I love you Dad!! Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there.
This week has felt crazy long. On Thursday, we woke up at 5am to go to the bus station to pick up our companions!! So yes, they are finally back from the Philippines. Which means training for me finally started on Thursday. For those of you who don't remember, I am training Sister Sihabut! She is khon Laos, but moved to Bangkok about 10 years ago. So she speaks Thai SO WELL. Everyone is impressed with how well she speaks Thai. Everyone just thinks she is the cutest person alive because she speaks so smooth. I love when she speaks Laos too. It's just beautiful! I don't know how else to describe it. Hopefully she will rub off on me, so I can actually learn how to speak this language. 555 She is also 27 years old, and has only been a member for just under 2 years. So in reality she is going to be the one training me!! 555 I keep telling her that, and she just keeps saying "No, no, no, not true!" But it definitely is true. She is already a really boss missionary. I swear she wrote Preach My Gospel, because she already does everything it tells us to do instinctively. She has such a strong testimony and she knows how to give it. It is so incredible to watch her teach.
Just this last week we went and visited an LA after church. Her name is แม่ อ้อย and she has been a member for at least the last 13 years. She is in her 60s and lives with a lot of her grandchildren. She hasn't had missionaries visit her in forever, because none of us knew where she lived or even who she was, but just this last Sunday, a member came up to us that has just recently moved back into the Ward asking if we would go with her to visit. We obviously said yes, and followed her on our bikes. When we first got to her house she lovingly invited us in and we began to just start talking about her life. We quickly realized how much she was really struggling. Her husband had just recently died, and her health was failing. She felt alone and hopeless and just looked as if she had lost motivation in life. I looked into the eyes of this amazing women, and just felt so much love for her. We asked to share a quick message with her and she accepted but expressed how she had forgotten how to pray and hasn't prayed in years. She asked if Sister Sihabut would pray. Afterwards, Sister Sihabut shared a scripture from Ether 12:27 about how God gives us weaknesses for our benefit. So that through Him, one day they will be made strengths. It was so inspired and afterwards I reminded her how to pray. Then I asked her if she would pray for us before we left. She resisted at first, but then accepted. I watched as this beautiful child of God closed her eyes, folded her arms, and for the first time in YEARS, prayed to her Father in Heaven. She hadn't even finished addressing her Father before her eyes welled with tears, and she began to cry. In that moment, I felt the Spirit so strongly that I cannot deny it. She offered the most beautiful prayer that I have ever heard and closed in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. I opened my eyes and not one person in the room had a dry eye. She proceeded to hug us before we left, and I can't remember a time where I've felt that much love from someone in just one hug. And from someone I had just recently met. I left her house with a renewed perspective of just how much love God has for His children. It felt so good.
I feel so blessed to have a Father in Heaven that loves me enough to give me an earthly father to care and watch over me. Who taught me how to pray since birth so that I would always have someone to turn too when he wasn't there. Many times in my life I have taken for granted that amazing gift of having parents, I don't think they fully realize just how eternally grateful I really am for them. Or even just how much I love them.
I think going on a mission makes you realize just how much you really do love your family, and just how much you actually do really want to be with them forever. How lucky are we that we know we can? Just like the primary song says,
"Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Fathers plan. I always want to be with my own family and the Lord has shown me how I can. The Lord has shown me how I can."
Who wouldn't want to believe, and hope in that?
I have witnessed the power of God first had in the lives of these people in Thailand, and I am so excited for the day that the temple will be built so that they can finally receive the fullness of blessings God has to offer them. Many of the members here have been to the temple already, but SO MANY MORE haven't had the chance. Including แม่อ้อย. I just can't express what this temple announcement means to me and to the people here!
I love you all! I love my Savior. I love my Father in Heaven. And I love WADE!
Wade Dean Burbank. The best Father a girl could ask for. And since I've already gotten into singing primary songs today, might as well sing another.
"I'm so glad when daddy comes home,
Glad as I can be;
Clap my hands and shout for joy,
Then climb upon his knee,
Put my arms around his neck,
Hug him tight like this,
Pat his cheeks, then give him what?
A great big [FISH]."