Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ahhhh vocabulary!!!!!

I'm astounded at the changes that are talking place back
home and the growing up that is happening. I can't
believe how old everyone is getting and everything you
are all doing. It's great to hear about Kennady and the
play she was in (I hope you got pictures) and Brielle's
hair competition. You guys all sound incredibly busy
(this is where dad nods his head and lets out a (manly)

Well this week has been one of rain, sunburns and tons
of fun here in Korad. As of right now we have 7 people
progressing toward baptism and a couple of families we
are teaching, the work is great. This last week we were
able to get 7 new investigators who are eager to keep
learning. This last night we meet with the parents of a
family of 6, it was such a awesome experience. Their
names are "dang and su" and are they ever a bundle of
fun. The mother reminds me a lot of you, mom, and
doesn't stop laughing. I can't understand her very well
because she talks while she laughs and I can't focus on
what she's saying because I'm laughing too hard. When
we opened the lesson the father started to pray and in
the prayer he expressed concerns and asked for help
with family, it was a very sincere prayer, but at the
end he said "Please help me find work, I don't need a
lot of money only a little bit....if I'm rich that's fine
too." His wife started laughing and it's was a struggle for
me not to bust up too.

We were inviting this last week when we came upon this
big park thing full of kids. We went in and talked to a
couple of people. I got done talking to this guy and
Elder Tom was still talking to another guy so me and
Elder Dearden walked up to these kids and started talking
to them. I gave them some candy and an English pass
along card. These kids started saying something to me
and I didn't understand the words so I asked. After they
taught me a couple of words and then quizzed me by
pointing at things and having me tell them what it was,
I did good until they walked over to a car and started pointing to
parts of it, after that they gave me a spelling test, at which I did
OK, but didn't pass.
The vocabulary I have learned this past week from elder tom is
crazy. It's such a great experience and I love it to death.

All in all, life couldn't be better here in the beautiful city of
I love you, keep it up

ps. Elder Dearden doesn't know who Mark Dearden I guess
they're not related.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Couldn't be more happy!!!

I can honestly say I've never been so happy in my whole mission. I've moved out
of my last area into another one in the eastern part of Thailand called Korat.
I'm in the only three-some companionship in the country. I've got a Thai
companion named Elder Tom who is the greatest elder you'd ever meet and is
so funny. My other companions name is Elder Dearden who is from back east
somewhere (forgot). We speak Thai all day long and I love it to death. This
ward is the greatest; the people are so kind and loving toward everyone and
love the missionaries. I'm once again on my bike!!! After almost 5 months of
buses, I think if my back side could talk it would be something along the lines
of ";ao8734897ay023948(pain)". We have tons of Investigators and the work
here couldn't be better. LIFE COULDN'T BE BETTER!!!

I hate to boast (hahaha =)) but something I've been working really hard on is
speaking with the Thai accent. This week I stood up and shared my testimony
and stuff, afterwards people came up and were blown away with how "Thai" I
sounded. Elder Dearden is the greatest (white) Thai speaker I've ever heard.
This is already my favorite place I've served in and I've only been here a couple
of days.

This past week there have been 2 funerals here in our branch. One of the
greatest leaders of the church here in Thailand was on his way to his mother's
funeral when he and all of his family got into a car accident and killed him and
his daughter. It's been very sad for everyone and many tears have been shed.
The experiences people have shared in the meetings have been amazing, and
faith building. This is a family who had it all figured out. The wife (while
sitting in her wheel chair) gave a talk about "what is love", she told about the
love of family members and relationships extending past the grave. It was
great. Elder Pratt of the 70 was there and gave a talk on life after death. This
week has been a week full of the spirit and I absolutely loved it.

Well this is short I know but I was trying to de-code Dad's email for a while,
and what do you know...he speaks Thai!!

I love you
Ps. good luck Brielle and Kennady with the play and hair competition.

Monday, March 15, 2010

God is guiding my footsteps.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Wow now we've got a fifth person (or
I mean three) in our house how are able to go to prison.
I hope you scared her really good. Can someone give Dad
and Brielle a big hug from me!

I tried to send birthday letters this week to you but due
to "stuff" here in Bangkok it's been kind of a scary week
and we didn't end up sending the mail. Don't worry
though, everything is okay, we're being watched over!

So this week we had a sweet experience that had really
helped my testimony grow. We were coming home the
other day before study and decided to go eat really fast.
We got on a bus and headed to the mall. The traffic was
really bad and it started to get to where we wouldn't
have any time to eat which as you can imagine was a
little frustrating. Right before we got there the bus
turned on to another huge road heading away from
where we were going. We jumped off the bus and had to
cross a huge road to find another bus to take us there.
After a long time of waiting and trying to find a bus we
were again heading toward our destination. Finally we
got to the mall went in and picked up our food and
headed home. We were both a little bugged at the
situation because we would now have no time to eat
before we got home. As we walked in our silent rage I
heard someone say "Are you Mormons?" I was shocked
and spun around to see an 18 year old boy standing
there looking at me. "Yes we do you know
us?"..."I was an exchange student in Brazil and lived
with a Mormon family". We found out that he had been
looking for Mormons for a long time but couldn't find
the church. D&C 3:1 (i think) man's work may be
frustrated but God's work will never be frustrated. Our
feet are always being guided and if we are able to
remain worthy of Gods help we will not go astray and
our footsteps will be guided. There are times when
we don't like it but (ether 12:27) it's through hard
times and trials that we begin to grow and find out how
to rely on Him in those hard, frustrating times when
"The world is picking on me".

Every Monday we get the opportunity to meet with
Royalty. We meet in a house (huge) right next door to
the princess of Thailand. There is a kid who is
handicapped and we get to go and talk to him and help
him with English. It's such a cool experience and I love
this kid to death. He's got one of the greatest smiles
and is soooo funny. This past week we were talking
about cool names and I told him "I don't have a Thai
name yet, do you have any suggestions?" He gave me
the name "Little Red" เดงนอ้ย. I thought it was so funny
because people always used to call me the short red
head. How ironic.

This Sunday in church the bishop was gone and due to
"political and military stuff" there weren't a lot of people
at church which meant no speakers. In sacrament
meeting brother บุนชัย said "Now we are going to give
the rest of the time over to the Elders. My heart started
beating as I stood up and walked up to the pulpit. It
really wasn't that bad, as a missionary in Thailand it's
full of teaching on the spot.

Well I'm off, you guys rock. I'm so glad you got the
pictures and I should be sending more here in a while.
I love you all, keep it up!

PS. Could you get me the address of Emily Esplin? She
goes to Weber and is a senior this year. Thanks

Monday, March 8, 2010

All Better

It's so great to hear about how good everyone
is doing back home. It's so obvious to me that
God is taking part in all aspects of both of
our lives. I can't even tell you how awesome
it is to have a family like you.

Now for an update on the ear: it ended up not
being a torn eardrum; instead I have a very
swollen membrane. For a couple days I would
want to just cry every time the wind blew
because it felt like pencils in my ear. It's
not a problem anymore after taking 4
different medications (who knows if they're
legit) I'm doing great!

This week, yet again, the work has been going
great. I hate to brag but I've got to tell you
what Pres. Smith said about our area. He was
talking with the zone leaders about us and he
said "Thonburi (our area) has been a pit ever
sense I got here...I haven't seen these kind
of numbers coming out of Thonburi ever before."
It's been a lot of hard work and miracles here.
There's a good chance I'm moving out of this
area in two weeks and I'm kinda sad, but also
excited for a new area and new challenges.

I've got to tell you about a miracle that
happened this week. We were inviting one day
when I saw this man outside his house smoking.
I walked over and started talking about random
stuff then pulled out a picture of Christ. I
told him we had a message for him. He didn't
give me a number but said I could come back
another day; he didn't seem interested at all.
We switched off with the Zone leaders and we
went by to see this man. We went in and started
talking about his work. He makes candy for a
living and it as really cool what he did. We
asked him if we could sit down for a couple
minutes and share something with him. We sat
down and prayed, then the spirit began to enter
the room. I couldn't believe it, we were
teaching like natives. This man understood
really well. You could see this man's
countenance change, it was amazing. By the end
of the lesson the spirit was very strong and I
knew he was feeling it. I asked him to be
baptized... this man who didn't even want to
meet with us said "Of course I do, will you
help me prepare for it?" This man totally
changed in the course of 20 minutes. It's
amazing how this gospel changes lives.

We're entering the hot season over here which
means even hotter. It's like wearing a blanket
in a sauna some days. It's gotten as hot as 115
degrees and it's still getting hotter. It's great
though, I've got all sorts of crazy tan lines:
from my watch to the tan line in the middle of
my neck. People keep saying that this week is
supposed to be hotter than previous years
because of some weather cycle thing that has
been going on forever. It's great because
everyone invites us in for drinks and a few
minutes of shade. The Thai people are so giving,
I love it. I've started buying fruit in the
morning and trying to give it out to random
people throughout the day. This work is so much

Right now we have three people with a baptismal
date. I'll probably miss them all but that's OK.
One of them is named "bock". He's about 35 and
a really fat dude (there is nothing impolite
about saying that here) with the greatest laugh
in the world. He is a cook and man can he ever
cook. He's seen about ever American movie in
the world and knows every band as well. I don't
know very many movies or bands so Elder Schulte
talks about it with him. He's not married but
lives at home with his siblings and parents.

Well I'd better run. I love you all, thank you
so much for everything.


In the package...uhh... I have no requests. Up
to you!!! =) American candy is always good I
guess =)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Miracles again

It's amazing to me how never in my life (other than to take Carly
Hirst) have I been to the hospital. I've always been accident proof
and always felt blessed for that. Well sense I've been a missionary
I have been in the hospital or had surgery 6 times. I don't know
what is happening, my body is falling apart. Maybe it's that the
Lord knows there's more coming and he's trying to build me up
for the real thing!

Don't be worried, but yet again, I'm off to the hospital tonight with
a possible torn eardrum. It's totally cool though because I look
great with a swollen ear, it's almost impossible to sleep at night
but hey, in a lifetime you sleep over 25 years anyway, I can lose a
couple hours. Don't be worried though because every little thing
Satan throws at me is hitting him back twice as hard... will he ever
learn =)

This week we have had an explosion of missionary work and
miracles in our area. A really high week for new investigators is
2...this week we had 6 with tons of lessons. We received a call from
the assistants again saying how impressed they were with the
growth of our area. I feel so blessed. We really have worked like
crazy. There are days we don't get more then 10 min to eat in a
day but the small sacrifices seem like nothing when you look at
all the Lord has blessed us with. The past few weeks my language
has exploded. I'm talking like I have never talked before. I always
have members coming up saying how impressed they are at my
language. I can say, I'm now fluent in this language, I thought it
would never come!

Tell Brielle to take it easy with the dancing. I know your good but
try more grace and less rock star, ha ha! I'm so sorry and hope
you're feeling better. I remember the dance parties back home in
the living room we always were a bit out of control. I tried it once
in an elevator while singing at the top of my lungs, Elder Schulte
about died because he thought the elevator would plummet to the

This past week we were able to meet with a man who is now one
of our investigators. While talking to him we started talking about
how this gospel changes lives, we then shared the Joseph smith
story. He began to tell us about a dream he had been having for
the past couple of weeks. He said in this dream he was sleeping
and woke up for some reason and got out of bed. While walking
across his room he noticed a card lying on the ground. He walked
over picked it up and turned it over to see one of our pass along
cards. He then took the card and put it in his pocket next to his
heart. We ran into him the other day and gave him the card. He
looked at it for a minute and said he wanted to meet with us. He's
heard a lot of stuff about Christianity and is very confused on
many topics. I know he was led to us and that this experience was
an answer to his prayers, we're trying to help him realize the same.

This work is the greatest, in D&C 15 and 16 it talks about how this
work will bring more happiness and joy than any other work, and I
am a witness to that. Trials, and challenges, yes! But also the
outpouring of blessings, and love. Thank you all so much for your
love and letters.

I love you
ps. Tell Sara congrats for me