Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Letter #7 Mahasarakham, Thailand- Sept 29-2009

HELLO! My first moves is over. Boy is moves-time crazy.

At the end of the 6 weeks we get a call on Tuesday around noon. That is when we find out callings/assignments/companions/areas. Everyone is always very nervous and excited. Going to bed Monday night feels a lot like Christmas Eve. Staying focused while studying Tuesday morning was very very hard.

Every Monday we have District Meeting, and at the end of the District Meeting before moves we have a "phayagawn" session. That is the thai word for "prophesy". We have a white-board and everyone makes guesses of what they think will happen in the moves.

The results of moves was rather uneventful. No one from Mahasarakham is moving. Only two people from the entire zone are moving and only 10 people from the easion are even going down to Bangkok. So it is time to get back to work. With that all said and done it means that I wil be in Mahasarakham for at least 2 more moves. (because my companion has to leave next moves, and if he moves I can't move)

With the lack of changing, it sure still feels like a time of change:

The rainy season is about over and we are going into the "cold" season. (notice the quotation marks)
All the beautiful green rice fields are starting to go brown.
The school semester is coming to an end here soon, so Sarakham will be a ghost town.

(On an interesting side note... the word Mahasarakham in Thai means "a great place of learning" because of it's name there are many many many colleges here. The place is packed with students.)

Even the church is changing a lot here! Last week the churches name changed. The word "saint" in Thai was re-translated from "sidichon" to "wisudichon". Now that the name changed, EVERYTHING has to be reprinted. All manuals, books, etc..

They changed many other words too. About 2-3% of the words in the Book of Mormon are going to change too. All the new translated materials should be released at the beginning of next year.

Most of the changes are very good. A lot of gospel words are very very difficult to translate into Thai. The culture is so different and there is just not a simple way to express many of the ideas we have in English.

Words like charity, chastity, prophet, heaven, etc. are very difficult to describe in Thai without giving them a false perception.

Many of the words are simply changing but a lot of them are just being updated so that they are the same as the Bible we use. Since the Thai Bible was translated from the Luther Bible a lot of the words, especially the names, are very weird. So they are updating them to be accurate with the German Translation to confuse less people.

All this change and many other things. Also the year is almost over and the year will change. 2553 seems like it is so far away.
(Another side note: The year is not 2009 here. Our calender system is based of the birth of Christ, there calender system is 543 years different. It is based off of when Buddha reached enlightenment.)
(Yet another side note: This year, 2552, will be the last palindrome year of my life unless I live to be 122 years old.)

Life is fleeting, very fragile and changing. No matter how much we want to think or make it otherwise. We may think that things will be the same in 20 years, but they will not be. Even outer-space, no matter how dominant and stable it may seem, it is always changing; whether or not we can perceive it. Stars will die, universes will collapse, and new solar-systems will be born.

With all these changes I'm so glad that some things do stay the same. The only truly unchanging thing is God. He is constant; he reminds so because he is perfect. He can not vary or sway from the consistency. That is why we can and MUST rely on Him.

In the whirlwind-life that we live in we can always look to God and see a constant. We can pray to Him and be given a rest from the unknown. I am so grateful for the knowledge of God and for the ability to look to Him and feel peace. I know that the only way to feel that true peace is in and through our living, unchanging God.


Elder Brown

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