January 31, 2011
This week was crazy. We had major trainings in Roi Et during the middle of the week. Some other things that came up in the week were a last minute baptism program that had several mistakes, a baptism, Elder Thrap on exchanges, some crazy changes with investigators and a stressful time at Church.
Anyway, so I like to use the word stress a lot. Stress comes from hurry I guess. I feel in a hurry to make the last bit of my time in Thailand the best time possible. I only get to do this once and who knows when I'll be back in Thailand. Leaving Thailand will be very hard.
Brother Wirayud is doing well. This weekend he went to Chiang Mai for an election that's super important. He's in a different district from the city of Chiang Mai but in the same province. It’s a place called Chiang Daaw. He is a great guy and wants his father to also join the Church. His mother who recently died was Christian in Chiang Daaw but his father is still Buddhist. He, like most Thai tribal people of that generation, cannot read Thai but can speak Thai somewhat.
So this week! Nxng was baptized. He interviewed with Elder Ritchie on Friday night and then passed and we planned his baptism on Saturday. (Brother Ball showed up at Church too. He's Nxng's friend from Amway.) Anyway, he did a great job and he has a good testimony. He was baptized along with the granddaughter of a member whose parents are both members. Her grandma and grandpa are temple endowed and sealed. Nxng has a really interesting experience. He's been an investigator on and off for a long, long time. But he's doing really well and he's keeping the commandments. He has a desire to follow Christ and to be a good example. We are now going to be trying to work with his family to open their hearts more. They live in a neighborhood that is very frequently proselytized
Church was a stressful yesterday. Let's just say a sacrament meeting with talks about the Spirit World, the gathering of Israel and signs of the second coming might be just a little intense. Some of our investigators are struggling to come to Church - Manob was too cold/didn't wake up on time - we aren't sure if that's what really happened or if it's something else. Phaybuun had a bit of an emergency with a close relative who's arm started swelling after taking the cast off. And then Art, a new investigator from English class didn't show up either. But Chaysid and Nxng both showed up. So this week we are going to be working on helping our investigators get to Church.
Elder Thrap went on exchanges since we had the MTC new curriculum trainings in Roi Et. He was with Elder Heftel and Elder Grover.It sounds like they had some funny experiences on their exchanges. (I, on the other hand, was in trainings all week about the MTC new curriculum.) They had a great time and taught a lot of lessons. They also taught Brother Chaang who continues to do well, attending all three hours and enjoying Church even if he looks bored sometimes. Most of the time he has to come straight from work but he wears a white shirt and a tie every week. Brother Chaang is a champ. He's a miracle and he will do great things for the Church in Roi Et. Sister A is so active now with him, they are such a wonderful family with Khaaw Glawng and Khaaw Faang. Khaaw Glawng wears his cute little tie. Khaaw Faang passes the sacrament. It's such a great picture of an upper-middle class Thai Mormon family.
All is going well. That doesn't mean that it's perfect but when you have an investigator who identifies himself to Heavenly Father, when you meet people who are interested or when you simply try your best, that's the best feeling of them all. I love this opportunity to be a missionary. A mission isn't the easiest thing you will do; you will face challenges that you never thought you would. The path will have pot holes and dips. But we press on, with steadfast faith in Christ. And so we press forward.
I pray for you all daily. Love you lots,
Elder Jacob Newman