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!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Hey Family,

So this past week was great! As you know we had FHE with the Karony family! They are so awesome! It was our little 4th of July Party! It was delicious Hot dogs/ burgers! Mt. Dew and Dr. Pepper! It felt like a piece of America in Thailand! haha! Way good! Besides that we had a lot of business to do for example go to Lambang for an interview! Which was awesome! I attached a picture of Eud with his Uncle and then me and Eud อืด. He is a funny little kid! I will talk more about him later. But ya we didn't really get to work in our area for  real until Friday. So haha! But way great! Transfers are coming up on Thursday. That is when Sister Rod goes home! Hard to believe I have been out 18 months and seeing the Sisters in my group go home! Anyway it is fun to see how much we have changed and grown! We have been in the same district 8 transfers! That is half my mission! And about 2/3 of hers! haha! So way funny!
Last week was great! We got to see a way cool Elephant show. And it was a great park! Good Jungle. Down side, they said I needed to ride solo, so we just walked around the park while the others rode. I guess in the life of Elder Simonsen instead of being to small to ride the roller coaster he is too big! But it was way cool! They actually film a lot there because it is really easy to make it look like a village in the middle of the jungle. Way awesome! Pretty good price. Good family place.
Well got some great news. So Saw came back this week! She is awesome! Came to church yesterday and is really progressing good! She actually wore a skirt and looked like a member already! It was awesome! She reads and loves going to church. We learned about temples and she loves everything about eternal families and baptisms for the dead. Yesterday they combined both churches for the Missionary Broadcast and we all watched it! Saw loved it and loves how our church is about families and how we have so many missionaries who go out and serve! So she is doing great! Really good investigator! Rameez is doing great as well. He got a job here in Chiang Mai and is doing great. He has read a ton in the Book of Mormon and is really doing great. He wasn't able to come to church because he is moving his stuff down to Chiang Mai from Chiang Rai(my old area) 3 hours away. So he is great. Awm and Arm are still doing great but weren't able to come to church due to something at school on Sunday. Downside in Thailand they actually make people learn on Sunday/ do school projects and stuff.  No Sabbath Day Respect! So right now we are teaching Tiw/ I will call him T. T is great. He works at the bowling alley and he really wants to know these things. Problem he works on Sunday's.  So we actually put to test President Seniors new thing where you go play sports such as Soccer, ping pong, B-Ball, etc. And teach them. So guess what we went bowling on Saturday and taught him. It is important that we show we can still have fun without drinking and doing stuff like that. So we did. Talked a little. But we just aren't sure what he needs. We still need to teach the Restoration more straight forward and give him a Book Of Mormon. So we will try that. But he is good! I think it was good to help him see we are still normal people and disciples of Christ. So it was really good. As you know...I know how to make things fun. It might be my gift. haha! But yes I am a people person so thats a plus!
Anyway this week was great! The branch is awesome! It has been great to see our branch grow and to see people come back and be strong.  We also played Kick Ball with the members.  Way fun. They have never played it before! So way fun to explain it! Great members! Love them!

This week was great! I love you and thanks for the e-mails! Have a great 4th of July! Go Fireworks!

Elder Landon Simonsen