Monday, March 25, 2013

Week of Traveling

 Family and friends,
Well as you know Thailand is like the best ever! As you know already we went to Chiang Mai on Thursday night. Then came home Friday night. Then went down Saturday Night. Returned Sunday night. I spent a total of 13 hours/ more on a bus in 4 days! Way crazy! But fun! We got to eat some Mexican food! Way good I haven't had Mexican food in forever! Yes! It is like the best! Anyway besides that We had the best meetings ever! I loved listening to President Senior! So I guess you saw my buzz cut! Looks good no! I left out the part how we slept on Tile for two nights in Chiang Mai! With no pillows or anything! It was a way good experience! I have never actually wanted to wake up before that!! ha-ha! Ya it was a ton of fun! Zone Conference was great!
Well before I forgot I want to give Parker some advice before he goes!  The best advice I can give you is love every moment of your mission! I can promise you that as you stay obedient and love the people you serve you will have a successful mission and will be so happy. I can't promise every moment will be easy. And I know you will have companions that are hard. Everyone does. But as you try to become a more Christ like person and turn to the Lord you will be able to overcome any trial that comes your way. I know that as you dedicate your time and service to the Lord you will have so many experiences that will change your life for the better. I know that you are going to be a great missionary. Remember that those people in Colombia need you. They need Elder Parker Simonsen. There isn't another person who could do you job in that country. Coming on a mission was the best choice I made in my life. And I know it is for you too. As you go and do the Lords work you will face trials. But as my mission president said, "Anything this wonderful(the Gospel), is worth any trial." I love that quote. Parker as you go out love the people and they will know what you teach is the truth! I know you are a stud! So man I love you and I will be sending a quick e-mail every once and a while! I wish you the best of luck man! It is the best 2 years! 
Well actually we just found out we are going to Bangkok on Sunday night! Elder Wilko needs to renew his Visa! So ya another 24 hours or more on a bus this week! ha-ha! We just got the info as we were e-mailing! So as for the question on if we give talks or not! We more or less just bear our testimonies when we give talks. I have given 2 actual talks. The rest have been like, I share a scripture and talk about it. We have a different role in Thailand. We actually teach the investigator/new member class about 2 times a month.  We basically just answer lots of questions about how to use the priesthood and stuff! Or they read out of the teaching of the prophets book. Then ask the Elders to explain. So to say I have talked from the pulpit a ton probably like 15 to 20 times on my mission. But only 2 actually talks over 15 minutes. So ya that is that!
English is going so good! We found a new investigator that is way interested! Her name is Fah! She is awesome! She is from a hill tribe that is by Pu chi Fa! That tall mountain! So she actually speaks a tribal language! She never got to go to school. But she can read a little! She also is about to marry an English guy! He is coming back to Thailand in 2 weeks haven't met him. Looks nice! So we basically teach everything in English and Thai because there are words that she doesn't understand from both languages! way interesting! But she loves learning about prayer and the Plan of Salvation. She really loves her family! They all speak a tribal language, called Akan! It is a Romanized alphabet like English! She is doing way good! Also Bu is doing fantastic! She loves the gospel! She called us this morning! And was like we need to meet today! We were like ok! She has really gotten an answer about the Book of Mormon! She reads a ton everyday! I think she is done with 2nd Nephi! She was on 2 Nephi 9 last Tuesday! Way awesome!  Then We also visited Pawn doing awesome! So anyway after that we just did a lot of service! We helped out brother Su Gid cut his grass with the syth looking thing and an old Machete! ha-ha! boss! Anyway that was fun! We have been really helping out by trying to serve! We are actually helping Brother Leng that guy who speaks English who teaches those kids. And we are digging him a trench this week for his fish pond!  We are really trying to just help! So we will take pictures!
So last week at English we had about 40 people again it is going so good! We have increased the number from 5 to 10 people a week to 40. And it is way good! We have 2 classes an Advanced class and a basic class. I teach with Elder Saunders and Elder wilko teaches with Elder Omer! English is going so great! Anyway I will get you some pictures of where we hand out flyers for English. It is called walking street tons of cheap stuff! I will send a pictures way cool!
But anyway have a great week! Also for General Conference We watch it about a week later! What we do is get it off the internet. And when that is out we download it onto a flash drive and watch it on the TV through a converter at the Church! So ya! Way fun! Well today we are going to a place called the black house! So should be fun!
Elder Landon Simonsen

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Elephant Riding

Hey Family and Friends!

Well it is pretty awesome to hear about that announcement that you can e-mail other missionary friends! Way cool! So anyway I will cut to the chase no I didn't move! ha-ha! This transfer is 4 weeks. Then the next one is 6 and guess what! We got a call on Tuesday and President Senior wants me and Elder Wilko to stay here for the next two transfers. So unless he receives other revelation we will be together for 3 transfers! So you will see him on Mothers day! ha-ha!  I love being with Elder Wilko and plus we got a Greenie in here! His name is Elder Omer! And he says he remembers you from the airport! He says, "Hi"! 

So anyway sounds like Parkers farewell went way good! So he has another 9 days until the MTC! Man time fly's! Good luck Park! So I also got your packages from Bangkok we didn't go down but Elder Saunders brought them up. Thanks I even put up Kira's picture up on the wall for some Easter Decorations! Looks good! Right next to the Prophet! ha-ha!    Sounds like San Antonio was fun! 
And hope mom's b-day was great! So for St. Patrick's Day we made Green rice and we had green Sweetened Condensed Milk that you put on Bread. It is like a way good thing here! Put some sprinkles on it!
So anyway as for the week! It was a pretty successful week! For progressing investigators Bu and Pawn are doing great! Bu reads everyday and she loves to meet with us! She is progressing really good! It is so awesome she loves getting visits! It is way cool! She is just a typical nice Thai lady! Then Pawn is doing great! We did our really long travel up to her house again! She loves the plan of Salvation and she really feels the love at church! It is really great! She is doing good! Brother Lang is way cool. He teaches English up in the middle of basically nowhere. But he had us come and say hi to the students he was teaching so I have a picture of that! This week we found a new family. We only met them once but they have been coming to English for about a month. The mom's name is Duan pronounced like Duran more but not quite. It is actually a vowel we don't have in English so I can't type it! But her name is kind of a mixture between those! She has a son that is 11. Named G Force. Way cool family. They own a noodle shop in the city. So way fun! We have been really trying to help the RC's here in the Branch so we can keep the strong. It has been great! So besides that nothing to much on investigators those are the ones that are doing pretty good! So for this coming week. We have Zone Conference on Friday then something on Saturday then District Conference on Sunday. So I will be in Chiang Mai (The province below Chiang rai) For about 3 days. So work is going to suffer in our area a little. But hey the Church is True! So that will be fun!
Today we went and taught a special English class that is going on at this members hotel (AKA we get a discount if we stay there when we come back) They are having a huge English convention and they wanted Farangs that can speak Thai! They loved it! It was for a bunch of little kids but hey! All good! Way fun! So yes that is about it for the week. Love serving Thai people! They are really pushing for speaking English because of the ASEAN which is like the EU but in South East Asia. So way boss!

Last P-day was great. The snake that I held weighed 200 pounds!  And the Elephant riding in the river was awesome! So ya it was way fun! Today we are going to go get some buzz cuts probably! Thai haircuts can either look good or just end up not staying good for long. So just buzz in off! ha-ha! Plus hot season is coming up and I sweat a lot. But surprisingly in my area it is way cooler than in Bangkok! So that is it for the week!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, March 11, 2013

Awesome Week

Hey Everyone,

Well let me answer some questions and make some comments! Way awesome you met Elder Wilkos mom at the store! We tell stories about our families all the time! So basically he is like my other brother. So Dad asked about the missionaries in Laos. I know the work is going really good up there. I am not sure the stats, but President usually sends out a monthly letter.  I know that it is a lot like Mongolia and can't go invite or anything. Strictly referrals. Also they teach English Everyday. Part of the agreement to let in missionaries.
About Rainy season. Well it rained like 5 of the last 7 days. But besides that sunny! It usually doesn't rain all day, but the weather here has been way nice! Rainy season officialy starts after May. So we actually just hit summer break. So our June, July and August is Thailands March April May. So fun fact. they have a different school schedule than us! Also I sent moms card on tuesday for her birthday. We went bowling and I left my caledndar at home and I forgot how old mom was turning! I guess 47 then checked and it is actually 48:) haha! it feels weird to skip birthdays so sorry. But I got the day right haha! Plus All thai people think you look like 30 and think dad looks 55ish. haha! Kinda funny.
So a little about missionary work! We weren't able to find a new invesigator, but we made lots of progression with the ones we have! So Chay is doing good.  He is says he knows the church is true. Phone is doing way good, but is still reading the Book of Mormon. Phone is a vet and she is really open to our church.  Pawn is doing great! We traveled about 50 minutes to an hour into the mountains to teach here. Way far! Farthest I have been to teach! way cool! Got some pictures with them in the mountains! She is doing great! My favorite progression of the week is with Sister Bu! She is about 55 and lives with her son and his wife. She works at the hospital.  So we taught the restoration and about half way through she was like I think I am going to get work off on Sundays so I can come to church. She has already read like 2 chapters and is really interested. Way awesome I love how much she has progressed! She calls Elder Wilko,"Coco" and me Simon. so it is way funny. She is way cool. The work is going really good and I hope that me and Elder Wilko stay together for another transfer we are doing some good work!
So yes we also had mutual this week! we went bowling! Way awesome! The Youth are really good here. So it is way fun! I will attach a photo! Also we had about 54 people at church this week. So numbers are going up! So we are seeing progression here! We got to meet with the President of the Branch and talked about members and callings and how we can help, way good meeting. Love serving this branch! Ok besides that we are going Elephant riding today! So I don't want to take to much time! The work has been going really good! I really love the people here! I know that the church is true! I love serving the Lord and giving it my all! I want to wish Parker the best of luck on his farewell talk this week! I know you will do great! Happy Birthday mom on the 16th! Well family and friends love you and have a great week!

Elder Landon SImonsen

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chiang Rai is Great!

Hey Family and Friends!

Sounds like things are going great around the home country! Man I can't believe Parker is getting ready to leave in two weeks! I am excited for him! Missions are the best! Its good to hear that more missionaries are getting called to Thailand! Awesome! Well if they are reading this. Thailand is the best mission in the world! Hands down. As our mission president says, "It takes a special missionary to get called here. There isn't another mission like it in the world!" 3 Countries, over 98% Buddhist, way different culture! There isn't another place I would want to be right now!

Well let me tell you a little about the work this past week. We got two new investigators.  Net is awesome, he is 27.   Also we have Pawn(female) in her 40's she is dating a member that went to BYU Hawaii, he lived in Utah. He is a Thai guy, way funny his name is Lang. So she is great! She learned about 2 years ago in Bang Na (my old area). So I am excited. She came to church! Phone also came to Church, she is a Vet or a Pet Doctor. She is doing good. Ling her friend the Chinese teacher is still doing good. We are really focusing on getting people testimonies right now. Well that is the key obviously.

Also this week we had a great experience with the first mutual in this branch! We had a Ping Pong Tournament! And then planned out some more activities we can do. So this week we are either going hiking or going to do service! So it will be way fun! If you have any fun Ideas let me know we are looking for some good stuff! We have sports day with the Youth and about 5 older members on Saturdays. Way good time to bond with members. We also had switch offs on Friday. Way fun I got to go with Elder Cox.  I learn so much from him and Elder Wilko! They are both on the same transfer and they are great missionaries!  The district is great! It is fun being in the Youngest district in the mission!  Also President Senior told us that he is way impressed with the work that is going on in Chiang Rai and how we have such great district unity! So it is going way good up here! I love these Elders and the members here are the greatest! They are so willing to help us with everything! Pretty much I just love Thailand!

The Branch is so awesome here! They are starting home teaching up this week! And they have most of the Recent Converts with Callings.  We are also about to move Church buildings here in a little bit. Either this month or next! So it will be interesting. We need 80 people on average to get a church building. Last week we had 52 at church.  Way good! Our areas are doing great here. It is interesting to only be like a 3 hour drive from China! I am closer to China than to Bangkok. I didn't think about that till yesterday. How there are only a few other missionaries closer to China than me! Way awesome! So besides that we were going to go and ride elephants in the river today and hold huge snakes but it is raining. So we will hold it off till next week! So probably just go bowling again. Because it is way cheap to go and way fun.

Well it sounds like things are good back in the home country! So have a great week! Love ya all!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Friday, March 1, 2013

Great week-in Jiang Hai (As spoken in North)

Hey guys! Sawadii Jaw!

This week was great! Ya on the bike thing we are actually going to put a flyer on our bike! The other Elders have them already, but we still need to make them up. So English class as you know is great! So we advertivse like everywhere we go. Flyers, signs in restuarants, wherever we can. So anyway we went to a Hospital and invited some nurses. They said they will have about 20 people coming to English tomorrow. We set a goal for 40 people by next week. It is way awesome to see people come unto Christ. We have about 2 new investigators from English this week. Way awesome. I will talk more about them. We usually don't bug people about learning. We share a spiritual thought everyweek. And so they are all exposed to the gospel. To answer some other questions before I go on. Cam asked about tall people. I have met about 4 Thai people over 6 feet tall.
Well lets talk about the week. As you know English class is awesome! We are really doing good. We had an appointment with some people on Saturday from English. There names are Ling and Phone. Way cool people. 30 year old females. Owns a pet clinic and wants to study in America. They have lots of friends who are Mormon but have not really wanted to learn, but they started. It is funny to see how the Lord works. Just like Pawn who we actually call Chay. He is from English. So basically lots of people from English. But Ling and Chay both came to Church so they are doing pretty good. Phone had something she need to do. Phone and Ling are friends so they learn together. But they are way interested in the gospel. They have come to English for two weeks, but after I gave the spiritual thought on studying the scriptures and how they answer every problem. They really wanted to learn more. They said they have lots of concerns and want answers. So we are teaching them. Plus they speak way good English. Chay knows that what we are teaching is true. He says it just feels right. So it is way good. He can still make the 10th.
This week we had a member get his mission call. Brother Gone our Branch Mission Leader is 19 and is going to Thailand. I will see him in the mission. It is awesome! He is going to be way good. I am going to be way sad to see him leave, because he is the best BML ever! Then also we road our bikes about 30 minutes to a jail and the 30 minutes back to go teach a referral with Sister Beam that is the girl that facebooked mom! So ya way cool. Her dad is a prison guard. She is 19 and is really open to Christianity. So well we will teach her. Except we prefer if she went to the church. because if you didn't know there are lots of mountains in Chiang Rai. So up and down up and down. Way different than Utah mountains. These ones pop up out of no where! But it was crazy to ride out so far and like have nothing out there! The girls name is Praw! Way nice. So fun stuff. I swear I lost like 20 pounds riding my bike! haha!

So anyway we had Zone meeting on Friday. Which means you don't have like any time to do anything. You ride 3 and 1/2 hours to Chiang Mai then back. So way fun good meeting. Learned alot about working with the Branch. It is a really important thing. We have been making goals to visit 1 member a day. It really helps us become friends and to help us be familiar with them. Way good. But anyway way cool experience. Well we have this thing in Thailand where you do missionary work everywhere no matter what area. So I did. While waiting for a bus. We stopped and got some drinks. Anyway so walking out of the 7/11 which is basically like a grocery store. Elder Wilko said lets talk to this guy, who is smoking. I was like ok ya man. Then I talked to the guy next to that guy. Named A. He is way cool. So he was like I am way open to everything. I said, that we teach about Jesus and about how we can be happy and just talked about life for about 3 minutes. Then got his name and number then left! So then like 10 minutes later I called the ZL's and gave them the referral. They called him and said can we meet. He said ya I have had lots of problems in my life that I want help with. It made me really realize that it doesn't matter who gets the final result. But when I see A in the Celestial Kingdom I will know that if I didn't open my mouth he might not have been found.
I always find it crazy how the Lord works. But it is amazing! I really love it! That is really how my testimony grew this week. That and we saw two investiagtors at Church. I can really see the Lord's hand blessing Thailand. They are different than anyone else in the world. If you asked me why do I love Thailand it is the people, not the food, mountains. But I know that this work is special. That is why the Lord is hastening his work. The people who are prepared need to be found. I am so excited to see 58 new missions, I love seeing the Gospel bless the lives of people.

Well I hope you all have a great week! And Plus did Grandma ever get her letter I sent her? If not I will send another one. It should be there by now! Anyway love you all. Cam and Serena keep it up. Good luck on Boards. When do they come up? And the Lauren/Ryan clan. Almost have a baby next month:) I am the first to say congrats to Landina! But anyway have a great week! Love you all!


Elder Landon Simonsen