Monday, February 23, 2015

I Rode a Water Buffalo!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 89
Week Eleven in Roi Et
Monday, February 23, 2015

Well this week was pretty fun!

It was another really rough week, to be honest, but we taught tons of lessons and found tons of new investigators. Just none of our investigators are ready yet to commit to baptisms and it's a bit frustrating.

Anyways! The awesome thing that happened last Monday was we went and rode a water buffalo ha-ha! It was so awesome! It is just a members Water Buffalo here and they just leave it by this huge river and let it hang out so we went to the members house where it usually is, but it wasn't there and she told us that it was down by the river. So we headed over there and sure enough a Mom and the baby are just lying in the water ha-ha! All 7 of us went as missionaries, but everyone was just frightened; except me! So I climbed down and pulled the buffalo out of the water hahaha! We took a few pictures with it! Then since I knew everyone else was already scared I asked; “who wants to go first?” and everyone just looks at me in silence. I figured that's what would happen so I said; “fine I'll go first” ha-ha so I jumped right up on! It was so fun ha-ha and just exhilarating! There should be a video of me getting on the buffalo and some pictures! There is also a picture of the Family Home Evening we had that same night at the District Presidency 2 counselors house, it was pretty fun!

As far as this week went for investigators. Ern and Ahh didn't come to church as we had hoped and they both quit picking up their phones... Then all of the sudden Sunday morning at 7:30 Ern called and asked if she can come to church.  Originally she couldn't so it was such a miracle. So now we are going to meet with her today and try and baptize her on Thursday so she can receive the Holy Ghost before she goes back to study in China next week. Please keep Ern in your prayers!

We found 9 new investigators this week which was crazy! We have quite a few good ones! We have a girl named; Ice who has been coming to English for a while and wants to be baptized! She could have gotten baptized this coming week if she would have been able to come to church yesterday, but she had an activity at the university that she had to go to!

Our 83 year old investigators Wirat is doing okay; we have finished teaching him everything and tried everything we can to help him. We even had the Stokers come and help us teach him, but he is just so worried about causing a division in his family if he gets baptized. We need to talk to his family or lets us meet them, but he won't let us meet them so hopefully he will talk with them. We are going to have him interview probably on Wednesday just so we can say you are ready to be baptized; now it's up to you to make it happen.

Anyways at church yesterday we had 121 people which was pretty awesome our whole Zone had balanced key indicators. We had 26 RCs at church and my companionship had 6 investigators so it was pretty awesome! 
We went and took the sacrament to a few homes of people that were too sick to come to church which was a good experience. After we had dinner at the Stokers house, She made BBQ chicken, peas and carrots, potatoes, and cheesecake! It was pretty good except I'm not a big fan of cheesecake, but it's better than most Thai desserts ha-ha. That's all for this week!

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, February 16, 2015

Translating for Elder Kanakham

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 88
Week Ten in Roi Et
Monday, February 16, 2015

Hey Everyone!

How's it going?

Things were pretty crazy here this last week to be honest, but it was way awesome!

Well I'll start off with Saturday and Sunday since it is fresh on my mind! So this week we had the Leadership training for our Ubon District here in Roi Et! Wow was it crazy we were assigned to translate for everything…ha-ha; oh great! So the meeting started at 10 so we are leaving our house at 9:30 and I look at my companion’s bike and both of his tires were flat ha-ha! We go down the street to a little the place and it’s closed! So we kept trying to find a place to fill them up with air, but I knew that one of the tubes was burst for sure, but we had to find a place that could change it out! We finally found a place and it's already past 10 by now ha-ha; but the guy had no tubes so he had to go buy one! So we just ditched our bikes at his shop and luckily he had a car and he's like; I’ll just take you to the church so he took us over and we just got translating. The cool thing is Elder Kanakham is here and he the first Thai Seventies you know and was just way awesome. Our heads were hurting from translating all day and we thought it was all over. The best part was though all the Sisaket leaders came up here so I got to see all of them! I didn't even get to eat lunch because they ran out of food except for I did get a few cucumbers ha-ha!  We went and picked up our bikes and grabbed some food because; Oh, surprise we have a special fireside tonight from Elder Kanakham which was way awesome, to be honest! He tied everything into the atonement and if you have an understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and will come to church, do your home teaching and visiting teaching! It just all made perfect sense; he was a great speaker. It was cool he called me out of the crowd to play; “I Stand All Amazed” while everyone just listened. It was a little stressful because I had never played that song before, but my sight reading was okay ha-ha! Luckily the song wasn't too hard. There was a special spirit while everyone sat in silence remembering what our Savior had done for us!

Sunday was good too we didn't think we were going to get any investigators at church be we ended up get 4 news ones to show up, which was awesome! It was so lame though; Ern and Ahh didn't go to church because of who knows why, but we got lucky! Wirat our new guy from last week who is 82 is wild. Everyone knows him and he is just super rich and well known I guess. We met with him a ton, but he has accepted everything but baptism; it is so weird ha-ha! He is worried about the whole Buddhist thing and what his family will think because he is like the head of it. He went off to another province for some special meeting so he wasn't free. We had 126 people at church this week which was also good! We had Elder Kanakham in church with us so it was just a great time to learn! I just wish I hadn't been translating the whole time during the training so I could have written some things down. 

Friday was pretty sweet too! We had a February Birthday Celebration and for our part we did line dancing again because the members loved it so much! The bad thing was that the Stokers were out of town so guess who had to lead the line dancing! Yep, you guessed it; this guy ha-ha! I led all the members and I think I did a good job; I guess! But luckily it wasn't too hard! Good exercise, fun, and learning for the members which was a great success.

Other than that we just worked all week inviting! I went on a switch off to Kalasin with Elder Kandun a Thai Elder and it was way fun and just a good switch up! Everything is going pretty good! Hopefully we can get some more baptisms here soon; the work is a little slow. 

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Fish Grabbers!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 87
Week Nine in Roi Et
Monday, February 09, 2015


Well this was a pretty awesome week for the most part! On Monday we had a FHE with Ern and Ahh and the District Presidents Family! It was awesome and there was a ton of good food! She made chicken wings and I ate 22 of them and there was still a whole plate they wanted me to eat and I was like whoa; no way ha-ha! I was so satisfied though and it was good for Ern and Ahh to experience that!

Tuesday was awesome… first thing in the morning we got ready and headed off to help serve old Bro. Yahd again! He's so awesome ha-ha; he's a 78 year old man who can barely hear and I don't even know if he speaks Thai ha-ha! So we ended up pounding PVC pipe in the ground with this wooden log he gives us and then you take a water bottle (which has a hole poked through the cap) and squirt it around the PVC pipe which hits the dirt at the bottom around the PVC pipe. You pull it out and dada; you have a nice little hole to water and plant the watermelons! It was some pretty, wild work! After that was when the real fun came! We went over to this huge pit and it is just mud with all these Thai guys grabbing fish and putting them in baskets; it was so funny! Man that was some thick mud, just trying to climbing down in it even trying to walk! Then you just shove your arms down in the mud and try to find the fish! We didn’t get to help them much; because they were just finishing up! I did catch 4 fish and my comp got 2; so I guess I was the better fish grabber ha-ha! It was fun though and a good experience; that was for sure.

We had our training Wednesday morning in Bangkok which was pretty awesome! We are now just focusing on families as much as possible which is way awesome! Plus we had such good food! They made a ton of pancakes with Buttermilk syrup; wow were they good! For lunch they made Lasagna and had salad with Ranch Dressing which was the first time I've had that since the MTC; so good! We headed off to Korat that night so we could train the missionaries there! Then we did a switch-off with them. We got back around 1 AM on Friday morning and got a little bit of sleep and then trained the other districts that morning which was good because Sister Stoker made us Cinnamon Rolls ha-ha!

Friday and Saturday we worked hard teaching lessons and preparing as much as possible for Sunday! We had 110 people at church this week with 29 RC's; so that was way awesome. The only thing that was bad is Ern and Ahh showed up late so they didn't make it to sacrament, so now we don't know when or how we will get them baptized because they actual study at a university in China and are headed back in March and the next 2 Sundays they are not free again until March 1... So next week we committed Ern to go to church in Nongkhai and the Ahh in Asoke. We had a new investigator come to church named Wirat; he is way awesome! He's 82 years old! He accepted a date to be baptized next week! So we are trying really hard with him! He's has a cane and everything, but he still drove himself to church; which is awesome! Sister By was baptized yesterday (if you guys can remember her) I was teaching last transfer until I moved areas! I sent you picture of her because I really got to teach her everything before she got baptized! I was way excited for her though; it was cool!

That's all for this week. Today we are just going to relax and have a good time! I am going to take my companion to the Moose to get his haircut. It’s a really nice barber shop I found that I really like! Love you all!

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, February 2, 2015

Farmer Watkins...Planting Watermelons!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 86
Week Eight in Roi Et
Monday, February 02, 2015

Hey Everyone!

Well this was quite the last week it was pretty good too for the most part!

So to start off first thing on Tuesday morning a member picked us up and took us out to his farm and we prepared the land so he could plant watermelons. We got the ground wet, dug the holes, put in fertilizer and compost and then turned up the soil. It was some good work and a fun time! I sent some pictures of some of water buffalos in the field and of me watering the ground with the giant water cans ha-ha! It was a fun time. We are actually going out again tomorrow to help him catch fish. They drain the pond of water so it's just super muddy and then we just go around grabbing fish and throwing them in buckets from what I understand it should be awesome and a good time so hopefully I can get some pictures of that for ya. It was some good service. The member  we helped is 78 years old and his health isn't the greatest so being a farmer is really hard on him so we really lifted his burden by helping him out! 

On Wednesday the AP's came up here for a switch off which was way good and fun! The AP's right now are both Thai; the first time ever, but they are so good! They both speak English really well. I went with Elder Thanawat who is a really nice guy and we had a blast teaching and finding new investigator; it was a good day.

Friday was pretty good too! President Senior and Sister Senior came up to Roi Et and gave a few areas in our zone a special training! They really emphasized bearing our testimony more often about Jesus Christ because we are representatives of Jesus Christ! Also they put a huge stress on Family History so that is why I'm asking you guys for all the pictures and information. Now we are supposed to help every new RC sign up for Family Search and have them start filling out the “My Family” booklet. So I have to finish mine first before I can have anyone else to do you theirs. So I've been working on mine really hard trying to make it good. I just need some more pictures and filling out some memories which will be the hardest part for me.

We also met with two new investigators this week Ern and Aah that Elder Hill found at Big C. We also ran into them at the park with a friend named Air who just so happens to be a member and is studying in Russia, but is back for a week. She is the District Presidents daughter here in Roi Et. Both of the girls are her best friend so they are really being fellowshipped it's so awesome! We worked with them and they came to church Sunday! Ern is way good and will most likely be baptized this Sunday we hope, but Aah is a little stubborn and hasn’t accepted a date, but we are working for her to be baptized this Sunday too; so pray for them!

This was a really fun week though! Sunday we had 3 investigators in sacrament but we also had 4 other people show late after sacrament was over. Three of them were black people from Cameroon! I don't know how interested they were, but we had some more come who could be pretty good, hopefully we can meet with today, at least that is the plan! We had 108 people at church with 27 Recent Converts in Sacrament, so not too bad! The work is progressing, but right now the rest of our zone is struggling. We are going to Bangkok this week for Mission Leadership Council so when we get back we will be going around training the districts in our zone and can get them pumped up and working hard!

That’s all I've got for this week; hope you all have a good one!

Elder Landon J Watkins