the Savior went through in the Garden of Gethseme. A big part of the Atonement was suffering for our sins. As He comes back to His apostles, He finds them napping. He asks them, "Why sleep ye?" (Luke 22:46). 

Are we sleeping? Are we not taking advantage of this wonderful gift of the Atonement of Christ? If He has already suffered... why not take Him up on His offer of unconditional love? Have I been sleeping? I do not realize the enabling power of the Atonement... I will never understand it. But I do know it is real and that it is powerful. May we not sleep through our chance to reedem ourselves through His grace. For His grace is sufficent.
I love you all! 
God bless you! 
Elder Smith-Driggs  

Sent from my iPhone 

P.S. Abraham says to please tell everyone, "So sorry if I don't have time to write you back!"  Online time is like a race to see who can type the fastest/most mistakes for an hour and upload pictures.  Abraham doesn't respond to everybody because he runs out of time.

Photo with Sister Odom and companions.

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