Dear Family and Friends,
You’ve probably heard that success is where preparation and opportunity meet. In almost every case, and in every way, we think of that in terms of the individual. Each individual must be both prepared and take advantage of opportunity to achieve success, whether personally, or collectively. But what if people took on different roles in finding success? Think about Ammon’s experience in this way. Ammon was obviously prepared. We know that. To accomplish anything in any degree, preparation is required. But when do we recognize “opportunity?” I’ve spent that past few days studying most of Ammon’s story with this idea in mind. Ammon was the opportunity. For the past 500 years or so in the history of the Book of Mormon, as far as we know, the Lamanites had remained wicked and hardened to any sort of change in their lives or traditions. Bit regardless of this apparent situation, Ammon decided to use his preparation in becoming the “opportunity” for the Lamanites. For us, and I guess for me at this point of being a missionary, we won’t always know where people are in their journey of preparation. But we have the control to be the opportunity. We have that responsibility to be the opportunity. Even if it’s not accepted, we’re doing what we can. And growth comes in just that willingness to be the opportunity. That is why Alma was so joyful in chapter 17:2. He wasn’t just joyfully reunited, but discovered that by Ammon’s willingness to be the opportunity, he had grown into conversion. That’s how we grow into conversion as well. Are we willing to be the opportunity?
Of course, Halloween was this week, and we really didn’t dress up, although everyone thinks I’m Elsa here anyway. We had a big branch activity which was really fun, eating all the American food. Also, got to sing Happy Birthday to my mom!
We had this moment one day to visit a less active who owns a restaurant. The restaurant was closed so we sat outside studying. The mom of the less active let us in and told us that she wanted to go back to church. We stayed and talked to her for a little bit and then she offered to make us lunch. We told her she didn’t have to because the restaurant was closed. She told us in reply, “even on days off, you still need to eat”. We got to cook in her restaurant! A few days later, a member living in Supanburi taught us how to make Thai food as well! Delicious but spicy, let me tell you.
Friday brought adventures. Believe it or not, sometimes I have to remind myself I’m Thailand. We biked to the north of the island which was totally flooded. The only person we met was a really old lady who couldn’t really hear and couldn’t remember how old she was. But she was really cute so we talked to her for a little bit. After that, we started to make our way over to an LA’s house. Along the way, we saw white elephants. Real white elephants. They were so pretty! And we also saw some cows on the side of the road near a wat, which was cool too. If I needed a reminder that I was Thailand, that was it.
And, well, I got to relive “Tangled”. We did the Loy Kratong festival, where everyone has a lantern or flower floating one that you light and place on the river. It happens on the night of the full moon in November. It’s so pretty and we also met the cutest kids who are now new investigators. It was probably one of the funnest church activities since a bunch of branch members came. My goal is to one day go to Chaing Mai for the big floating lantern festival, where they actually let them go in the sky. I’m 99% sure that Disney came to Thailand for Tangled inspiration. Even the yellow flags and purple flowers look vaguely familiar.
Madeleine (Sister Powley)