Sunday, September 18, 2016

Full-Grown White Mushu

whats the matter? Never seen a black and white before?” - Mushu (from Mulan). My fellow family and friends! (and for the Lao and Thai people reading this as well – ສະບາຍດີ and สวัสดี) The title of my email reflects a sentence Elder Saunders said to me on Thursday. He said that it was always interesting and fun to have a full-grown White Mushuin the house (referring to Elder Smith-Driggs) ;)

I found a cool dead thing so I lifted it up

Too good of a picture not to post 
The Work
I am reminded every week of the amazing faith our investigators have. Quick story for you. About 1 month ago our friend, B____, came into the church. His older brother is serving as a missionary right now in Thailand, and he is currently living with another RM, and works with our branch mission leader. He was intrigued what made everyone who came to church so happy all the time. He didn’t understand. He had learned before but wasn’t interested. A month ago he decided to give it a second shot. He picked up the Book of Mormon and just started reading. He is to 2 Nephi 8 now. He reads and reads and reads. He loved it so much during one of the lessons he kissed the BOM. He was so grateful he had a book that makes him feel the love of God. He prayed yesterday and thanked God for being there to answer “a child’s prayer.” B____ told us yesterday that he is so excited to start a new life and get baptized. He said that he knew the Book of Mormon was true and that he was excited to serve a mission like his older brother. In his words, “Well if I know this is true, OF COURSE I would preach it…” 

I am so grateful for people who put the work into finding spiritual truth. B____ has a date for the 2nd of next month. It is spiritually draining, to be sure, which is why most people give up. In this spiritual frontier, the unknown is too threatening. Spiritual laws go hand in hand with personal revelation. We, as children of God, are entitled to answers. All we have to do is ask. Is it unknown? You bet…you have never tried it before. Is it completely bogus? Well…why don’t you put your heart into it to find out. Logically, we cannot get results if we do not test with all the necessary elements of the equation. I encourage everyone reading this blog to give the Book of Mormon a shot, just like B____ did. This week, we also worked on translating the song – “Come thou fount of every blessing” into Lao. It was way fun to sit down at a piano with the members and just go to work! AWESOME STUFF. It felt way cool to just sit there and watch them work their magic.

Elder and Sister Jensen + Elder and Sister Carter = THE BEST

The Bottom Line: 
Teaching English can be a lot of fun as long as you understand the culture of the students and embrace it with open arms.  Do the things they do, learn their native songs, and you will have their hearts:)

Teaching the deaf kids

Missionaries can all relate

The Culture:

1. Big thanks to Brother S____ for teaching me how to do the Lao line dance. I showed it to the deaf students at CMR, and they got really excited and started to line dance with me. Hahaha whether you can hear or not, a good ol’ dance is classic.

2. Here in Lao, the streets are sprayed down daily to wash leaves and various objects into the gutters. They have a big water truck and a guy with a hose, and they just walk down the side of the road. Very efficient - gotta keep those roads cool, you know what I’m sayin?! 

3. All of the food bought for the day is bought in the morning daily if you are planning to make anything yourself (to preserve freshness).

How Asian am I right now?

4. Physical contact between lovers/boyfriend/girlfriend (similar to Thailand) is very, very rare. It is very, very brave to hold a girl’s hand. And if you do, it’s almost 100% you have been dating for a long, long time. Most people start dating around age 25-27, after they finish school. No kissing allowed… especially in public. No way. That’s gross people, come on ;)

The Funnies:

1. While I was teaching, and we were doing Karaoke with the students, the guitar solo came on in one of the songs, and I just went hard playing the air guitar. Now, the Lao people are very reserved people. Kind of like the Japanese but WAY more relaxed. So when crazy “white mushu” comes in the room and plays the air guitar solo...they just laughed and laughed and laughed.

2. In one of my beginner classes at the local college, I taught the students how to ask ,“Have you ever”… with corresponding answers. When one of the men asked one of the women, “Have you ever loved me?” hahahahahahahahaha everyone just laughed, and I thought it was really cute hahaha.

The Spiritual Thought: 

Last week, I was reading a talk given by Dallin H. Oaks called, “Good, Better, Best.” ( He talks about the Savior’s teaching in Luke 10:40-42. There are many people in the house, including two women (Martha and Mary). Jesus is also at the house. It tells us that Martha is busy working around the house, doing lots of chores. Busy with this, Jesus counsels Martha (troubled and busy with many things) that “one thing was needful.” The other woman in the house, Mary, chose to stay with the Savior and “hear his word.” For sure she had chores to do as well, but she knew that the only thing she needed that day was to listen to the Savior. It was the “best” decision she could have made, if you will. Elder Oaks advises us to make a choice between the good, better, and best decisions. In this situation, Martha was anxiously engaged in a good cause. She was doing chores, being a great mom, just rocking it… but she missed the most important thing because she chose the “good” decision. There are good decisions, i.e going to church. There are better decisions, i.e doing your home teaching every month. And there are the best decisions, i.e making a concerted effort to make a difference in the lives of the people you home teach. For all you teenagers out there. Good decision: playing soccer. Better decision: playing soccer with your family. Best decision: coming home on time for family dinner after soccer practice is over. It is my argument that the best decisions we can be making always involve God and always involve our family. Which is why we have family councils, why we have family dinner, why we have family scripture study and family prayer every day. These “best” decisions help us to become closer to our Heavenly Father than anything else. May we always be mindful of the decisions we make… are they good decisions???? Can we be doing something better? Better yet… best? You decide.
Love the Lord and Laugh, 
ອັບຣາຮາມ ສະມິດ-ດິກສ

Abraham Smith-Driggs 

No comments:

Post a Comment