Monday, November 26, 2012

Last Week of November

Hello family,

Sounds like a great week! Thanksgiving looked awesome! I did spend Thursday at Uncle Mustaches. Pretty good! Then on Saturday we went over to a part member families house in North Bangkok. There name is the Pinvises (Pinwisaid) So they are awesome it is a Thai guy married to a white woman. Anyway it was the best food. Unfortuanately they didn't send us the pictures yet. But it was really cool I hope I get the pictures soon. But I do have a few of the group that was there! So anyway. We had about 30 people there. 6 missionaries. Two from Ban Kheen (in our zone) then the sister missionaries and me and elder susi! It was delicious food. We had a guy that reminded me of Brother Gome from the Mobile Home Park.  He could sure cook a turkey. Imported I am pretty sure. They actually might raise em. Not sure. Anyway we had a full farang (white person family) Then a guy that served a mission here about 20 years ago, married a thai wife.  Then just a few single people from the international branch in North Bangkok District So it was awesome. Fun stuff. Since we are in Thailand and everyone has messed up taste buds they made a cajun turkey. And they put some Chilly pepper in the Deviled eggs! So good! We had 3 turkeys, two normal ones. No yams(can't find em), Stuffing, rolls, mashed potatoes. And pie! Woo Hoo! Pie is delicious. I forgot how good american cooking was. I was at first scared because I was thinking I don't remember what it tastes like. So I didn't want to be disappointed! But it was delicious! Good thanksgiving day!

Ok so anyway We had Stake conference this week! So great. Yes it was at Arnoma Hotel. They announce two more wards in February So they are changing from Branches to wards. So we are still growing. It is really good. I also got to see Yupin (Pin) She gave me a flower to wear, she said, "my son needs to look good for the picture." and I met Eli.   It was so awesome to see her. I talked to the Elders that are serving there. And they say she doesn't ever stop talking about me. She always says that Elder Christensen was the person who first converted her. Then Elder Simonsen was the Second person to convert her. So I was really happy to see her! Then I also met Sister Mamm! It was awesome she is still super strong in the church! So I am happy with my Recent converts! It was really fun to see all the people from the old ward they all came and were way happy to see me. It was way crazy to move super close. It usually doesn't happen that you stay in the Bangkok stake for as long as I have! So I am honored!

K well Anyway for investigators this week. Nothing much things are going good but, I think it was kinda like what Blake said in his e-mail. You know how there are huge houses with big gates. That is mainly my whole area. Then the other half is apartments, you can knock doors on those but the people get pretty mad about being bothered at their house. Anyway we are kinda struggling finding right now! A thing that they just barely started in our mission is Contacting. Like street contacting (we kinda did this before) But inviting or knocking doors has been deemed as super ineffective in our area and basically in Thailand. So we go out to parks, malls, busy areas and They call this process, sifting the wheat. Very awesome stuff! It is really hard work, but we know that we will recieve blessings if we keep on being diligent and doing the Lords work! That is why we are working with LA's to hopefully find them and to help them, but on the way get referrals contacts and family members of the LA's to be interested.

As for investigators. We still only have two progressing good! That is Pee and Pin They are doing really great. So anyway that is the only thing right now. But I don't have to much time today we are going to go to Asok (downtown bangkok and hit up the shopping mall for cheap stuff. The greenies in our district still haven't been there so we are going to go with them. We are also getting haircuts today.

So this week a way that my testimony grew was at District Meeting. We talked about 3 Nephi 13:21-23 We talked about things in our life that we treasured as it talks about in verse 21. That things we treasure are things in our heart that we truly desire. That we want. We were then asked to write these down, then put them in the envelope and but your treasures away for the remainder of your mission. It was awesome then it goes on to talk about Sacrifice. And how Sacrificing is something that we give up. We all make sacrifice. Being parents, having children. Making a decision where to work, go to school. Then it goes on and talks about Consecrating. Consecrating is giving everything you have to God. These verses helped me realize that I don't only need to be on a mission in Thailand. But that I need to be on a mission giving my Savior everything I have. That the time is short you serve the Lord so consecrate yourself to serving him. It really helped my testimony grow on why I am out here. That you can apply this to our real lives that you will sacrifice for those things that you treasure. And you will consecrate your time and efforts to your family, wife, children. Because those are what we treasure in life. But as a missionary I am consecrated to serving the Lord. I am truly thankful for my great family, the opportunity to be on a mission. I have seen the blessing from being out here. But the thing I thought about most. And I brought it up in district meeting. Is we all want to be that weird kinda socially awkward missionary when we first get home. Because if you aren't you didn't consecrate everything you had to the Lord. It doesn't mean don't be yourself. It means try to be the most Christ Like you can be. That is something that I really appreciated this week. Thanks for your e-mails everyone. I love you all! Have a great week!


Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Week

Hey Family!

Well I am so excited to hear about Pin (Yupin) ! That is so awesome I will need to write her a letter! So something about her. I guess I never really talked to much about her. Well that is where I come in. I told my trainer that we just need to call her everyday to remind her to pray and stuff. He told me do it if I wanted. So I did it. I called her everyday to remind her to read and pray. She started to come back to church again. Eventually all she need was Eli to come back from America so she could get married, to get baptized. So we waited. Eli never came back until after I left. When he came back they got married the next week. Then they taught Eli. So my equation in this role is I talked to Eli on the phone about once a week. She calls me her son because I was the person who didn't give up on her. I made sure that she kept coming to church, I had to call her a lot. But it was worth it. I am so happy for her. I am just happy that she had the opportunity to listen to this gospel! She had some difficult paths along her road to baptism. Her daughter died in March. Her daughter was 8.  I am so thankful to have played a role in her conversion because she now knows she will see her daughter again. She has one of the strongest testimonies I have ever heard. Hopefully I can see her at Stake Conference this week! That would be really fun!

Anyway great story! Besides that I learned so much this week! We had mission tour and the Asia Area President came. Six hours of lots of learning about the BoM! Best ever! He actually shared something that I really liked about his opening talk about writing home! It gave me some great ideas! So he talked about the most important thing to write home is how your testimony grew this week! Write about the experience you had that strengthened your testimony the most! Well I was like wow! Kinda like what P Brown said in his e-mail. Sometimes I know I don't bear my testimony in my e-mail or I leave out the spiritual side. So I really thought about that. And it is something that I want to apply. But I will do that later! So anywho. The mission tour was great! I loved learning about the BoM. Really helped me this week. When we talked to a white guy named Erwin from the Netherlands. Kinda started beating us down. About how we basically disregard the Bible. That why would we make a New Bible if we had one. That the Bible already has the word of God so he wouldn't make another one. Says we were going to Hell for tampering with God's doctrine.  I  Kinda see how the European missions are. Ya we just took it. Then bore our testimonies on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Very great stuff. I really like standing by my testimony. I haven't really had to do that in Thai to much. Most Thai Christians aren't as stubborn and don't bash you. They just say we believe in Christ already then walk away. haha! So fun! Loved it!

So bringing up investigators. We are actually working with a few people right now that are doing alright. We tried to give a date to Pee but he felt he wasn't ready. He is doing really good but just doesn't feel ready himself. He reads and Prays everyday though. Pin(the bishops daughter) is also doing really good. We went and visited the Bishops family again and taught a lesson to her. The Bishop has such a great family! They are really cool and strong in the Church!  K besides that we are actually working a lot with some referrals we got. One is actaully Elder Appleyard's (British Fellow) Stepdad or something. So his mom's first husband. But some of there kids live with Elder Appleyard in London. So it is kinda fun. We are hoping to get him interested in the gospel. We have focused a lot on LA's the past couple of weeks a lot. Mainly because if we want to stay a ward we need 15 Melchelzedick Priesthood holders. We have 12 right now. We have a few potentials with Go and Bomb.  So anywho we need people to come back. So we were asked to focus a lot on LA's so we have been. We have been meeting a few of them. So right now nothing big I will keep you posted. LA's can be hard to work with, but it takes a lot less work to find those Priesthood holders than to go out and find one.

So about Thanksgiving first. We actually have an international family/ from the international branch that wants to host our companionship and the sister companionship for Thanksgiving on Saturday. In Thailand it isn't a recognized holiday so Brother Pinvises doesn't have work off that day. So we get it on Saturday. But I am really excited he said he was going to have turkey! So ya! Not everyone is that lucky outside of Bangkok you don't have to many international people. As for Thanksgiving day. We will probably grab a 4 dollar T-bone steak from Uncle Mustaches. It is a really good steak place. Should be good. It will just be another day in the mission. So we will still do work! I guess I don't get to play any American football on that day.

So for Christmas I am not sure what day we call on. Christmas is on Tuesday. So we do teach English at Night! I imagine we could call you on Christams Eve. Or I call Christmas Night here and it is Christmas morning there. I will keep you Posted.

So anyway Mom talked about the Primary and the Mayflower. Sounded fun! Yes I remember that rock in a pit. They called it the Plymouth. I thought it would be bigger! Haha!

So anyway the thing that strengthen my testimony the most this week was on Friday when I was on switchoffs with Elder Merkley. We went across the river and taught one of there Recent Converts. Well actually he wouldn't come out and talk with us. He is 17 and he is kinda stubborn. But we talked with his mom. So help me if I find another person who has to endure what she has to. It was very hard for me to here this story.  Well we shared with her. 2 Nephi 31:19 and 20 that we need to endure everything that the path to Eternal Life is not going to be easy. We talked about how Christ has suffered all our pains through his atonement. He knows what we are going through. We are given these trials to test our Faith. We then shared D&C 18:10 That every soul is of great worth in the eyes of God.  Because she is loved by the ward. That the ward needs her. She was feeling like no one recognized her or visited her. After that she thanked us so much. My testimony grew a lot. She really understands enduring. It is a sad thing to see.  But seeing her this week really showed me that Enduring to the End is so important. That Christ did atone for our sins. He suffered every kind of pain for my sins and for everyone elses. We need to remember Christ's sacrifice for us. I am so grateful to be able to be forgiven of all of my sins. Because without Christ's atonement we wouldn't be able to live with our families again. I am so thankful for my great family! This experience really showed me that I have such a great and loving family! That I have a family who teach's me to be a great person to live righteously! I love you all! Thanks for everything!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fantastic Week!

Hello Everyone!

I can't believe how qucik that week went bye! And it is already November! So anyway seems like everyone had a pretty eventful week! Halloween seemed fun! Mom and Dad if you want Trick or Treaters you need to start doing something cool like a theme! Maybe like the Stark Tower or Something. I don't know but you should pray about it. haha! Anyway ya my week was fantastic! Really good stuff! Met Hiromi today it was a blast! They took us to eat at a Mexican Food place! Sunris Taco's It was really good. The meeting went really good. I brought up, what we are doing here. Why we come out here. Our purpose. I didn't really get to share anything. They had questions about lots of missionary stuff. It went really good. I just asked questions to see if they were interested in learning. Talked about Temples, churches, missionaries, mission presidents, why we go on missions. It was really good. I hope it sparked some interest. When asking if they have met with missionaries they talked about Cameron's friend. So I imagine Cam referred them to Justin Kuetell.  Who gave it to a missionary. They said they talked to them. But didn't take the lessons.  We talked about the purpose of life.  So I would actually encourage you mom to bring up the Plan of Salvation with them. I can tell that it would spark their interest.  You have to remember I haven't seem them in 12 years.  So we talked about life also. I can't believe there kids are 16 and 20. Wow! I wished her a happy birthday! And she gave me some of those japense chips that you like. The little half moon ones. And a good luck cat! It is awesome! I had a really great time. And it was fun to get to talk with them.

So Florida for work! Seems fun! That is really interesting about the Co-workers. It is always interesting being the odd one out. I feel it everyday everywhere I go. Mainly cuz I can see over everyone here. I am big and white. And they notice everything you do. You may not be wearing the name badge but you are still representing Christ. Everyone is. Now that members of the church have a bigger name. We are getting publicity all over the world. People ask us all the time if we are the same religion as Mitt. So now the world is familiar with us. So we need to start being disciples of Christ all the time. It is a great oppurtuninty to be a member of this church. Their are going to be so many opportunities to share the gospel. 

So yes Go was baptized this week! O man what a great experience that was! I have been waiting this whole transfer for that day. He is loves this Gospel so much. He is such a great example to the Ward here. He is a boss. This week he let us sit down with his brother. His brother is Buddhist. We brought up living together with his family and he said it would be alright. Go was kinda shocked, cuz he helped us teach.  Oat his nephew came to the lesson also and really liked the Plan of Salvation. So on Sunday. Go's Brother and Nephew came to the baptism. His girlfriend couldn't make it. But we are working hard to get her interested. It was awesome to here Go bear his testiomny after he got baptized. He talked about how Elder Susi found him. And invitied him to English to learn. They went to visit an LA that works at the same restuarnat as Go named Ateed. Who actually came to church on Sunday! yay! so anywho Brother Go had everyone give Elder Susi a round of applause for inviting him to English, because that was the moment it all changed for the better. Brother Go has such a strong testimony and he will be the best 16 priesthood holders this ward has!

So anyway Gaw is good we met with her. He Boyfriend is a Farang-a-tang AKA a white european. So anyway she is still learning.  So we are hoping she can pray to know the truth.  We also got a new investigator Lagsame. She is a 63 year old woman we found from our Market Stand last week! She is really interested she even came to the baptism and to church! really good stuff. She was so worried about church and not knowing what to expect but she had a really good experience. We also taught Warangkana and tried to give her a baptismal date.  Very good stuff. She really likes how we are really family centered.

So anyway that is about it, I am almost out of time. To answer some questions. Eating at fancy places. The most fancy we get is about Japense all you can eat buffets. about 300 to 400 baht. so 10 to 13 dollars. After that. Sizzlers can get up there if you order imported steak. I usually stay with the Filter Fish (6 dollars) with the all you can eat salad bar. haha! Today mexican food is up there. But not to bad.

Wow I can't believe Coleton and Sarah are already getting married. Or in 5 weeks. That is going by fast! Thanksgiving is coming up! Sounds like it will be fun to have everyone get together. O man know I miss good meat. haha! Here we will get hopefully a member to do it.  We have one that will have us over for her Birthday on the 27th she said she would make mashed potatoes and stuff. I think the 27th is close to Thanksgiving. So it works for me. haha!

Last thing So today I was standing on the corner of this street waiting for a taxi. When an old lady about 50 to 60 ran over and hit me. haha! She gave me a kidney shot and started running away. It was a little homeless lady. and she gave me a homeless, I hate white people look.  It was really funny. I have no clue why she hit me. So anyway. really fun stuff! 

We are also having the first primary program this ward has ever had!  Pretty sweet stuff.  I am excited for it next week.
On pictures me with Hiromi. And Go and baptism. Go is the person that I am standing next to! So on the left Elder Susi. Then Brother Bomb(really cool guy) Brother GO. Then me!

Ok got to go! Love you all!

Elder Landon SImonsen