Please tell me you watched General Conference live...because....Thailand is getting a temple!!!!!!!!!!!
Missions are so hard, but I am so grateful that I am here in Thailand at this time! There is no better time...for the next year I get to tell people about the blessings they can recieve from the temple!!! That there families can be happy like mine and be together for ever.
Let me now tell you all how the subject line of my email came to be.
SO this week started off pretty well. We did super funny (on the fly) skits in english class where we were all speaking in different accents. Everyone thought my British accent was HILARIOUS. After english class we ate with some RC's and saw fireworks....the week started off well.
However, as the days went on, all of our appointments fell through but one, so instead, we contacted for hours upon hours all over Chiang Mai without a lot of success. Suffice it to say we were excited for Sunday because Jupe-Jang was going to get baptized! She had completed all of her interviews and was totally ready. We were also excited because we had 4 other investigators who were all ready to be baptized next week, but then one by one, crazy obstacles came up...I could hardly believe it. 3 of the investigators with a date for next week are cousins and they were 100 percent ready to be baptized next week. We were so excited as they are so strong! Towards the end of the lesson, one of them gets a call telling them that they all have been accepted this random christian school starting in May...for free.... and it's far away from any church. They then came to the consensus that it would probably be better for them to wait a year to get baptized, so that they could keep the Sabbath day holy.
I was really sad, but was still super excited to see Jupe-Jang and Ooy get baptized. However, Sister ooy came to church and told us that because of Sonkran (the huge water fight) she is unable to get Sunday off work . I felt so awful, but was still getting things all ready for Jupe-Jang to be baptized....howver, she got scared about sharing her testimony and ran out of the church right before the service started. She called us feeling horrible saying she was really shy. She didn't come back to church after that either. A few tears may have leaked out of my eyes yesterday...
However, there was a really cool thing that happened in testimony meeting...so read and listen closely. In testimony meeting this man visiting from China got up, and bore his testimony in English (someone translated it to Thai), and said that this was his first time bearing his testimony in English. He said he has been a member in Hong Kong since the age of 19, and now lives right across the street from the temple there. He said he sees many Thai people come to Hong Kong to do their work in the temple, but he knows that not everyone has this opportunity because of high traveling expenses. He said that this was his first time in Thailand, and he was just here for 3 days. The first day he was here he went to Maya, and saw 2 missionaries inviting people there. The second day he went to this giant market, with thousands upon thousands of people. As he was sitting in the market getting a foot massage, he said among the mass of people he saw this girl. All he could see was this one girl. She had a light around her, and was telling everyone about Christ. He said he knew in that moment that the Lord is hastening his work. I had chills, but still felt a little discouraged and unbelieving that the work really was hastening. After the meeting I went up to him and thanked him for his testimony. His face filled with shock and he said, "You are that girl! You are that missionary! Thank you!" My heart felt such peace at that moment, as I knew that Heavenly Father is looking after me. Even when times are tough, people are always watching, and our actions, no matter how little, make a difference. It reminded me of that scripture, "Be ye not weary in well doing...for you are laying the foundation of a great work."
After Church we went home and showered because we had to take the overnight bus to Bangkok for Sis Lam's meeting. As I was walking out of our apartment, I smacked my head really hard on the ceiling, and had to kill 4 cockroaches. Suffice it to say I was still pitying myself a little. We got on the bus and went to sleep. I prayed really hard to understand why that day had been so hard, and then went to sleep. At 12am (midnight) Elder Black gets a call from the Ap's , who were watching conference live, (we don't get to watch it until next week) telling us that a temple has been announced for construction in Thailand!! We were all so happy and so grateful...as this is what the missionaries in Thailand, (us and past missionaries) have been working for...for as long as there has been missionaries here. This temple will bless the lives of millions upon millions. Not just those in Thailand, but also Laos, Burma, Cambodia, India, and Vietnam. This will now be the closest temple for all of south-east Asia. It is truly a miracle. The last couple of months we have been working to get all the members their temple recommends, as having a certain number of temple recommend holders is one of the qualifications for a temple. We finally achieved it, and then the temple was announced. I now know, and firmly believe that as the Chinese man said in sacrament meeting, "The Lord is hastening his work," and I am lucky and extremely privileged to be a part of it. I am so excited that I get to tell people that they can receive the blessings of a temple here in Thailand.
So I have written a lot, but I just want to leave you all with this. The adversary is real, whenever something really good is about to happen...life can get harder. Faith is stretched, trials occur...but we must not falter...we have to press on and trust in the Lord, because he always has a plan...a reason. He wants to bless us. And He will.
I love you all,