Tuesday, September 21, 2010

3 baptisms

Hello Family

Well It has been a busy week since Elder Perkins from the Asia Area Presidency came through Ubon. On Wednesday night the Zone leader called me up and told us that Elder Perkins and President Smith were going to interview our zone the next day when they fly in. So on Thursday the whole zone came in and spent the day at the church.( that's never a good combination, a bunch of missionaries stuck in the church that are dying to work.) Anyways, between Elder Perkins interviewing the junior companions ( lucky Elder Lesueur 555) and President Smith interviewing senior companions, they got through us all in little under an hour and we were able to go back to work. So we helped relive the boredom of some of the missionaries that had to leave their area and Warin and we switched off with 2 another district of missionaries. It helped a lot too, we were doubled booked for some of our appointments.

The next day we had the a meeting with Elder Perkins, President smith and their wives. It was a really really good meeting. Elder Perkins told us this when he started the meeting that he didn't really prepare much to share and said that was the purpose of the interviews the day before was to receive inspiration on what he needed to talk about. The over all focus of the meeting was on using the Spirit in our teaching. But he also talked about the importance of Christ-like attributes and tied them in to the temple covenants, and then talked about the idea of being bold in teaching and inviting people. That's something that has been on every missionaries mind. He asked us to try and follow an experiment wherein we each wrote down two question that was on our minds then let the Spirit answer them in the meeting. It worked, I had one answered before the end of the meeting.

In the end it all went over really smooth, no problems. Everything went through.

So after the meeting the next thing for me and Elder Lesueur to tackle was a baptism that we decided to move up 2 weeks ahead of time. We had 3 people baptized this Saturday then on Sunday they were confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Their names are Ice, Jay Jay, and James. Well, that's their nick names anyways. They are 3 sweet brothers that have been learning with the Elders for 1 1/2 months. They met us through the English program that we teach every Tuesday night. As far as I understand the whole story it goes like this. Ice who is 19 years old. Came and learned English and piano, which the sister missionaries teach here, the Elder Lesueur and his last companion asked if he was interested in learning about Jesus Christ. He was and they taught him a first lesson. They next asked if they could teach his family at his house the next time. Ice agreed and introduced the Elders to his younger brothers, Jay who is 16 and James, 13. Next they asked them to go to church at that lesson and they have been going to church plus every other activity that was at the church for the last 3 months. Ice is a great leader for his family. In the last week we took him with us to help us teach and he did a great job.

One of the coolest stories that I heard about these three is this. About three years ago Jay was doing a homework art assignment and found a card of Jesus Christ and painted a picture of the card. Well the funny thing is that that card that he paint was a pass-along card that the missionaries use of when the Savior visited the Nephites the first time. He had no idea what it was about until the Elders taught him three or four times and one day they pulled out the card for an example. Jay got up and pulled out the painting and the elders found out it was a good copy of the the pass-along card. That helped Jay get a lot more interested in the picture. They showed me the painting the other day when we were teaching them. Its really good. I'll send a picture of it in the email.

One of our biggest focus' this week was to help them get their mother to the baptism. Their mother is a single mom that makes an income by washing and ironing clothes. She hasn't been able to learn with the elders because she literally works from sun-up to long after sun-down. So in order to help her have an hour to see her three sons baptized, Elder Lesueur and I took our ironing boards and irons from our house, luckily we have 2 of both, hoped on a tuk tuk and drove over to her shop on Saturday morning. She was a bit surprised to see to white guys in shirts and ties with ironing boards and "can't take no attitude" show up at her shop. We decided if there is one thing that we are good at doing its ironing shirts. So before she could refuse we had set up our boards and had piles of cloths that we were working through. After an hour we had reduced her load enough to help her have free time to go to the baptism. It was good she went, She definitely felt the spirit that night.

Saturday night Elder Lesueur baptized the three of them and I was one of the witnesses. Elder Lesueur was way nervous to do it in ThaiIbut he did a really good job.

I don't know about you guys but I think the time is going really too fast. We are already back to the fall. Sooner than later it will be spring. Anyways, I still miss the cold a lot. I hope one day that I will get to to throw a snowball at Connor again.

Yes i got the journal in the last package you sent me. but it may not be a bad idea to send me another one. If I keep up with writing in it I should fill it up before I get home and will need another one. Thanks for sending me shoes it much appreciated.

OK quick about the photos. They are of Ice, Jay and James' baptism day and there are a few of when we helped their mom iron clothes. Other peolpe in the photo are members. and check out the painting that Jay is holding in the second photo.

OK I've got to go.

I love you all

Elder Brandon John Holt

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