Dear Family and Friends,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! It’s my mom’s birthday on Halloween; I will celebrate for her here.
Why does God give second chances? We know that Heavenly Father cannot look on sin with the least degree of allowance. But that doesn’t mean that he can’t give second chances. Maybe he gives us second chances because he wants us, he knows we can get it right. One of my goals that I’m completing at the moment is finishing Personal Progress a second time. I did one of the activities in Virtue and I read D&C 121:45, which says:
“Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.”
It’s interesting how I’ve read this before. Virtue, and our own beliefs and thoughts are not solely a personal matter. They don’t just affect us. Depending on how we think, that determines our actions, especially towards other people. And that’s exactly what this scripture means. Have charity, focus and one yourself in others, and then personal confidence grows personally. I feel like that is one of the many lessons I’ve learned so far on my mission. If you want confidence, especially in the Lord’s plan for you, love the people around you.
The primary program was two Sundays ago. Because the Thai was pretty simple, I could understand mostly everything word for word. One of the songs that the kids sang was “I’m trying to be like Jesus”. It’s a simple song, a simple line, a simple goal. But it’s universal. It’s the one common thread, if nothing else, that connects in a singular mindset to try our hardest to be Christlike. I’m glad that even in Thai, I could feel that truth.
For the past couple of weeks, we had to wear black and dark colors for mourning the year mark of the king’s passing here in Thailand. On Thursday, we attended a the king’s funeral in Ayyuthaya. It felt like a dream, honestly. There were lights everywhere, we waited in a three hour line, slowly walking through the ancient ruin wats, and finally paying our respects. We went with some members, which meant a lot to them. How many people can say, though, that they’ve been to a king’s funeral? Some soilders asked to take their picture with us well. It was definitely a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience, for lack of a better phrase.
There’s a lot of things you can have faith in. You can have the faith to find, the faith to baptize. That should always remain. But we should equally have faith in members, faith to strengthen those who remain. It’s something, a purpose, that I feel that I’m here for, in some way. If people are going to get baptized, they have to come into a good situation. That’s why the purpose of missionaries is “inviting others.” Everyone, at some point, member or non, needs some kind of comfort and strength.
As far as, well, the moments where me and Sister Pratt laughed our heads off, one of our neighbors came up to us as we were putting our bikes away, and showed us a Facebook message. It looked like he had been flirting it’s some falang girl, and then it turned into some sort of “money deal” and sketch partnership stuff. Still not sure what that was about, but it was way funny! The neighbor told us he blocked her, which was probably the best plan.
We met a new investigator who has already read the Book of Mormon and came into his first lesson with questions of the soul written down. His name is “Power”, in Thai. To be honest, I’m still a little speechless. It wasn’t that he just read the Book of Mormon, he marked it up. Power told a pretty funny joke in his first lesson too. “There are only two grades in life. D, gap (“with” or “and”) D maag” (D in Thai is “good” and D maag is “really good”). We died in that lesson.
To close this letter, take a good look at this picture (the one with me biking next to an elephant). This is Thailand. Better yet, these are the modes of transportation. An elephant, a bike, a taxi, and an ice cream motorcycle. And this is my life.
Madeleine (Sister Powley)
Elephant taxis, Taxis, Ice Cream motorcycle, Bikes, and Wild hogs roaming the city… Also, from the king’s funeral last Thursday–it’s not every day you go to one of those!