Monday, March 31, 2014

I bet he wishes he would have practiced more :)

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 42
Week Fifteen in Nong Khai
Monday, March 31, 2014

Hey What's up!

Nothing to crazy really happened this week, but at least the days went by fast so it wasn't bad. Where to even start…

I guess I'll talk about the investigators that we have, I guess. We still have Winay and his two kids Bam and Bom. They were all supposed to come to church yesterday, but at the last minute Winay ended up having to go work so it was just his kids that came, which was good. We were trying to get him baptized this week but it just wasn't possible he was out on business all week until Saturday night when he finally got back. The Zone Leaders were on our backs like crazy saying like; teach him everything during the second hour of church tomorrow we will interview him during the 3rd and then he can get baptized after church. We called Sister Muay who is his member girlfriend because we didn't think he was ready yet and asked her what she thought about him getting baptized tomorrow. She said it wasn’t possible he still hasn't stopped smoking completely and other things. He is busy with work and has a big problem with the word of wisdom so we just need to help him with that. It is hard though because he is never free and we only been able to meet with him one time and we taught him about half of what he needed to learn, which is a lot. So we have been planning on teaching him the rest of everything since we never know when he will be able to meet with us again because of his crazy schedule. As for other investigators we found a new one this week. Her name is Bubae! She is 22 years old and works at place that makes glasses. She seems interested and we have been able to meet with her once, but she wants to get baptized. She really wants to learn so we can help her with that for sure. We have an appointment with her tonight and so we will be teaching her and giving her a baptismal date for the 13th of April. It should go good!

I really don't have much else to tell you we only had 38 people at church last Sunday which was horrible, but it was because everyone had to "vote" yesterday I guess they had another voting day. So everyone just decided they didn't need to come to church because they had to go vote which takes only 5 minutes! It is all good though. We got a new branch president yesterday here in Nong Khai. Our old one got married to a member in another providence so he moved down to Roi et with her so now we have a new one named, Brother Paybun. Pretty crazy stuff though. Oh and I never told you that I am the Branch Pianist ha-ha!  I have been doing for a while now and I mess up all the time, but I'm the best we have. I just don't like playing the piano when I know I can't play the song very well, I always get nervous.

We did go ice skating in Udorn last p-day with Brother Gang which was fun. We also went inviting one day at the mall for about five hours which was crazy. We didn't get any new investigators but it was just was fun for some reason even though we didn't have a lot of success. That is all I have for you guys, sorry the letter is kind of short, have a good week! :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

He still has Hops!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 41
Week 14 in Nong Khai

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hey Everyone!

Well this week just seemed to fly by! I have to be honest though I don't know why because literally nothing special happened except Zone Conference!

So that is where I will start because that really was the biggest highlight of my week. So we had that on Thursday down in Udorn. We got there and just talked with the other missionaries passed off our memorizations then gave our talks and did planner checks. We have to do that every zone conference. I passed off on everything so that is way nice. We started up zone conference and my companion was assigned to say D & C 4 and he had to do it in English since he is Thai so the last two days I've been helping him memorize it like crazy. He had it down really good, but he got up there and got too nervous and ended up reading the whole thing. After that we all said it together and my companion did it just fine. President Senior was just why didn't you do that the first time ha-ha... It was good though.

We had a little activity that was way cool. It was on higher expectations. President and Sister Senior did training on how we can raise our expectations. They didn't know how they could have us raise ours anymore because we work so hard so they did an activity to show us how. They had us all write down a goal on a sticky note and then said, okay jump as high as you can and stick it on the wall. So we all did and of course I was the highest. No one saw me do it, but there was just one sticky note way higher than everyone else’s and everyone is just like who's is that, but believe it or not President saw me do it. After that he said ok now raise your expectations and beat that last sticky note. Believe or not everyone in the whole zone was able to beat their previous stick note. That was fun! Then a couple of the other Elders who thought they had hops tried to start beating mine ha-ha but when I did mine a second time I moved mine up a good 6 inches so that wasn't happening; apparently mine was the highest in the whole mission. President Senior was even talked to me and was way impressed.

After that we had lunch which was decent we had Vietnamese food and ice cream cake since it was Sister Seniors birthday. I got my ice cream cake and everyone else had finished eating theirs and I was just hanging out at my table and both President and Sister Senior just came out of nowhere and sat by me. This is where I learned President Senior is a greater man that I already knew he was. We started talking sports because of the whole jumping thing. Turns out the President Senior is Red Sox fan must I say more? Ha-ha then we had to talk about March Madness of course. Plus a few weeks ago I sent President an emailing saying I heard if the Mission gets 200 baptisms in March we get to watch the National Championship game ha-ha but he wasn't having any of that, but he got a good laugh. It was just way good to talk to him and he just thanked me again so much for helping Elder Saedan. Sister Senior also said I heard your Thai is Phenomenal. Which surprised me ha-ha, but apparently Elder Brown who is the new senior couple in Udorn told her that I guess. I don’t know why, but apparently Elder Brown never compliments anyone like that so she said that was a real high compliment and I should feel proud. So that made me feel good.

After lunch we had a scripture chase and it was all in English so I had to translate for my companion because he is way better in the scriptures than I am. But it was a jeopardy type of format and I was able to get one for our squad. My companion did so good though. One of the sections was church hymns so they gave you a name of a hymn and you had to know the scripture that referenced it in the BoM, it was crazy. My companion answered 3 of them in a row within like 5 seconds and no one else in the whole zone knew what they were, everyone just thought he was cheating because it was so good!  Guess who's district came out of top and won that also! That’s right the Nongkhai District!!! It was great we were in contention with one other district and we were behind them just a little bit with one question left. We came back and won it with the last question…way sweet because we got a Snickers bar.  

After Zone Conference went over to Central and met up with Brother Gang. It was so good to see him again and plus he had a package for me! I finally got the fuel band back and a jacket! So sweet so thanks Mom and Dad for that. We went and ate at Pizza Company together and just talked. It was way nice. He also came to church here yesterday which was much needed.

Winay didn't come to church either though he was busy with work this last week. We need to meet with him one time this week and just teach him everything. So we can baptize him next week since he has been to church twice already he just needs to learn everything and be keeping the commandments.

That is really all I have for this week.Thanks everyone for your support back at home love you all have a good week! :)



Monday, March 17, 2014

It was kind of like going Uphill both ways to school :)

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 40
Week 13 in Nong Khai

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hey Everyone!

How are you all doing? Hopefully you guys know by now that I'm always doing good ha-ha! Life is good though! I'm in Thailand ha-ha! Anyways I honestly don't even know what to tell you about this week except for about our new investigators.

So I guess that is what I will tell you about. Our new investigators are a guy named, Winay. (I have no idea how to spell his name in English) and the other two are his two kids! So a little family we are working with which is kind of cool. He is a referral from Sister Muay the YW's president. He actually happens to be her boyfriend and she just told him that if he wants to get married he has to get baptized ha-ha! That is way awesome for her, but I'm not sure if the investigators desires are in the right place, to be honest. He is a good guy though. He lives sooooo far away though. When we went to teach him at his house on Thursday it took us an hour to get to his house and get back home. Somehow that wind was in our face both ways…you know, kind of like going uphill both ways to school, I guess. Anyways, when we finally got there we just started teaching him everything ha-ha. We taught him how to pray then we just went right into teaching him the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were also searching for any possible problems in keeping commandments and any concerns he may have. We taught him about the 10 commandments, Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, and keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. After getting through all those he was pretty good for all the commandments except the word of wisdom!  So we are just trying to help him a ton with that! We committed him to quitting mostly the biggest problem which is smoking he said he is going to try and quit. So we need all your prayer from back home to help him out! We are going to continue working with him and plan for him and his two kids to get baptized on the 30th of March. Maybe just him on the 30th and then he could baptize his two kids the week after, that'd be way cool because he could get the Priesthood. So that could all work out!

Besides that not much else happened this week we've just been trying to find new investigators by inviting. So most of the time when we aren't working with LA's, RC, or teaching lesson we are just inviting like crazy! We got a ton of potentials so I'm just hoping a few come through though. Usually we can get 20 phone numbers and get maybe 1 new investigator ha-ha, but that is alright we just have to keep finding those people that are ready!

There was mini transfers this week I had a feeling I may get moved because I have been with my companion so long, but nope sure enough I got to stay, which I'm happy about. I need to take advantage of my Thai companion and get all the good language study out of him I can! Plus he is a way good guy so I won't be having any problems being with him for another 4-5 weeks! Even if he is trunky, I can handle it. 

That is really it for this week! We have Zone Conference this Thursday in Udorn so that should be fun! Hopefully we get some good food! It was a pretty good week though. Please pray for our investigator Winay and his word of wisdom problems though. He is going to need all the help he can get! Have a great week everyone, love you all!


Getting my package from home that Brother Gang brought me!!! He is the best!

Elder Sae Dan showing the CTR on his finger that my family sent him! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Baptism in the Mekong River

Hey Everyone!

What a way sweet week! I'll first talk about all the fun places we visited this week. My companion’s sister and brother ended up coming here yesterday to come to church and just hang out with their brother for the last time before they both leave for their missions this month. His sister leaves next Sunday to head to the MTC; she is going to California. His brother leaves like the 30th of March. We went to the Thai Laos Bridge again with them, which was cool. We also went to this mountain place it is kind of like a cave that you go down in some water for a bit water and then crawl on the ground through narrow crevices and all sorts of fun stuff, then you just pop out at this other spot and climb out on a ladder, it was pretty cool. We also went to this sort of mini Oasis thing in the middle of nowhere which was kind of cool. It had a big tree with roots and reminds you of Harry Potter a little bit if you could walk down in and under the tree to the shack or whatever, but you can't go there. They also had this old ancient game thing my companion was saying. There is a picture of us standing on and jumping off, kind of cool. That’s it for all that.

Now for the highlight of my week! Guess who got baptized!!! Our investigator Naan, of course! You probably already know though, if you read the subject line of my email. But yeah, we just focused on her and worked way hard to get her baptized and it worked out. We met with her and watched; “Finding faith in Christ” and just had a good lesson. At the end of the lesson we asked her; “are you going to interview to be baptized tomorrow”. She was way quiet and we just sat there and then bam! She is like ready! It was awesome!  Her only concern was her Mom saying, no to it so we committed her to talk to her Mom. Anyways little did she know we were cheesing, because we had already fasted that day for Naan to get baptized this week. Sure enough.... she calls us later that night and her Mom said no... So we are like; alright, well guess what Naan you are 20 years old so it really is up to you if you want to get baptized or not, not your Mom's. She said that she will have the interview, but doesn't say that she will get baptized for sure. The next day my companion is on the phone when we were supposed to be prepping her for her interview and teaching her a few more last minute things. So I just took charge and reviewed everything with her in like 15 minutes and sent her into the interview! After about 10 minutes she pops out and we were just like, whoa that was fast. She passed! The Zone Leaders said she was way money and ready to go. So we are like are you going to get baptized then and she said; yeah I want to do this, I feel good about it. So that was Friday. We already were trying to get her motivated to get baptized and said we'd do it in a special way for her and try to get permission to baptize her in the Mekong River. We tried calling President Senior that night and Saturday morning. After he didn’t answer either time we just gave up and told her we were sorry and that we would just have do it at the church with the other two people getting baptized. Naan wasn't hearing of that though, being who she is. So Saturday night when we were finding her a baptismal gown we called up President one last time and he answered. We were like; Hey President how are you and he said; so what’s up? We said we were just wanting permission and he said; for what? We said we were wondering if we could do a baptism in the Mekong River and he is like, “why are you asking for permission”. We thought that we needed permission for sure because last transfer Elder Vandenberghe asked the ZL's and APs if they could baptize an investigator in the river and they said; No! Now President Senior himself asked us why we were asking for permission. We had no idea what to say, so we were just silent for a bit and said; soooo, that means we can do it right? He is like yep, sure can. We were way pumped. So after all that, she got baptized in the river at 4 by my companion The Mekong River is just by our house, super cool! Sunday morning my comp and I had to go to the river and find a good spot to do it, so it all worked out. I think it is probably going to be the coolest baptism I have on my mission. I have to be honest it was way, more fun this way!

Anyway sorry for that super long story that is really the greatest thing that happened this week and was the biggest miracles. I really saw all the blessings we received from all of you back at home praying for her and us to help her. Fasting works too, by the way, even if you are hungry for a bit, it is way worth the blessings! That is really all I have for you this week. I'm cruising through the New Testament. I got past all the real big books and am I in Galatians almost done with that too. I can't remember where I was last week but I know I read all of 1 and 2 Corinthians this week. Really the hardest books to read are Mark and Luke because they are so similar to Matthew, but once you get into all of John and Paul writings you get recharged again. I'm loving it! I think I only have 100 pages left now. Then it is off to check off the Pearl of Great Price. I'm trying to read everything by the time I finish my mission. I've only have the Doctrine and Covenants and the Old Testament left really, since I can probably finish Pearl of Great Price in two more days! Love you all though and have a good week!



Monday, March 3, 2014

Switching It Up

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 38
Week Eleven in Nong Khai

Monday, March 03, 2014

What's good everyone?

This was a pretty sweet week and went way fast for who knows why. But I've decided the farther I get into my mission the faster the time seems to go!

Anyway, since I'm bored of my old format of letters where I'd go through telling you about everyday I'm going to just switching it up on you all so you don't know what will hit ya. So first I'll talk about all the new missionaries we got here in Nongkhai. So the other Elders are Elder Smith and Elder Wheeler. Elder Smith is just a greenie and it is cool to see him developing and working way hard even though the language is just impossible to understand when you are a greenie. His trainer is Elder Wheeler who came here from Chiang Mai and has been out for just over a year. As for the Sisters we have Sister Zaug and Maughan. Sister Zaug has been out 11 months and Sister Maughan is just 2 months behind me. They are way good and fun to be around. They even had a baptism this week already. They are just cheesing because Sister Maughan stole this investigator from Udorn which is where she was before. We also gave them every RC in this area so all we have are investigators to work with since we don't have any RC to teach anymore. They also have another investigator going to get baptized this next coming week which was nicely handed over to them by the Elders. So we are just helping them out in their area a ton. My own personal thought is that next transfer one of the Elders areas is going to get closed down. This last week we had district meeting and just got to know each other better.  My comp and I who have been posting up here for almost 11 weeks now, just introduced the area and how to get places to the new missionaries. 

Short story of the week is about the Sisters baptism that they had. So usually whoever is having a baptism will turn the font on to fill it up and since it wasn't our baptism and we didn't know we were going to have one, we didn't think anything of it. Next thing you know the baptismal service comes around after church and there is no water even started, oh no! The font takes like 3-4 hours to fill up. So after stalling by moving branch council meeting to before the baptism and me filling up the mop buckets and then pouring them in the font for a solid 45 minutes,that was fun. It all worked out though in the end and he got baptized, so no worries there.

Our first English class as a new district was fun I just taught it all by myself like usual! We had some to new people show up which was good and got a new investigator for the sisters out of it. 

On Friday the Zone Leaders came up for a switch off. I went with Elder Smith the Greenie so I got to be the trainer for the day. My comp went with Elder Terry and Elder Wheeler with Cahoon. We just invited like crazy all day, it was nuts. We were able to get 28 new phone numbers this week, but only 1 new investigator ha-ha, that is alright. Better than the last time they came with 25 numbers and no new investigators. So right now we really only have two investigators. One is Naan and the other is Jaa who we found this week at our local seven eleven!

As for Naan she is doing way good! After we got her wanting to learn last Sunday we met with her a ton this week to teach her. We took time out of our p-day to teach her last week and we taught her Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday. On Wednesday when we were teaching her and she finally really wants to get baptized and we were like you have to come to church this Sunday. She leaving Monday (today) to go on her beauty pageant thing. I don't quite understand the whole thing yet, but she had an interview for it at 9 on Sunday morning which is right when church starts. All of a sudden she just pulls out her phone and calls her agent requesting to change it and he was getting all mad saying that she was doing it because of her boyfriend or something, but she doesn't even have one but she kept explaining to him the the Elders were teaching her and so she had to take pictures of us and our name tags to prove that she was learning from us, way funny! She ended up getting it changed and came to Church, it was sweet! She wanted us to teach her during Sunday school and since our investigators/rc class is just jammed with 6 missionaries now we felt it was okay to take her out and teach her. During this lesson we started teaching her all the big, way hard commandments for people in Thailand to understand, like the law of chastity, word of wisdom, 10 commandments and keeping the Sabbath day holy. She is just like taking it all in, saying she is just going to keep them all. Then she tells us she is trying to cancel her whole pageant thing and doesn't want to do it anymore. We are like, for real? So now she is all freed up again because she did cancel it, so she may be able to get baptized this Sunday. I'm way excited if not the next one for sure!

As for Jaa we had our first lesson with her after the baptism and she also came to the baptism. We taught her and she just has tons of questions but doesn't really want to get baptized way bad, yet. It turns out she is the little sister of a former investigator.

That is really all for this week, pray for our investigator Naan that she will keep progressing really well. Oh as far as my scripture reading is going, just to give you an update on what I'm doing. I am reading the New Testament and just finished Acts, it is way good. If you feel you are bored of the BoM a bit the New Testament is way good, as long as you can charge through Mark and Luke! 

Love you all, have a great week!