November 8, 2010
This week seems to have gone by fast. On my birthday, we had district meeting and the Sisters surprised me with a slice of cake from 7-11. Then we taught English and had pizza to finish off the night. It was a good day and it was fun to be with Elder Phimsuwan for my birthday. The mission gives cookies to those who have birthdays at Zone Conferences. I got them at the special training. They were amazingly delicious.
Besides that, this week was pretty normal. We continued to work with our current investigators but some of them were unable to meet with us. Wirayud is doing really well. He still doesn't quite understand why he needs to pray about the Book of Mormon or the restoration which is making me a bit nervous as his baptism approaches here in the next two weeks. I haven't planned a baptism in a long time. The last one I planned was Sister Jiab's in Nongkhai because Ploy's baptism in Chiang Mai took place shortly after I left and in Thonburi our investigators weren't quite to that point.
I feel so grateful to see the change that has taken place in Wirayud. He told us of this change as he expressed his feelings that his relationship in his family has improved. His wife cannot really speak Thai but she has great desires to be baptized. Wirayud is from Chiang Mai and speaks Thai very well even though it's not his native language - his native language is a hill tribe language. Elder Phimsuwan and his companion met them at the public park one day, shortly before it was going to rain. They had had a day that wasn't too great and then they met this really fantastic investigator. God really does watch out for us.
So much in our lives is up to our decisions. That's something I really learned this week. We have a decision if we want to follow Jesus Christ. We have a decision if we want to have happiness in our lives. The Gospel doesn't make decisions for us but it gives us the light and understanding needed to help us make decisions. That's why we love the Gospel - because we know how to make choices that will be the best for us. I really love this opportunity to see the world so clearly. We see people as they really are, not as they seem. We see how the choices we make to do the simple things have such an impact on our lives.
I feel very happy here in Roi Et! I feel very blessed to be here with a good companion with some good investigators. I am grateful that the Lord is teaching me everyday to be a little better. We all have questions. Sometimes God doesn't answer our questions in an instant. Rather, God takes time. And teaches us. I am learning how to learn from God. We all are learning how to learn from Him. The best moments in which we learn are the moments when we admit that we don't understand and ask him to help us understand the things that are happening around us. And then God will open our eyes and help us to see the things that are truly important. God can help us to move mountains in our lives. We, however, have to get the shovel ready and dig. God helps us because He loves us. But we must always remember that we have an obligation to do our part.
I love the Gospel because it gives us such a clear perspective on the ways things are. And the way things should be. Don’t ever let the actions of others around us allow us to lose our perspective. We must remember that the actions of others are unimportant in the grand scheme of life. What is important is our reaction to those actions. We have a decision to do the right thing. The choice is ours.
I love the Lord and I love you all so very much. I pray for you all daily and hope you are all doing well.
Elder Jacob Newman