Monday, September 29, 2014

The Sisaket Branch is Growing!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 68
Week Two in Sisaket
Monday, September 29, 2014

Hey!

This was a pretty good week for the most part. It is very special having the opportunity to be training Elder Mitchell he is such a good missionary and friend of mine. I'm so grateful to be serving here in Sisaket with him.

House in Sisaket
Yesterday was pretty awesome at church. All week the members have been working really hard to get 150 people at church one Sunday and sure enough yesterday we had 175 people at church; pretty crazy especially as small of a city as it is here in Sisaket. This branch is very special; I am very impressed with the work that goes on here by the members. Our district also had two baptisms. The lady the sister missionaries baptized was 99 years old and in a couple months will be 100. They had to have two people in the font because she is in a wheelchair! It was pretty cool to see. 
 
The Somsak Family
This past week was filled with a lot of work in finding and teaching RC/LAs because when we moved here we had no investigators so it has been really easy on how to do the work. So we have been spending lots of time finding. We have a referral we got this last week named Tam; he is way awesome. I think he is 22 years old. We taught him after church yesterday for the first time and he accepted a date to be baptized this next coming week. So I'm pretty excited to help him prepare to be baptized; he will be so awesome. 3 of his friends are already members here so he is fellowshipped really well.

We also have our investigators Bob and Jub, but they are in Bangkok for a bit. 

Earlier this morning we got a special video training from President Senior that was about 17 minutes long. I was really impressed and happy to receive that little training from the video we watched. It was really awesome. The spirit was so strong while watching it and I received a confirmation that everything President Senior said was true. So now we all know what we need to find the fire in our work and keep going! I'm really excited. He also suspended Facebook for the time being, so we won't be using that anymore. 

This past week during my personal study I've still be reading through PMG as well as in the Book of Mormon. I'm really loving PMG; so many new ideas and thoughts that I am learning and applying in my work. I really hadn’t read a ton in PMG before, but now I see what I've been missing out on; it is so great. I'm also almost finished with the Book of Mormon for another time. I'm currently reading in Mormon so not much further to go!

Love,

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, September 22, 2014

Training a Greenie in Sisaket!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 67
Week One in Sisaket
Monday, September 22, 2014

Hey Everyone!

Well as you already heard transfers happened this last week! I'll start off with last Monday; we went and hunted around for Chinese silk fabric to make ties out of them. We hunted for about 3 or 4 hours asking around and getting led all around the city and we couldn't find anything. We were about to give up and then I said like just go down this street and try one last time and we found the biggest jackpot. It was so awesome; we bought tons of fabric and are getting them cut into ties. I sent you some pictures of the fabric so once I get the ties back I'll let you know how they look! 

Wait till you see my ties...
The Bishop and his wife in  Samut Prakan
Tuesday, Brother Keng came and we had Swenson’s with him and went to English class and I just said good bye to tons of the members which was kind of sad, but good! Just before English class started President Senior called and asked me to train and of course I accepted. He said, I had a meeting Wednesday morning at 8 in the office. So Wednesday went to the office and ate at Carl's Jr. after. Which is so tasty, it is unreal nothing like a Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger. We went back and I got some packing done and went to the Church to teach the walk-ins Nok and Jo. We also taught them on Tuesday; they are so awesome. They had literally almost learned everything after we taught them so it was a nice walk-in for the new Elder that replaced me to get two baptisms with Elder Lodwick. I just found out today they did get baptized woooooo!!! I have a picture; I'll put up also.

 
Nok and Jo's Baptism
Transfers were Thursday! I'm moving to Sisaket which is in the Eesaan! It is right by Cambodia! I'm also will white wash the area and be training a new missionary!  His name is Elder Mitchell from Payson, Utah. He just turned 19 years old in the MTC and is just out of high school (he was just older in his grade). My companion is so cool and we have tons in common. He played high school baseball and is left handed just like me; what more can I want? He is way awesome; though really! He is such a good guy and we get along great!

 
Landon, Brother Keng and fresh from America; Elder Mitchell
After our 7 hour bus ride here we arrive and the house was just filthy; so you know the first thing I did was clean the shower so I could shower because I wasn't about to shower with mold on the ground that has been there who knows how long! We studied and tried to get to know the area a little bit. Luckily a member showed us around a bit and took us to eat and got my companion a bike and all that good stuff! It was way awesome though! It is my first area that actually has a church. We even have sports night here! We played volleyball and of course I tore it up; so much fun! 

Saturday we did some contacting, finding, and talking with the members after coordination meeting. After talking to the members and looking through our area book we have literally no investigators. I don't know what the other two Elders were doing, but that is okay. This place has an awesome branch and tons of members. They have around 120-130 people every week which is so nuts, especially because this city is pretty small. The members are way awesome though. 

On Sunday we had two investigators come to church the other Elders had 1 and the Sisters had 1, so we are already doing some work here ha-ha! They both accepted dates to get baptized next month. They are a couple named Bawk and Jub; they are friends of a member. They are going to Bangkok for a couple weeks so they will get baptized when they come back!

That is really everything I got for you; pretty awesome week! Love you all, hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, September 15, 2014

We make better fried chicken than KFC!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 66
Week Twenty-one in Samut Prakan
Monday, September 15, 2014

What's up!

This has been another successful week down here in Samut Prakan. For the most part the inviting this week wasn't very big and we weren't having a lot of success, but man were we blessed with some new investigators. On Friday we were teaching a lesson and had a family walk in that were interested in religion. We taught them the following day and they came to church on Sunday both accepting a date to be baptized on the 21st. They are the first walk-ins I have seen my whole mission, so it was so cool. Then on Saturday a random phone number called us that we didn't know and I answered and they said I want to go to church and where is the church. So I explained it to them and the following morning we were about to follow up with her to make sure she was coming. She called us first and wanted to make sure church was all good! She came to church with her little daughter and she has a husband, but who wasn’t able to come this week, but wants to come next week. So we were blessed with another family; so cool!

This week we had our trials with the investigators we were working with for baptism! The first person we thought we were going to get baptized for sure was named Ying. She came to church Sunday and then we had a return appointment Monday we taught her and she had the best spiritual confirmation this church is true; in her prayer she even started crying. She was supposed to meet with us Tuesday, but she didn't show up. When we got a hold of her she had asked her Mom if she could change religions and she said; no. She also has a boyfriend who she was planning on marrying in about a year who is really strong into Buddhism and they aren’t up for her changing religions. They won't even let her pray at her house and she can barely read the scriptures. They keep taking her to the Buddhist temples trying to force her to stay, so that was a huge obstacle. So we will wait and see what happens with her. Now time for Sister Nid’ she is the lady who got baptized yesterday. She is so awesome! First off though she comes to English class Tuesday and after English we were planning on teaching her, but my companion goes to talk to her after English and she didn't understand what my companion was saying so she said she didn't want to learn with us and wasn’t interested in religion. We are like are you kidding me; we just lost her as an investigator. Then we were supposed to meet Sister Nuun on Wednesday and she got in a fight with her husband and he won't let her come to church; so poof, there she goes. All of our potentials for baptism gone…we thought.

Wednesday morning my companion says he is going to call Nid one last time and see if she understood him right. He calls her up and she is; like yeah, I'm interested. We are like; what!? Do you want to be baptized still; she said, yeah. We taught her on Wednesday. Then we had a member pass away this week which was really sad so on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we had to attend the funeral sessions since they last forever here! But on Friday we had to teach Nid so in order to get her ready to be baptism we brought her to the funeral and taught her at the funeral…ha-ha! So legendary, that is the first time I can say I taught an investigator at a funeral and inside a Buddhist temple! It had to be done though there was no other way we could have done it. Saturday she met with the bishop and sure enough she passed her interview; awesome!
  

Oh, I forgot on Saturday at the funeral the Bishops wife comes up to me and said; hey do you have an appointment Monday night? I was like nope, why? She's like okay you are coming to our house for dinner because it may be the last chance you have before you leave. They love me so much so of course I'm going, they are way awesome! So that is what we are doing tonight. Last week we went and got my companion a suit cut so we are going back today to get some fittings done. We are going to go try and find dragon silk too so we can get some awesome neckties made, so I’ll let you know if I find anything awesome!

Transfers are this week always we still don't know anything, yet but everyone thinks I am moving since I've been here the longest, so we will see what happens this week! Brother Keng gets back today so I think I'll be meeting up with him!


Oh and yesterday we had 90 people at church. that was way awesome. Our companionship had 11 investigators at church so next week we are planning on two more baptisms from the walk-in family. We will see what happens though; I'm excited! We made fried chicken and sticky rice for dinner last night. I can say our fried chicken skills are nearly perfected; soooo good! We make better fried chicken than KFC! Have a great week everyone!

Love,

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, September 8, 2014

Elder/Chef Watkins

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 65
Week Twenty in Samut Prakan
Monday, September 8, 2014


Hello Family and Friends

How are you all doing?

This was a pretty good week except we weren't able to pull off a baptism this week, but the other Elders did so it was still great to still have a baptism on Sunday. This week was a lot better than the last week I feel as far as work went because last week. Not sure what happened that we weren't able to get any new investigators to church last Sunday, but this week we had 7 so that was pretty awesome. We made a goal for 4 baptisms this week and I think it is possible, but it will take a lot of work on our part and help from the Lord. We have some pretty, awesome new investigators. We got 2 new referrals from members this past week and found 2 golden investigators from inviting.

It was great to go have the special training from Elder Steven B. Allen (Managing Director of the Missionary Department) and Elder Funk (in the 70). It was a great opportunity to learn.

As far as my companionship goes Elder Lodwick and I are doing great. The work is really progressing here and we have created a great team here working together. 

As far as my personal study. It has been great! This last week I have been using my time reading PMG and the other part to read some talks Elder Lodwick has given me. “The challenge and testifying missionary along with the fourth missionary”. Some really awesome talks that have increased my drive in the work of the Lord and helped me to understand what kind of a missionary I want more to be and what things I can do to be better. Self evaluation has been huge this transfer for me which is what I think has helped me to become the missionary I am right now. 

This week my companion and I have been just cooking it up like champs! Man we have been making some amazing food! Last week we made Papaya Salad and fried chicken for dinner. Saturday morning we made orange/lime fried chicken omelets and sticky rice. Man it was so good! But, last the best of all was last night we made fried papaya salad which is honestly my favorite thing I've ever eaten here in Thailand, but it is really hard to find so we decided to give it a shot and make it last night; it was way gooood! It wasn't the best I've had, but like it was about an 8 on the scale of 1-10. Then we had orange/lime fried chicken on the side and it was soooo good, nice and moist; way tasty with some stick rice to go with it. I think Mom would be so proud really! (I am way proud and impressed he is cooking) I've been just making shakes for breakfast recently. Oh and this last week I made brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal which was so good! Who knows I may be quite the chef when I get home. Making food is way delicious and good, but it does take a lot more time; that's the problem. Anyways I'll shoot some pictures your way of our awesome dinner we had last night! 



Hope you all have a great week! Oh and this is our last full week before transfers. The Bishops wife had asked me earlier in the week to bear my testimony, so I was the last person to go up in Sacrament meeting the bishops and his wife really like me (I can't blame them ha-ha) and after I sit down the Bishop just gets up there and says, Elder Watkins is moving and will be moving on to other places. So everyone after Sacrament is like you're already moving and finishing your mission. I'm like no-no no I'll be seeing you all next Sunday and I still got 9 months left in my mission it was so crazy but funny! 

Love,

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, September 1, 2014

สวัสดีครับ

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 64
Week Nineteen in Samut Prakan

Monday, September 01, 2014

สวัสดีครับ 

Thought that I would switch it up this week from the same old Hey Everyone ha-ha, but no one can probably read what this says :) All you need to know is it says…hi ha-ha. It looks cool though, right?

Anyways this week was pretty awesome for the most part! First too start off we had two baptisms! It was so awesome we had Sister ฝน Fon (Rain) and Sister ฝ้าย Faiy (Cotton). They both came to church for the first time last Sunday and for Fai we had to get special permission to get her baptized this fast because she is only 17. But she passed an interview with the Zone Leaders on Thursday then she interviewed with the bishop on Saturday and the bishop talked with President Senior and he gave the okay for her to get baptized this week! It was way cool that we were able to pull off two baptisms! Sister Fon was awesome though we met her everything morning at 8:30 to teach her and get her ready for baptism this week. Because she works from 10-10 everyday. The only problem was how is she going to get baptized on Sunday because her boss wouldn't give work off. So we asked her what are you going to do and she is like; just not show up to work ha-ha! So to get baptized she just didn't go! She has a plan to quit her job and find work at the end of next month so that she can keep the Sabbath day holy, but her faith was so awesome to see her grow and develop and exercise this much faith! It is awesome how many people are ready to receive the gospel in their lives so fast and quickly to change their lives.


The baptism was awesome though; yesterday at church we had 66 people. We had 4 investigators and the other elders had 3. I don't know what happened we had 60 new phone numbers this week, but just no new investigators showed up to church, we don't know what happened! But 4 people actually did get baptized! We had two 8 year olds get baptized also, which was way awesome it is the first time I've been somewhere on my mission that had a members child turn 8 and get baptized. It was 2 girls, such a cool special experience! For the other two it was awesome because they both chose me to baptize them! It was just an awesome and special experience as usual! I think the bishop’s wife took a really good picture that hopefully I can get from her and send to you guys because I saw her take it and it should be awesome! But the spirit is just so strong when I get to baptize people. It is so special. It made me think back to the time when I went to the Temple for the first time and I was able to be the person baptized for the dead; just so special! I baptized both of them first try so that was good! Everyone in the ward thinks I'm way good at doing the baptisms ha-ha! It is awesome though! 

As far as next week I made a goal for 1 baptism which we are hoping we can pull off! We have two potentials. Nawk and Lek, we are hoping we can get one of them baptized so we are working our hardest! Our zone had 33 baptisms this month and not to boast or anything, but it just felt good when the results came in and my companion and I tied for the second most in the zone! We've gotten 4 baptisms in 3 weeks and it just feels good! Expect more to come because the work is hastening here in Thailand!

Love you all so much hope; you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Landon J Watkins

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!!!

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