Today I learned an important lesson. That no matter how much you think you got life figured out. YOU NEVER DO.
This last week and a half or so has been the most exhausting, rewarding, heart wrenching, beautiful, emotional week and a half of my whole mission. But regardless of what has happened, I am comforted by the words that Sister Larson sent to me in an email....I believe she was quoting Elder Ballard from last conference..
"God's plan is in place. He is at the helm."
When we humble ourselves and realize who is REALLY at the helm of our lives. We can take comfort that every single experience we have is ALWAYS for our good. "...and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou...that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." (D&C 122:7)
I am not going to go into detail about what exactly I experienced this last week but I do hope that you will still feel the weight of my testimony.
I testify that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God. That He single handedly atoned for ALL the sins of the world, and that He also atoned for ALL the trials and infirmities of every single individual on this earth. I KNOW that He did. And I know that through sincere repentance, we can change our lives. No. We cannot change our circumstances, but we can change our perspective. Pain can become peace. And heartache can become healing. BECAUSE of Him. The Power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ IS enough. "And as many should look upon that serpent should live, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might live, even unto that life which is eternal" (Helaman 8:15)
Don't let the impossibility of all of this prevent you from believing. Just believe, and I promise you, you will experience a joy that you never could've ever imagined. REAL peace. REAL joy.
Lastly, I testify that God is our very Eternal Father in Heaven. He loves us. And He is more aware of us than we are aware of ourselves. He knows every thought, and He knows every intent of our hearts. So trust Him. He loves you. (D&C 6:16)
I know that through sincere prayer we can communicate with Him, and receive very real answers to those prayers.
I love my Savior, and my Father. More than I can even express.
And I says these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Still smiling!!!!! Still happy!!!!! <3
P.S. In case you are reading this and don't know. I จบ (finish my mission) in 7 days!! What???? I fly out Wednesday, April 20th.....>.<
Sister Rungthip and I at the Water (สงกรานต์) Festival Ward Party!
Me and an investigator receiving blessings! It's a cultural ritual.
FOUR of our investigators were baptized and confirmed in the last week here in Roi Et. My heart is so full. I could not stop smiling as I watched from the piano bench (thanks to Sister Larson going home, I now play the piano on Sundays...555..). I watched as each of them received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I couldn't have asked for a better Fast Sunday. This week was just wonderful! Sister Joy, Pia, Q, and Angel are the newest members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints here in Roi Et. I love them. :)
Also, had my last MLC in Asoke this last Thursday! It feels so long ago. But I remember it being incredible. I wish I had more time to write about it but we are short for time today. We went to Surin and rode elephants again!! And I got to see members from Sisaket for the last time. Huge shout out to them! <3
I am so excited for CONFERENCE!! We will watch it this weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
And also this week we are having a ZONE CONFERENCE. So all the missionaries in the Ubon and Roi et Zones will be here on Wednesday for interviews! So excited!
Then NEXT WEEK, is the huge สงกรานต์ festival in Thailand. The Ward is having a huge Ward Party on the 13th, Then our P-day will be the 14th!
Time is flying by so fast!! I can't even believe it.
I feel so blessed..
I am just so happy like always. Which is so incredible. I LOVE MY COMPANION. So much. Sister Rungthip is seriously going to change the WORLD, here in Thailand. She is just the most amazing missionary. I feel so lucky to have served my last 3 months with her!
Everything is happy, everything is in order, we are just working like always!
I hope conference inspired you this week! Love you all!
Favorite Quote/paraphrase from Sister Johnson at MLC:
"If you don't love someone, serve them until you do!"
1. Angel and Q got baptized on Saturday and then got the HG with Joy and Pia on Sunday! :)
2. Flying home from MLC!
3. Family History Fireside in Roi Et! I love these members!!!!!!!! <3
It has been 3 months since Sister Yang first met these two! I love them so much. They growth over these last 3 months has been incredible, and the fact that they got baptized on EASTER makes is so much better! Best EASTER EVER!
Also, this week we had a fun Ward Easter Party....Elder Smith dressed up as a bunny....555+ and we taught everyone how to play Red Rover! So funny. The best part was the first hour of the party though, where we taught everyone the real meaning of Easter. That our Savior Jesus Christ was Resurrected. Elder Webb did a wonderful violin solo musical number, and we watched all of the Because of Him videos that the church has put out. Including the new one from this year, "Hallelujah". The spirit was so strong and it ended up just going so well.
This has been the best Easter I have ever had by far.
Here is what my motto for Easter has been.... MOSIAH 16:15
"Teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen."
I have seen so many blessing from teaching towards Easter and towards the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ this Easter season. I am going to make that a permanent change in my teaching. Not just during Easter but focusing more on the Atonement all year round...I want to "always remember him", so that I can "ALWAYS have his spirit" to me with me.
This next will we are going to Bangkok again for MLC on Thursday! My last one of my mission, and then next Thursday April 7th, will be my last Zone Conference. So crazy to think. It doesn't even feel like it. I honestly feel nothing. 555+ I just feel happy like always, and just at peace with life. Everything will workout, it always does. But that doesn't mean you don't have to TRY.
I love the quote from President Johnson in his email today.
"I firmly believe any two missionaries can have a good companionship if both are willing to try. So try."
Amen!!! Apply that to every aspect of your life and you will be happy. Because it is in the "TRYING" that that peaceful reassurance comes from. And it is when you feel that peaceful reassurance that you don't stress out over the little things, because you have hope in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that one day everything will make sense.
I hope everyone has a great time TRYING this week! :)
Both Sister Rungthip and I are staying together here in Roi Et! It's actually our dying wish! I am so excited. I love her SO much. She is THE most incredible missionary. And now she can keep teaching me อีสาน !!!!!! เว่าลาวได๋บ่ กได๋แล่วเด้อ
Today was on of the best days of my mission...
So for P-Day we drove to a tiny หมู่บ้าน out in the middle of nowhere and jumped into a giant muddy hole to catch fish with our bare hands. THEN we took those fish, cooked them over hot coals, and had an อีสาน feast! I was covered in mud from head to toe, and just the happiest little kid you ever did see! ^.^
This last week was so wonderful. After we got back from Bangkok, we had another switch off with the two other sisters from Ubon! It was a ton of fun. I switched off with Sister Strickland! She is from New Zealand. But her family is from a small island called Nuei, which is really close to Tonga! She is SO cute! I think I forgot to take pictures though. Her brother served a mission in Fiji! :)
As for our investigators, right now we are working with 5 daters for this month!!
1. Sister Joy (13 yrs) - date: Mar. 20th
2. Sister Pia (13 yrs) - date: Mar. 20th
3. Sister Angel (16 yrs) - date: Mar. 20th
4. Sister Cue (18 yrs) - date: Mar. 27th
5. Sister Pound (18 yrs) - date: Mar. 27th
They are all so great. We are trying to work with their families as well though. Because as you can see they are all pretty young. They all really do have such great faith though. I can honestly say that they are the reason I am so grateful I am not moving. So many miracles with each and every one of them. We have a few other progressing investigators as well. Like I keep saying. The work is just exploding! We also have about 5-7 RC's that our companionship is working with, and unfortunately a huge handful of LA's. But something I am impressed with is the retention of the new RC's these days. Retention in Thailand is getting so much better as we work to strengthen the wards. Most of these LA's we are working with are long time members that just recently went in-active. For the most part, everything is going smoothly. This is SUCH a great area!
So for this next transfer, I am still STL, and the new STL with me is Sister Blaylock. Sister Ong's ลูก!! I met her once when she was a greenie in Asoke. Back in May last year. I remember that she plays basketball, and that she is friends with the Jackson Twins from Camas. Because they played on the same intramural team at BYU-Idaho! Crazy small world right?? I can't remember where she is from but I think Utah?? I am so excited to be STL's with her over the Roi-Et and Ubon zones!! Seriously this next transfer is going to be so much fun! Also, the only other person moving is Elder Bunker! He is going to Chiang Mai, and Elder Webb (yes from my MTC district who I served with in Sisaket) is going to be ZL here in Roi Et!! Crazyyyyy we are serving in the same district AGAIN, for the third time...555+
Last but not least. Sister LARSON is dying!!!!!! She literally flies home on Tuesday. I am going to miss her so much. We have been STL's together these last 4.5 months and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I LOVE THAT CRAZY GIRL! Luckily she will be at BYU in AUG so we will see each other, but I honestly cannot thank her enough. Huge shout out to her for her amazing testimony and hard work these last 18 months! สู้ๆ ต่อไป
I hope everyone has a great week, and remembers to checkout the Easter Initiative by the church called: "Hallelujah" the link is on Mormon.org or LDS.org, I am assuming? It come's out March 13th!!
Oh and if anyone is still confused as to what I am doing here in Thailand I think
D&C 42:6-8 says it pretty well!
"6 And ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two, in my name, lifting up your voice as with the sound of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God.
7 And ye shall go forth baptizing with water, saying: Repent ye, repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 And from this place ye shall go forth into the regions westward; and insasmuch as ye shall find them that will receive you ye shall build up my church in ever region-"
That pretty much says it all. My favorite part of that section is and "...ye shall find them that will receive you..." I am not here to force people to change religions. I am here to find the elect. Those already prepared by Christ to come unto him.
Our Missionary Purpose:
"Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel by Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End."
That is why I am here! And my motive is all for the "love of God, and all men."
I am here because I love these people and I know that through Jesus Christ they can have a deeper understanding of who they are and their purpose in this life.
I know Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World.
I hope everyone will find a way to understand that phrase just a little more this week.
They drained most the water before we went fishing
So this transfer is already almost over!!! Next Monday is transfer day.
So I potentially might be in Bangkok this Saturday and Sunday if I move.
Honestly, this transfer flew by....transfer calls come this week and all I can keep thinking is how much I want to stay and จบ in Roi Et. But who knows...
This last week was pretty crazy. Left for Bangkok on Tuesday for MLC and got back Friday. We made a stop in Korat to do training there and I got to go visit my companions family! Which was so much fun and a really good experience.
Then we did training in Roi Et on Saturday. Which went really well. That Eternity Moment that me and Larson are obsessed with happened again. Sunday also was so great. Fast Sundays are always the best! We went and visited the 95 year old member again on Sunday and this time I got a picture!! He is Grandpa Dean!!!!!!!!! 555+
Tonight we leave for Bangkok again because I have to renew my visa tomorrow morning in Bangkok. So that's kinda inconvenient for the last week of the transfer.
But I'm not even mad! Because life is just good. Working doesn't even feel like work, and life is just beautiful. Nothing is more fulfilling than helping others come unto Christ.
He is the Savior of the world. I can't wait for EASTER!
Easter is one of my favorite times of year.
Also, on March 13th the Church is doing another initiative for Easter. As missionaries, we get to watch it before it comes out. It's so good too. So keep your eyes open for that.
Favorite Verse this week:
John 5:39 - "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
Don't forget to pray and read this week! Everyday, everyday, everyday!!
Not alot to report, but just know that I am happy! I got to switch off with my child! Sister Sihabut (On friday) and Sister Kwak (On Wed), who is Sister Hayes child!!
Oh and Friday was Sister Rungthips birthday! So shout out to her! She is such a great companion! I love being companions with a khon Thai. Everything is just so happy! This week we go back to Bangkok for MLC. Taking a plane again! Sister Larson dies in 2 weeks and she is freaking out! 555+ I love her. Hope everything is great back home!
Love Sister Burbank
Quote of the day:
C.S. Lewis - "We can say we believe in Christ as we believe in the sun at noon day, not that we can see it, but that by it, we can see everything else."
Switch off with these cute people!
Sister Coates, Me, Sister Kwak (FROM CANADA), and Sister Larson.
Birthday dinner at this amazing members restaurant!!