Monday, March 3, 2014

Where is my Cornelius?

Dear Family and Friends,

This week's email is going to be hard to write, and harder to condense my feelings into comprehendable words! I've made mention before that I have seen miracles and the Lord's hand in an innumerable quantity. I echo John's account:

"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." -St John 21:25

In that is real truth and applicable in all aspects to my mission. My emails gives glimpses of the reality but never a truly full and accurate account of what has happened.

We had 4 new people come to the church during this week that had never seen the sacrament room before. We felt prompted to show them, but knowing it would be locked as usual, approached the door uneasy, but hopeful. "I hope it's unlocked." Sis Croft said. To which I said, "Let's pray it's unlocked." to which I actually did.

"Please unlock this door for us." (As it is typically and always, locked.)

Sis Croft reached to open it and I prayed with expectation- she took the handle, turn- click! I don't know if it was locked before this prayer, but it should have been. We opened the door. Lights off, no one inside. "Uh oh" Sis Croft says. "That's not good." (that it had been left unlocked.)

I like to believe it hadn't.

Now as to continue, I'm not talking specifically about miracles that relate to numbers and concourses of people rushing the doors of the church, but in that I have seen a personal miracle in the change of myself.

My first week in the city (Don Muang, Bangkok), as many have inquired of me, has been entirely tiring, fast-paced, and above all, specifically and personally eye-opening in regards to where the rest of my mission is going to go from here. I will say that a very special general authority made his way here, even the Presiding Bishop of the Church to whom called all of us Bangkok missionaries into the Asok chapel downtown to meet with us.

Yesterday started as a "fast" (fasting from food) sunday, as we had a mission wide fast for the work and goal we have of each companionship successfully bringing 2 souls unto Christ this month. Yesterday I continued in my search of understanding Christ's life and understanding the Bible stories. With the context and visual scenery, the Bible videos made by the church have enhanced my understanding of context by 300:1. I've come to find that by understanding Christ's life, I cannot help but love Him so tenderly in gratitude and wonder.

I was particularly touched by a couple specific stories this week. One of those was Christ as "The Bread of Life".

I honestly will have to wait until I get home to sit down and talk about all the moments I've felt the spirit so strongly and specifically. But on this particular 'fast sunday', as I broke my fast across the street from the Asok church, with our meager "humble food" packed in a sack. Oddly enough, all I had was bread. Literally that was it. But a set of two Elders walked passed us-- one to which Elder Yuen had trained himself, and I knew was a supreme person. He saw us, and his eyes light up amongst the tire and exhaustion in his face. He looked so tired.

What would be only one of many tender moments of yesterday, I stopped this Elder and said, "Would you like a croissant?" and called back his companion as well as I pulled out the sack. His eyes spotted the roll in my hand and his expression was pretty undefinable. He said entirely sincerely and quietly with awe, "I haven't had a croissant since.... since America." His humbleness in taking the bread was moving.

As they left with real gratitude, I thought to myself, I offer bread to hundreds every day with our message. I have seen hungry and tired eyes like that searching for the real Bread of Life. My croissant would be eaten, and they would hunger again. But what those missionaries I fed will go out and give to other people-- the gospel-- will quench the thirst of all those spiritually hungry and thirsty for the Living Water, and the Bread of Life-- even Jesus Christ.

Remember that when you take the sacrament this next week at Church.

So now I've gone on a'rambling here. Oddly enough I had no intention on even bringing that small experience up, considering the mountains of spiritually enlarging experiences that followed it.

So back to the miracle I first mentioned. I was entirely prepared for this Presiding Bishop's arrival. His timing, most perfect in the retrospect of circumstance for me personally, had an impact I cannot explain in this medium. He said things that literally were direct answers, direct confirmations of previous promises, and all of it, completely relevant to me and where I was, with regards to what I have left to do. I don't feel I'm at length to explain-- Email isn't worthy of it.

But I will say this: I came to Thailand to find specific people, whom I know I had to have once known in the life before this. I testify, that I am about to find them.

Peter searched out Cornelius, as he was sent for. I too, was sent for. And I am now searching for those who called me to Thailand. With my last spanse of time, I will look high and low for my Cornelius.

Sister Painter

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