November 29, 2010
How are you all doing today? I am having an absolutely marvelous time here in RoiEt this week because we have seen so many miracles since Elder Thrap came here to RoiEt. It's so fun to have a companion that is as fantastic as he is. Let me tell the story from the beginning.
First of all, this week was a bit crazy. Tuesday morning Elder Pimsuwan and I were having companionship study when we got a call from President Smith. He said, “Elder Newman I am going to ask you to train again.” I was shocked because I've been in RoiEt for six weeks and I had already trained! Elder Pimsuwan was moving and he joked that he would be going to International with a Thai companion.
We finished up our time together and I thought about what I learned from him. The greatest lesson I learned from him was the power of repentance. He once told me that repentance isn't just about correcting sin but it's also about making the good things in our lives better. We all have challenges in life and we all need to rely on the Lord in order to overcome these challenges, but sometimes we neglect the aspect of repentance from the side of making good things even better. Our desire to press forward and to become more like the Savior is a journey of repentance. In Thai the word for repentance is return heart. I like to think of repentance as us returning to the heart that Christ and Heavenly Father have given us. The new heart that we took upon us as we were baptized. The new heart that we can have every week as we take the sacrament and every day as we keep those sacred covenants of baptism. I know that the Lord wants us to repent. I learned so much from Elder Pimsuwan and I was so grateful to be his companion.
We got packed for moves meeting and Sister Waruni and President Sutheb drove us and the Mahasarakham Elders to Khon Kaen. I love Sister Waruni and President Sutheb. I call Sister Waruni mom and she calls me son. It's so awesome to think that even in a small town in the middle of Thailand there are members like this who sacrifice so much for the Church. They have been members for less than 5 years and he is the branch president and she is in the primary. One of their daughters is learning at BYU Hawaii. Another daughter is not yet a member and is working in Bangkok.
We got to moves meeting after a very unrestful bus ride and I waited for my new companion to come. His name is Elder Thrap! He speaks Thai VERY clearly and is so diligent in everything he does. And Elder Pimsuwan... This is the biggest news for him. He is in International with a Thai companion. Everyone was so shocked at moves meeting. It was the talk of the meeting.
The bus ride back to RoiEt took forever because the bus had a problem with the brakes. But, when we got back everything started going crazy well. It's amazing - I have so many stories from this past week. I don't know if I'll have time to tell them all!
In biggest news - Sister A's husband, Chaang (elephant), is on the track I feel. We taught him yesterday and for the FIRST time since I have been here, he started taking a more active role in the lesson and he prayed for us. He's never accepted the commitment to pray for us. I invited him to pray at the end and he got on his knees and prayed. It was a great lesson where we used 2nd Nephi 32: 8-9 to explain why we must pray, since he hadn't prayed since we met him. And we left him a chapter to read. He's doing really well. His attitude changed SO much since the last time we met him. I think it was the fact we were bold with him and invited him to prepare to be baptized in this short period of time. Please pray that Chaang will progress and that he will feel the power of the gospel in his life. Please pray that Sister A will be a good example and that their son, Khaaw Glawng will also progress!
We also met with Wirayud who is struggling and is having a lot of temptations come into his life at this time. Please pray that he will be able to do those things that are right and realize that he call still progress for baptism. He didn't go to Church yesterday due to an emergency.
As far as for other happenings I will summarize:
1. Meeting adorable families at the public park who we will hopefully get a chance to teach.
2. Meeting a former investigator who attended Church about 20 times.
3. Meeting a potential who was extremely willing for us to go visit him.
4. Meeting someone in the park who had been baptized in another Christian church. He used the word baptism. I was shocked. No time people know that word really because it's a borrowing from English.
This week, I saw how the power of faith, obedience and sacrifice will make our lives holier and how we can see many miracles as we open our eyes. The best option is to choose the right and choose to live after the manner of happiness. That's the way our lives must be. We have challenges but as we work to conquer the giants in our lives, we gain a new perspective and life becomes what it should be - a matter of joy. Sometimes we get too caught up in the things that aren't important. I know that as we focus on the Savior and the things that are important, it is then, and only then, that we can have the peace and happiness that we wish to have.
I love you all dearly and pray for you all daily. Thank you for all you do! It's exciting to train again. This time it's not as stressful - probably cause of the fact that we have a place to live!
Elder Jacob Newman