Monday, June 30, 2014

A Threesome in Samut Prakan!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 55
Week Ten in Samut Prakan

Monday, June 30, 2014

Well, where to even start; this whole week has been just crazy!

First I'll start with transfers! Monday we found out that I would be the only one staying. The other two elders would be moving and Unsworth was finishing his mission so... after our usual Tuesday of being busy with District Meeting, Swenson’s, and English class people all saying goodbye, it was crazy. But for English class we had a really good turn out; 21 people with some new students so that was cool. Anyways, we got another call on Tuesday from Elder Meeker who is a senior couple in the office saying my companion needed to go to renew his visa which is all the way up in Cangwatthana. It took us 2 hours to get there and an hour back and then my companion had to pack up his stuff Wednesday. Usually transfers start around 10:00 a.m. but we got a text message around ten that night saying transfers were at 2 p.m. We had a member taking us all up at seven in the morning so we just got there way early.

We went to Que Pasa before and ate some Mexican food!!! Finally we had transfers. We had 17 missionaries going home and only 8 new ones, so the amount of missionaries we have is going down. The last 3 transfers we've had more go home than come in so we are expecting a big shipment here soon. It was way cool though when President Senior was talking about the missionaries that were finishing he had everyone raise their hands that had ever been companions with that person and share something they learned and like about them. I got to share about Elder Unsworth; he is the best trainer and friend I’ve made on my mission, I'm going to miss him for sure! Finally we got to transfers and my name pops up on the screen with Elder Savage and Elder Kettavong! I was just shocked ha-ha because we are in a threesome. There are only a few threesome right now, but 5 Thai missionaries will be coming in 3 weeks, but I don’t know what in the world is going on with that ha-ha! It is funny because the transfer before I came here we had 6 missionaries in Samut Prakan, then last transfer I came and we had 4 and now we are down to 3 which is nuts. Now we are the only 3 working out of 3 area books and we have a lot of Recent Converts which makes so many to teach; it is unreal!

As for my companions; Elder Savage just moved out of his Greenie area, he has been here for 2 transfers now (about 4 months). He is way tall ha-ha and he makes me look tiny…he's 6’ 5”. I'll get pictures and send them to you this coming week. He is from Logan, Utah and he is 21 years old. He was a soldier for 3 years before his mission and was in Afghanistan for 9 months last year. Get this…he is an Apache Helicopter Mechanic so that is way cool and he is only 21! Elder Kettavong is from Laos he is 19 and has been a member for about 2 years. He was a member about a year when he left for his mission so he is a pretty new convert for the most part he is way funny and his Thai is unclear because he mixes it with Laotian since the languages are so similar. He has been out for 2 months less than me about 9 months in country and me almost 11. So I guess it is my time…I'm officially senior companion! I thought I was district leader too for a minute, but they have combined us with the Bang Na District which is cool so now we will go up to Bang Na every Tuesday for District Meeting.  As far as piano goes I'm back in my position as Branch Piano player. I just need a branch that has a person that is a member that plays so I don't keep testing my luck with waiting for a new missionary to come in! So spoiler alert I played the piano for sacrament on Sunday, but it wasn't too bad because I get to pick the hymns here :))) 

Saturday our branch mission leader asked us to help him do service at his work again so we went and built more of a garden and planted some stuff this time besides move dirt! It was way fun and really we helped them get a lot of work done. Service is a lot more fun as a missionary I tell ya ha-ha! Back in the day doing some of those projects on Saturday morning I never had the best time or attitude, but as missionary I'm trying to do as much service as possible because it takes your mind off all the other stuff we does as missionaries and a little break to get some good manual labor in! These feelings will probably go away though when I finish though, sorry Dad ha-ha! Just joking, I am sure that fence is waiting for us to finish it in the backyard! After that we went to Brother Oo and Sister Tik (not the investigator) wedding reception. It was in Bang Na; it was way cool and just fun to support them. It also good for the two new elders to meet the members in the branch! 

Yesterday was wild too because it was their first Sunday so they had to share their testimonies. I forgot to mention earlier had gotten a call from the branch president asking me to speak on Sunday for 15 minutes. I completely forgot until Saturday morning .So along with having to play the piano and speak in sacrament you could say I had a bit on my plate ha-ha! Luckily I wasn't too stressed out...Connor didn't rub off on me too much ha-ha. We had 53 people at church. We were able to get 21 other lessons just with Friday and Sunday inviting this week so 21 new numbers we have some potential investigators I can see coming for sure! 

Now for why I'm emailing late we went to the crocodile farm with the whole zone to get to know each other better. 

That's all I got for this week love you all have a great week! Sounds like Unsworths homecoming was good wish I could have been there too, but it's all good!

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, June 23, 2014

Samut Pakran Week 9 Transfer 5

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 54
Week Nine in Samut Pakran

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hey Everyone!

Well, as you can see from the subject line it is week nine and so this will be the last time I will be writing that. Maybe because it is transfers this week! WooooHoooo ha-ha-ha! We are officially switching back to 6 week transfers instead of 9 so now transfers will just be cruising by. This last week I've just been mentally prepping myself for whatever happens. I'm just expecting that anything crazy could happen, from going district leader or becoming senior companion and training, but I doubt that will happen, but you never know. We don't know anything that is going to happen though as of right now, but what I do know is the I really want to stay here; way bad! Unsworth is going home so that is one person gone for sure! My companion has been here 2 months longer than me so that usually means he is more likely to move and then Elder Hales could move so why not just let me stay here and bring in 3 new Elders, why not let it fly?

Honestly not much happened because my companion and I were just sick all week; it stunk so bad! I guarantee my comp got it from someone at stake conference! He woke up Tuesday and thought, I'm getting a sore throat and we were just like, great ha-ha! On Wednesday we had a switch off it was Elder Unsworth and me because Unsworth wanted to be we with one last time before he goes home this week! The other Elders just stayed at home for half of the day because my comps sore throat was really bad!

Thursday my companion woke up and was still way sick, so I called Sister Senior and told her what was up and she said told us to go to the hospital and get him checked for strep! No strep, but they gave him some medicine. We went and ate lunch and he took his meds and they just knocked him out ha-ha! We went to the house and he just passed out, asleep on the bed for like 5 hours; poor guy, I felt bad for him. 
Friday I wake up and guess who has that scratchy throat feeling... me dang I was trying so hard to avoid it!  So I got it from him, but not as bad I guess. So Friday we got some things done and then went to get my companions warts checked that he had lasered off last week and ate Cold Stone! :) Cold Stone is soooooo good; it is better than Swenson’s, it really is exactly the same as it is in the states! Got the classic mint with Chocolate chips; sooo good! We came home and rested before Book of Mormon class since we were both sick. We went and had Book of Mormon class and I had to teach it all by myself ha-ha! I taught 2 Nephi chapters 10 and 11, it wasn't too hard, but we are just starting to get into those Isaiah chapters! We also taught Tic after class. She is so ready, but she just doesn't have a confirmation yet that is true. She is really willing to get baptized, but I'm not about to force her into the water, so we are just trying hard to get her that answer. So our baptism plans for this week fell through. It is alright though!

Saturday I'm still sick, but I still have my spray that Brother Keng introduced me to that kills the bacteria in your throat so I just sprayed that in and we went to Brother Yut's work (He’s our Branch Mission Leader). We went and did a service project with all the people at his work helping to create a garden type thing. It took us about 4 hours and was quite the amount of yard work, if I say so myself! I have a nice blister too from breaking up the ground with a pick axe! It was fun though…got to meet some new people! After we showered off and ate some dinner Unsworth and I went to the church to practice his special musical number for church.

Yesterday we had 65 people at church and we have a new family that moved in which is actually an RM (white guy) who married a Thai lady and they have 3 kids and another on the way. That will be nice to have them in the branch plus he speaks Thai like a boss since he is an RM from here. Anyways Unsworth and I did a special musical number I played the piano while he sang; “Be Still My Soul”! If you were wondering…yes, I can still play the piano ha-ha! Hopefully if I get a new companion that can play and then I won’t have to play in Sacrament meeting, but if not I can take on the challenge.

That's all I got for you all this week, have a good week! 


Elder Landon J Watkins

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

One Year Down and the Second Stake in Thailand!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 53
Week Eight in Samut Prakan

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hey Everyone!

Well another week down! This coming week is the last week before transfers and we are going back to 6 week transfers instead of 9 weekers! So this should make transfers feel like they fly by! 

Well first off I’ll start with the big news! The second stake of Thailand was created yesterday; the North Bangkok Stake, way cool! So we had our whole Stake which was called the Bangkok Stake, but now it is called the South Bangkok Stake. We were joined together in Stake Conference with the North Bangkok Stake. I honestly have no idea how many people were there, but a ton; probably close to 1000. We rented out a massive ballroom at a hotel for it.  So many people came we had to bring in more chairs and the whole room was so full of people that even a few had to stand; it was crazy! I got to see all the people from Ayutthaya and all the other members I have met around. Even Ice and Taaw from Nongkhai were there because they moved to Bangkok so I got to meet up with 2 of my RC's! 

Other big news for this week is… guess who hit their year mark on their mission this past Thursday!?!?! Yep, I am finally over the hump, can you believe it, it has been a little over a year since I left and it has cruised by, but that is a good thing! Thursday we had plans to go have a nice dinner and eat a buffet, but the Branch President called us around 3 o clock and was like; hey you guys want to come eat dinner at my house tonight, we were like, yeah!! Free food and the Branch President and his wife make such good food. He is definitely the best Branch President, also just a way fun and cool guy. This is the fourth time this transfer he has had us over to his house for dinner which is crazy because he usually only has the missionaries over once a transfer, but he just really likes us I guess and keeps inviting us over. I'm sure we will be over again, maybe this week since it is Unsworths last full week before he goes home next week :(. 

As far as investigators go they are doing pretty good! Tik is still on track to get baptized this week she says she wants to, but when we taught her this past week she is like 50/50 in believing in Heavenly Father and Jesus. She believes our religion is great and she understands it, she just hasn't quite received her answer, yet. Ing which is Sister Muay niece who gave us a scare this week said she didn't feel like she wanted to go to church anymore. But we have an awesome member Brother Surad go visit her and clear everything up and sure enough Sister Muay and her niece came to Stake Conference which was way cool! Our two English class investigators are doing good Phing and Faa it just stinks because they can't come to church until July because of school. So hopefully in about 2 more weeks we can get them to church; that'd be way awesome!
Sporting their new suits...

That is really all I have for this week. We don't have anything planned much for today, probably just relax Brother Keng is coming tomorrow to visit so that should be cool. My suit feels way good when I wear it also I just feel like I got come class! 

Anyways I love you all and have a great week!


Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Longest Day of My Life!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 52
Week Seven in Samut Prakan

Monday, June 9, 2014

Hey Everyone!

I'll start off by telling you why I'm emailing later today! Our zone scheduled a zone sports day so everyone in our zone met up in Tall Bridge ha-ha (that is what it called if you translate it into English). Luckily they have a member there who works at the international school and so we got to go there and play sports; it was so cool! We started off playing soccer and can I say those 3-4 years I played from the age of 5-8 paid off, Mom because I got a goal ha-ha! I've still got it! It was crazy though because we played for an hour and half and only 4 goals were scored, 1 by me, 1 by Elder Winsor who played college soccer and 2 by Elder Berbert who also played High school soccer! After that we hit the basketball courts and turns out the hoop was only and 9 feet 1/2 inches so I was throwing down with ease, just to let you know Dad I can still jump. We put it up to 10 feet though and I can't throw it down, but I will be able to when I get back after a month of some training for sure. My squad came up with the win and my blisters didn't get too bad so that was good! I even still got my Kareem hook shot going. There is one kid though, Elder Savage who is 6 foot 5 just massive, who was a beast on the glass for the first part, but we switched up defense and I got on him, put a body on him and we came back down 14-10 to win 15-14 so that felt good. After that we played some football; can you believe that, that was way fun. I played some QB and wide receiver, but we didn't get to play much because we are missionaries and most of the people are out of shape so everyone was kind of done. We all went to that Mexican restaurant again; just as great as usual, no complaints! After that we cruised down to Watergate and picked up our suits! Man mine looks so fly I can't wait to try it on! I will send some pictures.

As for this week it was pretty good! Our two new investigators from English came to English again and they both will be coming to church on the 22nd when they will be free on Sundays. Hopefully we will get them baptized! Sister Tik is still doing way awesome she is going to get baptized on the 22nd she has come to church like 8 times now, she just wants to finish all her testing before she gets baptized, so that is okay. We all are teaching Muays niece and she is doing good, she also has a date for the 22nd. We also have our investigator Phaa, but she had an appendicitis attack and it burst this week so we went and visited her in the hospital she is doing better. 

You may wonder why all the dates are for the 22nd well that is because this week on the 15th is Stake Conference and we are part of the Stake sweet! Also we are pretty sure the second stake here in Thailand will be formed and announced…lets goooooo! You know what the means right? New stake means an apostle has to come! So it could be way awesome if one comes since Elder Anderson came the May before I got to country and I wouldn't probably get to meet one if that happens, because they only come every 3 years. Anyways I'm way excited, plus I can wear my new suit :). 

This week we also had Zone Conference on Friday. That was way awesome! President Senior almost stood up the whole time and gave us tons of training. It is the best when he trains us because he just blows our minds with the simplest of doctrine, but it is so good in helping us fix the way we teach, it is awesome. Elder Khanakam came (the 1st Thai Seventy) and gave us some training. It was all good except Elder Unsworth had to give his mission testimony and that was the worst thing ever because he just gets up and started crying and reality starts to set in the he is going home in 3 weeks; so crazy, I'm going to miss him! I love the guy so much, best friend ever. He is just the greatest at keeping me sane in everything. Just a special relationship that he trained me and we are reunited in the same house, so cool!

Anyways other than that I can't think of anything except on Wednesday was the longest day in my life ha-ha! We woke up at 6:30 am and left the house at 7:30 and came home at 9:30 pm. We worked for 14 hours straight because we had so much stuff to do! It was crazy because usually we study until 10:30 am, but we just had so many other appointments to get to, we just cut them out ha-ha. It was good though it wasn't that long it went by pretty fast, but I was just so tired afterwards! That is about it for this week! Have a good week everyone Love you all!


Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, June 2, 2014

Phone Numbers, Baby Tigers, Daters, and Carl's Jr!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 51
Week Six in Samut Prakan

Monday, June 02, 2014

Hey Everyone!

Well another week down; it was a pretty good week for the most part!

First I'll start off with the crocodile farm! It was way cool! I got to get my picture taken with a baby tiger cub and the big tiger! They had some hippos too, man those things are huge and scary it is cool because you can feed them bananas. They also have some Asian black bears and if you tell them to “Y” which is the thing you do when you greet people here they will do it back to you and then you toss them a banana. It is pretty cool!
Feeding the Baby Tiger and if you look close you can see the banana in the Hippos mouth

As for some other cool stuff that happened we did some hardcore inviting this week and got 37 new phone numbers of potential investigators we can possibly get. We have 2 new potential investigators from English class also; so I'm hoping we can get about 3-4 really good investigators. Thursday we didn't really have a plan or anything to do and the other 3 Elders just wanted to sit at the house and I'm like no way, I'm not doing that. I'm not wasting my time sitting at the house. So I just stood and said, I'm leaving and they just followed me. So I just started talking to everyone as we went and invited them all to get baptized and they just watched me for like 30 minutes. I was seriously, you guys are pathetic and then my comp joined and it was just him and I with two shadows following us (if you get what I'm saying) ha-ha. Nothing more annoying than when I'm inviting and someone is just standing there listening to my conversation when they could be inviting someone else. I got us to this market that is only open on Fridays and I was just going ham, pulling numbers like crazy and finally all 4 of us started inviting together. It was way cool to get us all going back to doing the work of the Lord, that is for sure.

The Zone Leaders called us and told us that the AP's want to come do a switch off with you and your companion on Saturday. So Elder Marshall came down to be my companion for the day and my companion went up to Asoke with Elder Hunsaker and Wilson. Right now we have three AP's, We got 22 phone numbers from inviting together, it was way sweet! The only sad thing was we had 8 people committed to coming to church and only got 2 investigators came to church which is too bad! But that was okay we have 3 baptismal daters now. 

We have Muays niece Ing we just baptized a couple weeks ago. One of the girls I met contacting this week also said she wants to get baptized. We have to give people later dates right now because stake conference is the 15th up in Asoke. We are pretty sure they will be announcing the new stake in Thailand which means we will have 2 stakes in Thailand; so sweet!!!! Our other dater is Tik who is also ready she just has to finish her last two tests which are the 8th and 15th and then she is ready to get baptized she is way awesome! 

It was way cool though when I invited our new investigator Ging, I was just talking to people and I was like hey do you want to wash away your sins and she was like, yeah! I was like whoa, because people will say yes all the time because they don't understand what you are saying so I asked her again and she said yeah and I was like; for real? I asked if we could have her number and if we could meet tomorrow? We made an appointment with her to come to church the next day. I called her just after 8 o clock and asked her if she was coming and I woke her up ha-ha. I couldn't even understand word she was saying because her voice was so sleepy. I told her I was sorry for waking you up, but told her she should come still, but she said she couldn't get ready in time :( Hopefully it is better this week!,

Today we went to Bangkok for interviews with President Senior for our upcoming zone conference. But you will never believe what we ate for lunch! Carl’s Jr.!!! Oh man it was sooooooo good! I had a double Western Bacon cheeseburger with crisscross-cut fries. It was a little expensive, but sooooo worth it; the best fast food I've had on my mission! Which reminds me I completely forgot to tell you we found a Mexican restaurant pretty close to our house? It is a Mexican guy that married a Thai women and he opened up a restaurant. Such a good pork Barbacoa burrito and totally hit the spot…it was amazing! We walked into the restaurant and thought we were back in America again. The atmosphere it was way better than Que Pasa Mexican food, but Que pasa makes a mean steak and cheese sandwich with super shakes. This place was so good and it was nice to just order it in English ha-ha!

After Carl's Jr. we got some shopping done in Watergate. I bought a couple t- shirts and ties and to top it all off I'm getting a suit cut! Nice light grey with maroon lining initials and a vest. I'm so excited it was only 7000 baht so not bad probably around $225 dollars in America, but it is tailor fit, so it doesn't get any better than that. The type of service it would probably be like $500 bucks easy in America. I'm excited and can't wait to send you a pic in my new suit!

That is all I got for this week though, love you guys!