Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 8: Almost there! 9/21/15

Sawadii khap everyone! Only one more week till Thailand! First off, I'm no longer in a trio . Elder Stevens is now companions with a new elder who will be leaving to Thailand with us next week. It's just me and Elder Christiansen again. I loved being in a trio and having Elder Stevens with us to help with the language, but the Lord had other plans for him. Speaking of leaving next week, we got our flight plans on Friday! We're leaving at 3:30 Monday morning and we'll be flying from Salt Lake to Tokyo, Japan. We'll be there for a couple hours and then off to Bangkok. Once we get to Bangkok, we'll be there for a couple days and have our first transfer meeting where we'll meet our trainers for the next three months. I have no idea where I'll be serving from there, but I'm hoping I stay in Bangkok so I can get more familiar with "standard" Thai. They could send us anywhere in the country or even Laos for all I know. I'll be happy to be anywhere in Thailand, but honestly, having to learn a new dialect sounds a little crazy.

Aside from that, not too much happened this week. Elder Christiansen and I have been working harder than we ever have just cause we're out of here in a week. It's a little stressful to think that we'll be going up to random people in a week and teaching them about the gospel. I can't wait, but I know there's still so much more we have to do before that happens. Anyway, our district made some goals to help us stay focused these last few days before we leave. Some of them include reading everyday out of the Book of Mormon in Thai, speaking Thai as often as we can, memorizing D&C 4 in Thai, and basically doing everything we possibly can... in Thai. It's not easy, but definitely doable with the Lord's help. There are 67 million people in Thailand. 15 of us. We literally hold the Salvation of the Thai people on our shoulders and I'm saying that as an exaggeration. This work is real. The power of the gospel to change the lives of others is real. I've seen it here in the MTC and I know it's true. 

One of our teachers, Brother Tirrel, told us that he was having one of the hardest weeks he's ever had since coming back from the mission and that our district helped him so much with getting through it. And I just remember thinking to myself, "wait, we didn't even try to do anything to help him and here he is telling us how much we've fulfilled our purpose as missionaries". I'm not saying this as an "oh look how spiritual my district can be" type of thing, but I just couldn't believe how much we were able to help someone without even trying to. This made me realize the reality of my calling as a disciple of Christ. And not just myself as a missionary, every member of the church has a light about them that sets them apart from the rest or the world. I know it to be true. Sorry if I'm starting to sound "preachy', but there's just no way that the 15 of us have been able to do this work without the Savior. We're not perfect by any means, but one thing we all have in common is that we love our Jesus Christ. In Romans 8; 35, 37, it reads "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." i remember thinking to myself this week, what if there are others out there who love the Savior more than I do? This bothered me a bit. I then thought to myself, "well you know what, at least I can say that I love my Savior with my whole heart, with everything that I have". I know that is enough. I encourage you all to try everything you can to love that man for all your worth. It will bring you happiness beyond anything you've ever felt. Have a great week everyone!

Elder Rawlinson

I might not be able to write for a couple weeks since my flight will be next P day, but chances are the next time you all hear from me I'll will be in THAILAND!!!!!

 Me with my companion and Brother Saunders, one of the Lao teachers here in the MTC!
One of the elders in my district, Elder Day being a goofball

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