November 25, 2009
How are you all? Everything is going splendidly here in Thailand! It is getting a little chilly. (It may have hit the high 70s or 80s the other day.) The humidity doesn't seem as bad and in the words of most members, it is really cold. But it feels pleasant to me! The food continues to be great! Spicy is delicious. I am getting about 7 peppers now which is pretty hot. I am working my way up to 10.
Wednesday night we had the best English class ever! It was way fun. Elder Olinger is way เกง except add a little line over the middle letter (I couldn't find the tone marker on the keybord) (That word means skillful) at teaching English. The students all had a lot of fun. I had fun!
On Friday we taught Prayad, who is doing so well. He is great! I feel like he has faith in God and is willing to do whatever God asks him to do. In fact, teaching him has become so easy! Then we had a great lesson with a new investigator named Ex who is way awesome! He is a Christian but not terribly active in his Church. He is pretty dedicated to learning. He wants to know where the truth can be found.
Saturday was quite the day. We did inviting in the morning and went by to visit Max to see how he was doing. After that, we were invited to Thanksgiving dinner at a member's home. It was WAY good. They live right by the office in Pakkret.. They had turkey, ham, stuffing, and all the trimmings, with three kinds of pies. Needless to say, my body is not really used to "faraang" food so it was a bit much for the stomach. I felt way too full afterwards. But it was good! The mother is a member married to a Thai man who is not a member. They have children who have served missions though. One is going to Cambodia right now. The father owns manufacturing plants in Thailand that make canned fruit and canned vegetables. They have a huge part in the baby corn business. Which everyone knows, might be the most delicious vegetable on the planet.
Sunday morning Elder Olinger had his first interview with an investigator for baptism. She passed and will be baptized this coming Sunday! She's married to an RM who is in the states right now working but she will be here for about a year before she goes back to the states. Then we had a good round of Church here in Thailand. Afterwards we went home teaching with Brother Chaliaow to see Brother Gaeb (Brother Golf's older brother). We were assigned to be Brother C’s home teaching companions so he can see how it is done and then he will be able to do it in the future. It was good to see him. He hasn't been to Church in a while but he was super friendly and I really enjoyed the time visiting with him.
After that we taught Max, who is doing really well. He understands everything like a superstar he just needs support to go to Church and to keep the commandments. I feel like he is a real blessing from heaven.
Zone conference was at our Church on Monday. A bit of stress to set up for but the food was GREAT. It was provided by a member in Din Daeng. She is SO nice and provided us with a great spread. We had Elder Pratt and his wife come to talk.
After that, we had an appointment with Bawb. He is so surprising/shocking to me. He wants us to come and teach his family now? He invited us to visit him to get to know his family. It's all thanks to Elder Olinger who asked him straight out what he wants to get from our visits with him. Then he said he wants Church to be a family affair. We are going to pray that his family will open their hearts. He loves his family so much. He has one child who is almost two years old. So great!
Yesterday we got to see Prayad, Max and Lucky all on the same day. They are all doing great. Lucky was as funny as ever. He might move his baptismal date a little closer but we will have to see. It's so amazing to see how much he loves the gospel. In fact, he gave us a referral the other day because he went up to talk to someone about Jesus Christ and they were interested. Wow! Talk about a member missionary eh?
It's almost Thanksgiving. I want to express my gratitude for all of you who may read this. I am so grateful for my family, who I love with all my heart. I have 6 wonderful siblings, with nieces and nephews who are adorable and awesome in-laws. You are all such a blessing in my life. I am so grateful for your support and your wonderful letters of encouragement. I miss you all. You are such special people and wonderful examples to me. Please remember that I pray for you all often and think of you!
I am grateful for my friends who still support me even though I am a very, very lame correspondent. Thank you so much for all your letters of support and encouragement. They really do help so much!
And I am so grateful to be here in Thailand. I love this wonderful adventure! The food, the scenery are all great but what makes Thailand the best is the opportunity to serve and love the Thai people and to share about Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World with them. I know he is the Savior of the World and this Thanksgiving I give thanks that he took upon him our sorrows along with our transgressions. I know that He feels our pains everyday. He knows us intimately and personally. He is well acquainted with the grief of the world and knows us. Everyday I consider it a privilege to wear His name upon my heart and to show my love for the most wonderful people. I am so grateful that God has allowed me to come here to Bangkapi at this time to help those here come unto Jesus Christ. I know that I was called to Thailand for a purpose. And even when times get trying, I know that God is there beside me. He is my strength and my beacon at this time.
I am grateful for the plan of salvation and that through it families can be together forever. Recently a new convert’s wife passed away unexpectedly. As I reflect upon the frailty of life, I feel so grateful to know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be with those who we love forever and ever. What joy this sentence brings! Through Jesus Christ and His Gospel, families won't be separated. All things that are wrong can be made up through His atonement. And when I say all things, I mean all things. There is nothing that cannot be changed through the atonement. While often God will answer our prayers in ways that we do not expect, the atonement of Christ provides us with power. And strength to press on!
Thailand is a special place with a special people. Thank you again so much for your support. I know that Christ lives and that He is our redeemer. Everyday, every single day, I see how He has changed people's lives. And most obviously, I see how He has changed me. He changes me everyday, making me a better person.
Thank you all again! I love you and send you my blessings. Remember to pray and rely upon our Savior!
Elder Jacob Newman