Stake Conference and Ministering (Samut Prakaan Week 4)
Hey hey there Dad!
It hurts my heart to think about all the people going out this transfer. Almost all the Zone Leaders, the District Leaders, One of the Assistants. So many people are going out. I can't really wrap my head around it. And also President and Sister Johnson. The people left will be just people who are younger than me, and a couple older ones, with a new mission President. In two weeks, the a large part of the mission will be gone with no one to fill the places of the old ones, at least for right now, meaning that we'll be down about 15 or so missionaries. Such is the nature of transfers, and the mission. I was going through the infamous "Greenie Book" which has a list of all the missionaries and where they were serving when I first came into country, and I was marking off all of the people who had already finished their missions are would be finishing in this next transfer. Let me say that there are not a ton of people in that list. I'm old, and I accept the fact that I'm old, and that's way scary. It's hard to tell what's going to happen in these next couple of transfers, but I know that whatever happens, it will be for good of the people here in Thailand.
However, this last week has been a wild week! We've been working really hard this past week. It's been fairly difficult this past little while for finding new investigators. So we decided to devote a lot of our time to doing some more finding activities, including finding and trying to work with members. Even on our switch off this last Wednesday that I had with the District Leader, we spent a large majority of our time just street contacting, with a couple lessons in between. However we found no one. Wow! That was sad. Perhaps it wasn't the will of the Lord for us to go inviting. Or we were meant to learn something, which I did, or perhaps we were being tested. Either way, I felt like a lot happened, and at the very least we were meant to see if we would be faithful in doing what we were commanded. Or at last we weren't listening carefully enough for the Spirit. Either way, it was a great experience. It makes me feel energized, strangely enough, when I get rejected. I hope everyone can understand what I mean when I say "Being received is best. Being rejected is sad. But not being rejected at all, nor received, once in the entire day, is the worst." Does this mean I want to be rejected? No! However, it means this: If I'm not being rejected once throughout the day nor being received the entire day means I'm not opening my mouth and I'm not doing my job. So rejection is a good sign! It means I'm working and if I'm truly trying my best, we'll see miracles and finally be received.
So after this lesson/confirmation of a known feeling that I've had, Elder English and I went out to go inviting some more this week. We found 2 new investigators, in a row, within 5 minutes of each other the very next day after our switch-off. It was way fun! Then we received a referral the very next day. Suddenly, we were seeing many miracles! The righteous exercise of faith and obedience results in miracles. We ended up finding four new investigators this past week, all by way of miracle. I'm really really grateful for all the blessings we have received from the Lord. Now the next task is to find more and help them all to progress.
Oh and another thing: You'd be surprised how long it can take one to walk 400 meters when you stop and talk to every single person on the way there. Perhaps about 2 hours might do it for us.
One aspect of missionary work that we have been focusing on is using the Book of Mormon in everything that we do, especially in street contacting. We've seen people's hearts open because of it, because we speak to their needs by using the Book of Mormon, and help them feel the Spirit. We bear testimony with the Book of Mormon, and that has resulted in helping us see miracles. If not the Word of God, then what is the Book of Mormon? It truly is one of the most valuable things that we have right now. It helps us to know God, and His Son Jesus Christ. There is power in the Word.
We also had Stake conference in this last week! We showed up way early for the Saturday evening session... we thought that there was going to be traffic but in the end there was no traffic.... So we got there an hour early. The Spirit was really strong in both sessions. But one of my favorite parts was when the Stake Choir sang "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus" in Thai. That's one of my favorite songs honestly. It represents all of our goals in this life, that one day we may be perfect. The Spirit was especially strong there.
We had an opportunity to hear from the Asia Area President, Elder Evans, about Ministering. We have to go about it one by one. Loving people. Finding their needs and addressing them. Doing all that we can to help these people to grow and become even better, by inviting them to come unto Christ. It is about love. We are hear to love them and be the extended arm of the Lord. I hope I never again have to hear the words "If they have enough faith, they can do it on their own." Well that's not right! We are here to be the answers to another person's prayers. It may require us to sacrifice a little, but that sacrifice is pretty small compared to the sacrifice that the Savior made for us. Should we not be on the Lord's errand? The Lord answers prayers in a lot of ways, but most often prayers are answered through people.
In 3 Nephi, we learn about this concept of One by One. 2500 people, or more, went up to the Savior when He first appeared among the Nephites, one by one. Supposing that each person took only 1 minute, individually, with the Savior, that would be 2500 minutes. Divide that by 60 and guess what? That's about 42 hours. Did it take 42 hours? I don't know, but the Savior was willing to do so. He is willing to spend time with each of us, but we must go unto him, and he will always have time for us. We must go to others, however, and make time for them, and help them also come unto the Savior. Ministering is pure, Christlike Service.
Remember the words in Moroni 7:33, if we ever feel that a task is beyond our capability: And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.
I also like the next verse: And he hath said: Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.
Let's all repent, and make sure we are keeping our baptismal covenants at all times. If we need strength, repent, and be strengthened! Pray always, and the Lord will deliver us.
Love you all, keep it up the hard work!
- Elder Collin Decker