Saturday, August 27, 2016

Tree Hugger Entry: Here you go

First words that come to mind: Indian food, giraffe, keyboard, fast, need for speed, Lightning McQueen, the Queen of England, Battle Star Galactica... wow that one came out of nowhere.... aren't our brains interesting? Literally a million things going on at 100 miles an hour... and I have the task of re-arranging my thoughts like a Tetris board in order to adequately convey the topic of religion... undoubtedly one of the major components of why the world goes round. So let's get started, shall we? ;) 

Fabric for days

The Work: 
A miracle I would like to share from this week was meeting one of our investigators. She shall remain nameless. Let us say her name is Nancy. Nancy is Buddhist. She is a teenage girl, and she wanted to start learning about Christianity. She was brought to the church by one of her friends. We taught her the first discussion/restoration. She prayed beautifully (her first time KILLED IT). She then went home and did her homework. She came back the next day, head full of questions. GREAT QUESTIONS about Priesthood authority and the role of the Holy Ghost... and so I asked her what her expectations were - coming to learn about Jesus Christ. OK - background - most people we teach (and I would assume it is like this all over Asia)... are very accepting and very nice when it comes to religion. Yet there are very few investigators who (at first) are pumped about Christianity. Very few understand, can apply what we teach effectively, and very few can understand the scriptures. This girl, in her second lesson said these words when I asked her her expectations: "Elder Smith, I want to learn about Jesus; I want to apply his teachings; and then I want to preach it to the world.” I sat there stunned... I didn't know how to answer. I probably looked like an idiot until I could sputter out the words - "Well sister, I think you are in the right place." She is progressing fantastically and is blowing me away. Absolutely blowing me away. She is one of the prepared...the Spirit has told me many times. Amazing work. Amazing. God is REAL PEOPLE, and he is preparing people for his church. 

Also we went to eat dinner with some of our English students this week. They are so great! Just great people - I love teaching English. It helps me understand sometimes how Heavenly Father feels when his children don't understand. He has to tell us bit by bit in a million different ways until it "clicks" for us. Very similar to teaching.

Bottom Line: 
The bottom line is that being religious is not very popular. The world has kind of come to an agreement that whatever you do is OK as long as it is "right." But the problem is - who decides what the "right" is? In almost all cases, religions have moral codes. And I know from personal experience, cultures that live those codes and those that don't - are drastically different. Bottom line: religion is not popular. So be ready to take some heat for being Mormon. I think it is quite fun hahahaaha.

The Culture: 

1. For graduation here, it looks like a Valentine’s Day parade. This was us this morning at a graduation for a member at church (Congratulations Sister P___!)... and all three of us white guys were like... oh... this is what graduating college is like here. It looks like a Valentine’s Day parade with big fluffy things and balloons! Kind of fun! 

Happy Graduation/Valentine’s Day?

2. Putting bags on the ground is a no go (the ground is dirty... so don't put your bag there). 

3. Lao was originally called, "The land of a thousand elephants."

For everyone that says Lao food is bad...

The Funnies: 
1.This week we had dinner with one of our new friends. Her name is Bella, and she is from Germany. She isn't a member but was so excited when she saw other white people riding bikes in Vientiane that we went out to dinner. We laughed at the scenario: 3 white Mormon guys and a German girl went to an Indian restaurant in the middle of communist Laos. Classic awesome diversity.

2. When we left class on Wednesday, we had a listening activity with a popular American song... the speaker was still on so we put it in our backpacks and just rode around town listening to our songs for that afternoon. Boombox backpacks hahaha. The students thought it was way funny.

3. Yesterday there was something on the news that said, "Danger: Pokemon Go has become a hazardous game... please make sure to play indoors and do not go outside on motorbikes to find Pokemon... it is very dangerous especially in heavy traffic.” Hahahahaahahaha.

I'm comin for ya Harry

(Olivia says, "Notice the flying chums.")

The Spiritual Thought: 
The new investigator I was telling you all about earlier - I think I figured out the reason she is so on top of it. She is so smart and educated and driven because SHE READS. She told us the other day that in her house she has a library full of books. Now that is REALLY rare here in Asia. Because history is the way it is - lots of books were burned in many South East Asian countries. So the culture of reading is not a big deal here. In the Western culture - we thrive from the book. It gives us everything we need, and it shapes the way we govern, interact, study, along with many other things. You can see where I am getting to when I talk about the scriptures.  Arguably the most influential book in history is the Bible.... mmmm.. wonder why that is.... I don't know maybe it is because GOD IS A REAL PERSON WITH REAL PROPHETS WITH REAL BOOKS AND REAL TEACHINGS for us. The Bible and the Book of Mormon will never be destroyed. But the problem yet still remains - will we take the effort to read? My dear brothers and sisters, may we recognize the importance of books, learning, and revelation so that we can enhance our ability to achieve. Read the book. Read the book. 


Oh the trees - we need them.

Love the Lord and Laugh, 
ອັບຣາຮາມ ສະມິດ-ດິກສ

Abraham Smith-Driggs  

No comments:

Post a Comment