Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pull out the Map! I'm in Chiang Rai!

Hello Family and Friends!

Well let me tell you a little about the craziest week I have ever had in the mission. Well I guess first thing first I'm not in Bangkok anymore! I am in Chaing Rai. The coolest place in Thailand! So beautiful and there are mountains and it is freezing in the morning! Most people actually wear snow coats, beanies, scarfs, and stuff! It is also how you think of Thailand mountains, jungles, far away secluded. Basically it is way awesome!

My companion is Elder Taylor Wilko from Davis High School lives in Kaysville!. He is so awesome and way good at the Language. He is just like me. He loves sports, he played Tennis for Weber State! He was trained by Elder Wright who was in the MTC with me. We are going to have a lot of fun and hard work. Why hard work. Well we opened and white washed the area. There have been only 2 Elders in Chaing Rai for about 12 years or so. So a long time. So my District leader is Elder Saunders he is from my MTC group. So we got up here we had to split off, so we could get home. And a 13 hour bus ride later. 3 hours away from any other Elders here we lie. So ya we are the farthest north and away you can be as an Elder in Thailand.

We have 1 investigator right now! Yay! We taught her yesterday. Her name is Nam (like water). So this whole week we have been advertising our English program we only had 5 people last week at it. So the Branch is awesome. We have about an average of 35 to 40 people a week. We had 45 this week but that is because a missionaries family came up. But this is a great branch they were so happy to see Elders come up. They really are pushing this area. So we want to make President Senior proud. We want a Temple and we need Stakes and Wards. So they are strengthning this area. Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting and all the members bore testimony about how having 4 Elders is a blessing from God so we can get a Ward and a Church building eventually. Right now we are in a rented building.

So as for other news. They let in 4 of our missionaries into Laos for service opportunities and to strengthen the branch we have there. One of the missionaries is Elder Wright from the MTC I have a picture with him and Elder Davies. It is a great opportunity for them to strengthen the Branch. They finally have finished a full translation of the Lao Book of Mormon. So we are seeing a ton of miracles.

President Senior sent us the following:

By invitation, the Thailand Bangkok Mission received approval to have four young service volunteers to labor in Vientiane, Laos. These service volunteers will work with Deseret International Charities under the direction of the Senior Couples who are located in Vientiane, and will be involved in a variety of humanitarian and educational service opportunities, including clean water projects, hygiene, neo-natal education and English language instruction. The young volunteers will also support the Branch activities of the Laotian Saints in Vientiane, Laos. The Church is not yet officially recognized in Laos and this recent activity is for the purpose of providing additional educational and humanitarian service.”

Ok so ya that is awesome! By the way I am going to have some great P-days up here. Look up Chaing Rai Thailand. There are so many foreigners who come here. I have met a ton of people from the states already. So it is awesome. Today we aren't doing anything special. But next week we are going to the Golden Triangle. It is a place where the borders of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand meet. The week after that The White Temple, ostrich riding, waterfalls. So many beautiful things here. Today we are just going Bowling. Chilling. Then after that we are going to organize and clean our house! Because we don't have desks yet. Because there used to just be two Elders. But it is a huge house.

This area is one of the oldest areas in the mission. My area is the whole Province of Chaing Rai. We usually just stay in the main city Chaing Rai. But it is so awesome! Nicest place ever. President Smith (my last mission president) called it the Celestial Kingdom. I believe that Elder Wilko and I will see lots of success I don't doubt that we were called to open this area for a reason! I think we finally know how to kinda get around. The Church is a 15 minute bike ride away. The city isn't to hard to naviagte cuz it feels like a small town. Very peacful. like Cordelane, Idaho.

K enough about Chaing Rai. Sounds like an awesome week for you guys! Kira sounds like she is doing good and talking a lot! Ryan and Lauren are close to having another baby! Wow! Lauren are you quiting at Delta? Cam and Serena sound like they are doing good! Serena sounds like a boss in school! So Cam what exactly are boards? Sounds like everyone is doing great! Super Bowl! Balitmore sounded pretty good! Funny Commercials!

Well this week I don't have to much to else to report on. We are just really trying to get familiar with the branch. Fun story you know Bishop Brajack from my Greenie area. Then his brother Brother Boon Chuay in Bangna. Now I am serving with the 3rd brother in that family. Brother Sud Jay. Way fun! THey are all brothers and I have served in All 3 places! This branch is awesome. President Senior is doing interviews next week at church. So we will see him. I hope he likes 13 hour bus rides. It is like I was serving in Utah then got transfered to California. It is fun. really cool zone. Way spread out. But I am excited so we are working really hard and have been passing out flyers for free English all week. Since we started the area book. There is nothing in it except Nam and we have taught her once. She is from our english class.

K well that is about it for the week here. Elder Wilko is a good cook and made us dinner last night! We spent forever cleaning the kitchen because no one used it in about 6 months because it is a big house for 2 Elders to maintain. We have like 3 couches and 6 wardrobes. It is way exciting and I feel like I am in the real Thailand!

The last little bit in Bangna was awesome I got a bunch of e-mail addresses and facebooks of lots of members. We went out and got some BBQ Thai style! Way fun! The members are so awesome there!

And Happy Birthday to Grandma! This week! I am getting a card in the mail. But I actually found the post offfice yesterday haha! So know that a letter is coming, but I don't know how long it will take from here. So:) thanks love you!


Elder Landon Simonsen

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