Monday, January 25, 2010

Ubon-Jan 24-2010

Hi All,
I am not going to write much today, I am spending my time uploading a few pictures so my Mom will be happy. (thank you Danny, please review the old posts for new pictures!) I am also going to send some audio files, including me reading the last chapter of the Book of Mormon in Thai. Yah! I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Thai again this week. I also am including me singing a few hymns in Thai, and me singing and playing on my ukulele (thanks parents for letting me buy it!) (The ukulele was his Christmas present from us, it was expensive, surprisingly) I really enjoy playing and it is great learning a new instrument! Yes a ukulele is an instrument! I am getting better, wish I had more time to practice, I am also sending you 2 primary songs that I have learned on the ukulele, and a few other things. (It was great to hear Danny's voice, the language makes me laugh it sounds so strange!)

Out of time.
Love you all.

เอ็ลเดอร์ บราวน์ ( Elder Brown )

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Yay, I have some time to write today. Hopefully I can give an update and write something interesting.

Time just keeps speeding up. The moves is over this next week! I shouldn't be moving or anything though, also I don't think Elder Panom will be moving either. If I had to guess, I would say that Elder Crowley and Sister Livingston are out, but I'm not sure. I'll probably get to go down to Bangkok anyways though, I think I have to renew my visa next week.

In terms of fun. Last week was Zone Thiaw (thiaw is the word for hangout/vaction/go out) We went up to the tiger farm up in northern Ubon in an area called Dragaan. It was pretty fun. They had lots of dangerous animals and a lot of strange animals too. Many tigers, lions, panthers, bears, etc.. They also had monkies, alligators, weird birds, 3-legged tigers, 5-legged cows. The best part about it was that their was very few safety precautions at all. The cages did not have locks on them. The cages were thin chain-linked fences. And you could go all the way up and touch them. So pretty much, if there was a crazy person they could just open up all the cages and tigers would run loose everywhere. Cool. Good news though I got to pet a tiger and a lepard. It was kinda scary to stick my hand in the cage and pet it. Oh well. All is well, right?

Ok, I want to take a little bit of time and explain my comment I made last week about scripture studying. Ok. So in the English lanuage, we have very few pronouns. Everyone uses the word I for themselves, regardless of who they are or who they are talking to. Everyone refers to other people as you, he, or she. This makes reading the scriptures in English difficult sometimes. Often times in English in the scriptures it is difficult to tell who is talking, what he is talking about, and who he is talking to. Example:

1 Nephi 20: 14 - All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; who among them hath declared these things unto them? The Lord hath loved him; yea, and he will fulfil his word which he hath declared by them; and he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall come upon the Chaldeans.

Ok, confusing right? Who is talking? Who is listening? Who is him?

If we read it in Thai, we learn that the pronoun him/he/his changes who it is referring to part-way through the verse. It actually refers to three different people in this verse.

It is great! I can compare the English and the Thai Book of Mormon to gain new insight. Whenever God talks or is talked to, the 1st and 3rd person pronoun is different. Whenever the Prophet talks or is being talked to, the 1st and 3rd person pronoun changes as well.

This has really enhanced my scripture study and is going to be a great tool throughout my life. I have really been able to understand the scriptures a lot better.

Another thing that Thai brings a better insight is with age. In thai there is no word for brother or sister. There is only a word for older brother, younger brother, older sister, and younger sister. Example:

The brother of Jared in the Book of Ether. Is he Jareds younger brother or older brother? If you look in the English edition, it does not tell you. In the Thai it does. Mohanrimoriancomer is actually Jareds little brother. Cool insight, changes the signifcance. Jared sent his little brother to ask of the Lord. Cool, yes?

Hope all that made sense!

Next thing. Last night I was talking to our recent baptism Brother Bahn and he told us that he has a goal to serve a mission. We were way excited; we have never even talked to him about being a missionary and he already is set on doing it. This was great news! If all goes well, he will be on his mission serving here before I even go home. That will be great to see!

Well I am out of time! Hope all is well. I send you my best.


Elder Brown

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jan 14-2010

Hello all,

Well, I spent all my time today trying to figure out how to send pictures...I am trying to send them bulk from my camera card but the computer can't handle that much info and it crashes. Needless to say it didn't work... sorry! You won't get to see my tiger farm pictures!!! I only have two minutes left so I will give some quick thoughts.

Good news! I finally had someone ask me if one of my parents are Thai! That means my Thai is good enough to pass for a half-thai person. Yay.
I was successful today in sending you a voice .wav file with me speaking thai. I am reading from the Book of Mormon. Note from Mom: This was really fun to hear Danny speak Thai, it was almost musical! I will try and figure out how and if I can upload it to the blog.

Next thing. I've really been studying the scriptures a lot lately. The last zone conference the President really stressed using the Book of Mormon. Recently in my studies I have really been trying to notice the different responsibilities of the Father and Jesus and their Prophets. I found that this was hard exercise because sometimes it is hard to tell. But lucky me, in the Thai language they use different pronouns for different people. So it is easy to tell if I study Thai and English at the same time. Yay!

I have also been thinking lately of Section 132. What great potential we have! Give it a read! Such promises! but "strait is the gate and narrow the way that leadeth unto exaltation and few there be that find it.... because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me... But if ye shall receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.

Haha, I wish that that section was translated better into Thai.... it is just completely unusable in Thai.

Dad you asked about speaking in Lao. Yeah, things are typically in Lao up here. We are so close to the border that most people speak both Thai and Lao languages. Lao is much less (mouth)muscle-intensive. (much more convenient, doesn't really have any articulation) So most people opt to speak Lao when they are with their friends. The government enforces that Thai is spoken in public schools and the church also enforces that it is spoken in church meetings. Besides that, people prefer Lao.

Out of time. Love you all.

เอ็ลเดอร์ บราวน์ ( Elder Brown )

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

ubon - 01-05-2010

Christmas lights in Bangkok
They do enjoy celebrating Christmas here in some places, but not as a religious holiday.


Ok, incase anyone missed the memo. My P-day has been switched to Mondays. So I'll be emailing two days earlier than usual.

Well I've got a little bit of time today. I'll give a report of the happenings over the last two weeks.

Christmas was crazy. Particularly the Christmas Program. The Branch has been practicing since August every week for the program. Let's just say, they probably should've started earlier... it was quite silly! The music was from a program called A Night in Zarahemla (I think that's what it was...), basically it was this crazy difficult medley that was way out of their league. Entertaining though!

Attendance was pretty good, there was probably around 300+ people there that night.

After that there was a dance/comedy program offered by the members while people ate dinner. It was pretty silly too, I couldn't understand most of it though because it was in Lao. My companion was forced into being Santa Claus and given the duty to distribute presents. (missionaries + hordes of small kids = mass confusion)

Anyways, it was great. It was a good opportunity for non-members to come see the new church and to learn about Jesus.

That Sunday was the primary program in church, which means that Sacrament Meeting is run by the kids under 12 years old. Pretty silly as well. There was one kid who couldn't stop laughing for about 10 minutes while he was giving a talk.

Because it was a "special day" the branch president decided to switch out the water in the sacrament for grape juice. That was also entertaining.

This week was Fast Sunday. Fast Sunday is great. I really do enjoy fasting, it has become one of my very favorite things to do. It is almost too easy to obtain the blessings that I want through fasting. All I have to do is ask, then fast. Yipee.

We also had a baptism this week!! Younger guy, just going to college this year. Just a great guy, he has a great testimony. When he gave his testimony after his baptism he did such a great job. Best one I have ever heard, actually.

I really enjoy Sundays. For the first part of my mission, I was always stressed out on Sundays because it is basically "game day/test day." All the work of the week gets produced into fruit on Sundays. But recently I've just been trying to relax on Sundays. I've noticed that my stress level does not increase the chance of investigators showing up, it also does not decrease the chances of members saying something crazy to our investigators. So chill out, right?

Thanks to all the people who sent me letters on Christmas. I heard from a lot of people in the ward. I really appreciate it! Love you all.


Elder Brown
เอ็ลเดอร์ บราวน์ ( Elder Brown )