Wednesday, January 18, 2017


"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." ( - This scripture has brought me great happiness this week. Today, I am in Laos. [Monday, Jan. 16.] Border hopped yesterday and will be renewing our Thai visas here for 4 days! SO GREAT TO BE BACK. But I spent my week in Udorn with Elder Cherd - here is the update :) 

Headed over the border!
The Work: 
Something that I have been trying to get used to again is inviting (street contacting). Now as a missionary, you have to do this. You GET to do this (unless you are in Laos). It is our job to declare the word with everyone. I understand this, and yet it is so hard for me to open my mouth and testify to my Thai brothers and sisters. I know that I need to do it, and I know that Satan doesn't want me to do it... but every time I open my mouth, I just choke on my words. It is really hard, and I can't understand why. Luckily my companion Elder Cherd is really patient with me. The other day I tried to invite a family... and it came to the point where I was supposed to invite them to come to church. I stuttered for about 10 seconds.... I don't know what it was but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Elder Cherd stepped in and invited them, to which they declined. We walked away and tears filled my eyes.... am I scared? Is it a habit I developed? What is happening? I used to do this every day with great success!.... We kept walking and Elder Cherd didn't say anything.... All he did was pat me on the back and say, "Good try Elder. You are going to be ok!" The next house, we invited her together.... and we have a return appointment for next Tuesday. I am so grateful for good companions who encourage and inspire. The transition to Thailand is strange, and this week was a little bit tough, but I am surrounded by amazing missionaries and amazing members that support me. The Lord is good to us - we just have to keep trying our best and asking for help! 

The Culture: 
I was reminded yesterday as I crossed the Lao border how much Thailand is 2nd world and Lao is 3rd world. There is a literal change in the feeling of these two countries. But I love both of them. Both are filled with fantastic happy culture and lovable people. I love serving in the Thailand Bangkok Mission. Elder Carter likes to say, "WHO ELSE GETS TO DO THIS???" 

We didn't burn the fish at all...

Elders back in Laos for a couple days
The Funnies: 
I have some great ones here this week for you all.

1. Elder Cherd and I took a plane to Bangkok for a meeting for the Zone Leaders... that came at a cost. A man on the plane on our way to Bangkok was so drunk he almost passed out. Apparently he didn't like plane rides. Then, we spent the travel time back on a government train (free for Elder Cherd because he is a local). The 13 hour train ride was accompanied by a drunk man sitting across from us... and my legs were touching the lady across from me. Elder Cherd was a total champ about it. He got 4 hours of sleep. I got a solid 2. Hahahahahahah.  So all in all - traveling in Thailand with drunk people is a joy. :) 

Train of wonders

2. When we were down in Bangkok, all of the Zone Leaders crashed at the Assistants house (that is typical). A lot of the elders from my MTC  group were there which was really fun. But there were also like 6 phones with alarms set for 6:30 am. Naturally we were all tired, but when 6:30 hit the next morning, I awoke with such fear because I thought I was either at a circus or being bombed in Berlin! The alarms and their different sounds collided together creating a very happy sound hahahaha.

Friends from The MTC! 
MIA: Elder Krebs (Burma), Elder Smith (Kumps), Elder Ellis (Bangbuathong)

3. Elder Cherd and I were waiting for an appointment in a little gazebo. There was a fashion magazine sitting on the side of the bench. Elder Cherd and I looked at each other and both had the same idea. (I am convinced it was from the Spirit ;) We opened up the magazine and found a picture of a very modest pretty girl (it was totally appropriate people - let me assure you)..... perfect size for our purposes. We ripped it out of the magazine and after the day was over headed home. We went to Elder Lor's room and very expertly inserted this picture into his planner... and then set the picture as his screen saver on the phone hahahahaha. The next morning was a great surprise as Elder Lor looked at the phone and shrieked with fear hahahaha - we totally got him! (Still don't know if he found the actual picture yet though...)

The Spiritual Thought: 
The reason I entitled my email, "I can testify," is because it is something that has been really hard for me this last week. As much as the title is a pump up for you all, it is kind of a pump up for me as well. Sometimes it takes talking about something and applying it as much as you can in order for it to get into your brain, you know? We all have the ability to testify. It is legal in Thailand and America. You can physically make the sounds with your vocal chords. We all CAN testify. But do we CHOOSE to testify. What is our fear? What is the thing holding us back. Is it social pressure? Pressure from friends? Fear of rejection? Maybe we are just shy and are not confident in our ability to communicate our feelings effectively. These are all logical responses. But as much as these excuses rack our brains day after day... I am confident that everyone knows within themselves that they are disciples of Jesus Christ. Whether a new convert, a Beehive, or a full time missionary... there is somewhere in our hearts that understands that sharing the Gospel is the right thing to do. I can't say anything to pump you up or to tell you that everyone needs to start hitting the street with Jesus cards... If I were to say that, I would be a hypocrite because it is something super hard for me right now, and I am trying to get over my fear. But it is my prayer that each of you will look into your hearts and ask yourself - "Should I share?" And if the answer if yes.... be bold. Dare to be a Mormon. Dare to stand alone. Dare to have a purpose firm. Dare to make it known.

My prayers are with you all. I sure miss and love you. Keep killin' it wherever you are. I LOVE YOU ALL. 

Elder Smith-Driggs

Love the Lord and Laugh, 
ອັບຣາຮາມ ສະມິດ-ດິກສ
Abraham Smith-Driggs  

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