Monday, January 26, 2015

New companion and Zone Leader in Roi Et!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 85
Week Seven in Roi Et
Monday, January 26, 2015

Hey everyone, how's it going??

I'm doing pretty well; this was quite a wild last week for sure. Monday night around 10 o clock we got calls saying that everyone in our district was moving except Sister Woodbury, so 5 out of the 6 missionaries here. I got the call I was moving and I'm like, wow already? Then I told Elder Kris on the phone (who is AP) if I'm just moving up to be zone leader you better tell me so I don't pack. So on Tuesday we just had a regular day for the most part! Didn't have anything to special; I taught institute which was good, I'm not the biggest fan of doing it in Thai because the lessons are in English and the vocabulary is crazy, but I get the job done. It helps me learn a lot which is good, so I like that! We started saying goodbye to members and all that good stuff. Wednesday we spent most of our day packing and getting food with some members. So right now I'm thinking well I didn’t get a call from him or President so I must just be moving to a new area as district leader so I take all my stuff down to Bangkok and I'm talking to like Elder Crump and a few others and President called them to be ZL's so I'm like; oh I guess I'm just going to be DL somewhere new? Then Roi Et pops up and it says I'm ZL in Roi Et. I'm just like; what in the world!? Ha-ha so I talked to Elder Kris after and I’m like why didn't you tell me and he says; President said he was going to call you; but of course that didn't happen. So I took everything back to old Roi Et and now I'm companions with Elder Hill who is one group ahead of me! 
Sporting a new haircut...I need to tell him to clean the toothpaste of the mirror before he take his picture next time :)
Elder Hill is from Bountiful, Utah he is 21 years old and is actually a convert to the church. He was baptized at 14 and is the only member in his family! He's a nice guy he is just on transfer ahead of me so he will be headed home in April. So we are both new to being Zone Leaders as he also moved up from District leader so this is going to be a good, fun experience. It's cool though because every month we get to go down to Bangkok for Missionary Leadership Council so I will be able to eat some Carl's Jr. or McDonalds when I go down; lets gooo! I can always buy some American stuff too! A member went to Bangkok this week and said she'd bring me two boxes of Lucky Charms; man am I excited ha-ha!

Anyways though to make things interesting we had 5 new missionaries come back. The sisters are now in a tri-companionship and the two new elders. Elder Sukhan is training a new greenie. So we have the stuff of 6 missionaries going back to Roi Et because had I had all my stuff too. Anyways they couldn't put all our stuff on the bus so we had to send our bikes up later. So Friday and Saturday we couldn't work much like we wanted because we didn’t have our bikes; it was alright though we got some decent work done.
Landon with his new companion Elder Hill at Michael's Baptism
Yesterday we had a baptism! Since we moved into the Zone Leaders area they had an investigator named Michael that we taught and we got baptize him on Sunday. It was way good! We had 114 people at church yesterday and 30 RCs it is the most RCs we've had at church since I've been here! Oh and then to make things more interesting old Bangkok sent some bike tires that were suppose to go to another Elders areas to us and when the sisters picked up their bikes they took them home. I told them just leave them since they weren't ours so we ended up having to grab those last night and take them back to the bus station and get them sent off to the other Elders. Quite the busy, crazy week that was for sure!
Dream and Ton's Baptism
Anyways that is really all we have. Our Zone had a Zone Goal of 20 baptisms this month and our district had 10; so that was awesome! The picture of the baptism from last week is a kid named Dream and Ton! They were the sister’s investigators, but I had helped to teach them once and had interviewed both of them so they chose me to baptize them; so I did!

Hope you all have a good week!

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Longest Bike ride, but totally worth it!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 84
Week Six in Roi Et
Monday, January 19, 2015

Hey Everyone!

This was a pretty good last week! I have a few stories for you this week. It was the last full week before transfers. Since transfers are in two days. Who knows what will be happening this week.

Well first I will start off with our fun trip on Friday! So we have our two investigators from last week Nonney and his friend Bye! They go to a university here, but it is way out of the city in kind of a forest ha-ha. It's about 30 kilometers from the church so round trip 60 kilometers. So we set out after studies to head out there and it took us an hour and half to get out there because the wind was blowing so stinking hard it was unreal ha-ha! Wow, was it a ride to get out there! We went out there hoping we could get them baptized this week so we ate lunch with them; rested up and taught them quite a few lessons and headed back which was a much better ride because it wasn't near as windy on the way back which made us get back in just over an hour, so we did better on our speed. Man that was one of the farthest bike rides I have done on my mission right there ha-ha, but worth it. So Sunday they both came to church and we taught them during the second hour of church and tried to see if they wanted to get baptized, but they weren't feeling it, but that's okay we will get them next week ha-ha!

As far as Sunday went, it was a pretty awesome day! We had 114 people at church. We had 4 investigators; 2 were new ones. One is pretty good, but the sisters tried to steal her! We were like what the heck, so we don't know what is going on. Should we just be the nice guys and give her to them or do we take her back because they know they stole her because they had already talked to us about it ha-ha. Anyways, besides that though we've been working with an old branch president who has been to the temple, but has fallen away from the church and so has his whole family and believe it or not he came back to church this last week for the first time in over a year!!! He also brought his wife, his daughter,r and his daughters husband so it was so awesome! We had 4 people rescued this week!

Other than that this last week we did tons of less active work. We found another LA family that has been gone for about 9 or 10 years who used to be in the district presidency as a second counselor. We are going to begin working with them at least once a week and try and bring them back too. We need to bring back these Melchizedek priesthood holders; it is very important as we are preparing to receive a temple here in Thailand. It was a good last week! 

Hopefully I get to stay with Elder Hartung another transfer here in Roi Et; that would be awesome.

Elder Landon J Watkins

A picture of his new camera...What a handsome Missionary!!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

"Saving Mr. Banks"

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 83
Week Five in  Roi Et
Monday, January 12, 2015

Hey Everyone!

This week was pretty good! We finally got Brother Banks baptized! It was awesome. He called me up Monday night and was like; Hey I have something I want to talk to you about. I was like okay; let’s hear it. He's like can I get baptized this week? I was like ha-ha well, yeah; but do you believe in God yet? He's like; yeah, I got an answer. I was like, lets goooo ha-ha so on Sunday I was able to baptize him which was the highlight of the week!

Some other fun stuff we did this week. We went and visited the old branch president here in Roi Et who is less active. We biked 15 Kilometers there and another 15 back, It was a good ride, but it was really nice to meet this guy. It is so weird that he is less active when his testimony is still so strong and he still knows everything that is going on in the branch and all over Thailand; which is wild! We had a good visit though. The problem is they work on Sunday but he said they are going to start closing their restaurant down. Close Sunday’s so they can start coming back to church. He is even still paying his tithing ha-ha just doesn't come to church!

We had a monthly Happy Birthday activity this week which was good! All the members came and we had a little party for everyone whose birthday is in the month of January. It was a pretty good success we had around 70 people show up and sister Stoker taught us all how to line dance after district meeting. So we taught all the members two line dances during the activity and they just loved it! They had such a great time and it was a real success! I wish I had pictures but I was too busy out on the dance floor being an example for them to watch I didn’t take pictures. I'll have to try and steal some from the Stokers if I get a chance.

As far as other investigators are going we had one guy named Nonney come to church who has been an investigator for a while, but he lives 50 kilometers away so it's kind of hard for him to get to church, but he even brought a friend and they had a blast at church! They really enjoyed it and we talked to them about baptism and they were really into it so we are going to try and pull off some miracles this week and baptize them both so hopefully we can pull it off! It's the last full week before transfers!

Things are still going great though with Elder Hartung and I! That's really all that fun stuff that happened this last week! 

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, January 5, 2015

Feeding the Monkeys!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 82
Week Four in Roi Et
Monday, January 05, 2015

Hey Everyone!

Well you can count on this being a short letter since it has only been 3-4 days since I last emailed ha-ha!

Well I'll start off with what we did for New Years! We ended up going to look for some silk with elephants on it but they didn't have any. So Bro. Baw a way awesome member he took me to this cool place! He took pictures for me and sent them to me so you can see them on dropbox. After we went and picked up the other two Elders and we went on the hour ride to this Buddhist temple where there are monkeys ha-ha! Man they are cool, but just so mean and you always got to watch your back. Luckily none of us got bit or anything so that was good! There are some pictures of me feeding the monkeys also! 

As far as our investigators go we taught Bro. Bank and had his interview on Friday. He is so confusing ha-ha! He passed everything but the first question. So he wasn't able to get baptized. A few of our other investigators bailed, which was way lame, but luckily we were saved by one of the RC's in our area Sister Tooy. She brought her two kids who are not members. So she gave us some new investigators and we are going to try and get them baptized next week along with giving old Bank another shot! Yesterday was a pretty awesome day though we ended up pulling off some crazy numbers with 4 member lessons, 3 new investigators, 3 referrals, and 4 Recent Convert/Less Active lessons. We had some members just take us around to all these LA's houses and part member families so we got some new referrals and investigators from that, so it was way awesome!

As far as the camera story goes. The Dad tracked down the kid and brought him to the church we talked to him and the kid was just lying through is teeth so hard! The Dad would ask him did you steal it? And he'd just sit there in silence for 2 minutes. We are like, are you kidding me if he didn't steal it he could answer straight up. You could just see him shaken in his boots, but he won't admit that he had stolen it so we can't do anything about it now, so today I'm going to try and find a new camera! I took some money out to buy one! 

Oh and just so happens a member from Bangkok who I know came to Roi Et and he is going to leave on a mission soon and he offered to cut me a suit because he's a tailor and it was such a good price I just couldn't pass up because he is going on a mission so it's my last chance! It only cost me 2500 baht which is about $80 dollars for a customs tailored suit! Pretty sweet I chose a sort of Navy blue so if I go transfers on the 22nd of January he said that it would be done for me; I'm pumped ha-ha!

Sister Stoker made some amazing Carrot Cake for us last night. American treats are good ha-ha! Thai treats are the worst ha-ha! Anyways, love you all. Have a great week!


Elder Landon J Watkins

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Camera got stolen...Happy New Year!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 81
Week Three in Roi Et
Monday, January 1, 2015

Hey Everyone!

Well it's officially the New Year for us, but it isn't over there in Utah quite yet! Anyways this was actually a pretty slow week and felt way long, I'll be honest! A lot of people have been out of town and just too busy to meet with us. Also as we have been inviting it has been rough just no one seemed willing to stop and talk to us no matter what we do, but we were still able to find a few new potentials and get a few good lessons in. 

Elder Hartung and I are getting a long great! He is a really good guy and fun to be around. He is a great example to me in effective studying and is helping me to learn so much more about the Gospel, the language, and the scriptures it is awesome and I'm really enjoying being his companion.

Here is the story about my camera getting stolen this past week was on Saturday. We had coordination meeting and right before we went in I grabbed my scriptures out of my bag and left my bag in the usual closet where we all leave them. The meeting started at 2 and at 2:30 my companion had to use the bathroom and I had loose string on my tie so I went to get my bag to grab my Leatherman to cut it off and my whole bag was gone. So we just started searching around trying to figure out where my bag went. We wandered around and there was a kid around 12 years old with a friend who and come in earlier to use the bathroom, but a member kicked them out. We found him and his friend were gone and the kid just sat and lied and wouldn't tell us anything. Anyways, the Sisters were searching behind the church and found my bag behind some bushes and everything was there except my camera. Some members took the kid and went to his house and found the parents of the kids who we are pretty sure stole it. But the parent’s kids haven't been home in 2 weeks. Great parenting right? So the Dad and stuff were cruising all around town trying to find his kid and never did, but a member has been helping and got the cops involved. I haven't had a chance to talk to the member, but the Dad said if they can't get the camera back then they will give me some money. I don't know how true that will be, but the kid has had to have sold the camera by now so I guess there is a still a slight chance I can get it back. I just need to talk to the member today.

As far as our investigators we are working with. We have 4 good ones and a lot of potentials.

We have Bro. Bank our 15 year old who has officially read the whole Book of Mormon in less than two weeks and is doing great! We are going to have him interviewed on Friday and hopefully he will choose to be baptized this Sunday.

We also have TonKla who is new. We found him at the New Year’s Party that has been going on for the last week. We met him and he was free so we ended up just walking with him all the way to the church and taught him, it was way good! He has a date for the 11th of January. So as long as he comes to church he should be getting baptized here soon.

The other two is a Mother and daughter named Gan and Yui. They are pretty interesting ha-ha. The Mom as a boyfriend from Australia who is Christian so she wants to be Christian also! We showed them around and introduced them at church. They are good and want to learn and her daughter has learned about Christianity before. They were supposed to come to church week, but her sister came up to visit from Bangkok so she was too busy, but they said they'd come this Sunday! Good stuff though.
Shabushi Buffet
The other cool thing that happened this week was Monday! It was a great day. First Bro. Keng came and visited and we went and ate Shabushi together a Japanese buffet which is just delicious I loved it! Bro. Keng is such a nice guy. It was a short visit, but way fun; I love that guy! That night we had a Family Home Evening with some members that we didn't know, but turns out that is because one of them lives in Hawaii and the other lives in Bangkok! They both studied at BYU Hawaii so they speak English, so well! It was so great to be able to speak some English! One of the girls named Vivi is from here and has two sisters that live here in Roi Et who aren't members so it was great experience and I think she had a great time! Her parents have already passed away so life hasn't been the easiest. So she really appreciated the Family Home Evening so the house wasn't so quiet and boring. Fun stuff though! 

That's really all we did for this past week, hopefully we can get some baptisms here soon!

Elder Landon J Watkins