Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Letter #4 -Mahasarakham,Thailand-Sept 08 2009
To the left is a picture of a buddhist monastery.
Well. As you guessed. I have like no time today to write anything. I need to start writing more letters so that I have less emails to answer. I'll try to start writing letters so I have more time to write here on this blog.
Anyways. This week was interesting. We set our goals VERY high and had high hopes for this week. But the Lord had a different idea. Half-way through the week we decided it was time for Spring cleaning. We basically got rid of ALL of our investigators that weren't keeping commitments consistently. (we challenged 8 people with baptismal dates in one day)
The old method: find people to teach. The new method: find people that are really interested and ready to be taught. Our inviting technique has been changed a lot the last few days. We invite people quicker and refer quickly and powerfully to the restored message of the Gospel. It seems like the last few days it has been helping, but it is too early to tell.
Letting go of investigators is a hard thing, but it is a very necessary thing. It relates very well to the story of an apple tree.
An apple tree has lots of fruit. The apples ripen at different times. If we spend all of our time waiting for an unripened apple to become ripe, we will waste time. During that time wasted, there will be many apples that will ripen and fall to the ground and rot away. We want to find the apples that are ready.
It requires a lot of trust in the Lord to let people go. Just being here a few weeks I have developed good relationships with some of our investigators. But we have to exercise faith and have hope that God will give us someone better and more prepared to fill their places.
At the moment we have 3-4 investigators that are very committed to baptism and are excited and committed. The rest of our teaching pool is new investigators. We have been finding lots of families lately, which is very weird. It is the best teaching families; we can only offer our "super-deluxe" package to families, exaltation.
Anyways. I have just enough time this week to talk about one of our investigators. His name is Num. He is around 45 years old and would best be described as a hippy. A year ago he drank every day, smoked several packs a day, and was very addicted to coffee. These addictions came when he ran into a hard part in his life.
About 5 years ago he sent his Wife and 2 kids to America for a vacation. He had to stay in Thailand because he had to work. His family never came back.
It is amazing to think that he has come this far. He hasn't drunk alcohol in months. Is down to 2 cigarettes and day and mixes in a small amount of coffee in hot chocolate each morning.
He reads at least 2 chapters in the Book of Mormon a day. He prays at least 7 times a day. He has a sincere desire to be baptized.
He is such a great guy. I hope he makes it into the water some day soon. His life has been turned around so much by the Gospel.
I've gotta run. Next week I'll try to make more time to write. Later!!