Tuesday, March 17, 2015

8 Questions to ask your missionary this week February 8

I read about the following 8 questions in an article on-line and decided to give it a try.... 

1. What has been your biggest challenge this week?

This week the hardest thing was actually finding people that were interested in the gospel. People were kinda tough this week and it was just a crazy week of riding our bike for 22 km just to find out that the member we were supposed to visit is not there and is in the hospital, But no one knows where that hospital is...... ARGGGH!
2. What has been your biggest concern?

Coming home is because in honest truth...... the future is scary because yesterday whilst I was riding my bike I was watching all of these beloved brothers and sisters of mine making bad choices and I cannot change and save them all. And I have only 10 weeks left of being a full time lifesaver and then I will be put on the backburner- kinda. I love this work and one of the best things to do is to share the gospel, no matter who they are or what walk of life they are from everyone needs to here the gospel!
3. What has been your biggest success?

Having Brother E. baptized. This baptism was by far one of the best baptisms ever. I saw that one of the  members changed this man's life. This showed to me that even after the life of a missionary I can still share the gospel and teach people and what not.  I also felt more attached to Brother E.. He is awesome!
4. Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?

Elder Madsen, one of the elders in my district, I have learned so much from him and we are being looked at as the "old"  people in the mission. We know the things we need to change and become SUPER excited for the work of the Lord again!
5. What has been your most significant tender mercy?

Funny story.... we were stranded last pday in a place called อ่าง ทอง (gold font LOLZ if translated). We had missed the last van to Lopburi, so we were stranded without any way to get home.So, I went over to a corner and prayed. About5 minutes passed and a van rolled up and said, Hey, lets go!
6. What are you looking forward to this coming week?

The wedding on Saturday. I am looking forward to that. It so nice to see love and happiness in this dark and evil world 

7. Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.

Work as if I was meeting the Savior tomorrow, always striving for him and his glory and becoming like him!
8. Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?

D&C 4:2 Therefore o ye that embark in the service of God serve him with your heart mind and strength
That is the scripture on my planner with the picture of Lehi's family sailing to the promised land,.

A dog bite and road rash...... February 1st

It was a pretty tough week to be honest ;D- that means blessings all round right?? So this whole week I have been sick. I have lost my voice last night and 2 nights ago a dog bit my foot while riding my bike, causing me to fall off of it and slide across the street. 
This past week we went to Ayuttya to have a special meeting with President Senior which was awesome. We learned that we are going to build the families up in Thailand. It's gonna be good! We were also told that we need to put together a wedding HOW ON EARTH DO I DO THAT? Any ideas how you do a wedding?? We also talked with our investigator's boss who is a member from Arizona. It was a pivotal moment in our investigator's life. I am convinced without a choice there are moments in our lives that change the course of our life forever. I feel in those moments everything revolves around you and causes you to think. I have had a few of those moments in my mission and they have been for the best. They have changed the course of my life! Anyway our investigator texted us yesterday and said that  he wants to get baptized as soon as possible. Because he knows its true!
This is the time I have to serve the Lord. Elder Gong just wanted to sit down and just talk with us district leaders and how to be a good leader, which is so cool. It's the reason I was transferred to Lopburi because I needed to hear that. I am still wondering why I am here. It's quite bizarre! 
I feel like I am a ward builder and Lopburi already has a ward.
God works in mysterious ways. That's all I know and it is fantastic isn't it? 

Monkeys and Slingshots January 26

Well here's to the next 3 months right!? 
Yes. I have been traveling around a lot its kinda bizarre, but I felt like I was not going to be in Phitsanuloke very long and I wasn't. I had not even unpacked all the way.
 Lopburi is a ward and it has about 90 ish people coming to church. It's quite crazy! I love it my new companion. He is on his 2nd transfer as a missionary. We will see how it goes....... training it's gonna be good! This ward works fantastically. It's a very nice comfy area. There are monkeys everywhere as well and they are just as mean as they were in the Khumps. I will start carrying my slingshot again. It's gonna be good. I still am flummoxed why I am here in Lopburi. I am trying to figure out why I am here we shall see. I do not know how long I will be here. Don't worry I will be speaking "Thaiglish" when I give my talk because English is hard.......
 It is so weird that Tean is home, next is Mister Kikel well! It's CRAZY! Next Preston, Raquel- then it will be me..... :( its very sad but it's good
Yesterday, I went to a special meeting with Elder Gong of the seventy at President Senior's house. It was so cool! I loved the meeting. It was a fantastic moment! Oh yeah so cool! I sat right across from Elder Gong  and President Senior was sitting right next to him. It was awesome! 

I love our mission president! He is a champion. He has taught me so much!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Leading a meeting- intense... January 18

Well this week was pretty intense... we basically invited the whole week. We went and found less active members. We talked to one who has decided it's her time to go home. She can't eat anything and she has always an inexplicable tiredness around her. She says she is going to go home and meet her Heavenly Father soon. Then we went and visited one of our investigators who has to wait till next year to be baptized because she can't get married until this Asian project called ASEAN opens up because her husband does not have a visa. So she cant get married..:( After we taught her and her family we went and gave a blessing to her son who is a Burmese soldier who got shot 7ish years ago. He has 17 bullets in him and has been paralyzed for 6 years.... laying on a bed. We gave him a blessing. In the blessing, he was promised that he would stand up one day in the future and be a tool in the Lord's hands for spreading the gospel. It's going to be awesome!

The cold weather in Utah would "slay" me right now because I am a wimp when it comes to the cold right now! I am slowly adjusting to my new area! Yesterday I had to lead sacrament meeting because the branch president was in Udorn. Talk about intense... I sat all alone on the stand, oh it was so weird! I led everyone through the whole meeting. All 62 people-so intense! After that I had to lead a baptismal service as well, because well I am the 1st counselor and what not... it was way intense! I have so much more respect for bishops and branch presidents, because leading one of those meetings can be quite intimidating, especially when you have never done one before.  You just kinda jump in feet first and pray that you don't fail miserably! WOOOOOO!!!!

 NOW ITS HOT during the days! But freezing in the mornings! The city I am in, is pretty big. It's a place tourist come and visit a lot because its got old things, but for us missionaries its really hard to get to these places with our time limitations. We have to be back in our area by 6 pm.
This week, I felt protected by 3 angels sent from Father in Heaven.

All about a train ride...... January 11

 I am in an area called Phitsunaloke. I am with Elder Kettavong, an elder I have served around with before. I also have been called to be the first counselor in the branch presidency. It's quite fun! 
To get here I sat on a train for 7 hours by myself and the whole time I was getting hit on by a old guy.  While I was on the train, i got to know this couple from Chang Mai, really well. As we approached the train station, they told me the train wouldn't stop for long. So.... they threw my bags out the window at me. After that i ran to the front of the train and grabbed my bike. Then the train rolled away- it was intense!
The way I found out that I was  moving was that President  Senior called and asked if it would cause problems if I were to leave on Tuesday. (To help clarify what was going on.... Aaron had some member being enamored with him to the point where it was a bit unsafe for him to be there. I was not allowed to mention where he was- he since has been transferred again, however, I will not mention where he is for the moment being- as per request. )I told him that it would not and started packing my bags. President Senior never called back that day,  so I gathered I would  not  move. On Wednesday, Elder Beebe suggested that I should reorganize my bags to even the weight out. We did that and then on Thursday, after eating lunch we got a call from the assistant to the presidents and they  told me I would go to P....and that I needed to get there that day by myself.... CRAZY..... (In general missionaries don't travel by themselves
 I then  got  on the  train and sat there for about an hour just staring out the window and contemplating life  when this old man sat next to me -dressed very smartly and talked to me for a bit. Then I started reading my scriptures after he fell asleep. Eventually I  fell asleep and suddenly I  woke up and it's "darkish" I though.... SUCK.... did I miss my stop..... A couple on the train looked at me and just laughed. They told me not to worry, that my stop would not be  for another 2 hour. I arrived  at 8 30 at nigh and had left Ayutthaya at in the afternoon.
It had rained the past 3 days, I  wrecked one of my shirts then I found out we have no investigators, because the last missionary scared them all away 555(Thai for hahahah) just the life of Elder Proctor .....This past Sunday I spent the whole day translating. I really like translating, it's way fun. I am super pumped to be here even though it had to happen in such a odd way. (Mom's note...I skipped one week- he did not have much to say and was mostly upset about the situation with the member. He had been so happy in Ayutthaya and had finally found some people to teach- but of course, in true Aaron fashion- he tries to see the positive..)


Monday, February 16, 2015

Don't ever give up! December 31

Well just think you got to sit in the Lord's house for 2 hours- in the most holy and sacred place in the world! Is not that fantastic? I feel it is fantastic! I would have loved that. I miss the temple oh so much! It's so hard to understand how great temples are until you are in a country where there is not a temple close at all. You have to fly there and the average member cannot afford to even think about going. I am thinking of a member in the ghumps area who I love very much. She may never have a chance to go to the temple in Hong Kong because she collects garbage for a living. She is one of the most humble people I have ever met. She has so much faith in God, it's not even funny. She is an awesome example to me.Even when her husband kicked her out of the house for helping the elders, she did not care. She continued to help us, even at the risk of her family's life and what not, she put her trust in God and things happened that made it possible for her to continue going to church. It's fantastic! Do what is right and let the consequences follow. It is a great phrase to live by. God always makes thing happen to help us grow.
Elder Richard G. Scott said:
"Your decisions are like switch points on a railroad system. They determine where you will end up in life. When you consistently make the right choices, you are the happiest, receive the greatest personal growth, and have the most productive life. When you make the wrong choices, you may find yourself at an entirely different destination than you want. While there is the process of repentance to come back, it is often painful and sometimes leaves permanent physical scars that cannot be cured as well as your spirit can.
At one time I worked on the immediate staff of a very hardworking, demanding, misunderstood man who became the father of the nuclear navy that provided great protection for the United States at a critical time in world conditions. His name is Hyman Rickover. I have great respect for him. After 11 years in that service, I received a call from the First Presidency to preside over a mission. I knew I would have to tell Admiral Rickover immediately. As I explained the call and that it would mean I would have to quit my job, he became rather excited. He said some unrepeatable things, broke the paper tray on his desk, and in the comments that followed, clearly established two points: “Scott, what you are doing in this defense program is so vital that it will take a year to replace you, so you can’t go. Second, if you do go, you are a traitor to your country.”
I said, “I can train my replacement in the two remaining months, and there won’t be any risk to the country.”
There was more conversation, and he finally said, “I never will talk to you again. I don’t want to see you again. You are finished, not only here, but don’t ever plan to work in the nuclear field again.”
I responded, “Admiral, you can bar me from the office, but unless you prevent me, I am going to turn this assignment over to another individual.”
He asked, “What’s the name of the man who wants you?”
I told him, “President David O. McKay.”
He added, “If that’s the way Mormons act, I don’t want any of them working for me.”
I knew he would try to call President McKay (1873–1970), who was ill, and that conversation would benefit no one. I also knew that in the Idaho Falls area there were many members of the Church whose families depended upon their working in our program. I didn’t want to cause them harm. I also knew that I had been called by the Lord. I didn’t know what to do. Then, the words of the song we sang tonight began to run through my mind: “Do what is right; let the consequence follow” (Hymns, number 237). While I had never contacted a General Authority in my life, I had been interviewed by Elder Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, so I had a feeling to call him. I explained that the admiral would try to call President McKay and would make some negative comments, but everything was all right and I would be able to accept my call. While doing that, my heart kept saying, “Is this going to turn out all right or will somebody be innocently hurt who depends on our program for livelihood?” The song would come back: “Do what is right; let the consequence follow.” True to his word, the admiral ceased to speak to me. When critical decisions had to be made, he would send a messenger or I would communicate through a third party. We accomplished the changeover.
On my last day in the office I asked for an appointment with him, and his secretary gasped. I went with a copy of the Book of Mormon in my hand. He looked at me and said, “Sit down, Scott. What do you have? I have tried every way I can to force you to change. What is it you have?”
There followed a very interesting, quiet conversation. There was more listening this time. He said he would read the Book of Mormon. Then something I never thought would occur happened. He added, “When you come back from the mission, I want you to call me. There will be a job for you.”
You will have challenges and hard decisions to make throughout your life. Be determined now to always do what is right and let the consequence follow. The consequence will always be for your best good. You will learn that it is easiest over the long run to stand for what is right and do the difficult thing to begin with. Once you take that position, following through is not too hard. An individual who cuts corners and justifies some departure from true standards, for whatever reason, finds that seeds are planted that produce problems later. Those problems are far more difficult to overcome than taking a correct stand initially.
Do what is right even though it seems you will be alone in so doing, that you are going to lose friends, that you will be criticized. What you will find is that by doing what is right, after a period of testing, the finest friends will be discovered and you can mutually support each other in your resolve to be obedient to all of the commandments of the Lord. I have never been sorry on any occasion that I stood for what was right even against severe criticism. You will learn that truth. You will also discover that when you have taken a determined stand for right, when you have established personal standards and made covenants to keep them, when temptations come and you act according to your standards, you will be reinforced and given strength beyond your own capacity, if that is needed. Difficulty comes when you enter the battle of temptation without a fixed plan. That is what Satan desires, for then you are ripe for defeat."
This is the Lord's work. The devil is as real as you and I. He wants us to fail in all our aspires. He hates us and knows he is wrong and he will loose in the end. But he is going to try and take down as many of the elect people he can, for he knows that if he wins he destroys a family. DON'T EVER GIVE UP, NO MATTER WHAT COMES OUR WAY!
This past week I spent some time with the assistants to the president and I was paired up with a Australian elder who is going home very soon. One thing he said to me stuck with me. He said," I don't want to finish a mission, I want  to finish being a missionary. Because just finishing a mission means you did not grow and you are going back home not changed at all."
I also remember him saying during his last testimony that everyone gives at their last zone conference. He said this is not the end. The mission does not end when  you go home . You are a forever missionary and its' going to be great!
Oh man, my time in this great country has sailed by so fast. I have 3 months and 16 days left. That's such a short time. I have 2 transfers left that is nothing. I have gotten way good at bowling. So let's go when I come home! Favorite Thai treat would be the bread that tastes like a scone. It is covered in corn flakes.... so good. Another favorite Thai food is papaya salad that has 10 peppers in it and the thing called crying tiger yum or sunfries pork SOO GOOD!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Merry (freezing) Christmas! December 24

Well  this past week has been so cold in Thailand! I actually wear a scarf to bed and when I wake up, because oh it's so cold!! It is probably about 70ish and it so cold ahhhhh hahahah. (Yes,he needs a reality check! It was about 20 degrees here...) I usually take  a shower in water that is like 50 degrees, so its just freeing cold! Yesterday, we had  a water pump installed. Before I was using a bowl and scooping water out of a tub and splashing myself down everyday for the past 2ish months. I took a shower today, oh so nice, so very nice! 
 Christmas!!! It was super fun to see your faces and hear your voices. I am super glad everyone is  good. I am happy to see you all are growing in the  gospel and just being awesome! 

This past Monday we went out and went tracting and just talked to all these people in their houses and stuff. Then we went and started to build a wat! A bunch of Mormons building a Thai Buddhist temple super funny! The Thai people almost had a heart attack so funny! We then just went and taught our investigator who works for the royal family. It's so cool! She works with tribal leaders that are angry and she goes and fixes things up so cool!!!!!!!! 
I love being a missionary in Thailand, so much fun!!! We have been running in the mornings. I am so healthy .muhahahaha 
Let's see we have been seriously inviting everyone. We just go and go to bring the word of God to them all! They just don't know that they need the gospel. All of the people here are our brothers and sisters.
A couple of nights ago Elder Heiner and I were talking and it made me think. I laid there and rethought my commitments to serving the Lord and how much I need to share this glorious message to everyone. It was low moment. I was getting pretty down on myself for not being able to achieve the miracles I want to achieve. But God works in many ways. He used that moment to remind me how important this message is and how much I need to share it! 
This past week I have started to see how much I need to adapt and change myself to be a better leader for my district and how much I needed to become a better person. We went and did service with a member. We are helping him come back to activity because he can speak English and he can hold positions a as a leader. All is well in Ayuttya. This is the Lord's work. We all have a part in it, little things here and there... we can do to inspire bless and raise! Look for the moments daily!
We had a Christmas activity and 104 people came. It was a miracle!