Another week full of hard work, teaching, and miracles.
I have started transitioning my Personal Studies to studying in full Thai. It is really fun. I have seen a major growth in my language this week and it has been a real blessing.
Monday, oh boy, we went to visit some Ancient Temples. It is no wonder Thailand is known as the Ancient Kingdom of Siam. It is unreal. So gorgeous and so ancient. There is so much culture and amazing temples and beautiful things everywhere.... except my area. But that is okay because there is 21 months left.
Tuesday: we went to visit the old lady who hasn't been doing too well for a while. She is finally in a hospital. It is so sad. She was a really good member until her health has confined her to her bed and her caretakers and son have really been ignorant to her. Just waiting. But she finally got into a hospital. When we finally got there, the members said they had been waiting 5 hours to go in and that we should probably get going because we most likely will not get to go in. I didn't feel right about that, but we decided to get going. We made sure to stall a bit and next thing you know, they came out saying that they would allow just the elder's to enter just for a couple minutes. So we went in and I said a prayer for us while we all held her arm/hands. During the prayer, her heart rate got better I guess and she started improving. I was told that I had helped her. I don't really know how or what but the spirit was soooo strong. We taught English that night, got two really solid, awesome investigators. I committed one to baptism and another to prepare.
We were supposed to have some baptisms this week and this next week but complications with the funeral and lots of other things have made it a little weird. As of right now we have 6 investigators being baptized this month.
All day wednesday we had a multi-zone conference with Elder Wong who is from the Area of the 70. Way cool guy and he is from Hong Kong!! Awesome.
Next day had 'enlightenment' come to me about Buddhism haha. It's cool how even the weirdest of religions can be traced back to Christ. Elder Weaver and I have figured out Buddhism. Most/All Asian countries and people have a tendency to worship people instead of following teachings.
Taught this way awesome dude. He is actually our gym trainer but, he is the best guy. We finally got a lesson with him. We taught the Plan of Salvation with a little of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in there. It was strategized so perfectly to his needs and the spirit was strong. During the lesson, I was prompted to open up to a scripture. After the main lesson, I had him read it.
3 Nephi 11:33 'And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the Kingdom of God.'
I bore my testimony, (explaining that this is Christ speaking in the scripture), on the Celestial Kingdom, and the importance of baptism as well as the rest of the Gospel. Then I asked him to follow these teachings and be baptized. He said Yes! And we have had a lesson every day with him since.
He leaves near to us so after every lesson we take a bus home with him. He told us his goal of opening up a gym in America. We told him to open it in Utah haha. But one thing he said was: Now I can accomplish this dream, because I have God on my side. He is awesome. His prayers are powerful and his faith is strong. I don't know if I have a picture with him yet but he is as tall as me but has arms like the size of my thighs. He is a way huge Thai dude that works out every day. He is great.
Friday, we had a good time teaching lessons and had sports night. We met this way awesome family and they are fun to hangout with. The dad and the son speak like 8 different languages. The mom speaks Japanese, and the grandma, who lives with them, speaks Chinese. And they all speak Thai as a first language. They say it is almost impossible for a native English speaker to learn both Chinese and Thai. I'll show em wrong.
Sunday we committed 2 more investigators to baptism in their first lesson. We're getting real good at that haha. A Thailand RM from 4 years ago came to church with his wife and another couple. I translated testimony meeting for them and that was fun.
Okay last thing. This email is way confusing but that's probably cause I haven't slept in over 27 hours. At about 1 am this morning, we left for the Grand Palace of Thailand. We did something this morning that no missionary, or probably any white person has ever done. We got to go into the King's Palace. Wow you can look up this place, but none of the pictures can even show how amazing this place is. It was amazing. We had to have our shoes off everywhere and we weren't allowed to take pictures. I don't know what else to really say about it. We accidentally were part of a Buddhist ceremony for the King's funeral. But Elder V said it was okay for us to show our respect to him. It was awesome.
So many things have happened this transfer. Elder Weaver is a missionary veteran and says this is the craziest, most coolest transfer he has ever had. Both spiritually and with all the crazy stuff going on. I don't know if any transfer can match up to this greenie transfer. Our area hadn't had a single baptism in 6 months til we were here, and Elder Weaver hasn't had a baptism in 8 months til this month. Miracles.
Love you guys (:
Elder John Kimball Higginson
Thailand, Bangkok Mission