“It’s done.” “Yes Mister Frodo, it’s over now.”

The rest of this week is full of random business and appointments already.  So I really don’t have much left to do.  Yesterday a girl was baptized.  Probably the most prepared and willing investigator I’ve ever known.  Her name is Ing.  She’s seen the missionaries around, and used to be their waitress when they came to her mom’s stand.  She’s talked with them, went to English class a few times, but never really got into it.
Then a month and a half ago, a member invited her to English class again.  She went, and after one of the best spiritual thoughts at the end of class I’ve ever had, I asked her when we can meet to teach her.  She told me Thursday, and so we started teaching her.  She became attached to the scriptures, and even though she didn’t understand it at all, she felt good when she read it.  She had a lot of questions, mostly about what was going on in this crazy book of ours.  When we explained all of her questions, she got even more connected to the scriptures.  She said she wanted control in her life, and more order.  We told her that God can do that, and He wants to because He loves her.
We met regularly, more than twice a week to answer questions and help her gain more knowledge when finally after a family home evening, I asked her what her understanding of baptism was.  She told me what she knew: It was an ordinance to make a two way promise with God that we would follow Him.  I asked her if she wanted to make that promise.  She said yes.  So we set the date.
As time went on, she made a lot of good, solid friends in the ward.  Older people, younger people, kids, it didn’t matter, she wanted to know them.  Because of this base, she’s surrounded herself with the best that friends can offer, and the best of influences.  Because she has these friends, she’s reminded constantly of the promise she was going to make.

Then yesterday, she was baptized.  She was nervous, which was a good sign.  She took it seriously.  Afterwards I asked her what her next goal would be, and she said that it was to receive the holy Ghost the week after.  Then continue on in the faith.
I have no words to express how grateful I am for God allowing me to teach these people.  They have no knowledge of God, so when we tell them that they have a Father in Heaven who loves them and wants to help them, they gain a small seedling of hope.  The light that shoots up in their eyes brings me hope, that one day this people will all know who Christ is.  That one day all of Asia will be freaking out over this religion of Latter Day Saints.
The Lord has His plans for this work.  We are merely the tools He handles and uses for His work.

This experience has changed me.  I don’t care what people think of me, if they think I’ve changed or not, I know I have.  I’m no longer a scared little child, unable to accept reality that I need to change.  I no longer have doubts about God and His love.  I know He loves me.  I know He will never change.
I’m grateful, and will be eternally so to my God, who so lovingly sent me on this journey of two years.  It smacked me down, tore me up, stomped on me a couple times, then took my hand and shook me off, patted me on the back and said, “How was it?  You good?”
I respond with, “I’m better.”

Thailand was definitely the last place I would have expected to go on a mission.  Which was probably why God chose it.  It was the furnace fire of the Great Refiner, ready to temper me to become what He wants.  This country is what my brother spoke of Tijuana.  A sin ridden, filthy, pit of evil.  But even in dirt and rocks there are gems.  I’m glad to have witnessed the refining of some of them.

My knowledge, resolve, and love have increased.  I consider this mission a success.
I still have some of the same problems I had before the mission, but now I am equipped to deal with them and be rid of them through the atonement of the Savior.  I have more tools to work with, now I just have to use them.

I know Christ lives.  I know He accomplished the Atonement for our sins, weaknesses, and sorrows.  I know He loves us, and is the great I Am.  He did everything in His life specifically for us, man, God’s children.  We are literal spirit sons and daughters of God.  Until we realize this basic fact, our lives are depressing.  If you think God does not have a place in your life, you have never experienced following Him.  I implore you to try it.  Test Him.  Try His way of doing things.  You will learn to love with a true love, and feel more than you’ve ever experienced before.  Your life will change as mine has.  In giving our lives to God, we find our true lives.  We find our true selves buried deep under piles of sin and anguish.

Try His way of life, His commandments are key.  Apply them, study them, learn more of them to have the most freedom life has to offer.  Don’t let yourself be chained down by the offsets of sin.  You are not what your addictions or vices are.  You are a child of God, and He knows you.  Get to know Him.  I have, at least a little bit, and through knowing Him I have found out who I truly am.  I found out what I am capable of doing, and what God has in store for me.

I love God.  That is what has changed.

-Elder Elliot Cameron Mayo

Apostasy and lamentations

Last night I sat pondering the words of Jacob in his address in the second and third chapters of his book.  We just found out about a rather large situation of apostasy within the ward that set my heart ablaze with fury and low with sorrow.  Leadership going apostate is a thing that hurts, but it must be dealt with.  Through this apostate leader, his family, and other families followed.  Now the elders are the only ones left along with the bishop to clean up the mess.

Listening to our leadership is so important.  Who are these men that call themselves bishops, stake presidents, apostles, prophets, and where do they get their authority to tell us what to do?
Fortunately, God knows who the right people are to take care of us.  We don’t have to vote for a man that other people don’t want, because God elects them for us.  They don’t receive anything for their efforts, yet they serve us and help us.  What do we have to lose from taking advice and service from a servant of God chosen by Him?  Nothing!  We just have to humble ourselves to take their advice!
This is where the problem lies.  If anyone decides that they know better than their leadership in spiritual matters, they’re wrong.  Because God has said, “whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”
Trust your priesthood leaders.  The Lord has promised us blessing by obeying their counsel.

As for me in this week, Elder Natakorn was sick for about three days, so I was at home doing nothing.  I called people, cleaned, cleaned again, finished records, called more people, and read half of Jesus The Christ.  (You now know how long I was there)
We still got three new investigators from English class this week.  It’s such a good resource when applied correctly!

Our investigator Sister Ing is progressing super fast.  I’m way happy with her questions and her willingness to commit.  She came up from English class, so I asked her after class if we could meet with her and teach about Christ.  She’s known the missionaries for a long time now, so she agreed to meet.  First meeting was a little awkward, as I haven’t taught an investigator the basic lessons for a while now.  I had to relearn how to control and teach a lesson.  555 (hahaha)  Now she has a baptismal date for the 10th of July.  She’s working towards it with tremendous speed!  I’m super proud!

Thank you everyone for your prayers and love I’ve felt lately.  I know I’m not alone in this work, even though sometimes Satan slips that feeling in.  I love my example and savior, Jesus Christ.  I love you all.

-Elder Elliot Mayom

The rays of light are shining on BBK

Not due to any of our effort, the ward seems to be getting better.  There’s an outpouring of love from the bishopric, and the members are soaking it up.  Over the course of many months this ward has obviously changed.  I’m happy I got to come here to see it happen.

We speak directly sometimes, which cuts some people to the core, but in the end, they humble themselves and love us in return.
Bangbuathong has a lot of stigmas attached to it.  A lot of missionaries seem to be scared of coming here.  I personally don’t see what’s so scary.  The members help us out, let us serve them, and are growing spiritually all the time.  Of course there are people who don’t understand what being a disciple of Christ means, and what to do, but there are those people everywhere in the world.  They will learn eventually.  All we can do is love them, and serve them until they understand, then continue loving  and serving them!

I feel like the adversary is trying his best to get me to regret my mission.  Every now and then a thought will pop into my thinking sphere that says, “You haven’t changed at all.” or “What’s the point of your mission if you mess up now?”  He really knows where my weak points and my fears are.
One of my greatest fears near the beginning of my mission was that of not changing.  That I would go home, and be exactly the same person I was when I left.  I have fought, struggled, and pushed through periods of doubt and fear just to become who God wants me to be.  That is my biggest desire right now is to have a desire to follow God in every respect.  With this desire, Satan can’t touch me.  As soon as one of those thoughts comes in, it should be an instant reaction to say, “No.”  I am the master of my body, and my thoughts.  My thoughts will be righteous.  They will be positive.  I will become who I and my Heavenly Father want me to be.
That being said, the final sprint to the back of the plan to drop out and fly further is getting tedious.  I feel “like butter scraped over too much bread.” (-Bilbo Baggins)  Although it is fun, and I get a lot out of it, training while taking care of two areas worth of people, and being the only companionship for the entire ward is also a little much.  I’m actually kind of happy that God entrusted me with this work.  There’s a lot to do, and we need His help to do it.  So off to work!

Love you guys, adios,
-Elder Elliot Mayo

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Lasers and turn-arounds

Last Monday we played a righteous game of Lasertag with around 40 people.  Crazy fun.  Super fast, the laser vests and guns were accurate and silly, and people were running everywhere screaming and hollering.
Around Thursday I started feeling a little down about our work.  I felt like I wasn’t helping my companion grow at all, we weren’t helping the ward, I felt disconnected from God, and it all was just kind of sitting still.  I felt like it was Satan trying to get at me in my last few weeks as a missionary, telling me all that I’ve done so far isn’t worth anything, I’m not making an effective effort on the ward, and that my mission has been a failure thus far.

I talked to my district leader about it, and he shared with me almost exactly what I’ve shared with many missionaries in my districts.  Making a huge impact that everyone will notice is not what success is.  It’s the small things, the actions of service and love that make success as a missionary.  I don’t have to solve all the problems of everyone all at once.  I just have to love and serve.  The little actions of good we do accumulate to make us into good people.  I think the personal change behind every missionary is the big act that everyone will notice, but it’s made by many, many small actions that we don’t notice.
This is true for more than just missionaries.  We are doing good when we are trying.  Just keep going, and do as Christ who “Went about doing good.”
Then came Saturday.  We had a very fun ward activity where we went to a big fancy park and ate food and had activities about spiritual topics.
We were in charge of a game, so we had the grand idea to talk about gossip.  Wonderful topic, especially for Thailand.  So we played a game where you steal taped on flags off of everyone’s shoulders while trying to keep your own on.  Then we asked how it felt.  Most of the time they answered scary, they couldn’t trust anyone, and they felt alone sometimes.  I related this to when we talk about someone badly.  Everyone else feels bad, doesn’t trust anyone, and the social cirlces of the church dissolve and die in the worst ways possible.
Then we played another game called, “Give the cookie.”
I gave them all a cookie, and they had to give it.
Afterwards I asked how they felt.  They said they felt good, like giving something helped them to gain something.  It’s true that when we speak good about others, we in turn feel good.  (This is also why saying “thank you” humbly to a compliment makes the person who said the compliment feel good)
Speaking rudely or badly about someone behind their back makes no one happy.  But rather speaking well about others helps trust grow and love to blossom in the circles of social life.  Let us love others, even when they do evil to us.  Bless those that curse us.  Let’s follow the example of Christ and forgive others for what they do to us, no matter how big of a mistake they make against us.
Through this activity with the ward, I felt wanted.  I felt like I can do some good, even though I can’t measure the success of what I’m trying to do.  I’m trying to help people love each other.  I can’t put a number to that.
In the end, I was reminded of what I was supposed to be doing.  I love the Savior, for He has rescued me.  I love you all, until next time, adios.
-Elder Elliot Mayo

Bangbuathong, little Thai guys, and WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS IS SUNDAY?

I’ve moved for my last transfer.  I’m now in an area with a ward, working leadership, and tons, heaps, piles, a plethora of LAs.  The bishop here is working closely with us and the Elder’s Quorum president to find and serve these people.

I’m with a new companion, a little ball of fun named Tanagon.  He’s a Thai guy from a little town called Nong Kai out by the border of Laos.  He’s been here for one transfer so far.

I like this area.  I have 6 weeks to pound out what I can here.  I’m deep in the business of Bangkok, in an area called Bangbuathong.  It just so happens to be the area with the largest mall in Thailand.  Good game, and goodbye wallet.

There’s people everywhere.  I feel like I’m swimming half the time.  Rain season just started up, so it might flood soon.  😐  Flooded streets in Bangkok are pretty much just big ol’ sewers.  I’ve run in them.  You stink afterwards… What?

During church yesterday, I noticed a lack of respect for the sacrament and a lack of understanding.  There was no stress, though.  No loudness in my own head, nor distraction really.  I felt calm and peaceful, but I also felt a little saddened that other members here didn’t understand the importance of this ordinance. In third hour, the bishop informed me that he felt exactly what I was without me telling him what I felt.
So we spent third hour in a combined meeting talking about the Sabbath day and the correct way to observe it so we get the most out of it.  This covered why we had the Sabbath and why we have the Sacrament.  How to utilize it, and what it really means.  So good!  I was happy that we were able to address the issue quickly and efficiently.  This bishop is a boss.Well, not much today.  I’ll have pictures and more stories next week. This week I’m in a bit of a rush.

Love you guys,
-Elder Elliot Mayo

Alien Trees, Killer Bees, and Sabbath Days

Thursday we rolled on over to a member’s farm to help him out with some stuff.  First things first, we cut some banana trees.  They’re SO WEIRD!  Banana trees are like a big plant, not a tree at all.  Just like a biiiiiiig flower… plant thing.  The trunks are extremely fragile.  A few of the trees had to be cut down, so we took our handy dandy machetes and scythes and swung, chopping them in half in a single swing.  They seriously look alien.
After that we took a trip over to another field of real trees and helps prune ’em a bit.  After about twenty minutes, me and Elder Noice, my Zone Leader are standing in the middle of the field and we hear a yell from Elder Smith, my companion.  Then we hear a, “CRAP, BEES!”
Me and Elder Noice see a cloud of little bugs flying up from where Elder Smith was before he started running, so me and Elder Noice start booking it back to the truck.  Thankfully, Elder Smith only got stung once.  After I took the stinger out, half his neck was red.

Killer Thailand bees, man.
In the end, I burned to a nice red crisp in the back of the truck on the way home.
Mmmm.  Tasty burned mayo.

On Sunday we had a special experience.  Usually on Sundays before Sacrament Meeting weh ave one of the members get up and sing REALLY REALLY LOUDLY AND IT’S KIND OF DISTRACTING, members are chatting really loud, and it echoes a lot, I get really stressed about the meeting or making sure it’s all okay, and I end up a messy pile of goo by the end.  But yesterday, I sat down, read some scriptures, pondered a bit, looked over the members from where I was sitting on the stand, and relaxed.  I felt a peaceful calm sweep over me that said, “Your Father in Heaven loves you.”  I soaked in the spiritual moment, with the loud-singing member humming quietly off to the side of the room, and the rest of them thinking to themselves.  It was extremely enjoyable, and just what Sacrament meeting was supposed to be like.  I don’t think I’ll forget that moment of calm and peace.

This week was pretty standard in terms of investigators.  I met a man at the river who seems pretty interested in changing, but isn’t really willing to do anything for it right now.  I’m just trying to sprint to the finish and work as best I can.
Transfers is this week and it’s a large chance that I’ll be moving for my last one.  😀  I hope I go to somewhere with monkeys.
I wanna kick ’em.  :O

Love you guys.  I really do.  I’ll talk to you next week.
-Elder Elliot Mayo

Just a Note to the President…

For my email… It is a mission president’s email…
This week was pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.  Me and Elder Smith worked hard to help convert people to the truthfulness and usefulness of the Book of Mormon.  We talked to RCs and old members, new people and investigators, and so far there’s been a good response.  In terms of number, we’re low as usual, but in terms of work getting done, we’re feeling great, doing great, and having great experiences in bringing others closer to Christ.
I know it’s hard for Elder Smith to be companions with me.  I focus on the members a lot, and go inviting rarely (but I go!).  It’s mostly lessons all day, with the occasional invite session here and there.  I gave him the responsibility of choosing where and when we go to contact, and this week is his senior companion week.  He’ll take the lead this week in setting up lessons, teaching, and in the work in general.  It’s actually a little hard not to step in and control everything, but it’s a little releasing too, just to try and quiet myself and lead from behind.
Evil does not make up my character.  I may do evil things, but my identity is not inherently evil.  I’m a son of God with massive potential to become as He is.  If I keep this in my thoughts, it guides my thoughts, actions, goals, planning, everything!  It keeps me close with Christ and my Heavenly Father.  It keeps me on the straight and narrow.  I know who I am, and I know what I can do.  I love it!
I think Elder V would be a fine 2nd counselor in KPP.
That is all.  ^-^
And Elder Smith would be an awesome District Leader.
That is all.  Heheh.
I’d be fine with moving, I’d also be fine with not moving.  At this point it’s all up to the will of my mission president and God.  I accept whatever comes and will love it.  Last transfer let’s go!!!  It’s gonna get so crazy and awesome!  LET’S WORK!
Love you, President Johnson.
-Elder Elliot Mayo
PS. Mangos are 70 cents a kilo right now.  huehuehuehuehuehue MANGO PARTY!

The Happenings

Last week we did not teach a single lesson with an investigator.  This aside, it was a GREAT week.
We went to Lampang for a branch presidency meeting across the Chiang Mai district.  It was essentially a big training meeting, something which I suggested a LOOOONG time ago and never expected it to happen.  The training was concise, explanatory, fun, and helped us to know our roles as a presidency.  It was a lot of review for me, but I was so happy that Thailand was getting training like this.  This kind of meeting has almost never happened in Thailand before, so there was no direction.  Leadership had no idea what they were doing.  But now that we have an idea, the work will progress at an alarming rate.

We taught two new member girls about our potential as children on God.  It became a really good conversation about who we are, where we’re going, and helping both of them with their own personal problems.  Really, the subject of our position as spirit children of God can relate to many topics.  We are so special.  That sounds really full of ourselves, but it’s true.  We are not just simple beasts roaming a land we were grown on.  We aren’t just working off of instinct and lust.  We don’t have to allow our circumstances control us.  We are a higher being.  We are intelligence (a spirit), plugged into a body, inhabiting a planet made specifically for us.  We agreed to a plan made by our spiritual Father to have a body, learn how to control it, experience sorrow, shame, love, happiness, keep our relationship with our Father in Heaven, and eventually become an exalted being.  We are capable of becoming like our Father in Heaven, and He saw this in the world before.  God loves us to the extent of letting us go to our own agency.  He loves us to let us choose how high and powerful of a being we wish to become.  We are so special to Him, we are his work and his glory.  Yet right now, we are but babies if we compare to Him.

This knowledge allows us to make plan, have a vision or ourselves and who we want to be.  It also helps us make the correct decisions to meet our potential.  The plan of God is perfect for everyone.  It is just, and fits every person’s interests.
Thailand is a very interesting place.  I’m not too fond of the heat, or the humidity, but it’s always interesting.  I don’t think a day ever goes by without craziness happening in some form or another.

On Friday we went to go do some un-asked for service at an LA’s house.  I called her husband, he said, “YEAH, the wind blew over some of our racks (for mushrooms), so we could use some help building them again!”
We went to their house/farm and Sister Sue came out, looking confused.  Then we started working, building these bamboo racks.  It took about four hours, but we got one of them done.  There were two left.  Me and Elder Smith left for Lampang right after, and the other two came back the next day to finish.  We had some good response from the service.  She felt way good.  I felt way good.
We all felt way good.  😀  Service is awesome.
There’s one thing about Thailand, though.  They feel EXTREMELY awkward if you try to help them in any way.  Like, I think they feel like, way too afraid of offending people, or feeling like they have to do something back to the person helping them.  When we want to serve people, 90% of people would say, “OOOOH NOOOOOO, I feel bad, don’t come over and help me with some very important things.  It will make me feel like I owe you something!”
Or rather, “Oh, no, I have nothing for you to help with.”

“-_-  Okaaaaaaay.” Says the disappointed Elder.  Next week he rides his bike by the person’s house, to see four paid workers doing what he could have done for free.  SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH

Sometimes we get so bored we just go grab some bags and pick up the plethora of trash in the city.  Service is fun.  I want more service.

That’s it for this week.  I’ll email you bros next week.  Good stuff comin’ up here, man.
Adios, bros,
-Elder Elliot Mayo

Time Traveling

Is essentially what I just did this week.    We had to go to Bangkok on Wednesday for a meeting for people ending their missions soon.  This idea of this meeting was o give us some kind of vision as to where we were going when we go home.  Not just place, but what were were going to be doing.  According to my mission president, a lot of missionaries go home, don’t know what to do with their lives, fall into inactivity, and do nothing with their lives.  I decided a long time ago to not let myself do nothing with my life ever again.  I need to go somewhere.  I made a plan for myself, with goals and vision, ideas and a way to do it, but I realize that it’s not quite done.  I need to embellish it a bit more.
Even with this plan, life will be crazy at times.  Maybe even all the time.  But with God’s guidance I can be at peace.  That being said, my plan will be broken sometimes depending on the circumstances, but the end result will always be the same.
Telling you all my whole plan would be boring.  I’ll just tell you the end result.
I want to have served God in His church, and served His children in high capacity callings to give the most I can.  By the time I die, I want to have served thousands if not millions of people.
This will take planning, sacrifice, and effort.  But I want it to happen.

Anyway, the meeting brought up the way to accomplish my end goal.  Work, school, health, marriage, finances, all that jazz.  It made me think to after my mission.  That’s a good thing!

I’m so glad to be here in KPP.  Some people ask me if I’m getting trunkie, but to be honest, I’m just getting excited for the work more and more.  Being second counselor and a missionary gives me a lot of opportunities to serve.  I get to visit people all the time and try to help them with almost every portion of their lives.  Lately we’ve been picking up the missionary work as well.  Our district has picked up about 5 new investigators this week.  Two siblings, a boy and a girl that live an hour away, and travel 4 hours to Bangkok to go to church there.  Two friends of two members who went to English class.  And an old investigator from a year ago that popped up again.

After we were in Bangkok, we had to go straight to Pitsanulok for zone training.  Me and Elder Smith were pretty tired.  3 hours of sleep the previous day, and only 4 the next.  But we had a good meeting.  I’ve been finding the more I try to be diligent or try to be involved in a meeting, the more I get out of it.  If I think, “Oh, I’m probably gonna fall asleep” I probably will.  But as long as I focus on what I’m doing and try, I find extra strength and do what needs to be done.

I love you guys.  I’ll send a new one next week!
-Elder Elliot Mayo

A 2 year LDS Mission Blog