Monday, June 25, 2012

New Mission Home

Hello Family!

Today is great! Well I finally get to pick up my suit! The pants were a little short so they made em longer a little. Fit good though! And the suit turned out great! I wish I could send the picture! But I don't have one. So you will have to wait till next week! I also go my Thai name tag. They still have english on it, but at least Thai people can read it. And all the new people still call me Elder Simon. haha! I guess that the -sen is to hard to say!

So I love answering questions. First thing first we gave Sister O a date. ( I love trying to english tize names!) Anyway Sister O/โอ๋ has a date for the 4th of August. And she is doing great. She works on Sunday's right now but she meets with us like 2 to 3 times a week. Which is good! So we are trying to help her keep the commandments. She is awesome though she understands the Gospel super well. Jeff understands alright. He can't meet as much because he is a taxi driver here. And if you are a taxi driver here. You are hardly home. So it is hard to meet with him even though he understands the Gospel pretty good.

We also have Nun and On they are doing great. We are going to extend a date with them on Tuesday. Probably for August sometime. But they are super willing to meet and are really interested. We have only met twice but they are reading and stuff! And bringing a new friend on Tuesday. So It is exciting.

As for our family of Three. Mak, Ooy, and Taam. Are doing great. They are struggling with reading. But we finally got to stay at church all three hours. They usually just stay for sacrament. Anyway we taught Taam in English seperate from his family. Well his parents are there. They are all fluent in English. Because they went to another chrisitian church. But Taam can't read Thai and doesn't understand the church vocabulary in Thai either. So it is a different experience. Very fun. This week we taught the Restoration and The Plan of Salvation.

So this week was super fun I got to go on Switchoff's with Elder Cam Simonsen and Elder Ryan Mitchell. JK. I went with Elder Cottrell but he is the same age as them! He turned 25 last week. Ya very good switchoff. You can learn a ton from someone that knows the gospel super well. He has lots of experience. And is very good at teaching. Sometimes it is a little intimidating cuz I feel like he is way older than me. haha. Besides him talking about getting married to the perfect house wife. It was a super good switchoff!

I also got to talk to Eli this week he is one of our investigators boyfriends/ almost married/ lived together for a while. They had a daughter die in March and so they needed to pay off Medical bills so he moved back to America to get some money from something. Anyway he lives in Boston. And he was talking to me about the Red Sox who aren't doing to good. And about the Iphone and Mac computers and stuff. Also about how good American Cheese Burgers are and how steaks are so good! haha! Ya it made me crave Texas Road House! Some real bread, but hey at least I can get a pork burger! Kinda to answer the question if I can get Salmon over here. It is still expensive. They have lots of fish for cheap I just like river fish and stuff. Tastes good! So I really need to send some pictures of the food. It is really good. Eason food is the best. You basically have Pork, Chicken, or, Fish. Super good cuz they have a million ways to prepare dishes here with rice haha!

I taught about 12 lessons this week. So the missionary work is picking up!

Haha so for English class this week I tried to teach that's Sick because it was on Health this week. Ya no one understood it. So I started with That's Cool. And more understood. haha! It is super cool. They are awesome, I have one person in my class who always asks me to sing songs in English. This week he had me sing Jason Miraz I'm in love with my best friend. And the one Some Where Over the Rainbow. He plays the guitar and wants to know how they sound in English so he can sing them. He tells me it sounds so good when a native sings the songs! I thought I was tone deaf! But whatever!

Well I can't believe the Heat won! That is ridiculous! And as for suggestions. I could use a Butterfinger. Cuz they don't have those! Basically any good candybar. They only have Snickers and thats it. You just throw it in the freeze when it gets here. I asked around! America o how I love you and your variety! Ya they only have like 4 flavors of pop over here. but at the Farang market ( American market) They have Dr. Pepper and Mt. Dew!

So on Thursday we got to move the mission home. It looks super nice. And big! The new place has 5 floors and they are finished with 2 of them. Looks really good. It used to be a bank. Still aren't finished moving. But The mission president comes this week. We meet him next Suday!

New Mission Home

K love you all! Have a good week!

Love Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day

Well family! Looks like a fun week! And Happy Fathers Day!

So it sounds like the wedding went great! You will need to send me a photo album! Of all the pictures, since I only saw three! But they looked good and I didn't see my cut-out in the family photo! Disappointed! haha!Ya it is to bad I wasn't there to give like a toast or something. Or dance or be funny. I guess it is a good thing that I didn't get to do one of my notorious wedding jokes! But anyway it sounded great! And Serena looked great! Very beautiful! And Cam you looked very handsome in your Tux! Very awesome I love gray! Good color! Everyone else looked good also! So I don't want to have to name everyone. One thing is though remember to keep my cut-out put it in my room or something!

So some fun stuff this week Last Monday we went inviting in a christian neighborhood and got kicked in the teeth very fun and hard and rejected! haha! Super fun! First house we went to the guy spoke perfect English and was like Dude you are Mormons you can't be out after six and all this stuff. Then the next one had a huge aluminum cross in the front yard, that guy was crazy! So anyway those are some fun stories. Lately Buddhist people just ignore us at the door. We get in a few times but nothing serious it made me think of Matthew 10:22, " And ye shall be hated of all men for my names sake: but he that Endureth to the End shall be saved." Great scripture and the key is just to keep enduring! Missionary work sure isn't easy but when you find those people it is rewarding. Inviting is hard but it needs to be done to find those people prepared for the gospel.

So this weeks new investigators are Jeff and Oooh. Haha they are sweet! Oooh is protestant and she is pretty open to learning with us her only thing is getting baptized again but she says after the second lesson she already believes in the BOM so that is super cool. Origianlly Jeff was the referral we got. He is a taxi driver and is Buddhist but understands super well. We taught him the whole restoration on the first lesson and he remembered all of it! haha. So those are some really good people we will be giving Ooh and Jeff a baptismal date this week. We met them twice already and they were doing great on the second lesson. So any who we still have our daters Mak, Ooy, Taam. They are doing great. The only problem is that Taam doesn't understand the gospel in Thai so today we are teaching him in English. That will be interesting! I haven't taught in English before!

Anywho we are still trying to find investigators to teach. It is interesting most of them just stop answering there phones! haha! So we are trying to rebuild. We usually get about 4 to 5 new investigators from english and they are usually families.  But usually they meet once and then are done, they just want the English. But it is efficent so it helps us out.

This week we had Zone Specialized training! President Smith came. Officialy the last time I will see him. Haha! he is great! It will be weird getting a new mission president because President Smith is probably the most caring person in the world! He loves Thailand so much and he loves the people. He is a perfect example of what missionaries should be like when they leave! I took some notes on his advice for after the mission.  I am excited to meet President Senior because I know that he was called here for a reason to help Thailand.

That is about it for the week though very good week overall. I attached an e-mail of a giant pig I saw while inviting. I was going to take a picture next to it. And then it started to stand up! haha! We also ran into a giant lizard about 3 feet long that eats chickens. It was in a chicken coop. The chicken coops here are like chicken wire and you see in them. It was a freaky lizard with a huge long neck and stuff. Didn't get a picture because it ran into a hole though!

I am so grateful to have a great family! Who are all doing what is right! I am glad that Cam and Serena were able to be married in the temple. It truly is an awesome place and I wish I could be there but obviously everything happens for a reason and I am supposed to be here because there is someone here who needs Elder Simonsen to teach them the gospel. I realized today that you don't know when you are going to move from your area. I could move in two weeks or in another 3 months. You just don't know. The only important thing is that you stay faithful and strong in the area where you serve that you give everything you got even when you are about to leave. Because that one person might not be the person you baptize. It is that person who just takes that pass along card and doesn't look at it for 6 months. It is about planting the seeds! I love it here. It is hot every day. I sweat everyday. I am tired everyday. But I have never been so close to the spirit everyday. I wouldn't trade those feelings for anything in the world!

I love you family and have a good week! Happy Fathers Day Grandpa Ford, Grandpa Simonsen, Ryan, and Now Cam! And especially my own Dad! thanks for everything and have a great day!

Love Elder Landon Simonsen!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rainy and Hot!

My family here on Earth,

Well It was a pretty good week for me down where it is hot and rainy everyday. I still don't get the weather here. It is like 100 Degrees in the morning and dry. Then it gets hot and humid. Then it rains. Then it get hot and sunny. In a half hour it rains. Lets just say it is pretty crazy stuff!

So you asked about the speaking and English vs. Thai mix.  Last week I taught the Basic class with my Companion. They don't really know any English. We have three classes Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. In basic mostly Thai because you explain words in Thai. So you get to speak Thai. In Intermediate you speak a lot of English. But still speak Thai. In Advanced you speak all english. This week I am teaching Gospel though. Where the new people come out of class for like 5 minutes and you ask them if they would like to learn about the gospel. So I only speak Thai this week. As for the language I understand a lot better than I can speak, The tones kill you if you don't get them right because they don't understand you.  I am getting a lot better. I can follow about every conversation now, except for the few occasional words I don't know.

So you asked how Mamm แหม่ม was doing. She is great she already helps all the companionships teach lessons! haha! We are really struggling finding fellowshippers in that age. So she is staying involved definately. We have even started the after baptism lessons with her. It is kinda weird here because the church doesn't have enough members to give only like one or two callings. Most people have at least 3 callings. So the ward missionaries just help us teach all the lessons. We have like 6.  We got to meet with Mamm Last night and she thanked me again for the baptism.  She is awesome! As for a mission news letter we don't have one right now. But that would be cool if we got one. I am in the Zone leaders district and they do show me the mission stats. As for stats we only taught 5 lessons last week.

So anyway I went on Switchoffs with Elder Pipat our Zoneleader from Lopburi. Ya he taught me a ton! He is a great inviter and it was fun being with a khonthai (native thai) The weirdest part about being with him was being the only non-Thai person in the lesson! haha it is fun!  It was a great experience to teach with him.

So fun story with the the suits It looks very good! Ya you can get them tailored.  They are super cool I will send pictures probably in two week because I get it next week. It is charcol with a red inside. It has Elder Simonsen embroidered in the inside. Turns out to be like 60 bucks.  So anyway we are getting measured and stuff. So I go first and I go with Elder Pipat and he was on the phone and the guy just starts pointing at my pants and saying stuff in Thai. My vocab for suits isn't very good. So I was like what do I do. So then the guy starts tugging on them. And then I figured he just wants me to like drop my pants or something. So I just unzipped my pants. The guy does all the missionary suits. But when I started to unzip I figured out that I was just supposed to lift up my shirt so he could measure my waist.  That was a close one!!

Ok so on Thursday we all got to go to the mission home to sign up for work permits!  We will know if we get accepted in like a month or something like that. It makes it so you only renew your visa once a year. I got to see everyone in my group except Elder Davies who is in Chang Mai.  So it was fun to see the gang again. We went out to eat at Capasa's a mexican resturaunt in a Farang neighborhood.

As for investigators we have a few and we have a lot of appointments set up this week. So keep praying for me.  So anyway with Maks family they are so good! I love teaching them! They are progressing great and everything is going great! They even came to stake conference. We also have Wasawn. He is super good. His whole family is budhist but he is super willing to learn.  But we did get 7 new investigators from English last week. So that is good!

Anyway stake conference  was awesome! The Area Seventy spoke and he is super funny! He spoke in English and was translated into Thai! I met him after and he asked what my parents fed me in Farmington! haha! President Smith also spoke! I think that is finally the last time I will see him! He got teared up. He has made a huge difference here in Thailand with the mission! It has grown a ton! He is a great guy! He had all the missionaries who have served from Thailand stand up. I would say about 150 to 200 people stood up male and female. It is great to see super strong saints in Thailand! I love em here! I know that this church is true! I have no doubt that this church is true that everything I have been teaching is so I can help people come unto christ! I love serving a mission! It is the best thing you can do to feel the spirit! I love you all and have a great week at the wedding!  So have a good week! And Thank you for the Support!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, June 4, 2012

First Baptism

Sawadii Khrab!
Ok so I'll answer some questions first! K as for the food, I eat rice every day, every meal except for when I eat Farang food!(McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Company) We only eat farang like once a week. The nice thing about food here is you can get Chicken, Pork, Fish, and sometimes shrimp at nearly every food place on the side of the road. You can get any vegetable you want in it baby corn, carrots, peas, etc. You also can get a fried egg on top! Which is the bomb! Then you put chilli sauce on it! You can get noodles here it is very popular But that is more chinese. But there are lots of chinese people here! So basically when you think of Asia it works for here except beef! You can't get that at the road side stands! Except you eat with a fork and spoon which is way better!
K so today we are going to china town! Getting a suit! Not sure which color. It is about 60 bucks.  Probably Gray! But we will see. My other suit is thrashed! As for the rolex no joke you should have told me last week! 500 baht here for really good quality! I saw about ten last week that were really good quality that had the date time and month and stuff! So I'll look in China town today!
So anywho I got to baptize Sister Mam and it was one of the coolest things ever! Speaking Thai was sure different than english! But it felt really good! So the hardest part was memorizing her name! They go by nicknames here. Her real name is Yuwada Singhamayta! So a long one! haha it was great though! The spirit was awesome there! It is definately something I won't forget! Then we confirmed her the next day. A member in the ward did that though! Also she brought her family. Which was great! It was fun to meet them! Definately it is a cool story how she got baptized.  Once she realized all the blessings she had received while going to church and praying she really just took off and wanted to be baptized. She was super Budhist and so is her family. She was worried that they would be a little upset, but because she prayed and kept commandments she felt that her parents understood. A big part for her was stopping Wei Phrat (Budhist stuff). But she really was great at trying her faith. She gave it her all and is now super happy!
So anyway so for testimony meeting ya I can understand more but lots of the time they go off on stories and I have no clue where they are going with it! it is super funny! I can speak a lot more though. I didn't really notice until you can't tell if someone spoke in English or Thai to you but you know what they said. It is kinda fun. Understanding is coming. But I can basically read anything in any font! That was really hard at first. I definately still need the Lords help though! I am by no means very good at all. I can just teach lessons.  As long as I can share the Gospel I am good to go in serving the lord!
So you asked a little bit about progressing investigators. Well we extended a date with a family! Taam Mak and Ooy. Mak and Ooy are the two others in the photo at the baptism! They are doing great! They are so interested in the church and in learning the gospel.  We just need to teach them about commandments so they can keep them. Haha! But as for other ones we have Som. She is doing good! We watched the Restoration DVD this week with her. We also have Wason pretty interested but can't meet a lot. As for Beaver and Anne. They didn't pick up there phones the whole week! Not good. Beavers is broken, Anne won't pick up! But all is good! We have a few new potential investigators! Tong and Noy. They are really interested but only can meet on Sundays!
So anyway our baptism was the first in the ward since I think January. So it has been awhile and all the members where super stoked to get a new member in the ward! Very fun! Anyway besides that thanks for the good list of words that I could use at English haha! They love slang! But they really have the hardest time understanding it! It is so much fun to help them understand it. Ya we have a huge English class! We have three different classes of about 20 each. So it is a good size.
Anywho the week was kinda slow as for lessons and stuff. We are kinda in a rebuilding part. Lots of the old investigators stopped wanting to learn so we invite a lot. Yesterday we invited for about 3 hours and got nothing! But I guess that is missionary work right! It really makes you sweat good too! It has been raining a lot here lately. It rains almost every day or is cloudy. But it is still super humid and really hot! So ya as for that right now we are just rebuilding our investigator pool! It should be fun!
O ya and yesterday I saw a cool river monster thing! It is about half the size of a komodo Dragon, about the size of Brinkley our Golden Retriever.  It was a huge lizard that swims in the rivers! It is either freakin cool looking or scary. I don't know. But I got my camera out then it submerged into the water. So I will have to get a picture of one soon! It looks cool! haha!
Well have a great week.  The church is true! 
Elder Landon Simonsen