Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Well Hello Family!

How was the Christmas Break? So Cam and Serena won't be there for New Years! What will you two do? Anyway it looked like Christmas was really good and I can't believe how old everyone is! Jk. But it is really weird to see everyone growing up. It is sad to not be there for the holdiay season. That is for sure. But the work out here needs to be done. It is kinda funny this last week. But in my personal study I was reading about the Plan of Salvation in 2 Nephi 2. And thought about how families are the reason we feel joy in life. That you can't have happiness without feeling sad right? Well thinking about it showed me the importance of Gods plan for us. That basically the one thing that we love in this life is our family. It doesn't matter who you live with, you love your family. Everyone deep inside loves those who take care of them.  To be sealed to your family for all eternity is awesome and I am so thankful that God has given us the opportunity to live with those we love here on this earth.

So for Christmas. It actually turned out to be a really awesome day! After we e-mailed we ran some errands. Then we went to Sizzlers with the Samut Prakan Elders who aren't in our district anymore since transfers. Then got Coldstones. Excellent. Then we taught English and made cookies with the English students/ frosted them. It was a really good day. Awesome presents, So thanks everyone for the presents. I can play the harmonica now! So next week attach some cool harmonica music to the e-mails. I play hymns already. So cool stuff, the Eagles, oldies. On Wednesday we went Carrolling at the mall, since people don't really know the difference between Christmas and New years here. haha! They decorate the same for both of them. Santa and everything. But it was really fun. Did a few other things in there.

So speaking of temples I don't remember if I told you that Sister Pin (Bang na) is planning on going through the temple and getting sealed to her family next year. It is so awesome to see investigators prepare to go to the Temple.  She knows that she wants to live with her family forever! It is something truly great! It is so awesome to see how much her testimony has grown! They are an awesome family and I am happy for them! Also this week we have been teaching Apichad (pronounced Aww Pee Chawed(Sawed with a ch-) He is doing great! New investigator that I didn't really get to talk about but he is doing really good. At first he was just interested in learning about Christianity and He really thinks that we have morals and that all people should follow them! It is really interesting to see him change over that past couple weeks. He is the guy that calls me a member of the mafia.  As for Rote she is doing great, but because of Christmas she wasn't able to meet with us last tuesday and that is the only day we can meet with her. Unfortuantely Go's Uncle died yesterday so he won't be here this Tuesday. But we feel like this is a good opportunity to help him understand the Plan of Salvation better. It is really awesome being able to teach your RC's. In Thailand all the members have 3 callings or so. Thailand is awesome. The members really try and I really appreciate all they do. It is hard when you have like 10 or 11 active Melchelzidck priesthood holders and no Elders Quorum President. With small wards you really try and do your best to fulfill all the spots. But they are trying hard and we will get a temple here in Thailand.

So something kinda funny. About two weeks ago. We got a mission announcent that said that we shouldn't plan to go door to door inviting. Because it isn't very effective. It takes a lot of time and it is harder for those people to come to church. So we now walk around the streets, markets, neighboorhoods. But we don't knock doors unless we have nothing better to do. haha! So kinda interesting. But I think it is a way to find those people who are interested in the gospel much faster. Instead of them coming to us at the doors. We go to them on the streets. That is a kinda moto thing.

As for today nothing to spectacular. We are going to eat MK which is like Sabushi. So anyway sounds decent. Besides that haircut and shopping. Tonight we have family home evening. At the church with the ward. They are doing a New years party. We can only stay till Seven. Because tonight we have a mission wide Curfew. They want us in early because in this country there basically isn't any laws against drunk driving. So they don't want us to risk getting hit. Plus they love the New years here! So that is for sure, they actually give presents for new years and not for Christmas. haha!

So anyway mom keeps asking about all the little family traditions, do I remember them? Of course I do! Come on have faith! I was reading in the December Ensign this month and it was a talk on building testimonies, but it talked about how in our families today, family traditions are on of the most important things to have a strong family in a crazy world. It just talked about how our home should be a secure place from the world. And I think that is why I loved home so much. Is because of all the fun traditions we do! We always are doing something fun for Holidays! So yes I remember the Green eggs and ham. The new years goals. The easter egg hunts. The valentines breakfast. Sunday walks. KFC and Morgan. The luminary drive. Like everything! So thanks for having those family traditions because they are what makes our family so strong! Keep doing them. I guess by yourself now! Jk! Lauren lives close by! But make sure they live on. And make sure you are always creating new ones!

One way that my testimony grew this week was when I was talking with Sister Marvel a Senior missionary in our ward! We talked about how when we come on missions we change so much. We change for the better. But the interesting thing about missions is that they make us stronger in every aspect. In compassion, love, charity, hard working, diligent, patience. Anything you can think of a mission helps you grow. We talked about how we aren't only called to serve missions for others. But for ourselves. How her sons have now served missions and now at home they are able to go to school, have a family, work. Do so many things that if they didin't learn how to handle it on there mission, they wouldn't be able to do it in life. So my testimony was strengthened when I look back at what my mission has changed me into. I realize that I have humbled myself a lot. That I can't do anything without the Lord. I have learned to love others. I could go on and on. But to see the change of what I have become shows me that I am out here for the right things. And I am so grateful to be here!

Love,
Elder Landon Simonsen

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

We spoke with Elder Landon Simonsen last night and he wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  He loves his mission and serving the wonderful people of Thailand.


 
Landon mentioned the following in his short letter. "I love you all so much! I hope your Christmas is Merry. It is sad to be away, because all you want for Christmas is to be with your family. It was the best thing to talk with you. I love you and I will write to you next week!"

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Time

Hello family!

Well I need to make today's e-mail shorter and sweeter than usual, because well I don't have a lot of time! So anyway it looked like the wedding is great!

Sounds like Serena and Cam are loving Utah! I will talk to them next week! That will be exciting! And Lauren,Ryan, Kira, and Landina all cute. haha! Sounds like the new home is coming along!

So for my week! Baptism! Yes! Pin is awesome She is doing so good! That baptsim was so special. It was so awesome to ask her about her feelings afterwards! it made my realize how awesome it was to have parents and a family who are members of the church. really good experience!


So as for skyping on P-day. Ok 8 oclock your time 10 oclock mine. They actually Changed P-day to Tuesday. So ya it will be interesting! But fun! So I will see if it works today! I will skype on Christmas here. Christmas Eve at home. That is what has been suggested!

So anyway transfers we found out today! That I am staying and Elder Susi is moving. That our District is getting split. So we will be in a four person district with the sisters in The bangkok west zone. And the Samut Prakan Elders 4 of them. Will be in the Bangkok East zone.

Ok so anyway some fun things is this week we went caroling as a district it was super fun! That is the pictures in the Santa hats! We had the baptsim! Pin is the one by me! And Bui. Is the other one! So we had two baptsims! I also sent a picture of Me and Go at the Stake Christmas Party! We got to go with him and his girl friend! Super awesome experience! Way fun! I don't have to much time so I will send more pictures if I have time after e-mailing presdient! But I loved the Stake party I saw all the members from Srinakarin and they loved hanging out.



Real quick one way that my testimony grew this week was seeing Sister Rote (Go's girlfriend) come closer to Christ. We have seen how she is finally open to talk with us. We have seen the blessing of her wanting to talk with us.  It is really great! But it shows me the power of this church. And what the Holy Ghost can do! I love you all and have a great week! Merry Christmas!

Love,
Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, December 10, 2012

Celebration of Kings Birthday

Hey family,

Well sounds like it is an eventful week. In Utah. Marriages and the Christmas spirit! So ya I will just go off my week. So anyway. It started off really good. English class always fun. But on Wednesday even a more special surprise! We had zone conference it was so awesome. We started off, by taking a really long ride in the mission vehicles to The Peninsula hotel. Where we had an all you can eat buffet.. We had Lamb (side story real quick, so now because I am serving in Thailand I eat basically everything. You don't eat anything fully cooked I swear. Red Pork, Not chicken, red beef, Octopus(which is delicious) Frog is good(is just as good as chicken, just not enough meat) basically I eat weird stuff now. ok I’m done on my tangent) steak wrapped in bacon, duck, fish, tons of desert ├ęclairs, tarts, sticky rice and Mango. Basically the best food you could have. It was the only meal we ate that day so they told us to eat a lot. It was a super nice hotel! Anyway after we stuffed ourselves and listened to the first I'm a Mormon from Thailand. Who is a drummer (In a rock band) We did this because it was for Christmas and for zone conference, it was really fun. After we went to the Tonburi church. Where we had our zone conference. It was so awesome. We had a great meeting on finding people and about how to approach people. After that we had a testimony meeting. We were all invited to share our testimony about Christ. The reason I love being in the West Bangkok zone is because you are in the zone with the Senior Missionaries, I loved hearing their testimonies of Christ. I am pretty sure that I have never sat in a meeting where I have felt that good. It is an experience you don't get too much. Where everyone in the room is a missionary and they all get to bear their testimony of Christ. It was a special experience you can't even explain with words.
 
 
 
 
So anyway after that we had the opportunity to go to the Kings palace which was great by the way. I forgot to get the picture. But we didn't actually get to go inside it. It was on the grounds around it but the palace looked so awesome. It was the kings birthday and so everyone wore yellow ties. But the whole country or at least most people I saw were all wearing yellow. It was awesome. So I guess I was wrong about the flying lanterns cuz everyone did them. It was the bomb. We got to watch a few fireworks. But there were so many people and we just kind of watched the lanterns and stuff. All I know it was the best day ever. It was really fun. Afterwards President Senior said it was the most Sanit (close, knit, best friends) Sanit. Zone he had ever seen. We were all having a great time. And we all loved being with the missionaries and having fun. We also crammed 16 Elders into the back of a small Tuk Tuk like truck. I think we have a picture. It is really funny. But all the elders had to walk because there wasn't enough parking for the Elders van. So we had a huge single file line of white boys in white shirts. And the mission president. All walking and sweating cuz it was super humid.  I am pretty sure it feels like it is summer outside right now.
 

On Saturday we then had a wedding to attend for brother Dui are Brother Apichad. So actually they wanted the missionaries to be the welcoming service. Haha! To make sure everyone signs the book. It was fun. More or less just helping the members out is fun. But it was a great time. We met tons of people from around the Bangkok stake. Met a few people from my last area that are friends. It was great.
 
 


To continue Pin wanted to move her baptism date up to next week. I am so excited. It is really awesome. So on Sunday we finished up teaching her about fasting and tithing and follow the prophet. But it was an awesome lesson. You can really see how much she has changed and how much her testimony has grown.

To answer questions what day do you want me to Skype on. It is up to the parents. Besides that thanks for the Christmas Ideas! And yes we that nice lunch/ dinner buffet. Christmas gift from the Mission President. Then we have something this Saturday for the Stake and then the 22nd we have a Christmas party for our ward. So there are some things going on. They encourage us to have investigators in order to go to the stake party.

Ok so a few ways that my testimony grew this week. Was first at Zone Conference when we had our testimony meeting. I feel the spirit a lot out here. But there was just something special about everyone bearing their testimonies on Christ. That the feeling in that room that no person could deny what they were feeling. Also I loved the way that Bishop Peace as we call (Otigan Sandi) explained fasting in such an awesome way that I had personally never looked at it. He said to his daughter that one of the reasons we fast is so that we can know what it feels like to be in the shoes of someone who only has one meal a day. That never really occurred to me before. I always looked at it like more in the way you fasted to receive answers, to help you feel the spirit. It never occurred to me before that we are putting ourselves in someone else's shoes. Someone who needs our help. I really loved how he explained it is so we can humble ourselves. I thought it was really interesting, we all have so much compared to many people who have nothing in their life. And during Christmas time it is a time of giving. A time to humble ourselves and give to those people what they don't have. When we have so much, we need to share and help those in need. Also, I really liked how President Uchtdorf in the Christmas devotional this year(our ward showed it to us, we got to watch it in English) said more important that giving is receiving. I liked that. He said we all need to receive Christ gift he has given us. Which is the gift of eternal life. But not only receiving God’s gift but accept the gifts others give you, but don't look at them from the outward appearance look at them for what they mean (the love, the sacrifice of others). Well I love you all family and have a great week!

Love,

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, December 3, 2012

Lantern Festival

Hey family!

Wow sounds like a really crazy week! Christmas party, mission calls! Everything! So anyway Columbia nice!  Sounds like it will be pretty nice weather there also! Also is pretty cool how I have a lot of friends that are girls serving missions! It is awesome, they help with the work so much! Especially in countries like Thailand where most of the investigators are female! So anyway sounds like the family is going great!

So you had a ward Christmas party this last week! Seems kinda early? This past week we actually got put in charge of Christmas for the ward! Ya yikes! So us with the sisters have to decide what to do now. Anywho. Any good ideas? As for Christmas here you are probably wondering what is going on there. Imagine. America in the summer. For Christmas. But then only the Malls have Christmas decorations and music playing! So actually today we went to Central World Mall. It is in Central Bangkok. We listened to Christmas music outside by this huge tree! Then went in and ate pizza at a resturaunt where a Recent Convert works. Brother Yut. He is from the Samut Prakan branch. So it was really fun.
 

 
So actually awesome story. Pin from Bang na. The bishops daughter. Accepted herself the date of December 23. We went on switchoffs/splits. I was with the DL Elder Dixon. We taught Pin and we commited her to read Alma 7. Great chapter about Christ's sacrifice for us. But we committed her to go home that night. Read and pray about it. And the next day (Wednesday) we talked to her.  She said a feeling came over her. That she couldn't explain. It was such an amazing moment to get to talk with her about it. It makes me remember about those times that I received a confirmation of the Book of Mormon or the Church. It is such a great moment to recognize the truth. So anyway. We had the opportunity on Wednesday to go to the Lantern Festival with the Bishop and his family! It was super fun! I have some really cool pictures of it! It was like the 4th of July! They have fireworks and all this stuff! They fly those laterns in the sky. Unfortunately in Bangkok not to many people do the flying laterns. Manly cuz of the pollution. So after awhile you can't see it. Lets say I haven't seen a star in forever haha! Anyway. They have a few. But it is more popular in the North and East of Thailand.
 

 
So about Investigators things are still going great! We got a new investigator named Manad He is super cool!  Pee is doing great still. So good. Anyway with faith anything is truly possible! So whenever times are hard have faith and you won't fail. I know that with faith anything is possible. The only problem now is. The transfer is on Tuesday December 18th. It got moved up. So either me or Elder Susi won't be here. I am pushing to stay! I am not finished here! The funny thing is even though this area is about 10 minutes from the area I just served. I love it just as much. Even though Every other area(in the mission about the size of 3 states) I could have gone is farther away. I stayed close to my old area. Cuz there is a purpose to everything, I was needed here. And I love it here!

Well I am out of time cuz we spent some time in the city today. Elder Dixon is going home so we went to see where he got his suit cut! I will probably take you to the same place. 1 suit and pants. 1 pair of pants just to have. 2 custom longsleeve shirts. With initials on the sleeves. Custom intererior, name on the inside of suit. 190 dollars. He finished in 1 week! So ya! That is where we will go. Good deal. Nice suit material. really good.
 
 
 
This week how my testimony grew was through the faith of others. Through the testimony of my investigators. Who overcome so many trials in there lives. I really loved my personal study this week. I to am about to finish up the Book of Mormon. In Ether 12: 27 it talks about how God shows unto men their weakness. But he gives us weakness that we may be humble. That Gods grace is sufficent for them who humble themselves. It goes onto say whoever has faith in God he will make weak things become strong unto them. I love this. God is there lifting us when we are weak. He carries us when we can't carry ourselves. He will be there to help us through every trial and every test as long as we have faith in him! I love this gospel. Dad said, Enjoy being on a mission and being young! I love every moment of it! There is no where better to be. In Thai terms Chiiwid Khong Phom Sabbay Mag. My life is very Sabbay(good or something. no direct translation). I love it here. I am so excited for Parker to go on a mission. There is nothing better. The sad thing is I am almost a year out. Time is going by too fast. But I am where I need to be. And I know that there isn't anything better than serving the people I love. And I love the Thai people!

Love,
Elder Landon SImonsen

Monday, November 26, 2012

Last Week of November

Hello family,


Sounds like a great week! Thanksgiving looked awesome! I did spend Thursday at Uncle Mustaches. Pretty good! Then on Saturday we went over to a part member families house in North Bangkok. There name is the Pinvises (Pinwisaid) So they are awesome it is a Thai guy married to a white woman. Anyway it was the best food. Unfortuanately they didn't send us the pictures yet. But it was really cool I hope I get the pictures soon. But I do have a few of the group that was there! So anyway. We had about 30 people there. 6 missionaries. Two from Ban Kheen (in our zone) then the sister missionaries and me and elder susi! It was delicious food. We had a guy that reminded me of Brother Gome from the Mobile Home Park.  He could sure cook a turkey. Imported I am pretty sure. They actually might raise em. Not sure. Anyway we had a full farang (white person family) Then a guy that served a mission here about 20 years ago, married a thai wife.  Then just a few single people from the international branch in North Bangkok District So it was awesome. Fun stuff. Since we are in Thailand and everyone has messed up taste buds they made a cajun turkey. And they put some Chilly pepper in the Deviled eggs! So good! We had 3 turkeys, two normal ones. No yams(can't find em), Stuffing, rolls, mashed potatoes. And pie! Woo Hoo! Pie is delicious. I forgot how good american cooking was. I was at first scared because I was thinking I don't remember what it tastes like. So I didn't want to be disappointed! But it was delicious! Good thanksgiving day!


Ok so anyway We had Stake conference this week! So great. Yes it was at Arnoma Hotel. They announce two more wards in February So they are changing from Branches to wards. So we are still growing. It is really good. I also got to see Yupin (Pin) She gave me a flower to wear, she said, "my son needs to look good for the picture." and I met Eli.   It was so awesome to see her. I talked to the Elders that are serving there. And they say she doesn't ever stop talking about me. She always says that Elder Christensen was the person who first converted her. Then Elder Simonsen was the Second person to convert her. So I was really happy to see her! Then I also met Sister Mamm! It was awesome she is still super strong in the church! So I am happy with my Recent converts! It was really fun to see all the people from the old ward they all came and were way happy to see me. It was way crazy to move super close. It usually doesn't happen that you stay in the Bangkok stake for as long as I have! So I am honored!


K well Anyway for investigators this week. Nothing much things are going good but, I think it was kinda like what Blake said in his e-mail. You know how there are huge houses with big gates. That is mainly my whole area. Then the other half is apartments, you can knock doors on those but the people get pretty mad about being bothered at their house. Anyway we are kinda struggling finding right now! A thing that they just barely started in our mission is Contacting. Like street contacting (we kinda did this before) But inviting or knocking doors has been deemed as super ineffective in our area and basically in Thailand. So we go out to parks, malls, busy areas and talk.talk.talk.talk.talk. They call this process, sifting the wheat. Very awesome stuff! It is really hard work, but we know that we will recieve blessings if we keep on being diligent and doing the Lords work! That is why we are working with LA's to hopefully find them and to help them, but on the way get referrals contacts and family members of the LA's to be interested.


As for investigators. We still only have two progressing good! That is Pee and Pin They are doing really great. So anyway that is the only thing right now. But I don't have to much time today we are going to go to Asok (downtown bangkok and hit up the shopping mall for cheap stuff. The greenies in our district still haven't been there so we are going to go with them. We are also getting haircuts today.

So this week a way that my testimony grew was at District Meeting. We talked about 3 Nephi 13:21-23 We talked about things in our life that we treasured as it talks about in verse 21. That things we treasure are things in our heart that we truly desire. That we want. We were then asked to write these down, then put them in the envelope and but your treasures away for the remainder of your mission. It was awesome then it goes on to talk about Sacrifice. And how Sacrificing is something that we give up. We all make sacrifice. Being parents, having children. Making a decision where to work, go to school. Then it goes on and talks about Consecrating. Consecrating is giving everything you have to God. These verses helped me realize that I don't only need to be on a mission in Thailand. But that I need to be on a mission giving my Savior everything I have. That the time is short you serve the Lord so consecrate yourself to serving him. It really helped my testimony grow on why I am out here. That you can apply this to our real lives that you will sacrifice for those things that you treasure. And you will consecrate your time and efforts to your family, wife, children. Because those are what we treasure in life. But as a missionary I am consecrated to serving the Lord. I am truly thankful for my great family, the opportunity to be on a mission. I have seen the blessing from being out here. But the thing I thought about most. And I brought it up in district meeting. Is we all want to be that weird kinda socially awkward missionary when we first get home. Because if you aren't you didn't consecrate everything you had to the Lord. It doesn't mean don't be yourself. It means try to be the most Christ Like you can be. That is something that I really appreciated this week. Thanks for your e-mails everyone. I love you all! Have a great week!


Love,

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Week

Hey Family!

Well I am so excited to hear about Pin (Yupin) ! That is so awesome I will need to write her a letter! So something about her. I guess I never really talked to much about her. Well that is where I come in. I told my trainer that we just need to call her everyday to remind her to pray and stuff. He told me do it if I wanted. So I did it. I called her everyday to remind her to read and pray. She started to come back to church again. Eventually all she need was Eli to come back from America so she could get married, to get baptized. So we waited. Eli never came back until after I left. When he came back they got married the next week. Then they taught Eli. So my equation in this role is I talked to Eli on the phone about once a week. She calls me her son because I was the person who didn't give up on her. I made sure that she kept coming to church, I had to call her a lot. But it was worth it. I am so happy for her. I am just happy that she had the opportunity to listen to this gospel! She had some difficult paths along her road to baptism. Her daughter died in March. Her daughter was 8.  I am so thankful to have played a role in her conversion because she now knows she will see her daughter again. She has one of the strongest testimonies I have ever heard. Hopefully I can see her at Stake Conference this week! That would be really fun!


Anyway great story! Besides that I learned so much this week! We had mission tour and the Asia Area President came. Six hours of lots of learning about the BoM! Best ever! He actually shared something that I really liked about his opening talk about writing home! It gave me some great ideas! So he talked about the most important thing to write home is how your testimony grew this week! Write about the experience you had that strengthened your testimony the most! Well I was like wow! Kinda like what P Brown said in his e-mail. Sometimes I know I don't bear my testimony in my e-mail or I leave out the spiritual side. So I really thought about that. And it is something that I want to apply. But I will do that later! So anywho. The mission tour was great! I loved learning about the BoM. Really helped me this week. When we talked to a white guy named Erwin from the Netherlands. Kinda started beating us down. About how we basically disregard the Bible. That why would we make a New Bible if we had one. That the Bible already has the word of God so he wouldn't make another one. Says we were going to Hell for tampering with God's doctrine.  I  Kinda see how the European missions are. Ya we just took it. Then bore our testimonies on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Very great stuff. I really like standing by my testimony. I haven't really had to do that in Thai to much. Most Thai Christians aren't as stubborn and don't bash you. They just say we believe in Christ already then walk away. haha! So fun! Loved it!


So bringing up investigators. We are actually working with a few people right now that are doing alright. We tried to give a date to Pee but he felt he wasn't ready. He is doing really good but just doesn't feel ready himself. He reads and Prays everyday though. Pin(the bishops daughter) is also doing really good. We went and visited the Bishops family again and taught a lesson to her. The Bishop has such a great family! They are really cool and strong in the Church!  K besides that we are actually working a lot with some referrals we got. One is actaully Elder Appleyard's (British Fellow) Stepdad or something. So his mom's first husband. But some of there kids live with Elder Appleyard in London. So it is kinda fun. We are hoping to get him interested in the gospel. We have focused a lot on LA's the past couple of weeks a lot. Mainly because if we want to stay a ward we need 15 Melchelzedick Priesthood holders. We have 12 right now. We have a few potentials with Go and Bomb.  So anywho we need people to come back. So we were asked to focus a lot on LA's so we have been. We have been meeting a few of them. So right now nothing big I will keep you posted. LA's can be hard to work with, but it takes a lot less work to find those Priesthood holders than to go out and find one.


So about Thanksgiving first. We actually have an international family/ from the international branch that wants to host our companionship and the sister companionship for Thanksgiving on Saturday. In Thailand it isn't a recognized holiday so Brother Pinvises doesn't have work off that day. So we get it on Saturday. But I am really excited he said he was going to have turkey! So ya! Not everyone is that lucky outside of Bangkok you don't have to many international people. As for Thanksgiving day. We will probably grab a 4 dollar T-bone steak from Uncle Mustaches. It is a really good steak place. Should be good. It will just be another day in the mission. So we will still do work! I guess I don't get to play any American football on that day.


So for Christmas I am not sure what day we call on. Christmas is on Tuesday. So we do teach English at Night! I imagine we could call you on Christams Eve. Or I call Christmas Night here and it is Christmas morning there. I will keep you Posted.


So anyway Mom talked about the Primary and the Mayflower. Sounded fun! Yes I remember that rock in a pit. They called it the Plymouth. I thought it would be bigger! Haha!


So anyway the thing that strengthen my testimony the most this week was on Friday when I was on switchoffs with Elder Merkley. We went across the river and taught one of there Recent Converts. Well actually he wouldn't come out and talk with us. He is 17 and he is kinda stubborn. But we talked with his mom. So help me if I find another person who has to endure what she has to. It was very hard for me to here this story.  Well we shared with her. 2 Nephi 31:19 and 20 that we need to endure everything that the path to Eternal Life is not going to be easy. We talked about how Christ has suffered all our pains through his atonement. He knows what we are going through. We are given these trials to test our Faith. We then shared D&C 18:10 That every soul is of great worth in the eyes of God.  Because she is loved by the ward. That the ward needs her. She was feeling like no one recognized her or visited her. After that she thanked us so much. My testimony grew a lot. She really understands enduring. It is a sad thing to see.  But seeing her this week really showed me that Enduring to the End is so important. That Christ did atone for our sins. He suffered every kind of pain for my sins and for everyone elses. We need to remember Christ's sacrifice for us. I am so grateful to be able to be forgiven of all of my sins. Because without Christ's atonement we wouldn't be able to live with our families again. I am so thankful for my great family! This experience really showed me that I have such a great and loving family! That I have a family who teach's me to be a great person to live righteously! I love you all! Thanks for everything!

Love,
Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fantastic Week!

Hello Everyone!

I can't believe how qucik that week went bye! And it is already November! So anyway seems like everyone had a pretty eventful week! Halloween seemed fun! Mom and Dad if you want Trick or Treaters you need to start doing something cool like a theme! Maybe like the Stark Tower or Something. I don't know but you should pray about it. haha! Anyway ya my week was fantastic! Really good stuff! Met Hiromi today it was a blast! They took us to eat at a Mexican Food place! Sunris Taco's It was really good. The meeting went really good. I brought up, what we are doing here. Why we come out here. Our purpose. I didn't really get to share anything. They had questions about lots of missionary stuff. It went really good. I just asked questions to see if they were interested in learning. Talked about Temples, churches, missionaries, mission presidents, why we go on missions. It was really good. I hope it sparked some interest. When asking if they have met with missionaries they talked about Cameron's friend. So I imagine Cam referred them to Justin Kuetell.  Who gave it to a missionary. They said they talked to them. But didn't take the lessons.  We talked about the purpose of life.  So I would actually encourage you mom to bring up the Plan of Salvation with them. I can tell that it would spark their interest.  You have to remember I haven't seem them in 12 years.  So we talked about life also. I can't believe there kids are 16 and 20. Wow! I wished her a happy birthday! And she gave me some of those japense chips that you like. The little half moon ones. And a good luck cat! It is awesome! I had a really great time. And it was fun to get to talk with them.



So Florida for work! Seems fun! That is really interesting about the Co-workers. It is always interesting being the odd one out. I feel it everyday everywhere I go. Mainly cuz I can see over everyone here. I am big and white. And they notice everything you do. You may not be wearing the name badge but you are still representing Christ. Everyone is. Now that members of the church have a bigger name. We are getting publicity all over the world. People ask us all the time if we are the same religion as Mitt. So now the world is familiar with us. So we need to start being disciples of Christ all the time. It is a great oppurtuninty to be a member of this church. Their are going to be so many opportunities to share the gospel. 

So yes Go was baptized this week! O man what a great experience that was! I have been waiting this whole transfer for that day. He is loves this Gospel so much. He is such a great example to the Ward here. He is a boss. This week he let us sit down with his brother. His brother is Buddhist. We brought up living together with his family and he said it would be alright. Go was kinda shocked, cuz he helped us teach.  Oat his nephew came to the lesson also and really liked the Plan of Salvation. So on Sunday. Go's Brother and Nephew came to the baptism. His girlfriend couldn't make it. But we are working hard to get her interested. It was awesome to here Go bear his testiomny after he got baptized. He talked about how Elder Susi found him. And invitied him to English to learn. They went to visit an LA that works at the same restuarnat as Go named Ateed. Who actually came to church on Sunday! yay! so anywho Brother Go had everyone give Elder Susi a round of applause for inviting him to English, because that was the moment it all changed for the better. Brother Go has such a strong testimony and he will be the best 16 priesthood holders this ward has!



So anyway Gaw is good we met with her. He Boyfriend is a Farang-a-tang AKA a white european. So anyway she is still learning.  So we are hoping she can pray to know the truth.  We also got a new investigator Lagsame. She is a 63 year old woman we found from our Market Stand last week! She is really interested she even came to the baptism and to church! really good stuff. She was so worried about church and not knowing what to expect but she had a really good experience. We also taught Warangkana and tried to give her a baptismal date.  Very good stuff. She really likes how we are really family centered.

So anyway that is about it, I am almost out of time. To answer some questions. Eating at fancy places. The most fancy we get is about Japense all you can eat buffets. about 300 to 400 baht. so 10 to 13 dollars. After that. Sizzlers can get up there if you order imported steak. I usually stay with the Filter Fish (6 dollars) with the all you can eat salad bar. haha! Today mexican food is up there. But not to bad.

Wow I can't believe Coleton and Sarah are already getting married. Or in 5 weeks. That is going by fast! Thanksgiving is coming up! Sounds like it will be fun to have everyone get together. O man know I miss good meat. haha! Here we will get hopefully a member to do it.  We have one that will have us over for her Birthday on the 27th she said she would make mashed potatoes and stuff. I think the 27th is close to Thanksgiving. So it works for me. haha!

Last thing So today I was standing on the corner of this street waiting for a taxi. When an old lady about 50 to 60 ran over and hit me. haha! She gave me a kidney shot and started running away. It was a little homeless lady. and she gave me a homeless, I hate white people look.  It was really funny. I have no clue why she hit me. So anyway. really fun stuff! 

We are also having the first primary program this ward has ever had!  Pretty sweet stuff.  I am excited for it next week.
 
On pictures me with Hiromi. And Go and baptism. Go is the person that I am standing next to! So on the left Elder Susi. Then Brother Bomb(really cool guy) Brother GO. Then me!

Ok got to go! Love you all!

Elder Landon SImonsen

Monday, October 29, 2012

Street Contacting!

Hello Family, 

Well I am really proud of my family today! Everyone is doing missionary work! I could say I have the best family ever.  My December transfer day is the 20th. That is a day before the end of the world. So that will be fun. I can't believe Transfers are already coming up the next week. Wow. Crazy. This transfer has gone by super fast! But we are doing good.

Pretty crazy stuff so anyway this week We got another dater her name is Gaw she is cool. She came to church yesterday and is really cool. She wants to get baptized as soon as possible. haha! really fun stuff. Go actually didn't get baptized this past week. He is for sure this Sunday. He moved it himself because he wanted his girlfriend and his Nephew who he referred to us the past week (Oat) to be at the baptism. It is truly awesome stuff. I am really excited. Although Oat is moving back to the South of Thailand where currently we don't have missionaries. But I am pretty sure we will start to move missionaries down there by the end of my mission. We have a unit down in Pu Khet that is doing really well. A unit is a kind of branch. No missionaries. And it isn't in a District or Stake. So anyway we hopefully want to teach Oat while he is up here. We actually will be hopefully extending a date to Pii this week he is awesome. He is really interested in the church he comes to church every week, but unfortunately he works really early to really late. So we can't meet him besides the day he has off. Which is Sunday. So at least that is good.

So anyway inviting was really hard for us a few weeks ago. So we started to do something else. "The Stand" at the local grocery market/thing on the corner where a bunch of people set up shops and sell stuff. So anyway we set up and we handed out 6 BoM's and got 3 return appointments and 4 Potentials. But overall really good. That is actually where Gaw came from. So it worked. Very awesome. We also went to the Naval Park so we ride our bikes around the park. Stop talk to people and then sometimes we get off and talk and walk. Maybe play some Bacchi Ball with some Drunk guys.:) haha. really fun. Anyway we talked to allot of people this week. It was really fun. And produced a lot more results than basically walking door to door.



This week we also have been visiting a lot of members. We were encouraged to start visting. And suprise!! Members started giving us food when we visit. haha. I guess sometimes it is inviting ourselves over. But hey. The members are so great here. They are really some of the nicest people I have ever met. This past week. I had my first Lasagna since last year. We went to Brother Bomb's and Sister Gai. Really cool. Brother Bomb used to play in a band and he always plays sweet songs on his guitar for us. He loves Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift. But also the Beatles and The Eagles. He is really cool. HIs family is awesome. We visit lots of people now days. We have had some good food too. So that is fun.

Well we also got a Senior Couple in our ward! yay! They are really cool! The Marvel's the are really cool. I got to translate most of church for them. I am pretty sure that they will be here. For a while! They are really nice and are from Weber. They are really fun and lively! Which makes me think! Grandma and Grandpa Ford should go on a mission! That would be awesome!

Ok well anyway we are going to go hit up the bowling alley today. Two games for 4 dollars on Monday! so yes fun stuff. The pictures I attached are of the Person I baptized this week. Sister Gwong (The sister investigator) But since it was a last minute thing she wanted the "The Big Elder Siam" to do it. haha! She thinks my name is Siam. She is awesome. For some reason people want the Big person to give baptism. Whatever. We are going to actually try and have Brother Bomb baptize Go. So that will be cool.



Ok so to answer questions, I never get used to the heat here. I am pretty sure I won't. I sweat so much. They actually had a Halloween Party in the Asok Ward. A White Member threw the Party I guess. But the missionaries serving up there got to go. They don't trick or treat here. Manly because you probably shouldn't be out trick or treating late at night. Everyone knows nothing good happens at night:) People still have Halloween parties, it just isn't celebrated across the country. Manily only in Bangkok. So anyway ya thats about it.


I hope you all have a great day! Love you all!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Inviting in Thailand

Dear Family and Friends,


Well this week boy pretty crazy, unfortunately not a new investigator this week. Due to the fact of a weird schedule, not too much inviting time. And we invited some tough areas (mainly Christain areas.) O boy those ones are tough. Why? because that is where white people live. haha. I think talking to white people is like the scariest thing in the world. JK. But seriously. I feel like I can't invite people in English that is mainly why. I actually have to translate in my head from Thai. It is kinda weird. But I don't speak the gospel in English too much, so it feels weird. So yes basically we are just working with the same people as last week. We got a lot of potentials and some people really interested, but our problem is we can't really teach single women. And that is who we run into a lot here. So anyway we got a lot of good potentials. Anyway no Go didn't get baptized this week. But...It was the best thing for him. It made him 10x's stronger and his desire grew so much. He just had some concerns, so we gave him another week. And BOOM. Blessings. He actually had a problem with getting work completely off on Sundays. But yesterday his boss told him that he can have it off all day, every week. Also he can still come to English Class (which is on Tuesday's, which was his old day off). All I know is that for some reason he needed this extra week. And it was a true blessing in his life. He has really been a great investigator. He is going to be a great addition to the 15 priesthood holders in the ward! The 16th. So yes. That is what we need for a temple here. Good stuff. Everyone else is doing really good. Pin is going great and Pii is doing alright (didn't come to church), We have a really good little family who is interested but she is worried to come to church because she doesn't want the kids to be disruptive. So we are working hard here. But yes we should have a baptism next week.

Ok so anyway this week on Friday, we had Zone Specialized Training. Which was really awesome. Elder Heap (Todd Heap's little brother) and Elder Toleman our Zone Leaders had a great training. really helped us this transfer setting goals and kinda going back to the basics. We talked about prayer and the importance of being specific when we pray, and helping investigators understand prayer. If you didn't know it is hard to help people who haven't prayed before to pray to a God. They usually do memorized prayers here. Or the follow someone. So every once and awhile in first lessons the people repeat what you say. Even if you tell them that we don't do that. They still do it. haha! really funny.

So we also had a devotional on Friday. It was a missionary who served here 35 years ago. He is in the bishopric of President Seniors ward in Arizona. It was an awesome Devotional and fun to here about why Thailand "Is the Best Mission in the World" haha. I am pretty sure most people say that about where they serve. But he had good points to share on why it was. I won't go into them but they where just about being diligent and hardworking and patient...etc. Really cool to see how much the church has grown here in 35 years. But in reality still the same Thailand we know today. People still have the same excuses at the doors. and everything. 

So funny story about patience.  So anyway we call the Old Grandma's here. Khun Yay's? Why it means like You Big. I guess old people. But anyway. While inviting this week, we ran into three of them. All said the same thing. So the story goes as the following..."Hello" How are you Khun Yay" Khun Yay says, "Not home" We say your home" She says, "I am a ghost" We say, " Can we give you a card." Khun Yay, "Not Home" We say, "Bye" Next house almost same story but instead of saying a ghost she said, "I don't know anything, I'm old" On the last house right when she said, "Not home" We just walked away. haha! Old people are so stubborn here. But it is really funny. The funny thing all these stories happened in a matter of 15 minutes so. Ya fun stuff. So anyway ya that is it for fun story of the week.


Ok so Anyway, fun stuff Yupin is getting married this week. And should be getting baptized in a week or so. So mom, ask her about it. Eli finally came back. I am so sad I missed it. But I also guess Best from my last area also has a date. So pretty awesome stuff. Our only two progressing investigators from last transfer are most likely getting Baptized. So exciting.

So today we are going to go to the Wax Museum up in Siam the Mall. Should be really fun I don't have any pictures of importance today, so i will send some next week.

Anywho that is about it. It only rained once this week. That I can remember. So yes good stuff. It is super hot and I sweat like a boss everyday.

Sounds like everyone is doing great.  I have a testimony I know that the church is true! And that it is important to be patient because we need to face trials and adversity with patience that the Lord will help us through. I love this Church and I know that through everything we go through the Lord is there helping us.

Love,

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, October 15, 2012

Conference Week

Well Hello Family and Everyone!

This week was pretty awesome! First some comments on my part. Is Ryan a Utah fan this year?:) Or is that just a shirt that he does work in? It looks like the house is going great! And wow is time flying, almost Halloween. The question of Halloween here is that they recognize it but they don't trick or treat or anything. You see costumes at the malls which might mean they have Halloween parties but I'm not sure! I don't stay out that late! Anyway Cam and Serena are going to be Captain America and the Captain America Cheerleader. sweet!

 Ok well anyway I am just going to go down my list I made so I don't leave question's out. The baptism was great. We actually had it on Sunday because we just did it after the second session of conference. Conference is done really cool here. They send use flash drives and just plug them into a projector. So we got to watch in English and everything. But they put the sessions like a half hour after each other so we get it done quick. Anyway so it was probably one of the best experiences of my life. Elder Holland just finish talking about how when you baptize someone, that it should change your life just as much as it changes the investigators! That hit me deep. It isn't just for them. Yes it is their live changing, but standing in that water yesterday I thought about how  this experience changed my life. I thought about my baptism. My feelings. Helping someone change their life is the best experience you can have. She said in her testimony that it was a feeling that you can't express. But when you go down into the water and come out and instantly you can feel that you are changed. It was an awesome experience, I can't even type words that express my feelings. She truly wants to follow Christ, I loved her testimony and it is such a strong testimony. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to baptize her. Sister Nuujanaad Siichaphud AKA Sister Noot (Nud) is awesome she will be a strong member and the ward is already supporting her.


Anyway Brother Go will be getting interviewed on Thursday and hopefully baptized on Sunday. He is a great! He is already inviting his family to learn with us. So I am really excited for him. It is so fun to see people progress like him. Because he just hears commandments and he does them. So it is awesome! We also have a few others Phii(Pee) he is doing great, he came to confrence and everything. He is really cool and we want to give him a date soon.  We got a new investigator who has two kids.  Anyway she is awesome and is super interested in the Plan of Salvation. So anyway we got a call from the AP's this morning that is fun. They congratulated us on our hard work. Our area just got it's second baptism in a year. First in Six months. so yay! and we will be having another here this week!

Ok so Lauren asked about the baby tiger. Ya you get to feed it a whole bottle, but when I was feeding it, it started to suck on my arm and then it started to like nibble on it cuz milk wasn't coming out haha! So the people were like freaking out. It felt like I was playing with a big Oreo (the cat) It was really fun. I wish I got to hold a monkey too because they were fun. It was only six dollars and they gave you the big photo also. So ya great deal. We might go back later.


So on the Flooding ya not as much here. We didn't get hit as bad as we thought. It rained a ton. but the flooding hasn't been nearly as bad. So ya. I was scared to take my shoes off after I heard of some snake bites in the flood water. So ya crazy stuff. But anyway not to much flooding last week.


So as for English this program is going great here! We have gotten about 20 new students in 2 weeks. So anyway we have about 55 people right now. You have to remember that we only have 4 missionaries here. So that is a good amount of people to handle. We switch off Teaching English and Gospel studies every other week. So good program we are doing some good stuff!

This ward is so great, although they are very busy and lots of them work 5 to 6 days a week. So they are very hard working here.

As for dad asked do Thai people like to speak English. Yes they love it. They love American music! Maroon 5 came here to Thailand last week and all the members, investigators and English students asked us if we could sing or if we knew their songs. Haha! They love American slang. Plus when we invite the people usually bring out someone in there family that speaks a tiny bit of English. But then they realize we speak Thai.

So I will think of a list of stuff I want for Christmas. Maybe something. But ya doesn't really matter. Maybe some snow or a Stocking. haha!

Ok well that is it for today. I want to leave you with my testimony. General Conference was the best. In 7 hours we watched 6 hours on Saturday. I learned so much. One thing that really stuck out to me was the Lord's Will. We need to be willing to do the Lord's will at all times. We don't know his will but we know that there is a reason for everything! There is a reason I am here in Thailand. Why Cam is in Medical School in Texas (If he didn't go there he wouldn't be married to Serena). Crazy thing but as One of the last speakers said.  Look at all the blessings the Lord has given us. The Lord knows what we need and where we are needed. There is a time and a place for everything. I realize that  on missionary work. If we didn't go somewhere or say something we are missing opportunities of the Lord. I was called here to feed the Lord's Sheep. They are hungry and searching for the Gospel all over the World. That is why when you go somewhere here in the mission. You know that there is one of the Lord's sheep that is waiting to be fed. So we need to be able to listen to the Spirit so we can do the Lord's will. I love this Gospel I know it is true. It was possibly the best experience to be able to have a baptism here. It makes my testimony grow everytime I see someone come to know Christ! I love you all and thanks for everything.

Love,
Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, October 8, 2012

Awesome Week!

Hey Family,

Wow Sounds like a really eventful week! Mission age getting changed and everything! That's good so now the sisters can't always pull the we are older than you card! haha! Anyway that is really awesome, so that lets us know to repent ye, repent ye and be baptized! Ok well anyway so I will start off with answering questions that is always easy. So yes we actually got another dater! It was awesome his name is Go. Scheduled for Oct. 19, He is doing really great. He loves learning with us.  He still is trying to get work completely off on Sunday's.  He said he talked with his boss to get off work until Church is over. So at least right now he can come.  This is just a problem because this society over here doesn't recognize a Sabbath day. Most people in America know already Sunday is a day that you rest, watch football, and have a BBQ with the family. They don't really have that here.
Elder Susi and Me on our Elephant!
Only $1.50 if you speak THAI!
Besides that we have Noot who is doing great still prepared for the 13th. She is Christian and so she is already familiar with lots of the stuff we teach. She wants me to baptize her. We obviously want to still try and get a member to do it. But she feels comfortable with me doing it cuz I am big.  So ya whatever. We also have a Pin who is the Bishops daughter. Doing really good.  She knows the Church is true! We also just started teaching brother Beck's Brother yesterday. He is really interested in learning. It was an awesome experience, because we found him on our own and can't ask the members for referrals! We have to wait for them to come to us. The Lord works in great ways. If someone is prepared they will hear about the gospel one way or another.  We also have a few other investigators,  but those are the really good ones right now.

So anyway this area is still supposedly not an easy area. The last baptism in this area I serve in was about 4 to 6 months ago.  This area is actually way more christain than any other area. We are hitting up around 30 percent Christian here. With about 5 percent Muslim. So the rest Buddhist. So it is way awesome!  So anyway that is what the area looks like. We actually don't have a lot of neighborhoods here. So we do lots of Street contacting.  We talk to people on the streets and we also have an awesome English program.  The members are really willing to help here. They are busy with their normal lives but at the same time easier to get there help with stuff.

We are working pretty good here. We had 20 lessons this week. First time in the long time. A good chunk of those are from our English class, so all is good here. We just need to keep putting our faith in the Lord and he will bless us!

In my new area the flooding is terrible! It has flooded 5 out of 7 days this week. When it rains it floods here. So it is crazy. I got a video of a street that was pretty bad. We are also right by a swamp so the water is gross. So we have to take our shoes off so they don't get destroyed/ smell. So that is always fun walking through calf deep water in swamp water. That you can't see the bottom of it. Shoeless. Anyway the Laundry man is awesome! Nothing better than having someone else do laundry and Iron your shirts and stuff! Haha! Sweet stuff! He also folds socks in cool balls!
Flooded Streets
So anyway the Crocodile Farm was pretty sweet! I held a Baby tiger. I had a choice between a monkey a baby tiger, or petting a big tiger. I figured feed and holding a baby one was cool so ya thats what I did. They had a sweet alligator show and like a MIllion or more Croc's So that was great! Although I forgot to take a picture with the Front that says Worlds Biggest Crocodile farm Anyway good stuff.
Me and Baby Tiger
It sounds pretty crazy back home. Everyone staying busy! Sounds like an intense month! Thanks everyone for all that you do! It really means alot! Keep up the work! Out here is the same old stuff. Just preaching the good word! It is always fun. All I know is that my time here is short. Everyday I look back and I swear it feels like yesterday I was at the MTC. But it really makes you want to work harder because wow. I am already on my second week here. And I am pretty sure time is going faster. So I want to take advantage of every moment. Even though inviting still is the hardest thing in the world and being rejected is never fun. That one person that is waiting for our message is our there. They are waiting for those white boys to ring the buzzer by the front gate! So I love you all and want to let you know the church is true! I am excited to hear the Good word next Saturday and Sunday. We are having a baptsim between sessions next week. So this is going to be a great week!

I love you all I know that this is the one and only true church.

Love,

Elder Landon Simonsen



P.S. Today we are getting hit by a tropical storm so raining. We are just going to the mall and getting haircuts and buying some stuff for the house. Maybe grab McDonalds or something. haha!

Monday, October 1, 2012

New Area "Samut Prakan"

Well Hello Family,

Wow I thought my new week was going to be crazy! And yes it was actually very crazy. So I guess I will just start off with the question and answers! Well So my new Comp is from Farmington Utah. He is from my Stake, and his name is Elder Anthony Susi. haha! Crazy huh! Right now I am serving in Bang Na/ Samut Prakan. If you look at a map and look at the Gulf of Thailand you have a area called Samut Prakan. That is where half our area is. The other half is in the Khet Bang Na. Which is basically right below where I just served. Look at a map of Bangkok. You have Khet...and then you can see Prawet where I just served is actually almost right above where I am serving now. 
 
The ward is great. My first week we went and visited lots of the members they have some really fun ones here. They actually just got a new Bishop last week. So when we met with him we joked about both being new. He is super awesome and has only been a member for 4 years. We are actually teaching one of his daughters right now. His name is Bishop Peace or in Thai Otigan Santi. So very fun.  We get about 75 people to church most weeks. We had 73 yesterday but there was a stake thing in another ward so members where gone. We have about 13  Priesthood holders. This ward is doing really good!
 
Me and Elder Susi
 
Elder Susi and I  get along super good. We are pretty good friends already and we teach really good together.   So I think that we will have some really good success here. We got to meet our Ward Mission Leader brother Brian. he is from Malaysia and parents are Chinese.  He knows way more english than Thai! He is actually going to broadcast General conference in Thai for us. Because his wife and him both went to BYU Hawaii and his wife is Thai but served in Arizona.  So Brother Brians wife said she likes Conference more in english! So yay! They will have it for us. So we get conference a week later here. Yes it is on tape Delay. But hey. whatevs! It is conference! We also get the Liahona every month (Well Two every other month.) But yes it is the Liahona, New eRa, and The friend. So that is way fun! I love reading them. We get Thai and English!

It is kinda funny. Something Elder Pipat said to me is that he doesn't get why everyone thinks Thailand is Third World. So he likes when greenies come in with there Vitamins and their Boots and all the water proof Gear. So ya it is funny stuff! Anyway Our District actually has 3 greenies in it. We have a group of sisters that serve in the Bang Na Ward with us. And then Two more Companion Ships that serve closer down by the Gulf of Thailand. Or below our area. So our ward is actually in Samut Prakan (Different city than Bangkok) But considered to be in the Bangkok Stake. So kinda fun. It is an awesome ward! The other Elders go to a different Ward (Which might be a branch.) But yes we also have a church builiding here!

So anyway I want to talk a little bit about the week. Monday awesome had my last FHE! Best FHE Ever. Tuesday. Found I was moving! Wednesday Packed up! So hard! I Also Sent a package home! No pictures in it haha! No room. Sad to leave my area! I guess that is why I had to go! It was really hard to stay somewhere 4 transfers. I think I went there more than my Church at college:) So ya it was a little hard to let go. But This new area is awesome! We are right by the river going up to Bangkok. Follow the river and a little up is where we are. Thursday visited some new investigators, Gay and Nung. Friday visted Shayne and some members. We went inviting and we handed out 8 Books of Mormon. Got two return appointments and sat down with one person. Saturday we ran some errands and stuff met more members! Sunday we walked a Recent convert to Church who is in a wheel Chair! he is so awesome! He is such a dedicated person! We also taught Noot and we gave her a date! It was her 4th lesson! and it was very awesome! Taught her the gospel. We gave her a date for the 13th of October! So anyway very awesome!
 
FHE in Bangkok
Anyway, it floods a ton where we live! It has rained everyday and is very rainy because we are closer to the coast I imagine! Ya It is awful to ride down flooded streets your shoes get wet and then you hit speed bumps and almost fall off. O ya. I ride my bike everyday in this area!

Today we are going to the Alligator Farm here in our area! So that is really fun. You get to feed alligators with a stick that has meat on the end! So I will let you know how it goes next week!

Have a great week!
 
Much Love,

Elder Landon Simonsen

P.S. So yea you know Elder Appleyard the English Chap! haha! Ya he is in my distirct! Elder Maples is our district leader.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Transfer Week

Hello Family and Friends,

Sounds like a pretty eventful week! It was awesome to get all the e-mails from the family! We don't have to much happening in the area this week just moving. haha! Ya I know I am moving for sure but I don't know where. So I guess I will keep you posted next week with that. Anyway to answer some questions. It feels really good to be 20, I don't feel like a baby in the district anymore. The Birthday was awesome! We went to Swensen's on Tuesday (Elder Pipat had switch offs on Wednesday so he wanted to go on Tuesday) Then on Wednesday we went to Burger King! MMMm. So good. We had Specialized training on Wednesday and the Zone sang happy birthday. Then after we ate. Then later that night, Sister Yupin threw a surprise party at the church for me. She said she wanted us to teach her so she could give me a cake. Then about 15 of the members sang happy birthday. After that the Sisters in our District had a scavenger hunt after planning for me. About 20 reasons why I am the best brother(in our mission we call people our Dad's and Moms if they are you trainer, my mom is the senior sister in the district when you are trained. To keep it short in mission terms sister Rodriguez is my sister. So that is the reason for that.) Ok anyway that was fun. Got some pictures. I also got two cakes. Carrot cake from Sister Nong and a Butter Cream cake from Sister Yupin. Anyway it was a great birthday.

Ok anyway this week was great. We had Stake Sports day and it was a mandatory thing for all Bangkok missionaries to go. We are trying to make the relationship better with members in Thailand. That is the first thing that is important in our mission. Because it is a fact without the members we can't do missionary work here. So anyway. It was super fun but as my pictures will not send through the Myldsmail thing I will send them all in a package. Maybe in a letter? Seems quicker. Ok! Sounds Good!

This week I will be moving to a new area! I love it here in Srinakarin and the members are great! I love them all. This ward is really fantastic. I am sad to leave though! I love working with LA's it is something that I realize is important. If anyone gets the chance I encourage you to read "To The Rescue" talk by Thomas S. MOnson in April 2001 General conference. It is a beast of a talk. That is our purpose right now in our mission.
 
This past week, Mike wasn't able to come to church but he wants us to come over on Wednesday before I go. To say bye. Ron is doing great. We only had about 10 minutes to talk to him this week though. So anyway good week they are great people and I hope things are good for them. Yupin is as strong as ever in the gospel. She really wants to help with missionary work. So we are putting up an English banner at her restuaruant on Tuesday.  Sorry about the short amount of time. Pictures where all messed up and stuff. But I had a great week!
 
Also this week it started to flood really bad. Outside of our appartment was all covered in water so it is getting pretty intense it is a good thing I have great shoes! haha! Love ya all! I am so glad that things are all going well. 
 
Well love you all and thanks for the e-mail!
 
Love,
 
Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, September 17, 2012

Birthday Week!

Hello Family,

Well This Week was great! First off I started by last Monday by getting surgery on my In-Grown Toenail! Haha! Super Fun. I walked in to get it checked out. We have a senior Elder who is a foot doctor and he saw it and said, "How long have you had it?" I said a week. He said," get on the table and he cut it out! Haha! Anyway I also got to sit down with President Senior last week on Monday at the office and he said that he has read my blog haha!. He said he found it when googling something! So haha super funny! He is a great guy and super easy to talk to. 

Mission Surgery

So anyway to answer some questions. Yes I got the videos, I loved them and thanks for the Birthday songs and the words or kindness! It was fun! No my area isn't flooding. Down a little bit south of me is. About 10 miles away to the south in Samut Prakan. That is where the British Elder and Elder Campbell from Davis are serving.  So anyway the Thai food sounds great. Nothing better than Pad Priaw Wan, Pad Thai, and Massamang! Ummy! When you come over that stuff will only be 1 dollar and tastes way better for sure! Plus pineapple over here is like 20 cents and you can't buy vegetables that aren't fresh. It will be hard to go back to fast food! haha!  And yes, Pin (yupin) said she will make me a cake and some food for my birthday. We will also go to Swensen's the ice cream place. So ya anyway for General Conference we get it about a week late and only at some places do they have it in English. I'm not sure if we get to watch Saturday sessions or not. 

Anyway transfers are coming up on the 27th. So I will get mail on Wednesday so any birthday letters will come on my birthday. Also we will be having Speicalized training. So that will be fun! haha! So I will see all the guys in the zone. It will be fun we will go get lunch at McDonalds or something. That is a special occasion!

So the week super good but we still are struggling getting lessons on the invite.  It is kinda funny. Elder Wagner said he has never seen an area where you are obedient and have no success until he came here. He had better stats in the office when you are in the office for 6 hours a day. We straight up don't know how to get more investigators! It is crazy! We invite everday for atleast an hour. But nothing. It is hard. So anyway we are going to start a booth at the mall. So the people who are interested come to us. We just aren't finding the people through inviting. Well we still have all the investigators. Yupin, Guy, and Best.

English class is going great! We have about 85 students right now. And we are retaining a lot. We are really pushing to teach English first, then the gospel. We give our spiritual thought and done. It is good because we want people to know we are here to serve them whether they are Christian or not!

Anyway I sent a picture of switch offs with Elder Pipat we went to a Thai BBQ and we had some fun with an all you can eat meat place. It had Pork, Beef!!!, Bacon, Chicken, Fish, and everything! So anyway! it was great! Good stuff. I learned a lot from Switchoffs! Don't invite by the North Korean Embassy. They don't like Americans! haha! Jing Jing! Truth! It was weird! They had a bunch of Communist stuff! I guess that is crazy about the Muslims attacking the American embassys. But remember you are judging about 5 percent of the religion! haha! most are generally pretty nice that we run into! So don't be scared for me. 

Thai Barbeque
Well time is up So I love you all and thanks for everything! Thanks for the birthday videos they are awesome! It was fun. I know that this church is true and I am so glad to be here and serving the Lord. This week we studied a lot about desire and why are we here serving. Jing Jing. So I thought. Why am I here? Well I can pin point it to a few things. My family! That is the first thing. My father served a mission, my brother, and my Mom raised me to go on a mission. I want to share the happiness that my family has with others! That is the truth! I want to help the people here in Thailand know why the family is important. The other fact is I had no other thought from the time I was little, that families are important.  "I hope they call me on a mission in Primary" haha! so keep that up. I love it here.  I was called to serve here for a reason and I know that the people here need me. But more importantly I need them! I have grown so much on my mission. I have learned that it isn't about how many people I baptize. It is about how many lives you influence for the better. And that is why I love teaching Less Active members. I love bringing souls "back" unto Christ. I love helping people understand that there is more to life than achieving nirvana and being in a state of nothingness. That you can be with your wife again. With your children again. I love this church!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Busy in Bangkok

Hello Everyone!

First off Dad asks this question everyweek and I always forget to answer it haha! Does the adapter work? Of course it does! I use it everyday. For my alarm clock and to charge my camera. It does fry certain electronics, like Ipod's and stuff. So it is good to have. I also wanted to address Dad's question of what Bangkok is like.  Where I serve not many big buildings but You can see Downtown Bangkok from our building which is tall (about 23 floors) But the tallest buidling in Bangkok only has about 45 floors or something like that. They aren't into huge buidlings. But I will send the picture next week. Anyway so yes I still teach english everyweek. I teach ABC with Elder Pipat. We teach people how to go to Grocery stores and to help Farangs who are tourists get to the BTS (Bangkok Transportation System). It is fun! Because that class is basically all Thai so I teach with a Thai person so he can help explain stuff. We make a good team! Fun fact, Teaching English is one of the few reasons we where allowed to come into Thailand.

Ok so anyway the language is coming really good. I am at the point now where I can do basically whatever needs to be done. But vocab is still really hard. I am still learning words not related to church vocab which is fun. But at the same time hard, cuz you don't use them as much. But the language is good and is still really good. I can definately understand a lot better that I can speak. Anyway ya it is fun Mom asked about the Primary Program. They usually sing once a month and sing about 3 songs everytime. There are about 6 or 7 children in the primary. So haha! It is fun. They don't split off into classes or anything. 

So anyway this was the best week of the transfer so far! Haha! We had more lessons this week than the whole transfer combined! We got 10 again! About time. We had been really struggling to get lessons the last few weeks. But it was really good. Those potential investigators worked out! "Best" is a referral from a person who lives in Asok (Downtown Bangkok, not that scary) She is 23 years old and is really interested in families and everything. She is doing great and came to church on Yesterday! So we have hi hopes for her. Also we have Gey(Gee) he is cool and is interested in families and the Plan of Salvation. 

Well the funny thing about this week is the best part wasn't even the teaching or finding investigators. We have been working with two people/ families this week. The first is Mike Oggai he was born in California and a week later moved to Japan where his mom was from. Anyway he doesn't speak Thai to well so we talk to him in English. Kind of fun story. One day we just saw him on a Motor Cycle and invited him to church. He didn't come for 2 weeks. But then last week he came late to priesthood. And only stayed for about 15 minutes. But those 15 minutes changed his life. Last night he invited us over to come eat with him (My first time being invited to eat dinner at a members house, besides FHE!) So we were excited because he only wanted us to come, no members. He has been inactive for about 5 years.  I don't think I have felt the spirit as strong as I did in that lesson. I haven't seen anyone with that desire to change there life. He said that the day we talked to him for 1 minute on that Motorcycle he felt good. And he wanted to feel good and change his life again. He is awesome and has a great family.  All it took was us to listen to him and his concerns. All we did was listen. It was great! 

Also the other person Ron Grey from Idaho. His parents were members but some reason he wasn't He moved to Texas, where he was baptized. He then moved to Thailand and became inactive.  But for some reason the Mormons keep finding him where ever he goes. They found him while he lived in Korea. And everything. The funny thing was we didn't share a gospel message with him. He just wanted to talk. But for some reason he said, "Ya I was reading about the church in Thailand yesterday, then you guys show up today!" Funny stuff. Because his house was the last house in a street with a dead end. And the better part is we were actually talking with his wife who was Thai. We were talking about her Garden when Ron came out cuz the phone rang. It was awesome. You can tell from his story that he was supposed to be found. So he invited us over for some Soda's this week. But we just want to show we are normal, we want him to bring up the gospel. 

Anyway another fun story this week is after we helped a member move and I carried a huge TV down 4 floors of stairs by myself. We went to a Eason Food restraunt with Elder Pipat and Thannawut. We did the usual Order 5 dishes and share thing. The next day all four of us where on the Toilet! haha! Lets say we aren't going back there!

Well This week was great! This transfer has been hard. I have a great companion. Great District. And Great Ward. But no matter what we did. No matter what we planned. Everything. Every plan. Fell through. Elder Wagner and I thought what are we doing wrong? Well. That's the point. We weren't but we were being tested. Finally after 2 weeks of inviting and being tested. We finally have a good investigator pool again. But there is still a lot to happen! We still have a lot to do. I know that when times are hard, it is so easy to give up. But with hope, faith, and Charity (Moroni 7) We can do anything. Really you can trace anything back to hope. Because with hope for the future anything is possible. Without hope the present is the hardest time of your life. The key is always looking forward with hope and faith. With these things you can accomplish all the Lord requires of you. You can Endure to the End and by Enduring to the End live with your family forever! Which is the thing that we all hope for most! Eternal Life with our Heavenly Father and the ones we love!

I love all of you! Have a good week!

Love, 

Elder Landon