New arriving missionaries!
This week I headed down to Bangkok for my first Zone Leader Council. This meeting was newly implemented about 6 months ago as a mandate of the new missionary curriculum. Since then, I have always heard from the Zone Leaders how great Zone Leader Council is. Although the travel time from both ways from Udorn to Bangkok is about 17 hours on a bus, the 2 hour meeting was worth the ride.
The meeting started with a Bishop from Bangkok stressing the importance of helping our zones get their investigators involved in the seminary and institute programs of the church. After that we gave an accountability of the zones baptismal results and goals for the next two months. As a mission in the month of September we baptized 30 people. The goal for October was 39, but the goal for December was over 100.
After that we had a couple of trainings. The first training was on how to use the Introduction to the Book of Mormon. You might ask, why are the missionaries in Thailand just training on using that page? Well, because we don't even have it in Thai yet. The new edition of the Book of Mormon in Thai is finally coming, for serious this time. The mission ordered 10,000 copies and they will be here in November. I am really excited for the new book, not only because it will have a dictionary, index, and introduction, but it will also be a lot easier to understand by the Thai people.
The other training they gave us was on resolving concerns with the baptismal commitment. We took a poll in the mission and came up with the three most common concerns that are given by investigators. They were: 1. I'm buddhist, 2. I'm not ready, and 3. I don't understand. We talked about the various ways to resolve these concerns and specifically we emphasized the importance to train our missionaries to answer these common concerns using the scriptures.
After the trainings we received a big announcement. The mission areas/zones/districts are changing dramatically. Currently in Thailand there are 8 zones: 4 in Bangkok, 3 in the Isaan, and 1 in the North. After this transfer there will only be 6 zones. There will only be 3 in Bangkok, 2 in the Isaan, and 1 in the North. The reason why this is significant is because one of the zones that is closing is the Udorn Zone. That just happens to be where I am serving right now. So yes, I am moving. Where I am moving to? Well, I'm not sure but the obvious guess is that I am moving to Khon Kaen to be companions with Elder R. The reason why this is the obvious guess is because the Kohn Kaen zone and the Udorn zone are combining to be the "Isaan Zone." Elder R is Elder D's companion before I came, so that would be fun. Not only are there going to be a lot less zones, there are going to be a lot less districts. Most zones will now only have 3 districts. The reasons they are doing this is because the mission is VERY young right now. The majority of missionaries have only been here for a couple of months, so we will have a lot less leaders. I am really excited for these changes because it will make training and accountability a lot more effective.
This is Elder D's last week as a missionary, so his letter was pretty short so he wants to leave, so that means that I have to leave. Remind me next week to tell you a story about someone named Ploy.