Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Great Week in Thailand

Hey Family,

Happy Memorials Day! One of the Holidays going on here today is the Day Buddha received enlightenment. Huge festivities and I took a picture of monks walking around the temple. The religion here is very open to people seeing them worship. Think about Alma and his Brethren going to the Zoramites and they would go up to the tower and say a public prayer. Imagine that times ten. haha!
Well to be honest this week was crazy. I interviewed Sister Fern and her daughter Praew Sister Rodriguez's and Yim's investigators. Praew is 9. And Fern is in her 30's. But it was a really awesome experience! Interviewing a 9 year old. She was way shy and really funny. I figured it would be like that. So I brought my photo album. I showed her my family. My Niece. Pictures of Me and Shrek (She loves the Shrek movies) Then I showed photos from my mission and how I was with Sister Rodriguez before and how we are friends and stuff. So it was really fun to just make her know that I am nice even though I am big! haha! I also used my picture book of Christ and Joseph Smith and President Monson. But the cool thing about those interviews are it is just an opportunity to here a child bear their testimony. Way awesome. Coolest experience ever.

So basically I had to set up there baptism as well. Mainly because the Sisters and the ZL's went to Bangkok and I had to make sure everything was ready for Sunday and I had to do the program. But that is the best part of being DL. I get to serve others. It is really a great experience. It really makes you think of helping others all the time. Basically the whole week we served. English is great we have about 70 to 80 people I have 20 people in my class alone (I teach with Elder Cosper) Then we have 4 classes in total.

We also helped Brother Som Chay the Elder's Quorom president serve his brother who isn't a member on Wednesday. We put huge cement pillars into the ground. and we are going back to finish this week. The thing about Thailand is they start their construction by putting cement pillars in then work from there. And they are heavy! And it was hard! because you had to dig through rubble with a garden hoe! Because they don't remove the old house when they build a new one. They knock it down, put dirt on top. Then start to build. So we dug through cement blocks! But way fun! Good opportunity to serve!

Then on Saturday we served at a blind school. We taught English to blind kids! One of the coolest experiences ever. They are so good with recognizing us as we speak. They can usually remember you after one time of speaking. They also get to know you by feeling you hands/ arms. So fun to serve and eat and be with them for a day. We went down with 10 members. 10 BYU students who are doing interns. Then the Lambang Elders were there as well. Way fun!

This work is great! I love being here and serving the Thai people. They are so nice and loving. They will always help you. And I will always serve them when they are in need. They are loving, they care. And God loves all of his children. I know that I am here to find those in need, not only of the need of the Gospel but in need of help. I love the Thai people and I love serving in Thailand!

Love you family! Thanks for everything!

Elder Landon Simonsen

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Riding Elephants and Teaching the Gospel

Hey Family,

Excited to see everyone next week! And Happy Cinco De Mayo! Hola! Well anyway ya we rode elephants today! It was way fun. We didn't go with the Lambang Elders but we went with the 8 missionaries from Chiang Mai! It was great! Really fun. It is always great to bond with the missionaries in our District! Really good P-Day. 
It was such a crazy week. I actually ended up spending Monday Night, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Lambang. So I guess you can check off that I served there also:) It was way fun! I worked with Elder Slaughter in his area and I got to teach English and meet some investigators. Those Elders are really great! They have helped the area a ton down there. They white washed in this past transfer and are doing great! It was really fun to get to go ride around Lambang and get out of the old rut. But then at the end of it. I love hoping back into that rut! So back to the old chipping block. But we found three new investigators this week! Way good. Nora lived in New York speaks great English. She really loves the thought of being able to serve in our Church. So we talked about the Relief Society and how we home and visit teach. It should be good! She wants to serve a mission, kind of. So hopefully we helped her understand about serving in our church! We also taught another person who is a Former. But he is really interested in how Joseph Smith got an answer to his prayer. This guy is a professor at the Chiang Mai Univesity and speaks way good English.  I don't know if I have ever felt the Spirit so strong in my teaching before I taught him. He would ask the hardest questions to answer. About the Bible about prayer, about God, the Creation, Sins. But it was crazy. Elder Cosper and I could answer every question he had. When we were done with the lesson. We felt as if we didn't speak. But we couldn't be confounded by his questions. It was an experience I can't describe. But I felt like it wasn't me speaking (mainly because I was answering questions from the bible that I myself have maybe read like once.) My mind was clear. He is a great guy. He just wants to know everything.  He is interesting. But really cool. It was fun to follow the Spirit that closely. Way good. Then we also got a referral from a member. He works with President Som Chay our Elder's Quroum President.
To answer some questions. My branch has about 70 going each week. Which has increased from about 45 or so when I got here. We have been trying to help this branch and it is going pretty good! I am getting better at translating everyweek. Last week we had about 15 people I translated for. Good thing we use head sets and a microphone in the back of the room. Fast and Testimony meeting was great! We all got to bear testimony about missionary work. And after church we had coordination. Brother Yong is awesome. He is 21 and a big guy! I will get a pic with him this week. He is so funny and helps us so much! He is trying to get out on a mission right now so we want to help him! We have a lot of people in our ward preparing to serve. It is really good.

The Youth had an activity this past week with all the Youth of Thailand down in the middle of the Country. I got to see a bunch of Chiang Rai Members! It was so fun! There are so many youth In Chaing Rai. All way strong. I got to see about 20 members from Chiang Rai. It was awesome. They stopped in Chiang Mai to catch a bus with the members here. And we were at the Church. Way cool! 

Zone meeting was way good also! We learned a lot and got to talk with Elder Wilko. The area is doing great! We have 2 investigators that should be baptized by the end of the month! Way excited. Tong Toy and Dii. So it is exciting! 

Well remember some questions you have! And we can talk more next weeek! Thanks for everything! Keep it real family!

Love Elder Landon SImonsen