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'

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