Monday, November 25, 2013

Another Baptism!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 24
Week 15 in Ayutthaya

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hey Everyone,

Another pretty good week down. Last p-day we went to some old Buddhist temples which were super sweet! We were able to speak enough Thai to get us into places for the Thai price. It is more if you are a foreigner, we got in for 10 baht instead of 50, next we had to pay 50 and another one for 10 and the last one we got in for free. It was super sweet and way-cool fun! We went with the two Elders from Lopburi Elder Wilamas who is Thai and Elder Wheeler. Elder Wilamas is funny and really helps me with my Thai. Maybe I'll be lucky to get a Thai comp soon so my Thai will just take off. 
Elder Wilamas, Elder Watkins, and Elder Wheeler at the Buddhist Temples
Tuesday was just the usual district meeting and Swenson’s afterwards. Swenson's was tasty as usual and will you please let Cindy Nielsen know, Mom, that would be great! :) We had English class and our friend from McDonalds finally made it to English and Brother Nong and I convinced her to give us 20% off at McDonalds if we went the next day, so you know where we went to dinner the next day! McDonalds of course and she gave it to us 20% off, it was sweet! 

Wednesday was pretty good we taught Sister Mod and Brother Boon who are preparing to be baptized the 1st of December and they are so ready. Sister Mod is a totally new person now, it is so great. She is super happy, keeping commitments, coming to church, and just showing some much more interest and love for the gospel. Her headaches are going away, it just sweet. She should be baptized this next Sunday, by her husband, David who is coming from England this week. We also taught Tuk and Nuch this week they are doing pretty well and their baptismal date is on the 15th of December. Nuch went to Chang Mai for the weekend and I was smart and cheesed in having her buy me a little souvenir just in case I never get a chance to go up north. So I'm excited to see what she got me! Tuk went to Bang Na which is down by Bangkok for a convention for her work. So they were both gone and not able to come to church, but they say they will start coming this next week. They are good at keeping their word so that will be sweet. 

Thursday we taught Sister Nub on the phone and planned her interview for Friday and finished teaching her what she needed. We also taught our Recent Convert, Sister Baah, she is doing good and we were able to talk about the Holy Ghost with her. 

Friday was pretty wild we went up to Ang Thong so Sister Nub could get interviewed. Elder Wilamas from Lopburi came down to interview her. She passed it and is ready for baptism!!! It was funny, we needed the dates of her parents’ birth and hers and she didn't know any of them. The older Thais really never recorded things like that, it is way sad they didn’t. We came back to Ayutthaya and had to get a members bike fixed and then went and taught a new investigator named Elle. Who we met just a few days ago while "knocking doors", really we just walk up to their gate and yell, Hello in Thai until they walk out. We taught Sister Mod and Boon who we are still preparing them for baptism, it was good. 

Saturday was good we had mutual and then cleaned the church. We practiced some music for our musical numbers. We cleaned the baptismal font Sister Nub and made her baptismal program. Then we had a lesson with our new investigator Kwang the one who works at McDonalds. It went really good and she is super smart. I feel she could get baptized really quick as long as we can get her to church, that is the one concern we have.

Sunday was our Branch Conference. The District Presidency and all of them came to Ayutthaya. So with all them we had 68 people at church! Sister Baah received the Holy Ghost and I was able to stand in the circle. Brother Chinawat gave her the Holy Ghost. He is her home teacher, which was pretty cool. We also had 10 investigators in sacrament, it was so sweet! Mod, Boon, Nub, Taa, and her two kids and four other new investigators showed too so that why it was, way cool. Good turnout. Then after all that we had Nub's baptism which was kind of scary a little. She is 59 years old and not very strong. She was scared so it took two times to get her fully under water, but it was super awesome and another great experience! Brother Nong and Sister Dtuuy sang I Need Thee Every Hour accompanied by Elder Gibbons on the Viola and Me at the piano, it was pretty good. I'm starting to be able to play more hymns on the pian, it is good! We also practiced our music for the Christmas party next month. We went to Sister Baahs for Boo to sign her baptismal papers and on the way back it just started raining super hard and we just got soaked, so then Sister Mod canceled our appointment because of the rain.

It was a good week. We are just having a relaxing p-day this week so nothing special to look forward to for next week except to hear if Sister Mod and Boon get baptized! Love you all! Have a great week!



Monday, November 18, 2013

First Baptism!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 23
Week Fourteen in Ayutthaya

Monday, November 18, 2013


Today was an amazing week and I was able to see my first baptism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stay tuned for more info.

So first thing off, Tuesday was pretty wild. We had English class which was okay, not as many people as the week before, but it was good. After English the Elders from Lopburi came down, Elder Wilamas and Elder Wheeler. Elder Wilamas is Thai and he was Elder Gibbons companion in the MTC so we were super excited as it was my first time really being in a house with a Thai. He was way awesome and helped me with my Thai so much in such a little time.

They came down because on Wednesday we had a Zone Training meeting so that was crazy because Elder Wilamas companion got a fever over 100 degrees and got way sick so they ended up staying another night because Sister Senior said to, so it was awesome because I got to be around Elder Wilamas more, he is such a great teacher and missionary. Elder Gibbons and I had to split off and get some work done after the zone training so we could prepare and finish teaching Sister Baah everything she needed for her baptism so we taught her Wednesday night and finished up a bunch of the commandments. After we went with Bro. Nong to Big C to have a lesson with our other two investigators who are daters for the 8th of December; Sister Tuk and Nud. It was a really good day. 

Thursday we went to Brother McGeorge’s house to teach Sister Baah. Sister Na his wife made us dinner and they all helped us finish teaching Sister Baah everything, it was soooo good and helped us a lot because it is hard to teach Baah at her house because we are outside by a busy street so motorcycles and cars are just distracting them constantly. I also was able to see if Bro. McGeorge and I are related. I don't think so because the dates of our John Watkins are close, but not the same. He said he was going to look into it more, but I don't know if he has. 
Cleaning the "very small" baptismal font.
 Friday was pretty crazy we cleaned the baptismal font. I cleaned it with Brother Now, it was pretty awesome trying to get that all prepared. Saturday we had a service project out at Brother Jamnongs house in Ang Thong Pa Moog so that takes about 45 minutes to get there. We did a switch out and I went with Elder Smith and we had to dig a bunch of holes and put these huge cement pillars in. It was some pretty good manual labor except for the fact that my Nike fuel band button broke somehow, so I guess I might send that home, I don't know. We hurried and cruised back to the church for the mutual activity so we could help with that. Sister Baah also had to get interviewed by the zone leaders. She was so scared, but a bunch of the members really helped her and got the interview done and she passed!!

First Baptism

Now onto the day of the baptism! Sunday was crazy since we did the switch off. We literally weren't prepared for anything, but somehow we just pulled of crazy numbers this week. We had 9 investigators at church and 57 people to church, it was like a record for people at church in a long time, I think! Sister Baah made it,but her Mom had to work and was going to try to come back for the baptism. Then next thing you know Brother Nong asks if we had printed out a program and we said, nope so I switched off with Bro. Nong during Elders Quorum to help him make a program so we could have it all ready! We got it done and Sister Baah was waaay scared and sad because her Mom wasn't there, but she wanted to get baptized today. So we did it, Elder Gibbons baptized her. It was soooo awesome, I haven't felt the spirit that strong in a while as when she got into the font and got baptized. We are just sooooo lucky, Sister Na was their Bro. McGeorge's wife because she helped Sister Baah to stop crying and calm down. After she was baptized she was just the happiest 12 year old girl and gave such an amazing testimony. It was just such an awesome thing we couldn't have asked for a bigger blessing and miracle of her getting baptized.
Loy Krathong is one of the most beautiful of all Thai festivals. It is a time for family and friends to gather together in the evening to launch small candle lit craft (Krathong) in lakes and rivers, and floating lanterns into the sky.

It was also one of the biggest holidays in Thailand yesterday and we got invited by two of our investigators to go celebrate a little, but we made into a lesson and all four of the Elders went with Bro. Nong and our two investigators, it was so awesome!

Sorry for the shorter letter this week not much went on, but it was such a great week and we have another lady, Sister Nub that is getting prepared for baptism next week. I'm really focusing on that and everything that we need to teach her! Love you all! Have a great week!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Fifty-one people to Church!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 22
Week Thirteen in Ayutthaya

Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm officially done with my training wooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! Well another week down it was a way good week! So last week we went cruising around with Brother Nong to a bunch of historical sites it was a fun and just a good time. We have been so blessed to have him as a member, he is such a great guy. Tuesday was awesome we had English class as usual and we had 24 people!!!!!!!! Brother Nong looked at me and said, yeah never in Ayutthaya history have we had this many people at English class. What is great is the majority of the people coming are investigators, I'd say at least 14 of those people are investigators. As for our investigators we had there, we had that family we met which was 3 people and then Tuk, Nud, Cake, and Satong, and that was it for us, but it was just a way awesome turn out. 

Sightseeing at Wat Phu Khao Thong
Elder Gibbons, Elder Watkins, Brother Nong, Elder Smith & Elder Winsor


Wednesday was a wild day we taught Sister Mod and I had to take over the lesson for a little because Sister Mod flustered him a bit, but we turned it around and it was okay. We also taught Sister Baah about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we have almost taught her everything she needs for baptism except to obey and honor the laws and the Ten commandments, she is supposed to be baptized on the 17th, so this coming week way exciting! That night Brother Mcgeorge and his wife Sister Naa and their daughter Iris invited the Elders over for dinner they bought us Pizza Company and ice cream it was soooooo delicious. It was such a fun time Brother Mcgeorge is a genius when it comes to the church, so we were just asking him all sorts of crazy questions and he’s like well, when I talked to Joe Fielding, we were like, what? Joseph Fielding Smith? Sure enough yeah he was friends with him and friends with David O McKay, he just knows so much stuff, it awesome. 

Thursday was a pretty crazy day we cruised out to Ang Thong where Brother Jamnog and our investigator Sister Nube live. It is a ways away we travel in a van and it takes about 1 hour. We taught a 2 hour lesson, it was crazy, but needed since she has a baptismal date for the 24th of November. It is so fun because Brother Jamnog picks us up in his little scooter-motorcycle pod racer thing which is a motorcycle with like a big basket in front, for people or stuff to sit in. It has two wheels and Elder Gibbons and I just sit in the front while we cruise around. It is so funny because all the Thai people look at us and are like who are these two white people riding in this with a Thai guy and they just always smile and wave at us, so funny. 

Friday was crazy it was weekly planning so that took a chunk out of our day and then after we taught our new investigator who is Laotian. He doesn't speak Thai, but he speaks Laos and a little bit of Eesaan which is a dialect in Thailand, so literally I just sat there and had no idea what was going on, but luckily my companion speaks Eesaan so he can teach, it was crazy! We also had a sweet lesson with Sister Baah she is just progressing so well. 

Saturday we went to Brother Nows new house that they are moving to and did a whole bunch of deep cleaning. We scrubbed mold off the walls and cleaned the floors, it was some solid work. So if you are wondering if we do service Mom since you didn't think Nathan did, we are. We actually are going out to build a roof at Brother Jamnog's house this next Saturday too. After we cleaned we taught Brother Moo and is his wife Sister Muk some guitar. We had a lesson with Sister Baah about Tithing and that was pretty sweet. We also had a lesson with the family and it went pretty well. After all that we cruised over to Lotus and got Pizza Company, such a good dinner you can't go wrong. 

Sunday was a sweet day we got 51 people at church! That is the most since I have been in Ayutthaya so it is awesome. We had 3 investigators at church Sis. Bahh, Sister Nube, and Sister Doom. This is the last Sunday we don't have a baptism scheduled for a while, it is awesome! My first baptism should be coming up this next Sunday if everything goes as planned. To top off the night we call our investigator Nud on the phone to follow up with her and it just so happened she was with her friend Tuk who is also our investigator! So we talked with them and taught them over the phone and committed them to baptism for the 8th of December! Sooooo sweet we now have 6 people with a baptismal date. So we have Sister Baah, Sister Nube, Sister Mod, Brother Boon, Sister Nud, and Sister Tuk; pretty sweet! Well that is about it for this week we are just cleaning and relaxing for p-day today. Love you all and have a great week!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Making Progress...

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 21
Week Twelve in Ayutthaya

Monday, November 04, 2013

Wow another week down already, time just flew by this past week even though it is always cruising by, this week went extra fast! It was great to get on my email and that first thing I see was SOXS WIN THE WORLD SERIES, I don't know what could be greater than that!! Well on to what I did this week! So for P-day last week we went to the Water Market and just walked around a little we didn't end up having much time so we just browsed the shops and I bought a shirt. We watched the play thing of the Thais fighting the Burmese which was pretty interesting! After we waited at the church to meet our two new investigators and then after 30 minutes of them not being there we called and it ended up not working out, but we just went and ate dinner and this place with Brother Nong and Sister Ganjanii, it was soooo delicious! Way good food and since it is Sister Ganjaniis friend we ate there for free and it is more expensive food! It was way fun and tasty and I officially have a new favorite food here somtom taahd which is fried papaya salad thing. Most Thai people haven't even eaten it and it is soooooo tasty I loved it! Somtom is just delicious, period and now it is even better. 

Tuesday was way sweet we had district meeting and Elder Gibbons and I presented our vision for Ayutthaya on what we need done by February to be worthy for a ward in the Stake. We need 70 people at church and currently we have about 40 coming and 17 baptisms so that will get us to 150 members on record. It was way awesome and we got everyone on board. We went and ate Swenson’s after since every Tuesday you buy one scoop get one free if you are a member and I just so happen to be member now since Sister Gade gave me her card when she left. We had an awesome turn out for English class though, our investigators Tuk and Nud came who we were supposed to meet the night before and our friend from Swenson’s brought a friend it was a good turnout. We taught Tuk and Nud after then we and grabbed some dinner with Sister Ganjanii it was a solid night. 

Wednesday we had a solid lesson with our investigator Baah and his Mom have already gone over the Restoration pamphlet before and so we just reviewed and taught her everything, he is progressing so well! After we went to go eat at the fancy restaurant the Sowards told us about that supposedly makes a mean chicken cordon blue and a good steak, but then we got there and it is like some sort of bar type of place and we didn't think we had enough time so, we were just like, okay maybe we shouldn't go there. Then Elder Gibbons was on the phone and he is just like take us somewhere to go eat. So I'm like okay just cruising around and I was like, let’s just go eat at this Eesaan restaurant so we go and while we were waiting we decided to just run into 7-11 real quick and grab some drinks and we walk through the door and there is our investigator, Tuk and it was sooooo funny because we had texted her 3 hours earlier and she had responded once, but not again and then we ran into her. She was so embarrassed since she didn't respond. You could say the spirit led me their ha-ha it was awesome and just funny, can't hide from the missionaries! 

Thursday we had another good lesson with Sister Baah though, she is progressing so well she is supposed to be baptized on the 17 of this month so that will be sweet! 
The cubby hole under the stairs that they cleaned out.
Friday was wild we went to the church and had to clean out the storage thing under the stairs it was filthy! It hadn't been cleaned in over 2 years which means it was all still disgusting from the massive flood! We cleaned that thing out. There were cockroaches, lizards, spiders, and rusts- gross flood water from 2 years ago in there, man it was gross! My comp was in there screaming because the roaches would fly around or the lizards would start running I couldn't help but laugh as I watched! Also, Friday we made a bunch of phone calls and we called our investigator Nub and gave her a date to be baptized on this 24th of this month so that will be exciting! After all that we had no idea what to do. So we were just sitting that this entrance to this apartment house things and we decided to say a prayer and when we were almost done praying this lady with her family drives by on her scooter and in Thai is like what are you doing. We finish our prayer and then we were like, okay that is what we are doing we follow her to her house and asked if we can share a message. We talked about the BoM with them and they were pretty interested. It was a Mom and her 30 year old son,11 year old daughter, and 9 year old son. We invited them to the mutual activity on Saturday and they said they'd come and sure enough on Saturday they came to our activity. Elder and Sister Jones from the office came up and did the activity they finish their mission this month so they will be going home. So our new investigators also brought a friend and her son it was so sweet!

Ready for the  mummy race at the activity.
Elder and Sister Jones teaching.
Saturday night we did some contacting with Brother Nong and just went home and made some phone calls. We had another convo with our investigators Tuk and Nud they are progressing way well and we've been teaching them over the phone, since one was visiting her mother and the other was at her sister’s wedding. They are progressing way well and we are excited to see them on Tuesday for English class.  They may be getting a baptismal date soon, so that will be sweet. Church was pretty good on Sunday, we had 4 investigators come to church Sister Mod and her son Buun came again they are supposed to be baptized on December 1st when her husband comes from England, so we are excited for that. Sister Cake came also which was awesome since she had to go to school, but still made the effort to come to sacrament and she is only 12! Sister Nub was also there, which was great. Today we are going to do some sightseeing somewhere, but not sure it should be fun though! Have a great week!