Learning the word for 'Aquarium': It has a benefit. Because in doing so, you learn the word for 'zoo'. It's a water zoo! Our district visited an aquarium that we found for Pday last week. Oddly enough, each of us had passed it for almost 3 months unknowingly. Anyway, because of that experience, I learned the word for zoo, aquarium, and the like. Later that week, I met a family with a little girl. While we were meeting them, the mom started reading into our pamphlets-- every single page. And to keep the daughter from interrupting her, I sat with her and together we drew Thailand's finest zoo. It was her idea. I found out she liked to draw, I drew her a picture, and in return I asked for her to draw me something (both to keep her attention and to get to know this sweet little 8yr old.) She drew herself; her name is Ice. She then drew some animals. I suggested things with her, she'd excitedly add. Then she turned it into "Ice's Zoo" next to an ocean with one giant fish, a tiny tree to hold massive birds (2 of which she clarified: "these 2 aren't birds. Those are mountains. They just look the same, but they're not.") Tell me that was not a precious experience.
PS, in this internet place, the store owner just called her friend to help her. His name is Uan. ..... His name means "fat". That's terribly unfortunate. .... and I know many people with that name. Note to parents of all ages: Refrain from naming your children names of "playground mockery". They'll thank you when they're 45.
So the mission has a goal for every companionship to experience having a Baptism this month. So at first they had this way long name for it, until it turned to Baptism November Bonzana, and then later became "BOVEMBER". And I just want to say one thing about this month: BOVEMBER IS LEGIT!
God has already shown us three of the most effective and successful days of my entire mission. It has been an "every hour" is a miracle week because literally every hour some miraculous thing occurs and we're like, "What. just. happened."
After what we've already seen, we know that God is not hidden from His work- people are coming out of the shadows-- OUT OF NOWHERE-- and all of a sudden they appear in our path. On Halloween, we went contacting at the park. We were in no rush, we took time for each person we met. It felt kind of like how Christ might walk around. He was never hurried in His ministry, but every action was meaningful. Every person was prepared for us. That's when I met Ice, a photographer of 30 years at that park, and a gardener. All accepted us warmly.
The last man I almost passed. But as he saw us, he smiled in return. The spirit said go, so I went. We sat with him on the bench and he was so excited and astonished that we offered english free and even more-so, a message of hope.
He said he grew up in the time when Thailand experienced that awful tsunami. He never forgot the aid that came to him from a Christian church. He said all his life he wanted to pay back Christ for coming to the rescue. The look in his eyes was more than I can describe-- he was overwhelmed with joy. I have not seen a more joyful smile.
We've been going out with the members to teach even more. AND MORE. And you know what's crazy? They're showing up to church, inviting their friends with them, and bringing those friends TO US! We had so many people that we're working with now, that when we began planning for next week, we had ONE HOUR of un-planned time just in case. Every other hour is full. We are at a point in the Hastening of the Work where we are having to schedule people for NEXT week.
This week, we had a lesson with a woman named Joy. She has a son named Bango, who we met last week and invited to english-- she was ecstatic. Furthermore, she wanted to take part in every possible activity the church had to offer. We took her through the church, we sang a song in the chapel. Miracles.
We watched as a year-long member got her first priesthood blessing, not ever knowing she could get one. At the end of the appointment, she stated firmly: "I'm going to have a Family Home Evening here-- I've never done it, but you are invited." ...That's where we're going tonight.
We taught our little investigator Biw and his member aunts about being a missionary as a member. He said, "Sister, you won't believe this-- today at my buddhist school, we had an hour to study religion. I got out my Book of Mormon, and started reading. My teacher came over and asked to borrow it. He then began reading. He asked how to read it, then where Jesus was born it it. I told him in Mosiah chapter...."
My 14-yr old investigator knew the chapter, the one chapter that I know of, that talks about Jesus Christ's birth in the Book of Mormon. I myself would have to look it up. But he knew! And he told his teacher! Then he told us. So we gave him a Book of Mormon for that man, his Thai teacher.
Just this morning, Biw called me all excited. He said, "Sister! He wants to learn more!"
Tell me miracles have ceased. I will deny it, because it's not true. God is the same forever: yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The work of salvation has truly been "Hastened in His Time" (Doctrine + Covenants 88.)
We prayed for miracles-- and oh, did miracles come. If a young, formerly Buddhist boy of 14 years old can be a "not-yet-a-member-missionary", surely you, whoever you may be, however long you've been a member, can be a member missionary.
I love you all,