Monday, April 30, 2012


Hello Everyone,
K so the picture attached is me eating a grass hopper. With Elder Olive on splits. He is the ZL.  Plus, I am sweating like crazy.  It's cooking here!

Ok so for some question answers.  We do about half of our teaching appointments a week at the church. Cuz we get a lot of investigators from English or their families don't want to learn. So we teach at the church a lot and the members are so willing to help. Cam asked the question if I am teaching anyone. We have 9 progressing investigators right now. We had 8 at church this week and last night while knocking doors! Which isn't against the law. We went into an apartment complex thing it had a courtyard (very small) with houses around it. We found three potential families to teach. All with about 4 people in them. We are teaching them tonight at about 6:30. So the funny thing about Thailand is you don't really know people's real names.

O ya so you can try to find The Trio Garden in google. That is the name of the Condo's we live in.
Our Apartment
Ya that is some crazy sweet updates for the week! Jazz, Mitt. ACL's haha! Thanks for everything! Ya and that awesome group of missionaries coming in from Thailand is pretty neat! The rumor is( President Smith said), for now on the missionaries coming in will be greater than those leaving! So we are growing it is true!

Ok So for this week P-day! We were going to play soccer today! But instead we helped the Ward Mission leader move.  So that was fun. But yes they love soccer here. One of the members told us yesterday that you have to know to play soccer if you want to get into houses! So ya they love that sport. But usually for P-days we play sports. Go to zoo's like the Aligator farm or the Snake farm or Elephants and stuff. So it is cool. As for friends nearby. They are spread everywhere. Mostly in the Bangkok area. Lots in the middle. But I think only 2 in the Eason (east) where I am.

Ya as for my week. You are probably wondering about the grasshopper. So insects are a hot commidity here! They are like starbursts or like halls coughdrops. Everyone eats halls but anywho. So we were going to start with a cricket cuz it is tiny. But I thought hey I know I could eat a cricket. So I tried the Grasshopper. It was worse than the liver. It was super crunchy and I managed to swallow half! It was so scratchy and you could feel the leg in your throat. Ya it was gross. It was probably the most crunchy thing I have ever had. But it was better than eating a cockroach.  Anywho. They have silk worms and everything. But I threw up when I tried to swallow the second half of the grasshopper. Ya I am a sissy.  But you are trying it when you come here! Ya I went with Elder Olive he is a sweet guy! Love him to death! He always cooks for us on Sunday nights Spagehtii.
Speaking of food, check out our sea side dinner! Haha!  I love the dirty rivers too!

As for the weather. It was so hot this week! Could you send me the weather update for the week? Anywho so it does rain. For like 10 minutes a day. Then it is just Scorching. They had 3 people die on Tuesday from being dehydrated! So we had to drink 2 liters of water every mornig. Still do to! Straight from President Smith himself. Supposedly it is way hotter than last year!

Ok as for the week. We knock doors a ton! And it is actually very effective. It is probably the hardest thing ever. But nothing to bad. Most people just have dogs. Or you talk to them and ask questions and they act like you aren't speaking to them. But eventually it all works out! We taught 2 lessons yesterday off of inviting. And we also found a referal who wasn't interested at all and kept walking away from us. Then we gave him a BoM and he listened and was super interested! So miracles happen! So ya things are going good. We most likely won't have a baptism until June if things work out alright. People here have lots of things to overcome. Whether it be giving up budhism, because they don't want to be disowned by the family. Or it be they have been living with there boyfriend for 10 years and have 3 kids. There is a lot. But I know that this Gospel will truly help them! And it has! You can see the change that occurs when people learn about the Plan of Salvation or about families. It is awesome!

So as for English it is super fun to teach. This week I taught all by myself for the full hour and a half. They love to learn slang. like..."What's up my homie?" Or. "Hey Boss", "What's Crackin". It is awesome they have a super hard time with the words choose and shoes. And the V's and stuff. I love teaching English.

So the area is really booming right now. The church is really starting to grow here. We had 119 people at church. Some stake members. But we had 20 investigators between all three companionships in our ward! So things are good here!

I'll tell more about crazy people next week. But taxi drivers are the worst haha!

Love Elder Simonsen

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thai Traffic

Hello Everyone!
It was a pretty good week! So i'll start off telling you about that! So last P-day we went down to the center of Bangkok it was awesome I bought a belt, 5 ties, and a man satchel (those are nice to have) I got all of that stuff for about 9 bucks. So ya stuff is pretty cheap here. They have everything that you can think of. So definately we need to stop there when you come. Also it isn't as bad as everyone made it. I was expecting worse and it is actually pretty nice but it is super crowded. We ride trains and rails everywhere and they are always stuffed every time of the day. So I have a picture of the huge traffic in bangkok also.

 We are going inviting at swensen's the ice cream place and inviting on the Word of Wisdom. Inviting is super different here. You have to explain baptism completely cuz they have no clue what it is. They don't believe in God and Jesus Christ. Basically you start with we have a message about families having happiness. Do you want happiness for eternity with your family. That usually gets them. Or they want to become clean from their sins so you go with a baptism approach. It is really a super fun experience and the language is coming. Slowly but surely. They speak fast but I'm starting to get it down to the point where I can follow a conversation pretty well and ask questions. Talking on the phone is the hardest part. Cuz you can hardly understand people. But I usually call about 1 person a day and follow up or invite or something! It is fun and hard. And yes we usually do it on speaker phone. And we also talk to people on those Song Thaw's which are the trucks with the seats in them! It is supper fun!

So today we went to the Middle of Bangkok to a park and played ultimate phrisbee with the Asok (Middle Bangkok) Zone and The East Bangkok Zone Mine. And I met up with a bunch of people. So I got some picks. We have 6 greenies in those two zones combined so I met up with some old buds! We had a great week!

It is really fun to teach the people here about the gospel and it takes a lot of effort! But I love it and am so glad to be serving here! The people are awesome and I know that we are so lucky to know the things we do! They believe in things and have no hope about life after death. They don't know where they go. We have lots of investigators with people who have passed away. It is really a message of comfort that we share and it is truly a blessing to be sharing it!

That about sums up this week.  I will write again next week.

Elder Landon Simonsen

K so the food is amazing here. I have only had american food twice. Subway and Burger king. Usually you just eat on the street cuz that is where the good food is at! They don't have menu's here and every street vender cooks the same dish differently! It really is amazing! And actually you don't even like to eat the American food cuz it just seems weird. Cuz the street vender foods/ house's with a food place in it! Are only about 30 baht to 40 baht every time you eat. We get about 220 baht a day for food and bath supplies. Yes they actually have listerine and everything! Except deodorant. So I'm glad I am set!

Ok so a little about the weather it only rained today it was the only time this week. It was sunny and hot! So the usual. And as for the humidity ya your phone lies. It is close to 100 percent you can feel it when you leave. Basically you start sweating when you leave the house. The humidity owns you and the sun is hot. As for the earthquake last week we didn't feel it. To answer your question, even the Thai people complain about the humidity and how hot it is. It is definately more hot and more humid than I thought! But I love it here! You get used to the sweating after awhile! And tracting is fun! We knock doors and everyone has dogs that bark at you! But if you get bit you have to get a rabies shot so you don't pet them!

Last monday we had FHE at brother Chon Chay's and Sister Uang's house they are recent converts of about 8 months to a year. But they are sweet! Brother Chon Chay used to be in the Mafia and he  loves to joke with me with this thing they call yay yay/ leg leg. It is like big and small. It is weird but they love it! So at FHE we want to teach about the importance of it and to be with your family! The problem here is the translation for the word Family home Evening means Family Gathering/Party. So they always have food and invite a bunch of other members of the ward over. So we had about 3 families when we planned for one! They are all awesome! So we still need to work on that. But anywho they said I was to big to sit on the floor so they let me sit on the couch and brought a stool for my bowl! haha! It was so funny and then they took my chop sticks cuz I didn't use them right! They usually just eat with a fork and spoon but we had noodles. People here don't like when you use chop sticks wrong! So they let me use my fork. Haha.

 So I had English class this week! It was the bomb I loved teaching it! The people call me teacher and they really respect you and want to learn. They also like to learn slang like what's up!, what's cracking! Hey boss! It is funny! Anywho basically no one here can say my name. Usually they just call me Elder Simon.  This week they called me Elder Swensen (which is an Ice Cream store) Elder Cinnamon, Elder Simon Says. I get a lot of um because they don't know what to call me, but they really love to talk to you. They always ask if you know Harry Potter or Katy Perry. They love the American song artists!

Last night was fun! We ate at an investigators house. Called team girl squad. They are 3, 22 to 27 year old girls.  There used to be 4 but now 3. So We teach them and they don't really commit. but we wanted to meet with their families. So they had us over for dinner. So we went and we brought Brother Guy who is pretty funny.  Anywho so we are eating some Eason food which is probably better than Thai food. You can't get it in America so that will stink. Anywho we had a bunch of different dishes and I took one that looked like beef and stuff. Ya I took a lot cuz I hadn't had beef here yet. I learned quickly it wasn't beef. It tasted like rotten terrible tasting something! It was some liver seasoned in something. anywho I gagged like 4 times. But I took alot. (dinners are like pot luck You get like 6 dishes and share.) so I had about 6 pieces of liver left. I was done eating it was so gross. So I put the napkin in my shoveling hand and dropped it on my plate. Then stuffed the liver in my bag! haha. It is some gross stuff! Besides the liver so far the food has been super good! Thai people love liver though. Lets see besides that we got a lesson in about families but here parents didn't want to learn. and neither did her 101 year old grandpa. People live long here! They eat supper healthy!

K Church yesterday was awesome I understood nearly 60 percent of words! But I met the bishop yesterday! He was a missionary in thailand and he is super funny. He is about 5 4 and is awesome. He always hugs me. But that is usual here. The older people probably like 50's and up always slap my butt or grab my elbow. They are a very touchy people but they are probably some of the nicest people I met! They really are super awesome and love teaching them. So we have a good story. Yesterday we had an investigator come to church who wanted to learn about the BoM. She called a pass along card. Which never happens. She is Christian and came to church the next day. Her name is Diam. She came to all of church and then after church we gave her the BoM. Then she order the Liahona. Which is the Ensign, Friend, New Era in one basically. So hopfully this goes somewhere!

Monday, April 16, 2012

First Week in Thailand

Hi Everyone!

Well after that really long flight, the first day in Thailand was hot! I started sweating in the airport and then we got outside and it was even hotter. We went to get our picture taken for our passport card and work visa, so I carry like 3 cards around with me all the time. That first day we had to place a BoM we call it the 'Dan Jones' experience here. I went with Elder Clark who is a missionary here in Bangkok. We actually got a lesson in with an old guy. We walked to his front gate and said sawadii khrab, then we got in to his house eventually. We gave him a short lesson on families and how God is our loving Heavenly Father. Then we gave him a BoM, he couldn't read but we told him to keep it. He was an older man probably in his 70's. Well that night we stayed at the Mission Home which is super nice and we had a super good thai dinner. And yes, the fresh fruit is the best! You need to try some I haven't ever had any of this exotic fruit before! So we had about 13 elders sleeping in one room at the mission home it was awesome! The next day we had our mission transfers. There is a group of 16 leaving and we replaced them. Something cool is they said that they have 11 native thai missionaries coming in next transfer along with the provo ones. Something else they announced is that we got a different mission president. The Presdient we had, his wife has a Brain Contusion or something, and they got moved to North Carolina and then the North Carolina President who speaks Japanese is getting sent here. He is President Senior. So it will be fun to have a president who doesn't know Thai yet.

K now for the part you have been waiting for, I got called to the Sri Nakarin (Sii Nagarin) In Bangkok. my companions name is Elder Thrap from Iowa, he is the district leader and he is awesome he reminds me of Drew Rees. It will be awesome serving with him. Also Sister Rodriguez from my district in the MTC got called to my Area. So we are in the same district. We are in the district with the Zone Leaders also  and they are super cool Elder Olive and Elder Cottrell. We do a lot with them. My area Sri Nakarin is East Bangkok. So I got called to Bangkok and we actually ride taxi's and the Song Taw which is the truck with seats in the back. I am excited and we have a super great ward. I had to teach a lesson to investigators on the first day here Brother Bing and Brother Nung. We have a total of 2 investigators with a baptismal date Sister Anne (notice I am just saying there name in English.) And Oom. We also have a Sister Yu PIn who invites us over a lot for dinner and stuff. She lives in our building and I had dinner there on the first night I was here. She has all the lessons and actually helps teach some of the investigators. She just isn't married yet which is a huge problem here in Thailand.

Well I had church yesterday, that was fun. I guess that Conference is delayed a week here cuz they watched that last week and then had Easter this Sunday. The missionaries had to sing two songs for the ward (In Thai) and then the new missionaries bore there testimonies. So that was fun. As for understanding them I think I understood like every 5 words out of 20 at church. They speak so much faster here and they have an accent when they talk that is hard to get used to. No I couldn't understand a lot of what was going on but lots of the members do know some english so they sometimes speak to you in English. Also we have the best ward in Thailand, we have about 80 members and all the members are so willing to help teach/ sit by/ call/ the investigators. Brother Rag. Is actually a person that Brother Mckonkie (my MTC teacher) Baptized on his mission while in this area. He helps us teach a lot.

So as you all know we had Son Khran (The water festival) this week. On Friday we had a P-day cuz you get soaked with water. So we went to Asoke, which is the middle of Bangkok and played with water. Everyone in the country plays, it is probably the craziest thing I have ever seen. There are more drunk people than any other place at one time. I would say most of the people you run into are drunk. That is why we had a six oclock 'be home' time during friday, Saturday, and sunday. And there are lots of Guys that Dress up like girls and run around which is weird. But besides that it is cool. For the festival, they put this powder stuff on your face called 'Bang' and everyone has it on their faces and bodies. On Saturday we actually had to tract and find people. So we wore church clothes with running shoes. We got soaked again, but we did find a little family that was interested, but they live out side of our area. So yes you actually do knock doors here. Cuz we did it. And nearly everyone has dogs that bark a lot so that was fun.

As for the people they are so nice here. And yes I am a lot bigger than them and they all like to have fun and talk with me because of it. All the people here are pretty Buddhist but we have a few Muslims by us. Almost every person we run into always says, " Every religion teaches us to be good" So they try to say that we are just another religion which kinda gets old after awhile. But the people are really nice but I can hardly understand them. It is like how Kira knows you are talking to her but she can't talk back. Ya that basically sums it up. I can teach though so I am getting better. Also I have learned how to make phone calls and appointments and stuff. So that is pretty fun and hard. Usually I say something then I don't know what they say back.

As for pictures I got a few but with son Khran you would get your camera ruined. Cuz people drive around with people in there trucks and throw water from cars. Everyone is on the side of the roads. But I do have a few pictures so it will be fun to show you!

Also we do have a butt sprayer! That is actually fun to use! And eating with a spoon and fork is acutally really fun!

For the bike they just bought the bikes and we pay them back. I wish we rode elephants. haha They gave us helmets and locks to. But unfortunately I don't ride a bike here. We did ride the sky train when we went to the center of Bangkok. So that was fun!

Oh ya, for P-day today, we are going to go get some cheap ties in downtown Bangkok. That will be fun!

Hey thanks! Love ya guys! The mission is going great! I love it here! Thanks for all the encouragement!

Love, Landon

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The Water Festival 'Son Khran'