So this week was just exciting!
Last P-day we ไปเทียว with the members and rode ELEPHANTS. It was probably one of the coolest experience of my life. It hurt so bad, but not enough that I regret doing it. I'm thinking about investing in one when I get home. As you can tell by the pictures I was just really excited the whole time.
Then another exciting event from this last week. WE WENT TO CHIANG MAI! So we left Tuesday night after English Class and took a 6 hour bus ride to Chiang Mai to do an exchange. It was so much fun, and I learned a lot. Ironically, Sister Remington was my companion for the day!! She was my MTC companion so the fact that we got to see each other and actually do real missionary work together in the field was SO FUN. I love her so much! Her companion is Sister Ellis (aka. our STL, aka. Sister Alley's bestfriend) So Sister Alley got a chance to be companions for a day with her best friend, and I got a chance to hangout with Sister Remington again! It was such a blessing. And I have always wanted to see Chiang Mai, ever since I got my call to Thailand, so I was just so content. It's those feelings of peace that make this all worth it.
There is also nothing like the feeling of teaching. Teaching strangers while inviting on the streets of P'lok, teaching investigators in our tiny church building, or teaching members in their homes. I love it all! It's not easy work. Sometimes I wonder why this is so hard. But then I remember the wise words of my brother, Brandyn.
"The Gospel: to bring comfort to the afflicted & afflictions to the comfortable [complacent]."
Every time I face challenges on this mission I just think of that quote, and the higher law behind WHY I am having these "afflictions". (Strength is only attained through resistance). It's to better understand the Atonement. To better understand the Gospel:
The Gift of the Holy Ghost.
Enduring to the End.
Every challenge you face in life is essentially a decision or crossroad where you are again given the opportunity to respond by applying teachings of Christ or applying the teachings of Satan (aka. Natural Man). As we continually chose to apply the teachings of Christ. Our confidence in the effectiveness and power of His teachings increases. Or in other words...our FAITH. The power of Christ's teachings is reflected in our ability to overcome obstacles. Each time we are brought to these crossroads in life and chose Christ, we increase our faith even to repentance, then as we repent and feel the enabling and cleansing power of the Atonement in our life, our understanding of the Atonement increases. And we FEEL BETTER. That is the key. Faith unto repentance unto feeling better. That's the gospel according to Sister Burbank. A recipe to feeling better in life. Feeling peace. REAL PEACE.
There is no better feeling in life than right after partaking of the sacrament. Which is exactly how it should be because when we partake of the sacrament we once again enter into that covenant with God, that we made at baptism, to do everything in our power to follow and remember Him, and in return we receive forgiveness for our imperfection and are promised that if we strive to keep His commandments we will ALWAYS have His spirit, or the Gift of the Holy Ghost, to be with us. And since we are imperfect, He mercifully gives us the opportunity to receive forgiveness every single Sunday if we would just go to church, remember the sacrifice of our Savior, and partake of the Sacrament. This is Enduring to the End.
That's the Gospel or the teachings of Christ, and that is how the gospel brings comfort to the afflicted. The problem is. Once we receive that comfort and feel the peace, we forget (because we are weak imperfect beings) that it is our obedience to the commandments that brought that peace in the first place. We start slacking on our commitment to keep the commandments and we sin or become complacent. That is why Enduring to the End is the hardest part of the Gospel, because it requires patience. Patience with our imperfection. But I know that it is praying and studying the scriptures daily that has strengthened my faith to the point that I know every single day I can repent and feel the influence of the Holy Ghost, or peace, again in my life regardless of my imperfections. Then on Sunday I can receive the forgiveness (sanctification/cleansing by the Holy Ghost) from partaking of the sacrament. This process is essentially why I am still a member of this Church. If I did not have the confidence (faith) that I actually am receiving forgiveness every time I go to church and partake of the sacrament, I would not be an active member of this Church. But I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ this is all made possible. Peace in this life and eternal life in the life to come IS possible, by following what Christ taught us and still teaches us. The ONLY way I learned any of this was from studying (which implies more than just simply reading) the Book of Mormon which contains the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So naturally, I invite everyone everywhere to study the Book of Mormon, and learn all of this for yourself. And then by the power of the Holy Ghost you will gain your own witness like I have of the truthfulness of this all. (Moroni 10:3-5)
I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
I know Joseph Smith by the power of God translated the Book of Mormon.
I know Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.
I know this is the way of life.
Have a great week! Love from Thailand.
Riding the Elephants!!!
Elephant Hair ~ Good luck!
Lunch with Sis. Remington in Chiang Mai!
Together again with my MTC companion Sis. Remington
~ visiting CHIANG MAI ~
Closest Subway - 6 hrs away in Chiang Mai
Beautiful Thailand~ We biked an hour to a members house and we were about to bike the hour back but had to stop for this picture! SO BEAUTIFUL!
Sis. Alley got a back seat on her bike. hahaha
going to ride the elephants
Eating Vietnam food
If you ever wondered how they paint the lines on the road.