All right. You are going to love this one.
Middle of the week I got hit by a motorcycle. Fortunately it wasn't hard, and I was able to kick my bike before it landed on me. (not sure how that worked). I escaped with a few minor scratches, as well as my bike still working fine. It just knocked the chain off, as I was in a low gear. Yeah. I'm not a fan of getting hit.
Then Saturday I had my bike stolen. Kind of surprising, since we could see the one bike, and it was in the middle of day with plenty of people. Our witnesses didn't know who it was, we're pretty sure we know what neighborhood they are in as well. We spent some good effort searching, but have yet to find it. This week I'll be borrowing a member''s bike, and waiting for my bike to come back. If it doesn't, I'm not sure what will be next. I was pretty calm and cheerful about it all. I just wanted my bike back and to invite them to learn about the gospel. My companion wanted to destroy them.
Yesterday I was telling people that I am from a farm with cows. I also talked about leading siblings around while doing rocks. Cows here are super skinny. I said that they didn't look good to eat, that at home we have big fat cows that look delicious. He found it funny that a vegetarian would say that. If I was forced to eat meat, I don't think I could have eaten those cows. They were skin and bones, there was no meat on them. Farm in Thai can be a loan-word. Just drop out the r. You just learned a little Thai. ;)
We are approaching the hottest days of the year. It's the day of moves and the following two days. And the nation shuts down, goes and has a massive water-fight that is out of this world. I've already started to look for a gun. (water, not real. Although I can get the real kind at the market, but I suspect there is a rule against it. And I have no use for it.) It'll be in less than three weeks.
With my ( I typed our, but I am doing all the planning and teaching, since E. LeSueur is on swichoffs until Wed. I'm taking over the area in preparation for him leaving) investigators, this weekend we should get another three baptisms. It does boost the numbers of members a bit. We've got about 250 members, but only about 40-50 people at church. Lots of inactives. Lately it's been about 50. Yesterday we had ten investigators at church, It's a very serious chunk.
Really what baptism does is boost the number of active members, which is the most important. When we have the work going well, members start to get more excited and involved, and then it really gets moving. We get more referrals, and referrals are the good investigators. Also, the new converts can really help strengthen some of the members. We have a 14yr. old getting baptized who is friends with a member, who is benefiting from it. Both of them want to go on missions. In turn, they can help another two investigators of ours who are also about the same age. It builds on itself. That investigator's brothers and mother are now starting to investigate.
That's the way to do the work. Door-to-do and street contacting never has been the way. It's almost all from the members. President Hinkley really understood it. We get people fellowshipers, friends, then we don't even call our investigators. I made one phone call to a member to set up three appointments, because she referred them to us. We know that those same members can give us a ride and help us teach. And when the investigator has questions or concerns, they have their member friend to turn to. And when they are baptized, the member baptizes them and will be there to help the convert stay active.
What we do has a big impact on the branch. It strengthens the members that help us, and gets everything moving.
I got word that one of my investigators that I started teaching in my last area is baptized, Sister หญิง (Ying=girl). I missed it since I left. Really cool to hear. I was elated. She's the first person that I started teaching and was baptized. I was there for all but the last little bit. So glad to hear about it. It's really great to play a role in all that we do as missionaries.
Elder Robert Buss