Monday, March 14, 2011

Our investigators get Baptized.

This week our family of three was baptized, yay! They have had quite a few challenges but many blessings and miracles too. I wish I could of understood their testimonies spoken in Thai.

This week we got, what Sister Hirschi says, the closest to a golden investigator. In our intro lesson we found out that she prays everyday and reads the Book of Mormon everyday too. And if she doesn't read it at night she will place it on her pillow so she will read it in the morning. How is it that investigators, or in this case, a lady who only had 3 lessons about one year ago can be more valiant and steadfast in the faith than members?

I have been dreaming about home more and more, like everyday stuff, like baking in the kitchen or seeing my dog, Phillip, in the house, I think I am missing home. 
Sorry for mentioning this again, in the book "Our heritage" one story really stuck out to me this week, about a couple who saved for 7 years to go the temple, to do ordinances for themselves and on behalf of their ancestors who had passed.  While out picking up some necessities, of which the temple gave them some money to purchase they found the wife crying in an aisle holding a bottle of Shampoo, she had not purchased shampoo for 7 years.  I am not asked to make that sacrifice and neither was she.  But she did.  How can you relate this story to your life?  I think I loved this book so much because it was easier to see these people as real people. Sometimes in the scriptures (mainly old testament, basically all time actually) it’s harder to relate to the people or see them as real.
Also I thought this week about when I used to work at the hospital and how one coworker was so surprised "They don't pay you to go?!  ...What? and YOU have to pay to go?"  I just shrugged it off as nothing but this week the scripture came to mind of how paid ministry is a priestcraft, and I am a minster, I have a ministering license actually, signed by the prophet himself. :)  So yeah, in the church, no one is paid.  Including me. 
Also this week I thought about Home and Visiting Teaching, and how this has been such a blessing to my family when we had members visit and befriend us and also when I was in the YSA, how my assigned visiting teacher partner is such a great friend of mine and how those we taught we loved and had great friendships from them.  It was great, and like scripture study, I never thought when I was doing it "I wish I wasn't doing this right now" and afterwards always felt "I was glad I did that, I should do it more" (same with exercising)
Oh, I made a mistake with culture customs, I saved two seats in sacrament, and in front of me in the aisle was my backpack and scriptures and study journal.  I motioned the investigators to sit by me as they came in late, for some reason they wouldn’t step over my backpack, I moved it and they still stepped around my mini quad. I thought it would have been so much easier for them to just step over the little thing but then it hit me "it is disrespectful to step over things" showing the bottom of the foot/shoe is considered dirty, and if you step over anything or show the bottom of your foot to anyone it is like flipping someone off. oops! 

I almost lost my companion this week, we exchanged for a day. I got to be companions with a real Thai person, who spoke as much English as I did Spanish, we both took two years.  So it was tough, she would smile at me and touch my shoulder in lessons when she wanted me to speak or pay attention Lol.   I liked her smile, very warm.  Anyways, back to losing her.  For transportation here you just get the back of a truck by flagging one down (look up picture of song taw, truck bench, Thailand transportation etc). The truck started moving just as I was only half way on, and my companion was not even on yet, but I didn't notice this so half way onto the step, and on this small step, my hands are at perfect waist height, you can already tell where my hands will land, as I was stumbling on I totally get a nice grip on a strangers bottom, yeah, she was surprised, and I was too, with a different stranger grabbing my forearm to pull me up, another person points behind me to my companion, who is running down the road. I quickly buzz the buzzer to stop the moving truck and get off. I am sure it looked like I did not pay for those who did not see me get on. I then thought "for sure thinking of ways to lose your companion and escape Thailand you didn't hesitate that time"  .......
Well, I figured out why a mission is so hard, I probably knew all along but just didn't like the answer.  A mission is hard because you have to depend on the Lord.  You pray harder than you have ever prayed and longer  and more frequently than ever before in all my life, probably all my life prayers calculated to right before my mission versus my mission prayers. I think my prayers within the last 4 months exceed my prayers before my mission.  Tears come close too.   A mission could be the easiest thing I ever do, I thought as I prayed in Thai " I request gratitude to thank thee for the opportunity to be a missionary" and then breaking down in "I don't want to be a missionary, please give me the desire to be a missionary, I don't want to be here" I was then reminded and thought "ok, lets see, I have no friends, no drama, no boys, no family, no school, no work, a mission should be easy," look at all those stresses I don't have to deal with!  then why am I so stressed.  I then realized Heavenly Father just asks that we give our best, then anxiety stuck again, what is my best? How do I know?  I am failing to be a happy missionary!...  I don't even know if that is possible...

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