Monday, July 4, 2016

Eternal Marriage...and America

What a sweet sound to my ears when I got on my email today and heard a recording of “The Star Spangled Banner” playing to my ears. It brought tears to my eyes and peace to my soul... God bless America. We never know how good it is until we leave it.

The Work: 
This week was zone conference. And I got to see Elder Chamberlain right before he goes home in a couple weeks. Just a quick shout out to him - Elder Chamberlain was my trainer, as well as a good friend of mine since 9th grade. We have played trumpet together for years in different bands and competitions and such. When I came to Thailand, he trained me! We served together for 12 awesome weeks in Bangkok. Elder Chamberlain is a dear friend of mine, and he will be sorely missed here in Thailand. Good luck at BYU buddy. I will see you there in a year! 

Gonna miss you Elder Chamberlain

Another S/O to Elder Howard. Elder Howard and I served 12 weeks together up in the north part of Thailand in the middle of nowhere. Elder Howard will be going home with Elder Chamberlain. Elder Howard - you helped me grow so much here on the mission. I love you deeply and am so grateful for your influence - good luck out there buddy. I will miss you. I have to say one of the greatest joys in missionary service is developing relationships with your mission companions. I have loved each one of my companions and am so grateful for each of them and their service. The companionship system is inspired of God. I love working with the missionaries I serve with. The work goes on. 

Quick, hide! It’s the Mormons!

The Culture: 
  • Treats like candy are only eaten by children. The grownups say they are "too sweet" or are "only for kids." 
Super fresh/raw/hip picture of the table we taught at.
  • There are no doorbells here, or doors or just yell "SawadeeKhrap!" which means hello at someone’s house, and they come out of their house to answer you. 
Brother... why do you have a turtle?

The Funnies: 
  • This week in English class we had an activity involving rhyming words. We somehow meshed it with the game "spoons," and it was an absolute riot hahahahaha. I love teaching English. It is a great time. We try to make it fun. Elder Young and I teach with Sister Blaylock and Sister Hayes. It is such a party! 

Hahaha... NOOB
  • We had to buy all the food for zone conference...and of course we were under budget...but people also under drank. Result: 21 liter bottles of Sprite at the elders’ house unopened hahahahahahaha. WOOHOOOOOO AMERICA. 
...All I have that is American - a tie and a Baseball!

Spiritual thought: 
Interestingly enough, I did not prepare a thought on America. Today as I was praying, I felt prompted to talk about a subject that is close to my heart... but one that I do not speak of very often: Eternal Marriage. I think globally that marriage is still generally accepted as a legal agreement that binds a woman and a man. That much is still basically evident. So why in the temple? What is the point? In Doctrine and Covenants 132:46, it tells us that, "...verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven." 

   The basic principle of heavenly law is that through priesthood power. a man and a woman are sealed together and bound together for time and all eternity. It is not some gimmick that we preach and then you get to heaven and Heavenly Father says, "Joke’s on you." That isn't how it works. Just like the law, a formally established code set by rulers... it cannot be changed. With the Lord, he works the same way. Eternal marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. We conduct this ordinance in our temples. I know that eternal marriage is a necessary element for entering into the kingdom of God. We are promised that everyone will get a chance to have an eternal companion in some way through God's plan. If not in this life, it will be in the next. I am so grateful that we have eternal marriage. What a blessing to be sealed with the one we love for time and eternity. I hope whoever needed that thought feels loving comfort coming from Heavenly Father. Don't worry - everything will be ok. 

I love you all. So grateful for America today, and you can bet we are celebrating here in the small city of Roi-Et, Thailand! GO AMERICA! 

Love the Lord and Laugh, 
เอ็ลเดอร์ สมีธ-ดริกส์

Elder Smith-Driggs  

No comments:

Post a Comment