Sunday, February 12, 2017

Week 80: Museums and Baptisms

สวัสดี. This week's made me realize how transfers will be coming soon and how my time here in Bangkapi is running out! I'm gonna miss this place so much. I've gotten way close to some of the people I've met since serving here in Bangkapi and it's going to be so different to be in a new area. After all, I've been serving in the same area since AUGUST. That's a really long time.

So something pretty cool happened this week. I was inviting the other day and I ran into a Filipino lady named Maryanne. She spoke English thankfully (is it just me or can all Filipinos speak English?) Anyway, she told me that she carries her Bible around but that day that I talked to her, she didn't have it. I told her about the church and she agreed to come on Sunday (she didn't come yesterday but hopefully next time she will). A short time after, I talked to a Chinese lady with her daughter that was from a place called Chong Qing which is actually close to where my mom is from. She was in Thailand teaching English. She was really nice as well. I told her about our English class on Tuesdays and she agreed to come. It's interesting to think that if I wasn't there that day, I probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to talk to these two people. Both of them could be ready to receive the gospel! 

So Sister Sky and Brother Butter got baptized last Saturday and confirmed on Sunday! They're finally new members in the ward! The two of them are way friendly and Butter's just hilarious. For his baptism, he talked about a cockroach that was in his bathroom and so he prayed and the cockroach went into the corner of the room or something. Sky and Butter want to be missionaries so it'll be really neat to find out where they'll be going after I come home. 

I love that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we're able to live with purpose and meaning. The Gospel of Jesus Christ isn't a checklist in our lives- rather, it is a way of life. Through it, we become more like our Savior and because of it, we'll be able to return to live with our Father in Heaven someday. I love helping others come into this gospel. It's what gives me true happiness. 

Have a great week everyone! 

Elder Rawlinson

We went to พระที่นั่งอนันตสมาคม last P-day and they had a museum inside! Way cool.
Afterwards, we found a place that was giving out free haircuts so Elder Miyagi and Elder LIbey got one haha.

Week 78: Another week in ประเทศไทย

Hello family and friends! I hope you all had a great week! These weeks are just flying by! I can't believe I only have about 6 months left on my mission. When I get to bed at night, it's seriously the greatest feeling ever. And when I wake up it's the complete opposite. I feel like sleeping at night is usually just a way to recharge for the next day!

Last Tuesday, we had interviews with President Johnson and it was way good. We took a bus and a boat and then from there walked to the mission office in order to interview. President Johnson is such a good guy and he truly cares about the missionaries here in Thailand. He's really tall; maybe 6'7". Anyway he always hugs me after our interview and I'm just so little compared to him but I think I'm used to it now haha. We also had district meeting last Tuesday and also some lessons and English class. We were so busy!

I did a switch-off with an elder named Elder Whitaker this past week. Elder Whitaker and his companion live in a different house but they still work in the same ward as us. They're in our district and everything. Anyway, I stayed at their house for a night and worked with some of they're people as well. It was nice to get a little bit of a change. One of the guys we met with was a man named Sangchai and he actually spoke Chinese as well as Thai. He spoke so much Chinese to me and I pretended to understand what he was saying for the most part but he was pretty nice. He wouldn't agree to come to church on Sunday so hopefully he will in the future. We taught another man named Brother Thong. He was kind and nice, but not the most humble. However, he wants to know if God is real. I tried to get him to read and pray everyday, but he wouldn't agree to it. Kind of frustrating. 

Sister Gif, Saguy, and Brother Butter are still progressing. Yay! Hopefully the three of them will be getting baptized this upcoming Sunday. If so, we'll have four investigators getting baptized that day since Sister Buy passed her baptismal interview on Friday.

The Lord has been blessing the work in this area but that doesn't mean everything in Thailand is all rainbows and butterflies. This mission has been the hardest thing I've ever done! The heat, the language, the exhaustion, the rejection, the disappointments- I still have to deal with these things. And when I focus on those things, life gets pretty dang hard. But Jesus Christ lives and loves us. This gospel and the message and joy it brings is so important. I know God lives. He loves us. We need to share this message with those who don't know it. 

Elder Rawlinson

Last P-day, we went to an area with sites of ancient Buddhists temples. It was pretty cool! The area is called Ayuthaya.

Week 77: Love God

Hello family and friends! What a week. I feel like I need to just take a moment sometimes and realize what a blessing it is to be able to serve as a missionary here in Thailand! Elder Miyagi and I have some awesome investigators that we're working with right now and the Lord has truly blessed us. We've been inviting at a place near a huge mall called The Mall Bangkapi. There's tons and tons of people there. Before inviting in that area one day, we met a Swedish guy named Jacob who goes to school here in Bangkok. He spoke English and was just so nice to us. The Lord has people prepared for His missionaries to teach and I love finding someone who is humble and willing to meet!

For those who might not know, I'm serving in my fourth area and I've been here since August. It's been a long time but I've come to really like it here and I've made some great friends. Sister Uud, Buy, and Gif are doing great. Sister Uud got baptized yesterday and she bore a powerful testimony at her baptism as well. She's so full of faith and a desire to follow the Savior and I know that her life will be so much better because of this gospel. She was baptized by the one and only Brother Art. Sister Gif and her identical twin, Saguy, are doing well and progressing. Saguy brought one of her friends, Butter (yes, that's his name) to church and he's way awesome. As for Sister Buy, she has a baptismal date for January 29th. She's so nice! She gives me so much food. She quit tea already and even though I think it was hard for her, she was still determined to do so. There's plenty of work to be done here in the great area of Bangkapi and many miracles ahead. 

Well I just can't explain some of the joy I've felt since serving here in Bangkapi. I love, love, love seeing my investigators get baptized. I LOVE baptism. You can never have too much of it. Every person is special to God. I feel like everyone deserves to know who they truly are. We are children of God. Heavenly Father really loves us and He wants us to return to live with Him again. We need to love Him. "But as it is written, 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." Isn't that so cool? As we show our love for Heavenly Father, we will have fuller lives. I hope you all have a great week! The church is true.

Elder Rawlinson

Brother Art and Goh and some others the other night, It was Brother Art's bday that day.

A boy rode my bike and took my helmet hahaha

Sister Uud from her baptism on Sunday!