Monday, December 20, 2010

Second Christmas in Thailand

Hello every body
Well, this last week, Elder Jensen and I had companionship exchanges with the zone leaders. I was with Elder Phanom (ผนม). I was way excited to work with him. I met Elder Phanom in the very beginning of my mission when I was in Lopburi for my first two transfers. I remember telling him that I hoped we could have one day that we could be companions together. I had almost forgot about that when as we were getting ready to switch back Elder Phanom asked "So is your dream fulfilled?" I laughed and told him yes.
We switched off for two days and because he had served in Ubon for 6 months, he knew some different neighborhoods to go inviting. So he took me around one day to find new people to teach.
This week we may not be having any baptisms. Well at least the ones that I talked about last week. (อว้น) and (วัลย์) or fat and one won't be getting baptized this week because they had to run off to do some family things so we haven't had enough time to get them ready but, they will get baptized next month.
However there is someone that might still get baptized this week. Her name is jitrii or (จิตรี). I think I wrote about her the last week or two. She has been really exciting to teach. Let me explain the story. So about three weeks ago we ran into her in front of her house and invited her about Heavenly Father. Well she had been studying a new religion/ cult I'm not really sure what it is. That a guy in Bangkok started where he claimed to know about a spiritual father. So she was interested to know what our thoughts were on Heavenly Father. She asked questions like, What does he look like? or Do you have a picture of him?' So we sat there and taught her about the restoration and showed her one of the photos of the restoration. we didn't have a lot of time to talk at that meeting because we didn't have a member with the priesthood with us so we couldn't teach but we did set up another appointment with her. The next day we returned to go back and teach. We taught more about the restoration, and in the end we asked her to pray about it. Well she said no. Normally that would be where we stop teaching and find someone else to teach but, Elder Jensen and I both felt something about her. So we asked if we could come back another day to talk, she agreed. We went back again and tried to teach about the restoration again and she still refused to pray at the end of the restoration. One thing we realized when we taught her after the second time is that we had been taking young adult members to help us teach. She is about 67 years old so in the end according to Thai culture the young adults are still children and she wouldn't even listen to them. Well that night we asked if we could meet her at the church next time. This time however we took the first councilor in the branch presidency with us to teach. That night we gave her a tour of the church and told about each of the different rooms. This is where she began to change with the Spirit. At the end of that lesson we committed her to come to church. she said she would come. This was 2 Sundays ago. she came and she began to open her heart. The next Monday we saw her with two members, a husband and a wife. We learned at that time that jitrii was a retired nurse. The sister that we brought was a nurse as well. That helped a lot. However that night everyone shared their testimony about prayer. One thing I have learned as a missionary is that nothing is more powerful then 4 people in the room sharing simple testimony. Well after everyone shared, I asked a question that I don't think I have ever asked anyone. It was, "What do you feel right now?" she said good. Then I asked have you ever felt like this before. she thought for a minute then said that she had felt the same the first time that she walked to church when we gave her a tour of the church. Then she had felt it again when she went to church. Next she said that she felt this almost every time that the elders had come. Then Elder Jensen and I both testified that that feeling was the Holy Ghost. And then everything clicked. She understood. So we committed her to pray and she said that she would try.
Well the next day as Elder Jensen and I were studying we received a phone call from jitrii. She said that she had received her answer and asked if we could come over that night. We said that we would be happy to. During that morning Elder Jensen and I prayed to figure out when we should give her a baptismal date. After praying we received an answer that surprised both of us. That was that she was to be baptized on Christmas day. That night we asked her if she would be baptized and she said yes. So every night following, we have seen her and taught everything that she needs to know to be able to pass the interview to be baptized. It's amazing what the Spirit can do to people. For example we taught her the Word of Wisdom and she said that she had been very, very, very addicted to coffee. but she said that she would stop drinking for the last couple of days. She has had a really bad headache because of the addiction. Every concern that she has had she has solved herself and put her trust in the Lord. So far as we know she is going to get baptized on this Saturday.
OK i have to run
I love you all Merry Christmas.
Elder Brandon John Holt

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