Monday, November 24, 2014

Striving for 2000 Baptisms in 2014!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 76
Week Ten in Sisaket

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hey Everyone,

Everything is going pretty solid here and for the most part this last week was pretty uneventful to be honest! So this is probably going to be a shorter letter!

So I'll first update you up on the mission and how everything is going. So for this year we made a goal to have 2000 baptisms as a mission and now this year is coming down to the wire. As of right now our mission is currently at 1808 baptisms with 5 Sundays left to go, we are in need of 192 more baptisms for this year, pretty awesome and way doable. We have gotten 142 so far this month so we can definitely maybe even get to 200 this month that'd be way awesome! So that is what we are working with. 

This week was pretty wild we didn't have a plan for any baptisms, but we were talking to our investigators Nooy and Chanchai and they accepted a date to get baptized on Saturday, but the only problem is that they are never free except on Saturday and Sundays so we were just teaching them over the phone. They were so good and then Friday night rolls around and we are getting ready to teach them the last little bit and prepare them for their interview the next day and then Sis Nooy got way upset with a problem at work and wouldn't even talk to her husband or nothing. So we were like okay we will just teach them tomorrow and we called the next morning and she was still way upset so we had to call off the baptism which was too bad. We didn't even think they were going to come to church, but Sunday morning they showed up and they even brought their daughter so that was cool, they sure saved us on getting balanced key indicators for sure we did it again; way awesome! They have a date to get baptized this Saturday now. The only problem is all of our priesthood have a special meeting on the 29th in another province so they will all be gone so if we can't get them to do it on the Friday they will have to wait until the following week, I believe.

For this week we are going to be having a baptism for sure we have Sister Faa, she passed her interviews yesterday and we got special permission from President Senior so she will be getting baptized this next week! So we will have 1 for sure, but are praying for 3!

We have some other awesome potentials though for the following week on the 7th. I don't remember if you remember Ti and Su they are both farmers that we found, but dropped because they can't come to church. Well we ran into them and they started coming to church this week so they will be getting baptized on the 7th! Our other potentials; Nooy and Maan were supposed to come to church yesterday, but their neighbor passed away so they had to help out with some things so hopefully we can teach them and get them a date for the 7th of December too!

Elder Mitchell with his Sickle...before his accident.
Harvesting  Rice

So that is our update on our investigators! Elder Mitchell's finger is doing well; he has his bandage off and everything now. He just doesn't quite have all the movement back in it yet, but he is doing fine! We are still having a blast together we are just praying somehow we could stay together another transfer because we know we will keep doing good work together! Hope you all have a great week and have an awesome Thanksgiving! I don't think we will be able to find turkey so some KFC buckets of chicken will have to do ha-ha!


Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, November 17, 2014

Baptism, Haircut, and Rice Harvesting!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 75
Week Nine in Sisaket 
Monday, November 17, 2014

What's up!

Another week down already; wow it went by quickly. It was pretty awesome though! I'll first start off with talking about how the mission did on working on getting balanced key indicators this week around the whole mission! We were able to get balanced again this past week but it was quite crazy! So 97% of the mission was able to reach a balanced key indicator which is pretty good! Our mission has 102 baptisms so far this month with two Sundays more to go we have a goal of 250 which is a lot. I think we will break 200 for sure though.

So the usual restaurant we eat at for lunch was closed all last week because she went to Bangkok so Elder Mitchell and I bought stuff and made lunch at home every day this week! It was pretty awesome and it did help us save some money so that was good! 

Fried Rice
Wednesday was a pretty awesome day! So on Tuesday we went and visited Brother Hot for a second; he is doing well just way busy with work, but he said he could come to church the 23rd. We then proceeded to go inviting for a little bit around the university, but we were having zero success and then we were getting on our bikes and Elder Mitchell yells at these two girls walking by and was like; hey you want to go to church and they just look at us all confused then hopped on their scooter, but they had to pass by us to get out of the parking lot. So I stop them on their scooter and they both were interested in coming to church so we met with them both on the following day so we got our 2 new investigators; it was way awesome. After that Brother Somsak and his wife Tan picked us up and took us to Winta's house our investigator. It took us an hour by car it was crazy. No way would we have found it without his help. We met him and taught him everything else he needed to know before he got baptized and scheduled his interview for Sunday at 8 before church. He lives so far away and works out there so he can't come in to meet with us until then. Long story short with him though he came to church Sunday Morning just as planned. He interview and passed. I baptized him after church and it was way awesome. He was the only baptism for our district this week.
Hot's Baptism
As far as our investigators go though we have two, well 3 really good ones! We have Faa; the 14 year old who has to come to church a lot because she is so young. She saved us on Sunday on getting balanced for sure though. We finished teaching her everything after the baptism on Sunday she is way awesome! We are scheduling her to interview with the District Leader and Branch President next Sunday and then she will be baptized on the 30th as long as President Senior gives the okay! She is way awesome though. Speaking of our Branch President though our old one is now a senior missionary so yesterday we just got a new Branch President. It is Brother Somsak or now President Somsak, he is way awesome, I'm so glad it is him. He is the best member I've met my whole mission. They just barely got back from the temple for their first time. He hasn't even been a member for 2 years. yet he is one of the few people in the branch who hasn’t been branch president.

Our other investigator named Nooy is teaching at the university that teaches people how to be nurses. She has been to church 3 times, but is just so busy so we were not able to meet with her until Saturday for the first time! She is way awesome though! We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the word of wisdom, law of chastity, reading the scriptures daily, and praying often, She accepted everything perfectly. I asked her what she needed to do to prepare herself to be ready to be baptized on the 23rd of this month and she responded I'm ready. The only problem is she is so busy she can't meet with us any day but Saturday or before Church Sunday... So we are going to push her back to the 29th and baptize her on Saturday so we can have more time to teach her. She also has a husband who is way awesome, but he works in a different Province so he only comes back every other week. So we will probably baptize him the first week December; we hope! 

The other two things that you need to know that happened this week are first is Elder Mitchell has been wanting a haircut and at the store here called Big C they have posters up of movies and there was a new movie recently called; Fury starring Brad Pitt. So he is like I want my hair cut like that ha-ha will you cut my hair like that for me, I don't want to pay someone to do it. I was like yeah. I can handle that for you. He had brought clippers home that you can use to cut hair, so that is what we did.  Thursday night I cut his hair for him! So go look at the poster for Fury and Brad Pitts hair and let me know how you think I did. We think I did a good job and he likes it ha-ha! I put some pictures in the dropbox of the before and after shots so let me know what you think!

Before Brad Pitt Haircut
After Landon got the clippers in his hands...looks pretty good!
The other adventure we had this week was a good one ha-ha; well at least more for me! Soooo... it is rice harvesting season. We had a member who needed help harvesting his rice so the members organized and activity for us to all go help him harvest his rice on Saturday. We started harvesting the rice and were just having a blast.  About 30 minutes in, Elder Mitchells is like…we got to go fast and I look over and he has blood all over him and he had cut into his finger with his sickle and it was really a deep cut. I was like we have to get this taken care of and then these members are like; oh it isn't that bad we can get it to stop bleeding, it will be okay. So they start cleaning it up, but man the blood just kept coming and I was like alright well we are going to the hospital. So we hopped in the truck with Sis Tan to take us to a hospital which was pretty close, but the doctor wasn’t there so she just wrapped it up for him. We headed back to the main city to go to the hospital to get it fixed, but we stopped at the house and were going to just super glue it shut and see if it had stopped bleeding but it hadn’t so we went to the hospital. It is a good thing we did because he had cut one of the tendons in his finger so the doctor stitched the tendon and his finger up for him. It was pretty painful to watch and I filmed it for him on his camera ha-ha man it looks bad! The lucky thing is a member is a nurse there and she saw us. He has to get his bandage changed every day so that would mean we'd have to go to the hospital every day, but luckily she meets us at the church every day and saves him 200 baht every time..

That's all I got for this week as far as pictures I put up some of Elder Mitchells haircut, me harvesting rice, the baptism, and some fried rice we made! Love you all have a great week!


Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, November 10, 2014

Healed by Faith!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 74
Week Eight in Sisaket
Monday, November 10, 2014


This was a pretty awesome week!

First off Yui got baptized this week it was so awesome! She was actually really easy to get ready to be baptized. We taught her on Tuesday and Wednesday. She passed her interview on Friday. She came to church and got baptized, but here's the real cool story. All day Saturday she had be having stomach pains and headaches like crazy and she wasn't going to come to church because she felt she wasn't able to. She was going to go the doctor, but she just kept fighting through and came to church. All during church on Sunday she felt the same way, but she said as soon as she went in the water and came out all those feelings were gone. All those problems were gone and she was healed by her faith; how awesome is that? It is so awesome when someone gets baptized and receives the Holy Ghost and how much it really can help them, not only spiritually, but physically too! 
Yui's Baptism
Elder Mitchell got to baptize the Sisters two investigators for his first baptisms in on his mission so that was really cool! We actually had a huge part in helping them get baptized. Last week at church I gave them a baptismal date for the sisters because the sisters couldn’t get them to accept a date…ha-ha Also because the sisters went to Bangkok for Missionary Leadership Council because Sister Carter is the Sister Training Leader and the two girls hadn't really learned very much so Wednesday morning we went and taught them for the sisters and got them all ready to be interviewed! It was way awesome, they are soo good! The other Elders also baptized a little boy so that was cool!

Elder Mitchell's first Baptism
Everyone involved in the baptisms this week
The whole mission has a goal to get Balanced Key Indicators this next week for every single companionship! Elder Mitchell and I have been balanced for the last 7 weeks straight so it shouldn't be too hard for us to keep the trend going, but the key will be helping the others in our district to also get balanced! This last week 65/84 companionship's were balanced. Elder Mitchell and I are really excited for this month we are looking at around 3 more baptisms for our companionship for sure, but we want to get 6 more this month! It has officially been a year since our mission took up “Baptizing it up”!

For this next week we are looking at baptizing Winta, he is a 20 year old kid who came to church last week, but all he does is talk about motorcycles, Xbox, and America. We didn't think anything of teaching him because he just didn't seem interested at all, but he did stayed for all of the church and the baptism last week. Then he showed up again yesterday for church so we decided, we need to teach this kid! We taught him 7 of the commandments, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the plan of salvation all in about 40 minutes ha-ha! We were just cramming him with information because he lives like 45 kilometers outside of the city so we will be going to teach him the other half of what he needs to know on Wednesday. Luckily we have a member who can take us out there. He is so awesome! He said he has believed in Christ ever since he was a kid, but his parents were Buddhist. He had quite a few problems with some of the commandments, but he said; well I've got to quit so I can get baptized next Sunday. So after we meet him Wednesday he should interview on Sunday before church; so pray for him for us!

Our other two daters we have right now are Faa and Nampunch. Faa is only 14; she is supposed to come to church for 3 months before you she can get baptized, but she has already been 4 times and learned nearly everything. We are going to try and get special permission to baptize her on the 30th and that means she will have some to church 7 times in almost two months! Nam Punch is 17; she has to come 3 times and was supposed to come yesterday, but she didn't show because apparently had school. She is pretty good though as long as we can get her to church she will be baptized the 30th for sure!

Our investigator Hot is still around he is just so busy with work and can't seem to make it to church on Sundays so who knows, we may have to drop him here if he doesn't progress this coming week. We are just going to work way hard to find 3 more good people to baptize this month which would be way awesome if we can baptize 7 people; so that is our goal!

Oh here's a little side story… Bro. Somsak and his wife S.Tan went to the temple in Hong Kong this last week and got married in the temple. It was sooo cool when they shared their testimony on Sunday. But they sent a picture to their daughter who didn't go with them and then on Thursday at scripture class she comes up to me and says do you know this kid? It is Sister Tan with Jonah Falk and his companion I was like; yeah I know that kid ha-ha. It was so cool they met Jonah over there!

Love you all, have a great week!

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, November 3, 2014

Only Five Transfers Left...crazy to thing about!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 73
Week Seven in Sisaket
Monday, November 03, 2014

Well, Hey Everyone!

How's life? Another transfer is down that means I have only 5 left which is way crazy too think about!

It was quite the crazy week though; wow! Well I'll first talk about transfers and all the nonsense that went on down there. I did have to go down to renew my visa. Elder Mitchell and I are still together, so that is way nice. Both of our sisters stayed and the other elders both moved so we have new two new elders. Elder Pyne who just stepped down from Zone Leader to train Elder Chiu who is Chinese, but grew up in San Francisco. Anyways it was way cool to see all the friends. Elder Beatty from my group moved to Burma which is way crazy! Elder Crump moved to Bang Khae and is finishing the training of Elder Mitchells MTC companion! After transfers were over we went to renew our visas. We ended up not getting back to Sisaket until one o'clock in the morning on Saturday. Was I exhausted...

It was a rough week and we weren't able to get a lot of missionary work done and then of course the adversary has to attack out awesome investigator! I told you about Yui last week. she is way awesome and we had an appointment with her Tuesday. She wasn't able to come because all of a sudden there was tons of work at her job.  She had to work tons of overtime she usually she works 8-6, but now she was working 8-9 or 10; it was crazy. So she was just never free. I called her everyday just trying everything possible, we even taught her over the phone for an hour from our hotel room in BKK. Saturday night rolls around and I call her and she is like I can't come to church and this is 10 o clock at night and she said she had to work and she had no one to help.  It was a disappointing. Sunday morning I'm just chilling at the door of the church welcoming in people and all of the sudden she walks in and I'm like whhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaat you're here! I was so pumped and shocked! I was like, I thought you couldn't come and she was like I couldn't, but I don't care about work, coming to church is better and I was like screaming in my head (LEEEEEEEEETTS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!) I was so happy ha-ha! You think this is good just wait ha-ha! Next thing you know I'm sitting with her in sacrament meeting and I was filling out my fast offerings slip and she asks me if I have another one of those? I'm yeah; do you want one?  The next thing you know in the middle of sacrament I'm teaching her about tithing and fasting ha-ha!  So she just starts filling the whole thing out! She is so incredible she paid her tithing, fast offerings, and donated some money to other things. I'll tell you this much it wasn't just a little bit of money. She is like okay now what do I do with this. I told her she gives it to the Branch President so after sacrament sure enough she goes up to him and gave it to him; wow! That was so special; she is incredible. When she was filling out her tithing donations slip I asked her…when are you getting baptized? She responds; next Sunday! I'm like lets goooo ha-ha, She has to work at noon on Sunday’s so she can only come to sacrament and then has to leave. Our baptisms are done at 1:00 pm. So I asked her how was that was going to work with her work schedule. She said; “not go to work, duh”! It was incredible I've never seen so much faith! Talk about golden! She is getting baptized this Sunday!

Sorry about all the stories, but this is the last one! Our investigator, Hot, you remember him? When I first met him I challenged him to quit smoking; he smoked 40 a day.  We had him down to 20 and then lost contact with him for like a week. He wouldn't answer his phone. Luckily we knew where he works so on Wednesday we go to the university and asked them; where’s Hot?  They are like do you mean our boss, Hot, right? I'm like yep that’s him and the guy gives me his walkie talkie and I was like; Hey Hot it's Elder Watkins can we come see you? He's like oh yeah come on over! We get escorted by the security guards to go meet him! Turns out he has been okay the whole time, he just went out of town for a week and left his phone, but he's back now! He is awesome. We started talking to him about his smoking and he is only smoking 2 a day now, it is way awesome! We have a date for him to get baptized the 16th!

Last thing is yesterday I was asked to baptize the sisters investigator because she didn't know anyone at the church. So the assistant branch mission leader calls me Saturday night around 9:30 asked if I would baptize her. It is just such a special spirit in being able to do that! Pretty fun week though; have a solid week!


Elder Landon J Watkins