I hope everybody had an awesome week! Thailand is hot as ever, but it's getting cooler as we slowly enter rainy season. Elder Calderon and I biked in a storm the other day.. The thundering and lightnings every few seconds, along with dime-sized raindrops made me worry a little, but we're safe.. so that's all that matters!
I am just SOOO HAPPY to be able to email you all! Dang.. each week, I have so many things I want to say, but I'll try to keep it short.. but dang.. this work I have the opportunity to take part in is AMAZING!! My heart is full of joy to know that so many of my friends are serving, or preparing to serve in all parts of the world!
The phrase, "The Lord is hastening His work" is often thrown among church members and General Authorities.. I bear witness of this phrase with all of my heart.
, I had the wonderful experience to baptize a daughter of God! It's only been 10 days!! since I arrived in Chiang-Rai, and I honestly didn't expect that I'll have the opportunity to baptize already!
So I came to Chiang-Rai , we met Sister Oon and Sister Poon while street contacting at the market. They live in Chiang-Rai for school, and are 18, and 20 years old. During contact, they showed interest in coming to church, and they actually came the next morning! In our lessons, they simply accepted the teachings of Christ, and showed eagerness to be baptized! At our first lesson, we taught Prayer - the two-way phone call between us and our Heavenly Father. We first explained, then showed an example of how it can be done. We then invited Sister Oon to offer a prayer for all of us. She was very hesitant at first, but she soon accepted. She gave the most beautiful and fervent prayer I've heard in Thai. It was hard to believe that she was still an investigator. The Holy Spirit testified boldly to me that she was ready.. Ready to be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit.
They took more lessons, came to some of our activities, attended church the following week, and were baptized later that day! It was that simple! Since the initial contact, they were baptized in 8 days.. The mission asks that investigators attend at least two sacrament meetings on Sundays before being baptized. So 8 days is the shortest period possible!!
The example of Sister Oon and Sister Poon shows that YES! Heavenly Father is preparing His children at great speed! YES! People are waiting to be contacted! People want to know the answers to questions such as the purpose of life, where we come from, and where we go after we die... Why are there so many religions? Is death the end? How can I have true happiness?
I was able to learn that people are ready.. Heavenly Father has prepared them for a very long time.. Some are blessed to hear of the gospel, but many do not know where to find this truth.. THAT'S WHY missionaries are sent all over the world to declare this truth!
BECAUSE we know this to be true, and we can no longer deny of it.
Yes, I know this to be true. I wouldn't commit to spend two years of my life if I didn't know this to be true. I am just so thankful that I was able to participate in such a beautiful baptismal service! And to take part in this marvelous work!
Right now, there are 17,000 members in Thailand. It's a small number compared to the 15,000,000 members worldwide. But, the Thailand Mission is EXPLODING right now! Thailand used to be mission without too many baptismal services. March of last year had 39 baptisms. March of this year had 200+ baptisms. The standards are still the same. Nothing regarding the requirements of baptism changed. What changed were the attitude of the missionaries. The missionaries finally realized.. that YES! The Lord is preparing His people! We have to keep up with His speed!
I remember when I received my mission call back in November, I remember thinking.. "Ahh man! Thailand is amazing! But having baptisms will sure be difficult..." Now, I've seen the proof that proves my statement wrong. People are ready. Even in a country with 94% of the population declaring their religion to be Buddhism, people are ready to hear the gospel.
The success of a mission is NEVER measured by the amount of baptisms. It is measured by the amount of effort and commitment given to our Heavenly Father.. But baptizing more people does mean that more souls are coming to Christ. It is truly a marvelous work. The goal set by the mission of baptisms per companionship is 3 for the month of May. Elder Calderon and I currently have 2, and have 4 scheduled later this month. If all goes well, we'll have 6 for this month! This is a crazy good number! We are so stoked and pumped to find people, and invite them to be baptized. To invite them to know the truth that YES, families can be together forever. YES, we can be cleansed of our sins and live with our Heavenly Father again.
I hope my words can be of some encouragement for my family and friends back home, and for my friends who are serving, or preparing to serve missions.
Okay, so on a less serious note, P-Day last week was so much fun! Sister Neen and Brother Arm took us around the beautiful Chiang-Rai Province. We rode elephants and ostriches. Carried a 180 lb. Anaconda? I'm not sure. Some giant snake that I got to bond with.
We hiked to a small waterfall, and visited Buddhist temples and shrines! We probably should have worn casual clothes.. but oh well, it looks way cool with our white shirt and tie on!
Elder Lindsey Takeuchi
|Monks and Mormons|
|"Elder Calderon and I can make good Missionary Models. Calendar comes out next year"|