Today we went bowling for p-day after we ate at Sizzler. It was way fun. We went with Elder Firouzi and his new Thai companion who Elder Shill and I had before moves, Elder Phanuphong.
How is everything going at home? I hope that all is going well. Thailand continues to be the best, as usual. It's been more rainy than usual. Typically the rainy season ends around September but here we are the 21st of October and it still rains. Last night we didn't sleep as well because at three in the morning we heard the loudest crash of lightening I have ever heard in my life. I am pretty sure it was in the field behind our house. But besides that, the weather has been good. Everything has been going well lately! We have had some great things that happened and had fun along the way!
I will buy a new suit in the next two weeks. I have figured that I have lost about 40 pounds since I entered the MTC. I haven't weighed this much in years! It's pretty crazy! I would love to be able to keep it off too! I am eating well and everything and I haven't been sick at all but I guess the diet is better and I am doing a lot of walking!
This is our typical schedule. We wake up at 6:30, study from 8-10:30 ish and then go out and tract or teach for a bit. Then we get lunch. After that we typically have appointments for the rest of the day. We have some regular appointments. Each P-day we teach English from 6:30 to 8. After that we almost always meet with Egg, who is preparing for baptism. We have some other regulars who we meet with, Bawb on Mondays at 8, Prayad on Fridays at 10:00. We also go see Brother Chaliaw on Tuesdays at 6. He's a recent convert. Brother Boon, a member who is working to come back, we usually see sometime in the late afternoon during mid-week. We are back in our apartment by 9:00 or a little later depending on what happens.
I saw Stop and met both his mom and dad! They are all solid and so great. We did switch offs with the zone leaders and I went to Bangkhen to switch off. It was way fun! One of their investigators over there (it's about 20-30 minutes away from Bangkapi if the traffic is good) had their baptismal interview and we shared some scriptures with a recent convert named Brother Bawn บอล, pronounced like bawn sort of. He's Stop's friend and is really awesome. He helped us teach a lesson to a new investigator that the Zone Leaders have and it went well. Then we went to Stop's house to have a service project and family home evening. Stop's mom is SUCH a good cook! It was amazing! And they had jack fruit which, as it turns out, is the best fruit ever. It was fun to meet Stop's dad too who is the new Bishop. The family is so awesome. They are such a blessing to all of Thailand!
There's this 20ish year-old Brother in our ward, Brother Golf, who helped us teach the other day. He brought his friend who, has been introduced to over 20 sets of missionaries but they have never taught him! We agreed to teach him and yesterday we had an amazing lesson with him. He understands SO well and when he prayed at the end it really came from his heart. Golf has introduced him to the Church in the past but this was his first formal meeting with us. He accepted to be baptized! When he prayed, he thanked God that he had had the opportunity to meet with us. And then he got quiet during his prayer. Elder Shill and I both looked up at different times and he was crying along with Brother Golf. He is very ready to learn. Let's pray that he will continue to be so excited! His name is Max. He's a great guy who understands well. The Spirit really touched him.
Prayad came to Stake Conference, which was rebroadcast from Salt Lake. It was great! He and Egg both came. Prayad is really ready and he prays really well! We had a lesson where the Spirit was so strong with him too. He's definitely changing, slowly but surely. He's a great guy and I know he will do great things as we continue to teach him.
I think every day I come to a stronger realization of the following: As children of God, God really does know us one by one. God doesn't know us as a group, He knows us as his child. He knows us so intimately that He knows how to help us, how to help those around us. I have no doubt that miracles happen everyday here in Thailand. God knows His children everywhere. Everyday is a continued testimony of that to me. As I consider this, I don’t understand it, but it is something that I have come to see so clearly here. I have also become very much convinced of the specialness of the Thai people. They are amazing people. They really are. They are so patient with us and the language and really do love others despite their differences. There are people prepared to accept the gospel and to serve our Father in Heaven. Conversion isn't something that takes place in an instant and the changes are slow but the changes are extraordinary nonetheless. I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be here in Thailand with a language that is so communicative, a people that love one another, and a culture that is so beautiful. I come to love Thailand even more everyday. And while often we face rejection and disappointments when things don't work out as we plan, I have no doubt that everything will work together for our good. Of course I sound naive but I really believe that.
Elder Shill is still fantastic. I will miss him so much when he goes home! He's a great guy and has helped me out so much with everything. He leaves on the next moves day which is 23 days from today. He is going to BYU for sure however so it sounds like we will probably meet again soon.
Please let my friends know that I haven't forgotten them. If I don't write, it's not because I don't care. =). I love you all deeply. Your prayers help. May God bless you all! Thailand is the best!
Elder Jacob Newman