Monday, June 30, 2014

Sprint Point

Dear Family and Friends,

Announcement #1: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have hit the shelves of 7-11 for the first time across Ubon.

Announcement #2: I ran out of my missionary fund a few days early because of Announcement #1.

Anyway, this week it has been brought to my attention (with a fairly loud voice) I want to talk about something I call the จุดวิ่ง -- "The Point Where you Start Running" or in more eloquent terms:

 My "Sprint Point."

Before every race comes training. That training isn't a cake walk. In fact, it's a coaching of yourself into being able to keep up with the pack until you can run as fast as the others.

But this is no ordinary race amongst other runners. This is a race against yourself. 

I've got six weeks left towards a finish line that creeps ever closer- and on this last thursday, the last transfer meeting, the signal came, a flag lowered, and a gun shot went off- it's time to sprint.

A sprint point towards a third stake.

Ubon has been stacked with two additional elders, Sis Jackson was called as my Sister Training Leader companion, and our other districts were given some of the most prime missionaries to build and strengthen. When President came last week, he sat down to dinner with us and asked about opening another area to feed into Ubon. He did just that.

On my mission, I have seen so much.
I have witnessed miracles. I have seen, heard and been a part of more than the keyboard is capable of typing out.

But like Elder Packer, from his last conference talk called, "The Witness". He said: "Far from thinking I was someone special, I thought that if such a thing came to me, that it could come to anyone. I still believe that."

I honestly and full-heartedly believe that before any righteous endevour, there will always without fail be some sort of opposition to try to "last minute" end that great thing before it starts. That's one of the most profound lessons we learn from Joseph Smith's experience, and one I've seen with almost every investigator on a Saturday night before that Sunday they'd be baptized.

So, we baptized a girl named Ame yesterday. I found her within the hour she was at a hospital donating blood. The invitiation was smooth, accepted, and by the end, I hugged her I felt like she was that close to me. I loved her instantly. 10 days later after our first meeting, she was baptized. On Saturday evening, she felt some last minute questions. Last minute uncertainty. She prayed for last minute comfort. "Is this all true?"

Yesterday after watching the Joseph Smith movie with her after her baptism, she came out and said, "I prayed, and... I got it. I got my answer. You might not believe this, and I might not either, but it happened. In one year, I probably have a dream 2 or 3 times and that's it. But after praying and falling asleep-- or at least in the period between sleeping and wakefulness, I had a dream. It was white, it was beautiful, it told it I was doing the right thing. I felt in my heart I knew it was true. ... And that's what happened to me last night."

I honestly believe her. Each of us are no more special than someone else. We're all entitled to receiving "a witness".

And so I testify again, that any missionary, investigator, new convert, or old-time member, regardless of where you may be, can receive the same. "I still believe that."

I sprint towards a temple. Six weeks towards a stake. Three stakes towards a temple.

"So run, that ye may obtain." -1 Corinthians

Thank you to all the people across the world that have sent me mail to help me run. I cannot express my gratitude enough. The letters that begin, "You don't know me, but...." are some of my most prized.

Thank you. Because of you, I run faster even still.


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