Keep on Pedaling

“Keep on Pedaling,” New Era, Aug. 2003, 47

From the Field:
Keep on Pedaling

I was disappointed that no one would listen to our message. But when the Spirit encouraged me, I really got going.

One morning while serving in the Thailand Bangkok Mission, I woke up lacking the desire to teach the gospel in my new area. My companion and I were having difficulties keeping our spirits up through the intense heat and the disappointment of uninterested investigators. In Thailand, 90 percent of the time it’s at least 90 degrees outside with at least 90 percent humidity. But as bad as the heat was, we felt worse about not being able to find people to teach the discussions to.

I spent the entire morning pumping myself up to teach my Thai brothers and sisters. Through reading my scriptures, studying with my companion, and praying fervently, I was ready and excited to teach again. As I had been on other days of my mission, I was amazed at how quickly studying and praying helped me regain the desire to teach.

The excitement and renewed strength quickly vanished, though, as every appointment we had that morning fell through. We tried street contacting to make up for the lost appointments, but nobody was interested. After yet another Thai brother turned down our offer to teach him, I looked at my companion only to sense in him exactly what I felt. Our sweat-drenched white shirts and tired bodies showed the dejection we had experienced. Our injured spirits wanted to give up, and I even contemplated taking an early lunch. But the Spirit wouldn’t let me.

Not knowing exactly why, I hopped on my bike and started pedaling as fast as I could. My companion, who probably thought I had lost my sanity, struggled to keep up as I sped down a neighborhood street. I pedaled and pedaled, finally coming to a three-way intersection where a man passed us on his bicycle. I slowed down and began to follow him, approaching his side and asking him how he was and where he was going. My companion caught up just in time to hear the man accept an invitation to hear the first discussion.

The man let us in his air-conditioned room where we taught him the first discussion and challenged him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about our message. Within the week, Amnaad Uanphooklaang had felt the Spirit and committed to be baptized later that month. Elder Wengreen, my companion, baptized Amnaad at the small branch where we served. The branch now had a much-needed potential priesthood holder.

Shortly thereafter, Amnaad introduced us to his boss, Chaanchay Srisawad. We taught Chaanchay the six discussions, and a branch member baptized him the next month.

Several months and two areas later, my mission president allowed me to visit that branch to see Chaanchay baptize his wife. As I watched the baptismal service, I thought about the morning we met Amnaad. I thought about how close we were to giving up and taking an early lunch. I still thank my Heavenly Father for allowing the Spirit to press forward for me when I felt unable to do so myself. I had learned, once again, that God guides His work.

Illustrated by Greg Ragland