Monday, June 6, 2016

The Power of Prayer

I talked about a missionary last week that was really good at rescuing less actives. I learned from him that it's more about becoming their friend than it is about being able to report a "lesson" to the mission president. From the beginning he would go around to the people's houses and just talk with them and become their friend. He was really good at it, too. Khmae people love making fun of the elders (innocently), so he would just play that role and they all loved it. As soon as he gained their trust, almost half of them would be the first to say, "Well, aren't you gonna teach me?" I was super impressed. Their branch has brought back almost 20 people in the past two transfers. 

Although this process really works. I don't think that I will be able to get back that many--just because I am in more of a city, time-demanding area. However, I will try my best. This week we spent most of our time finding these people and just talking to them, and if it was right, we shared a scripture. Most of them have had pretty regular contact with the elders; they just got forgotten somewhere along the way. 

A Khmae newspaper with news about the Copa America

For example: Bong Nhean. We were on our way home on Thursday or Friday and we just hear somebody yelling to us. So we look over to this guy who is a little tipsy on the side of the road. He introduced himself as an "inactive member ever since the church moved" (about a year ago) and then told us his name. On Sunday we went and visited him (for just a sec since he had family over and we didn't want to bother), but he told us that he works as a guard at the US Embassy. Then he started to speak some super clear English with us. Then he said he wanted to meet us next week and that he would bring his wife and children (that just moved to the city to be with him) to church. 

A member named Chi. He would probably be my favorite acquaintance made this week. He is very active. He served a mission in 2010 and speaks a lot of English. He recently gave up a fairly decent job (300 a month--about double average) so that he could start his own retirement fund/work-finding service. He starts advertising to people by saying, "How much do you want to make in a month? I can give it to you." When he told me for the first time, I just laughed, and I couldn't actually tell if he was kidding or not. Then when we talked more about it, he told me that he had sold his wedding ring, watch, necklace, and phone just so that he could start this business, but every time he introduces it to someone, he says they just laugh. I told him that he has to make them realize he's not kidding because it sounds way too good to be true. He had a really intricate plan for a business that would guide people into the right work, set firm financial goals, and then retire at a reasonable age, and I really liked it, but every one just thinks he's joking. In this country it's rare to come by someone who is willing to take risks like this and open their own institution, and I told him that he could talk to the CJF that President Moon now runs. Pretty cool. Hopefully he can find some customers. 

I don't think this week had any disappointments bigger than when it rained yesterday. The rain got in the house on the bottom floor, and we had to mop it all up. It was a really good week. 

Testimony builder of the week: I will reserve the name, because this experience is very special and I wouldn't want to ruin the trust of this person, so I'll just say his name is Rithea. Rithea is our investigator, and we taught him about how we can ask things through prayer, and when we ask in faith we receive answers (James 1:5, Matthew 7:7-8). He received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true when he asked and so he went further. He asked the following night to speak to his mother who had passed away 6 months ago because he really missed her. And what he said was, "Heavenly Father, let me hug my mom. I didn't get to speak to her, but our spirits hugged. It was just for a second, but it was enough." Even just on the surface this is a really cool experience, but it made me think about the love that Heavenly Father has for all of his children. You don't have to know everything about God for him to answer your prayers and love you; all you need is the desire to draw closer unto him. Even though Rithea didn't really understand that speaking to his mother probably wasn't something that God would grant him, God didn't just cast his petition aside and say it was stupid. He answered with a very real experience that maybe is what Rithea actually wanted but didn't know. God doesn't have to answer our prayers. We shouldn't feel entitled to any sort of answer. And if the answer does not come the way we want, that is not any reason to be angry. We need to be thankful always that God does us the favor to lend an ear to our prayers and then how much greater should our gratitude be when our petition to the Almighty God is actually answered. (Proverbs 3:6) Rithea did his part in being thankful for that answer. I trust that his faith will only continue to grow as he enters the waters of baptism on the 19th this month. 

Sorry my email is so long. I have a good keyboard this week. If you see any other friends from high school, tell them I say hi! Also, tell Colby that I still am planning on starting a car company with him. Haha.

Elder Hall

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