November 26, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

For thanksgiving I got called the morning of and was invited to a dinner.  We had chicken, mashed potatoes, lemon bars, and strawberry pie.  I made the pie and brought it to the dinner.  A member from another district presidency ate with us after finishing some training here.   After being stuffed to the brim, we left with Pres. Tiger to teach.   He speaks English really well, and loves to joke.  I rode around on the back of Elder Berbert's bike and let President Tiger take mine.  Our next appointment fed us.  We then played around, trying to heap as much food as possible on other people's plates.  I've never been so full.  Two huge dinners, and a great night teaching.   

Speaking of food, this last week Elder Berbert decided to be a vegetarian.  He fasted one day, but other than that he was good until Thanksgiving.  He restarted, then lasted until the after church potluck.  It appears that he is indeed capable of not eating meat.  However, he is a social carnivore.  :)   He's not the first companion who's tried to be a vegetarian for a little while, but he did make it the longest, until Thanksgiving.  Well done!

I've been given another assignment.  I now teach the Gospel Principles class every week.  This week I had 15 students.  With only 40 people at church, that's a big portion.  I really enjoy it, although it does take some time to prepare.  I have to read the lesson and look up all the unfamiliar words before class since it's in Thai.  Other than that, it's pretty normal.   I'm glad I get to teach for one hour.  I hope I can keep on doing so.  I was thinking yesterday that I hope that once I am released as a missionary (or even before), I'd like to be set apart to another calling.  I don't want a break.  There is too much that needs to be done for me to get a break.

This week has been really good.  

Tuesday we launched our new English program.  I have taken the position of English leader, and despite a number of huge signs and handing out hundreds of fliers, nobody came.  Not even any of our regular students.  We did get support from members, and had a fun class.  From past experience, a lot of ads don't give results until after the first week.  Tomorrow should be huge.

District meeting was good.  With Elder Khamsaen as our district leader, we get to have district meetings in Thai!  I love it.  Haven't had district meeting in Thai since I was a greenie.  The closest thing I've had was when I was translating into Thai.  

One of the high points is that I changed our companionship study.  My whole mission companionship study has never been too great.  Sometimes it's good, but generally it's not.  I wouldn't ever say I look forwards too it. So I thought it through, and have started a new routine.  We read, study, discuss, and practice teaching.  It's so much better.  At the very least, time flies.  I feel more prepared to teach, more united, and like it is time well spent.  Really cool. Honestly, it is just a simple application of the types of things I do to make personal study effective.

Speaking of personal study, lately I've been focusing on teaching skills, and I feel like I'm getting to new places I've never been.  Lots of new insights and new effort.  Overall I feel a lot better as a missionary.  I've never thought of myself as a good missionary, but now I see I am indeed realizing what I envisioned a good missionary to be.  Not that I'm good, but I am much more in line with what I should be.  

One of my latest things has been reading my vision to myself every morning.  I suspect that a lot of my progress as a missionary stems from this simple re-dedication each morning.

It is an honour to just stand on this earth and see the glory of it.

My favorite part of this last week had to be seeing Brother วีระชัย.  He is a young man, from a hill tribe.  He is Christian, and came here to work.  A member is currently employing him, and so he has started to attend our church.  This last week he decided to quit smoking, as the words that someone quoted from Doctrine and Covenants really impressed him.  Way cool.  He just is radiant, and says he doesn't really fight with his wife anymore.  He told us that when he goes back his friends won't understand why he is different.  Moreover, he has read and prayed every night since we gave him the Book of Mormon.  His wife has noticed the changes and while talking with him decided that she will be baptised.  Both have committed to be baptised by proper priesthood authority (he has already been baptised).  Really exciting to see such a huge change since the last time we saw him, when he refused to pray to know.

Have a great week!

Elder Robert Buss

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