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!
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!


Elder Landon

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day

Hello Family and Friends,

Well I guess first thing first I will answer some questions Mom Transfers are on September 27 if you wanted to make it. Happy Birthday Dad this week! I sent a card. I really loved the quote! Very awesome makes me want to pray with more desire!  Today I played Football with Todd Heap's little brother at sports day, he will be walking on to BYU after so maybe I can get some hook-ups there! He is probably the most chill guy I know about sports he is competitve but never shows it, just calm. So it was fun to throw the football for the first time in six months! He took some snaps from me and we tossed the old pig skin around! We had sports day today! All 3 zones from Bangkok came! Super fun. Got to play B-ball with Elder Davies like MTC days. Good stuff very fun! I sent a couple pictures home from the activity.
Zone Sports Day!

So the Parasite is dead and gone. It was the craziest thing that I have ever had or looked at. Haha! But ya no side effects that I notice yet!  It is still rainy season here. It is supposed to start flooding here in September again. That is when the flooding starts to happen after a month or two of rain. So it will be interesting to see what happens! 

So anyway for the week. We worked very hard! We tried about everything again to find new investigators! And we finally got one. Not what I was expecting but then we also received 5 referrals this week!  It was awesome. Basically we realized inviting forever isn't as effective. So we visited members and worked with LA's and everything. We are starting a scripture study class on Wednesday to help people learn about the Bible and the BOM. It will be fun. So we also helped Yupin open her shop for Thai food. We helped her move in a bunch of stuff. Eli is returning I think this week. So I will meet him and hopefully teach him the gospel. So I am excited. We found a brother of one of our  Former investigators who is a little interested. Our problem was getting return appointments, but most people were interested. We got about 6 Potential investigators this week that just need to be followed up with and things could be good. Obviously some people just feel bad for us and let us in, or Feel Grang Jay which is a word in Thai that I can't describe in English. It is like when you don't want to do it but you do it anyway. Or you feel obligated to. You just learn with the Elders cuz you don't want to hurt their feelings. Many things. AKA Grang Jay (said like pie with a J) So anyway it was fun this week working a lot with Recent Converts and LA's.  We had two people who haven't been to church in about 5 years to come back to church. One only stayed for a little( Brother Mike from Japan, doesn't know Thai) But then Brother Moo. stayed the whole time, He wants to change his life.

This week I realized that it is important to just help the people you serve here in this ward and to help everyone in this area have more faith, more strength, and to increase the membership of the church in anyway. I realize that it isn't always abouting getting baptisms, but also when you can bring back members who haven't been back to church. Because as I have said early it is easier to help someone feel the spirit when they know what it feels like. So that is fun I have seen lots of blessings this week in my missionary work. It isn't coming by lesson stats at all. Infact that stat is low. But we teach members and strengthen the ward. Because this ward really needs help. They have never had Home Teaching or Visiting Teaching. Infact we visited Bishop Brajack this week. First Time in 6 years missionaries have been to his house! We felt honored and sad because he is bishop and no one visited him! But then the next day he was released as Bishop and we got a new one! Haha! In Thailand they don't tell anyone until the day that you change Bishop's so anyway that was crazy. The only people who know are the Bishops that are switching! Well that is about it for the week.

So anyway I also forgot to add! Thanks so much for helping me cook! Every Comp I have had doesn't know how to cook. Amazing! I was like wow thats weird! Because I didn't practice but I guess secretly I watched my Mom cook meals all the time. I know how to make everything! So yay! Thanks! I make spaghetti and french toast, stews, tacos, anything Thailand allows me to make. Basically anything that you guys have ever made. Just tastes not as good. I forgot to thank you all for helping me be self reliant. So thanks!

Any other questions? Ask away! Sounds like Mitt is doing good and that will be exciting for the election! Do I vote? haha! Go Mormon's!! Anyway it has been a good week. I don't have to much time cuz We are about to go eat some Eason food! Woot! Ok see you later Family!

Love Elder Landon Simonsen