Monday, September 23, 2013

Great Birthday week in Thailand

Hey Family! Well, this week was awesome! Kinda a different week, but super awesome! The B-Day was so great! I really loved the packages and stuff. Had some great presents! We got to go out and eat at MK which was pretty good! They specialize in Duck. Super good. Sister New and her family want to go out and eat with us! For Lunch we had pizza and Swensen's Ice Cream cake! I know very American! But they love that stuff here as well! And on September 20th Thailand gave me a present! They started selling Mountain Dew here!!! I know it is crazy! I will send some pics! They look awesome here! Besides that super awesome Birthday. Members gave me treats. And Brother Peter gave me a birthday card! If you have time. He sent me a friend request on facebook, add it!. His name if in English is Songran. He speaks perfect English. So feel free to ask him about coming back. He is the most Christ-like guy around!! Love him to death! So as for missionary work this week! It was a pretty great week! Well kinda good! It felt like we ran out of time! Gosh!!! Sometimes it feels like we have no time in the week. Right now we are working super hard to maintain the Recent Converts we have! We have about 9-10 people baptized in the last 5 months here. And it is ridiculous. Mainly because some are starting to become weak in there testimony. So we are working super hard with the Branch to do Hometeaching. We got our New Elders Quorum President and he called some counselers this past week. So we are working on maintaining the ground we have right now. We made huge progress this week. The Branch had there first Branch Council meeting in a year or something like that. So we are starting to get this branch clicking. We are trying to get the youth strong because that is the future of the Bang Khae Branch and if there are no youth. There will be no children in 10 years in the branch. So we are really looking to the future. As President Senior Talked about at Zone Conference we need to focus on the family here in Thailand. Because what helps the church grow is when the families are 2 or 3 generations in. They strengthen each other. They don't need friends at church because they have there families there to support them. It is so key to the church here in Thailand. That is why we are working so hard to get PP and Poom to be baptized. Because as a family they are stronger than just a single convert. So this past week we have been working with Tanya! She is doing awesome! She comes to church and is learning. Loves commandments. She just is lacking the faith right now. But then at church she heard the Sister Missionaries teach a lesson on missionary work. And how it is a blessing. So she calls us up and is like. He next Saturday can I come and invite people to learn about Christ with you!! We were like sure!! So hopefully this helps her faith! She is awesome loves keeping the commandments. She knows that this is what she needs to do. Just hasn't understood the answer yet. She says she feels so good when she comes to church. Learns. Talks with us. So it is looking good. She hasn't accpeted a baptismal date yet. But she wants to be baptized super bad. So pray for her!! As for Blie (peter's daughter) She is doing great! They came to the sports day activity on Saturday and we played a bunch of sports together with peter and her. Way awesome! Peter is a stud! This was there 3rd week back to church. He is doing awesome! Love that man to death. We went out and visited him at there house. Met his wife. Who is a soon to be investigator. She loves the missionaries. Just waiting for her time. So it is great. Then Brother Peter drove us to visit some other LA's Brother Tommy and Sister Jiao so awesome! He is a stud. Had a long time to talk with him. An hour and a half. Talked about life. And found out a ton. He loves me and Elder Steiner because he says we have given him the opportunity to live a part of his life he didn't. He had a super ruff childhood and teenage years. And he explained that is why he loves everyone because no matter who you are. You deserved to be love. Something that he didn't feel when he was younger. We got to the church and he gets out and is like. Elder you know me better than my parents. I really love Brother Peter. I haven't seen a member like him yet. He is a special breed. He will cry about everything! He read with us about the Priesthood power and he just started to cry. And he was like I am so grateful to have this power on Earth. He loves Christ and the Gospel more than anyone I know. He would give everything for it. Sister New and Ice are doing great! Poon and PP are ok! We are really becoming great friends with them. Just teaching them at the same time I swear is impossible. It is just way hard to get all of them to sit down as a family! But they are doing great! We were sitting at MK for my Brithday Dinner and PP (Simon Jr.) was like wow! We can't eat yet! We need to pray! It is awesome to see how much he has changed and accepted the Jesus Christ. We are just still working on giving them a date and helping them have friends at church. Right now we are doing so much RC and LA work I don't really know what to say. But I do want to share a little snippet from an experience I wrote to Grandpa Simonsen. We have an LA Brother Brayun. And we have had planned to visit him for a while. But yesterday we finally got around to it. Yesterday we headed out to go find and teach Brayun. I heard stories of him before and I knew that he a disability of some sort that prevented him from coming to church. He couldn't walk far distances and couldn't walk around the church. Well as we were going to find this LA I got a prompting to go and grab a photo of me and my grandpa. So I questioned it. It rained all day and was still pouring. I thought it might get wet. So I ignored it. Started to leave. Another time, "Go and grab a photo of you and your grandpa." I was like. Ok I will. I had no clue why. But Sure. Grabbed it and put it in my scriptures. Long story short. We found his house. Talked with him(for more detail feel free to ask Grandpa) Found out he had polio when he was younger. Well I placed the photo in my scriptures in 1 Nephi 3:7. Which we had planned to read with him. Opened my scriptures, he saw the photo. And I went on to describe my Grandpa and his challenges and how he has been made strong through these challenges. But often times than not. He needs the help of his family, his fellow members. We have a plan to go help Brayun lift stuff at his office. He doesn't have a leg brace like grandpa. He can't get into buses and trucks. And has a hard time. But I left letting him know, that we loved him. That God loved him and God knows his challenges and God will help him through these challenges. I love Brother Brayun. He is a great man. He has a strong testimony. But when things were hard he looked for excuses to not come to church. We are here to help him. It was great to have that photo with me. We instantly connected. I learned his story. He knew my story. We became friends and that is how you bring back people. That is the key. If you want someone back. Love them. Get to know them. Know there problems. Hear them. Most of all HELP THEM. They need someone to lean on. A strong hand to help them. Someone to carry them when they are weak. I know Brother Brayun will come back to church. If it involves me carrying him. I will. I love that man to death. It grieves me to see him in pain. He can't walk far. But I know that there is a way to help him. That way is through Christ-like Love as Dad explained was talked about in his meeting with the Area 70. Love is the key. Love is what we need here in Thailand to get a temple! I love all of you and hope you have a great week! Sincerely, Elder Landon Simonsen

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