April 25, 2011
So talk about a crazy and confusing week! Last night I traveled to Bangkok to renew my visa. We took NakhonChai Air first class to Bangkok. Imagine going first class on an airplane but actually being on a bus. The “flight” attendants wear traditional/stereotypical flight attendant uniforms. They gave us drinks (I had hot Ovaltine which is huge here in Thailand) and then they gave us sandwiches and fruit. The seats were extremely comfortable but to say that I slept 2 hours is an overstatement. So if this email sounds a bit non sequitur, I’m sorry. I am simply so tired. We will probably just take it easy here in Bangkok before we leave to go back.
I saw Elder Seymour today as we went to renew our visas. He is always so loving and I am grateful for his special friendship. We have a lot of memories together that I will never forget.
This week my companion and the Thai Zone Leader went to work in Burriram at the request of the AP’s. While they were gone, Elder Harris and I had a delightful exchanges where we were totally rained on and had lots of canceled appointments. But in the end we taught with a really funny member named Sister Noy who talks very loudly and is super funny.
We also had a really cool experience as we taught a young 19 year old off the invite. His name is Van and at first he wasn't super interested. Then we talked and we perked up his interest and we prayed. He didn't show anything at first but then we talked and evaluated why he didn't feel anything. Then he prayed for us and he asked if God was there. He received an answer on the spot and was grinning from ear to ear. His schedule is a bit confusing and we haven't gone to see him again but Elder Harris and Elder Charit should get a chance again.
I went to Yasothon this week with Elder Grover. We taught a cute little family named Theb (angel) and Joy. They are Christians but are struggling to accept certain aspects of the Church - mainly the Word of Wisdom and the Book of Mormon. They are a good couple though and they continue to go to Church regularly. Elder Grover is a great guy - humble, hard working and loving. He's been a great blessing for Yasothon. We had some good times as I explored one of the smallest areas in the mission. Elder Grover's really dedicated and wants to help Yasothon a lot.
In other happenings this week, Bunmii and Sanya are doing great! They are going to be baptized this Sunday by President Had. The both passed their interviews.
Yesterday we also met Sister Grxsanna at Church. She had the best news of the week - her husband gave her permission to be baptized for real this time. After a setback with coffee and her husband's indifference, she received permission and will be baptized this weekend also! She was so excited.
With all the changes in the future, that leaves us with very few investigators but I am confident we can find. Rag is still struggling to overcome his alcohol addiction but he is trying so hard. I have rarely met investigators who are as dedicated as he is. He is determined to be baptized and to make his life better. We went to pick him up for Church but we couldn't find him so we had to go.
It's weird to think that this Mother's Day is the last time I’ll talk on the phone with you from Thailand. I am going to miss Thailand so much. I will miss things like glass bottles, hospital uniforms, fruit carts, dentist clinics, Thai fast food, drinking water with a straw always, sitting on traditional Thai mats, eating from a sticky rice holder, waing people and everything in between. But I know that my time in Thailand will always have a special place in my heart. I am different. Besides weighing 50 pounds less, I am not quite the same person. I am Thai-ified.
I am grateful for the Thai people whom I love so deeply. They are so funny, loving, caring and just amazing people. When we love those who we serve and pray for that charity we will remember the Charity of our Savior in giving his life for us. I am so grateful for His sacrifice and for its infinite power in our lives. Easter is a special time. May we all remember to thank our Father in Heaven for the gift of his Son. I know that he lives and loves us. Let us live our lives in a way that we always would be comfortable standing in the presence of the Savior. I love the work and I am excited for another week to come with another trip to Yasothon. I love you all.
Love you all lots!
Elder Jacob Newman