I want to share with you guys an experience I had on Tuesday that I don't think I'll ever forget. A couple weeks ago, Elder Anderson and I went contacting at one of the parks here in Ubon. We ran into a man who owns a skate shop. He gave us his number and told us that he would try to make it to church on Sunday. Did he come? No. We called him over and over again to try to set up a time to meet but he didn't answer. We decided to go to his shop to see if he would be interested in learning more. We found him and we're able to sit down with him for about 20 minutes. He told us that "skate was his life" and that his lifestyle was all about being "chill". He said that religion was the reason for a lot of the chaos and war found in the world. He started to get really defensive with us, feeling as if we were trying to force our beliefs on him. He said a lot of other things I won't repeat but one thing he said that really bothered me was that he didn't like how forceful we were in trying to get a hold of him (calling a lot, showing up at his place. etc). Was I mad inside? Yes, of course I was. I told him that we were just trying to figure out whether or not he was interested in learning more. I told him that I had a responsibility as a missionary to share our message of Jesus Christ with everyone. I told him that God loved him. I think his heart was softened when I said these things to him. Anyway, he told us he wasn't interested in learning more but that we could stop by at his shop whenever we liked. Was I too forceful in trying to get a hold of him? Maybe, but it's my responsibility to do what I can to find those who are ready to receive the gospel. From this experience, I've learned that coming across as a pushy missionary (calling a lot etc) isn't a bad thing. There is eternal salvation at stake here and to do any less than my best effort in helping people receive that would just be the worst.
Last week, I talked about one of our investigators, Brother xxx, and how he currently lives with his pregnant girlfriend, Sister yyy. We taught both of them the Law of Chastity on Monday and to my surprise, they didn't have any problems with accepting it! What a miracle! Here I was dreading having to teach this lesson to them and when we actually did, the Lord softened their hearts enough for them to want to keep this commandment. Now we just need them to understand that they have to get married before being baptized. xxx told us the other day that he needs to save up a lot money for a dowry he can give to yyy's dad before the wedding. The wedding probably won't happen until sometime next year. Which means their baptism probably won't happen till sometime next year. I just need to be patient and understand the circumstances that they're under. That's something that I've been trying to learn since being here in Thailand. To all those who know me pretty well, you guys probably understand that I'm not a very patient person. When I want something, I want right then without having to wait for it. When I want in-n-out, all I'll think about until I get it is in-n-out. If I want an A in one of my classes, all I'll think about until I get it is that A. This has been a blessing and a curse in my life and I'm sorry to all those that have been affected by my selfish ways in the past. Since being here in Thailand, I've realized that it's no longer just about me. It's about others. I't's about Bank, and it's about xxx, and it's about yyy and it's about all the other people I've been able to meet here in Thailand. I'm nowhere near to the person I want to be yet, but I'm working on it. Day by day. Little by little. I love you guys! Stay safe!