October 13, 2015

10/12/15 - Feeling the spirit while scrubbing clothes

I AM A REPRESENTATIVE OF JESUS CHRIST AND I LOVE IT! This is what I sang all the way home on my bike yesterday after watching general conference! It was SO amazing! I received so many answers and more importantly felt that fire to live the gospel 100% as the Lord wants me to!!

After teaching a bunch of members and investigators who had a whole bunch of problems and extremely sad lives, I came home and said a personal prayer and just burst into tears wondering why it is that I was born into the church in such favorable circumstances? Why is it that these people who I have come to love so much are the ones struggling day to day just to have food to feed their children, praying that the rain won't come and flood their homes and ruin the very few things that they own, giving all they have to just simply live? As I was sitting there a mental picture from our teaching a member who is less active came into my head. Her house is a hut...less than that, I would call it some sticks and mud. She doesn't have a toilet or sink and basically lives like she is camping. She goes out and sells everyday making hardly nothing. She is sick all the time because of her living conditions and every time we go teach her at her house we see the burdens behind her smile. We quickly start teaching and a true smile of hope replaces that of burden. So there we sit with half of us outside and half of us inside her house afraid that it will break and fall down. Meanwhile we have smiles on our faces talking about our Savior, Jesus Christ. And I realize that the gospel does the same thing for her as it does for me. The best or the worst conditions don’t really matter, the gospel can make up for any condition. God has really helped me see that you can be happy in ANY situation if you are truly converted and sincerely living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

One thing that I love about going to Sister Shampoo’s home is that we get to live like jungle women for a little while. She lets us get the coconuts down from the tree (almost killed myself as one dropped so close to my head!) and then we cut them open and eat straight out of it. We were also able to teach her mother. At first she told us that she was busy and that we couldn't come in. We saw that she was on the ground scrubbing her clothes. I asked if we could at least help and she said no like most Thai people do, but then I used the good old excuse that I am American and really wanted to learn how to do laundry by hand…we were in!! As we sat there we got a chance to bear witness of Jesus Christ. She wouldn't give us her # or commit to church but I know that she felt the Spirit as were sitting there scrubbing her clothes. One day she will open her heart!

I love these people so much and see their potential. If they would just take that leap of faith and keep the commandments, Heavenly Father will take care of them. When people don't understand this it makes me so sad and then frustrated. The only way I could think to improve was to use the example of Jesus Christ. Every time I felt like I was getting frustrated with an investigator, I would ask myself, "If Christ were in this situation what would he do?" By doing this I really grasped the reason why part of our baptismal covenant is to always remember him. When we remember Christ and think about what he would do in every situation we do the things which are essential to our progression. I still have a LONG way to go but I feel like I have learned a way to be more loving, patient, and full of service--it is simply living our baptismal covenant!

So after the difficulties of cancelled appointments, broken commandments, etc., I started to feel tired and like no one was listening. Then on Wednesday I talked to Sister Miw. She shared the experience of her conversion. She went through all the times that she decided to keep the commandments 100% and then told me all the blessings that came from her efforts. For example, she went to church for all 3 hours one Sunday instead of just one and that day something amazing with her finances happened! (I didn't catch it all but I knew it was something good! haha!) After she decided to keep the commandment of not drinking coffee she said, "I don't know sister…it just wasn't hard to not drink it!" She went on and on about the blessings that she received from keeping the commandments. But the last thing she said was, "Overall, when I keep the commandments, I have extra energy to everything I need to in a day and I know that energy comes from Christ." Moments like that motivate me to never stop testifying of the power and blessings that come from keeping the commandments! Being tired of saying the same things over and over again, or feeling like I am wasting my breathe will NOT stop me--because this woman who laughed at the thought of there being a savior has a brand new glorious life where she now sees the light and her burdens are literally lifted off her shoulders!

Fun facts about this week:
--I tried on normal pants for the first time in 17 months this past week--bad idea--remember that everyone here is Asian and tiny. Oh well!

--We have been getting up at 6AM to play soccer with the Elders and members recently. It has been so much fun! The field we play on is just straight up dirt. I felt like I was in the video game FIFA the other day--on the dirt soccer field, in the jungle with a bunch of Thai people, AND in the pouring rain! SWEET!

--101 things I have learned from experience NOT do in Thailand, don't stand with your hands on your hips, don't step over ANYONE, don't touch anyone's head, don't do ANYTHING with your feet...

--My two favorite investigators of the Elders got baptized this Sunday!!They come to the Church every day because they want to learn and serve. It has been fun helping the Elders teach them and seeing them change.

Have a great week everyone!! We are going to a waterfall or a flower thing for p-day, I am not sure but we are off for an adventure in Thailand! LOVE YOU ALL! "We do not have to be perfect, but we need to be good and getting better", keep trying every day to be more and more like our savior!

- Sister Herrmann
Sister Nethercott and I went on a switch off and visited Shampoo! 
I love riding Duk Duks!
Washing Clothes
Sister Nikki! She painted my nails!

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