Monday, March 17, 2014

Thailand Week 31, 14 March 2014


Hi Mom! How are you?
I'm getting pretty good at typing in Thai from inputting baptismal records all the time.  What have you been doing for spring break?  It's weird to think that you guys were just sitting at home haha.  It would feel weird for me to not be doing anything.  That's one thing I've been trying to do lately, fill all my time with something productive.  I'm not always successful, my journal hasn't been written in for a few days haha.  But things like following up with investigators has been getting better.  Hopefully I'll be able to take this skill home and not procrastinate so much.  

One thing I've really learned from working in the office is how to serve people.  People ask us a lot "What do office elders actually do?"  and I don't really have an answer.  Our time is just taken up by helping other people most of the time.  Like today.  Today is our P-day but we are going to take a set of desks to some sisters who don't have them, send Books of Mormons off at the bus station, and a couple other things.  It's changed my attitude about service and sacrifice for others.  There's a talk called "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" that I really like.  Basically the one thing essential to serving the Lord, growing your testimony, being a successful missionary, is a willingness to sacrifice everything.  I'm slowly learning that.  We need to be willing to sacrifice all of our personal desires and put the will of the Lord first.  

The office is totally just like an internship working for a company headed by a multimillionaire. President Senior is filthy rich.  But he told me in an interview the other day as we got on the topic of the Gift of the Holy Ghost that he attributes all his successes in life to this gift.  It made me think about how the Gift of the Holy Ghost really can change us.  All the recent converts say "My life has completely changed since I was baptized."  It's not because there is a bonus check or a new house waiting for baptismal candidates, it's because the Holy Ghost fills our life with a peace that can't be understood before.  Sometimes I feel like I under appreciate how magnificent it really is.

So they just changed our mission rules about music.  Sister Senior apparently won the game of Skip-Bo so now we are allowed to listen to arrangements of the hymns as well as MoTab.  The office computer has a huge Itunes library from times gone by and has a few albums.  My favorite though is one by David Glenn Hatch that is actually the red book we have at home!  And there's a Paul Cardall that I'm listening to right now.  I think we might have this book too?  I don't remember.

So there's this workout book that is getting spread around the mission called Convict Conditioning.  It's from a long time jail bird who learned how to use progressive body weight exercises to turn himself into just a powerful machine.  It starts off really small and gentle.  Like eventually you get to one arm push ups with your elbow straight at your side.  Or a one arm handstand push up, or one arm pull up.  It's intense.  But the first steps are like 3 sets of 50 wall push ups, or like just a headstand.  I try to do some of it but it takes to long sometimes.  It has a whole section about shoulder health and why gym traditions are way bad for it.  It's a cool book.  

Well so here's the spiritual part.  A couple weeks ago we had Bishop and Sister Stevenson come and talk to us while he was touring the Asia area.  He gave us two tips to improve our teaching.  Bear testimony, and promise blessings.  Lately we've been having trouble with some of our investigators who have hit a slow spot and kind of plateaued out.  President Senior suggested I read chapter 10 in PMG-Teaching Skills. And follow Bishop Stevenson's advice.  I'm looking forward to our next lessons!  We really can promise just about anything.  Between the Holy Ghost and the Atonement of Christ there's not a whole lot that gets left out.  Nothing important for sure.

Love Josh

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