Monday, February 24, 2014

Statue Gardens & Crocodile Farm! Oh and transfers...

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 37
Week Ten in Nong Khai

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hey Everyone!

This was a crazy week! So I'll start off with last p-day! We went to the local crocodile farm here just to check it out and before the show. We were just waiting around and my companion and Elder Vandenberghe we just kind of messing with the crocodiles and next thing you know the croc just bolts in the water straight towards my companion and just splashes water on him. He jumped and ran so fast, but there was a cement wall with a fence in between them. It was just way funny and would have been a classic if I would have gotten it on film!

We finally got the call of who was moving for transfers. We find out that Vandenberghe is the only one moving, okay. So they come up with this plan to go down on Tuesday night instead of Wednesday to Bangkok. Next thing you know we are prepping up for our English class and the other two Elders have a bus leaving at 8:30 p.m. and it is 5 o' clock. We get a call from the Zone leaders saying; oh, actually Elder Batey is moving too. So he had to bolt home and pack all of his stuff in 2 hours, it was crazy ha-ha. English class was good. I taught it all by myself again because the other Elders were packing. We had about 20 people which was good, but not really any new potential investigators though!

Time to fast forward to transfers meeting. After receiving the news about Elder Batey moving my companion and I were just like, oh man we don't get to go to transfers. Just about an hour later though our prayer was answered with a text from the Zone Leaders saying; everyone is invited to this transfer meeting because 98% of the mission is changing. So we immediately went and bought tickets for the bus on Wednesday night. We got into Bangkok at about 4:30 in the morning and went straight to the church and talked with missionaries. My buddy, Elder Unsworth finally came to the church and it was way awesome. Brother Nong also came down from Ayutthaya and it was way awesome to meet up with him again. Here is what happened at the transfers meeting. It was crazy, but good ha-ha. So as far as transfers went, my companion and I are still together yeah! :)  Unsworth moved to Pak Kret which is the super nice building we always have transfers meeting at.  He was disappointed because he didn't move to Nongkhai, but he is happy because he is in a way awesome area. In our house we have a new greenie; so we thought; okay all is home free and next thing you know towards the end. They say; sisters in Nongkhai and we were like what in the world!? They opened up sisters here in Nongkhai, so now we have 6 missionaries. Oh and the first two Elders ever to go up Myanmar! Way cool so they will have to freshen up on their Burmese ha-ha, good luck! After transfers meeting you know where we went and ate lunch; yep…Que Pasa which was delicious as usual ha-ha! Then it was time to head back to good old Nongkhai.

We got back and believe it or not much happened on Friday and Saturday. We ended up having to search for housing for the sisters. Ha-ha so not much happened those two days.

Sunday was good we had a solid 59 people at church which is the most since I have been here. Sister Taaw got confirmed, which was way sweet. The members are really excited to have the sister missionaries here which is good. We also have to show the new elders and sisters the area which has taken away from our work, but that is alright. Some other good news is on Sunday our investigator Naan came to church. She hasn't had any desire to learn, but we have just been being her friends. On Sunday I just decided to sit down and just figure out all of her concerns and what was going on with her. After about an hour and half of me talking with her I figured it all out and she ended up asking me to learn about some things and then my companion came over and we really helped her understand and solve her concerns, it was way awesome. We even have an appointment with her today at 5 so I'm way pumped!
Crocodile Farm...purple blood???

That is it for this week. This morning we went to the awesome, huge statue garden here and we took the new sisters somewhere fun. They really loved it! Some pretty cool pics. It is definitely worth going to see if you come to Nongkhai! That is all though, love you all!

Statue Gardens in Nong Khai

Monday, February 17, 2014

Baptism and Wheelchairs

Hey Everyone!

Another good week down! I'll start off with the best thing that happened this week and it was that Taaw got baptized which was way awesome. We had her interviewed on Tuesday and she passed and was way happy and excited. She wanted her baptism on Wednesday so that is when we had it. Brother Ice baptized her which was way awkward because he doesn't even know her, but we just wanted a member to baptize her rather than a missionary. It was good she got baptized but she showed up late to sacrament meeting on Sunday so now she will have to receive the Holy Ghost next week, no problem though.

We had a switch off this week with the Zone Leaders. But before the switch off Friday morning we had a senior couple from Bangkok, the Goodson's come up. They were in charge of donating a bunch of wheelchairs. So they wanted to invite the missionaries to this special event since it was in Nong Khai. We got to go to, it was way cool. They are supposed to do an article in the Thai Liahona which would be way awesome! I will definitely be saving that Liahona when we get it! 

After that we had our switch off with the ZL's. I stayed in Nong Khai with Elder Hunsaker and my companion went with Elder Cahoon to Udorn. So for our switch off all Elder Hunsaker and I did was go inviting at the university for the most part. We just invited people like crazy and it was pretty fun. I just want some investigators way bad and my companion doesn’t like to do inviting so this was my chance to have some fun. We were able to get 20 phone numbers
 on Friday so that was way awesome. We weren't able to get any to church this Sunday, but I feel that we can get at least a couple from all these numbers.

That was really about it for this week. We may go to the crocodile farm today for p-day so that should be fun, but we may not. As far as transfers go. From what it sounds word is getting around that people are moving, like Elder Unsworth already knows that he is moving, but our ZL's haven’t called us yet. So hopefully I know what is going on in our area before I quit emailing today I'll let you all know next week what happens with transfers this week.

Love you all have a great week!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 35 - The Friendship Bridge

Hey Everyone!

This was another good week! Not much crazy stuff happened but it was just a good regular week. As for investigators, our only two that we have came to church. Throughout the week we taught Taaw and she was planning on getting baptized the week after the 16th or just someday. So that was kind of disappointing because she has been taught literally everything we can. It is just a fact of her acting on when she wants to get baptized. She came to church on Sunday and we just visited with her after and talked. She had a complete change of thought about the whole situation, it was awesome. Instead she has decided she wants to get interviewed this Tuesday and then get baptized on Wednesday of this week. We were just like whoa, okay, yeah we can do that whenever you want, that is great ha-ha! Our other investigator Naan came also, she is doing pretty well too and is willing to learn from the Elders again since she was a former an investigator. She seems pretty good so we will see what we can do!

Other things this week English numbers were way back, only like 9 people came and they are all members, but our investigator Taaw. Everyone’s English programs are dying around the country because they told us we couldn't pass out English cards, but they just changed it again and we are now allowed to do it again so we will be trying to help our English program grow so we can get more investigators from that, since 40% of our missions baptism come from English class. Also for the month of January our mission had 165 baptisms which is the most baptisms in one month in South East Asia History. It was awesome! The work is just really starting to take off here.

As for this week on Tuesday we had District meeting. Our church attendance is around 50-55 people each week, but it is never the same people each week. It is like people switch weeks; one person will come this week, but not the next and the other person will miss the first and come the second so we came up with a plan to help solve this problem; at least we thought. We wrote down 100 names of members thinking that we could get around 80 people at church. So this whole week we spent time visiting all these members and stuff trying to get them to church and when church rolled around we only had 52 which was kind of disappointing, but it is alright.

This past week we went to the Friendship Bridge which is the bridge that connects Laos and Thailand that was pretty fun! There is a train that even goes across the bridge and I got to see it go across. It is crazy how many people come from Laos to Thailand just to buy stuff from here and take it back to Laos. So that is a problem we run into a lot while inviting people that they are Laotian  and we can't teach them because they live in Laos.

I think that is about it that I can think of this week! It was way fun though! I'm glad we were able to get our investigators progressing towards baptism. I'm excited for this Wednesday to see our investigator get baptized! Love you all! Have a good week!



Monday, February 3, 2014

Trip to Chiang Mai!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 34
Week Seven in Nong Khai


How's life everyone? Pretty crazy week, things were changed at the last minute, but it was good! As for the missionary work goes this week we still haven't gotten any more investigators, I guess. On Monday night we got a potential former investigator we my start working with named Naan she seems nice. 

On Tuesday we only got 2 new students to English and we are pretty sure they weren't from that whole activity we went and did last week, which is alright. One isn't from Nong Khai so we won't be teaching her and the other one is, but we think she isn't interested in the gospel. Our plan though is to just get a lesson with her one time and just introduce her to the gospel and see if we can grab her interest. We have still been working with our one investigator Taaw but she is trying to decide about baptism. We've taught her everything and watched “Finding faith in Christ” with her and after that all we have is “The Restoration” and we really have nothing left to teach her, but while we were in Chiang Mai this week she did end up coming to church so that good!  

This week Bro. Somlak the Elders Quorum President in our branch opened up his Thai breakfast restaurant so we went and ate there on opening day and were his first customers, that was fun. We ate there the next day too. We have been trying to help reactivate his whole family. He comes to church, but his wife and daughter don't, so we are trying to just help them all. Nothing else to special happened this week that I can remember. 

On Saturday we were at the church teaching a lessons and my comp was all bummed because we were supposed to find out Friday night if we could go to Chiang Mai so he could vote or not, but we never got a call. So... I was tired of him not talking and being all down in the dumps. So, I was like just call President Senior and ask him, so he calls him and permission was granted!!! He said; yeah go ahead, so then he was instantly happy after that. So after our lesson we hurried and bought bus tickets and grabbed our things to go at the house and we cruised off to Chiang Mai on a bus. We left at 7 PM and got there just before 7 A.M. It was a LONG ride, especially because we had 4 Chinese people in front of us and they were just talking way loud all night long. We got there and my comps Dad picked us up. We went and chilled at his house for an hour. I met all his family which was cool. 

His sister is a musician and just plays everything it seems the piano, guitar, violin and this Thai instrument it was pretty cool. She is going to San Diego on her mission next month. His little Bro. is going to St George on his mission in April, his other little Bro. is preparing to go on a mission here soon I think. His Parents are awesome too they have been members a really long time. His Dad has been the District President, Branch President and is now just hanging out as Elder's Quorum President. 

It was fun though we went to vote before church. Then cruised to the church for 3 hours of church and then just hung out at the church until around 4 pm. We went to my comps house and had a family home evening with his family before we left to come back to Nong Khai.Too bad we couldn't have stayed for our P-day. His Mom was sure to leave us with half of a cake and a big bucket of chocolate chip cookies, so that was a bonus. They are a way awesome family and it was a great opportunity for me to meet them. They are all going to Hong Kong next week to go through the temple with his 2 siblings that are going on their missions, so that is cool. We got back around 8:30 this morning. The bus ride back was a lot better just because we didn't have as many people on the bus, so it was comfier.

That is about it. We aren't going to do much for p-day because we are just tired from all the traveling, but it was fun. Have a good week everyone. Love you all!