Monday, June 2, 2014

A Familiar Voice

Oh dear Family and Friends,

Well, I don't know how it happened, but it's June?

In the words of President Senior to me on Wednesday: "The time has passed so quickly. .... I don't know that I like it."

And so we come into the month of "จุ่ม" (The Month of Jume). What does that mean? To dip. It's the word you use to explain how a baptism is done. You get dipped in the water. As in, this is the month in which all the elect are going to be baptized.

I just went to one of my last leadership meetings in Bangkok this last week. I can't say my eyes were dry. President took the time to simply train us as leaders. In doing so, there was a lot of recollection of my mission. He especially spoke about working with "the one". Even when teaching a group, all you're really doing is teaching a collection of "one's". That's how the spirit works.

I've spent a lot of time teaching "one's." I've spent a lot of time learning from "one's." But most of all, at one time or another, I was "the one". So I search for them as desperately as I was looked after. If we were all to take our lives into account and "come to ourselves" as the prodigal son once did, I think we would have much gratitude for what has come to pass in our lives because someone else looked for a need and filled it.

Isn't that the meaning of being Christian?

There will always be a one in the ninety-and-nine. Even if finding them requires hard work in blazing temperatures of life. .... Or in reality, directly from the sun in degrees Celsius. This week could be described like this: "Sometimes you gotta put yourself in a cold room with an IV in your arm." -Me at the nearest 7-Eleven haven during the afternoon. Or as Elder Wilson once said, "We wrote in all of our back-up plans as, "Go to the church and drink water."

Last night while I was out inviting at a weekend market, a woman walked passed with an evident "no". Then turned on her heels as if the spirit slapped her around. She then said, "I've waited to go to church for 8 years and I have no idea why I've put it off." She later passed again after our first interaction, saying, "Okay. I have to know. Why are you trying so hard to find names?"

The way she said that took me off-guard. She didn't say, "Why are you looking for people to teach" or "why are you looking for phone numbers"? But she said, NAMES. I still have no idea why she said it the way she did, but it was thought-provoking to me and I answered her bearing my testimony  of what the gospel does for someone: more than teaching to be a good person, but in the end actually says us from sin, death, and gives us the ability to go back to Heaven to live with our loving Heavenly Father.

She said, "I'm glad I asked, or I would've asked myself for a long time."

So shortly after this experience I was saying something to Sis Jackson in english when a young man turned around like he recognized my voice and knew me. I turned to him and spoke to him in thai, asking him if he wanted to be baptized. He was immediately receptive. We're seeing him tomorrow at 3pm. I said, "Just 20 minutes of your time." to which he replied, "You can have a whole hour."

He walked away and I had a lull in people coming on my side. I thought to myself how weird it was that he heard my voice and turned directly around, having no idea what I was saying in English. A prompting came to my mind that I had prayed on my bike beforehand for prepared people to be put in my path. That boy walked directly in between us two sisters going upstream through the crowd with his friend. He turned because he knew my voice.
"And the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers." -John 10:1-18

"Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." - D&C 1:38

The reality of a missionary call is great. Again, I urge all who ever considered to consider again.

Your voice may just be the familiar one to many "one's."

Sister Painter


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