Saturday, September 10, 2016

House arrest? Sort of...

For all intents and purposes, we spent this week entirely in our home. Elders Magill and Morley went to Thailand for the week. My visa wasn’t yet good to go back over… so Elder Cheney, Saunders, and I have been confined to our house the entire week. The ASEAN Conference has required certain precautions for citizens, and so the Church is being extra careful not to send people looking like representatives out on the streets (especially in groups of 5 hahaha)...so President Johnson told us to stay in our home the whole week. This weekly email will give you the day by day…. Please be prepared to be amazed;)



The Work: 
Sep. 4: No church today. Five elders stayed at home. Watched some church movies, had a testimony meeting, called all the members in our phone. Took a nap. 


Sep. 5: Elder Magill and Morley leave for Thailand. And then there were 3. Went outside for lunch then came back quickly. Read some books about Laos. Read the scriptures, played speed Scrabble.

Hahahaha...we found Scrabble! 

Sep. 6: Same thing as yesterday. Starting to get pretty boring.

Sep. 7: Same thing as two days before that… now very bored.

Look who made me breakfast.

Sep. 8: Super bored, BUT the Jensens and the Carters came over to our house for dinner. It was SO nice of them. The Jensens made us some delicious cheesy chili nachos – literally manna from heaven. Amazing! 

Sep. 9: Got my visa and went to Thailand! I got to talk openly about JESUS CHRIST! WOOHOOOO SUPER DUPER AWESOME. I spent the day doing random things and regular missionary work. What a blessing.


Sep. 10: In Thailand, and since it was our pday, we spent it with all the Nongkhai branch members hahahah - the most beautiful sights today! We went and saw a cave, went to a waterfall, and went to some lookout points over Lao. WOW.  


The Border (totally safe don't worry)

You may see a lot of pictures of me doing crazy things in this post - those pics all occurred in 24 hours just across the border in Thailand. But almost 100% of the week I was in the house. Hahahahaha sorry. I hope the title makes more sense now. 

Playing in the water with NongKhai members!

Waterfall

Toured a cave...on our hands and knees ;)

The Bottom Line: 
Be grateful for the days that all of you missionaries get to go out and proselyte and cry repentance. We can’t do that here in Laos. We couldn’t even teach English this week… ugh.

The Culture: 
The Government has been doing such a great job at making sure the roads are clean and prepping everything for the ASEAN conference. Bravo to them! 

The Funnies:  
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND that the funnies from this week will most likely not be funny to all of you. Now this is understandable. Keep in mind that Elder Cheney, Elder Saunders and I have been together 24/7 in a house by ourselves for almost 6 days now. Anything is funny to us.
  1. The funnies of the week come from E. Cheney, who got his yoyo caught in his shorts twice this week. It probably wasn’t that funny but being cooped up in a house with the same guys for 5 days makes anything funny hahahahah.
  2. Elder Cheney is from a town with 2000 people in it in the middle of Oregon. The town is called Vernonia. He said this yesterday, “Not many high schools in the U.S. have a forestry class. You bet Vernonia did, and they 'took state' every year.”
  3. “Maybe I can learn guitar” - Abraham (for the record I learned 1 new chord... look out John Lennon) 
Delicious sweet pumpkin

The Spiritual Thought: 
This week I was reminded of the blessings of being anxiously engaged in a good cause. It is such a blessing to be busy. Not crazy pull your hair out busy, but busy enough that you aren't in your house all day - the Lord does not want his servants to be lazy. There are so many blessings from being anxiously engaged. Sitting on the xbox all day - sorry guys, not a good use of time. Maybe for like max 30 minutes...but there are better things to be doing. Now you don’t need to go save the world or anything... but send someone a text telling them you love them... anything to let other people know that you care. Get off the couch and make someone smile! (That includes me except I was forced to stay on the couch hahahaha.) I love you all and am so grateful for your influence in my life. You rock fam! 

-- 
Love the Lord and Laugh, 
ອັບຣາຮາມ ສະມິດ-ດິກສ

Abraham Smith-Driggs  

P.S. Mom comment: I am taking the liberty of adding a story Abraham relayed to us that touched my heart.  These young missionaries in Laos do not get to preach about Christ right now, but they do get to help some Laotians experience things they have not experienced before.  As I understand it, almost every day, the five elders go to a school for the deaf in Vientiane.  About a week and a half agothe elders were volunteering as usual at the school for the deaf when children from the school for the blind came to visit.  Abraham said it was so wonderful to be with all the children as friends, interacting with each other, some blind, some deaf.  He then told us about a young boy who was blind asking Abraham about his bike.  Abraham asked him if he wanted to ride it.  The child was amazed and said, "Really?" So Abraham and another elder held on to the child as he rode a bike for the first time in his life.  It's moments like that that touch the soul even when you can't preach about Christ.

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