August 4, 2015

8/3/15 - The First and Great Commandment

This week had a lot of ups and downs! I was able to ride elephants though the forest and rice fields and was just in awe at this beautiful world our God created! We had the candle festival which is like Christmas here in Thailand. It originated in Ubon so the whole week was full of celebrating! At Tungsiimuang (the main park here) it looked like Disneyland! There were beautiful floats made out of candle wax! It was great for missionary work because there were so many people to invite! I got to see Maa Boom from Sisaket! I hugged her and wouldn't let go! I have been wowing the Esan language and I can finally ride my bike with no hands on the handle bars!! Haha, being a missionary is fun!

We had the most amazing miracle happen this past Thursday! We decided to go visit a random less active member, Sister Jansii, out in the boonies. As we were teaching her she started bawling because she wants nothing more than to become strong in her faith and in the church but feels she can’t due to supporting her children! Right now we are helping her find a new job and grow her faith. It kills me because I know if she just trusted in the Lord 100% and kept the commandments, God would provide a way! "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 KNOW this is true with all the conviction of my heart!!!!! I hope she can come to understand this! That night she gave us a referral. We came to find out that the neighborhood is FILLED with LA's. We were walking to the referral’s house which she told us was at the end of the street. We saw a little boy standing outside a house and we assumed that was the house we were looking for. We walked in and she welcomed us and started talking to us. We found out that her husband is a member but the rest of the family is not. About 15 minutes into the lesson I asked for her name again, and guess what? She was not the lady that we were supposed to be visiting! HAHA--we went to the wrong house, but what a miracle it was because now we are teaching a part member family! We finally made it over to the right house and this cute little family of 4 were ecstatic about the gospel! They were just soaking it all in as we taught the plan of salvation! I LOVE FAMILIES! There is not a better feeling then helping a family see and feel the light of Christ!

Another thing I realized this week was that my thoughts have been a little wrong. I keep telling myself, "Push/devote/consecrate yourself for these next couple months and then you can rest, you are good." NOOOOOO, I read a talk by Jeffrey Holland, "The First and Great Commandment” that changed me. He says, "Here I ask your indulgence as I take some nonscriptural liberty in my portrayal of this exchange. In effect, Peter said to his associates: “Brethren, it has been a glorious three years. None of us could have imagined such a few short months ago the miracles we have seen and the divinity we have enjoyed. We have talked with, prayed with, and labored with the very Son of God Himself. We have walked with Him and wept with Him, and on the night of that horrible ending, no one wept more bitterly than I. But that is over. He has finished His work, and He has risen from the tomb. He has worked out His salvation and ours. So you ask, ‘What do we do now?’ I don’t know more to tell you than to return to your former life, rejoicing."... After this Peter has an encounter with the resurrected Lord. Christ asks Peter 3 times, "Do you love me?" And of course Peter answers, “Yes Lord, thou knowest I love thee!" And how Christ answered really hit me, "To which Jesus responded (and here again I acknowledge my nonscriptural elaboration), perhaps saying something like: “Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do....So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me." 

Well folks, I have learned that it is easy being a disciple of Jesus Christ on a mission. The real test is becoming a faithful, loyal, consecrated, disciple your whole life. I am not here to give everything to the Lord for 18 months, and then go home and say that is over and go back to the old me. We are missionaries to learn, teach and testify about how to be disciples of Jesus Christ FOREVER! The atonement has got to touch our hearts so deeply that it will last forever and will truly change us--so that we can be consecrated for life. Heavenly Father deserves our love and loyalty in ALL stages of our lives. So when we get to the judgment day we will be able to answer with our whole souls, "YES, Lord, I do love Thee!" I want nothing more than to devote myself for the rest of my life to being a faithful servant and disciple of Jesus Christ. That is what I am going to do and no one can stop me.

Love, Sister Herrmann

PS... Good luck with the wedding this week. I would love to be there with everyone and especially in the temple. Love to Spencer and Darby!  I’m going to Bangkok again this week for MLC.  And this week is mother’s day in Thailand, SO HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! I am so grateful for all the strong and faithful women in my life!

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