Sunday, December 25, 2016

Week 73: A White Christmas!

Hello family and friends. MERRY CHRISTMAS! The weather's been cooling down here in Thailand but we can still wear short sleeves though haha. The work has been great. Our ward is having our Christmas party/program on the 24th. I'm one of the wise men with Elder Greenwood and Elder Libey. I'm not much an actor but Elder Miyagi's done acting and so he seemed so content and at peace yesterday for our Christmas rehearsal. I'm not gonna lie it was kinda funny.

A couple of our investigators got baptized this Sunday and it was great! There were three baptisms- two from Elder Miyagi and I and one from another companionship here in the area. Our two investigators that got baptized were Brother Goh and Brother K. Both of them are so awesome. Maybe you guys have heard of one of my RCs named Brother Art. He loves to learn about the gospel and he's so willing to help out the missionaries. Anyway, he lives in the same building complex as his friend, Brother Goh and he's helped us teach him a lot now. Yesterday, Brother Art baptized him! I was so happy! Our other baptism was for Brother K. He is truly someone who follows Christ. Wow talk about sacrifice and faith. He's been an investigator before and since coming back and being able to teach him, he's been way humble and accepting of everything taught. He thinks he met President Monson in Bangkok but I'm pretty sure it was our mission president haha. He brought his pregnant wife and little daughter to church yesterday. He's got the nicest little family. His wife isn't a member (yet) but I feel like the gospel will really bring more blessings into this family's life starting with Brother K. What a great thing this gospel is! 

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He truly is the Son of God. "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! Please share the gospel with someone and invite them to meet with the missionaries! 

Elder Rawlinson
 The wise men
 Elder Whitaker aka Santa haha
Elder Miyagi is one of the angels

Week 72: ปาฏิหาริย์มากขึ้นเร็ว ๆ นี้

Sawadii Khap! I'll try to keep this letter short. What a week. We had our Christmas Conference for our zone on Wednesday and it was pretty fun! President Johnson and his wife were there as well. After that, Elder Miyagi and I had switch-offs with the zone leaders in their area and so I was with a missionary named Elder Rodgers. He's from California and he'll be going home before Christmas.

If anyone of you guys really know me, you might know that I'm a pretty forgetful person and you might even think I'm irresponsible haha so Elder Miyagi and I went back home after switch-offs and right when we got home, the zone leaders called the other elders' phone and Elder Rodgers was talking to me and was like "check your pockets". I didn't know what he was getting at but I eventually realized that we forgot our phone at their place! The following morning, Elder Miyagi and Elder Libey went to the zone leaders' place so yeah that spiced up the week a bit!

The work! So Brother G still needs some more time right now but I think he'll get baptized before Christmas which will be such a blessing. He's doing alright, we just need to help him out with some things. Next week however, we're hoping to have three investigators baptized- Brother Gaw, Brother Bless, and a man named Brother K. Brother Gaw's progressing for sure. He's got a good memory and he likes going to church. Brother Bless is doing good as well. He's the kid who's already Christian. He's humble and easy to work with. Brother K! Brother K was a former investigator who learned with the missionaries in the past. He knows that the Book of Mormon is true and when I asked him about getting baptized, he agreed. It was such a miracle! 

I know that this work is real and that God lives. He loves us because we're his children. He wants us to have joy. In the New Testament, there's a verse that says "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him”. I know that if we love God, our lives will be fuller and we'll have more joy. Remember how the Lord has blessed you and look for miracles in your life. Merry Christmas!

Elder Rawlinson
 Elder Miyagi baptized the sister's investigator last Sunday!
 We went to the airport with the ZLs
 A market Elder Miyago and I came across the other day!

Week 71: #LIGHTtheWorld

Hey everyone! This past week started the month of December and with December now here, that means Christmas is coming! I love this time of the year. We can focus on the Savior and the things he's done for us. The other day I was inviting outside of a busy mall and I saw a huge Christmas tree outside of it. It was nice to see. Even in a country full of people who worship Buddhism, the Christmas tree was still up. In Thailand, it doesn't feel like winter and a lot of people here don't really care about the meaning of Christmas, but it's not about what's going around you or what other people think that makes Christmas truly Christmas. Jesus Christ was sent on earth to die for our sins. He's our Savior. We celebrate his birth and know that He lives. If we understand this, remember Him, and follow his example to light the world, we'll have joy.

This week, Elder Miyagi and I and a lot of other missionaries in the TBM had the opportunity to work with the Red Cross organization. We helped get bags of materials shipped off. For a majority of the time, I would put blankets in these bags and there would be an assembly line to put other tings inside as well. The bags were put into a huge vehicle to be sent off. It was such a great experience! As for investigators, Brother G's baptism is coming up! He went to see his mom in a different province this past weekend to tell her he was going to get baptized. He's about 35 years old and he still made that I priority. He really respects her.  Respect and courtesy is very important in Thailand. If you're disrespectful to someone, it's harder to gain that person's trust. If you don't have trust, well good look getting anything done on your own. Brother Gaw came to church yesterday and his baptismal date is for the 18th. Yay!

Brother Art told someone at his school about our church and he came! His name is Brother Bless. We were able to have a lesson after church and showed the baptismal font as well. I asked him if he wanted to get baptized and he agreed. His baptism date is for the 15th! He's already Christian (goes to a different church) and we're meeting with him tomorrow. It was such a miracle!

Speaking of miracles, DECEMBER IS GOING TO BE FULL OF THEM! I don't know how many people read these anymore but if you are, remember to #LIGHTtheWorld. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." He is the gift! Share what you know with others, serve someone, be KIND, do something for someone else this time of the year. Have a great week everyone!

Elder Rawlinson
 From last P-day went to a busy area of BKK

We had FHE at a family's place last Monday and they had this fun whipped cream game haha

Week 70: Thanksgiving and Multi-Stake Conference

Sawadii Khap! I hope you guys all had a great Thanksgiving! We had a really nice Thanksgiving activity at the church this past Thursday and even though the food was kind of different, it was still a great event for members and missionaries to get together and eat dinner. I'm so grateful for this mission and for the opportunity that I have to be a missionary in Thailand. This country has made such a big impact on my life and I already know that when I'm on that flight back home next year, it'll be one of the hardest things of my life. Yesterday, we had a Mutli-Stake Conference in Asoke with Elder Wong who's one of the Seventy. The conference was held because Thailand received it's 4th stake! Woohoo! The church is growing here and it's amazing that I get to be a part of it. We need 8 stakes to get a temple so building the Lord's kingdom is crucial right now!!

Elder Miyagi's doing great. He invites like a boss and speaks Thai pretty well for a new missionary. What I like about Elder Miyagi is that he cares about this work and he talks with the Thai people in a kind and respectful way! I was just watching the new Christmas video that they have on and I saw an Asian guy that looked like Elder Miyagi. Believe it or not, it was him! My companion is in that video! It was funny since I'm sitting right by him and he's in this video on the church website. 

As for the work, we've been blessed with some great people. Brother G, one of our investigators, has a baptismal date next month. He's been investigating the church since September. He feels shaky on his ability to keep all the commandments after being baptized but we'll keep trying to help him out. I think he's afraid of messing up after getting baptized. Please pray for him so he can be baptized next month. He's a really good guy. We have another investigator that we're hoping to have get baptized next month. His name is Brother Gaw and he's one of Brother Art's friends. Brother Gaw is 17 years old. We've taught him quite a few times now and he's humble. He likes to be with the other kids in the neighborhood. He's a kid at heart.

I'd like to share my testimony with you guys. I know this church is true. Jesus Christ really is our Savior. He is the light of this world. Joy is living according to His teachings. I testify that He lives and that He knows us. Share His light with those you meet and don't forget to smile.

Elder Rawlinson
 My companion eating somtam for the first time (Thai papaya salad)
The Thanksgiving activity!
We found a random Western style center place it was so cool