Sunday, August 13, 2017

Transfer #13/Thailand Week 77: Laos

I'm leaving Thailand

This past week was so good. We had Zone Conference and interviews with President Johnson. My favorite part of the zone conference was at the end of the meeting. I always get this feelings within me as I hear or share a personal testimony. I have gained a greater understanding of how powerful it is to always have Jesus Christ's name on our lips, and testify of Him. At that time, I felt that I "had no more desire to do evil". I've noticed, by always thinking of our Savior, Jesus Christ... evil thoughts will not dare creep into our minds. I know that God really does love us.

Sister Jane is doing great. She brought up that she has several friends that asked her about her changing religion. We saw as a perfect opportunity to help her build her testimony by sharing with others. Of course, with that a lot questions will be asked. So we did role plays with her. We also have been giving her questions that her friends may one day ask. We then would share and discuss what we came up with. She's loving it. It was hard for her as her mom did not support her with changing religion. Eventually, Sister Jane's attention towards herself shifted towards her mom. She then felt like she knew how her mom was feeling and had a greater desire to show her the beauty of the gospel. The gospel is amazing.

Change is amazing. With change, there's room for love. When I feel God's love, I feel at peace. I know that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints is the true church of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is central to conversion. As we read, ponder and ask, we will know of it's truthfulness. I know that I am called to do the Lord's work. I love God. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

- Elder Santeco
I'm going to Laos. Hahahahhahaha. I have to do some visa work. BYE!

Sister Capin is dying. This is her last transfer. BYEEEE
Elder Blad as well. LOVE YALL!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Thailand Week 76: Udon

God loves you!
We dead. Waiting for our bus... which leaves at 10:45 pm. Haha
This past week took a great toll on our bodies. We had an amazing MLC in Bangkok. But we traveled to Bangkok and back, on a bus. We traveled down to Bangkok on a bus because Elder Lovelock wasn't informed to get his passport from the Office. Then we had to travel back up to Udon by bus because there were no available tickets the day off. We were both physically worn out. Haha.
Just after we got back from MLC, we had a full day of work and finished the night off with some steak. It was a restaurant that sells a steak for 39 baht ($1.30ish), and Elder Lovelock decided to give it a shot. I didn't eat any because I already had food at home (Chicken with that AMAZING kalbi marination sauce from home. Thanks mom). The following day, Elder Lovelock was throwing up and having stomach problems. We then went to the Hosptial and was stuck there for most of the day. Towards the evening we headed home. During that time at home, I was able to clean. I like cleaning. Haha. Elder Lovelock has gotten better now, and is able to have a regular diet now. Lesson: Be sure aware of what you're going to eat.
Sister Jane got baptized yesterday! It was an amazing baptismal service. So spiritual. It touched me as Sister Jane cried just before she entered the waters. I love baptism. It is a blessing to be able to see Sister Jane go through the, repenting, and growing. I know that she felt at peace knowing that she is able to make this covenant with her Father in Heaven.
Elder Lovelock and I have been talking a bit on how we could improve our first lessons/inviting. We came to the conclusion of helping others understand who God, our Heavenly Father is before we talk about Jesus Christ. Reason being is that there is a lot of Christianity churches around, and so when people hear that we teach about Jesus Christ they would usually assume that our message is the same as everyone else's. Sadly, resulting with many unwilling people to even try to learn of our message. But since we have changed our strategy, we were blessed with lots of success these last couple of days by helping people realize the nature of God and then the necessity of having a Savior, Jesus Christ.
I know that God is our literal Father in Heaven. He loves you.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
With all my love,
Elder Santeco
Elder Lovelock hurt me. Hahaha. But I forgave him.

Elder Lovelock at the hospital.
I felt so bad for him.


Friday, August 4, 2017

Zone Leader parent Letter

4 August 2017
Dear Brother and Sister Santeco,
The Lord has called your son, Elder Gabriel Jirapoomdaje Santeco, to serve as the Zone Leader of the Udorn Zone in the Thailand Bangkok Mission. As a Zone Leader, Elder Santeco is a member of the Mission Leadership Council that meets monthly at the Mission Office in Bangkok. He will be responsible to work directly with District Leaders in his Zone to promote the Doctrine of Christ in the Scriptures, the method of missionary work in Preach My Gospel and inspiring missionaries in his Zone with the spirit to advance the work of the Lord in Thailand. His assignment will require him to travel to the Districts in his Zone to provide Zone trainings and companion exchanges with District Leaders. He will offer them encouragement and help wherever needed in their missionary labors.
Elder Santeco is a dedicated and obedient missionary. His strength of character is a great example to the missionaries with whom he works and I look forward to working more closely with him. Thank you for all you have done to prepare him for the great trust the Lord has now placed upon him.
Sister Johnson and I thank you for your son and for your continued faith and prayers in your son's behalf.

President Kelly R. Johnson
Thailand Bangkok Mission

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Thailand Week 75: Udon

The Lord is my Light

Elder Lovelock is here and we are getting to it! It's only been a couple days with him, but it has been a blast! I'm impressed on how much he has changed since the days of the MTC, and it just inspires me to keep on looking to the Lord and become like Him. "Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am." - 3 Nephi 27:27
Shout out to the missionaries in Sakon Nakon; Elder Blocker, Elder Saydyk, Sister Capin, and Sister Engstrom. Sakon Nakon is going through some major through flooding problems right now, but that's not stopping them! They are serving, singing and doing all they can to uplift those in Sakon Nakon. Everyone needs happiness. :)
Elders in Nong Khai also got a baptism the week they whitewashed in! Whoo!
Sister Jane is doing good. Still really busy with school. :)
We will be having a Family Home Evening with Brother Taw and his family again, but at a member's house. :) I'm excited.
I have come to find what my greatest desire is... it is happiness. And everything that this gospel has to offer has and will always continue to help me feel that sense of peace and joy. The mission is great, as I have been able to experience an even greater joy in helping others receive the very same restored gospel. Let us learn from our mistakes, humble ourselves during trials and afflictions, build humility by always praying and searching the scriptures. Let us come to realize and remember of the tender mercies of the Lord. Life is good.
I love you all!
- Elder Santeco

Brother ออม (Ohm) the Rubik's guy got a date for next month. :) He only wants to be happy, so he is more than willing to work towards baptism.

Yesterday, we started using public transportation to get around Udon. It's crazy fun inviting on the สองแถวs. We got the chance to walk around the neighborhoods and see some water buffaloes. :)

This is Elder Lovelock. หมายความว่าล็อคไว้ความรัก hahahaha

Oops. That was a picture of Elder Wilcox and his greenie, Elder Truman.

This is Elder Lovelock. Hahaha

The Udon Elder's House. WHOOO!


I LOVE YOU ALL! - Byeeee! :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Thailand Week 74: Udon

Find Joy in the Journey
Awkward Selfie. :D

I love President Monson's talk, "Finding Joy in the Journey"

Tomorrow is a new transfer and this talk seems to cover what I will be focusing on. I am excited. I am anxious to see what the Lord need of us.

Elder Dugquem will be moving to Bangkae with Elder Earl (an Elder from our group), and Elder Lovelock will be coming here to Udon (who is also from the same group).

Highlight of the week were...
1. Cooking Activity, to help the members fellowship with our investigators... It was crazy. A lot of good food. We did our activity just like the show, "chopped". There was four teams, two person per team. Every team was able to make a desert and a main dish within 40 minutes. The things that were in the box were marshmallows, donuts bite, gravy, chicken, and mushrooms. Everyone loved it.

2. Family Home Evening at our investigator family's house. The family lives right by behind the church. They started coming to our church activities since 2 weeks ago. The two daughters are so sweet. They love the members here at the church. Gives hugs to all their Sunday teachers and Sister members. We Elders give them high fives. The father loves his family, and sincerely just wants to do what is best for them. So he is more than happy to come to church with his two daughters. Same goes for the mother. Although the mom isn't free on Sundays, she noticed the changes in her daughters and wants to learn with us. Since FHE on Monday, they started praying as a family. 

The Set Up
The Contestants

The Desserts

The main dish.President Ooh made some of his own food after the activity.

Funny story with the dinner for Family Home Evening. We initially planned to have fried rice. Then it changed to phad thai. Then, spicy pork (ลาบหมู) with some sticky rice. In the end, we ended up making two plates of spicy pork, some grilled pork (we had an electric grill), soup and some fried rice. IT WAS A LOT. We shared a short spiritual thought about the Plan of Salvation and how families can be together forever. It was wonderful. We will keep on working with them to help them be able to be sealed together forever in the temple on day.

The Lord is a good man. His examples are magnificent, and I have come to know that as we rely on Him, we will always have peace and joy throughout our journey in life.

I love you all! 😄

- Elder Santeco

I like food. President Ooh made a sandwich for us. :D Elder Blad was happy.

Ate some good Vietnamese food

We did some yard work yesterday. It was fun. :)


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Transfer #12/Thailand Week 73: Udon

God is SO GOOD

This past week, we spent 3.5 days in Bangkok. We flew in on Monday night, and returned back to Udorn on Friday evening. During this time, WONDERFUL things happened. 

Tuesday, I was able to meet up with Elder Xaiyavong again, my ex-companion in Lopburi. He's now serving in Minburi. It was so good to see him getting lost in the work. He seems so much happier now. :)

Wednesday, MLC. It was AMAZING. It really built my desire on how I can better motivate the zone to finding "the one". I loved it.

Thursday. Switch off with AP, Elder Smith! He has been my Zone leader several transfers ago, but we haven't gotten the chance to do a switch off until then. He'll be going home soon after this transfer, so it was such a blessing to learn with him. During our switch off, we both agreed that the highlight of the day was when we found Sister Naam (น้ำ). Early in the morning, as we confirmed our appointments, all of our appointments got moved to the afternoon. So we decided to fill the time up with inviting. Around 9:00am, we met Sister Naam in front of our apartment. She was walking down the alley all by herself, so Elder Smith goes ahead and starts talking to her. There wasn't anyone else around during that time, so I went ahead and listened in to the conversation. "We have a message that we would want to share with you. We know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and He wants us to share this message with you. Do you have 5 minutes to come into the church and share this with you? " She replied, "ค่ะ" As we walked down to the church, she shared with me that she has just came into the area for School and has never been to the church before. But had learned about Jesus Christ. As we walked into the church, we sat down and started the lesson. 

I start off the lesson, "God is our Father in Heaven. He is your Father, you are His daughter and He loves you. All he desires is you to be happy." Elder Smith then transitions into prayer. "He wants to talk with us. I know that God is listening. He will answer your prayers." We then invited her to pray.

It was the most spiritual prayer I have ever heard before.

She pleaded for forgiveness. She repented. She wept her eyes out. She talked with God.

After her prayer, she explains in her shaky voice, "I am so sorry, I haven't been to church for 3 years." Superman, a member in the lesson, handed her a tissue as we set up a second appointment. Superman then walked her out of the church.

In some sort of state of shock, we rapidly walked around and tried to comprehend what just happened. After a good several minutes, we walked outside where we met with Superman, our member. As we asked about what he thought about the lesson, he replied..."She cried for repentance. She repented, right there." The spirit was so strong, that Superman started crying his eyes out. We gave him a hug, then he started walking back into the church for a little alone time. It was the first time anyone has seen or heard Superman cry.

This really built my testimony that God does answer prayers. He is always listening. God really does love His children. At the conclusion of our switch off, Elder Smith was committed to help her get baptized before he finishes his mission. God is so merciful.

Friday, visa work.

Saturday, Brother เจ and Sister เอลียา (Sister's investigator) got baptized.

Sunday, a wonderful Sabbath day.

Life is really good. My personal miracle for the week is that I have gained a greater love in knowing that I have weaknesses. Because I have weaknesses, It reminds me to always turn to the Lord for necessary guidance. I'm so grateful to know that it is okay that I am not perfect. I found peace in knowing that I can do better.

I love you all.

- Elder Santeco

We went to an investigator's house this past Tuesday (p-day) in Bangkok. It's HUGE.

The Movie Room.

The Dad's Hobby room.Woahhhhhhh

On the way back to Udon, I treated myself with some good curry. YUM.

My watch band ripped. I tried melting it together. It didn't really work.
Staples was the better option.
I'll probably buy a new watch today.
Thank you Riss for this watch though. I love LOVE the vibration feature. I use all the time for my alarms. Hahah.

Some pictures from Elder Dugquem. :) Flashbackssss

Brother เจ came over to the internet cafe with us. :D Hahaha.


That's all for now.