Monday, May 26, 2014

Stuck in the House...

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 50
Week Five in Samut Pakran

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hey Everyone!

How are you guys all doing? Well I'm doing pretty good. I'll first attempt to fill you all in on what is going on over here in Thailand. There have been tons of mobs and protests going on as you probably already know with the Red Shirts and Yellow shirts which are the two groups. They were close to finally signing an agreement and then they started fighting again so the King was, okay we are done so Martial Law and the military is taking over and controlling the government. The main reason is because the police system here is just so corrupt. So they are going to reform the whole government now and we don't know how long that will take. We really don't know much because we don't get to watch the news. So this letter will be short this week since I don’t have a lot to tell because of what has been going on here.

Thursday night we get a text from the ZL's at 7:45 p.m. saying everyone needs to go home before 8:00 p.m. and then telling us about the whole martial law  and that more information is to come, but all missionaries may be stuck inside their house tomorrow. So sure enough Friday morning we get the news that we are to stay inside all day. So we just chilled inside all day, luckily we got permission to go eat dinner with our Branch President so we went to his house and he bought us Pizza Company. It was was fun and a great opportunity to get to know our BP and his wife, they are awesome. They have 2 sons serving missions right now, one in Australia and the other in Japan, so that is pretty cool!
 
This is his house...he made sure I knew that they are living on the left side and that no one is living in the house on the right.
Saturday the same thing happened; Missionaries are not to leave the house unless we have any appointment at the church and it just so happened that we didn't have any investigators or RC free that wanted to learn so we were stuck at the house again that day.

Sunday we got to go to church which was the greatest thing ever to be able to finally get out of the house. We stayed at the church talking with members until like 5:00 p.m. because we aren't allowed to go inviting or contacting people because President Senior wants us to keep a low profile as you know. We did manage to get one investigator to church though. Tik she is very smart she speaks fluent Chinese and is pretty good at English too. We are just trying to help her to get a confirmation that the church is true so she will have more of a desire to get baptized, so we are working hard with her. With being in the house this week not much happened with our investigators. We actually lost one of our really good investigators, Bow this week something went wrong and now she is moving up to Roi et which is far away from here up in Eesaan so we will be giving her to those missionaries. Other than that we weren't able to bet in contact with our others. Hopefully we can get Tik baptized this week! 

Today we got permission from the ZL's to go do something fun. So we are going to the Crocodile farm here, so I'm way excited for that. The only thing is though is that we aren't allowed to wear missionary clothes because they don't want us attracting any unneeded attention to us so we are going like tourists!
 
Pointing to where he is serving at in Thailand!
Facebook has been pretty good! It is way nice to be able to talk to all the members and people I taught in Nongkhai and Ayutthaya. I'm starting to like it more and more so we will see how long it lasts that we will be able to use it! Other than that I can't think of anything crazy or fun things that have happened this week! Love you all and have a great week!

Love,

Landon

Monday, May 19, 2014

Baptism, Facebook, and the Ancient City!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 49
Week Four in Samut Pakran

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hey Everyone!

I'm emailing a bit later today because we went to the Ancient City here in Samut Pakran! The Ancient City is the whole country of Thailand with all the really famous sites shrunken down. But they are still way big ha-ha. So we got there around 9:30 this morning and road our bikes around and toured the whole thing which took us all day! It was really cool! I got some really cool pictures. I sent you guys just some of them.  I didn't send every one of the sites because I took around 200 pictures just today! It was pretty sweet though. Definitely worth it, but for sure an all day trip!










Well the other big, sweet highlight of the week is we had a baptism! Sister Muay got baptized on Sunday after church. She gave us a big, old scare showing up late to sacrament at forty minutes late, but luckily she has already been to church twice so it wasn't an issue. Sure enough I got the opportunity to baptize her which is always a cool experience. It was kind of funny though she was like resisting to go in the water and so I just have to shove her down in the font ha-ha and then next thing you know she didn’t help by coming back up so I had to give her a nice lift out, but I got in all done in one try and that is all that matters! No noob moves from me! :) Ha-ha it was cool though! We had met with her about 3 times earlier in the week prepping her and teaching her everything. She works at a little fruit stand and sells fruit. So Sunday is her best day of the week to sell fruit so getting her to not work on the Sabbath was hard, but she was just so ready for the gospel that she accepts commits so well. We were teaching her on Friday and we even got Brother Pornchay the Patriarch to help us teach her. Towards the end she is like so when do I get my interview, tomorrow? We asked her what time she would be free and she is just like tell me what time and I will be there. So cool how it didn’t matter what was going on, she was going to make sure that this was her top priority.


As for other investigators we are shooting for another baptism this week and we have the potential for three investigators that could be baptized. The one we are meeting with tonight is Tik and she is a school teaching and summer is now over so she just gotten  very busy with school starting last Friday. She is super close to have everything done and ready to be interviewed. We just need to get an answer and feel good about the baptism and to make sure that it is what she wants! We also have Bow who we didn't get to meet with last week because she is a nurse. She has a kid and a husband. She needs to just meet with us 2 more times so she can have an interview. Our other one is Bow too, ha-ha, but I call her Lil Bow since we don’t get them mixed up. She is the niece of a member, but she lives about an hour away in Chonburi which we have to get special permission to go out there. She works so by the time we went out there, there would is no way we can get back by 9:30 p.m.

On Tuesday we get a call from the Zone Leaders saying we just got some new training and an announcement that the mission is changing. We are like okay, what is it, but Unsworth made us wait until District meeting to tell us. So the BIG news is that the Thailand, Bangkok Mission is now on Facebook! The training was to create a new Facebook page on Thursday and each week we are allowed to use Facebook for an hour on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday’s. Restrictions are obviously that we can only talk with Members, investigators, and our recent converts through face book. It is kind of cool, but weird, I guess! I tried it out and it was super hard to type in Thai that is for sure ha-ha! It will be good practice for me though once I get home and talk to some people over here in Thai. I should be ok at typing and spelling by then, so this will really help and will be a benefit. 

That is what we got going on for this week. The Zone leaders came and had a switch off with Elder Unsworth so that was cool we all went and just invited like crazy trying to find new investigators. A couple of pictures are of a member’s birthday party! Wish us luck for this week, love you all, have a great week!

Love,

Landon

Monday, May 12, 2014

Priceless!!!

The best gift a missionary son can give to his mother on Mother's Day!!! We enjoyed every moment with him! Only one more month from today until we hit the big year mark!!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Reunited...Let's Goooo!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 47
Week Two in Samut Pakran

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hey Everyone!

Well first things first; I have to tell you the highlight of the week. Friday we are just hanging out going to appointments and Elder Martin called and said; “the ZL's just called and I'm moving”, we were just like whaaaaat? “What time do you have to go” and he is like; “9 tomorrow morning”. So he packed all day and then we had a our monthly training from the ZL's that night and I was talking with the ZL's and I asked who is coming here since Elder Martin is moving and he is like, Elder Unsworth and I am just like nooooo way, you're lying, don't mess with me like that because they know Unsworth trained me. They were like he really is coming, I just said; whatever “I'm calling Unsworth” so I called him and he is like, “Hello; this is your new district leader”! So on Saturday around noon Elder Unsworth was here. This is the area where he was a greenie so it is really special for him to be able to return here. Unsworth was so happy it going to be the best last transfer of his mission! Plus his companion Elder Hales is awesome. It is way fun to talk with him because he is from Monroe, Utah and is just a straight redneck and hunts like crazy. He has some great stories, so him and I just talk about hunting all the time. Also, I forgot to tell you last week but my companion Elder Wheeler is from Portland, Oregon so that is cool. 


Anyways this week was pretty awesome. I also got to have Chuck McHenry and Scott Phippen come and deliver the package and cookies you sent with him. How did you like the videos he took of us…pretty cool! I hope you liked them. It isn’t very often a missionary in Thailand gets someone from their stake to come and see them, it was pretty awesome!


We just have been working on getting our investigators ready to get baptized. We have taught Bow and Toe this week. They are pretty good we are going to see if we can't at least baptize Bow this next week because her husband Toe is really busy all the time because he drives a van so his schedule is just crazy! They are really good and super nice. This little family is just so ready. They have a 3 year old daughter and they are just trying to figure out what direction to take their family and believe it or not they have found the best way, the gospel of Jesus Christ, so it is way cool.

We found a new investigator this week named Muay and she has a little niece named, Yim. We found her at our local Big C where she sells fruit. We sat down and taught her twice this week and invited her to church. She said she needed to come and try it out.  And sure enough she came to church yesterday. It was way awesome!

We did some inviting yesterday at the Lotus which is kind of like a Wal-Mart. I invited like 200 people and was getting rejected like crazy. Finally I pulled out a sticky note and stuck it on my planner and wrote in Thai “Do you want to have your sins washed away” and then I held up a baptismal card which is a pictures of baptism and asks the question, “What is baptism”? I sat straight up and sat there. I didn't do say anything and just held up these two things trying another tactic to get people interested. After about 10 minutes of chilling and people walking past me smiling and then one guys reads it, passes by and you can just see him thinking, then he stops, comes back to me and sits down and he is like, how do I do this and I explained it all. He is like okay I'm coming to church next Sunday. It was a pretty little cool experience...but I got his number. 

The Branch is here though has a good amount of priesthood holders, not like in Nong Khai where we just had a branch president, elder’s quorum president, and mission leader. All the callings are full here with counselors and secretaries, it was way awesome. So the branch is pretty well functioning. On Saturday we went and did service at the only Patriarch in Thailand’s house. He is in our branch and believe it or not, he is blind, how cool is that. We went and cut his grass for him and got to know him. He speaks amazing English and is just awesome how he is blind and has the greatest attitude. Everyone from Thailand comes to get their Patriarchal blessings from him, so that's pretty special. 

I really don't know what to tell you about my new area except it is a big, busy city. There is a big crocodile farm here which is supposedly awesome. They also have a place called the Ancient City which is mini version of all the awesome places in Thailand. We are pretty close to the beach and I think we will probably go take pictures there one week which should be cool. It is not clean here like my other areas that were in the middle of nowhere ha-ha. The people here a much more prideful and stubborn though, then they were in Nongkhai, but its okay! Life is good, like usual!:)

Anyways, have a great week!

Love,

Landon

When did the Language finally click?

video

With his trainer Elder Unsworth in Samut Pakran!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

An Early Mother's Day Gift!!!

video

A friend from our Stake went to Thailand on business. Not only was he nice enough to take a package to Landon, but he took the time to go and deliver it personally. Today he sent us this awesome video...Happy Mother's Day Early!!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Nathan's Graduation from the University of Utah

 We are so proud of this guy!!! Today was his reward after all his hard work. Nathan graduated today from the University of Utah with his Bachelors Degree in Sociology! He will be going off to graduate school in August where he as been accepted at Arizona State University!
Nothing but smiles from him today!
A happy day for us as parents...It seems just like yesterday when Jeff graduated from the "U" and Nathan was only two years old! Only Nathan has changed. Jeff and I still look the same as we did back then :)
Sharing this special day with his grandparents!