Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All Is Swell!

All is Swell!


Dear Family!

I hope and pray that all is going well. It's crazy to think that I have already been out of the USA seven weeks and that this week is going to be "moves meeting." It seems like yesterday we got here. How the time has flown already! I guess time flies when you are having fun. And in the best place on earth! Seriously. Thailand is the best! Everyday is like a new adventure for me. We meet so many great people, the culture is so fascinating and beautiful and everything is just so great.

Also tell my friends who have sent me mail that, A) I am a terrible correspondent and B) I am trying to get back to them as soon as I can. I haven't forgotten them there just isn't enough time. But I will get to them!

It's been a crazy past week. We have had the Thai missionary and we also have had a missionary who came here to renew his visa. It's been a pretty fun time. Speaking Thai all the time is a bit exhausting but good practice. My comprehension has really improved this week. There are some people that I can understand perfectly now but there are others that are still particularly hard to understand. I think since we only really teach men, women are somewhat harder to understand. But that is getting better by the day. I think most Thai people are confused as to why we even speak Thai at all. People tend to think we are exchange students because of how we dress. It’s the way most university students dress. The Thai people are so kind and friendly in their interaction with us. And we are having a great time.

Yesterday we did switch-offs since we had four elders here. We visited a LOT of less actives/recent converts. Elder Anderson, who is a branch president north of Bangkok, used to be here in Bangkapi so he knows the area really well. He was here about one year ago. We saw some people that he knew here and he knew all the people we taught except for Brother Chaliaw who was baptized when Elder Shill was here and Boon and his nephew Mii who just started going to Church. So, yesterday was pretty fun. A little stressful for me to lead lessons since I don't feel super confident doing that yet with the language. But a nice stretch of one's capacities always proves to be a good thing. It was fun even if I was a bit worried about it!

On Thursday of last week, we went and got our new companion at the Mission Office. (There are eight Thai missionaries who just got here from the Phillipines). And today we will be dropping him off again.

Saturday we had another good day. It was Elder Shill's birthday, but we didn't get to do anything for it because we didn't have time that day. We went and taught a guy named An. He said he's not quite ready to pray and would give us a call when he was ready.

Sunday we had a Fireside about missionary work that we had spent most of our week preparing. It went pretty well. We gave everyone a picture of the Bangkok sky scene with a temple superimposed over it. They loved it. The fireside was about having vision to help the Church grow in Thailand and using that vision to make action happen.

Monday we taught a less active member named Brother Tommy. He hasn't come to Church in a long time and needs some refreshing on doctrine but he's a good guy with a good heart. We also went to dinner with an RM in our ward. He took us to Sizzler. It's way better here than it is in America. The salad buffet was Thai-ish. Then we taught one of our investigators who is preparing for baptism named Bawb. He's doing pretty well. I think slowly but surely, he is gaining faith in Jesus Christ. It's quite a transformation to see. Even though it's slow and steady, it's amazing. People’s lives really do change. As they come to see the power of Jesus Christ, they feel of His love that transcends the physical realm. Earlier that day we also met a guy from the Philippines who I noticed was speaking English with his daughter at the bus stop. We got an appointment with him. Elder Shill and our Thai companion went to see him yesterday and are now going to hand him over to the international elders to teach.

Yesterday we went to renew Elder Shill's visa and pick up Elder Anderson. I got to see some of the people from my group at the MTC which was way fun. I got to see Elder Holt who is in Lopburi. He's such a great guy! And he's doing really well.

It's really amazing to see how people change when they are baptized. I can't really fully express it but it is something that I have definitely seen here in Thailand. People who come unto Christ are not the same. They change and they act to change. They have testimonies despite pressures around them. They come to Church. They serve in callings. They work to do the best they can. And someday Thailand will be even stronger!

I hope everyone is doing well. I love Thailand a lot. Everyday reminds of how important it is to be humble to speak this language and to be able to understand people and their needs. And while I can't speak Thai anywhere near perfect I have been so grateful for the divine help with it. I feel it everyday as I pray for help. And I know that God has helped me throughout my time here in Thailand. My love for Thai culture and people grows everyday as I see them on the street, as I talk and laugh with them. Everyday I count my blessings that I have been called to this magical land where some of the best people in the world live. I am grateful for the growth that I have experienced while I have been here. I have come to see the things that really matter, not the things that seem to matter. The things that seem to matter will fade but the things that really matter are eternal. I have seen how God has power to mend all wounds and to heal all people. I think of the Cherie Call song that says, “God will mend the broken branches of the family tree, keep his watchful eye on every tiny leaf.” God really does watch out for us and we see miracles when we look for them. We see miracles when we strive to draw closer to our Savior. We see miracles when we do things we thought we couldn't do. I am grateful for all of these things that are happening with us here in Thailand. It's such a blessing for me to be here and I am so grateful for the sacrifice of people who help me to be here.

Alright family, I love you all.

With Love,

Elder Jacob Newman

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Over a Month in Thailand

Dearest Family,


The Thailand joy continues as we continue to press forward and enjoy ourselves as much as possible! The food continues to be wonderful; the people are still as warm and as loving as ever. And Thai. What a joy Thai really is! Everyday it's so much fun to speak Thai and to hear people speaking Thai. Sometimes it's still way confusing as to what people are saying/doing, but that's the best part of it all. I feel much more confident in speaking and understanding than I thought I would at this point so that is definitely a blessing from above. And while far from the point where I would like to be, I am working hard everyday to get to the point where I want to be. Some days it comes easier than others, that's for sure. But the language is beautiful and so fun.
And Thai is just so fascinating.

My new fascination for this week is the use of Thai prounouns. The Thais have a very complex prounoun system that is very respectful and beautiful. So for example when talking to people we will mostly call them Phii (which means like brother/sister sort of... except in the Church sense then we just call them Brother and Sister but with a Thai accent). But for people who are much older than us we call them like Father or Mother (I love the pronoun for Mother and say it all the time.) and sometimes grandmother and grandfather. And for younger children we call them nawng which is also like younger brother/sister. Also people will refer to themselves (mostly women) by their first name as a pronoun rather than the typical gendered pronouns. I really love that because it shows the intricate workings of Thai culture and society. Also the pronoun system used in prayers shows the intricate system of Thai belief. When addressing God or the King different prounouns for I and we are used to express the idea that one is talking to God or a king. It's such a beautiful language! Seriously. Everyday. Love it.

In other news, I will be having a luug (child) soon! As in tomorrow. Let me explain. In Thailand they call greenies children and trainers fathers or mothers. But we are going to have a Thai missionary here in Bangkapi for next week only before moves because he needs a place to stay before moves. So technically he will be my luug also in a strange sense. The Thai native missionaries go to the MTC in the Phillipines and then come here so that's why they are coming at an odd time because they already know Thai. And all missionaries in Bangkok go to moves meeting. Oh and I forgot to tell you that we get mail every week on P-day. Just in case that wasn't clear. Anyway some answers and then some experiences!

On Saturday, we went to the wedding reception at our building. It was much longer than anticipated but it was really fun. It was a wedding for a very strong Sister named Sister Daaw and her husband who is a branch president in someplace about an hour away from Bankgapi. They got married in the Hong Kong temple and then had a reception at the Church. Seriously. So much food! And it was wonderful! That's where I saw Stop and he told me that his Dad has been called to be a bishop in Asoke. Dang! I was so excited about that. It was so good to see Stop too. He's way funny. And he's so skilled at English. Seriously, he's a great guy. And he has a great testimony. He will make a great missionary someday soon!

I have done many musical numbers. But it's all good fun. The music is a great way to communicate love for Christ. Last week we sang where can I turn for peace in church. In Thai it's way pretty. Thai translations are always way fun and give more meaning to the songs.

Elder Shill lets me talk! He's great that way. Even though it's still a struggle to say exactly what I want I love it. Teaching is fun even if it is stressful sometimes. It's great like that. Today I will be teaching English by myself since we split up the rooms. I will be teaching basic rather than advanced. It should be really fun though. Stressful but fun!

Anyway, updates on what's been going on. We are still teaching Brother Egg. It's just a matter of time with him and it's his timetable when, rather than if, he gets baptized. He has been learning for about a year. He has a great testimony and speaks so clearly, I love it. It's crazy how well I understand him, I don't really get how I can understand him as well as I can. It's a miracle for sure.

We have another investigator who is getting ready for baptism called Bawb. He's doing well and he's opened up a lot. At first, he was so nervous with us but now he's really opening up. Our last lesson with him went pretty well. We taught the plan of salvation. It went pretty well. That day was a bit frazzling but we managed to do it. It was great but for some reason we were having the hardest time speaking clear Thai that night, both me and Elder Shill. It was crazy. But it went well.

We have another new investigator named Decha who is very interested. He attended Sister Daaw's wedding and will be meeting with us today. He's so nice and really genuine. I hope that goes really well.

We also taught Ton (That's a really poor romanization of his name) and he was great. We met him at English awhile back and have only met with him twice but every time we meet with him it goes so well! I was the one who actually originally talked to him at English so it's crazy to see him and his desire and to see his progression. He's a great guy but hard to meet with since he plays soccer everyday almost. But he is genuinely interested. It's such a sweet experience to see people change. Even though we may not be able to understand the language all the time, when you look in people's eyes you can really see into their souls. It's an amazing experience.

This last week we also saw an awesome less active member named Brother Dang. He's so funny! He speaks really quickly and I can understand only bits and pieces of what he says but when I do, it's way funny. His wife and daughter are both pretty active but he has been struggling a little bit. But he has such a sweet, good heart. He also loves to smile. There is nothing in the world that can compare to the real Thai smile. I love it. It's so warm and friendly and emulates the love of God, really.

This Sunday we will be having a fireside that will be talking about getting the temple to Thailand (sort of) but it's mostly about involving members with missionary work. It's going to be great. Our Bishop here in Bangkapi is such a great bishop! He really supports us and gets so excited about everything, he's a great guy. He really keeps the ward going strong! This fireside will be a great pump-up for the members who already do a lot to help us.

Speaking of which, the patriarch here in Thailand is still the blind man! He's in the ward where Elder McConkie is serving. I found out because a member of our ward went to get his blessing from him. How amazing he must be!

Oh, more news! The name of the Church is changing and the Church is getting a new translation of the Book of Mormon and D and C in, get this, a triple(!) early next year! The new name of the Church is SO slightly different that I am not even sure how it really even changes the meaning. The new name reflects purity of heart, however, from what I understand. So they will be changing that name soon. They also retranslated a bunch of Church vocabulary to reflect new meanings and to be more precise translations. Some notable changes include the sacrament prayers and the articles of faith along with the names of the kingdoms of glory and other key terms. It will be interesting to see the changes and if they will be reflected in the next general conference, which is coming up way faster than I ever thought it would. The time in Thailand flies by here.

More great food everyday. Yesterday we went to a Korean barbeque kind of place that was Thai-izized. It was way good. I got to try all the Thai desserts and have mango and this other way good fruit with sticky rice. It was amazing. Everyday the food is still just amazing. Love it.

Elder Shill is so great. We have a TON of fun together and we really have done some great things for the area. We have turned the area around according to him. We are finding some great people and doing some really good work. Even when we get ditched out on appointments, we still have such a great time. It's so much fun! He keeps things positive and has a great love and charity for the Thai people. We work hard and it's seriously is the most fun ever. Even when we are exhausted, it's awesome. I will miss him a LOT when he goes back to America next moves!

Anyway, I have had away good week full of help from above with the language and all kinds of faith affirming experiences. I love the fact that Thailand is Thailand. Everyday I look around and see some of the best people I have ever met. I see my brothers and sisters and I see a people who are so loving and care and genuine. I see a culture that values family and love. I am so grateful for the opportunity to help the Thai people everyday and to strengthen them. I am grateful for their language which, hard as it is, is the most beautiful language on the earth! And I am grateful for the members of the Church here who have sacrificed so much to be members.

I have a testimony that God lives because I see how He changes the Thai people everyday. I see how their testimonies of the gospel, despite the opposition they face, move them forward. I see how Jesus Christ has also changed the lives of Thai people. I have a very strong testimony of the power of His atonement. That it provides a chance for the whole human family to change. It provides a chance for us to grow and learn and change our lives. Whenever we talk about the atonement, I think of how it has changed my life and I love seeing how it changes Thai people. There is something so amazing about sharing the power of the atonement, the power of prayer, the power of the restoration. It changes people. It awakens something within them that cannot be expressed. Light enters their lives and they begin to recognize God's presence. And since I have been in Thailand, I have come to see that while I cannot speak the language perfectly or understand the culture perfectly, as I try my hardest, there are people who will listen. There is a reason I am here in Thailand. Everyday when we teach, I reflect upon this and see how since I have been here how everyday is a witness that I am supposed to be here in Thailand right now. I am so grateful for this opportunity to teach the Thai people. I feel so blessed to know them. Their language, culture, food, and of course the people are things that I never knew I could love as much as I do. And I see how one day, the Gospel in Thailand will flourish beyond what I can imagine at this point.

Alright family,

I love you all and pray for you daily. I ask for your prayers also. God bless you all. I love you all so much!

Elder Jacob Newman

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sizzlers in Thailand?


Dear Beloved Family,
Another glorious week in Thailand of hard work, joy and all the things that I love about Thailand. The land of smiles lives up to its name everyday. People smile everywhere. And they smile when you smile at them. They are so kind and gentle and loving. And the food continues to be the best. Seriously. You guys just got a taste of it with Brother Saakha! I haven't had anything that I haven't liked so far. Today I had some great papaya salad with sticky rice at Tesco Lotus (does that sound familiar? it apparently started in England. They are ALL OVER Thailand! They are like the Wall Mart of Thailand). The other day I had some pad thai on the street that was delicious also
Was everyone aware that there are Sizzlers in Thailand? We went to this place called the Mall Bangapi shortly after I got here and I saw it and I was VERY confused. But it turns out there are Sizzlers in Thailand. They are what the Thais call "High So (society)" because they are kind of expensive by Thai standards. Several hundred baht if I remember correctly. We haven't been yet but we might get a chance to go one of these days. We will have to see how things go.

Anyway, sorry I haven't managed to get home any pictures yet. I will try to get lots this next week with Elder Shil and I. I want you guys to be able to see the chapel and the apartment and of course Elder Shill. We can't take photos while we are proselytizing so it's harder to get pictures taken. But I will be sure to get some ready for you guys next week. That's so awesome that Elder Holt sent home some pictures along with some of the others. Elder Holt is in Lopburi with all the monkeys! I saw him at zone conference and he showed me the picture of him giving a pass along card to the monkeys. St. Francis of Assisi anyone?

I was so excited to hear about Bro. Saakha. Isn't he awesome? He is seriously so funny. The food I bet was amazing too. And I am so glad that the kids liked it. Bro Saakha chose some good dishes. You should ask him for some recipes for some Isaan food. That's what I have really taken a liking to here. In fact my first night with Elder Shill we had the most delicious meat that's a traditional Isaan dish. It's pork's throat with sticky rice. It was SO good. ลาบ is also way good. I think that's how it's spelled. Sticky rice+Isaan food=manna I think. It's seriously so great. I knew the kids would love him. He's going into special education and it's just perfect for him.

The Church does own land that could possible be used for a temple in the heart of Bangkok. I can't spell it in romanized or Thai though. It's the heart of Bangkok like I said.

We have taken to riding buses more to save money mission wide. That's always an adventure. Thai buses are a little terrifying sometimes but they do get us from place to place. We ride ocassionally but it's more effective to not ride bikes in Bangkok.

So anyway. Onto the week. We saw a lot of good things this week. Despite rumors, we do teach in Thailand. We actually teach quite a bit.

On Thursday we taught a less active uncle and his nephew who haven't been to Church in Bangkapi since they moved from Ubon. We taught them and they came to Church this Sunday. They are both great. A little nervous about the new ward, which is to be expected, but they are great!

On Friday we got a chance to teach a recent convert named Brother Champ (everyone goes by Brother/ Sister and their first name). He's a great guy. He's about our age and joined the Church not too long ago but before Elder Shill or Elder Shill's old companion was here. We also taught a lawyer named Sha(r)p. He's a pretty nice guy and liked what we had to say. We will hopefully be able to meet with him again.

Saturday we got to teach a guy named Prayad. It was a way good lesson and he's doing well. Sunday we were surprised when Brother เอก didn't show up at Church. He had told his parents about his decision to most likely be baptized. It was a hard thing to tell his parents. But he's still doing well. He loved that Elder Holland that we gave him two weeks ago about None Were With Him. Good talk. Very powerful and worked perfectly for him. We also taught our other investigator who's getting closer to baptism named ปอป. He's doing pretty well. He meets with us often and on time. He is gaining faith by the day.

We have also been working on getting more people to English so we can divide the classrooms into basic and advanced. We found a place two weeks ago that would make us these really nice and big signs for 400 baht for two. It was a great deal and they did a great job. We are getting a lot of calls on them! So that should hopefully start to pick up!

Yesterday we taught a Christian who we randomly met getting into a taxi. He's a great guy. He's name is Lxxd (xx= a Thai vowel that has no English equivalent). He will maybe be coming to Church this week. We went for interviews at the mission office. It took a long time but it was pretty good. President Smith is a great guy. I also saw that the mission will be getting a lot of native missionaries in the next couple of moves. Boy how time flies already.

The language is still coming along and it gets a little better everyday. With lots of prayers and faith it gets easier to listen and to talk. I haven't apparently made any tonal mistakes that are too disatrous yet. Vowel mistakes still happen sometimes. You have to be really careful with Thai vowels. But it's still coming. People say I am doing well. I really hope so. I really hope so! =)

How's everyone else doing? Please let all my friends know that I do get all their letters but I haven't had time to write back yet. Tell them that I haven't forgotten about them but that they are still all so great and that I send my love to all of them! The Dear Elders get here pretty fast too. Tell them that their letters bring joy.

Anyway, Thailand is such a spiritually uplifting experiencing everyday. I find myself able to do things that I never thought possible. I find that strength comes when I need it. That words come when I need them. And the people are wonderful. The ward is great. The Thai saints touch my heart everyday. I love everything about Thailand and it brings me such happiness to be here. Everyday I wake up and consider myself lucky that I have been called to be here in Thailand. I love the people, I love testifying of the power of the atonement everyday. I love seeing the change that people have undergone as they have accepted his power in their life!

Furthermore, people can speak that crazy language that Bro. Saakha prayed in! Sometimes I am amazed that we can speak let alone read it! My reading is improving also by the way. That's a BIG blessing.

I love you all and pray for you daily. May God be with you this week! God bless and with love,

Elder Jacob Newman

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thailand Joy and Understanding Thai

Thailand Joy and Understanding Thai!

Sawat Dee Krab Family!

I hope that all is well with all of you and that you are all doing splendidly. I am so grateful for all of your support and all the great letters. It's always a treat to get to hear from you everyweek and to get a chance to hear how everyone is doing! It's so crazy to think that we are 8,000 miles away from each other! It's really crazy to also think of the time difference. When I was sitting in Church this fast and testimony meeting, it was still Saturday for you guys! But the differences are good things. Thailand is such a magical place; that's really the only way to describe it. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am actually here because it seems so surreal at times. From the language to the food to the people, it's like a dream almost. Here are some things that I noticed about Thailand that I thought you guys would like to hear about.

There are 7-11s LITERALLY EVERYWHERE in Bangkok. I was driving in a taxi one day sitting in the back and seeing how far it was between each 7. The most I counted, in seconds was 40, the least was 2. The average was probably 10. Seriously. Everywhere! And they all do well. I don't really understand how that works but it's really fascinating. Not to mention convenient!

Thai is coming along really well. This past week, it's like my comprehension shot up. It's still really hard but I keep telling my companion that everyone is speaking "much more chad (clearly)". But he says that they don't really speak any clearer I just understand a lot better. In fact I got into a discussion with a taxi driver about the Buddhist belief about God that was really interesting and I understood him. It was crazy!

Thailand also has food everyplace. Literally. And fruit everywhere too! Yesterday we had switch-offs with the zone leaders and it was glorious fun. We got fruit since we weren't that hungry and it was amazing! It was oranges that were honestly the sweetest oranges that I have ever had. They also have pomegranates here. I haven't tried them yet but I will be sure to do so. They also have pineapple. Pineapple in America does NOT taste the same. Pineapple in Thailand, as it turns out, is sweet? What in the world? How does that happen? And seriously the food is so delicious. I don't know if I can emphasize that quite enough. Seriously so amazing! And Isaan food it turns out is delicious beyond belief. Sticky rice, in the words of Elise, might be manna. Let me rephrase that, it is manna!

Fast and testimony meeting was very good. It feels like America but not really for some reason. It's hard to fast in Thailand because of the heat. But it was good. But it also melted my abilities of comprehension of the Thai language. Hopefully that will improve as I have a long time to get used to it! There's such an odd feeling about having an understanding of a language that's good but not quite to the point where you can understand. Sometimes I will understand perfectly, other times, less so. Most times I can understand better than I thought I could. It's shocking sometimes.

I get to play the piano sometimes. Not for meetings but we will be doing a special musical number this Sunday. Make that two actually. One of the sisters’ investigators wanted me to give a solo but we got her to let us all give a missionary special number. I forgot to mention that we have 3 sisters in our district- which is very unusual- and then me and Elder Shill.

Healthy indeed! The weather is not too bad really and the rain is awesome! Last night we were teaching a recent convert named Brother Chillio and it started to rain like cats and dogs! It was crazy! Luckily Brother let us borrow a huge umbrella. It reminds me of a time two weeks ago when we got caught in the rain after English. I have never been that wet from rain in my life. The Thai people do NOT go out in the rain. Ever. Ever. Ever.

Umm..... I should probably use sunscreen more but yesterday was the first day I actually got sunburnt. My nose is looking a little clownish and my forehead too but besides that I am looking good.

We ride bikes only ocassionaly. They are so hard to ride here in Bangkok because of the sheer number of cars. Some other areas ride them all the time but here we don't. It also depends on the missionary. Elder Shill thinks it's better to ride them in the country and here it's better to just walk and talk to people. I tend to think it's the best option. Also you get to talk to your companion more and get to know them better.

Elder Shill is awesome. He didn't attend college but I think he will be going to BYU starting Winter Semester. He's a way nice guy and we get along very well!

This week was a great week! Thailand of course is still the most awesome place on the face of the earth. We taught one of our progressing investigators this week who has been learning with the Elders for about a year. He really wants to get baptized but his parents don't fully approve. His name is Brother เอก. (Eg). He's about 20ish and has a great testimony. He's doing really well. Another investigator we taught was ป๊อป (Bawb.... sort of.....) He's a good investigator also. He actually has a baptisimal date. On switch-offs Elder McBride, one of the zone leaders, and I didn't have much luck finding anyone new to teach despite our best efforts. But Elder Shill and Elder Day found many people. The rejection from Thai people isn't really rejection, it's so gentle and kind. When Thai people aren't interested they mostly just smile and say thank you but no thank you. They are all so generous and kind and so wonderful! I really love them so much. Not to mention funny. Thai people are hillarious. There's this brother in our ward who is seriously the funniest man I have ever met. He speaks English really well and speaks Thai SO fast but so clearly that I can understand him pretty well. He loves to use Engilsh words in the middle of Thai sentences. So he will be go along in Thai and throw in an English word. It's so awesome. Huge fan.

Thailand is just so fun! Of course being a missionary is hard work and exhausting but it's so amazing to see the genuine changes that people undergo as they see how Jesus Christ can change their lives. I see it everyday in one form or another. Miracles happen everyday and they are all around us. We just have to be willing to look for them. And we definitely see them everyday in Thailand. This place is so special to me and will always be. Seriously besides the fact that it's the most fun I've ever had, it's also the most faith affirming experience ever too.

This last week I went to the tallest buildling in Thailand. It was really fun. They had a sweet buffet that had all kinds of yummy food! And to see the extent of Bangkok is INSANE. Bangkok is HUGE. I don't think we have any comphrehension even as people who live here how big it is. I got some pictures that I will hopefully get organized and be able to send home soon. Thailand is like one giant picture really though. There are temples everywhere. They are so pretty. Next week we will probably go to one of them that's really near our house.

Oh, finally, the street system in Thailand. Here's how it works. Major streets (we live on one called Nawamin) break off into things call soys (poor Romanization), evens on one side and odds on the other side. Soys breaks down further into something that I can't remember the name of. The soys are not trafficked at all hardly unless they are a REALLY major soy.

Anyway, I think that's about it for today. The Thai is coming, the teaching comes as I put my trust in God and everything is going great. Seriously if I could express my love for Thailand I would. People reading this probably think I am obsessed but it's seriously so awesome! Everyday is like a new adventure and a new opportunity to understand and to help people. And today we get a chance to teach English. It's actually way fun. Hard to keep it fun sometimes but still awesome.

Alright, I'm out. Love you all so much. Praying for you everyday. Thanks for your support, I miss you all!

With Khwaamrag! (Love)
Elder Jacob Newman

Sawat Dee Family


Sawat Dee Family!

So I don't have time to answer the questions from your last email because I just lost an entire email that I wrote. Needless to say that was VERY frustrating. And now I only have like two minutes left. But besides that all is going well. We aren't in the best place to write emails, there's a lot of noise but everything is going very well!

Thailand is of course as fantastic as ever. We are teaching quite a few people and they are progressing. The work is very hard but it progresses as we learn to exercise faith and learn to understand the Thai people better. That's the thing that's the best part of Thailand; the people. They are so kind and loving and generous. They have a true love for one another. And while sometimes they may not be interested in hearing about the Gospel they are not people to belittle another's beliefs. The members, however are fantastic people who have sacrificed much to be members of the Church. Many are first generation members, the only members in their family, or similar situation. Many have spouses that are not members. But they still come to Church and have such wonderful testimonies. I can't wait for fast and testimony meeting this Sunday!

Zone Conference was fantastic. President Smith and Sister Smith are both so great. They have a real love for the Thai people. The conference was about vision for Thailand and where we want to see Thailand go as far as the spreading of the Gospel is concerned. President Smith said that he had no idea that the 17 year old boy that he was teaching would become the stake president today! That's an amazing story that has come full circle. The SPs daughter will be teaching the new Thai missionaries at the Manila MTC.

The food is still fantastic of course. I love every bit of it. And I have yet to get sick. So thank you so much for your prayers in that regard! I know that they have helped immensely!

And Thailand is as beautiful as ever. We are teaching some great people and we have some wonderful investigators. We have seen miracles. I will try to write more next week when I have more time. Thailand is as wonderful as ever! I love being here with all my heart and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to share about Jesus Christ for a short time here to help the Thai people come to know Him and of His power to change their lives.

Tell my friends I have gotten all their mail and that I also got the Dear Elders.

I love Thailand and love you all so much!


Elder Jacob Newman