Sunday, March 7, 2010
Mar 07-2010 - Ubon
It feels like a long time since I have written anything.
First off I'll say that my email address has changed. Please send all emails to my new address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next I'll say that Thailand is very very very hot. The hot season has barely started and it is already deadly. The moment I step out of the house, I am covered in sweat. I am sweating like a constant waterfall all day long. The peak of the hot season here is in mid-April. I hope my skin doesn't melt off.
Next on the agenda. Mango season. Mango's are delicious. They simply are just not the same as the crap we have in the States. There is a popular dessert here called Khaaw Niaw Ma Muang (Mango Sticky Rice.) It is probably the best thing in the world. It is a cut up mango served with sugarized sticky rice, coconut milk, and nuts. Yeah, you might ask... why do they eat rice as a dessert? Just try it. It is good. Corn is also a popular dessert topping. They have what we have dubbed "ice cream sandwiches" which is just a piece of bread with coconut ice cream topped with corn and rice. Again, it's good. Just try it.
Moves is in one more week. I will be getting a new companion. Still not sure if I will be moving or staying in Ubon. I would say I have a 30% chance to move. Regardless, I will have a new companion.
Last week was Zone Conference. The topic was inviting. Inviting is probably my favorite part about being a missionary. I just love talking to crazy people. It is incredibly entertaining just to see how people think... why people are the way they are. I particularly have a passion for inviting drunk people. The trick is to just make it fun. If you are inviting and you are depressed, no one will want to talk to you, and you won't want to talk to them either. I find that "sound effects" also are appealing. :)
Along with this big push towards inviting, President Smith also changed the schedule to accommodate the Summer weather.
We are now waking up at 6:00 A.M., we exercise, shower, and eat.
Out of the house at 7:30 A.M., invite from 7:30 A.M. until 12:30 A.M.
Then we eat lunch, go back to the apartment, study personally, study as a companionship, and study the language until 4:00 P.M.
4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. we teach after which we eat and then go home, plan, get ready for bed.
Asleep at 10:00 P.M.
The new schedule is pretty rough. Very demanding. But honestly we have seen a LOT of success from it. I think there are just fresh faces in the morning, people that have never seen missionaries before.
Inviting is great. Whenever I invite I think of D&C 128:22-23
22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.
23 Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid brocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!
I know that if I simply open my mouth, people will recognize me if they have been prepared. It doesn't really even matter what I say. They will know my face, my eyes, and my voice.
I also gain a lot of strength from Elder Holland's last general conference. In the last few paragraphs he bares his testimony about the Book of Mormon, he says something along the lines of "I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I testified that the Book of Mormon is true." That is my goal too. I want it absolutely clear to everyone that I talk to that I believe the Book of Mormon to be true.
Oh man it is hot here. Someone send me some snow.