The Lords hand was everywhere this week! There is nothing better than being a missionary in the Thailand Bangkok mission! I love living here! I am just going to jump right into the miracles! On Tuesday afternoon, in between teaching, a homeless man walked into the church. At first we thought he just wanted a job, food, a place to stay, etc. Right after this thought another thought popped into my head and it was a scripture, D&C 35:15… “and the poor and the meek shall have the gospel preached unto them, and they shall be looking forth for the time of my coming, for it is nigh at hand." I decided to sit down and teach him. I found out that he moved to the New York City when he was 2 years old. After growing up he went to college. Later he decided to come back to Thailand. After arriving here he had a stroke which paralyzed his whole left side. He was fired from his job and couldn’t find work because of his disability. He moved to Ubon because his girlfriend told him she could help him but once he got here that fell through as well. So he prayed and was lead to our church. As he was telling me this story my heart just ached for this man. He then asked me, "Sister Herrmann, why would God lead me here when there is nothing here for me?" I answered with 100% confidence, "Brother, you are here to learn the true restored gospel, be baptized and changed." From that point on it wasn't me talking but the Spirit. I sat there on the couch and explained the plan of salvation and the restoration in my native language with more power than ever before! I finally understood what people meant when they would say, "I wasn't the one talking." We gave him lots of commitments and sent him off. Two days later he showed up at the church and looked completely different! His hair was cut, the smell was gone etc. He said, "SISTER! I have good news! I prayed with real intent just like you said and on the way home my buddy called me and said I could live with him! ALSO, I think you were right, this church is the reason why I am here in Ubon. After praying about Joseph Smith I got the feeling that you talked about, the one that is happy and good!" After hearing his response I felt the overwhelming feeling that I was doing what the Lord wanted me to do. When we offered him a baptismal date he shivered, closed his eyes and said, "YES! That's all I want!" His enthusiasm to follow the commandments and Jesus Christ is contagious. I love seeing people’s lives being changed by Jesus Christ and the gospel.
MLC was great! I hit my year mark in country which was fun because I was with all my sisters from the MTC! On Friday we went to the BOONIES as a district and helped a member plant some rice! (Last year in Sisaket I got to gather the rice and this year in Ubon I got to plant it!) There was nothing but a narrow dirt road and just miles and miles of rice field and WILDERNESS. I came to find out it was EXTREMELY hard work. We had to get the rice plant and stick it WAY down into the ground. Then they turned the water on and we had to do it through the water. Of course it was the HOTTEST day of the month! We came home sweaty, dirty, sunburn and satisfied! I thought of the scripture in D&C 6:3 the whole time, "Behold, the field is white already to harvest; therefore, whoso desired to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God." I now understand this scripture both figuratively and literally!
Saturday we had a fun Mother’s day activity and the members from Sisaket came down for a meeting! I got to spend the day with the Sosmak family AKA my family! Sundays are the most stressful day of the week because the only thing you think of is, "Where are my investigators? Are they feeling the Spirit? Do they have friends?" Remember that "accident" family we visited the other week? THEY CAME TO CHURCH! ALSO Sister Nok is so cute, she drives 2 hours every week to pick up her parents (who are really OLD) and take them to church. That is a dedicated member who knows her purpose. All our investigators came and stayed all 3 hours. MIRACLE!
The most special experience of the week was visiting Brother Udom. We have been trying to visit him for the past couple weeks but no one has been able to take us because he lives far away. He is an LA who has been a member for about 30 years. One Saturday he called and asked if we were coming. We told him we couldn't and then the guilt trip came, "Ok sisters…but what do I do with all the food I prepared for you? I spent all day yesterday working in the rice field so that I could feed you." My heart just about ripped in two!!! I turned to my companion and said, "I don't care if we have to walk there, we are going!" We called basically every member in the ward and finally found one who could take us! When we arrived to his shack the Spirit was so strong. I wish I could replay it. He lives in the middle of nowhere, has no money, no job, nothing. Right when we started talking his eyes filled with tears and he told us that in the past he had felt like God had forgotten him. But as he saw us he said, "I feel like God has NOT forgotten me. For the first time in years I know God is still watching over me and loves me because he sent his servants to me." I was a wreck after this. I never thought something as a simple visit could have such an impact on someone. Another eye opening experience for me. "I [will] not forget thee, O house of Israel. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."
I studied so many great things this week and learned so much through my experiences, studies, and in MLC. I learned how important our desires are. I learned about being a Christ-like missionary and much more. This week I also studied the fourth missionary talk, AMAZING. To sum it up this is what I learned in the words of C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity, "Give me all. I don't want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work: I want You, all of you. I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man, but to kill it. No half-measures will do. I don't want to only prune a branch here and another there; rather, I want the whole tree out. Hand it all over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them all over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart."
I read Matthew 26:39,"And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”Because Christ loved the Father he did whatever was asked of him. That is his call to us too. If we truly love the lord, we will do what he asks. The Church is true. God’s love is real.