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.


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.

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.


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.