We had transfers this week and I am still here in P-lok, my dying area. My new companion is Elder Wood from Utah. Just over a year ago this branch only had two elders and about 35 people coming to church a week. Now we have 8 missionaries and had 79 at church yesterday, one away from that 80 number that we need to get a building. If the Branch President himself had been there for church it wouldn't been 80. Well get 'em next week. They've quadrupled the number of missionaries and more than doubled the attendance at church. I guess they'll just keep sending missionaries until they stay over the 80 mark to get a church. This is the only district I have ever seen with more sisters than elders. I guess we're just special.
The Lord has definitely got his eye on this area and the surrounding ones where the church used to be functioning. The branch is really responding well to the energy and excitement that two more missionaries have brought to the branch. I'm way glad that I'll be in this branch that is functioning great up to end my mission. We went to Sukhothai for a day looking up members who were on the member record. There were about five and there may be others who aren't on the record. All the records from 15-20 years ago when there were missionaries here are who knows where. Missionaries will be put in this area in the near future so we looked at a place for the Elder's apartment and a possible church location.
This is the building that could be a potential church building.
When missionaries are assigned to this new area they will have very little to work with. The Elders will be the Branch President, conduct, bless, pass the sacrament, pray, speak, teach and everything else you do at church. It sounds like fun. The Elders who get to open this area again for real are super lucky. That will have a great experience. Maybe I should extend my mission to three years....? Just kidding. We will be going to Nakhon Sawan next week. There are about the same number of members on the record there.
I attended my last Zone Conference. Thursday night we went to Chiang Mai for Zone Conference and District (Stake Conference). President and Sister Senior attended both. President is a stud. I am so amazed at how he can strengthen and encourage people around him and help them feel special and an important part of the church. I don't know how he has time to prepare all the talks and things he has to do in his busy schedule around the three countries in our mission. He definitely has a marvelous gift from God he has developed and used to the fullest in his life for his good and the good of others.
I bore my dying missionary testimony, as every missionary does at their last Zone Conference. I talked about the experiences I have had that I will remember all my life, the miracles I have seen, the knowledge I have gained in the last two years and the influence it has had on me. I couldn't be more happy that I came on a mission to serve our Lord Jesus Christ and preach His gospel to our Heavenly Father's children. It is hard, but it's worth it.