Monday, October 26, 2015

Monsoon Miracles

Hey look Elder Chamberlain.... a snake!

I know... this week the title was a little lame. I didn't get much time to search ponder and pray about it. But there was a Monstrosity of a monsoon that hit this week. Everything flooded, and we were walking in water all day so that was SWEET! 

The best pic I have of how hard it is raining right now....

Don't worry Mom - that poncho came in way handy, and we got some new investigators because I looked like a giant plastic bag - so props! 

The Work: 
Some cool things that happened this week. One of our investigators that moved to another area got baptized this Sunday! Her name is Sister Claire. She is awesome. Loves the Bible and was all about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. "I have finally found the truth." 

Another amazing thing: we finally had someone show up for their appointment, and it is a family! They want to change religions to Christian and are willing to do anything. The dad accepted a date for baptism in the future. 

Update: Grace and Augustine are doing great! We showed "The Restoration" in Urdu (their native language) and that gave them a better handle on it. They love talking about the work of God! (See picture.) 

Augustine, Munaib, and Grace at their home with Elder Chamberlain!

Something I noticed this week: Here in Thailand the first lesson is mainly focused on who God is, who Jesus Christ is, and who the Holy Ghost is. God is not a thing here in Thailand very much. Most people say they know who He is but have no idea what He has done. Think of it like if some Buddhist people came up to you in Utah and asked you if you wanted to learn about Buddha... you know who he is, but you don't understand the religion or anything. That is how we proselyte! (Except we ask if they know Jesus,... they already know Buddha hahahahahaha.) Normally our first lesson ends with teaching the investigator how to pray, rather than the restoration of the gospel. Just an interesting thought.

I had an amazing switch off with the Zone Leaders this week. I switched off with Elder Theerapong. He is absolutely a stud. An amazing example of what a representative of Jesus Christ should be at all times and in all places. He is a convert of 3 years and is the only member in his family. I love Elder T. He is a STUD! Also I taught him some hilarious English expressions during language study (we only spoke Thai so I got to teach him a little English). I can't express the feeling I got when teaching with him. He taught with boldness and with power. He asked the right questions that were prompted by the Spirit, and I learned a TON. Amazing man. 

The man, the myth, the legend: Elder Theerapong

The Culture:
1.There is a Wat (Buddhist temple) right next to our house so every morning when I shower I hear the monks chanting outside. A great wake up:) I love the culture here in Thailand! 

A former investigator whipped this up in 30 minutes!

2. There are lots of poisonous creatures here, including a centipede that I found while cleaning a member's backyard (picture not included because if I got too close, the venom would kill me).

3. They serve food at restaurants hot when it comes out. You don't normally wait for everyone else to get their food. You just start eating. Unless you are with really old people and then you wait even if your food gets cold. 

Delicious Thai treat... it was actually very good!

4. Strange thing that I found out when teaching family history this week - most KhonThais don't know their exact birthday. They don't go to hospitals or anything like that, so their birthday is usually a month of the year :) Kind of cool you could have birthday cake every week! 

They see me rollin....

1. Elder Chamberlain found a live cockroach in his shoe this morning hahahahahahaha. No explanation needed.

2. Our investigator Augustine said that when angels are happy, "Throngs of angels praise God. And they are happy, and they eat KFC and are even more happy." Hahahahaha KFC is a big thing here.

3. Because they use padlocks for their homes (usually), sometimes people get locked INSIDE their homes because another person has the key and has left the house already. Hahahahah cough cough Brother Ding cough cough.

Hilarious man with a Hello Kitty bike
[Mom comment: Abraham is truly a giant in Thailand.]

Spiritual Thought: 
Recently I have been studying in the New Testament and have absolutely loved the parables that are found in it. Jesus mainly taught using parables because it was easy enough for others to understand but hard enough that after a lifetime's study, the pure lesson can never be found. Each time you read a parable you get something new. I love reading the parables from the perspective of being a missionary. It is different than reading the parables as a student. Simplicity is the essence of the gospel. But it is so simple that it will take years to expound on the understating of the teaching of Christ. If you are reading this email - I want to challenge you to pick a random parable today. I want you to read it, and I want you to write down in a journal or on a phone your thoughts of what you think it means. And when you have done this, I want you to pray and ask Heavenly Father, "What lack I yet?" Each parable that Jesus teaches inspires us to be better and to do better. By asking this question to our Heavenly Father, we give him the opportunity to give us revelation personal to us. The parable is the gateway for understanding what quality we lack. I promise that when you do this, you will feel the love of God more so than ever before because you are using a principle of truth. Faith + Action. And that is the recipe for success. Read a parable, pray, ask, follow up. You can do it! I did it, and the response was AWESOME! 

I love you all so much! Here is some Thai that may lighten your mood. But no using Google translate that is cheating. 

Love always,
Elder Smith-Driggs  

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