Hello from beautiful Kalasin. I love this place. It's like Kamphaeng Phet and Ubon Ratchathani mixed together. It's a small town, with the most humble and nicest people. I am in love with this place, and the Branch, the food, work, everything.
I didn't want to leave Minburi ever, but coming here to Kalasin for a little bit is actually an answer to prayers. There is so much good happening in these next few weeks. I get to be with an amazing Japanese companion, Elder Fukino in the greatest area ever. We get to work our best and baptize all of Kalasin together. We have Zone Conference and I get to see two of my best friends ever, Elder Rosenvall and Elder King, before I leave in a few weeks. It's been raining every day, all day long since I got here. And it's not just rain, it's like a million firehoses dropped from the sky. My camera, several books, and yeah lots of stuff are kinda destroyed... but I love rain and its so worth it. What a blessing.
But yeah, the only pictures I have are a few people sent me randomly today.
One thing that's really been on my mind a lot on my mission is 'weakness.' In this training I'm currently taking, the very last lesson talks about feedback and correction. It talks about how as a teacher, it is important to give feedback on your student's skills and progress. It's amazing how much I've learned spiritually from this training to be an English teacher. I wish I could share it all. As I went through this lesson, I could not get the phrase 'God shows unto us our weaknesses, that we may be strong.' As a missionary, my weaknesses have been right in front of my face. Sometimes it is too much, but I am grateful for it. It is so much to have desire and become a better person when the problems are easily observed.
I have pondered and thought about this a lot. How important it is that our weaknesses be made known to us. If we don't know the problem, we cannot fix it. Our weaknesses being made known to us is for our benefit, and for better.
As God helps us by helping us see our weaknesses, we are doing the same as his servants. As missionaries we are constantly warning others of the consequences of their sins and weaknesses. We help them recognize what they do wrong, but we do it with love like God does.
And it's not much of what they do wrong, but it is about what they can become. God helps His children see their weaknesses, that they may achieve their potential. Our all-knowing Heavenly Father could just fix our problems on the spot. But think of how much better it is to have us do it ourselves. What would we learn if we had nothing to overcome or nothing to try to make better?
As members of God's church, it is our duty to take part in God's work. What I mean is that we must be helping other's recognizing what they're weaknesses and be better. This sounds way weird and for some sounds rude. But if you truly do love somebody, you desire for them to progress and achieve their potential. Corrective feedback done with love is one of the most loving things you can do for someone. And you have to be reasonable. I will include the 5 points from the training lesson about giving feedback.
Be someone who helps others fulfill their potential. But more than that, be someone who can take criticism and make the best out of it. It will take humility, and it will be so worth it.
The way I've mostly thought about it is between me as my parent's child. I wasn't the best son, and I did not take feedback well at all. I know I was not good haha. But just what I've been pondering lately really humbles me, and I want to help you and the family. As children, I feel the first thing we must realize is how much our parents love us, and everything they do is because they want us to be the best we can be. They do it out of sincere love, and desire for our potential. Because of this love, parents seem to constantly be criticizing or correcting children.
How I think of this all is from one lesson in engineering class back in High School. I wish I had the visual for it, but basically it was about a module that has an input, and an output. The module takes in the input information/electricity, then decides if it will reject it, or send it through the output. The output can be anything. It could be a tool, or music, or lights. Something amazing! We should be taking all the information about us, said about us, shown to us, and turning it into a positive output. Don't ever reject any of it. Because any portion of rejection disallows turning information into positive outcomes. Rejection is when we feel bad about ourselves, or react to those trying to help us. Wow this made no sense haha.
Thai culture is so neat and crazy. But one thing that I find really cool is how straight forward speak to one another. People in everyday conversations will just tell each other what is wrong with the other. I'm told multiple times daily everything wrong with me haha. But the Thai culture part of it is not to make anyone feel bad. The reason they speak so straight forward is because they want to help the other become better. They want to help others get rid of their flaws.
Just remember how much your parents love you. Allow your parents, and others, to help you be better. Don't you ever miss an opportunity to learn and be better. And don't miss an opportunity to help another person be better with love.
I love you!
a head full of dreams
a heart full of love