Monday, April 29, 2013

Wonderful week in Chiang Mai

Hey Family,

Right now I am on switchoff's/splits with Elder Slaughter. So I will be in Lambang tonight, tomorrow for English, and Wednesday morning. It is a 2 hour bus ride but it will be way fun! Elder Cosper is really excited to lead the area. So we will have to basically greenies on splits here Elder Harris with Elder Cosper. Way awesome! It will be a great learning experience!

So anyway I had my second district meeting this week. One on the 17th and one on the 24th. This week is Zone Specialized training. So I get a week off. But I love District meetings! Last week I had the missionaries in my District teach about something that they did well.   And it was great to listen to all of there experiences they have had on their missions! I love learning from others. But it is so great to be able to work closely with missionaries. I learn so much everyday! It is great! Couldn't ask for a better district!

So this week the investigators are doing really great! We have Got and he is a champ! He came to church. He is so ready to be baptized it is crazy.  He is so cool. He loves reading and praying. Brame is also still doing good. He  really loves praying and repentance. He said he has received an answer to his prayer. So I guess he is doing good. We also have Mathew. He is a stud! He learned with the Elders before but we hadn't been able to contact him till we found out he worked at a bank with a member. So we went and visited him. He still reads and prays everyday. His phone just got damaged from water at Song Kran(When we came in) and we couldn't talk to him. So we were really happy to meet him. Then a new investigator Guy. He is pretty good. We are working with some Part Member families. A member is having us teach her mom. Eet And we haven't met her yet but hopefully we can.

So this week we visited members a lot! That same day we visited our Sunday School President Brother Daw.  Super strong member. Lives about an hour away and hasn't been visited in a long time. But he stud up when he taught and appreciated us and the Elder's Quorum President President Som Chay (former District President) and his wife came and drove an hour to visit. President Som Chay has a great family! They have a missionary out right now and almost 3 more going out! ha-ha!  But their daughter has her papers in! Way awesome! They help the branch a ton!


This week we also went to a Branch party! Called, "Forming a Zion" and they want to do it every month. Me and Elder Cosper asked Sister Sararat what Thai people like to eat that is American. And she said Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches. So we made like 12 sandwiches and cut them into 4's then walla! A master piece! Huge hit. Tons of members asked how we made them and everything! It was hilarious! But way cool, We got a picture but it is on Elder Cosper's Camera. I am on Switch off's so I will e-mail it next week along with a tiger photo.

So anyway we have been having a lot of success. It has been really good! Elder Cosper is a great and it is really nice working with him! I am super Blessed to be here. So cam asked or mom. what we do on P-days here. Today we drove up into the mountains and went to a way cool Wat called Doy Su Tabe. Way nice. Got a picture with a Monk from Chonburi (Kinda by SamutPrakan on a map) in the gulf. Then after we went to a safari place to eat a way cheap buffet but it was closed but we fed Deer. haha! Then everyone wanted to take pictures with the tiger for 100 baht. So we did! haha! 3 dollars teenage tiger way boss (but I got thrown into it quick so those pictures are on Elder Cosper/Adams camera. So next week) Next week. Maybe a waterfall, zoo, hill tribes, elephant riding. It is basically Chiang Rai. But a lot more tourists! And we have 3 greenies who want to ride elephants in the mountains. We will probably do that! It is fun to do stuff as a district! We all fit into 1 red truck way awesome! Ha-ha! But that is it for the week!


Also we ran into the Karoney's that American family here. Way cool people. They took us all out to Mexican food on Thursday! ha-ha! Then randomly today we ran into them at The Duke's (Steaks, burgers, and Stuff} Foreigner food. and then they bought our meal. Way to nice! Mainly cuz it was Elder Harris's birthday. And they wanted to pay for his. Then the just did it for us. Such a nice family! Way cool people!


Well the Lord is pouring out his blessings here on the Chiang Mai District! I am privileged to serve here! I know that this church is true and that the Lord is preparing the people here to learn about the gospel. I love the Branch I am Serving in! The members are awesome! They help so much! Best District ever and I love serving my Heavenly Father! I love you all and I will see you next week!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, April 22, 2013

Way fun week in "Chiang Mai"

Hey family!

So it sounds like all is going well back in Farmington! I am so proud to hear of the things that are happening! I can't believe that Kira is getting so big and is talking! I can't wait to see her in three weeks ish! I guess next week start planning on a time to Skype!  I just kept getting caught up in things. Good things:) For example today we went to lunch with the District President in the Chiang Mai zone. his name is President Ken (Yes he is Thai, that is his nickname) he served his mission in Washington D.C. he is really great at helping the missionaries. His home Branch is Chiang Mai 1(my Branch). His child is also getting baptized on Wednesday. Way cool! I will send a picture of us out at lunch!

As for the week, it has been crazy trying to get to know members, because everyone in Thailand is really friendly and close. So we are friends with members from both Branches. Me and Elder Cosper are actually serving in the smaller of the two Branches. We had 54 at church this week.

So this last week what a blast! I had a baptismal interview with Sister Bing Bing. She is awesome. She is from Burma speaks Chinese as a first language and really limited Thai. So you might be wondering did the gift of tongues take place? Well no, unfortunately. But I used a picture book and spoke the simplest Thai I could. She prayed in Chinese too! Easily one of the coolest experiences  I have had on my mission. I could just feel how much she wanted to follow Christ.  She would answer very simply!  I would ask a question and she would say two words but the beautiful thing was the Gospel of Christ is so simple. Do you believe...? Yes. She is awesome. She loves her family and I could feel that.  It was one of the best days I have had.  But it was way cool. So then she asked me to speak at her baptism. So I got to speak at it yesterday! haha!

So investigators. Elder Cosper and me have been doing great! We found Got this past week!  He has studied with the JW's before but he felt like they were missing something( the BOM) so we taught the whole Restoration and that answered his question on why are there so many Sects! And from then on he has now read to 1 Nephi 10. He is awesome. Met him last tuesday before english and then he came to English. And we met on Wednesday. We also got Brame from English he is pretty cool! He came to church. We also met GaewMaew.  We met him when we were taking a ride his Duk Duk, it is a 3 Wheeled motorcycle thing.  Right away he said Joseph Smith. And we said yeah! And then he started talking about the Book of Mormon, Thomas S. Monson, Christ in the America's and the restoration of the gospel. And we looked at each other. And where like what?? And we asked him if he had learned. He said, no. But his friend really likes our church but isn't a member. We asked him if he had read the Book of Mormon. No he replied. So I pulled it out and said we have church at 1 o'clock can you come. He said he would try. We switched numbers. Said he has lots of friends who are interested. Down side he didn't come to church. But it was the coolest experience ever. How we randomly picked a Duk Duk. And we ran into him. Way good experience.

Right now I feel so blessed to be a part of this work here in Chiang Mai. Thailand is the best place on earth. Great Members. Things to do. Good food. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I know that the Lord has prepared people here for me and Elder Cosper. He is coming along way good at Thai.  Best companion you could ask for. I appreciate every minute I get to work with him. He has the best work ethic in the mission. He talks to everyone. I can learn so much from him. The District is great! I think that I am the most blessed person in Thailand I am working with 9 of the best missionaries in our mission and I love them all.  If you have a map of Chiang Mai. You will see a square in the middle of the city. That is divided into four squares, it has four gates. Therefore every companionship in Chiang Mai gets a section of the Old inner city then it just branches out from one point. The Church is actually pretty close to the middle of the divide which is cool. The 4 sisters live together. About a 2 minute walk away. Our house is 2 doors away from the Church. So way cool so fun being in the house with Elder Adams and Hansen. We are way close in age in the mission. And Elder Cosper is just a boss. I am hoping to go out to Lambang and do swithchoffs here this next week or so. That is the Province next to Chaing Mai. About a 2 hour drive.

English is awesome. We have 8 People in our Church teaching. 2 teach gospel lessons then we have 4 classes on average. About 80 to 100 people. Last week was New years so we had a lot new people from English class! Way awesome! Best ever!

Ya things as District Leader are pretty crazy. I have the largest district you can have in the Thailand Bangkok mission. I basically get done with phone calls at 10:15 every night, not too bad, it is way fun to be able to work with a bunch of people and to help them. But most important thing first is to make sure me and my comp are doing good and I am just happy to work with him. We have District meeting on Wednesday.

O ya and yes we translate everyweek here because we have a kazillion tourists. But plus side is one family is taking us out to mexican food! haha! I also met James Prince and his wife they are in my Branch he says hi! Ok have a great week! Love ya!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

On the Move to Chiang Mai

Hey family!
This was probably the craziest week ever! So Tuesday I got a call right! Well I am moving! So I pack and get on the Bus Wednesday. I was sad leaving the area! So I get up and leave my baby(the area we opened) and Elder Wilko stayed. and so did everyone else. After that, I was on the bus. Got a call. I was training. Half an hour later I got called Wasn't training. ha-ha! So long story short. I got to Bangkok found out I am going to be District Leader in Chiang Mai. My District consists of 10 people three areas including my own which was white washed. 3 greenies and the Zone Leaders. Way fun. My companion is just finishing up training this week due to the short transfer. So he is starting his 3rd transfer. His name is Elder Jesse Cosper. From Alpine Utah. And he kind of looks just like Ryan Gosling from the Note Book.   He is way awesome! I am way excited to serve with him!  Way funny and relaxed guy! He will be fun to work with and he really wants to work hard! I am so excited to White Wash with him! Anyway I am serving with Sister Rodriguez (she was in my Greenie area and MTC) so that is crazy she is training so I will most like be here when she goes home. So I will have spent about 12 months in her districts! ha-ha!
Well this area is going to be fun! So many foreigners. The most of any city in Thailand. Song Kran there were so many Farangs it wasn't even funny. This is the place that is most toured in Thailand. So that is fun. They have tigers and mountains. It is still in the North right next to Chiang Rai. Crazy. So this area has 2 branches and my Church starts at 1 o clock. This week was combined for General Conference. But good news is we have so many foreigners from the Philippines and the U.S. that we translate every week! We didn't have to translate Conference though. But did get to listen in English( we wore headphones.) So me and my companion are in Branch 1 with two sisters Sister Orchard and Sister Sararat(Native Thai/Greenie 19 year old Sister 1st Thai young woman) So way cool then the others are in the other Branch. So they thought that I helped out Chiang Rai so much they need me here. They had 70 people at church 5 weeks ago. Now they are averaging about 35. So that is probably the reason they white washed and sent me and Elder Cosper in.  We are visiting the Branch President today. And trying to get things started. We won't have bikes due to no room on the buses because of Song Kran. Because everyone and their brother plays in Chiang Mai. One of the craziest cities to play. Way fun! So I was called here for a reason and am really excited to help out the Branch here and have an opportunity to serve my District. Also Elder Slaughter from Kaysville Utah is in my District he is serving in Lambang the Province right next to us. But they are in our District because it is an hour drive or so. 
So as for investigators really we have 1current one and some former investigators we are working with. This ward has a lot of LA's and I love doing LA work. It is just maybe even more rewarding than baptizing people. So wish me luck. I have a lot on my plate. But I know that the Lord has called me here to be a District Leader for a reason. And I plan on not letting him down. So that being said. General  Conference was great! All the talks were just fantastic. I loved how clear the testimonies of the speakers were. Especially the Prophet and Apostles. Elder Holland is always a champ!

So anyway Song Kran. A little thing about Chiang Mai. Is that the old city or the middle of the city is surrounded by a moat. It is a square and around the whole moat everyone from the surrounding provinces, tourists and everyone drives around in their trucks and they have Ice water and they shoot you! and pour water on you! it is crazy! We had squirt guns. Pails, buckets. Shirts. So anyway on Saturday and Sunday we had to wear our Church clothes. And that is always fun. All your pass along cards get soaked, all your books of Mormon are in bags. So basically no one is safe. You don't take your Camera unless it is waterproof because no where in the city is safe. ha-ha! It is a Free for all! Biggest water fight in the world. Sister Rodriguez got some pictures of us and is sending them to us. So I sent a picture attached of all of us wearing our Song Kran Shirts. Ha-ha! Elder Cosper got this shot! way funny! We are al wearing crocks. We also wear bags that have hello Kitty on the front of them! So I will have more pictures next week! But it was way fun! Good stuff. Not to much to report on. We left our bikes in Bangkok and so we have to walk everywhere. So basically I will be getting tan! Way fun!  I am looking really forward to serving here! Chiang Mai is awesome!
Anyway thanks for everything you do! I love all that you do for me! See you next week! Love ya!
Elder Landon Simonsen

Monday, April 8, 2013

Awesome week in Chiang Rai

Mang Ga la bab biab! Family!

So if you are wondering that is hello in Burmese! Haha! It is way awesome! We got some materials in Burmese and are able to kind of teach them. More or less it is us and we tell them to read a paragraph in Burmese. Then they discuss it in Burmese and we have no clue what they are saying. We usually go with Brother Jo. They have a way awesome family. So there names are Newy (husband) Malee (wife), Atipone(son), Lala family friend married Bee (husband). They are doing good.  But surprisingly there are a ton of Burmese people in our Area. They get a long really well with Thai people.

So As for investigators this week. We met with May. She is 45ish. She is from that English camp we went and served at.  So she is great. Also we found to new people Amy and O he is a brother of Yo who is a new investigator last week. Their father and sister both passed away and O is way interested in the Book of Mormon so hopefully we can help him understand it and the Plan of Salvation. O and Yo are both Christian. If you didn't know there are a ton of Christians in Chiang Rai! So that is it for new Investigators. Four is kind of new and he is doing great. He really likes the members at church and loves how we use Brother and Sister.

So Pawn is doing alright this week. She came to church.  But last week I forgot to tell you we went and served at their house and dug a huge pond for fish. We also went to a neighborhood party.  In Thailand they believe when you move into a house you throw a huge party. Invite everyone and then your house will receive blessings because you fed everyone food and let them have a good time. They just brought us out Jelly fish and noodles and it was way good. The brought meat and soda cuz we don't drink. Nicest people ever. It was fun. The next time we went up to teach we got fed by Sister Pawn.  She is like the sweetest lady ever and will do anything for you! And she loves to give us food. Like bananas and watermelon.  She is doing way good!
So this week we saw a huge blessing! Bu can finally come to church twice a month.  She went out and bought an outfit for church cuz she didn't have one.  She is the funniest lady ever. She just talks about how my mom has such beautiful skin(she thinks you are part Asian) Which is why she loves your skin color. Also your dark hair. It is way funny. She is just like Simon you mom is beautiful! Way cool!

Ok so besides that this next week we have Song Kran way excited, except we will be watching conference while it is going on. But it is a 3 day holiday. Anyway good news is we got 61 people at church on Sunday. That is the most we have seen in a while. So hopefully we can keep that number up so we can get a church building in Thailand! Well family this week is good! I hit my year in Country mark this week. Where is the time going! Today we are going to a sushi buffet! yay! Then maybe bowling. I also attached some pictures of the Black House a way big attraction that an artist did here in Chaing Rai! Way cool! Well I love you all have a great week! It was great to hear from you!

Elder Landon Simonsen