Background: One of the main missionary scriptures in Doctrine and Covenants invites missionaries to "thrust in their sickle with all their might" because the field is "ready to harvest." President Johnson recently told us that our 'sickle' is The Book of Mormon, and if we want any harvest we need to USE IT! So...
HARVEST OF RICE
Last Monday we were able to harvest rice!! Brother Gawi knew someone who needed help and it was definitely not a sacrifice on our part to help out. It was such a crazy amazing experience I will never forget. So many missionary analogies, but my favorite had to do with the SICKLE that President Johnson taught us. Without the sickle the harvest could not be accomplished... and that kept running through my mind the entire time (and comparing it to the Book of Mormon)
POWER OF THE BOOK
The next day we had a second lesson planned with a man named Oouin (อ้วน) I originally invited him outside of a small market and at first I thought he was a little creepy (because he was a little drunk) but the first lesson was good and we were excited to meet him again.
He showed up looking very well put together in a collared shirt tucked in which was weird, but we didn't think too much of it. We started the lesson with following up on his Book of Mormon reading and what he told us almost made my mouth drop..."I read the assigned chapters you gave me twice. I felt really good reading them and felt like I should stop drinking alcohol, so I did." We had not mentioned anything about the law of health but he did it entirely on his own!! He kept explaining that since he stopped drinking (he used to drink 5-6 bottles a day) he and his wife have stopped fighting and he has more money to buy the things he needs.
He readily accepted a date for baptism saying he would do anything to be a member of this church and to feel this way all the time.... There is NO other explanation for his quitting alcohol other than one thing--THE BOOK OF MORMON. It is the sickle of the Restoration. I testify of its power and spirit, and I have witnessed firsthand the change that it can make in the lives of anyone who opens its pages. We are so beyond blessed to have this book in our lives and it is my hope and prayer that we may follow President Monson's invitation and use its strength each and everyday of our lives.
79 YEAR OLD GEM
Just a last minute story..on switch offs last week we had planned to visit a cute family (kind of less active) that lives pretty far away. We almost didn't go, but I felt like we should, so we swung by last minute...and what a blessing! We found THE CUTEST older woman. She was the members' grandma and had just moved in to their house the day before! She has always been scared of ghosts and weird things like that, but we were able to sit down and teach her that she was indeed a child of God and that He loved her. The spirit was so strong, and in that moment I felt the purest love for her.
Now for the sad news...I just found out I will be leaving Roiet! My heart was torn out of my chest when I found this out...Sadly I won't be here to watch these incredible people progress, but God is taking me back to BANGKOK! Haven't been there since last year so it'll be an adventure. I'm 'whitewashing' (meaning my new companion and I will both be new to the area) and it will be a crazy few weeks but here it goes!
I love Roiet...way sad to leave. The saying is true that when you are a missionary the goodbyes just get harder...ah. I love these people.
The next email you get from me will be from Don Muang in northern Bangkok--here we go!
Much much love,