March 24, 2015

3/23/15 - Satan did not win!

This week was such a great week! Miracle after miracle happened! I guess I will start with my bad camera got stolen. I was really sad- but on the upside it made me realize that though pictures are important, they are not everything! I guess I will just have to buy a new one. It is a good thing that everything in Thailand is cheaper!

One thing that got me really pumped this week was our district meeting! We wanted to set a new vision for the ward. We really focused on how to get the ward and the missionaries all on the same page. We also talked about how we need to get everyone that can, a temple recommend! It was a great start to the week because it pushed me all week to work harder! In my district we call it "the new bidazzle!!!" (My district is so funny I can't even handle it!)

We have been getting lots of new investigators! We are meeting with this Chinese girl! We had to teach her in the English language and I just decided I am giving up on English. It was probably the hardest lesson because I just kept going back to Thai! I just cannot remember English words anymore! We have 2 new atheist investigators- which is really fun! Also, one day we were trying to find our RC's house and he didn't answer his phone. Finally we asked a random guy if he knew our RC, (our RC apparently lived in this neighborhood). He didn't know him but he was very interested in our message! Just goes to show that the Lord works in mysterious ways!! I bet the Lord is having so much fun up there deciding how the miracles happen! Wow, that would be fun! Also our 15 year old investigator, Yok, called us bawling about how her mom kicked her out. It is super sad BUT it is making her turn to the Lord!

So on Friday we went to go visit Sister Suu's teacher who has cancer. Suu and Bua came with us and we just talked to her and shared a spiritual thought. She was so happy that we visited because she is very lonely. BUT the best part of this experience was after when Sister Bua came up to me just glowing and said, "Sister, I just barely met Sister Suu's teacher and I have SO MUCH love for her! I can't even explain it, it feels so amazing!!" I thought about what she said and replied, "Sister, that is what it is like every day as a missionary." Since that conversation I have been thinking how lucky I am to be serving a mission in Thailand where you instantly fall in love with people that you don't even know! "And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things. And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul."

We bought Sister Forte a bike this week so now I am the happiest missionary ever and get to ride my bike, YAY! We would not have been able to buy it without the help of Paamaa! They are the best! On the way home we were talking about how to keep our bike's from getting stolen. Maa was saying all these funny things in her cute Thai accent in a deep low voice. She would say, "Don't you know who’s my daddy?!" Haha we were DYING!

One really awesome thing this week was all the referrals that we got! I think it was Wednesday and they just came one after another. In the morning the sisters in Bangnaa called us and gave us 2 investigators who live in our area that are basically perfect. Then in the afternoon the Asoke sisters told us they had an investigator as well who lived in our area. And then that night I got a call from Elder Curtis in Chang Rai saying that their investigator who has read almost half the Book of Mormon is moving to our area! It was amazing!

Last but not least is the miracle of Sister Dik. So we met with her on Wednesday night and she said that her boyfriend, Christian, was going to be leaving on Friday! She told us that she knew she was missing the Holy Ghost in her life and that she needed to get baptized. She was basically kicking Christian out even though she loves him. Then on Saturday night she told us that she can't get baptized because Christian started drinking again and wouldn't move out. It is a Church rule that you can’t live with someone of the opposite gender even if you are being chaste. So she went to stay at a friends and was just brought down into the pit of discouragement! I thought to myself, "Good one Satan, tempting Christian to drink so he wouldn't leave, making Dik feel like she couldn't get baptized." I wasn't going to let Satan win this one. So that night Sister Forte and I prayed really hard and called her back! I read to her 1 Nephi 3:7 "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." I explained to her if she would obey God by covenanting with him through baptism then the Lord would prepare a way for her! I told her that Satan was doing all he could to get her to keep putting off her baptism. After a nice long spiritual talk she agreed to be baptized. After I hung up the phone I felt like I made a mistake. I felt like I needed to call her back and make sure she was doing this for her and what she believed and not because I told her to. So I called her back and asked, "Dik, do YOU want to get baptized tomorrow?" She said that she did and I told her that I didn't want her to do this for us or for the ward but for HER. She answered and said, "Sister, I thought about what you said. I can see Satan trying to get me to postpone the baptism. Gosh, he has been trying for the past 6 months and succeeding, I can't let him succeed anymore. I need to get baptized and make this covenant with God." That answer assured me that she is ready to do this for herself! So we were all set for the next day at 2:00. (She was driving all the way from Loperi where her friend lived.) She called us at about 12:30 and said "Sisters, I am not going to make it in time!" I turned to my companion and said "No Satan is not getting what he wants!" So we talked to the members and had it moved back to 5:00! She finally made it to the church at about 4:30 looking a little uneasy and stressed. She got dressed and she got baptized! When she came out of the water she had the biggest smile on her face. When she bore her testimony she was tearfully expressing her gratitude to the Lord. She has passed through so many trials but has made it through the first door. After, I talked to her and she was just glowing. She told us she was the happiest she has ever been. Lastly she said, "Sisters, thank you for sticking with me and helping me realize Satan’s methods and the Lord’s voice. If it wasn't for your persistence and help I would not have been baptized today."

After this whole experience I thought of a talk that I read in my studies. "I don't believe missionary work has ever been easy. Nor that conversion is. Nor that retention is. Nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depth of our soul." Although working with Dik has been a roller coaster and has caused us much stress and worry, it was so worth it in the end. Everything about the gospel takes effort because we have to resist the temptations of Satan. BUT whenever we overcome Satan's temptations, it is SO worth it and we grow so much closer to the Lord. I am grateful for all the experiences that I am having on my mission. I am learning so much! Thank you for all your love and support! I can't wait for another week here in Thailand!

- Sister Herrmann
Dik got baptized!!
Sister Forte got a bike! 
Happy Birthday to my sisters!

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