Friday, April 15, 2016

Almost an epic email...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Today is Songkran Festival here in Thailand. In a couple of hours, people will line the streets and participate in the biggest water fight in the world. For THREE days, Thailand shuts down and everyone lines the streets with buckets, water guns, foam cannons, chalk, paint... everything and soaks everyone in their path...old and young...that is today. Before the chaos begins, we get to email. So thus my title... "Almost an epic email"... stay tuned for next week baby...those pictures are going to be super groovey ;) 

The Work: 
This week, we had zone conference down in Chiang Mai over the weekend. We also had the opportunity to watch General Conference (! 

Zone Conference

The District

Here is a cool story about some of our investigators... I was teaching outside the church, and Elder Rogers, the diligent inviter that he is, was literally calling down motorcycles from the road to stop and talk to him. He would shout, "Sawadeekhrap pxxan!" Which means, "Hello friend!"... So of course random Thai people slowed down to see if it was actually their friend. On one such occasion...Elder Rogers chased down these two teenagers on a motorbike, invited them inside the church, and we taught them. 

They have never even heard of the name, Jesus Christ. Their names are On and Ploy. One week later, they have baptismal dates, and last night as we taught them, Brother On said, "Let me just get this straight here elders. If I pray to God and ask for an answer, he will answer me?... And this whole baptism thing...I do something called a covenant with God, and as I promise with him that I will always follow his commandments, he promises to wash my sins away. And when I get baptized, I commit to have a new life as I wash away my sins...completely willing to follow Jesus for the rest of my life... Is that correct?"
Elder Rogers and I looked to each other with smiles on our faces and said, "Yes Brother On, you couldn't have said it any better." I am so grateful to the Holy Spirit that teaches to all people truth according to their own understanding. This 19 year old guy has a better understanding than I do of baptism, and he JUST PRAYED FOR THE FIRST TIME 3 DAYS BEFORE TO A BEING HE HAS NEVER SEEN OR HEARD OF BEFORE. 
That is the miracle of the Holy Spirit. Amazing week this week. 

English class with Elder Rogers

The Culture: 
Songkran Festival is officially (according to the Guinness Book of World Records), the biggest waterfight in the entire world. It is awesome (don't really know because this is the first time I have played). It happens once a year and is the Thai new year festival. Can't wait to get soaked in a couple hours hahahah.

The Funnies: 
Sometimes this water fight (Songkran) starts early - unofficially. SEVEN times yesterday as I was riding on my bike to appointments, I turned onto the street and my heart dropped. "Oh no" I see a huge garbage can filled with water and five 10 year olds with little buckets of doom... they sure had fun. So did my tie and my planner hahahahahahah! I just laughed and rode on. One of the boys was actually a member so you KNOW I will be going to town on him today... he is going to get it hahahahaha. I got soaked 7 more times yesterday from an old lady, 5 drunk dudes, 4 drunk girls (drunk people are ok because they don't have very good aim), and other assorted random people with water guns. 

Spiritual Thought: 
From this experience with Brother On and Sister Ploy this week, I was very grateful to have the Spirit while teaching, being around others, and contacting on the street. Recognizing the Spirit is one of the most important skills any person can learn to grow. I am learning so much about myself and about the nature of Heavenly Father as I have the amazing opportunity to teach people about who God is. The Spirit is so central in conversion. "Preach My Gospel" tells us that we must understand how our investigator must feel in order to feel the Spirit, understand how we feel in order to feel the Spirit, and in doing so can pinpoint ways to help our investigator recognize when they are feeling the Spirit. 

The Lord promises us that when we do this, our investigators will have more faith in Jesus Christ because they know how to feel of his love. I am so grateful for the Holy Spirit and the chance I get to build my relationship with him. I would invite all of you to make the necessary changes in your life to allow the Holy Spirit to abide with you more frequently. These changes may be small or big, but they are necessary I promise. We need the Spirit. It is such an amazing gift.

Holding hands around the world

Mom, Dad, Eliza, Oliva, Smith family and Driggs family... I love you all so so much. You mean the world to me. I am so grateful to come from two such amazing families who teach good values of moral strength, character building, and righteous faith. I love you all dearly and miss you. Thank you for being you.

Until next week... until the epic email... signing off.

Love the Lord and Laugh, 
เอ็ลเดอร์ สมีธ-ดริกส์
Elder Smith-Driggs  

P.S. from Tiffany
Shout out to Jen and Ethan Robbins and Julie Oliphant for guessing, "What About Bob?" as the movie reference from last week's illnesses:) 

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