Monday, November 11, 2013

Some great miracles happening here in Bangkhae

Hey family,

This week was awesome. First thing first. Is that Blay, Peter's daughter passed her baptismal interview and will be baptized next Sunday. So I am way happy! It will be great. She was so happy when she came out of the interview. I have to say probably the happiest I have seen one of my investigators after coming out of an interview. Brother Peter is doing great this week and is even starting to help some of his friends come into the Gospel.  I have still never seen a person who is so in tune with the Spirit. He is awesome. He knows the church is true.
So you are probably wondering why I am e-mailing late. It is because Elder Astle is getting transfered. So kinda crazy. Way random but hey. It isn't emergency. But President is having a mini transfer. So we sent off Elder Astle on a bus by himself and we have to stay with Elder Unsworth so he isn't alone. So we were in a Three some for a little bit. Anyway it is way fun. I love Elder Unsworth. He is like a brother to me. His new comp is coming today at 7 P.M. Also no effects from the hurricane. Either they hit already or haven't hit yet. But I haven't heard anything about it here. All will be well!

Other answers. 72 hour kits. Ya we have a 3 day food supply in our house. They make us keep one when we move to an area. So you always have enough food for 72 hours such as instant noodles water. Canned fruits. ETC. So ya. we are all good! And cool news! Brother Peter Willden the member I talked about last week. He invited us over for Thanksgiving on the 28th. And invited Brother Peter the Thai member and his whole family! It is way awesome! I am excited! So no need to worry about that

Christmas package....hmm. Airheads. Sour patch kids. laffy taffy. I loved the cookies. Jerkey as always is good. Fruity candy. Gushers. There is a bunch of stuff. Pick a few. You know I'm not picky:)  I don't need any clothes materials. You can keep those for home. I want to keep my bags light. 

Well besides that things here in Bang Khae are going great. Right now the mission is really pushing Baptism. I think that it is because President is tired of everyone thinking. The church can't grow fast in Thailand.  He wants us to know the church is the same here as it is in America and South America. Every where. And even though the people aren't Christian you can still baptize them and you can still see success in numbers even here in Asia. It is cool. We have 5 Daters right now. Poom and PP should be getting baptized on the 16th. They are getting interviewed on Wednesday. And then Blay is getting baptized on Sunday. Already passed her interview. We also have to new daters. One is a friend of Peters from the Catholic church She has a date for December 21st. Her name is Dook. And then you also have P he is 21 and from Chiang Rai Thailand. That is where I served with Elder Wilko. He is way sweet. Looking for good in life. He is tired of the parties and drugs and alcohol. Says there is something better in life. He says he has been really sad lately and been looking for a good group of people. Hopefully he goes somewhere. He calls us everyday to see if we can meet. Way cool. I think that the gospel can help him a lot. So it was a way fun story how we met him. Sister Wow our RC was in the hospital and then we got a call from the Elders in Asok which is basically downtown. And they said we have an appointment right now. And We were like cool. And left immediately. So it was cool. He is looking to get baptized December 7 or 8. As you can see work is going pretty well. But hey it is really just the Lord blessing our area. We really owe it all to him for helping the members prepare there family and friends. And people everyday for us to talk to. We also got a referral when we were visiting Bricha and we walked into a market and then there was a Thai boxing match going on. A guy from Polland and a Thai guy. The Thai guy was way bigger. And was owning him. haha! But way random. We ran into a member not in our branch. But he said he has been working with his friend. And he introduced us. And we have a return appointment for Tuesday. So hopefully things work out. It is really fun to see the Lord put you into situations. And how he prepares the way. Sometimes things are random and you don't know why they work out.

Ikaru is doing great.  His only problem is he learns on Sunday and can't come to ya.  But I know the Lord will provide if he will keep the commandments.  So right now we are really just trying to rebuild our teaching pool.  But we know that the Lord is preparing people everyday to hear our message. So we need to go and find them. Sometimes he does it through the members and sometimes through just straight contacting on the streets. But I know that this work is the work of the Lord. We are helping people change there lives. And come unto Christ. Helping them remember the plan that they already chose before they came to this Earth. We just need to help them remember that  they accepted the Plan of Salvation. It is the same church all over the world. I know that all my brothers and sisters around the world are all joining in missionary work. The work is hastening. The mission here isn't even close to the same mission I entered into. We don't even knock doors. We go were the people are. Because we won't wait for them to come to us, we go to them. This is a message of true happiness. Yesterday in Elders Quorum every member was asked the question, "What made you change your heart, to come into the church?" Even members born in the church need to be converted. Honestly, you can never get sick of the question. But the happiness that our message brings is what changed my heart. I see so many people searching for something they can't find. I see it everyday. They look for happiness through money. Through drinking and other things. I see so many people off the path. And it is so sad. But it is what motivates me. And it should be what motivates every member of the church. Go and help those who don't have the light. It doesn't need to be weird. It needs to be sincere. And that is something that I try to do everyday as I go an work. Is to truly care for those around me. Because I want them to know the happiness that I have. And that they too can feel this way.

Well that is it for the week. I hope you all have a great week. Thanks so much for the e-mails and encouragement. I love you all! Remember Jesus Loves You!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, November 4, 2013

Great Week here in Thailand

Hey Family,

Man this week was really awesome. So first I want to answer some questions. Packages yes I get them all. I get all the cards. Here in Thailand we have no problem getting stuff.
I am way happy for Brennan! I loved being baptized! I remember it was such a great feeling of peace to know you are on the road to living with your family again. Really that is our message. We teach about families and their importance! Looked awesome! Elder Parker Simonsen had a great opportunity to help baptize that young member here last week. Happy for him! That is awesome. I love nothing more than seeing families come together in the church.
As I helped Peter come back to church. I let him know why I was happy. It is because of my family. It is because of the Atonement. And how no matter what we do. No matter how far we turn down the wrong path. God still loves us. And the only one that gives up on us is ourselves. But I know that God won't give up on any of us. The Savior never stops holding out his hand to help. Too many times I see people give up. I see members fall away. I know that these people only need a hand. A helping hand. A shoulder to lean on. A friend that will support them. The reason Peter came back to church wasn't because I was the best Thai speaker or for some other reason. Beside the fact. He knew I loved him. I have seen first hand people change their lives. But all they need is someone to help. I know that everyone reading this, will be suprised to know. That they have influenced the lives of more people than they know it. There are fellow members in the church. Family members. There are more people than you think that need your help. Look for those opportunities.

Well this past week was awesome. As you know. We went to the bat cave. It was awesome. We met Albert and Batman. Saw monkeys. And it was way fun. It was a really good FHE with Peter. The best way to help anyone is to be their friend. Be someone they can trust. So his Daughter Blay is looking good for the 17th.

Poom and PP are doing great. We taught them the Restoration again and asked them if they believe in God and Jesus Christ and if they believe Joseph Smith was called of God. And they believe it. They want to live with their family again. We came to the conclusion they are more ready now than ever. So we are happy for them. They have a date for the 17th as well.
This week was way good and we saw some crazy things. Some success. And so way happy. Work is going way good and Elder Gage is a stud. What a great missionary. I love him to death!! Besides that nothing really new. Today we are having a zone sports day. Playing dodgeball and football and stuff. So it should be fun. We have a busy week ahead of us! 

Well family I love you all and have a great week! Thanks for all the e-mails! Plus it is great to hear the Redsox won! Halloween here wasn't really anything special. Basically at all. haha! We went out and ate with the other Elders. It was fun. Nothing crazy. Thanksgiving should be better:)

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, October 28, 2013

Super Awesome Week

Hey family,
Well this week for Halloween. We will maybe have a cool Halloween District meeting or something. And maybe carve some weird Thai Pumpkins. haha! Or just eat ice cream and call it good. I'm not sure. They know of it here. But no one celebrates it here. Haha! So. No problems. Loved the pics of Kira and Sophie in their costumes!  And Cam and Serena's costumes! All four are super cute! And the house is looking pretty different! That is way awesome you have been talking with Elder Gage's mom! haha! Small world isn't it! 

So this past week has been really good! Missionary work is going here. We have been helping out the Sisters here in the area! And now I am pretty sure there area is doing better than ours! haha! But hey that is fine! Same work. And in the end everyone needs to be taught the gospel so me and Elder Gage are more than happy to give some investigators. We gave them Tanya. So hopefully all goes well in their area. They got two new daters this past week. So it is way good.

The District is great. We had our combined District meetings with Elder Unsworth and his District. and all 8 of us are working together as a MegaDistrict. Our areas all kinda have the same problems with finding and member help. So we are working together. It is way good! We all love it. Plus I get to split teaching at District meeting. Way nice. They work in our Branch anyway and the work in the Tonburi branch. We actually had the opportunity to go to Elder Astle and Elder Unsworth's Unit this past week. Way cool experience. 4 missionaries and 1 member. But really fun to see. They are a great help to the branch and overall we had 9 Investigators between 3 companionships at church. So really great! It will be good to help this branch. We are really trying to focus on serving and helping the members build friendships with us. So I hope that we can really start to help this place kick off.

Our investigator finding has been going great! We have been contacting and doing all that fun stuff. And you know not seeing a bunch. But we saw some great stuff with referrals and from finding LA's and teaching there friends. So things have been going. We are teaching a new guy named Bakery and he is doing great he came to church and my companion taught him every part of the gospel in one sitting! haha! I love the fire of new missionaries. Way eager to teach and it is way good! We found him from a Senior couple who taught him english and sent him to our church for sports day.

Poom and PP got back in town and are doin just fine. They came to church. They are still just a little shy and I don't know about there friend peer pressure. But hey are good! We went out to a steak place with them.. It should be great. I am excited for them and we have been great friends with them.

We are hoping to help a few LA's this next week. Sister East is awesome. Her and her husband Noom are members and they just had a father in the family pass away last week. And this past week we taught them the Plan of Salvation. It was an awesome experience.
Missionary work is going great. And Elder Gage is great. I love doing work with him and we are having some fun as well. Missionary work is meant to be hard and fun and that is why we are here and we will have a great transfer. I know that this work is true and I love seeing people every week come unto Christ. Sometimes it is a little hard, but hey I know this work is truly the work of Salvation and it is all worth it. There is nothing better than serving the Thai people and I love every moment of it. I always think about how much a mission has changed my life and how grateful I am to be serving here in Thailand. I know that I have come to understand the Gospel more fully and I have learned how to love the people around me. I hope that you all have a happy Halloween this next week! Thanks for the e-mails and everything.

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, October 21, 2013

Training in Bang Khae

Hey family!

This week was awesome! I had a lot of meeting but it was worth it!! From the subtitle. Yeah I am training! It is super fun! I am with Elder Jordan Gage from Springville Utah! Turned 19 in August.He is awesome! President Senior is way good at picking out trainers and trainees and placing them together. We have really a way close personality and we both played and loved football. So it is great. He really wants there to be lots of connection and unity between the trainers. We had training on Tuesday and it really helped me realize how important it is to train! So I am so excited to do it! I really am looking forward to the next 9 weeks. Typically the training is 12 weeks but President has asked me and Elder Gage to finish it in 9. So it will be great. Elder Gage is a hard working really good missionary and has really helped me remember lots of great things about Thailand and the mission. It has helped me be more obedient and helped me rely on the spirit to help us teach and train. It is awesome and I am really looking forward to it.
My District is a District of 4. But we are technically in a District of 6 with the other Elders kinda weird but fun! Elder Unsworth from Bang Na area is serving where Elder Hansen was.  He is just in charge of 2 other Elders. Way fun. I love Elder Unsworth. Both our sisters finish there missions and we got two more. A Greenie Sister Barber and Sister Sombuunit a Thai sister. She speaks way good English. But it was so fun to have so many fun experiences with Elder Gage. It is fun to see how many things I took for granted in Thailand. Like the good, weather, the people. It is all so new, so exotic. Fun. I love working with him. We have been hitting the streets. Lots of our investigators are just in spots where it is time to choose whether they will follow Chirst and his commandments or not.

Blay is doing great!! She didn't come to church yesterday. So we will need to push her date back into November. But she will still be getting baptized. No doubt about it! She is awesome. Really sweet fun girl. We actually got to sit down with Peter and he kept talking about how Heather added him on facebook. Way funny! He loves your guys wedding picture! He says how my mom is still the same and way beautiful and then my dad. Had awesome hair just like him and they lost it! haha! Way funny. Every asian that sees mom always compliments her for her great skin ton and great hair color. It is funny. Because usually we call mom white. But thai people love moms skin color. So you will love coming over here and getting complimented like a storm. But Peter, Beam and Blay are doing so good! really happy for them.
Poom and PP are doing great we have been talking with New and Ice about being good examples by reading and praying. Poom and PP are still out of town. So it is kinda just a weird time. of year. School is out. But things will get back to normal. They are coming back this week. So they will most likely be getting baptized in November as well. 
To answer questions for Nathaniel and Sebastian. We wear church clothes every P-day unless we are going to play sports. You get used to wearing church clothes everyday. And it actually feels really good when you know that you are keeping all the rules of the mission. Sometimes others will break rules. But it is always best to keep all of them. Sometimes you don't understand why. But they are there for a reason. Because your leaders in the church and Heavenly Father know better. When you serve a mission. You dedicate 2 years of your life to serving the Lord. You promise to be obedient. And he promises so many blessings when you obey the rules. You will be happy. You will have health. You will be safe.

Choosing to come on a mission was the single best thing I have ever done in my life. I love being a missionary. And there is nothing I would rather do. It involves sacrificing the things you love. But when you sacrifice those things to serve your savior, he promises you so many blessings. A mission will not only bless your life, but the lives of all those around you. Thanks for all the e-mails!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, October 14, 2013

Loved General Conference

Hey Family!

Well I want to start off by answer a few questions. First to my favorite girl!!! Kira of course I miss you! And I love you so much! I have all the cards you have sent me! And I wouldn't leave them. And Kira the Elephants say, "Hello". And next Tanner! That is awesome you are preparing for a mission! I am so excited for you. It is really one of the best things I have ever done in my life. It brings the most joy I have ever had. I invite you to read the scriptures. Read in Alma about the Son's of Mosiah. They are the best examples of missionaries you can find. They have faith and they trusted the Lord. Everyone told these young men that they couldn't convert the Lamanites. But they had a sincere desire for there brethren. This is one thing that I have learned. No matter where you go. No matter who it is. Love them. This is a principle you can use right now. Serve and help those around you. I know your desire for your brothers and sisters salvation will grow as you love them. So Tanner, I wish you the best of luck. The experiences you will have are meant for you. And no one else can do, what you have to offer.

Well as you all know. This is transfers week. It is about 50/50 who stays who goes. We won't know until tomorrow or this evening. But I am happy for whatever happens. This has been one of the best transfers in my mission. A transfer that has changed my life. In ways honestly I can't explain, but feel. That I can't share. But know that this transfer has been one of the most humbling transfers I have had. And I have truly grown from the people here in the area. Know whatever happens I gave it my all. And am happy to be here till the end of my mission, if that is the Lords will. This past week Conference really inspired and uplifted me. One of the best and truly most amazing conferences I have listened to. So applicable. I found so many personal answers and got so many revelations. That is something I wish I knew the power of before my mission. I really know that the Prophets are called of by God and receive revelation for us as members of the church.

This week was truly a great week. Kind of a rollercoaster. But things just didn't go as planned in the long run! Investigators didn't keep commitments or were out of town. So unfortunately no one at church. But Peter is doing great. This week we officially started to teach his wife. It is a good start. We just talked about Prophets and the opportunity to listen and receive revelation from them. Her name is Beam she is awesome. We have been working for the past like 3 weeks to show her love. We treat her like our Thai mother. Brother Peter explained she has been super sad and down since the death of there son. So we have been trying to love her like her sons. We go and serve them and just laugh with them and try and help them feel the Saviors Love.

Poom and PP are doing alright. But just out of time. It is the end of the school Semester and are out of town.  Anyway this week things will pick up again. Should be good next week! Bri Cha is doing good. But just sells/ fixes stuff on Sunday. Kind of stinks. Things just take time. Conversion and understanding doesn't come easy. But it will come. Well I really don't have to much more for the week. I will keep you posted next week. Who the new comp is. Thanks for all the e-mails and everything.

Elder Landon SImonsen

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Super Great Week in the Oriental City

Hey family,

This week was awesome! It is going really good! First to answer questions. Conference is next week here! Here in Bang Khae we do have the option to watch in English. We have two members from the phillipines here so we but it in English. But I watched the last one in Thai and English because They have headphones so you put in one ear and listen to the Thai and English.

Next questions. Of course we teach English every week! It is kinda just the same thing every week. We have 24 lessons in a book and I am on the 4th time through the book. Super fun! And the people are awesome! It is really fun to serve. We have on average 55-60 people every week. So it is really fun. That is our main source of investigators here in Thailand. We share a quick gospel thought after every lesson. In my class we have about 25 people. I teach the beginner class with Elder Hansen. So it is really fun.

Well for this week it has been a blast. We are really starting to get creative with our teaching. We realized that teaching Poom and PP. We had to actually prepare meaningful and fun lessons. So this past week we have used some really fun comparison/ analogy activities. We used a cup of water poured in red food coloring to represent sin. And then used bleach to make it white again. But still it wasn't as clean as the first so to get a new glass of water you need to be baptized! The next lesson stepped it up again. The Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity. We used Ice Cream. Which Thai kids love and don't get a lot. So we did the comparison we need to keep our bodies clean because Alcohol, drugs, and stuff aren't good and aren't meant for our body. So we represented that with putting ketchup, chilli sauce, fish sauce. On our ice cream. It doesn't go with our body. Then said that the thing we need are good foods. Excersie and stuff. And this was represented by the Choocolate sauce, oreos and stuff! So way fun. They were going crazy when we poured ketchup on the ice cream. haha! Way good. They understood the commandments way well! So it was really fun! And are progressing pretty good towards there date.

Peter is doing great! He just got ordained to his calling yesterday at church. And we are still working with his daughter and wife. They are doing so awesome. Blay is doing good. We got to go out and serve at there house. We helped package his goods for his pet shop. It was really fun! They sold every bottle of lice killer we packaged! Kinda a funny blessing! So it was good. Peter is doing great at helping us with our investiagtors! He loves serving. Peter is awesome and I really love how he explains religions he never bashes on or degrades another religion. He always talks about what that religion does good. And then he says how we can even magnify that even more with our church. It is great and a very good teaching method. You can really feel the love when he teaches.

The Elders quorum president got a way awesome home teaching plan going. So hopefully we can get it going here. Home teaching is a huge struggle all over Thailand. But if we can get it going it will help our RC's and Members stay active. So I am excited to see the Branch try and do this. They know it is really important to retain members. So I am happy for them! We have been working with the LA's a lot here as well. We have been traveling out into the province over and meeting people out there to help them feel the love! It is way fun! It is testing my traveling vocab a lot! haha! All the different vehicles and places we have been going. Has been really fun!

Elder Stenier is doing great! He still talks in his sleep, this week he started yelling my name and saying there was Spiders everywhere in the room. It went like this," Elder Simonsen!! Elder Simonsen!!! There are spiders everywhere! I see them! Elder Simonsen!!! The me, " What... What... Dude...Wake up!!! Then he woke up and was confused on what was going on. Way funny! Crazy! But we are starting to do mediation at night and I think it is helping haha! Well family have a great week! I know that the work here is truly the Lords work! Our message is a message of true happiness. I am so grateful to help bring the Thai people into the light and knowledge of the truth. I am so excited to hear the Prophet and apostles speak next week. I know that through the atonement of Christ we can all change and become better every week. And I am so thankful for these two years to serve my Savior. The time is going fast and seeing my friends come home is so crazy. But I know that I still have time left and I will make the most of it. I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, September 30, 2013

Loving the Work Here!

Hey family! Man this week was just an awesome week! First off thanks for all the e-mails and stuff! Dad I still don't believe you did a back flip and a front flip!! haha! Sounds like the family is all doing great! I can't believe it is already October! There are like a million Birthday's this month! haha! Well to answer some questions. Ok well comments because I had no questions. That is great you got some tickets planned to come back here! How long are you planning on coming back? Week. 2 Weeks? Well sweet. And Home Coming talk on the 23rd! haha! Already planned! Sweet no sweat! It will be weird talking in front of a crowd larger than 50-60 people haha! But I have lots of great stories I would love to share. As for the week. I can't explain how much the Lord is blessing our area! Yesterday guess who I sat by at church??? You may have guessed Brother Brayun the member with Polio. He is awesome! So much faith. He is just an awesome guy. It just pains me to see him walk though. He has no cane or leg brace and still walks on his leg. About half way through church he was just sitting on the couch. Leg all swollen from walking. We are working on getting a wheel chair for our church. But I know the Lord will bless him. He can't walk far at all. But he does has a three wheeled motor cycle car that he drives to church. It is like a mini motorcycle and looks way cool! Also Brother Peter is doing great! This week he got a call from a member in the Stake Presidency. They are thinking about giving him a calling as a councilor in the Stake Young Mens Presidency. It is awesome! To think that one month ago. This man. That I sat across from eating lunch would soon be influenicing every young mans life in the Thailand Bangkok Stake. I wouldn't have believed it. But now I know that the Lord prepared the way for this to happen. Brother Peter needs to bless the lives of the youth here in this country. He is amazing. He has helped my testimony grow. Everytime I meet him I can feel the love he has for his fellow men and for the church. I want every young man in this Stake to know Brother Peter. It was the best thing that happened this week. But close Second is the fact that his daughter has such a desire to be baptized. We had a baptism of a girl in the branch this past week. She is an investigator of the Sisters. And Blay wants to be baptized on October 27th. We taught the Plan of Salvation and when she heard that she can live with her Brother who has passed away and with her family again. She knew this is what she wants. We are now working on helping Beem. The mother accept a baptismal date. This family is awesome. I couldn't imagine not knowing them. I am really so blessed to know them. Not only that but Poom and PP accpeted baptismal dates for the 27th of October as well. They are awesome. Both of them came to church despite the fact there mother and sister weren't there. So it is great! They really have a desire to live with there family again as well! It seems to be that really when it comes down to it. Who doesn't want to live with there family after this life. The people who raised you. Who you love. And what a great opportunity it is to know that these things can help you live with your family. We also saw a huge miracle this past week. As Dad said. The only reason why our work here is going so good is because of the members. This past week we got a referral from a member. They were just aquaintances. But hey. You can share the Gospel with anyone. This person's name is Gone. He is really cool. He is about 50ish and I called him up on Wednesday. Got to know him and said his friend gave us this number. Then he asked,"Are you Mormons?" I am like aaah. Yeah. He is like, "I have so many questions to ask you!" I was like, "And we have your answers. When can you meet." He was like how about 2 hours? I was like sounds good! Meet you at Big C(America's Walmart) Met him. He is awesome!! He was like I have been to so many Sects. And all of them teach to differently. People say you claim truth. Boom!! Restoration. Moved on to Plan of Salvation. Moved into all we need to do is be baptized. He was busy for a few days. But we have an appointment for Wednesday! I really hope it goes somewhere! He is way cool! The work here is really going fantastic! No complaints. We went to the Hospital to take care of Elder Steiners sleep walking and talking. And the doctors prescribed him a mild trancalizer pill. haha! So he took it and hasn't slept walk for two days! haha! Way funny! THey say the reason he does it is because of stress and working everyday. But hey, it beats strapping him to the bed! He is really awesome! We get along super good. Easily one of my easiest companions to work with. Fun guy. And work is going great. Really there is no where else I would rather be. I am so excited to have general conference here in a couple weeks (for Thailand). I love hearing the words of the prophets! I know that the work we are doing out here in Thailand is the work of our Lord and savior. I love this work so much. I am grateful to be able to serve and give to the people here. Really they don't realize how much they bless my life. I really can't explain how grateful I am to share the Gospel with those who don't know Christ. I hope that you all have a great week! Love, Elder Landon SImonsen

Monday, September 23, 2013

Great Birthday week in Thailand

Hey Family! Well, this week was awesome! Kinda a different week, but super awesome! The B-Day was so great! I really loved the packages and stuff. Had some great presents! We got to go out and eat at MK which was pretty good! They specialize in Duck. Super good. Sister New and her family want to go out and eat with us! For Lunch we had pizza and Swensen's Ice Cream cake! I know very American! But they love that stuff here as well! And on September 20th Thailand gave me a present! They started selling Mountain Dew here!!! I know it is crazy! I will send some pics! They look awesome here! Besides that super awesome Birthday. Members gave me treats. And Brother Peter gave me a birthday card! If you have time. He sent me a friend request on facebook, add it!. His name if in English is Songran. He speaks perfect English. So feel free to ask him about coming back. He is the most Christ-like guy around!! Love him to death! So as for missionary work this week! It was a pretty great week! Well kinda good! It felt like we ran out of time! Gosh!!! Sometimes it feels like we have no time in the week. Right now we are working super hard to maintain the Recent Converts we have! We have about 9-10 people baptized in the last 5 months here. And it is ridiculous. Mainly because some are starting to become weak in there testimony. So we are working super hard with the Branch to do Hometeaching. We got our New Elders Quorum President and he called some counselers this past week. So we are working on maintaining the ground we have right now. We made huge progress this week. The Branch had there first Branch Council meeting in a year or something like that. So we are starting to get this branch clicking. We are trying to get the youth strong because that is the future of the Bang Khae Branch and if there are no youth. There will be no children in 10 years in the branch. So we are really looking to the future. As President Senior Talked about at Zone Conference we need to focus on the family here in Thailand. Because what helps the church grow is when the families are 2 or 3 generations in. They strengthen each other. They don't need friends at church because they have there families there to support them. It is so key to the church here in Thailand. That is why we are working so hard to get PP and Poom to be baptized. Because as a family they are stronger than just a single convert. So this past week we have been working with Tanya! She is doing awesome! She comes to church and is learning. Loves commandments. She just is lacking the faith right now. But then at church she heard the Sister Missionaries teach a lesson on missionary work. And how it is a blessing. So she calls us up and is like. He next Saturday can I come and invite people to learn about Christ with you!! We were like sure!! So hopefully this helps her faith! She is awesome loves keeping the commandments. She knows that this is what she needs to do. Just hasn't understood the answer yet. She says she feels so good when she comes to church. Learns. Talks with us. So it is looking good. She hasn't accpeted a baptismal date yet. But she wants to be baptized super bad. So pray for her!! As for Blie (peter's daughter) She is doing great! They came to the sports day activity on Saturday and we played a bunch of sports together with peter and her. Way awesome! Peter is a stud! This was there 3rd week back to church. He is doing awesome! Love that man to death. We went out and visited him at there house. Met his wife. Who is a soon to be investigator. She loves the missionaries. Just waiting for her time. So it is great. Then Brother Peter drove us to visit some other LA's Brother Tommy and Sister Jiao so awesome! He is a stud. Had a long time to talk with him. An hour and a half. Talked about life. And found out a ton. He loves me and Elder Steiner because he says we have given him the opportunity to live a part of his life he didn't. He had a super ruff childhood and teenage years. And he explained that is why he loves everyone because no matter who you are. You deserved to be love. Something that he didn't feel when he was younger. We got to the church and he gets out and is like. Elder you know me better than my parents. I really love Brother Peter. I haven't seen a member like him yet. He is a special breed. He will cry about everything! He read with us about the Priesthood power and he just started to cry. And he was like I am so grateful to have this power on Earth. He loves Christ and the Gospel more than anyone I know. He would give everything for it. Sister New and Ice are doing great! Poon and PP are ok! We are really becoming great friends with them. Just teaching them at the same time I swear is impossible. It is just way hard to get all of them to sit down as a family! But they are doing great! We were sitting at MK for my Brithday Dinner and PP (Simon Jr.) was like wow! We can't eat yet! We need to pray! It is awesome to see how much he has changed and accepted the Jesus Christ. We are just still working on giving them a date and helping them have friends at church. Right now we are doing so much RC and LA work I don't really know what to say. But I do want to share a little snippet from an experience I wrote to Grandpa Simonsen. We have an LA Brother Brayun. And we have had planned to visit him for a while. But yesterday we finally got around to it. Yesterday we headed out to go find and teach Brayun. I heard stories of him before and I knew that he a disability of some sort that prevented him from coming to church. He couldn't walk far distances and couldn't walk around the church. Well as we were going to find this LA I got a prompting to go and grab a photo of me and my grandpa. So I questioned it. It rained all day and was still pouring. I thought it might get wet. So I ignored it. Started to leave. Another time, "Go and grab a photo of you and your grandpa." I was like. Ok I will. I had no clue why. But Sure. Grabbed it and put it in my scriptures. Long story short. We found his house. Talked with him(for more detail feel free to ask Grandpa) Found out he had polio when he was younger. Well I placed the photo in my scriptures in 1 Nephi 3:7. Which we had planned to read with him. Opened my scriptures, he saw the photo. And I went on to describe my Grandpa and his challenges and how he has been made strong through these challenges. But often times than not. He needs the help of his family, his fellow members. We have a plan to go help Brayun lift stuff at his office. He doesn't have a leg brace like grandpa. He can't get into buses and trucks. And has a hard time. But I left letting him know, that we loved him. That God loved him and God knows his challenges and God will help him through these challenges. I love Brother Brayun. He is a great man. He has a strong testimony. But when things were hard he looked for excuses to not come to church. We are here to help him. It was great to have that photo with me. We instantly connected. I learned his story. He knew my story. We became friends and that is how you bring back people. That is the key. If you want someone back. Love them. Get to know them. Know there problems. Hear them. Most of all HELP THEM. They need someone to lean on. A strong hand to help them. Someone to carry them when they are weak. I know Brother Brayun will come back to church. If it involves me carrying him. I will. I love that man to death. It grieves me to see him in pain. He can't walk far. But I know that there is a way to help him. That way is through Christ-like Love as Dad explained was talked about in his meeting with the Area 70. Love is the key. Love is what we need here in Thailand to get a temple! I love all of you and hope you have a great week! Sincerely, Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, September 16, 2013

Another week full of Miracles in BangKhae

Hey Family, Wow first off! Happy anniversary mom and dad! 29 years. And still kicking! Only another 40+ more years to go! Hopefully Dad makes it:) And thanks to everyone for there birthday e-mails, I really appreciate it. In Thailand nothing special happens when you are 21. Because you could already do it when you were like 16. So haha. No special priviledges. But ya. We will go do something fun next Monday. Today we are going to the market and buying some stuff. So this past week was another week full of miracles. It was awesome Sister A from Chiang mai got baptized. And also Sister New and Sister Ice here in Bang Khae got baptized! It was a great baptismal service! We had Brother Bam(his first baptism) baptize Ice and Brother Gamoan baptize New. It was great. The speakers were awesome and both Sister New and Ice felt the spirit so strong after. New's two little boys. Simon Jr. and Poom had a great experience. They really are starting to warm up to the church. Poom is even reading the Book of Mormon. We are just working with Poom and how we can help him have a good group of friends. But Simon Jr. is so young he will follow his mom and sister. It was so awesome yesterday evening after church we went and visited them at there house. And both New and Ice had changed so much. It was amazing. They had such strong testimonies. They shared there baptism experience with all there neighbors and friends. It was way awesome. There whole attitude was just so great. They love the gospel so much. Now we just need to work with the two little boys. Question: Do you have any good ideas on how to help the boys have a better experience at church? We don't have any young men 10-16 in our branch. So we are looking on how we can help them have a better time. But Sister New is being super good about helping them and it was a really good decision to have her and ice get baptized before. Besides the baptism, we saw a ton of miracles. Brother Peter came back to church again. And his daughter now has a baptismal date for October 13. We traveled basically to the Burma border to go teach them(under an hour to Burma). We went over two provinces to teach them. And was it worth it! About a total of 3 hours on a bus. And it was awesome. We went and saw his house. And he loved it. He loves feeding us food. It was funny after done at his house he was driving us to the bus stop. And he says,"Elders I don't know why, I decided to come back to church with you. I have been visited so much. But you two feel different...I know that we were the 3 best of friends in the Pre-mortal life." He went on to tell how his life had just gone down hill after his calling as Stake Sunday School President. But he is so happy how now he has found the way back into the arms of the Savior. It is easy to say. Peter is one of the most Christ-like people I know. He talks about how he didn't find true happiness in this life till he learned to serve others. And he serves us so much. Yesterday he made us omlets so we wouldn't be hungry after church. Everytime he calls. He says if there is any trouble with anything. Call him and he will be there. Really he is the best example of a person that I want to be. He is a great story. And I won't ever forget him. He has truly changed how I view service and loving others. He helps us teach whenever he comes into the city. He is helping us find other LA's that live out in his area. I want to challenge everyone to be like Brother Peter. And forget yourself and go serve others. Life is short, but the impact you have on people goes past the grave. We also saw two huge miracles this week. Tanya an investigator from English just got the message. She opened the Book of Mormon. Realized that this is what she needs and then started to share the Gospel with her friends. She came to the baptism. She came to Church. She is a full time investigator and wants to be baptized. She is awesome. It really took 1 day until she was converted. It was so awesome. We call her on Monday. She wasn't interested at all. Then all the sudden. Comes to Englsih hears a spiritual thought. Reads the Book of Mormon. Boom!! Spiritual truth. What she was looking for in her life. It was awesome. So we are looking forward to her accepting a date this week. Secondly Brother Grit an LA in the Elders Quorum presidency. Came back to church last week. He wants his 8 year old son to be baptized. And realized he messed up. And doesn't know why he stopped coming. It was awesome. It won't be a convert baptism. Brother Grit and his wife read and pray everyday just haven't been coming to church. So it is way good. Nemo there son will be getting baptized before the year is over. It is so great to see Melchelzedik priesthood come back into the fold of Christ. To see so many miracles happening in our area. There are so many more that have happened this week. But I don't have the time to explain all of them. Just know that the Lord is blessing the work in the area. It is going forth. Stronger than ever. The Sisters are having a baptism here. We have planned atleast 5 more baptism between now and October for this branch. The work is progressing and fast. The Lord is hastening his work and I know that he wants a temple here in Thailand. I know that this is the true church. I love it so much. I love serving the Thai people more than anything. I haven't seen better members in my life. They try so hard to be the best they can. In a Buddhist country it isn't easy. But they are fighting against all temptations. I love them so much. I love helping them come unto the truth. And even more I love helping those who have fallen away come back unto the truth once more. To help those you are my brothers and sisters to find the Light of Chirst. I love the work of the Lord. I know that the Lord has great things in store for this branch and for the people of Thailand. I am so grateful for a family to have raised me up strong in the gospel. I really owe it all to you. To have the faith to do what the Lord commands of us and to help his children return to him. I hope that you all have a great week. And thank you so much for all you do. Love, Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Week full of Miracles

Hey Family, Well I need to start off with my over the hill jokes for Dad. Dad you are so old that when you go in a museum the security guards grab you and try to put you back on display! Dad your vision is so bad that when you look in the mirror you think you are watching star wars episode 6 when Hans Solo is in Jaba the Huts palace! (I will let you guess who you are) Hey, Dad. Noah Called he said he wants the paddle to his ark back. Dad you hair is so white that when you where the color red little kids always come and tell you what they want for Christmas. Dad your so old when you scuba dive people that see you think they just saw an artifact from the Titanic. Dad the only thing I regret is to say, is that the next time I will be hearing you say, "Landon!!!!" I have the right to put you in a nursing better watch out:) Papa Well ok so those are about half the jokes. I had written. But I am running slow today. But I hope you liked some of those. So as for the week here in Bang Khae. It was easily in my top 10 weeks as a missionary. So I hope that the rest of this letter can make the top 10 as well. This past week was crazy. I got food poisoning twice in one week. Luckily for me I hate staying home. So I worked through it. Way better. Plus I'm not on my time I'm on the Lords time. So the past few weeks, we have been working hard to build up our investigator pool. We have this thing called balanced key indicators. Shows you are working over the bar kinda. They are super hard to get. 2 People at church, 2 new investigators. 10 member/RC or LA lessons and 2 baptismal daters. May I remind you this is Thailand. For our mission these numbers help indicate you are working your tail off to get these. It is super hard. I have only got it about 6 times on my mission. 3 being every week in Bang Khae. Since we came here we have had a goal as a companionship to get these numbers every week. It is hard. Finding new investigators isn't easy. But this past week. We went and did all we could. Found 1 guy named A (a male) he is the security guard at our building. Use to be catholic. We are working on him. And the rest of the week we couldn't find that second new investigator. So I want to start by telling you a great story of a member named Brother Peter (Song Gran) he is a Thai guy. He has been inactive about 8 years. This past Wednesday we had the opportunity to travel about an hour to go visit him. He lives in the Province to the west of Bangkok. So we traveled out there to meet him and a few other people in the area called Nakampaton. There are about 10-20 members out there. They used to have a branch (closed down now) So we went out found this guy. One of the most awesome members ever. He is knows the bible better than anyone I know personally. He loves the church, loves God, loves Jesus Christ. Served as the Stake Sunday School President. But for some reason hasn't been to church in 8 years. This past week. We worked with him so hard. He gave us 2 referrals. And is helping us find lost members. One of the most active, LA members I have met. He is awesome. He is like a teenager at heart, but is 50. He I know is the reason I came to Bang Khae. He lives far away. But he came back after 8 years. The day I met this guy. I felt something different. I felt like he was my brother. My father. I loved him do death. His son passed away 2 years ago. He would be about 21 right now. He told me as we sat down at lunch as we looked at each other. He saw his son in me. That he knew that I was there for him. I knew that the reason I was here in Bang Khae was because Peter needed me. He needed someone like me. But his personality and my personality are like two peas in a pod. And I know that God truly sends you places where you are needed. We don't know God's plan for us. But he has one. And he put Brother Peter in my path I prayed for Peter all week. I wanted him to come back to church. I didn't know how it would happen. I didn't know what to do, all I knew to do was pray. The whole week he helped us find and teach people. We were hoping that having him help fellowship investigators would help him come back. As Sunday morning rolled around nothing changed. No calls nothing. But as we sat in church at about 9:30 in walks Brother Peter. And his daughter. The room got a little lighter as he walked in. The members recognized a familiar face. A face that has been a Elder's Quorum president, a leader, a friend, a brother. He is the happiest guy I know. And he made church a better place by coming back. As I sat with him after church he talked about how he likes how when he sees me at church I am fun, I am relaxed. He says to often are the members here, so stiff, so boring. They don't see the fun in living the gospel of Christ. I told him that is how I have always been. And always will be. He told me he does the same thing. He was just waiting for the right person to help him back. Sitting down with his daughter who is 17 and not a member and him changed my outlook on things. He is best friends with his daughter. He is one of the best fathers I have seen. We have an appointment next Saturday to go teach him and his daughter. Help his daughter be baptized. It is funny how the Lord works. Last month we had a 17 year old Sister Milk get baptized. 2 weeks ago another 16 year old Fah. This week Ice a 17 year old will be getting baptized. Then Ajeen at the end of the month. We have about 6 16-17 year old girls in our branch. Super funny. They are all RC's or investigators. But they are strong. And Sister Blay, Peters Daughter came up to him after church and said she wants to come back everyweek. It is no coincidence that the Lord was preparing this area for the work that is happening. But the work of the Lord is going forth! It was a miracle from the Lord. We got that second investigator. But that isn't important to me. I don't need to prove anything. But the most important part. Is my fellow brother Peter. Has just taken a step towards the doors of the Celestial kingdom with his daughter. I love that man to death. He reminds me of Dad. He just tells me, "around Brother Peter your don't need manners. You can be yourself. Because God loves you for who you are." We can all learn something from Peter. Love everyone for who they are. I love this man. Not only was that a miracle. But Sister New, Ice, Poom, and PP all came to church yesterday. New and Ice are getting baptized on the 14th and confirmed on the 15th. We are hoping to get PP and Poom baptized as well. It was so great to see that cute little family walk into Church. As I sat next to my little brother. Simon Jr. (PP) We looked through the picture book. And it was one of the first times I had seen the kid smile in Church! It was awesome. The family had a great experience. I love them to death. The members are really doing well fellowshipping our investigators right now. So things are looking great. But we really owe it all to the Lord. We are just his servants using the talents he gave us to do his work. Sister Wow also got confirmed this week. It was great. She is doing awesome. She has changed so much from when I first got here. She didn't even where a skirt to church. She would wear her jeans. And then she finally started to wear her skirt and now she looks like a full blown member. It is so cool to see the changes people make in there life. The investigators are coming. The work is progressing. We are seeing success as we go and be obedient. I know that the Lord gives us our talents for a reason. We are who we are for a reason. And because of who I am, I can bless the people who are like me. Because we aren't all the same. The Lord doesn't need cookie cutter missionaries. He needs missionaries all shapes, all sizes, all talents. We are all different. And that is what makes us special. No matter who you are. There is a reason for the gifts God has given you. I learn and learn again. That I was called here for me. I know you guys all know, "The Landon" but I definitely am thankful for parents, relatives, and friends who helped me develop into what I am today. That even though I was sick for a few days. I wasn't letting that get me down. I wasn't going to turn around. Let Satan win the fight. There are people who need you. And I refuse to side line myself while I am in the 4th quarter of the game. There is nothing that can stop the work of the Lord. There is nothing that will stop me from doing his work here in Thailand and when I go home. Just know that Elder Landon SImonsen knows this Gospel is true. I know that there is a reason for everything. Whether it be a trial whether it be success. These things make us stronger. Rely on the Lord and he will help you. Prayer is our only offense weapon in the armor of God. So use it. It will help you conquer any trial or challenge you have. Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Baptism was Great!

Hey Family! This week was fantastic! We had a great week! Last week at Sister New's house. They are doing so good! And Sister Wow also got baptized yesterday! It was awesome! She brought her 3 friends to church and they all started to tear up during the baptismal service! It was amazing! Plus I even got to play the piano accompaniment for the special musical number! haha! (It was an electrical piano!) Anyway I will send you some pictures of the baptism and stuff! So I guess I will answer some questions before I get going more. They do have a Thai Labor Day. I can't remember what month. But ya they do! Happy Birthday to Dad on the 8th! I haven't sent a card yet:( but I didn't forget!) I even made over the hill jokes! So ya should be good! Anyway I thought your comment was pretty cool about big cities! It is pretty true. I think that it is because the people in big cities (at least in Thailand) are just more open to the western world. More open to other ideas and stuff. So anyway this week was awesome we have been teaching a ton of RC's We have about 12 people baptized in the last 6 months here. So we have a ton of RC work to do. Mainly because the missionaries teach the after baptism lessons as well. So our weeks are full of lessons. It is great. We are teaching about 15 to 20 lessons per week. If you didn't know. That is good for Thailand:) That doesn't include contacting, which we don't really count as lessons. Anyway work is really lighting up here right now. We should have 5 or 6 baptism in our branch this month. We also had 63 at church! So ya that is great! It is growing. There are lots of members that just need strengthening here. That are on the border of activity and just need to be loved. The Branch President is a stud. He is just doing boss work! Helping all our investigators and being awesome at giving RC's callings. So things are looking so good. Our investigators New, Ice, Poom, and PP are doing really good. It is so hard to get them all together at one time. Ice and New are ready and are doing excellent. Last week we didn't have time to play UNO so we are playing it this week at FHE at there house. SO it will be excellent. I love there family. Everybody calls PP the mini Simon (which is me) haha! I will send a picture with me and the family last week! So Wow is doing great! She passed her interview and is doing awesome. Already is helping her friends come to church. 3 of her good friends came to the baptism! It was awesome! The branch is also doing a way good job on fellowshipping her and helping her feel welcomed. So it is awesome. We also started to meet with Tanya she is from English Class. Really awesome. She has had lots of trials and stuff in life and she is just looking for the truth. I really hope she continues learning. But it was a great first lesson for her. So a little about Wow because you don't know her. She works for an oil company worked about 14 or so years. She is the manager of her division. She loves to speak English and is way fluent at it! She came to English class. Got taught an introduction lesson. And really thought that there was more in life. She has had previous problems in her life and she knows that the path she has chosen will benefit her. Her father passed away 30 years ago and she wants her family to be forever. She loves them. She loves to read and she has a super strong testimony. She will be an awesome member! Well I need to start going on my Over the Hill jokes before I run out of time!!! I love the work here in Bang Khae! It is going so great! We have one of the best branches in Bangkok! They are growing so much! It is great! The work here is on fire and I know that the Lord is blessing the lives of the people here in Thailand. He wants a temple here. And we need to have the faith to do it! If we all had the faith of momma Simonsen. Then there would have been a temple here a few years ago:) That was a great experience mom! We actually got to watch a few clips from 17 miracles yesterday and I thought of the pioneers trials and how everything will be all right if you put your faith in Christ! I know that my mom has raised me to have faith and you are the best example of faith mom! I know as you keep exercising it, you will see so many more miracles. I love you all and I hope you have a great week! Love, Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bang Khae is Booming!

Hey Family,

This week was awesome! Our investigators interviewed for baptism. Wow passed her interview and she will be getting baptized on Sunday!! Then Sister New passed, but she will be getting baptized on the 15th instead with her family! So actually some super awesome things! The area is really just exploding right now! The branch is awesome. They are few in numbers but strong in spirit. The ward is just so willing to help with missionary work. The Branch President, President Teep is sweet! We met with him and he has a great vision for the branch! Trying to get callings and help out all the RC's we have about 10 or more this year so far. So ya pretty good, I love being back in Bangkok! It is so easy to talk with people here! They are really so much easier to talk to here in Bangkok. Maybe there are just so many more people you find those interested way faster! Because everyday you see someone new. Way nice. I wish I realized that earlier in my mission. But I really love being in this area. And work is going so good right now.

This past week was really crazy. I got called to go to the leadership training meeting on Tuesday.  It was just for DL's, ZL's and trainers.  It was a super awesome meeting. I learned a ton!  It was one of the best meetings I have had here. I learned so much about doing missionary work. Opened up some different ways of contacting people and teaching skills.

This past week, our investigators grew so much. Sister New interviewed for baptism. Passed but she won't get baptized till the 15th. We encouraged her, to help all of her children learn about the church. Because this gospel isn't just meant for 2 people in her family. But all 5 of them. Her husband recently passed away. And we told her we want her whole family to get baptized on that day. So today we are having FHE at her house today. Meeting her 2 sons. PP and Poom. Then Ice is already ready for baptism. Passed her interview and has read the Book of Mormon all the way through. So we are looking for 4 people baptized on the 15th. Pray that her sons will be open to the gospel they are 11 and 13. One came to church Poom and he loved it. We are just lacking youth in our branch. But the family is super great! I love them to death! We go and visit Sister New at the Mitsubishi Car place and she loves meeting with us now. It is so cool to see how much she has changed. She always helps us when we go and visit to not have someone sell us a car. haha! Way awesome! Also Sister Wow is awesome. She is doing so good. And she will be getting baptized next week. We have her program ready. And the members are supporting her! It is great. She also is bringing 3 friends to her baptism. She was ready to get baptized this week. But postponed so her friends could see it! I am super stoked for her! We also met with a teacher from a school. We teach English at a public college. Our branch mission leader and a few other members work there. And we are teaching a few of the teachers. Ones name is Woot. He is awesome. We got him referred to us. By brother Joe. He was in the Hospital and we went and visited him. He was super bored and said he loved to read. So we were like well we have a super interesting book about how the native Americans got to America. And he was like I want to read it. So we gave it to him and came back the next day. He read 4 chapters. And said he liked it. He didn't understand lots of the high vocabulary but he said he felt good. So we taught him how to pray and find out. And that is where we are at. He gets out of the hospital today and we will visit him tomorrow. So I am way excited. We have a ton of investigators we have met for the first time. Ever since the leadership training meeting I have been fired up about talking with everyone. And we have a bunch of potentials. So I am way excited to see where these people go. To many to name. But lets just say the Lord is really blessing the work in Bang Khae right now and I am so thankful to be serving here. We had 55 at church yesterday. So up 10 from last week. We are going to see some miracles happen!

Expecting miracles is something we talked about at our leadership meeting. And I never really thought about it. I always just thought what happened...happened. Everything happens for a reason. But nope. Not anymore. I know the Lord can do anything. And with faith. Anything is possible. I wrote a little in Cam's e-mail about the talk I read from Joseph Smith. But it just amazes me how he could confound the learned. He confounded the teachers of religion. He taught so clear, so simple. When I read his talk. I realized that he didn't stop to declare repentance to one person. Everybody knew what he stood for. Why should I not be the same. And ever since then I let everyone know that there is only one way to be saved. And there is no hiding it. They can look at me like I am crazy. But truth is truth. And why hide it! My desire for the work has Increased so much. I feel like my time is starting to run down hill. And I know my time is coming where I can't do the Lord's work 24/7. So I am making the best of it. I love it. And I don't want to regret a moment of it. I hope that you all have a great week! I love you! I know the church is true!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back in Bangkok

Hey Family,

Thanks for the e-mails! I really loved them. Well to answer questions I am in Bang Khae (pronounce Bang like Song with a B) It is a great area. I immediately found out while I was called here. The branch was recently re-opened to missionary work 3 transfers ago. This area needs its members to be strengthened. And President wants 3 stakes in Bangkok by next February. Well one thing I am known for in the mission. Is building branches. And so well. Where better to put a missionary who builds branches than in a branch that needs to be strengthened. So Right now we are averaging 45 at church. We need 80 by next year. Here I come LA work. We have about 350 members on record and so obviously there is a lot of work to do. But the Branch is great. The leadership is great. President Tip our Branch president is awesome. He wants this branch to grow and I really love it here. Our Branch Mission Leader I have worked with in Chiang Rai. He just moved down here. Strong member/ RM. Named Joe. The Branch is so willing to help and we have no problem getting member help for teaching. We have about 12 strong priesthood holders which actually beats my last area. But just very few members. So well the game begins. My area goes all the way to the Burma boarder. We have a huge area. The Bang Khae area takes in a good amount of people. But we have 2 sisters as well. Way happy!

My Comp is Elder Steiner he is from Logan Utah. Awesome guy. He actually just served in the same zone in Chiang Mai. He was in P-Look. On transfer 4. Awesome kid! Super fun! We get a long great! Super out going. Basically the exact same view on how to do missionary work. We also have Elder Astle from Las Vegas in our District. He is Elder Hansen's Greenie.  So that is fun. Then Sister Nuon (I served in Bang Na with her) from Cambodia and Sister Wanapong she is Thai. We have a sweet District. And in fact today it is Elder Hansen's Birthday and we are going to the Kings Palace for P-day. All of us! So it will be fun! Great group of missionaries. We actually have sleep overs every Sunday night before P-day. So then we will spend P-day together. The work will be great here! I am so happy to be here in this area.

We actually have a few investigators we just gave dates to this week. Sister Nu and Ice. For next week. They came to church last Sunday and yesterday. So they could be getting baptized next week. Also Wow. she is cool she is getting interviewed on Tuesday. She has learned about 1 and a half. And has a date for Sunday as well. So haha! I actually got to help gives those dates. So it was super cool. They are really prepared.  We also found a few new great potentials. We have just been hitting the streets, talking. We are also trying to find a map. Cuz we don't have a good one. It is tiny and you can't find anything on it. So we are going to get this area pumping again.

I haven't heard any news on Chiang Mai yet. I hope they are doing great! I have thought a lot about my calling as a missionary this past week. And I am thankful that I can help strengthen the Thailand members and help them eventually build a temple here. It is something that I realized I have such a great calling and how the Lord trusts me so much. That when you come and serve a mission you are promising him that you will do everything in your power to help his children return to him. It is a great calling and I just want to be able to say I helped as many people as I could with the calling I had. I am so grateful to serve here today. I love the area, I love the people, I love my Savior. I will do whatever is asked of me here in Thailand. Well family thanks for the letters. I got the package for my B-day. Plus Side I am in the Bangkok West Zone right now. So I will get the package quicker cuz the office is in my zone. So thanks for all the support and encouragement! Much love from the Bangkok.

Your truly,
Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, August 12, 2013

Happy Thai Mothers Day!

Hey Family,

Well today is officially Mothers Day in Thailand. So thanks for being the best mom ever! I love you! Besides that there are questions on transfers meeting. Well I am being transfered on Thursday. But I won't know the area until then! So next week. I will be somewhere else! Fun stuff. Lets see. And this past week. Noi didn't get baptized. His Grandmother passed away 4 days ago and the funeral was on Sunday. So he couldn't stay for his confirmation. So we moved it back to this week. We have 4 people scheduled for baptism in our district next week! So ya pretty cool. I am super sad to be moving. But hey isn't that how things work out. It is all good I know that everything will work out with these people. I have been working really hard to prepare Elder Pyne to lead the area when I leave. He has grown so much in the past few weeks. He is so much more confident and he speaks so much more in lessons now. It has been great to see how much he has grown so far. It has been great serving with him.

So ya it was a great week for the work. We found some really great investigators. Dawn is an 18 year old kid who just turned 18 last week. And he has learned with the Elders before. The only problem was is his parents wouldn't let him get baptized. So when we asked him why he wanted to learn again. Is he said, because I love Jesus and I want to be baptized. And I looked at Elder Pyne and we both just knew this guy was golden. He came with a friend Jai Jai. She is 18 as well. Just friends. But she is interested in Christianity as well. So I am stoked for Dawn. He is ready. So I am sad, because I know he will be baptized so quick. We didn't call him or anything. He just shows up to church in his Sunday Dress clothes. And we thought he was a visiting member. haha! But really awesome. God really blessed our area this week. So we went out to Jerry's and A's house this past week! They are awesome. We met with A's dad as well. And 80 year old Thai Guy. You are thinking stubborn right?! Well nope! He is legit! We talked with him and shared the Plan of Salvation. And he was like I believe it already. I was like awesome. And everything I talked about he already believed. Way funny. But ya he isn't golden. But I think he will accept the Gospel in the next life. He is a super nice and kind guy. Just old and thinks that all religion is good. But he is one of the first buddhists to believe he will live with his family again for eternity. So I liked him. His wife died 40 years ago of Cancer has 6 kids. Really great Guy. Kai is awesome. I love that guy. I will be saying bye to them tomorrow. We are going out to teach them so it will be great. A is reading and yesterday at Church she started crying reading the Book of Mormon. She doesn't like when families have hardships and trials and she was sad when Laman and Lemuel disobeyed there father. It was cool. Thai people respect there parents and grandparent really well. At the mothers day activity. They had a part where they have the children bow down and wai the parents or grandparents. It is cool I will show pictures.

As I said Noi isn't getting baptized but he is doing so great! I really love that guy to death. I hope that things are great for him. My comp will be here and things will all be good. I know that God prepared him for the Gospel and I know that he will be baptized next week. Sometimes things don't go as planned. But I know there is a reason for everything and all missionaries doing the Lord's work are on the same team and it really doesn't matter who gets the point for baptism. Because in the end it is all the Lord's work. And he blessed us with great new investigators so it is all good. I got to go see Nirandawn this past week. He is doing great. I really love that guy! I even got a picture with him! He is a sweet man!

This week I was talking to a Buddhist monk that is a leader at his temple. I was super interested in what Buddhists believe. We were coming home from A's and had an hour to talk. Buddhism itself is a really good religion. But I got so confused. There are so many sects and so many different leaders of different temples. And they all kinda teach different things. Like Kai A's dad believes he will live with his family. I talked about all the buddhists sects. How there leadership works and it felt so unorganized. He was talking about they can't build anything until people pay donations to build new temples and all I thought was I could see so many distorted truths in the religion. But it was an interesting experience. I am just so thankful that we know there is one religion that is correct. There are so many confusing things in the world and I am so glad to have the Book of Mormon and the knowledge I have. I truly am thankful for being raised in the church.

I hope that things are going great this week! I loved the e-mails. And I since it is Mother's Day I just want to thank Mom for all she has done for me! The missionaries sang a Thai Mother's Day song. It is one of the best songs ever. It talks about the bond between a mother and her children. Us missionaries got to sing it at the activity. It made a few mothers cry. They truly are the most loving people here. And I want to let you know mom and dad that I love you. I feel like I love my family so much more being out here in Thailand. It is crazy because the Thai people love there family so much. And how great is it that we can teach them the plan of salvation. I love my mission so much. I wouldn't trade one moment of it. I treasure every second of it. I hope that you all have a great week!

Elder Landon SImonsen

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chiang Mai doing work

Hey Family,

Well I need to answer questions before I forget. Transfers is coming up on August 14th. So the next one after that is in like October! haha! So good luck getting a package to me! No biggie if you don't I will live. So yes it is rainy season right now. It rains everyday at least once. And usually unexpected. And then you just get wrecked. Last week we biked about 45 minutes and visited the family from Canada in our ward. Josh is the assitant branch mission leader. And it was a great meeting! Really good family. It was so fun because his little son had been praying all week that the missionaries would come and visit there family. So it was great to go and have dinner with them. He is from Calgary.

So this past week was so great! We saw lots of blessings and met some really great people. Eeam is doing great. She is reading and praying, but not coming to church. But we aren't giving up on her.  We also met a few interesting people while teaching English! It was really good! Air is one of them. And she was just soaking up the Restoration. So we need to follow-up with her. And help her come to church to see how we are different. It was really funny how Air had so many of the same questions as Joseph Smith, like why are there some many churches? Also about Prophets and why we don't have them on the Earth? We loved it because we had the answers to all her questions! Really cool anyway, contacting has been good. We have been searching for families that can help our church grow here! And we found an awesome little family on Saturday. We contacted at a park and a Dad was playing with his Children. So we rode over on our bikes and talked to him. He had two daughters and he loved them so much. His name is Chai and he didn't have time to come to church, but I really hope he decides to learn more. He is so interested in the Plan of Salvation and how he can be with his family forever. Isn't it the question everyone has! And I know that the Thai people love there families like Chai. And they want to live with them again. Mathew is also doing great! He had an awesome story about how he had been prompted so many times to talk with us. He said, he has seen us for 5 or more years walking around in 2's and everytime he felt prompted to talk to us. Until he finally talked to us last week. He asked us the fastest way he could get baptized. And I told him every commandment. And he was good with all of them except he has a wife and a girl friend. But he is almost married to both of them. So we were like. Well. Choose one preferably the one you are married to and be faithful to her for time and all eternity. And I am not sure what he was thinking. But I really hope he keeps this commandment. The members really like him and he is amazing! He has read a ton in the Book of Mormon already! So I hope he gets a conformation of the truth and I know he will choose the right! He has a plan to be baptized on August 4th. So we pray he will be ready!

 Saw went back to Bangkok. But we have some awesome potentials as usual. Contacting helps you meet a lot of people. And we actually just got a referral from a member who is here. And wants his Thai wife to learn about the gospel! haha! Ya! I love referrals!

This week we had a few really interesting things happen. Sister Yim went back to the Hospital. And she is doing way better. Her Intestine was twisted, but it was a huge blessing. We got her in the hospital and actually we got to give her a blessing before her second surgery with Elder Marvel (Senior missionary I served with in Bang Na) He is an awesome guy! I really love him and his wife! Anyway all they needed to do when they opened her up was pull one fiber and it untwisted itself. It was crazy. But a huge miracle. She has lost 35 pounds, she has been sick this whole transfer! Crazy! She is a trooper and she is recovering great! Sister Senior flew up and is with her at the hospital So we can stop worrying about her and just go do work.

English at the college is going really good! As I mentioned we taught two people at the college. Both about the restoration. There are a ton of Christians that go to this school and they all wonder about the Book of Mormon. Why do we have it? What is it about? So it really is a great opportunity. I hope that we can get some interested people out of it!  I love serving and just helping them anyway. It is really good. President is trying to really focus our finding efforts on the younger generation and help out the young single adults in the church here. To be strong, go on mission, and to help the future of Thailand. So you need to find them. He is seeing if we get a lot of interested people here at English. So I really hope it keeps going good.

Well that is all I have for the day, we will be going up to the mountains next week for sure! But I really love this Gospel. I love the Plan of Salvation. It is my favorite message to share with people because I know how much I love my family. And I know I am not the only one that wants to live with those I love again. And seeing people everyday who hear this and love there family, but are blinded by the things of the world. It really makes me sad. I love them. I love the people here. And they are so great. And all I want for them is to come unto Christ, to have a purpose here on this Earth. I am just so thankful to have the knowledge of the truth and to be able to try my hardest to help others have the same knowledge. I love you all and I love the Church. Have a great week! Happy Pioneers Day!

Much Love,
Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another great week in Chaing Mai

Hello Family,
Well this week was great! Ya I got the letters from the Young Women's. And I am so happy you get to speak at church Mom that will be awesome! I will be thinking of some stuff for you to share!! What type of stories you looking for? Contacting, Families, pray, member missionaries, etc.? So ya thanks for being a great mom.

One thing for sure is, some of the people here have such a sad perception of life after this one. This past week I was talking to a man about the Plan of Salvation. And how he could live with his 3 little children again. And as we shared our message on living with our families again. He shared what he believed. How his 3 daughters aren't actually his.They are just people, with no special relationship to him. He just helps the cycle of life. He cares for their needs and buys them stuff. But they are a person who has been around forever. And they have no value to him. If they die, so be it. They will be born again. It is the cycle and it doesn't matter if he sees his children or not. 6 transfers ago in Bangna I was talking with an elderly man, his wife passed away a week before. He was depressed, sad, and didn't know what to do now that the only person he loved had died. So I talked to him about my grandparents and how my grandma had recently passed away. He listened as I shared more about my family. I told him that I will see her again. I will be able to be with her and all of my family. He asked me how did I know this. I said, all you need to do is read this book. The Book of Mormon. He replied. I am to old to change my beliefs young man. It was sad. Because the people here want to hear about this message. They want to be with their family again. Knowing that we are with our family again gives us hope for the life after. It lets us look beyond the grave. I know that having this knowledge of the Plan of Salvation has helped our family. I can see it in how we act and how we show our love. People here are great. And I am here to give them hope for there future. That they can see their family again. That they can be sealed with their loved ones. Granted everyday is hard, we talk to literally everyone and only a few will here our message. It is the hardest and most rewarding work I have done. I don't love anything more than seeing the smile on a persons face when they learn that we will see your families again.

So besides that I have really appreciated all that you guys have taught to me. This past week with my companion has been great! We have contacted for easily 25 hours this past week. Where we just talk to as many people as physically possible. And guess what! No new investigators from it! Crazy huh!? But I tell you what. I have never felt better in my life than going out and bearing testimony that Christ lives, he loves us, and we can return to him. That the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that our Church is the only true church. Rejection can be hard. But everyone needs to know that Jesus is the Christ. And I don't care how many rejections it takes. But I will find those who will listen to our message! There has been nothing more rewarding in my life than being a missionary. I have seen the blessings. And I know that every soul must hear our message. I am so grateful to serve here in Thailand. It isn't easy, I know that. But it has helped me build a foundation of the Gospel. Because I know why I am here and where I am going. And I really want all my brothers and sisters here in Thailand to be right there with me.

This past week was great. I really had some great experiences. We have been meeting Joy and Eeam they are awesome! They are so cool. Eeam has already read 1 Nephi. And she is doing great. She wants to be baptized on August 10. Her husband Joy is doing okay. But they really want to live with there two little children again and they love our message.  Their only problem is they aren't married by the law. Married by society. So they need to get legally married. But they are great! We also met Mat. She is awesome. She loves the Book of Mormon. We gave it to her on the first day we met her. She was so happy. She was just staring at it and smiling.  All three of these people are awesome! But everyone has problems in life and our message can help them. It is true. And I know they can change if they ask Heavenly Father for help. They are sweet people and I am praying for them. So Saw is doing great still. She came to church yesterday. She is doing really good. Still has a date for the 4th of August. She just needs to be taught everything.

Also we met this sweet new guy this week. While we just finished walking and talking for 2 hours and we get into a little taxi truck thing and head home. All the sudden the driver stops his truck. Gets out comes around to the back and says come sit up front and talk to me about Christ. So we were like ok!! And long story short Matthew came to church yesterday! He is so awesome! What a stud. It was so cool to see the blessings the Lord gave us. It wasn't through contacting. But we saw them in other ways. The first three people I talked about are all member referrals! From Brother Woot! He is so cool and loves doing missionary work! This past week we saw lots of great success.

I love working with Elder Pyne he is so thankful for all that I taught him recently. As I stated his trainer is 100% opposite of me.  This past week he has opened up a ton! And is really a fun guy! He just said that he thought missionary work was something that wasn't supposed to be fun. You weren't supposed to make friends with people. He loves the mission now. We go and tract for hours a day. And get rejected. And that is fun!!! You laugh you have fun. You be yourself. That is something that is important. That you be who you are. Because you were called for you. Your weren't called to be something you aren't. It isn't called the best two years because you frowned the whole time and didn't laugh or have fun. It is the best two years. And the only way you can do that is going and doing the Lords work using the talents he has given you. Talk with people be their friends. And share the gospel. It is why we are here. And I am so grateful to be here in Chiang Mai and to serve my fellow man and my God. I love it here. I love my family. You taught me so much. I learned that I could be myself. That because of who I am I can help people. It is a characteristic that you have helped me develop. Thanks for being my family and friends. I love all of you and I know that the Lord has great things in store for all of us. He just asks us to be his disciples and to follow him. Have a great week! I loved this past week! It was great!

Elder Landon SImonsen 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Still here in Chiang Mai! Yay!

Hey family,

Glad to hear that the baby blessing went well! Looked great! And to see Tabitha get baptized! That is awesome! Looked like a huge 4th of July party. Parade looked fun! If you are wondering no, we didn't do anything special! We had transfers that day. But I did get the package! It was great! I loved the food choice's especially the fruity pebbles. Yummy! Well guess what! I am in Chiang Mia still! I have an awesome new comp! Elder Jesse Pyne from Alpine Utah. He actually went to school with Elder Cosper! He is way fun. Kind of quite, shy guy. But he is a way good kid! Really knows how to work hard! We both love the NFL! haha! So ya instantly we have things in common.  He is young in the mission. Just barely got out of training. He is on transfer 3 now, follow-up training is fun.  I love helping young missionaries! I am really excited to work with him. He has a great desire for the work and is always looking for an opportunity to share the gospel. I have so much to learn from him!


So you are probably wondering how the district is. Who Stayed who moved. Well My comp moved, Sister Orchard moved, Elder Hansen, Elder Heras, and Sister Rodriguez back to America! So ya we had a great district! All great missionaries and friends. And guess what we got another great group. So Sister Yim and Sararat are companions now. Both on Transfer 3. Then they moved Sister Zatarain here and she is training Sister du Plessis(French name). I served with Sister Zatarain in Bangna if you remember. So we are in the same district again. Then Elder Slaughter is training Elder Winsor. Then Elder Adams is companions with Elder Xayavong he is from Laos! It is fun to have him in the house! Way funny guy! So ya that is the District! Looking forward to doing more work with them!

So anyway let me tell you about our crazy week! It goes as follows. Well transfers, it is always kinda hectic getting the bikes on the bus. Not to mention you worry about everyone getting on the bus. And to the areas and stuff like that. It was funny because Sister Sararat said I was like a dad that cared for all his children. So ya, you know me playing dad! haha! After Transfers Sister Yim got sick. So I was running around getting medicine for her and everything. Sick for 2 days. On Sunday I went with them to the hospital in the morning with a member in the District Presidency. And her Appendix burst at the hospital. It was crazy, because I was the one translating for her at the hospital, because her comp was Thai. So ya my medical vocab is a little rusty but hey all is good now! She had surgery and is just resting in the hospital and we will go visit her again today.

Long story short I played dad all week! haha! But it was fun! I got to introduce the sisters to some members in our branch and help them get familiar with the area! And things will be going great! It is a great time to rejuvenate the energy of the branches! Sister Zatarain and du Plessis are in our Branch and they are very energetic! So I think things will be going great for us in our branch.

Besides visiting lots of members, we got to give 2 or 3 blessings this week as well. Along with lots of service opportunities! So it has been a great week for us to help the branch and to be able to get to know them better.

As for investigators this past week. People are still progressing ok.  Rameez is doing good. But his new job kinda restricts him from coming to church. That is a bummer, but he loves the Book of Mormon and the D&C. Saw is doing great! She wasn't able to come to church. She is still reading and she did get to come to FHE so that was great. We did find a few new people who will be promising. Joy and Eeam. They are cool. They work with our first counselor in the Branch Presidency. They are a husband and wife. We just had a first lesson. Should be great. I love member referrals! We also are meeting with a guy named Boy! haha! and he is great. But as Thailands most common problem is working on Sunday. So he couldn't come to church. But hey we keep our chins up. And we make sure that everyone has an opportunity to decide for themselves if they want to follow Chirst and be baptized into the true church or not. So we will keep teaching so they can choose. But we are just messengers of the Lord and sometimes people won't hear our whole message. But hey it is still going great! They can still get baptized, so we haven't lost hope yet!

As for me this week! It was a fantastic week! Crazy to see my MTC sisters go home! Made me feel old! Mainly because I am on the same transfer/ have the same amount of time as my trainer did when he trained me! Missions just go by to fast! It really is the best experience I have had in my life. I talked about it with Elder Pyne today. How if we hadn't come on missions our understanding of helping others and always inviting them to come unto Chirst(even after the mission) would be so much less. I have grown so much on my mission. And it was so great this past week at transfers I heard that Sister Noon got baptized this week. She is from my greenie area when I was with Elder Timothy we found her!. That is a seed that was planted and grew. But wasn't ready to harvest until now. And I am so happy for her! Even though it might not be the same as being there. Knowing that someone you introduced to the gospel got baptized makes you feel accomplished. It goes to show that sometimes people aren't ready at the time the first meet the missionaries. But don't ever give up. Someone might not be interested now, but always share the gospel, because they might be ready! I am attaching the photo of her. Sister Itri actually got to teach her and also Sister Wiganda (served in Banga with her. Way good friends!) So I am actually way happy for them to baptize her!

Thanks for the e-mails this week! I love you all and have a great week! Today we don't have anything special for P-day. We are putting locks on the sisters doors and windows at there house. Because someone tried to break in Two nights ago. So we had them sleep at a members until we fixed the broken lock on the back door! So ya no worries fix it Simo is on it! Anyway! Have a great day love you all!

Elder Landon Simonsen

P.S. Notice Breast Cancer Awareness District Meeting! (pink ties) And yes my hair is short. and Noon at her baptism!