Monday, May 1, 2017

If you had an hour....

My dear friends, if you had an hour free in Utah, what would you do? Would you choose to surf Facebook, get some gardening done, visit a friend maybe? Our time is such a precious gift. It is for this reason that I would like to type a little about spending our time wisely (see Spiritual Thought section).

The Work: 
Things are about to start up here in Laos with a new semester of English classes opening up. We start teaching every day, and for the first six weeks we have a “turnover” - which is where DIC donates and builds water towers along with bathrooms. The students all gather, and they have an assembly and banquet in our honor. What a fun time to play with the kids! So look forward to fun photos next week! The members are doing well, still hanging on to have Sunday School and priesthood classes at church. Not there yet, but we are close. Elder Cheney – doing well as always. What a solid missionary!

Elder Cheney and his x-ray. He is going to be totally ok. No worries family and friends - Elder Cheney is totally fine. Everything is worked out :) 

Visiting some investigators. Great family! Great food! 

You can't help but fall in love with this little city.

Spent the day in Thailand with Elder Brooke. Had a great time! He is such a great missionary. It was such a fantastic opportunity to learn from him. Great guy!

So fun to see my dear friend Elder Ellis (same MTC group) 
when we went to Udorn this week for Elder Cheney's thumb. 

The Culture: 

Artsy pic... me and my sick ride (black sabbath). 
I may not have a car or a Segway... but the bike gets the job done :) 

Thailand and Laos are known for their massages (actually all of Southeast Asia). You will walk down almost any street here in Vientiane and see many massage parlors. You have to know which ones to go to though, or you might end up in a bit of an awkward situation (not good stuff). But, today, for the first time on my mission, I took advantage of the professionals around me, and totally got a foot massage. Ohhhhh it was heaven. Sign me up for next week.

Bamboo soup :) 

The Funnies:  
Pretty dry week… Elder Cheney and I are pretty pooped. (ทองเสียหลาย)

???? Do they have this in America now or something?

Spiritual Thought: 
I don’t think we come to fully understand our blessings that surround us until we don’t have them in our lives. Such has been the case for me as a missionary here in Laos. The rhetorical question I asked at the beginning of the entry, “If you had an hour… what would you do?” sprung into my head last night as Elder Cheney and I talked about the blessings that come from living a gospel-centered life. Think about it for a second… if you had an hour… some might choose to get updated on the latest Facebook posts, while others might choose to read the newspaper. Some may sit down to watch a football game, while others might pour over a favorite author’s new book. Do we realize how much of our free time can be spent lifting others? Spiritually and physically, I understand that sometimes we feel spent. We need a break! This life is too much GO GO GO. May I suggest just one thing we can do?

Go to the temple of the Lord. I live within 30 minutes of a few. I could actually go to the house of the Lord.

I realize that my life revolves around being a missionary right now. And I understand that some of you are sitting there reading this going, “This is all well and good Elder Smith-Driggs… but my life is just simply too busy to go to the temple. Maybe you can because you are a missionary. You don’t have to work a full-time job; you don’t have to pinch and save for college; you don’t have to raise 3 kids, etc. I can’t fit it all in.” Well, maybe you are right. But I have learned as a missionary that amidst the tumultuous times we live in, the things that will bring us the most happiness are our God and our family. If we don’t have enough time, we need to make time. The temple fits in both God and family. A win-win, if you ask me! We live just minutes away from several of God’s palaces on earth. Millions of saints all over the world scrape and save until they can one day go to the temple… some taking lifetimes to do so. They understand the blessings and covenants at the temple are more holy than anything else in the world.  If you had an hour a day free…. I would hope that that time would be spent with the people you love most. Your God, and your family. To all of my family who is reading this, Mom, Dad, Eliza, Olivia, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents… I love you dearly. I wish I could phone you and hear your voice and have a conversation with you. My prayer is that we can simplify our lives to a more simpler, God-centered way of living. Please make sure that way of living includes the temple. It is what Daddy wants. 

Love the Lord and Laugh,
Elder Smith-Driggs

Love the Lord and Laugh, 
ອັບຣາຮາມ ສະມິດ-ດິກສ

Abraham Smith-Driggs  

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