To my friends, families, fellow missionaries, school friends, advocates of this marvelous work, ALOOOOHA!!
I've been absent from my blog these past few weeks. I have much to say about the wonderful things that are happening in my mission!
Elder Calderon and I have had 7 baptisms this months so far!! One each for the 1st and 8th of this month, a beautiful family of three this past Saturday, and two this past Sunday! It's evident that Heavenly Father is preparing Chiang-Rai to become a ward, so that we can contribute to making a Stake, that will then, help the cause for a Temple to be built in Thailand!!
Today, I'll use photos to talk about how this week went by, and talk about the miracles we've witnessed with our recent converts!!
The story of this family is incredible!!! Sister Tip, with her two kids, Sister Ice (18), and Brother Am (14). They've been hit with so many challenges!! I learned that opposition is everywhere... They received anti-Mormon literature from friends, false teachings from teachers at school, and contention from the father whom currently lives in a different prefecture because of work. The false claims made by the enemy of the Church of Jesus Christ confused them greatly...
We even lost them for a week. They completely stopped making contact with us, and didn't show up to our appointments. Elder Calderon and I prayed so much for this amazing family. We fasted... Members even fasted for them. When they answered our calls again, we were happy beyond measure!!!! With the help of members, we were able to teach them again. When we re-extended the invitation to be baptized, Sister Tip said... "There's a lot of things written here about the church [with the anti-Mormon articles in her hand], and I'm not knowledgeable about the scriptures... but I know this feeling I have is true. Whenever we have family prayer, when we read the Book of Mormon, when you Elders come and teach us... I have this good feeling, and I know it comes from God." She then dropped the anti-Mormon articles from her hand, and accepted to be baptized.
Brother Am, whom I had the privilege to baptize is a very shy guy... But on the day of the Baptism, he shared with us that he wanted to be a missionary. When he received the Holy Ghost on Sunday, it was declared through the Holy Spirit that he will become a full-time missionary, to help other families receive the gospel!
Paa Nid!! I met him at the market two weeks ago, during street contacting. It's amazing how Heavenly Father prepares the elect to be ready! He accepted to be baptized on the spot! When we visited his house the next day, he said.. "Elders, so I bought some white clothes for my baptism.. just like how it looks in the card you gave me." Elder Calderon and I were overjoyed to see his excitement to be baptized! He is absolutely a blessing from God! He was super prepared to have the gospel of Christ in his life. He is the sweetest! He even brought a tray-full of food on Sunday because we have potluck lunch after church services!
Brother Thoo was a golden investigator (Now a Priest and Aaronic Priesthood holder) whom was previously Catholic. He has a older brother who is a Latter-Day Saint, and heard about the church through him. He is another evidence that Heavenly Father is preparing His children to hear the message of the gospel through family and friends. I can't express enough how much I learned the importance of sharing the message of Christ with your loved ones! We used both the Bible and Book of Mormon to support the validity of each other! (Some of my favorites are Matthew 18:16, 2 Nephi 29:7-9, John 10:11-16, 3 Nephi 15:21, and Hebrews 27:23)
Sister Pink, whom we baptized earlier from this month comes from a hill-tribe up in the mountains. She speaks Akha (tribal language), and pretty good Thai. She works near the church as a waiter for an Italian restaurant. We pass by her everyday to and back from church! She is currently working on converting her family up in the mountains.
Now with some less-important stuff!!
Cows chilling around our house...
Sister Ooy fed us Green Curry with some noodles!!!! SOOOOOOO GOOOD!!!
We usually eat dinner while making phone calls to optimize time. You can tell that I like Chicken Rice...
I was never a big fried chicken eater, but I love this chicken from the bottom of my heart. This place is the best in town. Chicken is super expensive, so all of this cost about ฿180 or $6.
We went to tourist hot spot, Chiang-Mai for Zone Conference!!!! They actually have a church building!!!
Elder Calderon and I are best buds :D
I'm still learning... Learning about the teachings of Christ, learning the language of Thai, learning that there are all kinds of people from all sorts of backgrounds. I am blessed to be in this circumstance that I can set aside all matters (such as family, school, work), and focus on serving others. I just might be able to find myself through getting lost in the service of others. I trust in my God, whom is the Creator of all living. He lives, and His gospel, I am happy to share with everyone. It strengthens me to know that I have families and friends praying for me.
I'm facing a lot of new things that I wouldn't have expected. A few days ago, I blessed a 14-year old Akha tribe girl who had an infectious disease that seemed too late to cure. Her sister pleaded us to talk to God to cure her only sister. We tried our best. We blessed her that Heavenly Father will cure her according to His will, and also according to their faith. We taught them how to pray, and that they can pray to God as well. Yesterday, we received a phone call back that the condition of her sister was improving. I don't know whether she was completely cured or if her life was prolonged by a little bit... But I am convinced that God did bless them. I am ashamed to think of my past complaints that I have made for the circumstances in my life. There are people facing far more difficult challenges, carrying heavier burdens than that of mine. These people are my brothers and sisters... and I will do my best to help them. When I return home, I want to be able to say that I had done everything that I can do help build the Kingdom of God in Thailand.
Elder Lindsey Takeuchi