Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tender Mercies

Hello friends,
  I hope you are all doing well and holding fast to the rod. Life gets kind of shaky sometimes but holding to the word of God keeps you steady despite the storm.
  I'm doing well here in South East Asia. Its comforting to know I have the Lord on my side through all the rough skirmishes. We began teaching a few new investigators this week. Many of them from part member families. Those are the best because they have wonderful support and examples from their loving family members. The story of one strikes me particularly strong. His name is Sombat and he is the son of a very active widow who walks around selling homemade banana snacks everyday. He had learned with the missionaries years ago when his mother was learning. But a week before his baptism he started to hang out with a bad crowed of kids and didn't get baptized. Over the next few years he got into smoking and drinking and heavier drugs as well. He barely worked and when he didn't have enough money do get his fix he stole from his mother. Sometimes threatening her life to get what he wanted. Finally this mother had enough and wanted to call the police to come and take away her wayward son. But something stopped her. Instead she told the friends of the sonwhen they came by that if they felt any kind of sorrow for an old widow, then they would leave her son alone and never come back. After many threats of calling the police by the widow mother, the friends stopped coming. Then something changed. He went to the hospital and the doctor told him his liver is going to give out if he keeps drinking. Then he started reading the Book of Mormon every night. He would do it when he thought his mom was asleep and would sit there saying. "What does she do, every time its the same thing what does she do?!" He was trying to remember how to pray. We visited the mother one day and she told us about this and 2 days later we started teaching him. Now he wants to get baptized. He wants to follow God. He truly has an amazing desire. His only crutch right now is smoking. He started with 30 a day when we met him at first and we comitted hi down to 12. He did 10 the next day. Then we dropped him down to 8 and he did it. We are going to continue to help him to quit smoking entirely. 
  For this same family we also had a service project this week. The village leader was kicking them out of their land so they could build a big road. So we went with 20 other people from the village and lifted her house and carried it 60 yards and then planted in another temporary spot. It was really heavy.  
  This week brought a whole different breed of adventure to the doorstep of the church. We show up one day to meet our investigator Heng and teach him at the church but instead we find an inactive young man of 19 years old passed out on the ground. Apparently he hadn't eaten in 2 days and the night before he drank alcohol. That morning he told his girlfriend to take him to the church and get him to the Elders. We happened to show up minutes after he arrived and passed out. I gave him a priesthood blessing that he would arise and regain his strength. After that he started to go in and out of consciousness and asking where the Elders were. I assured him we were here. He told me that he had done so much wrong against God's laws and started crying before he lost consciousness again. About 30 minutes later he finally sat up and ate something. He shared a sincere desire to start repenting and coming back to church and reading and praying every day. The Lord had compelled him to be Humble and he is now preparing to receive blessings. How much more blessed are we when we humble ourselves?
  This Saturday two of my investigators were baptized. One was Ming Navy, who had been learning with me for 3 months already and just finally got baptized, but into another branch because she moved houses last week. The other was a man of 22 years old, Heng. Heng has been studying the bible for the past 2 years and can quote several sections of it while we are in lessons. He is an incredible example to me on how to ponder the scriptures and truly be taught by the Holy Ghost. He was converted before we even started teaching him, having gone to church in our branch for 2 months already before he allowed us to teach him. He decided for himself that it was true before he even let us teach him. And then when we taught him he already had a testimony of all the doctrine, having studied the Book of Mormon and gone to church. He was truly given to us by the Lord. The field truly is white already to harvest. 
  This week was a week of miracles and blessings. I truly love being on the Lord's Errand. I would share more but I'm out of time for today. Know I love you. More importantly, know that God loves you. I encourage you to ponder his words daily. I promise that as you do this, coupled with prayer, You will feel his love. 
Elder L. Rogers Brewer

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