Yesterday was Hump Day.Do you know what that means? I have already been here for a whole month, and I have one more month to go. The time has flown by! The language is still going good. The written language is ridiculous! So the Thais stole the Laotian system of writing a long time ago. The Laotians only have 26 letters. The Thais have 80, what happened? It takes me like 30 minutes to read a single verse of scripture, but I am slowly getting there.
Speaking of Thailand, they celebrated 50 years of the LDS church in Thailand yesterday. What a time to be going to Thailand. Also, what a time to be at the MTC! We have had 2 Apostles, M. Russell Ballard and Richard G. Scott, speak to us. We get to sing at the priesthood session of General Conference, and Elder Allen spoke to us yesterday and recognized all the Thai Elders! He spoke on how he just got back from Thailand and made all the Thai Missionaries stand up! I cheered and got on camera. That talk was meant for us to hear.
Things have still been going good here. I have done a ton of interviews and goal setting since Iam the District Leader. My throat is blown out from singing so much. Every day we have been practicing for our big debut at the Priesthood Session. We are singing some super loved songs, including a new on called the “Missionary Medley.” It will definitely make some people cry. As soon as the prophet is done speaking, we stand up and start singing. This will be one of the greatest moments of my mission. Hopefully our singing will inspire many people to join us as missionaries, and push people who are on the edge of serving a mission the right way.
After some coaching last week,Elder Chio and I gave our best lesson ever to our hardest investigator. Her name is Sang, she is 40, a mother, and comes from a Buddhist family. After teaching her a few times, she decided she wanted baptism, but would not receive it. She was scared of her family. After hearing this, Elder Chio and I planned our greatest lesson. We went in with no topic, no script, and no notes, and taught what we felt she needed to hear. I cannot recall what I said to her in that room, but I know I told her to pray with faith, and that God will give her an answer, and will help her choose the right. After we left our teacher told us she was impressed, and that it was our best lesson ever. The next day we taught Arty, our easiest investigator. He loves fish, so when we taught him about the Word of Wisdom we cut out a lot of paper fish, and colored them. Each fish represented a different substance that we should not use, and they would get caught by the Satan Shark! The most colorful fish represented a healthy Arty, and it would escape the shark. Arty loved it so much! We sat on the floor and played with the fish, and he kept them after the lesson. Some of our teachers are our investigators, so a teacher playing Arty actually took the fish home with him since he enjoyed it so much. All the other missionaries thought it was so creative, and congratulated us. The teacher’s name is Morgan Hunsaker, and he is roommates with Nic Frazier! What a small world. For our service project this week we got to carry beds up and down the floors of a remolded residence hall. It was hard work! Other than that not much has happened around here.
So harmonicas are becoming a thing around here, so maybe you could send me one? haha. I’ll leave you with a message from one of my best friends, Sam Loveland. Sam has been in the mission field of Brazil for a while now, so I consider him a veteran.
He said: “Elder Ridings, you are about to go to the front-lines of the battle for good and evil that is raging right now across the world. Your mission is to go into the midst of “Babylon” and rescue the elect of God, bringing them to the light of the gospel and leaving them firmly fixed to the iron rod. To do this you and your companion are going to pass through difficulties both physical and spiritual. Your task will be to live worthy of the Spirit so he can guide your actions. There will be many who say that obedience is not necessary, that there is another way, that will mistreat the sacred things of God and this Priesthood, and will succumb to temptation. They will be members. They will be missionaries. They will be the people around you. You have to be strong and remember who you are.” I will remember who I am and why I am serving. This isn’t my mission. It is the Lord’s. I love you family, stay strong while I’m gone. Before long, I’ll be coming back home again.
- Elder Ridings