Monday, April 27, 2015

Long Bus Rides, Training, and the Twins Baptized!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 98
Week Two in Chiang Mai

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hey Everyone!

Sorry this week will be a little bit short of an email because we don't have a ton of time!

Anyways this week was so crazy ha-ha! First of all the Chiang Mai zone is the biggest zone in the mission so going to other areas in the zone takes a lot of time to travel to! The AP's called us on Tuesday and told us they were coming up to Chiang Mai to give us some special training and then do a switch off. So on Wednesday Elder Crump and Elder Tanner came up; the AP's gave us some training and we switched off and I got to be with Elder Crump for a day; it was way awesome! We went to eat at Duke's together; which is an American food restaurant that all the missionaries talk about and say how good it was, so I finally got to experience it for myself; it was way good! I had a BBQ chicken pizza and some hot wings! 

Wednesday morning we had to start traveling around our zone to give the training so we went up to Chiang Rai which was a 3 hour bus ride to get there. It was great because I got to see Elder Mitchell (who Landon trained) again he's awesome. Then right after we headed back to Chiang Mai and did training Chiang Mai and we had Lampang come up and trained them too. 

Friday we woke up at 3:30 a.m. to get on a bus at 5 a.m. to go down to Phitsanulok which is a 6 hour bus ride away. We figured there would be some public transportation to take us to the bus station early in the morning, but we couldn't find a thing so we ended up running 2 or 3 kilos before we finally found one and barely made it on time to our bus. We got there and did training and got right back on a bus back to Chiang Mai. We left at 1 p.m. and figured we would get back by 7 p.m.; nope ha-ha we got back at 9 because it started raining really hard and our bus broke down; so it was a long trip ha-ha.

Saturday we finally got to do some work to get ready for Sunday.

As far as investigators go we don't have too many to be honest; but the good news is that the twins were baptized yesterday! It was way awesome! We were able to meet with them twice and their Dad baptized them; it was really cool! We only have one other dater and good investigator right now because I gave an awesome investigator to the sisters that I found who will be getting baptized this Sunday. But we have Bro. Brin who is 16 years old and he has a date for the 10th of May; he is doing awesome. He just has to come to Sacrament 4 times before he can get baptized because he's under 18; but he's so good!

Today we are heading off to a mountain and the Zoo so I'll let you know how that goes!

Love you all; have an awesome week!

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, April 20, 2015

Songkran and Transferred to Chiang Mai!!!

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 97
Week One in Chiang Mai

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hey everyone!

As you guys already know I'm in Chiang Mai now! This last week was actually pretty uneventful for the most part, but it was also pretty good! As you know last Monday we played Songkran or the water festival it was way fun and we had a great time! I think last year was better because there were more people in Nongkhai even though Roi Et is a lot bigger city. It was still super fun though! 


Tuesday we spent the majority of the day packing and then that night the Stokers had us over for dinner for the last time; she made us lasagna, garlic bread, and apple crisp; it was soooo good!

Wednesday we spent all day on a bus to Bangkok. It took nearly 10 hours (it usually only takes 7 hours) to get there, but there was tons of traffic because Songkran was still going on. It was alright though we got there and ordered some McDonalds to the house and slept in Samut Prakarn and I got to visit that house again; it was cool ha-ha!

Thursday was transfers it was way crazy and I was super surprised! I thought I'd be moving to Bangkok for sure which I was supposed to actually. Then right before the meeting started President Senior switched me at the last minute. I was supposed to be serving in Don Meung with Elder Sukhan, but he switched me to Chiang Mai!  Not sure why, but I'm happy here; it’s way awesome! We got on a train that night which was supposed to leave at 8 pm, but it was broken so it came way late at 10:30 pm. It's around a 13 hour train ride, so we made it here around Noon on Friday. We got to the house and it was filthy so the first thing I did was clean the bathroom so I could shower and then I got our room all cleaned up and organized; so now it's good!

We've just been trying to find our way around town and find people.  It's kind of weird. There has been very few baptisms here which is weird because usually the Zone leader areas just have a ton. Literally we have hardly any so we have to just find investigators like crazy. And if you have no RC's we've got to baptize them right?

So there are two branches here in Chiang Mai and we go to both of them. There is a bunch of tourist and white people that also come to the branches.  So we just translate for 6 hours ha-ha and it is way hard, but it's okay; it's a good time. I can't believe how many members here can speak English though! We were able to get two new investigators at church yesterday who are pretty awesome. We have two other investigators that will be baptized next week they are the daughters of a Less active member that was just rescued and guess what; they are twins!!! I'm going to be able to help twins get baptized I've always kind of wanted to do that! :) It's sweet though our district had 4 baptisms yesterday. One of them was Elder Wiset Khanakam (who is the first Thai 70) 77 year old sister; it was so awesome. President and Sister Senior came so it was a very special day!

The members here are awesome and it is great to be around the Saedan family (Elder Saedan was Landon’s companion in Nong Khai) since this is where they live, I'm way happy and excited to serve here; it's going to be great! :)

That's about it though for this week; love you all, have a great week!

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, April 13, 2015

"Stay By the Tree"

Elder Landon J Watkins Week 96
Week Eighteen in Roi Et
Monday, April 13, 2015

Hey everyone!

Well this was a pretty wild last week and we didn't have too much time in our area, but it was pretty good!

So on Monday after we emailed we went back to the office and I got my Temple Recommend renewed which was good, so now it's in Thai for the next two years which is cool! Elder Keller and I had a little special meeting with the Assistants and President Senior about our Zone which was pretty cool. That night we headed off to Korat so that we could train that District and do a switch off. We got there and had to sleep on the floor which was pretty miserable. The switch of was pretty pointless and short because of English Class that night we only really switched off for 3 hours, but it was good. We ended up taking a taxi all the way back to Roi Et so it only took 3 hours instead of 5 hours by bus which was nice! We were able to get home and in bed by 11:00 p.m. which was really nice considering we hadn't slept for a couple nights!

As far as investigators are going though things are going pretty good! There is an autistic kid who is 9 years old and a son of a member who hasn't been baptized. His autism isn't too bad so that he doesn't need to be baptized and he has finally opened up now that he is 9 and has a desire to be baptized! He is way shy, but once we talked with him for an hour or so he really warmed up! His name is, Bank he is so awesome though you ask him if Jesus Christ can help him and he gets the biggest smile on his face and just raises his eyebrows up and down! He can pretty much be baptized whenever, it is kind of just up to Bank on when he wants to get baptized. He is so awesome though! He probably will be baptized this coming Sunday. He wants to be able to pass the sacrament. His Mom told him that in two years you can do that as long as you get baptized first, so he is really excited!

We have Sister Mint and her Mom; Tom who are doing okay. Mint is way awesome she meets with us often and came to General Conference both days! Her Mom is just really busy so she hasn't been able to meet with us for a while. They have dates for April 26th, but if her Mom doesn't come to church next week Mint will have to be pushed back to the first week in May; she is way awesome though.

Our other two daters are Fay and Ooy. Ooy is like 26 years old and her little sister is 15. They are doing really well and both have dates for the 26th. We have the same situations with them though; they both need to come to church in order to be baptized on that date. Fay is way awesome she has   come to our Easter activity, sports night, scripture class, English, and she came to General Conference yesterday which was awesome!

Sister Na is finally back from being out of town, but we haven't been able to teach her again yet. She should be baptized this coming Sunday or the week after. The work is really progressing, greatly here in Roi Et.

As far as other things go watching General Conference was way awesome I really enjoyed it! Many very cool and powerful talks; I really enjoyed, “Stay by the tree”; by Elder Kevin W. Pearson; it was just such a powerful talk! I liked how he said; “When trials and challenges come our way, we are often told to simply “hang in there.” Let me be clear: to “hang in there” is not a principle of the gospel.”… I know that we can't be casual about this, it is a serious things; it was a way awesome talk!

Well transfers are in. The Water festival starts today so we will be playing that today, but it is just wild this week because they play until Wednesday and there are no buses to on travel so only a select few people will be going to Bangkok.  Only those moving will go and the companions that are not moving will just be staying in their areas. So Elder Sukhan and I from Roi Et will be the only ones going.  Yes, I am moving for my last transfer. So the two of us we will be heading down! I think I am going to finish in Bangkok though because most of the people that are moving aren't evem going down to Bangkok they will just go to their new area.  So we don't need to go; so either I’m going to step down and train or I will just move and be a Zone Leader down there. So we will see what happens!

Have a great day!

Elder Landon J Watkins

Monday, April 6, 2015

Announcement of the Bangkok Thailand Temple!!!

President Thomas S. Monson Announced 3 new temples...
one of them in Bangkok Thailand!!!
Elder Landon J Watkins Week 95
Week Seventeen in Roi Et
Monday, April 06, 2015

Hey everyone!

Sorry, this week’s letter is going to be short! We actually had to sacrifice our p-day today so we could have Missionary Leadership Council in Bangkok! So we had to leave last night. Around midnight our phone rang while we were on the bus and we were like; “who is calling us?”  it was the AP's! They proceeded to tell us that the Thailand, Bangkok Temple was announced! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO… LET’S GOOOOO! :) I couldn't have been more happy in my life! It's so awesome and it is going to be such a blessing to so many countries. And the work of the Lord here in Southeast Asia is really going to begin to progress! We then knelt down in prayer and gave thanks to our Father in Heaven! I received such a great spiritual witness that what I have been doing these last 2 years is true and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true! It was just another amazing testimony builder for me. It has kind of given me the surge and boost that I need, which is so awesome! 
We proceeded to have MLC today which was so awesome! President Senior showed us the announcement of the Temple and again it was just such a special spirit. It has so much more meaning because I have been serving here. President Senior said; “If I was serving in North Carolina where I was originally called my reaction would have probably been like;” “Oh, that's great, but since I am here it is incredible what has happened.” He also showed us the portion of Elder Anderson talk about President Satit; the Stake President here and that was so cool because I've had the privilege to work and meet his whole family! President Seniors parents skyped him while we were meeting and he brought them in and we got to see them and listen to what they said; it was just so funny! His Mom is like Honey; "are you happy"? (Talking about the temple announcement) And his father is like; “Son you did it, you’re a success!” Ha-ha it was just so funny!
So I am emailing now from Bangkok. We will head back to Roi Et tonight.
As far as this past week went, it was so wild. We were only able to have 1 baptism, but it was way awesome! Sister Mali was baptized; who is a recent convert Brother Dones, Mom and he was the one who baptized her; it was so cool! Completing families is the goal and now we are going to begin working with his Dad!

Sister Na is going to be baptized this coming Sunday. She is coming back today as she had to stay an extra week for work in another province. 
Somjay is still doing good, but the problem is he just started working and we haven't been able to meet with him anymore because he's been so busy! So we are praying for Sister Na this week!
We also found a new family this week a mother and daughter! They both originally accepted a baptismal date for the 19th, but the Mom; Tom wasn't able to come to church, but her daughter; Mint was. She is only 16 so we had to push her date back to the 26th; so they will be baptized on that date! They seem pretty awesome.

Anyways, love you all so much! We had an Easter activity we did an egg toss, Easter egg hunt, and all that good stuff! I did send you some pictures of the Elephant Village from last week!
Elder Landon J Watkins