Monday, May 31, 2010

TruSSSSSSt in me

Now that I’m fitting into a 34+ waist and probably still growing, I just don't know how to feel about all that. All I can say is DAD you better have a lot of physical labor waiting for me when I get home because all of my pants back home are 32's (waist) =)

I’m starting to feel like dad a little when he would say "I don't want you to date till your married". Just leave the whole "boy" world alone for another year...not even a year. See I’m not asking too much, am I?

Do you remember before the mission when I would talk about all the crazy animals I was going to see in Thailand? I remember reading about all the snakes they have and about how big they were. (Drum role)...the other day we were coming home from the church so meet a member at our house or something. We were coming down the dirt road by our house surrounded by jungle trees and piles of garbage when all of the sudden, out of the side of my eye I saw something move really fast. Before I could do anything this huge snake, I mean huge (it was dark green and was at least 10 feet long, it was probably about 5-6 inches thick) darted out into the road. I slammed on my brakes and skidded to a stop. As I was stopping the snake came right at my bike and then went right in front of my front bike tire almost hitting it. I have never seen a snake move so fast in my life. I can't even begin to describe how fast that snake was moving, I honestly don't know if I could have outran it. Wow what a scare!

This last week we had the opportunity to go hear Elder Halstrom speak in a place called Konken. What a powerful talk he gave on the language of the spirit, and how it's the one language everyone understands regardless of nationality. After that we had a question and answer with him. I’m telling you he knows so much about this gospel. After we met with him we traveled to Lao to meet with government officials in order to help reduce the persecution of the members there.

While traveling to this conference in Konken we had to take a bus. Little did we know, it was a four day holiday here in Thailand and that people were traveling to see family and go vacationing meaning that the nice busses we usually take were all taken leaving us with another bus that was well, not as nice=) we got on and I quickly realized that there were way to many people then the chairs would accommodate. We got chairs and then people started standing in the hallway of the bus. I knew that if I gave up my seat I would be standing on a bus through part of the night (four hours). I waited for all the guys to get past me and then I gave up my chair to a lady going so see her family. People keep getting on the bus until I didn't think they could fit one more person on it. They had to position us all three times in order to get everyone on. When I say packed I mean PACKED. I could not ever move my feet from side to side without hitting into someone else. I’ll admit it was a long bus ride but I was so glad that I was able to help someone else have a better trip home. I’m so grateful for all that you have taught me about respect and thinking about others. I can honestly say if I was from another family and hadn't had the examples of Dad, Mom and all my sisters I probably wouldn't have given up my seat on that bus.

Samran received the Holy Ghost this week. I can't describe it, but it was a great experience. He went and bought a shirt and tie and the works, so now he looks even more like a stud. I just love that man. I’ll send you pictures soon.

Hey I love you all so much, keep it up

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Priesthood Power

May 25, 2010
Sorry if the red shirt stuff has been giving anyone stress! It’s been a bit stressful over here too. We’ve been in missionary lock-down a couple times in our houses, but it's all better now. Going out to work this week was a bit different because of all of the mobs, fires, explosions, and such. Don’t be worried here in Korat is a huge military base and there shouldn't be any more problems.

Miracles!!! This week as you have just read has been one of "be careful, and watch yourself" the whole nation was going a bit crazy! I’m sure with the news you’re only hearing the half of it! This place was out of control for a while! But the miracle was that on Friday of this week we had four General authorities (one of which was Elder Oaks) come to Thailand! On the very day they showed up the nation settled right down. There was news of red shirts going all over Thailand blowing up everything, and people were dying everywhere! Elder Oaks showed up and in a meeting with the Bangkok stake he gave an apostolic blessing to Thailand which spoke of peace and unity. That very day things just stopped, there hasn't been any more problems with red shirts. The whole country changed! The gospel isn't just spiritual, when we say the Priesthood is the power of God here on the earth I think we sometimes don't understand. I testify that God has all power and everything is under his care. We were told "if you leave your house past this time you could be shot down" the next day, there are no problems. The priesthood of God is true and is such a blessing to our lives! Oh ps. I hope that all didn't scare you =)

This Sunday Samran was baptized. It’s amazing the feelings you have when you’ve been working with someone for so long and you get to see him change everything in his life in order to fallow the savior. From day one till now you wouldn't even believe it, he's a different person, he's so much happier and knows what he's doing with his life. It’s something indescribable, the feelings that have been going through me the last few days. I can't say it enough. I love this gospel.

I’m sitting here with another Elder named Elder Pieper who is going home in three weeks. We’ve been talking about how weird it is to know you’re leaving. I can honestly say that I honestly don't know how I’m going to do it. I have under a year left in this wonderful country and I won't want to leave it. My goal coming in was; I want to hate life when I leave Thailand. That will be the hardest day but let’s not dwell on that!

I love you all so much, keep it up!

Ps. thanks for the pictures. I’ll try and send you some pretty soon

Monday, May 17, 2010

Elder and Sister Christmas 2552

It's raining, It's Pouring

My oh my, was it ever great to hear your voices. For a minute I thought Kennady was Brielle, you all sound so much older...i mean except for mom and dad, you sound younger =) it's so crazy to hear about all you are doing back home and all the changes that are talking place.

I guess I’ll start off with a crazy story. Yesterday we left the house after eating lunch and were gone for a long time. After out last appointment we returned home to find both doors wide open. Just to paint the scene for you: it had been raining all day so you could hear water dripping off the house and trees, it was about 7:00 in the evening and the sky was filled with clouds meaning absolutely no light. in order to turn the lights on in our house you have to walk into the middle of the house. We walked up to the door and stood there for a second not being able to see anything. All the news of the civil unrest flooded through my mind as we walked into the door. To make a long story short they had left and no one was in the house, and another thing, they didn't take anything from the house. Kinda scary but not a problem

This Sunday we will be having a baptism for a man names Samran: we've been teaching him for two months, he's about 74 years old and rides his bike over 6 miles every time he comes to church or meets with us. He’s such a stud and is deadly at checkers, we have yet to find someone who can beat him. Right now we have 3 other investigators who are really close and will be getting baptized the first of next month. The work here in Korat is going so good we are teaching over 30 people right now and getting now people all the time.

We have one investigator right now who is a Buddhist scholar or something. He knows absolutely everything about Buddhism and he likes to compare the doctrine with ours. I’ll admit I love to debate and argue but as a missionary you can’t; besides it doesn't help anyway. I’m just so amazed at how confusing other religions are and how the doctrine doesn't even tie together. I could find holes in the doctrine big enough to drive a car through. I’m so glad to be a part of a church that makes sense, that we can actually see results in our lives from fallowing the principles and doctrines. It’s such a testimony to me that this church is the true church of God and is perfectly perfect in every way!

It’s getting closer to the rainy season which is great in the sense that it's not as hot but instead you walk through water all day. Yesterday it rained a ton and the lightning and thunder was incredible. I mean shake the house and hurt your ears kinda loud. As we were leaving the church the members were really worried because the storm came in really low, I mean the clouds were so close. We got in the house just as the storm started, and oh but what a storm it was! I wish I could take a picture of the fury of it but the camera just can't capture it.

Elder McKonkie is now training a new elder. It’s so crazy to think of how old we are all getting in the mission. I’m so excited for him. I have never heard of an elder training in Thailand as early as Elder McKonkie has. He’s such a great missionary and really works hard.

So Elder Dearden and I just counted up the amount of days till he goes home and it's just over 60. Ahhhhh! It’s so crazy how the time flies! I’ll admit I’ve never hurd someone speak Thai as well as he does, people always ask him where in Thailand he was born, and then they are blown away when he says "I’ve only been here for a year and a half". Oh yeah his grandparents work in the Ogden temple, and I actually sat down and talked with them before I came over here. Small world

I love you all,

Ps. next week Elder Oaks is supposed to be coming to talk to the members here in Thailand next Monday so the email might be on Tuesday I’m not sure?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!

May 3, 2010
Happy Birthday!!!!!! It sounds like you had a great time; I hope you got enough cake and ice cream! It’s crazy to think of how fast everyone back home is aging. You’re all going to be old when I get home if you don't slow down!

So about the long waited Mothers day phone call...the number you'll need to call is 01166815540217. If you guys could call me at 9:00 am Monday morning (my time) which I think is 7:00 Sunday night for you or something like that. I hope that works for you guys! I can't Wait!!!!
Thank you so much for the package, I can't even believe how good American candy is, it something I’ve gone so long without that every single piece blows my mind. I hope you all know just how lucky you are to eat that stuff! The socks are a life saver, I can't even believe I was almost out of socks to use, when they said 24 pair they meant at least 24 pair!

Elder Tom moved this past week to a new area called Bankapi down in Bangkok. We miss him a ton. It’s so great having a Thai companion, you learn so much about not only the language but about service. Service is something that is such a part of Thai culture. Day after day Elder Tom would take out lots of his personal time at nights in order to help me and Elder Dearden with whatever. I’ll miss him a ton!

So our trip to Bangkok was great and wasn't a real problem we weren't affected by the Red shirts at all! We did travel from 1 to 6 in the morning so it was mostly settled down by that time. It’s kind of a scary deal all the stuff that's going, but hey I'm safe and loving life!

This past week we have gotten a lot done here in Korat, the branch this week had 94 people at church which is incredibly high including 7 investigators from us and the sisters. It was such a great sight to see with almost every chair full. The investigator and new member class was packed and I mean packed! It’s the greatest sight in the world!

President Smith gave a really great talk this past week to the missionaries. He started talking about the red shirts and about the confusion and worries in the world of which the Author is Satan. He talked about how we are Christ’s royal army and send in to fill the gap. Satan throws fear, worries, danger, and temptation everywhere, as he does this people reach out for help, for anything to deliver them... this is where we take their hand, introduce them to their Savior and help pull them out of the pit of sorrow and confusion that they are in. it's so wonderful to be a part of this royal army, to be on the front lines battling for freedom of the soul, hopefully giving everything I possibly can! Oh man I love this gospel. I just finished Alma and I’m now reading in Helaman. The testimony I have gained of the book of Mormon has grown so much. It truly is the word of god, and a road map for us in this life

I love you all and can't wait to talk to you in a week!