Monday, January 3, 2011
Well somehow transfers number twelve is coming to an end this week. I now am a teenager! Transfer number thirteen is about to start up. Elder Ritchie will be staying in Kohn Kaen and I will be moving to Bakkret. I really will miss Kohn Kaen. I was here for less than three months but I feel very close to the area, the branch, the converts, and the members. This week Kohn Kaen will be having another baptism. That makes eleven baptisms in the last six weeks. The work really has exploded here. We were talking to President Smith last night and he was mentioning the possibility of new buildings. One of the possibilities for future buildings he listed off was Kohn Kaen. The Area Supervisors were a little bit skeptical because Kohn Kaen's membership is still pretty low but he told them that Kohn Kaen now has families. That made me really happy to hear. Kohn Kaen is the District Center but it has always kinda struggled. I hope that this is the chance to change that.
I really don't know what to say about the work. It seems like so much has happened and it is really hard to express it concisely and in a manner that you could understand. Suffice to say, I have changed a lot the last three months. Not just as a missionary or in terms of missionary work, but as a person too. I haven't changed this much as a person since winter last year in Ubon. Last year was more of a forced change, this year was more of self-motivated decision. A lot of these changes have to do with communication. There were some specific weaknesses in the way that I communicate that I am really trying to fix. I feel that these things have helped me motivate and uplift the missionaries that I serve. A lot of these changes have to do with faith. I feel I have made leaps of progress in understanding the principle of faith and have figured out ways to build and use my faith. A lot of these changes have to do with pride. I'm a prideful person. It has to be my greatest weakness. This last month I have really come to terms with this weakness and have made a lot of progress towards being meek and humble.
I was realizing the other day one thing that I have learned on my mission. Just how every single person is unique. More unique than I previously thought. There are countless amounts of attributes, gifts, talents, etc. and everyone has a random assortment of them. Some people have a lot, some people have a few. Everyone has something that they are given. Everyone has the ability to increase the things that they struggle with. They also can hone the skills that they already have and make them even better. I'm grateful for the gifts that I have been blessed with.
On a lighter note. My old, disgusting helmet got stolen. Not sure who in the world would want to steal a two year old helmet that only fits an American sized large head. But oh well. I was too cheap to buy a new one, so Elder Ritchie and I have been riding helmetless for the ten days. I didn't want to buy a new one because I thought next transfers I wouldn't need one. Bangkok doesn't really use bikes. My foresight paid off. I just hope I don't hit a car in the next two days. Cross your fingers!
Last thing I want to talk about today is the guy who is getting baptized this week. His name is "M" and he is thirty-two years old. It's very interesting because as I have been striving to teach more efficiently I have noticed that God has prepared people to meet our teaching ability. Before I met M I thought that I had met prepared people, but this guy just blew everyone out of the water. He showed up at the church building last Sunday. He came in the afternoon hoping that there was a church service. He had been to one of our church services in Bangkok a year previous. He saw the name of our church and recognized it and was impressed to come in. On the first day we talked about baptism and committed him to be baptized in two weeks. He was very excited and accepted. The next time we met him we were on an exchange with President Smith. It was a pretty short lesson, only about twenty minutes but we taught the whole restoration message, parts of the gospel, the word of wisdom, the law of chastity, and many other things. He sucked it all up and was able to recite it all by memory. We met him for the third time this last week. Finished teaching him in about an hour. His comprehension and memory was absolutely out of control. He was able to grasp onto concepts such as the fall with ease without us ever teaching him. His main concern in life is to get married and have a family. We committed him to live the law of the sabbath and he agreed even though this week he went back home to be with his family for new years. That didn't stop him, he traveled over 100 kilometers from his house into the city and found a member to stay with that night in order to attend church the next morning. He is going to be interviewed today and I am confident he will pass. We only taught the guy three times. I know God prepares his children.