Monday, October 27, 2014

Transfer are here again...already!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 72
Week Six in Sisaket

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wow; can I first start off by saying…can you believe transfers are here already? This was a crazy-fast 6 weeks. When they say time just keeps going faster, I think it is true. I don't know why there is still only 24 hours in a day. I think it is just the fact of getting lost in the work and working so hard and focusing so much on other people. I never have time to just sit and look at myself and say; I'm bored because even if we aren't home, I'm always thinking about how are we going to help them get baptized or I need to fill out the area book or wow, we need to find new investigators.

I've been blessed with such a great companion this transfer too which makes time go even faster. Elder Mitchell is such a stud and works way hard. Honestly we have the weirdest area I've ever seen my whole mission. I did some work filling out the area book this morning and finally got it all caught up. I literally counted all the investigators and we have 12 investigators, it is unreal how many we have. The thing is we aren't getting any baptisms, it is so weird ha-ha! Everyone is just so new and we keep finding more investigators, but no one is really progressing because they are all busy with work, testing, and school so they have all been super busy. We got shut down hard a lot this week with appointments we were supposed to have. They all just fall through so we hardly got to teach at all. We are looking at our work and wondering what are we doing wrong? We are being super obedient, doing everything President Senior has asked us to do, but we are just getting slammed by people not answering their phones and things like that.

It was a pretty rough week because with us going to Khon Kaen we lost a couple of work days, but we worked hard and were diligent. So yesterday rolls around and we call all these people and we get hardly anyone committed to come to church and we have to have 2 people to get balanced key indicators so we are like, are you kidding me? Well we come to church and by 8:30 we already have 2 brand new investigators come, way awesome! They are good the only problem is one lives down in Bangkok and he just comes back sometimes to visit his wife, but the good thing is that his wife is a teacher at a school with one of our members so she already has friends in the church! This place is awesome though almost every person we find and comes to church has some sort of connection or friend to someone that is already a member.

We also had a girl named, Faa come she is only 14 though so she has to wait 3 months to get baptized.

As for the miracle though. We were so blessed by the Lord this week! This random person came into sacrament and she sat right next to me and our investigator Faa. I didn't know who she was, but she was wearing like church attire so I was like okay; well she is probably just a member because there are so many here that I don't really know everyone as well as I did in my other areas. I started talking to her and sure enough she isn't a member! She is a walk in! She is already a Christian too; she is 24 years old and  her name is Yui. She is way awesome. For the 3rd hour of church in priesthood they just watched the priesthood session of conference which we had already watched so we just took her into another room and taught her the Restoration and told her she needs to get baptized again. She is so ready, it is unreal. She accepted a date for Nov. 2 no questions asked, so we are going to be working with her a lot this week which is going to be hard but we can do it.

This is going to be a crazy week! We are not sure if we are going to transfers or not. I'm pretty sure my companion and I will stay together so I can finish his training. But I have to go renew my visa so I'm pretty sure that would be the reason I may go down to Bangkok. If I go I will have to leave Tuesday night and be there to get my visa on Wednesday then stay there until transfers on Thursday. So we will be losing a couple days of work this week but, I know we will just load up on Friday and Saturday with lessons! I'm way excited for these up and coming next couple of weeks…we are just going to start baptizing all of these people I can feel! Love you all so much.


Elder Landon J Watkins

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Khon Kaen District Conference

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 71
Week Five in Sisaket
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hello my friends!

Well I'm finally getting to email! Sorry for the day delay it was a crazy weekend for the most part!

I honestly can't remember much that happened before we went to Khon Kaen, but I'll do my best! Wednesday we decided to go inviting at the local University just to switch it up! It worked ha-ha in 15 minutes I got 6 phone numbers. It is awesome to get a lot of numbers for new investigators. Thursday we went on a switch off and I went with Elder Winsor we tore it up and got 17 new numbers together; it was pretty awesome. We were able to set up quite a few appointments for the following day and we got 5 new investigators. Two of the girls I contacted had an appointment at 4 with us and I tried to call them and her phone didn't work. It happens a lot where people just lie about their phone number. Next thing you know we are teaching a lesson and someone calls our phone 3 times during the lesson and I didn’t answer it because I was busy teaching. I called them back after the lesson and they asked if we still have an appointment and if they can come right now to the church. Of course we said you can! So they came and we were just teaching them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I'm just going crazy about Baptism and the Holy Ghost and how important it is and one of the investigators named, Bee had a mood ring on a necklace and as soon as we are teaching her about baptism and the holy ghost her mood ring starts changing to blue which my companion says means she was getting happy and I'm positive she was just feeling the spirit; it was way awesome! It stayed blue the rest of the lesson: pretty cool! Who knows if the ring really worked, but it sure seemed like it did! We had quite the success before we headed out of town.
The Sun coming up...
Saturday morning we had to wake up at 4:30 am and head to the church by 5:30 am. for the bus to leave at 6! It took us 4 hours to get there. I couldn't catch any sleep because the members were just partying and singing karaoke the whole time; it was pretty funny though. We finally made it we had this massive booth set up where people would go to stations and learn about all the other branches. Every branch in the Sian came which are 3 full districts, there was tons of people. I got to see all my Nongkhai buddies though; so that was cool. After that I had my interview with President Senior which was pretty awesome I didn't have anything special happen; it was only 4 minutes so not much can happen! We had a bunch of performances by some of the branches of Thai culture and dancing. We had to play some Thai instruments, so you will see the pictures of us in our outfits with the girls in our branch; it was fun ha-ha! Reminded me of Halloween and you know how much I love to dress up... not! Ha-ha I still haven't changed. It was fun you just have to please the members, so they are happy!

As far Sunday we had more meetings and had our District Conference. Elder and Sister Gong came from Hong Kong. Elder Gong is the Area President here in Asia. The big news is we had 3 districts in the Sian and in order to create stakes faster here in Thailand they cut the Khon Kaen District in half and moved half of it into our district, the Ubon District and the other into the Udorn district which is pretty big. Next District Conference our district will probably become a stake and that will form the 3rd stake in Thailand; that'd be sweet. We are trying so hard to work for getting a temple here! You have to have 4 stakes for a temple. Everyone thought they were going to be creating the 3rd stake at this conference which was kind of a letdown, but it is okay, it was still way awesome. Everyone in the mission was thinking next conference a temple would be announced in Thailand. I don't think it will it will be until after my time being a missionary; it is okay though! This year our mission has around 1600+ baptisms year which is incredible. We had a special Devotional by Elder Gong on the Atonement it was incredible; the spirit was so strong, he is so awesome. It impressed me how consecrated he is. He had gotten special permission for Elder Holland (which is the Apostle over the Asia Area) for us to have a Sacrament meeting, so that was cool. After we partook of the Sacrament we had a testimony meeting.

Monday we had Zone Conference which was pretty cool and fun! We learned a lot. It was great to see all my buddies; Elder Crump, Keller, Batey, and Vandenberghe. It was a good day though. After we had to figure out a way to get back to Sisaket and it just happens there were no buses that stopped in Sisaket ha-ha so we had to take a bus to Ubon which is further than Sisaket and then take a taxi for 800 baht back to Sisaket. We didn't get home until Midnight, it was pretty brutal. I was tired but couldn't sleep it was nice though because I didn't have to sit by anyone I guess!

So that was my wild week! Hope you all have a great one; love you all!


Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, October 13, 2014

Blessings for being Diligent...

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 70
Week Four in Sisaket
Monday, October 13, 2014

Hey how's life going back in the US?

This has been a pretty good week! Every week is good; that is for sure!

Well we had a goal for Supad to get baptized this week, but he just never pulled through I'd call him set up an appointment and I'd call him the day before to confirm and he'd cancel. This happened about 3 times; so yeah we didn't get a baptism this week, but that is okay! 

This week was a really rough week as far as inviting; to be honest we didn't see much success at all from finding new investigators, but we were blessed from our diligence; which was awesome. On Tuesday one of the RC's here brought us two of her friends and we were able to start teaching them; their names are Kitty and Yam. They are pretty good, but they went out of town so they couldn't come to church which was too bad; but maybe next week!

On Wednesday; we invited and went to the church to teach our investigator; Tri, but she didn't show and we just talked with this member named Sister Ped about Less actives and we ended up calling one, Sshe came 15 minutes later to the church and we taught her; it was way awesome. To make it even better she came to church on Sunday; it was way cool!

Thursday was honestly a really rough day! We invited for quite a few hours which was hard because there was not much success at all and we had 4 appointments set up for the night and they all canceled; it was so disappointing! We had scripture calls though; which was good we will see how it keeps going.

Friday was pretty much the same as Thursday we invited for a really long time and worked quite hard with some good diligence, but just weren't finding any investigators. It makes us feel like we are doing something wrong, but sometimes we receive are investigators or blessings in other ways through diligence by doing the inviting we are supposed to do every day. We had sports night which was just a blast. We play volleyball every Friday night with the branch; it is way fun. Surprisingly enough the Thai people are pretty good at volleyball and love it, but I tell you my size and athleticism really does fluster them because I can just block their spikes and spike it down on them way easy; it is awesome. We actually have a basketball hoop at church and I can still dunk a volleyball way easy. So that was comforting that I haven't lost too much over this time. So it should be easy to get back in shape when I'm home, so no worries if you think I've lost my hops; Dad, I still have them!

Conference on Saturday was way awesome! Tons of good talks for the most part I really enjoyed Uchtdorf's, Holland's and some guy from the 70 I think his name was Jorg, but they were way good. It was just a good spiritual regeneration for the next 6 months. We were really blessed though after we finished our 6 hours of conference we went out inviting and were just not finding anyone as usual then we ran into two members these 2, 14 years girls and they were like are you guys finding lots of investigators and I was like nope! Ha-ha. Then as a joke I was like; will you find some for us and they are like, yeah so I was like, okay go for it and gave them a stack of baptismal cards a piece of paper and a pen. 20 minutes later they come running back, just so happy and they got us 7 new potential investigators; talk about a miracle really, it was so awesome!

Sunday we were really blessed. One of the RC calls me at 8:00 and is like; hey Elder I'm bringing a friend today I was just like; yes!!!! Soo awesome. Then we also had one of the people we met inviting come to church so we had two new investigators. They both stayed for conference, it was way awesome! After conference was all over we had a baptismal service. The sisters baptism; 1 girl and the other elders baptized a newly married couple and the little sister it! It was really like baptizing a family which was so cool to see! Then after that we had to practice this silly Thai dance show we have to do next week in Khon Kaen. So next week the 3 districts in the Eesaan are all meeting together to have a special meeting over there so we have to go there on Saturday and come back on Monday. So our p-day is going to be changed to Tuesday next week I'm pretty sure; so most likely I will not be emailing on Monday it will be Tuesday; I believe!

Hope you all have a great week, Thanks for everything you all do in supporting me back home! I will be finishing up the Book of Mormon here probably on Wednesday so I'm excited to finish that another time, that always feels good! Love you all!

Elder Watkins

When he first got to Sisaket...he said he had to do some cleaning...looks to me like they did a lot of cleaning! Here are the before and after pictures!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pha Taem National Park Ubon-Thailand


Brother Keng, Elder Batey & Elder Watkins

First Baptism in Sisaket!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 69
Week Three in Sisaket
Monday, October 06, 2014

Hey Everyone!

I'll start off with why we are emailing later today! The Zone Leaders went down to Bangkok this last week to get the MLC training from President Senior. They scheduled my district and the Yasothorn district to receive our training in Ubon Sunday night at 6 pm; so that is what we did! We headed there and slept at their house! It was crazy we had 14 Elders in a 6 Elder house so it was pretty rough night of sleep. Brother Keng decided to come up to Ubon to spend our p-day with us. We rented a vehicle to take us around! We went to this mountain called PhaTaem in the Pha Taem National Park which is by the border of Laos. We also went to a waterfall it was way cool. We went with Brother Keng and the 4 Yasothorn Elders which Elder Batey is there who was with me in Nongkhai and of course my companion Elder Mitchell. It was a way good time and definitely a really rare, lucky opportunity that we got to go! It was way awesome though. I also got my ties back from Brother Keng they are finished and all good to go way awesome! I haven't really gotten a chance to look at them, but they do look pretty cool!

Anyways the big news for this week was the Brother Tam got baptized! Woooo! Way awesome. We had to work way hard to get him baptized this week; that was for sure. First it is hard to teach him because his Thai really isn't the great. I speak better Thai than him. But the great thing is that he has 3 buddies who are also Cambodian and they are all members, so when he doesn't understand they just translate for him; it was way awesome. I remember when I thought Thai sounded cool (which is still does) but man does Khmer the language they speak in Cambodia sound pretty awesome! We even got to go teach him at one of the Cambodian guy’s brother’s house who is actually the guy who baptized him! They live in a foundation that has cinder blocks built around it; man do I give these guys a lot of respect. They don't have a car or motorcycle. They just cruise on these bikes; it is way awesome. They are such studs it is unreal! Everything worked out great and he was able to get baptized; it was such a special experience. It was Elder Mitchell first baptism for him on his mission! It was such an awesome experience I remember the first time we had someone get baptized; man it was so special! Such love from God has entered into Bro. Tam life and I'm just so happy that I was able to have any part in it! 

Brother Tam's Baptism

Other than that this week was kind of rough! We had a few days where we'd go finding for 2-3 hours and just couldn't get anything! We have been talking about it though and we have some new places and ideas we are going to try out this coming week; I'm pumped! I think we will be able to tear it up! We were able to get balanced key indicators this week so that was awesome. We are also shooting for another baptism this week; his name is Suphad he is a 61 year old guy! He has come to church twice now, but hasn't really ever learned. We have an appointment for him tomorrow at 9 am so we will see what we can do for him; I'm pumped! Keep him in your prayers if you don't mind. We are going to try and pull off another miracle this week. It is amazing how many miracles you see on your mission and my testimony just continues to grow more and more each day! Everything is going great!

I'll be finishing the Book of Mormon this week; I'm excited for that, it always feels good. Then I think I'm going to finish off D&C because I’m already at around section 90 so I'm around halfway! I'm about halfway through PMG which is also a good read. Much easier for me to read than the scriptures; I'm on chapter 6 now. Should finish it probably next week is my guess!

Hope you all have a great week! Love you so much!


Elder Landon J Watkins