Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week 16: Romans 8:37

Hello everyone! Hope you all aren't freezing too much in the states lol. First of all, transfers were on Thursday and..... I'm staying in Ubon for another transfer!! Wooohooo!! I love it here! We have everything we need in this little town and so much more. Our investigators right now are some of the coolest people I've ever met. Two of the missionaries in our district left and we now have Elder Parker and Sister T with us. There's six of us all together. We're probably the most interracial district in all of Thailand with Sister Yanisa being Thai, Sister T being Polynesian, Elder Anderson (my trainer) being Korean and me being half Chinese lol. It's awesome though. Anyway, before transfers last week, we were able to visit like 10 different Buddhist temples all over Ubon and take cool pictures in them and stuff. I'll attach some at the bottom of this email. Buddhism is everywhere here. When we would go inside their temples, we had to take our shoes off and be super respectful to everything inside. As long as we weren't being disrespectful, we could take as many pictures as we wanted. One of the monks we met was so chill though. He let us take pictures with him and was super friendly to the missionaries. He was definitely a bro.

I want to talk to you guys about one of our investigators named Brother Bz. I don't think I've talked about him yet but he's been progressing with us for the past month or so. He's 18 and goes to one of the colleges here in Ubon. Brother Bz is one of the most genuine down-to-earth guys I've ever met. He's so awesome. I believe that one of the reasons I've been serving here in Ubon is because of Brother Bz. He already has testimony of this church and has a personal desire to get baptized. The only problem is that his parents don't want to be a member. They actually want him to be a monk for a month or two when he turns 20. This is called buad. A lot of Buddhist families here believe that in order for the parents to get to heaven, their sons need to buad for them. Brother Bz has no desire to do this whatsoever. He just wants to get baptized. We decided to go to his house last night and talk things over with his mom so that she could understand more about baptism. She just couldn't accept the things we taught her. She would smile and laugh here and there when we would say something, but that was about it. Honestly, I was so sad. I prayed over and over again during our visit that her heart would be softened and that Benz would be able to get baptized, but she didn't change her mind. We agreed to meet again so that she could understand more about the gospel. 

To be completely honest though, I was heart broken after our visit with his mom. The fact that Bz's baptism was still uncertain made me so, so, so sad. I started to get frustrated with myself. I thought to myself if I could've just said everything that was on my mind in Thai, I would've been more helpful as a missionary. The language is hard guys. It's already November, and I still have no idea what people are talking saying sometimes. I want nothing more than to see Bz get baptized because I love him. Before coming to Thailand, I already loved the people here so much, but I never knew how much that love could grow to what it is now. I don't mean to say all this to make you all think that I'm a "good" missionary or that I'm super spiritual etc, but I honestly just love the people here so much. So, so, so much and I want nothing more than to see our investigators get baptized. I feel like some 14 year old girl that gets dumped over and over again. I put my whole soul into these investigators and when something doesn't go the way it should, it get heart broken. Again and again and again. It's so dumb and I hate that I'm admitting this but it's true. In Romans 8:37 it says "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us". There is nothing more powerful than love. It gives us a desire to keep on press forward. This week, I'm grateful for the opportunity to feel just a little bit of what I think our Father in Heaven feels about us. I love being a missionary. The people here are literally everything to me. I love you guys. Have a great week! Oh and sorry for making these emails super long, I sometimes forget that people actual read these things lol. 

Elder Rawlinson

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