Monday, June 13, 2011

Sister Joy

June 13, 2011

Dearest Family,

This week was a bit crazy. Most of our investigators aren't doing that well. We had to drop Rag. He just wasn't keeping commitments to come to Church. And Robbie seems to have disappeared off of the face of the planet. But we are continuing to work with Angelo who is doing pretty well. He's a referral machine. He's always inviting his friends to learn English. The story I really want to talk about this week though is Sister Joy.

Elder Senalai and I made an appointment to meet with Sister Pat's husband (she's a recent convert who the Sisters taught in Warin) and when we went to his house, we met Sister Joy who is not a relative but lives there so they can take care of her. Sister Joy was a strong member before being diagnosed with cancer. Now she can hardly walk, she is stuck at home and cannot attend Church. As we talked to her, she sat there eating a Thai dip and lettuce with sticky rice. Sick people's food. Or so she said. She's been endowed. Her body is frail and she probably weighs less than 100 pounds. But she has a firm belief in our Father in Heaven. Her brain is slowly being taken by the cancer but she refuses to give up. She continues to do her best. I thought of how she said she missed Church and the scriptures. She needs a blessing. She needs home teachers. She needs the sacrament. I often worry about the Thai members who are ill because they don't get visited very often.

I really will miss Thailand so much but it feels exciting to look forward to a change of pace and a chance to get a new, fresh perspective. My mission has been a very formative event. I think I have become more of a global citizen. And I have realized how the Gospel is so very precious in the lives of those who live it.

I am still really tired and I have been gaining a lot of weight it feels like but I am not sure exactly why although my appetite has increased. And I apparently, in the words of President Smith, do not look like an Ethiopian concentration camp victim anymore.

I know that the Gospel has the power to change our broken hearts. I know that as we come to realize the real power of grace, the real role of the Savior in our lives we won't have a desire to be who we were before. We all have concerns. And we all have doubts and problems but the Gospel helps us to face those things with courage and hope that the future will be better. I love Elder Senalai and seeing how the Gospel has helped him in his life. Thai people have to sacrifice a lot to join to the Church.

This past weekend they created a new District in Bangkok, which is the next step to a second stake in Bangkok. I know that the growth of the Church is helping the Thai people grow closer to our Father in Heaven. The Gospel gives us a power to face the challenges of the world with hope and love for all mankind. I love the Gospel and I know that one day we will understand the reason why things work out the way they do. I am eager to share the Gospel in the little time that is left. Remember to stay true to the truth and to love the Lord always.


Elder Jacob Newman

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