Monday, January 13, 2014

"The Closet"

Dear Family!!
I don't even know what to title my email for this week. I'm struggling for adequate words here. This week was literally so.... okay. Let me make my first attempts at an explanation here.
First things first. My neck is fried... and my very white companion Sister Embley, blonde as she is, is fried like a lobster, as dad would say. When being sunburned is so "NOOOO" in Thailand for the locals, when they saw our faces they almost sent us to the hospital. :p
But the events that led us to be sunburned were soooo worth it. We (with the Elders) decided to go serve at the "Children's Day" festival at the park. Yes, they have a countrywide holiday for children. Moms and dads get it, and so kids 1-15 get to have a giant party where everything is free to show their appreciation for them.
So funny story-- they forgot we were helping them, so that didn't work out, but it made for a great reason to be inside inviting people! So we first gave out every english pamphlet we had to every nice looking family we could. ... And also to strange families, mind you. But then I opened up my violin case and we got to the more important message-- coming unto Christ! So I raged some strolling strings music to get people to look over at us while the Elders and Sis Embley did their thing with the grand message we have. Elder Angkham, the Lao elder was relentless with a picture of Joseph Smith's vision-- it was probably the bravest thing I've ever seen! Haha. He is an 18 year old, right out of highschool, from the country of Lao, sharing the gospel in a crowded crowded children's festival just trying to find the eyes of a good family who needs something more in their life. So cool to see.
But then came the real miracle-- within 15 minutes of each other, all of our investigators that have baptismal dates came and found us there! They called me and asked where we were, knowing what we'd be doing. And they came, asked us how we did shared the message, and REQUESTED TO HELP. They asked for materials and then they went out and did it! I was inviting there with 3 other missionaries, an RC that showed up unexpectedly, and 3 investigators! I'd look over and Sister Embley would find someone who was interested and an investigator would run to her side and they'd both explain. It was the best unity I've ever seen, members, missionaries, and investigators.
Our investigators are so solid, going around asking every other investigator when THEIR date is, how excited they are for them, etc etc. Everyone is so close- investigators are introducing themselves to other investigators, and members, etc etc until everyone is friends with just us bringing them to the situations for it to happen. It's how missionary work is supposed to be! And members as WELL as investigators, are bringing their OWN friends and helping us teach them!

In fact, we had a day where Bas called us and knowing he was so busy, found a slot where we could meet him- he said, "Is right now okay?" so we requested 15 minutes to get there, and we prayed in that instant together to prepare a member to help us teach him that could get there that fast from where-ever they were. So we felt like we should call Sister Jan. We did. She said: "Whoa! Oddly enough I'm sitting at home with a good friend of mine and we've been talking about God and religion for a while here!" then I hear her ask her friend, "Do you want to go to the church right now?" and so the both of them immediately get on their motorcycles and high-tail it to the church. Me and Sister Embley emerge from a room in the back of the church with some things and are met by 5 people! Wait, FIVE?
Apparently Bas showed up with two more friends and says: "They have a lot of questions! Can we actually teach them from the beginning?" Sister Jan's friend is beyond ready for this. She left the church saying, "I'm going to get myself ready for this baptism thing."
So the lesson goes great. But then I remember, "I was not expecting this many people. Uh Oh. I don't have enough Book of Mormons!" so I prayed in my heart explaining the situation to Heavenly Father. And I told him, "I need you to put two Book of Mormons in the closet behind us. I was not expecting this many people!"
I turned to Sister Embley, "Could you go get the Book of Mormons in the closet please?" ...... Words of Faith.
She opens the closet. Pulls them out.
So I feel today kind of like Moroni, being unable to explain what I've seen happen and unable to explain fully because of "stumbling over the placing of my words".
The Restoration did not just include restoring gospel knowledge: but the power to turn faith into real-life miracles.

I certainly did not put those books in the closet.
Sister Painter

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