I hope y’all are still surviving without me. Has everything technological broken yet? haha. So it was a pretty awesome week I just had. We taught two less active members and it was a challenge! We taught one guy who was good friends with the missionary who baptized him, but after about 6 months the missionary moved away, and ปิงปอง drank alcohol again. He felt so sad, and stopped going to church because he felt the members would not like him. We taught him that he can receive forgiveness for what he did and that the members would help, not hate, him. We got him to go to church again, and we promised to take him. We then taught another guy named ลูก. He had a bad back, and that prevented him from going to church. We taught him about praying often with faith for help, and gave him a blessing. We got him to promise that if he received help, he would attend church.
The best thing that happened though was with our investigator, Arty. He loves fish. That’s why me and Elder Chio used paper colored fish for our lesson with him. My friends Elder Magera and Slabaugh took it a step farther.
Magera’s grandmaovernighted him two goldfish! REAL, living goldfish! We gave them to Arty. I filmed and he freaked out! He had no idea what to say or how to react. We watched him from our building window walk out the front gate with the fish. He tried to give them to the security guard, another teacher, and a random jogger! He is stuck with the fishies now! Just ask Nic Frazier about them. I’m sure he has met them. I gave a baptismal interview to Arty in Thai, since I’m the District Leader. It was an awesome experience!
We have zone prayer every night. Where all the Thai’s, Hmong, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, and Cantonese missionaries come together. I gave the prayer last night. The other night I showed up in costume. Elder Frodsham got a leather jacket in the mail that was to small for him, so he gave it to me. I wore my glasses, wig, headband, the jacket, and my jeans. I looked like a biker!
So I’m sure by now everyone I know saw me singing at General Conference. It was an experience I will probably never get again. It was the kickoff of my mission. I was singing for anyone who watched, but most especially for Drew. Drew has his agency. He can chose whatever path he wants to walk. I just want him to look over the lyrics of that last song, “Ye Elders of Israel”. “Ye elders of Israel, come join now with me, and seek out the righteous, where’er they may be!” It was amazing seeing 20,000 people watch you sing, and knowing that 5 million are watching you from TV and internet. I’m a celebrity now! It was so good singing. It was a sight I will never again see.
You can watch it online here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch/2014/10?lang=eng&vid=3821424105001 .You can see me lots of times. I’m in the middle section, 5th row, 3rd from the aisle on the right side of the middle choir section if you are looking at straight on at the choir. Just look for the blonde hair. I’m about 15 feet above the organ. If you watch the replay of the conference on the internet, you can see me at 3:03, 3:59 above the organ, 7:42 also above the organ, 10:35, 1:14:30, and finally 1:48:00. I just watched the back of the speakers heads, and I could even read the teleprompter. I want to sing again, but that was our one-hit wonder. I’ll sign autographs when I get back, haha. There were a ton of Officers from the Air Force and Army at the Conference, and they stood when the prophet entered. “Kings shall anoint him, and nations revere.” The prophet was the last speaker, when he said amen we sang. We gave the amen to the prophet’s prayer. Our last song ended with an “Amen”. I took a lot from this experience that I have written down. So if you all can’t tell, I’m having an awesome time! Send me some more videos like you did, I could almost FEEL myself petting Sox again. Stay strong with me gone and it will all work out. “Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.” Wherever I will go, I will go with all my heart.
- Elder Ridings