Monday, January 11, 2016

Brutal Blessings

WOW this week was hard. Completely Brutal, but I am sure glad we had it. Sometimes you just need a brutal week to kick you back in gear, ya know? Let's just say I am glad it is P-Day, and we get to have a short break. Let's get down and dirty...

The Force Unleashed
(Mom comment: They went to ride ostriches last P-Day.)

Our version of "STAR WARS"

Stare down contest... ready... GO .... The ostrich won. 
The Work: 
The work has been slow this week. We had a lot of pitnats (canceled appointments), and it was really hard to contact people this week. The GOOD news is that we have progressing investigators who are coming closer to Christ. I will tell you about some of them. 

One man, Brother Saw, is half Chinese and can only read Chinese. We have been waiting for a Book of Mormon in Chinese from Bangkok, and we finally got one to give to him. He was SO excited! He loves the word of God and has amazing faith. The B.O.M is central and key to conversion. I know that it answers questions of the soul. 

Sister Jay: She is great and loves coming to church. She has come a solid 4 weeks in a row and is learning bit by bit. I have learned that sometimes you need to be patient with people, especially because they have no Christian background... no belief in God. We can't just expect them to come to church every week, change their whole lives and their culture in 4 lessons... we must be patient and kind. What would Jesus do? 

This week was rough for sure. There were many times where Elder Howard and I had to just stop and pray for help and encouragement. God always provides. He always provides the strength to keep going. 

Sunset on Chiang Rai Thailand
The Culture: 
1. Women clean the male bathrooms here.

2. Difference between Thailand and America. 
American parents: "Alright kids, hop in the minivan. We are going to the movies!" 
Thailand parents: "Alright kids, everyone hop onto this 1 person scooter. We are headed to the fruit market!" Record of people seen on a Vespa: 5 person family - Mom, Dad,13 year old, 3 year old, and a newborn in the mom's arms on the back. Classic Thailand :)

3. White people in Chiang Rai - I have no idea where these people are coming from because they are absolutely MASSIVE human beings. I swear - I was talking to this woman yesterday, and she was a head bigger than me. Are white girls really this tall back in America? It is terrrifying to be honest. I will probably go home short.

4. We went to a Thai wedding this week! That was a highlight! One of the member's daughters got married to a man from Bangkok, and they had an awesome reception! Very fun and great cultural experience. You should all check out Chinese Buddhist wedding rituals - very cool. 

(Mom comment: For those not familiar with missionary lingo, 
I think "trunky" means missing things from your home culture.)
1. On our way to Chiang Mai this week (3 hour bus ride for zone training), I was so car sick because it is practically a Provo Canyon drive for 3 hours in a huge tour bus. At hour #2, I threw up all over my companion, who was asleep, and the bus.... classic. I felt so bad, so I went to the very back of the bus to the bathroom, but it was so small I couldn't fit. So for the rest of the ride, I was thrown around a portapotty at 60 miles an hour. Awesome experiences. Can't wait to see the re-play of that in heaven hahahaha. 

Sleeping beauties

2. There was no bus back to Chiang Rai during the night, so I had to stay overnight in the Chiang Mai house. Classic. Good thing I was in my throw up clothes.

3. This adorable little sister asked me yesterday at church: "Elder Smith-Driggs, does it ever get this cold in Utah?" I said, "Yes of course!" She sat there for a second and said... "So do you shower once a week or what? How do you shower if it is so cold? Do you shower every day? Because us KhonThais shower every day." Hahahahahaha I think she thought that we don't have hot water heaters in America. It was adorable hahahahaha. I assured her that I showered every day. Every day. 

Spiritual thought: 
Well, at the culmination of a very amazing week of joy and gladness and hardship and sickness.... this one scripture got me through, and I LOVE IT. Check it out: 2 Nephi 4:19 -  "And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted."

I know in whom I have trusted. Those are such powerful words. I know in whom I have trusted. I have decided to serve a mission, to be a representative of Jesus Christ, to wear the badge, to be part of the Army of Helaman... after all is said and done, I am very weak. I am weak. I have many sins, and sometimes we may feel like we have given all we have. But I know in whom I have trusted. My Savior Jesus Christ is my advocate, my shepherd, my Redeemer, and my best friend. I know that as we trust in him we have no need to fear because we know that we have already won the fight. We will succeed if we keep the Savior on our side. If you have not felt his love for a while, please ask for it. Please just ask in prayer. Never prayed before? That is OK... we all have to start somewhere. Just get down on your knees, close your eyes, and believe that God is there. Then wait.... and ask Him how much he loves you... or if He loves you at all. He will answer you because he has answered me. I know that God loves us. Trust in him, and we will be able to say like the great pioneers: "All is well, all is well."

ALSO JUST BY THE WAY, MY SUPER ROCKSTAR SISTER just came out with her first ALBUM. So PEOPLE get on this and listen to her stuff! Anyone that knows her knows she is just a star and has an absolutely gorgeous voice of an angel. I cry when I listen to her voice. It is that good so LISTEN TO IT!

(My mom added the photo and links.)

God bless you all my dear family and friends. I pray for you often and think of you every day. I love you all so much! 

Love always,
Elder Smith-Driggs  

No comments:

Post a Comment