Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September 24, 2013         Tuk Tuk and Amazing Grace

Dear Family,

I don't know if you know this, but I love being here in Roi Et. Why? Because this place is a place of miracles. The people here are the most miraculous part. Buk was BAPTIZED! My sweet little investigator got baptized!!

I just can't tell you how rewarding it feels to know that I met her for the first time when I got here, and she progressed so much even from that first contact that now she is a full-fledged happy member of the church. Her testimony at her baptism was the most heart-warming part. She motioned towards me behind her (I was also on the stand as a speaker/chorister, looking back for a moment with a smile and said ), and she said: "I first met Sister Painter on August 18th." She remember the very day. Then she went on to say that the very next day was her birthday. And nobody had ever made such a big deal of it as we did, taking her to that first Family Home Evening party for her. She said that it opened her eyes that the people in this church were exactly as sincere as they came out to be, and that no matter who she saw amongst the members, any person would welcome and love her the way we had in our first meeting her.

I know that the timing of meeting her was exactly perfect. I know I was meant to come find Buk here in Thailand. She is a little ray of light.

So anyway. Let's talk about the most exciting portion of the week-- riding in a Tuktuk with 6 people on the way to dinner, singing the version of "amazing grace" that we've been practicing for Buk's baptism. We have a fantastic video of that now. So then on the way back we had us AND all our junk. It was way too epic. Basically Elder Yuen ended up hanging out the outside.... that is, until it WHEELIED. We wheelied a Tuktuk. So Elder Yuen bounded out of it for a second to steady the cart, but we definitely were all the way up in the air, driver included. Elder Yuen hops back on and says to the driver, "Are you okay?!" and he's just cracking up up there like, "I'm way good! All's good!" and so we pulled Elder Yuen inside and he had to hold himself up inside on top of our luggage. We could not stop laughing.

Anyway. This week was awesome. I had a practical homecoming upon coming into Udon. That was nuts-- I was hugging hugging hugging then getting tackled, here and there. We went for Zone Conference, was as awesome as usual. President Senior is an inspired man.

I just want Thailand to have a temple. It's a miracle what progress we're making with less-active members. Sister Bing came back to church this week!

So here's a miracle for you. I wake up, it's pouring. Well shoot. This will test the faith of every single person who would be coming to church today because they all ride motorcycles. So we really wanted a couple of investigators to be able to come. I looked outside and I also knew that Sister Bing, someone who hadn't been back to church in a long time, told me that she would not come unless it wasn't raining. I thought to myself, "There is no way that it is going to stop raining. How can we do this?"

I thought about it, and thought to myself: "Well, I have doubts. But I'm going to choose to have more faith than doubts." As the Bible might say, 'Help me mine unbelief.' So I prayed. I prayed way hard. This is God-- God can stop the rain.

Then I looked out the window. Still raining. I leave my room, walk downstairs, and prepare to go try and pick up our investigators. They can't say no if we come TO THEM with UMBRELLAS right? So I take a step outside, maybe 2 minutes later.

The rain had stopped.

I couldn't believe it. We went to go get those investigators from down the street-- Yuuy DID come for her very first time. She came AFTER we went to pick her up.

But the most miraculous of all: I called Sister Bing. I told her what happened. And after that, I see her motorcycle pull into the parking lot.

If you ever feel yourself doubting, I challenge you to focus on the faith that you DO HAVE. Even if you can only desire to believe, you'll watch miracles happen. God can always stop the rain.
Sister Painter

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