August 18, 2015

8/17/15 - Elder Holland!!

This week was full of ups and downs with LOTS of pondering. On Wednesday we went to help in the rice fields again but this time it was a lot more strenuous! There were so many times I wanted to give up and go in and get a drink of water but I didn't! It was a good lesson of enduring to the end! When we were done in the fields, the lady we were helping wanted us to cut down some of her trees. The elders started working at it and then I realized that I am not a weak woman who was just going to sit on the side and watch! So I got up in the tree with the hatchet and started hacking away! I didn't realize how hard or fun it would be!! What wasn't fun was the HUGE blisters on my hand afterwards, and the 35 new mosquito bites!!!

Brother Ken is doing so well! He is getting baptized this Tuesday! He went from smoking 30 to 0 cigarettes a day. On Thursday he walked up to me and said, "SISTER I did it! I can get baptized now! I did it!!!" He is so excited to get baptized. I have never seen someone this ecstatic to get baptized before!

We were in Bangkok for a good portion of the week due to Elder Holland’s visit. I can honestly say his message changed and inspired me to be a better missionary. Whenever he was in the room the Spirit was so strong. On Saturday he met with the missionaries and there was one quote that really hit me. "You are engaged in the salvation of a human soul...there is nothing more important and you will never get this chance again so DON'T MISS IT, don't you dare miss one minute of this mission! I don't care whether it rains, I don't care whether it’s hot, I don't care whether you’ve got bikes, taxis or buses, I don't care whether you are happy or sad, I don't care if things are going entirely well in your life or whether they're not, THIS IT YOUR CHANCE! Don't miss it. Don't you ever go home and look back with regrets, not on your apostolic moment." His passionate delivery of this message at this moment in my mission is exactly what I needed to hear. I am NOT going to miss it!

Sunday was a really awesome day as well! All the STL's and ZL's had to go early to usher which consisted of swasdeekaa'ing 2000 people! I got to see SO many people I LOVE! Everywhere I turned there was someone I knew to hug and catch up with! Elder Holland’s talk was UNREAL. I had tears just streaming down my face. He is a powerful man. He was so impressed with Thailand and the members’ faith. I am so proud of Thailand. I love this country. He talked about a lot of things but at the very end he talked about 3rd Nephi, Chapter 17 (which happens to be one of my favorites!)

5 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.
6 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.
7 Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
8 For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.
9 And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.

Elder Holland paraphrased it a little and with tears said, "don't go... stay a little longer.” He pointed out that the Nephites didn't say one word but the Lord knew the desires of their hearts, begging him to not leave them. This had to have been after many many hours of Christ teaching them. Christ had many things to do. He had to go report back to his father AND visit the other tribes BUT he stayed. Elder Holland reminded us that his mercy is on us. He will toss all his other stuff aside to bless and help us. What a loving God we have. We ended with singing, “How Firm a Foundation”. As they sang the third verse I looked at Elder Holland and just saw him crying, and I understood why. Oh how great the mercy of our Lord.

"Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand."

At the end of the meeting I sat there. Everyone was walking around me talking, catching up, and I just sat there wanting that Spirit to stay with me a little longer. I will forever be inspired by Elder Holland’s words as he visited Thailand. IT was exactly what our mission needed, and more than that, it was exactly what I needed.

Love you all,
Sister Herrmann

PS All the missionaries are safe from the bomb that went off on Monday night in Bangkok
Cutting down a tree! 
Me and Sister Hayes after our crying session about how amazing our fathers are. 
Most of our MTC group all together one last time! 
Dinner at Maa & Paas with some random Elders. 

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