Sunday, September 4, 2016

Pure Emotion

--- feels like hot chocolate being poured into my soul when spending time with the deaf children here in Lao. Amazing week this week. Absolutely amazing. 

Hahaha my students gave me an apple... I am a legit teacher now.

The Work: 

SO INTERESTING NEWS - Because of the ASEAN conference that is being held here in Vientiane this next week, we are not allowed to go outside of our house (except to eat food), and we can't be in groups larger than 5 (government orders). We will NOT be having Church services tomorrow. It will be the first (and hopefully last) time I have not gone to church on my mission. The government has shut down all schools and activity for this conference. I have no idea why... but they did, so we follow their lead! SO we 5 elders will be staying at our house for this whole week...doing nothing but napping and studying the scriptures and maybe an occasional card game. Pretty weird huh? Hopefully, we don't kill each other hahahahahaha. In other news - we got two newbies here in Laos baby LET’S GOOOOOO!!! Elder Cheeney and Elder Saunders arrived in Lao last Wednesday night at like 10:30 pm.  They were a bit shell shocked that first day hahahah. The work here in Lao is totally different. I absolutely love it here. A lot of missionaries think it is just a vacation, but that is totally not true hahahaha. It is hard being here in Lao, it is. You can't share the gospel, and so you are forced to fill your time with other things. Sometimes we just have hours where we are not doing anything, and we are stuck at the church. It is just the way it goes. I know that probably sounds so strange to missionaries out there, but that is how the Church operates in a communist country. The only other communist countries currently in the world are China, Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea. So we do the best we can. I love it here in Lao, I really do. 

National monuments. Lao is great!

The "Bottom Line": 

This week, as you can tell from my email title, has been focused a lot on emotions and responses to emotions. The bottom line is that if you can't laugh at your mistakes (whether it be language or personal), you are going to have a very hard time bouncing back and moving on. Please, take a load off your stressful lives and just laugh a little.... laughing is of God, and it helps with so much! 

The Culture: 
  1. For scaffolding, instead of metal they use bamboo (IMAGINE THAT).
Queue for FREE BURGERS today!!!!!!!!!!

2. As an excuse for not saying something or doing something.. it is very common to say "I am shy..."

3. There is no TV here in Lao. Their stations are all in Thai. 

4. There have been lots of government officials going around Vientiane, and so all traffic is stopped to allow for their safety. We also see tanks and soldiers regularly (actually we only saw 1 tank but "tanks" sounds a lot cooler). 

5. Unlike Thai, Laotian (the language) is much more loosey goosey on the tones... so it is hard to tell what is "correct" and what is just "spoken language"... I LOVE IT.

Market of wonderus exotic frutas

The Funnies: 
  1. When we first saw the tank we were way pumped and wanted to take a picture with it so the soldiers consented and we took a picture with a Lao tank! WOOHOOOO 
The Elders of Lao

2. Sometimes we pretend that we don't speak Lao when ordereing food. So when we order meat, we act out and sound out the animals. The waitresses think we are absolutely hilarious hahahahahaa.


3. We had some "culture training" in my English classes this week, and I showed a couple of them the "cupid shuffle," which is just a line dance I learned growing up. We taught them how to do it, and we all did it as a class hahahahaha. Hopefully I can put a video in to show you all - It was HILARIOUS.

English students took us to lunch!

Spiritual thought: 

This week I felt impressed to talk about Pure Emotion along with Love. Every day we get to go and visit the deaf students at the National Rehabilitation Center. All the elders in Lao get to study sign language and teach the deaf children. They are amazingly happy. Like I said earlier - it feels like hot chocolate :). Something I noticed right off the bat was that they all laugh. I am talking hearty laughs...not just giggles. Now, mind you, they can't hear themselves laughing, but they laugh nonetheless. It is raw emotion. Everything that comes out of their mouths is completely raw emotion. It strengthened my faith that GOD laughs up in heaven every day. He gave every one of his children emotions - and these Christlike deaf children exude love and happiness. They are amazing, and we get along great. For those who know me, I am very crazy, and I move my hands a lot so the deaf kids just eat it up hahaha. I even have a deaf name! I will show you it later. Anyways - their example to me this week made me think about LOVE. Love is defined as "deep devotion and affection." I was struck by the definition because the primary word is devotion, implying loyalty. Isn't that what love is? As human beings - the people that we love...we are always loyal and devoted to them because we cherish that love. It is my prayer that we can show God how much we love him through being loyal to him. We are loyal to God by keeping the commandments. I know as we keep the commandments, we can literally feel God's love for us. And, similar to a return investment - we are enticed to invest more and give more and more and to stay loyal to that Creator who loved us enough to die for us. May we love loyally is my prayer today in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Miss you guys. Stay sweet.


Love the Lord and Laugh, 
ອັບຣາຮາມ ສະມິດ-ດິກສ

Abraham Smith-Driggs  


  1. Elder Smith-Driggs you are truly awesome!! Sister Martell��

    1. Hi Sister Martell. This is Elder Smith-Driggs's mom. He doesn't see blog comments because he doesn't go online. I post the blog for him right now. I will send your comment to his mission email address. Thanks for your work in Thailand! If you are who I think you are, I heard great things about you from a dear friend, Deirdre Scharffs, before you left for Thailand:) Thanks again for helping all those missionaries!