So I reviewed my week and picked some missionary stories to share. I usually don't have stories, because I forget that I should share them. So, I decided to do better.
First off, we got a number of new investigators this week. I've not been very successful in finding for a long time. So, it's story time!
First, we taught a man named Ball. His family (and him) are very devout Catholics. The sheer fun and excitment of teaching a Catholic just sent the lesson into a serious Restoration discussion. However, I refrained from getting far out of hand. No need to talk about the problems in first Century Christianity, the Biblical practice of laying on of hands, or the Bishops of Rome. Nope, just pure scriptures (I took my mini Bible too) and Preach My Gospel awesomeness. It was a blast. He committed to be baptised by proper priesthood authority right then. I would have given a date right then, but he doesn't live here. So, we taught him every day, teaching him everything but the commandments, then sent him to the Elders in Bangna. He has converted ten people to become Catholics. The Elders in Bangna have all ten as referrals to our church. He's taking them all to church next week. Yeah. He already is trying to learn our vocabulary and called himself a Mormon.
Second, we finally got in contact with a referral. He is a christian as well! He goes to the Gloryway church here, and is full of fire. We had amens throughout the whole lesson, and when he left the lesson he raised his hands to the sky and gave a nice Halleluyah before driving off. He wasn't able to come to church because he had a friend die and had to make preparations for the funural. Oddly enough, he doesn't understand baptism at all. Or priesthood. Again, a quick trip through the Bible and Book of Mormon, and he committed to be baptised too. He just isn't sure about church. He said he would talk to his pastor, I was then inspired to turn it around to talking to God and asking permission.
My third story is also unique. She doesn't like to speak Thai - just Esan. I'm happy to listen, and I can follow along, but I can't really speak it. So, the members helped out and spoke more than normal. She doesn't even believe in spirits. So, God was a very foreign concept. It was a blast to explain God and have members also explain about God in Esan. It's way fun to listen to when people will speak clearly. However, her daughter has been learning from the Jehovah's Witnesses, but has yet to be baptised. In fact, her mom won't let her because some of the rules are strange. I have to agree, and am wholly happy to offer true commandments and authoritative baptism.
I'll leave the people stories off for now, and go into some other things. Remind me to tell about อุ้ม next week. She has yet another fun story. Also "prayerman"
I have the brand new Lao Book of Mormon, on a switchoff I read some Lao to a member. He just sat us down and said he'd read to us, but he can't read Lao. So I picked it up and had a go at it. I'm almost finished with 1 Ne 1. I can read it out as if it was Thai, but I don't really know how to do it as Lao. It's way fun. In Thai I've been reading Mark in the mornings. It's really fun as well. I just never seem to have a big enough vocabulary for the scriptures. A lot of members complain similarly. The scriptures are much more elevated than the usual common speech.
Wow. The chance in curriculum sounds really good. I know I was sick of the same stories in YM year after year. The new presentation style will be more in tune with the Spirit and with how the work should be carried out. Plus no-one has to use an already abused manual in their preparation. I'm sure this will really improve the teaching in the church, as well as the gospel learning and living.
Moves is coming up. I feel it. The members all think I've been here a long time. I've not talked about it, but having three companions is a good indication that I'm getting close to my time to move.
Finally, we had a baptism. There is quite the story behind it, but my hands are hurting from typing. He is a good kid, and I have been pleased to see how he has changed in the teaching process. The light of the Gospel is apparent in his countenance.
Like I bore testimony yesterday, is the knowledge of God manifest in our lives? Are we indeed changed? Are we still changing, becoming like him? I pray that we all will find ways to better let this light into our lives, because it is so real and so powerful. Nothing can make us more happy than the peace that God bestows upon those who love him.
Elder Robert Buss