Monday, October 12, 2015

God's Grace

What an incredible week of miracles! I will share just a few. First of all - we got to watch General Conference this weekend. (We watch it a week after it is broadcast for translation purposes.)  And I got to see my cousin AUDREY singing in the choir! Go Audrey!!!

THAT'S MY COUSIN!!!!!!!!  

(Link to Conference:

How we watch General Conference...gotta have gummy bears.

Also my favorite talk was Pres. Uchtdorf at the Saturday morning session. I loved his message just to keep the gospel simple. "The gospel doesn't need to be complicated!" We should always try to preserve that pretty flower of the true doctrine of Christ. If we stay true to that... if we are converted to the Lord - we cannot fail.

The Work: 

The title of my email this week reflects a remarkable person whom we taught for the second time this week. Her name is Grace. She is a Pakistani refugee here in Thailand and has more faith than any person I have ever met. I really mean that. And I say this because not only can you feel the power of the Spirit in her tiny home, but more importantly that she ACTS on her faith. As was said in this last General Conference, faith without works is dead. And work, without faith, is also dead. We taught Grace with a Thai member who will be serving a mission in Ogden, Utah in the next couple of months. His name is Brother Ding. What a great opportunity to use his English skills! We taught the Restoration to this remarkably faithful woman. Brother Ding taught about Joseph Smith and the role Joseph played in translating the Book of Mormon. After we were finished with the lesson... before we had even challenged her to read the Book of Mormon, she looked at us and said this: "I believe what you are saying is true. If Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, this book must be scripture. I will read it and pray about it. When I have questions, I will write them down. And next time when you come to visit, we will talk of the good word of God together, no?"

I was literally speechless. The Spirit had testified to her already. 
All I could say was, "Yes, Grace. We want you to do EXACTLY that." She thanked us for allowing her to serve us. She thanked us for coming over and because we came over, we brought blessings. She recognized us as servants of the Lord and invited us over any time we wanted for some "good Indian cooking." This woman is a testament of amazing faith. She fled her country for her religion - and she knows that God will lead her. Because "that is what he has always done." I love Grace. And God loves her even more. I know that Miracles happen. They are real.

Elder Chamberlain, Brother Ding, and the Book of Mormon in Urdu 
(Grace's native language)
The Culture:

1. Most common pet (besides a cat and a dog) is a sugar glider! (Like a 
squirrel that can fly - those things :)

[Photo added by mom.]

2. Yoga is spelled Yoka here in Thailand....

3. There are so many amazing people here in Thailand. We were walking 
by a mosque the other day when these very nice Muslim people talked to us for a while. A monk walked past casually. This place is thriving with religious excitement. Who would have imagined? Talking on a bridge with a monk, Muslims, and two white Mormons hahahahahhaha. I immensely respect devout people of other faiths. There are amazing people everywhere in the world! And it is such a privilege to teach about eternal truths... whether you are in Thailand or South Africa or South Carolina or Peru. What an honor to mingle with devout saints.

Some Thai treats: pumpkin juice in a bag and steamed bread with bean custard paste.  Green is the natural color.

A river with some interesting graffiti on the wall.

A giant water monitor clawed at our window...we were ready. 
[Mom comment: If you read last week's post, you know they needed weapons!]

The Funnies!

1. I messed up on a member's birthday and accidentally put only one 
number on his birthday cake instead of both numbers. Oops... so we sang to him and congratulated him on turning 4.... instead of 24 hahahahahaha.

2. Any sort of candy is considered a "child treat." So when we buy candy, 
everyone looks at us and asks if we are children hahahah. Idk - adults don't eat candy at all!

3. I sleep talk so much... poor Elder Chamberlain has to deal with me 
all the time. I talk in Thai, English, everything. Last night, apparently I was in a battle or something because I shot him with a nerf gun I keep beside my bed. I shot him in the face while he was sleeping. Hahahahah I was sleep talking/shooting.... he just thought it was hilarious the next morning because I didn't remember it. [Mom comment: He gets this from me. The stories Ben could tell...]

4. This little 5 year old kid was riding a bike that was meant for 
someone of Dad's height (6' 4") - so when he pedaled, he stood up on the pedals and it looked like he was running hahahahahah. He couldn't really reach the seat. He went so fast though! He even passed up a motorcycle on the big road! It was hilarious!

Me with a random minion just chilling' in front of a shop.  
I swear the minions are everywhere.

Spiritual Thought:

Just like Pres. Uchtdorf said during the Saturday morning session - the 
gospel doesn't need to be complicated. It needs to be simple. In fact, it has to be simple in order for us to stay rooted in the things we know are 100% true. This is what Grace does so well. What an amazing examble of humble service and constant focus on the basics. May we all focus on the basics. We need to be converted to the Lord. Not to the Church. If we are converted to the Church, converted to its programs, its activities, even its leaders - we must needs fail... because those things are not the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those activities and organizations are good things for sure - and they are a big catalyst in getting things done in a world wide church - but that Church is focused on the simple doctrine and gospel of Jesus Christ. Stick to the basics... become as little children... and we are promised eternal life.

I hope I can do those things. I know we all can with God's help. He 
will carry us along as long as we are "yoked to Him."

God bless you all. You are all in my prayers constantly.

Love always,
Elder Smith-Driggs

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