May 2, 2011
This week I am not quite as tired. Although, I do feel really fat today! Yesterday a member made dinner for all of us missionaries - to say it was incredible would be an understatement. She made waterfall pork with sticky rice and something called tom kha kai - a chicken/coconut milk soup that was amazing. It actually was her birthday also, so we had cake - I had the bai toey cake. Bai toey is a very unique Thai flavor that they use to make a green custard that I love. Whenever I think of Thailand, I will think of the taste of bai toey, the sweat on my brow everyday, the smell of humidity and the heat of the sun. There are many emotions associated with Thailand. Flavors, smells, feelings, all wrapped into a giant ball that is Thailand.
This past week there were some really good things that happened. Brother Sanya and Sister Bunmii were baptized. They are referrals from President Had. They are a cute little couple - he gave up alcohol in a short period of time and it really helped their family a lot. They came to Church from a place that is about 60 kilos away in the nearby province of Srisaket (which has a Church but Ubon is closer for them and President Had is a member here). The service yesterday was a simple one. President Had baptized this cute family who aren't very educated but have pure spirits and hearts. They speak with Father in Heaven in a simple, heartfelt, grateful and loving way.
There were a lot of investigators at Church yesterday including another cute family that the Sisters are teaching who are both named Leg (small). The other Elders had a hilarious investigator named Nid (little bit) who only speaks to us in Isaan and is sassy. That's the best way of putting it - sassy.
So what else happened this week? There were funny moments from dogs that seem to always chase my companion but leave me alone, to a video of me screaming because the members put a bug on my clothes. There was being exhausted walking around Bangkok after eating a Japanese buffet where Thai people showed that they can eat a lot of tempura shrimp. This week was another grand old week in the happiest place on Earth (no... not Disneyland. Please. Disneyland is in English. This is in Thai!).
We did exchanges in Srisaket where we walked and invited all day, I was exhausted! The next morning I woke up with a sore throat and a bad headache. But then it was back to Ubon on a cramped and really hot bus where I taught district meeting and then headed to Yasothon. It was a good time in Yaso but it was very tiring.
Unfortunately, rain fall and false appointments were on the agenda for the two days in Yasothon. But we taught an awesome investigator named Chuuchaad who refers to himself as "Brother.” Elder Anderson and Elder Grover are good guys. They are hard workers and willing to do their best. I love working with both of them.
Yasothon is a pretty good place. It has a very country feel. People there don't really speak Thai very well. They usually speak Isaan in their day to day conversations. Isaan has a completely different rhythm to it. I don't know how to describe it. The tones are all over the place. Thai is very organized in its use of tones. Isaan is pretty much anything goes.
After returning to Warin we got a chance to see Rag who is doing very well! He is getting off of alcohol and is working to get off of cigarettes. His countenance has become brighter and he is smiling more. That's a common indicator of conversion - the physical change. I remember as we continued to teach Aa and Naang, there was almost a physical change in them. I remember how Chaang's personality changed. And I remember how countless other people changed their lives for the better as they embraced the Gospel. Embracing the Gospel is putting off the natural man. Anyone can be the natural man. The question that we are asked by Christ is "Will you come up to the higher plane?" Think of Nicodemus for a moment. He asked the question that all mankind wonders "How can I come closer to the Divine?" Christ responded "You must be born again." Christ calls us to be born again, looking beyond the physical into the spiritual realm. Christ calls upon us all to abandon the natural man and have his image in our countenance.
I love the Lord and I love being a missionary. It’s weird to think it’s coming to a close but I am so grateful for this opportunity. I hope we can all come unto Christ and และปฏิเสธตนจากความไม่เป็นเหมือนพระผู้เป็นเจ้าทุกอย่าง.
Love you all so much. Praying for you,
Elder Jacob Newman