This last Sunday was the best day ever. First of all, we had lots of people at sacrament meeting, including many who don't typically come to church! We also had a great lesson with our ward mission leader in the Gospel Essentials class. It was WAY funny because we played this name game that everyone loved. My favorite one was a recent convert named Mae Khem (mae=mother). She said for her name which starts with a ก that she enjoys การทำงานของพระเจา! That means the work of the Lord. It made me smile. She is such a funny lady! After that we had a really great lesson from the Joseph Smith manual that was prepared by a member. The Spirit was powerful and the member taught very well. Then there was delicious food as always and finally...
Egg was baptized. As I said earlier, he chose me to baptize him. The day was way good but there were two things that concerned me: the first that I have never baptized anyone and the second that it was in Thai. Both of these facts made me nervous. But in the end it was great! I said the prayer correctly and the Spirit was very strong. Egg bore a wonderful testimony afterwards. (And the Bishop sang a song for him. Our Bishop is a musician.) Then we had a fireside. We had some members do a play. It was awesome. Brother Pxrg and Sister Yog along with Brother Champ and Sister Rose all did a way great job. It went off without a hitch and everyone enjoyed it. So all in all, Church was fantastic this last week.
In Egg's testimony, he talked about how his family didn't really support his decision but that he knew that the things that he was taught were true. He talked about the fact that often in our lives we will stand alone in this decision, but we always know that God and Christ are watching out for us. I am amazed by his faith and trust in God. He now has a goal to be a missionary. He is an amazing man who is sensitive to the things of God.
He is 20 or 21 years old and a student at a school called Ramkhemhaeng University.
In other news, I have some great stories from some of our investigators.
Prayad continues to be a surprise as we work with him and he is gaining faith. We just taught the word of wisdom and he is more than willing to live it. He didn't really have any problem with it. When he prays, it feels like a real two way communication. It's really amazing. If he keeps up at this rate, he will be baptized by the date that we set with him. He really keeps pressing forward.
Lucky is so awesome! He knows EVERYTHING that we teach him and he eats it up. He is so FRIENDLY, too. He loves the members and they love him. He has a great testimony already. He loves Church and he is just good to go. He set a goal to be baptized on January 3rd. We are excited to keep teaching him. Yesterday we taught him and he understands everything.
We have not had a chance to meet with Max this week. He missed his appointment earlier this week but we don't know why exactly. He still is reading and praying and desires baptism. We will keep working with him with Brother Golf.
This week we also went out to dinner with Brother Prxg. He took us to this AWESOME Isaan place that was amazing. We had this whole huge fish with somtum and laab. It was so good. But the best part was that he thanked us for being in Thailand. He shared with us the fact that he appreciated what we were doing. He was a missionary 10 years ago and met President Hinckley when he came to Thailand.
On Tuesday morning our Bishop gave us some delicious Isaan food. He also thanked us for our service. He's so GREAT. He does so much for the ward. He loves all the members of the ward and has a great family. (He has three children: Stamp, Topper, and the youngest, who has the BEST name ever, Princess.) He really is so concerned about the ward and works hard for it.
Basically the members this week were amazing with Elder Shill and Sister Christensen (she will be moving this moves). They all were so grateful and loving to them and showed their appreciation for them.
I am so grateful for the members here in Thailand. The members in Thailand sacrifice so much for their faith. They know that they have a Father in Heaven and a Savior who loves them and they act on this knowledge. Though they are few in number, they know that there are blessings in store for them as they exercise faith in God. And while temptations and trials come, they desire to follow Christ. From Brother Egg's baptism to the example of our Bishop, we see how dedicated people are to the gospel. I have been amazed at the members ever since I got to Thailand. I see people everyday who may not have as much as we have, who may have challenges beyond that which we can imagine but they still act on their faith everyday. My experience with the baptism was another wonderful moment. I will never forget the feeling I had and the feelings Brother Egg expressed. It was an experience to be cherished for a lifetime. I cannot believe the things that I have seen so far and how people change. I cannot believe that a little seed of faith can sprout so quickly. It's an amazing experience.
And the food of Thailand continues to be delicious. Everyday I feel great! I am thin and I feel fantastic.
Alright family, know that I love you all and pray for you daily. I know your prayers help me everyday. Until we "speak" again!
Elder Jacob Newman
p.s. - David- I just remembered that the King's Birthday, a national holiday, is on the Fifth of Next Month. Please advise accordingly.