“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