To be honest this week was one of the most stressful weeks of my mission...but in a good way! As you know our district had a goal to get 16 baptisms this transfer. Prior to this past week we had 9 people get baptized and needed 7 more to reach our goal. I know that missionary work is not about the numbers but when you set a prayerful goal and work with all your heart, might, mind, and strength to achieve it... miracles happen. So this week was full of teaching, making sure they were ready and helping our investigators get interviewed. We also had a switch-off where my companion and I took a 4 hour bus ride to Roi Et for a day and a half. It was great as we got to go with Sister Nethercott and Sister Brown who are some of my best friends in the mission! AND on Saturday we had a very unusual wedding that took almost half the day. I am going to skip to the big day, Sunday--it is kind of like a football game or a dance recital in that we practice and prepare all week for the big game or performance!
I woke up and started on calls right away!! Our investigator, Dik, who was going to get baptized couldn't come because she was sick and Grandma Dim didn't feel ready so we moved both of their dates back a week. Her daughter, Fara still really wanted to get baptized. Baw, after interviewing AND passing and changing his whole work schedule, working till 2 AM so he could come to church and get baptized ended up not answering his phone... I called him 100 times. We were so sad because he was so ready!! We went to go wake Pat up and found a member to pick up Fara. Fara brought a friend who told me in the middle of sacrament meeting, "Sister, I really want to be baptized!" We found out that she had been to church many times AND had learned all the lessons before. We decide to interview her and she was so ready! So in the end my companionship was going to have 3 and the Elders were going to have 4. We took them out of class early, got them dressed, took pictures, and they all filed out of the chapel and filled up the entire hallway. And then they got baptized, and it was so beautiful and amazing! There were so many people and Brother Mit, who was baptizing for the first time, baptized Faa (the Elder’s investigator) super slow and she had to hold her breath for longer than normal! The Bishop and other members were telling Brother Mit how to best baptize. The other baptisms went really smoothly. And everyone always comes out of the water so happy! The Elders had a family (Faa and her kids) and a guy they met at McDonald's get baptized. Their testimonies were amazing. Pad talked about how so many missionaries and members have invited her to come visit the church since she lives so close but she never wanted to. And then she said something happened and faith in Christ grew in her and she's not sure how it happened, but she believes. It was so nice to have the ordinances completed and get to hear everyone's stories and testimonies. I love them so much and Heavenly Father helped us to be able to reach our goal. Here are their names: Nikki, Yo, Nung, San, Faa, Oy, Eve, Miw, Kanoon, Yogi, First, Gan, Sawong, Pad, Fala, Sagii. They are all amazing people and it has been absolutely wonderful to see all of them come unto Christ and to know the joy that will come from taking that step! It really has been such a miracle!
Last P-day we went to some waterfalls and convinced the people to let us in for 20 baht instead of 400 baht- speaking Thai comes in handy ;). At the waterfall I TOTALLY biffed it and hurt my leg. The waterfalls and scenery were BEAUTIFUL, Thailand is so amazing! Oh and we also made 2 new friends from France! One day we were inviting people and there were elephants just walking down the street. So cool!
A family we are teaching got in a car accident. We were over at their home teaching and the kids were all complaining that they were so hungry! Finally, the mom told us that because she got in a car accident she wasn’t able to go to work and because she didn't go to work she had no money to feed her 4 kids. I couldn't believe my ears. I immediately called the bishop to see if we could use some of the fast offering money to buy them some food. He agreed. We ran over with the kids to get some chicken and rice from a street vendor. We brought it back to the house and left it with them. They were so relieved and grateful and happy. It was a very humbling experience.
I have been studying a lot about personal revelation. I have been wanting to know how to get revelation from the Heavenly Father that I could clearly recognize--like those whom I read about in the scriptures! As I studied a primary song came to mind, "Search, Ponder, and Pray." After singing this song a couple times I went back to the scriptures and realized that all who receive personal revelation SEARCH, PONDER, and PRAY! So that’s what I am trying to do and I realize that searching, pondering and praying takes effort--all the energy of our heart. The Savior promises that if we seek we will receive. I have learned that if anyone is seeking an answer or light and it hasn't come yet, to NOT give up!! It WILL come. We have a promise from God who is bound by his word. If we do our part, it will come. "The more we incline our hearts and minds toward God, the more heavenly light distills upon our souls. And each time we willingly and earnestly seek that light, we indicate to God our readiness to receive more light. Gradually, things that before seemed hazy, dark, and remote become clear, bright, and familiar to us."
Well I am on my LAST transfer this week! Wish me luck! LOVE YOU ALL!
- Sister Herrmann