Monday, November 11, 2013

Some great miracles happening here in Bangkhae

Hey family,

This week was awesome. First thing first. Is that Blay, Peter's daughter passed her baptismal interview and will be baptized next Sunday. So I am way happy! It will be great. She was so happy when she came out of the interview. I have to say probably the happiest I have seen one of my investigators after coming out of an interview. Brother Peter is doing great this week and is even starting to help some of his friends come into the Gospel.  I have still never seen a person who is so in tune with the Spirit. He is awesome. He knows the church is true.
So you are probably wondering why I am e-mailing late. It is because Elder Astle is getting transfered. So kinda crazy. Way random but hey. It isn't emergency. But President is having a mini transfer. So we sent off Elder Astle on a bus by himself and we have to stay with Elder Unsworth so he isn't alone. So we were in a Three some for a little bit. Anyway it is way fun. I love Elder Unsworth. He is like a brother to me. His new comp is coming today at 7 P.M. Also no effects from the hurricane. Either they hit already or haven't hit yet. But I haven't heard anything about it here. All will be well!

Other answers. 72 hour kits. Ya we have a 3 day food supply in our house. They make us keep one when we move to an area. So you always have enough food for 72 hours such as instant noodles water. Canned fruits. ETC. So ya. we are all good! And cool news! Brother Peter Willden the member I talked about last week. He invited us over for Thanksgiving on the 28th. And invited Brother Peter the Thai member and his whole family! It is way awesome! I am excited! So no need to worry about that

Christmas package....hmm. Airheads. Sour patch kids. laffy taffy. I loved the cookies. Jerkey as always is good. Fruity candy. Gushers. There is a bunch of stuff. Pick a few. You know I'm not picky:)  I don't need any clothes materials. You can keep those for home. I want to keep my bags light. 

Well besides that things here in Bang Khae are going great. Right now the mission is really pushing Baptism. I think that it is because President is tired of everyone thinking. The church can't grow fast in Thailand.  He wants us to know the church is the same here as it is in America and South America. Every where. And even though the people aren't Christian you can still baptize them and you can still see success in numbers even here in Asia. It is cool. We have 5 Daters right now. Poom and PP should be getting baptized on the 16th. They are getting interviewed on Wednesday. And then Blay is getting baptized on Sunday. Already passed her interview. We also have to new daters. One is a friend of Peters from the Catholic church She has a date for December 21st. Her name is Dook. And then you also have P he is 21 and from Chiang Rai Thailand. That is where I served with Elder Wilko. He is way sweet. Looking for good in life. He is tired of the parties and drugs and alcohol. Says there is something better in life. He says he has been really sad lately and been looking for a good group of people. Hopefully he goes somewhere. He calls us everyday to see if we can meet. Way cool. I think that the gospel can help him a lot. So it was a way fun story how we met him. Sister Wow our RC was in the hospital and then we got a call from the Elders in Asok which is basically downtown. And they said we have an appointment right now. And We were like cool. And left immediately. So it was cool. He is looking to get baptized December 7 or 8. As you can see work is going pretty well. But hey it is really just the Lord blessing our area. We really owe it all to him for helping the members prepare there family and friends. And people everyday for us to talk to. We also got a referral when we were visiting Bricha and we walked into a market and then there was a Thai boxing match going on. A guy from Polland and a Thai guy. The Thai guy was way bigger. And was owning him. haha! But way random. We ran into a member not in our branch. But he said he has been working with his friend. And he introduced us. And we have a return appointment for Tuesday. So hopefully things work out. It is really fun to see the Lord put you into situations. And how he prepares the way. Sometimes things are random and you don't know why they work out.

Ikaru is doing great.  His only problem is he learns on Sunday and can't come to ya.  But I know the Lord will provide if he will keep the commandments.  So right now we are really just trying to rebuild our teaching pool.  But we know that the Lord is preparing people everyday to hear our message. So we need to go and find them. Sometimes he does it through the members and sometimes through just straight contacting on the streets. But I know that this work is the work of the Lord. We are helping people change there lives. And come unto Christ. Helping them remember the plan that they already chose before they came to this Earth. We just need to help them remember that  they accepted the Plan of Salvation. It is the same church all over the world. I know that all my brothers and sisters around the world are all joining in missionary work. The work is hastening. The mission here isn't even close to the same mission I entered into. We don't even knock doors. We go were the people are. Because we won't wait for them to come to us, we go to them. This is a message of true happiness. Yesterday in Elders Quorum every member was asked the question, "What made you change your heart, to come into the church?" Even members born in the church need to be converted. Honestly, you can never get sick of the question. But the happiness that our message brings is what changed my heart. I see so many people searching for something they can't find. I see it everyday. They look for happiness through money. Through drinking and other things. I see so many people off the path. And it is so sad. But it is what motivates me. And it should be what motivates every member of the church. Go and help those who don't have the light. It doesn't need to be weird. It needs to be sincere. And that is something that I try to do everyday as I go an work. Is to truly care for those around me. Because I want them to know the happiness that I have. And that they too can feel this way.

Well that is it for the week. I hope you all have a great week. Thanks so much for the e-mails and encouragement. I love you all! Remember Jesus Loves You!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, November 4, 2013

Great Week here in Thailand

Hey Family,

Man this week was really awesome. So first I want to answer some questions. Packages yes I get them all. I get all the cards. Here in Thailand we have no problem getting stuff.
I am way happy for Brennan! I loved being baptized! I remember it was such a great feeling of peace to know you are on the road to living with your family again. Really that is our message. We teach about families and their importance! Looked awesome! Elder Parker Simonsen had a great opportunity to help baptize that young member here last week. Happy for him! That is awesome. I love nothing more than seeing families come together in the church.
As I helped Peter come back to church. I let him know why I was happy. It is because of my family. It is because of the Atonement. And how no matter what we do. No matter how far we turn down the wrong path. God still loves us. And the only one that gives up on us is ourselves. But I know that God won't give up on any of us. The Savior never stops holding out his hand to help. Too many times I see people give up. I see members fall away. I know that these people only need a hand. A helping hand. A shoulder to lean on. A friend that will support them. The reason Peter came back to church wasn't because I was the best Thai speaker or for some other reason. Beside the fact. He knew I loved him. I have seen first hand people change their lives. But all they need is someone to help. I know that everyone reading this, will be suprised to know. That they have influenced the lives of more people than they know it. There are fellow members in the church. Family members. There are more people than you think that need your help. Look for those opportunities.

Well this past week was awesome. As you know. We went to the bat cave. It was awesome. We met Albert and Batman. Saw monkeys. And it was way fun. It was a really good FHE with Peter. The best way to help anyone is to be their friend. Be someone they can trust. So his Daughter Blay is looking good for the 17th.

Poom and PP are doing great. We taught them the Restoration again and asked them if they believe in God and Jesus Christ and if they believe Joseph Smith was called of God. And they believe it. They want to live with their family again. We came to the conclusion they are more ready now than ever. So we are happy for them. They have a date for the 17th as well.
This week was way good and we saw some crazy things. Some success. And so way happy. Work is going way good and Elder Gage is a stud. What a great missionary. I love him to death!! Besides that nothing really new. Today we are having a zone sports day. Playing dodgeball and football and stuff. So it should be fun. We have a busy week ahead of us! 

Well family I love you all and have a great week! Thanks for all the e-mails! Plus it is great to hear the Redsox won! Halloween here wasn't really anything special. Basically at all. haha! We went out and ate with the other Elders. It was fun. Nothing crazy. Thanksgiving should be better:)

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, October 28, 2013

Super Awesome Week

Hey family,
Well this week for Halloween. We will maybe have a cool Halloween District meeting or something. And maybe carve some weird Thai Pumpkins. haha! Or just eat ice cream and call it good. I'm not sure. They know of it here. But no one celebrates it here. Haha! So. No problems. Loved the pics of Kira and Sophie in their costumes!  And Cam and Serena's costumes! All four are super cute! And the house is looking pretty different! That is way awesome you have been talking with Elder Gage's mom! haha! Small world isn't it! 

So this past week has been really good! Missionary work is going here. We have been helping out the Sisters here in the area! And now I am pretty sure there area is doing better than ours! haha! But hey that is fine! Same work. And in the end everyone needs to be taught the gospel so me and Elder Gage are more than happy to give some investigators. We gave them Tanya. So hopefully all goes well in their area. They got two new daters this past week. So it is way good.

The District is great. We had our combined District meetings with Elder Unsworth and his District. and all 8 of us are working together as a MegaDistrict. Our areas all kinda have the same problems with finding and member help. So we are working together. It is way good! We all love it. Plus I get to split teaching at District meeting. Way nice. They work in our Branch anyway and the work in the Tonburi branch. We actually had the opportunity to go to Elder Astle and Elder Unsworth's Unit this past week. Way cool experience. 4 missionaries and 1 member. But really fun to see. They are a great help to the branch and overall we had 9 Investigators between 3 companionships at church. So really great! It will be good to help this branch. We are really trying to focus on serving and helping the members build friendships with us. So I hope that we can really start to help this place kick off.

Our investigator finding has been going great! We have been contacting and doing all that fun stuff. And you know not seeing a bunch. But we saw some great stuff with referrals and from finding LA's and teaching there friends. So things have been going. We are teaching a new guy named Bakery and he is doing great he came to church and my companion taught him every part of the gospel in one sitting! haha! I love the fire of new missionaries. Way eager to teach and it is way good! We found him from a Senior couple who taught him english and sent him to our church for sports day.

Poom and PP got back in town and are doin just fine. They came to church. They are still just a little shy and I don't know about there friend peer pressure. But hey are good! We went out to a steak place with them.. It should be great. I am excited for them and we have been great friends with them.

We are hoping to help a few LA's this next week. Sister East is awesome. Her and her husband Noom are members and they just had a father in the family pass away last week. And this past week we taught them the Plan of Salvation. It was an awesome experience.
Missionary work is going great. And Elder Gage is great. I love doing work with him and we are having some fun as well. Missionary work is meant to be hard and fun and that is why we are here and we will have a great transfer. I know that this work is true and I love seeing people every week come unto Christ. Sometimes it is a little hard, but hey I know this work is truly the work of Salvation and it is all worth it. There is nothing better than serving the Thai people and I love every moment of it. I always think about how much a mission has changed my life and how grateful I am to be serving here in Thailand. I know that I have come to understand the Gospel more fully and I have learned how to love the people around me. I hope that you all have a happy Halloween this next week! Thanks for the e-mails and everything.

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, October 21, 2013

Training in Bang Khae

Hey family!

This week was awesome! I had a lot of meeting but it was worth it!! From the subtitle. Yeah I am training! It is super fun! I am with Elder Jordan Gage from Springville Utah! Turned 19 in August.He is awesome! President Senior is way good at picking out trainers and trainees and placing them together. We have really a way close personality and we both played and loved football. So it is great. He really wants there to be lots of connection and unity between the trainers. We had training on Tuesday and it really helped me realize how important it is to train! So I am so excited to do it! I really am looking forward to the next 9 weeks. Typically the training is 12 weeks but President has asked me and Elder Gage to finish it in 9. So it will be great. Elder Gage is a hard working really good missionary and has really helped me remember lots of great things about Thailand and the mission. It has helped me be more obedient and helped me rely on the spirit to help us teach and train. It is awesome and I am really looking forward to it.
My District is a District of 4. But we are technically in a District of 6 with the other Elders kinda weird but fun! Elder Unsworth from Bang Na area is serving where Elder Hansen was.  He is just in charge of 2 other Elders. Way fun. I love Elder Unsworth. Both our sisters finish there missions and we got two more. A Greenie Sister Barber and Sister Sombuunit a Thai sister. She speaks way good English. But it was so fun to have so many fun experiences with Elder Gage. It is fun to see how many things I took for granted in Thailand. Like the good, weather, the people. It is all so new, so exotic. Fun. I love working with him. We have been hitting the streets. Lots of our investigators are just in spots where it is time to choose whether they will follow Chirst and his commandments or not.

Blay is doing great!! She didn't come to church yesterday. So we will need to push her date back into November. But she will still be getting baptized. No doubt about it! She is awesome. Really sweet fun girl. We actually got to sit down with Peter and he kept talking about how Heather added him on facebook. Way funny! He loves your guys wedding picture! He says how my mom is still the same and way beautiful and then my dad. Had awesome hair just like him and they lost it! haha! Way funny. Every asian that sees mom always compliments her for her great skin ton and great hair color. It is funny. Because usually we call mom white. But thai people love moms skin color. So you will love coming over here and getting complimented like a storm. But Peter, Beam and Blay are doing so good! really happy for them.
Poom and PP are doing great we have been talking with New and Ice about being good examples by reading and praying. Poom and PP are still out of town. So it is kinda just a weird time. of year. School is out. But things will get back to normal. They are coming back this week. So they will most likely be getting baptized in November as well. 
To answer questions for Nathaniel and Sebastian. We wear church clothes every P-day unless we are going to play sports. You get used to wearing church clothes everyday. And it actually feels really good when you know that you are keeping all the rules of the mission. Sometimes others will break rules. But it is always best to keep all of them. Sometimes you don't understand why. But they are there for a reason. Because your leaders in the church and Heavenly Father know better. When you serve a mission. You dedicate 2 years of your life to serving the Lord. You promise to be obedient. And he promises so many blessings when you obey the rules. You will be happy. You will have health. You will be safe.

Choosing to come on a mission was the single best thing I have ever done in my life. I love being a missionary. And there is nothing I would rather do. It involves sacrificing the things you love. But when you sacrifice those things to serve your savior, he promises you so many blessings. A mission will not only bless your life, but the lives of all those around you. Thanks for all the e-mails!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, October 14, 2013

Loved General Conference

Hey Family!

Well I want to start off by answer a few questions. First to my favorite girl!!! Kira of course I miss you! And I love you so much! I have all the cards you have sent me! And I wouldn't leave them. And Kira the Elephants say, "Hello". And next Tanner! That is awesome you are preparing for a mission! I am so excited for you. It is really one of the best things I have ever done in my life. It brings the most joy I have ever had. I invite you to read the scriptures. Read in Alma about the Son's of Mosiah. They are the best examples of missionaries you can find. They have faith and they trusted the Lord. Everyone told these young men that they couldn't convert the Lamanites. But they had a sincere desire for there brethren. This is one thing that I have learned. No matter where you go. No matter who it is. Love them. This is a principle you can use right now. Serve and help those around you. I know your desire for your brothers and sisters salvation will grow as you love them. So Tanner, I wish you the best of luck. The experiences you will have are meant for you. And no one else can do, what you have to offer.

Well as you all know. This is transfers week. It is about 50/50 who stays who goes. We won't know until tomorrow or this evening. But I am happy for whatever happens. This has been one of the best transfers in my mission. A transfer that has changed my life. In ways honestly I can't explain, but feel. That I can't share. But know that this transfer has been one of the most humbling transfers I have had. And I have truly grown from the people here in the area. Know whatever happens I gave it my all. And am happy to be here till the end of my mission, if that is the Lords will. This past week Conference really inspired and uplifted me. One of the best and truly most amazing conferences I have listened to. So applicable. I found so many personal answers and got so many revelations. That is something I wish I knew the power of before my mission. I really know that the Prophets are called of by God and receive revelation for us as members of the church.

This week was truly a great week. Kind of a rollercoaster. But things just didn't go as planned in the long run! Investigators didn't keep commitments or were out of town. So unfortunately no one at church. But Peter is doing great. This week we officially started to teach his wife. It is a good start. We just talked about Prophets and the opportunity to listen and receive revelation from them. Her name is Beam she is awesome. We have been working for the past like 3 weeks to show her love. We treat her like our Thai mother. Brother Peter explained she has been super sad and down since the death of there son. So we have been trying to love her like her sons. We go and serve them and just laugh with them and try and help them feel the Saviors Love.

Poom and PP are doing alright. But just out of time. It is the end of the school Semester and are out of town.  Anyway this week things will pick up again. Should be good next week! Bri Cha is doing good. But just sells/ fixes stuff on Sunday. Kind of stinks. Things just take time. Conversion and understanding doesn't come easy. But it will come. Well I really don't have to much more for the week. I will keep you posted next week. Who the new comp is. Thanks for all the e-mails and everything.

Elder Landon SImonsen

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Super Great Week in the Oriental City

Hey family,

This week was awesome! It is going really good! First to answer questions. Conference is next week here! Here in Bang Khae we do have the option to watch in English. We have two members from the phillipines here so we but it in English. But I watched the last one in Thai and English because They have headphones so you put in one ear and listen to the Thai and English.

Next questions. Of course we teach English every week! It is kinda just the same thing every week. We have 24 lessons in a book and I am on the 4th time through the book. Super fun! And the people are awesome! It is really fun to serve. We have on average 55-60 people every week. So it is really fun. That is our main source of investigators here in Thailand. We share a quick gospel thought after every lesson. In my class we have about 25 people. I teach the beginner class with Elder Hansen. So it is really fun.

Well for this week it has been a blast. We are really starting to get creative with our teaching. We realized that teaching Poom and PP. We had to actually prepare meaningful and fun lessons. So this past week we have used some really fun comparison/ analogy activities. We used a cup of water poured in red food coloring to represent sin. And then used bleach to make it white again. But still it wasn't as clean as the first so to get a new glass of water you need to be baptized! The next lesson stepped it up again. The Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity. We used Ice Cream. Which Thai kids love and don't get a lot. So we did the comparison we need to keep our bodies clean because Alcohol, drugs, and stuff aren't good and aren't meant for our body. So we represented that with putting ketchup, chilli sauce, fish sauce. On our ice cream. It doesn't go with our body. Then said that the thing we need are good foods. Excersie and stuff. And this was represented by the Choocolate sauce, oreos and stuff! So way fun. They were going crazy when we poured ketchup on the ice cream. haha! Way good. They understood the commandments way well! So it was really fun! And are progressing pretty good towards there date.

Peter is doing great! He just got ordained to his calling yesterday at church. And we are still working with his daughter and wife. They are doing so awesome. Blay is doing good. We got to go out and serve at there house. We helped package his goods for his pet shop. It was really fun! They sold every bottle of lice killer we packaged! Kinda a funny blessing! So it was good. Peter is doing great at helping us with our investiagtors! He loves serving. Peter is awesome and I really love how he explains religions he never bashes on or degrades another religion. He always talks about what that religion does good. And then he says how we can even magnify that even more with our church. It is great and a very good teaching method. You can really feel the love when he teaches.

The Elders quorum president got a way awesome home teaching plan going. So hopefully we can get it going here. Home teaching is a huge struggle all over Thailand. But if we can get it going it will help our RC's and Members stay active. So I am excited to see the Branch try and do this. They know it is really important to retain members. So I am happy for them! We have been working with the LA's a lot here as well. We have been traveling out into the province over and meeting people out there to help them feel the love! It is way fun! It is testing my traveling vocab a lot! haha! All the different vehicles and places we have been going. Has been really fun!

Elder Stenier is doing great! He still talks in his sleep, this week he started yelling my name and saying there was Spiders everywhere in the room. It went like this," Elder Simonsen!! Elder Simonsen!!! There are spiders everywhere! I see them! Elder Simonsen!!! The me, " What... What... Dude...Wake up!!! Then he woke up and was confused on what was going on. Way funny! Crazy! But we are starting to do mediation at night and I think it is helping haha! Well family have a great week! I know that the work here is truly the Lords work! Our message is a message of true happiness. I am so grateful to help bring the Thai people into the light and knowledge of the truth. I am so excited to hear the Prophet and apostles speak next week. I know that through the atonement of Christ we can all change and become better every week. And I am so thankful for these two years to serve my Savior. The time is going fast and seeing my friends come home is so crazy. But I know that I still have time left and I will make the most of it. I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, September 30, 2013

Loving the Work Here!

Hey family! Man this week was just an awesome week! First off thanks for all the e-mails and stuff! Dad I still don't believe you did a back flip and a front flip!! haha! Sounds like the family is all doing great! I can't believe it is already October! There are like a million Birthday's this month! haha! Well to answer some questions. Ok well comments because I had no questions. That is great you got some tickets planned to come back here! How long are you planning on coming back? Week. 2 Weeks? Well sweet. And Home Coming talk on the 23rd! haha! Already planned! Sweet no sweat! It will be weird talking in front of a crowd larger than 50-60 people haha! But I have lots of great stories I would love to share. As for the week. I can't explain how much the Lord is blessing our area! Yesterday guess who I sat by at church??? You may have guessed Brother Brayun the member with Polio. He is awesome! So much faith. He is just an awesome guy. It just pains me to see him walk though. He has no cane or leg brace and still walks on his leg. About half way through church he was just sitting on the couch. Leg all swollen from walking. We are working on getting a wheel chair for our church. But I know the Lord will bless him. He can't walk far at all. But he does has a three wheeled motor cycle car that he drives to church. It is like a mini motorcycle and looks way cool! Also Brother Peter is doing great! This week he got a call from a member in the Stake Presidency. They are thinking about giving him a calling as a councilor in the Stake Young Mens Presidency. It is awesome! To think that one month ago. This man. That I sat across from eating lunch would soon be influenicing every young mans life in the Thailand Bangkok Stake. I wouldn't have believed it. But now I know that the Lord prepared the way for this to happen. Brother Peter needs to bless the lives of the youth here in this country. He is amazing. He has helped my testimony grow. Everytime I meet him I can feel the love he has for his fellow men and for the church. I want every young man in this Stake to know Brother Peter. It was the best thing that happened this week. But close Second is the fact that his daughter has such a desire to be baptized. We had a baptism of a girl in the branch this past week. She is an investigator of the Sisters. And Blay wants to be baptized on October 27th. We taught the Plan of Salvation and when she heard that she can live with her Brother who has passed away and with her family again. She knew this is what she wants. We are now working on helping Beem. The mother accept a baptismal date. This family is awesome. I couldn't imagine not knowing them. I am really so blessed to know them. Not only that but Poom and PP accpeted baptismal dates for the 27th of October as well. They are awesome. Both of them came to church despite the fact there mother and sister weren't there. So it is great! They really have a desire to live with there family again as well! It seems to be that really when it comes down to it. Who doesn't want to live with there family after this life. The people who raised you. Who you love. And what a great opportunity it is to know that these things can help you live with your family. We also saw a huge miracle this past week. As Dad said. The only reason why our work here is going so good is because of the members. This past week we got a referral from a member. They were just aquaintances. But hey. You can share the Gospel with anyone. This person's name is Gone. He is really cool. He is about 50ish and I called him up on Wednesday. Got to know him and said his friend gave us this number. Then he asked,"Are you Mormons?" I am like aaah. Yeah. He is like, "I have so many questions to ask you!" I was like, "And we have your answers. When can you meet." He was like how about 2 hours? I was like sounds good! Meet you at Big C(America's Walmart) Met him. He is awesome!! He was like I have been to so many Sects. And all of them teach to differently. People say you claim truth. Boom!! Restoration. Moved on to Plan of Salvation. Moved into all we need to do is be baptized. He was busy for a few days. But we have an appointment for Wednesday! I really hope it goes somewhere! He is way cool! The work here is really going fantastic! No complaints. We went to the Hospital to take care of Elder Steiners sleep walking and talking. And the doctors prescribed him a mild trancalizer pill. haha! So he took it and hasn't slept walk for two days! haha! Way funny! THey say the reason he does it is because of stress and working everyday. But hey, it beats strapping him to the bed! He is really awesome! We get along super good. Easily one of my easiest companions to work with. Fun guy. And work is going great. Really there is no where else I would rather be. I am so excited to have general conference here in a couple weeks (for Thailand). I love hearing the words of the prophets! I know that the work we are doing out here in Thailand is the work of our Lord and savior. I love this work so much. I am grateful to be able to serve and give to the people here. Really they don't realize how much they bless my life. I really can't explain how grateful I am to share the Gospel with those who don't know Christ. I hope that you all have a great week! Love, Elder Landon SImonsen