Monday, July 27, 2009
Letter #8 tues july 21, 2009- from danny -it is late because i have been in ecuador the last 2 weeks
(The picture is an old pic of danny and his good friends after playing soccer...)
After today I have two P-days left in the MTC. Scary. 3 weeks from now I will be in an airplane on a 30 hour flight to the other side of the world. The flight should be great. I hope to get a lot of studying done. I am hoping we have long-layerovers in LAX and China. That way we can try to proselate and get some Books of Mormon placed in the real world. I am pretty sure I am leaving Monday night, but things may change.
So that means any letters that do not arrive here by August 10th I will not get. The Bangkok mission office address should be posted in my blog. Feel free to send me letters there! I'm not entirely sure how international postage works. I think you just have to go to the post office and buy international stamps. I think they are 98 cents a piece, who knows. Maybe I'll be able to email more, but I'm not holding my breath.
This week we got in the new Thai district! 2 new Elders and 2 new Sisters. The Elders were assigned to room with my companion and I. Unfortunately, one of the elders decided to go home after the first day. So the other elder was left without a companion and the only Elder in his district. Now that he is a solo Elder, my companion and I take him every where. We are his escorts! It works out well though. The new Elder is Thai. His mom is Thai and his dad is Laotion. He knows Laotion really well and knows quite a bit of Thai. He was born in Utah and went to Highland High School. He is nice to have around because his pronunciation is great; he went to the Thai/Lao ward in Murray for the past 3 years... so he definitely has some experience on us.
Today I'd just like to talk about missionary work and service in general. I've been thinking about it a lot this week. Why do people serve other people? Why do we even care about anyone else? Why do some people feel the need to serve and others don't? Hopefully through my study over the past week and my insight I can answer these questions.
Service is the act of love. If you love someone, you will want to serve them. You will want to do everything in your power to help them with anything they need. Kinda sounds corny, right? The words: no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care are so true.
Human beings are the only animals capable of service. We have the choice to help someone else even if it endangers or compromises ourselves. What an amazing gift! If you look throughout nature, you will not find a monkey that paid several thousand dollars to go help people in Ecuador. You will not find some insects that give up two years of their life to go care for the needs of people in Thailand. It simply doesn't exist outside of the realm of human beings.
Missionary work and service is one of the best ways to show God how much he means to you. To roughly quote Elder Packard, "The day I gave the Lord the one thing He would never take from me, I become truly free". This quote is talking about our agency. Our ability to choose what we want and when we want it.
When we came to Earth we were given free reign to choose right and wrong, bad and worse, good and better. We were given choice because it is the only way we can learn and progress. The law of agency cannot be compromised by God.
We can only willingly give our agency to God. We can submit ourselves to him, and do the things that he would want us to do. This is particularly evident in service. When we give up and sacrifice things of our own to do things for other people, we truly show God our love for him and other people. When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of God.
Sacrifice is such a big part of service. For it to be true service we have to sacrifice something to achieve it. Can a mission truly be sacred without sacrifice? I think not.
The word phxa in Thai is one of the words they use as the linking word "for". You can only use the word phxa when the act is self-sacrificing and altruistic. Example: Elder Brown is serving a mission phxa the people of Thailand. D&C 97:8 says it very well. We must sacrifice to truly serve.
Another thought that I have been thinking a lot about lately has become one of my main goals while on a mission:
Never miss a chance to bear my testimony, don't waste that expectation.
I really enjoy this idea. Whenever I approach somebody while in Thailand, they know who I am. The first moment they see my haircut, the long pants, and the name "Jesus Christ" across my heart on my name badge... they know who I am. I don't want to be shy about my declaration. They know from that first moment that I am going to tell them something and that I am going to ask them to change their lives. They know that; they aren't dumb.
If I go up and talk to them and I don't extend a commitment to come unto Jesus Christ; if I don't bear witness to them that I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all of this world, I am wasting their expectation.
What if they would've accepted my message and I simply was too afraid or too shy to ask? All they needed was the invitation. I have made it a goal to never have any regrets about bearing my testimony. If I am prompted to share my message with a particular person, I will go talk to that person. If I get scared or get afraid that they may be too busy, I have 10 seconds to go and talk to them anyways. Missionaries must be bold! Acts 4:13
Jeffery R. Holland said during his address to the MTC that while serving a mission, you are closer to living a life similar to an Apostle then any other time in your life, he told us to use every minute of these 24 months to study and use this opportunity. (my computer just started doing weird things, it won't let me capitalize, please fix it) he told us "do not miss any chance you have to be apostalic" he literally meant it like it sounds. during this time i will have thoughts and ideas that i will never be able to have throughout the rest of my life. i better use it while i can.
well i am out of time. talk to you next week. hope all is.