Sunday, November 27, 2016

Week 69: Goh Si Chang, A New Transfer, and Elder Miyagi!

Last P-day, Elder Escher and I were able to go to Chonburi. We met up with Elder Lindley and his companion there and then went on a ferry to an island called Goh Si Chang. We got up to a high point and the view was amazing! There was a beach we went and visited on the island (no swimming of course) haha but my camera died so I don't have pictures of it.

Hey everyone! So it's a new transfer and with a new transfer, there's some new changes as well! I'm staying here in Bangkapi and Elder Escher moved to Chiang Rai. He's serving in the north now! He's follow-up training a missionary there and I'm training another missionary named Elder Miyagi. Elder Miyagi is Japanese and is from Japan and also the States. He's nice humble and I know that he's going to bless the lives of many people here in Thailand. This past weekend, I've been pretty sick and he's been patient through it. I've been having stomach/digestive problems and also my head just felt bad like a dizzy/lightheaded feeling. On Sunday, I went to Sacrament and ended up leaving to rest at home. Trying to work through it would have been too much to handle so no, I wasn't just trying to get an excuse to stay at home haha. It was actually way bad. Through it all, Elder Miyagi didn't get frustrated or upset at all. He was patient with me and kind.

We had a really cool miracle that happened this past week! So on the first day that Elder Miyagi got to Bangkapi, we were walking outside in our neighborhood headed to Tesco to get his bike. While we were walking, I started talking to this boy that was walking as well. I tried to get him to come to the church and he agreed. We walked to the church together. I showed him the inside a bit and we sat down with him. His name is Kang. He agreed on a baptismal date for December 4th. It was so awesome! . After our lesson, we ran into a girl that spoke Japanese. Wait, what??? My companion speaks Japanese! This all happened on his first day in Bangkapi! 

President Russel M. Nelson spoke this past General Conference on a talk called "Joy and Spiritual Survival". He said "My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives". He also says later in the talk "Joy is a gift for the faithful. It is the gift that comes from intentionally trying to live a righteous life, as taught by Jesus Christ". Personally, I'm going to try and be a happier person and missionary. I can get kind of pessimistic at times and frustrated at things but I'm going to try and be better. With Thanksgiving coming up, another way for me to have more joy is by being grateful for my blessings and the greatest blessing of all- my Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope you all have a great week and are full of JOY!

Elder Rawlinson

Week 68: Alma 26:30

Sawadii Khrap! It's been another week here in Thailand. The church in this country had it's 50th year Anniversary this past week, so we were to able to gather together with members and other missionaries at one of the church buildings in Bangkok. There were a ton of people that came- like so many! I could sense the strength of the church from the gathering. I don't know if you guys remember Brother Benz but he was an investigator while I served in Ubon (my first area) and he got baptized my last transfer when I was there. Anyway, he came as well! He's been going to church in Bangkok since he's been going to some sort of military school here in the city. It was so awesome to get to talk to him! Just knowing he's active in the church makes me happy.

Other news... since one of the other elders in our district had to move, we've been working in a trio with an elder named Elder Whitaker. He's been with us in our companionship for most of the past week. Elder Whitaker is from North Dakota and is a convert to the church. He's such a funny missionary! I just never know exactly what he's going to say honestly haha. He's full of love for others and he can make people laugh pretty easily. 

One of my favorite verses in the Book of Mormon is Alma 26:30. It says "And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some." I am on a mission so I can help others be saved. I know this church is true. I know that true happiness comes from the gospel. God loves us so much. Have a good week everyone!
Elder Rawlinson

Brother Benz! 
Waffles and ice cream sooooo good

Week 67: Elder Wong, Sister Nok, and a Prairie Dog

Hey everyone! I'm still here in Bangkapi. We'll be having transfers on the 17th so it'll be interesting to know if I move or not. If not, then I get to stay here for another one! But wow, what a week. It was different than the usual that's for sure. For one, we had a general authority, Elder Wong come and talk to the missionaries so that was pretty cool. He said a lot of different things that I really liked. I feel like there's always room to improve when it comes to me being a missionary haha.

On another note, this week was harder for getting investigator lessons. We still had some just not as much as I would've liked. However, on Tuesday, Elder Feist (I was doing a switch-off at the time) and I were able to teach a mom named Sister N. Her daughters were in the lesson with us. She's come to English class 2 or 3 times now. She's Buddhist but I think all of her kids are Christian. She's really nice and she loves her kids. On Satuday, we taught her at a mall about the Plan of Salvation. We didn't get through the whole lesson but she seems to be opening up and so I hope she can truly progress and get baptized in the future.

Something funny that I saw this week. So Elder Escher and I went to a mall to teach Brother P (the guy we've been teaching that got baptized) and while we were at this mall sometime after we taught him, believe it or not we saw a prairie dog wearing a vest that was on a leash! It was so funny. I had to get a picture with it. So if someone ever asks you if there's a Thai person out there that owns a prairie dog you can tell them yes now. It was probably one of the highlights of my week not gonna lie. 

We have some other investigators that we're working with right now like Brother G and Sister A and a man named Brother S. We've been teaching Brother G since September so hopefully he'll take a baptismal date soon. Sister A's progressing but she was pretty busy with testing this past week. Brother S is a man that we came across last month. He's a yaam during the night. He's like a watch-man. He's a really humble guy and he seems to like reading the scriptures so that's a good sign. We're going to try and teach him tonight. 

Anyway, I hope things are going well wherever you guys are! Remember that people are more willing to do what you want if you build a relationship with them and gain their trust! And that yes, there is someone out there with a pet prairie dog haha.

Went to a busy part of the city last p-day
Haha here's the prairie dog!

Week 66: A Great Week in Bangkapi!

Sawadii Khap! This week was so good! Bangkapi is a great place. This
past week was kind of a blur but still awesome. On Tuesdays, we teach
a free English class at the church and we've been having a good amount
of people show up lately. Last Tuesday, we split the class so now we
have two classes. We have a beginners and an intermediate class.
Luckily we have a lot of missionaries in Bangkapi so we have enough
teachers to go around. We'll have a spiritual thought for the students
at the end of class (last Tuesday we just combined everyone) and it's
a great way to spread the gospel. The other week, the students sang
"Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam" and it was so great! Even the adults
were getting into it haha. Almost a quarter of the mission's baptisms
come from English class!

The wall behind the church is still getting renovated so it was a
great opportunity to do some service! One of the days this past week
we went in the back and put some of the pieces from the old wall in
bags to be taken away. Elder Escher and I had a couple of the members
help as well! The members were Brother B and Brother Donut. Brother
B is an LA we've been working with that struggles with smoking but
he knows he needs to stop. If he stopped smoking and truly repented,
he'd have a greater desire to come to church on Sundays. Brother Donut
is so funny. First of all, his nickname is Donut so there's that haha
he's such a good kid.

BAPTISM!!! On Friday, our investigator Brother P got baptized! I
don't think I've talked about him that much in my emails but he's 23
years old and he works at Yogurtland. We've been teaching him for
about the past two months now. Wow. It has been such a journey getting
him to this point. He wouldn't show up to a lot of our appointments
and his work kept him pretty busy. But we found out where he lived and
we'd also teach him during his break at work hahaha. He has faith and
he has a testimony and I know that the Lord loves him!

Personally, I feel like it's easy for me to turn into a "robot" when
it comes to missionary work but really though, I want to be the
complete opposite! I read a talk this week by Dieter F. Ucthdorf
called "on Being Genuine". If you guys have time, please read it. I
know that as we follow the Savior's example of love for others, our
service will be so much more fulfilling. We should be serving others
because we love God and His children. Hope you guys have a great week
and a Happy Halloween!

Elder Rawlinson

Helping out at the back of the church! Elder Escher and Brother Donut haha
Brother P on the day he got baptized!
Brother P with a great member named Sister Aimee!