Sunday, November 12, 2017

Thailand Week 90: Khon Kaen (ขอนแก่น)


Renewed.

This past couple days has been tough. It seems that we're scrambling to get everything done... but in the end, so little gets done. Whew.

But in the past couple days, I have seen the wonderful mercies of the Lord as everyone comes to church with a good ol' smile on their faces and leaves the church with an even bigger smile on their faces.

Thanksgiving is coming up. I don't know if I told you, but I was called to be the 2nd counselor in the Branch Presidency. Our District President recently took initiative to get the missionaries to fill in the positions to help strengthen the branches. It's a lot to juggle, but it's been a blast!

Khon Kaen is amazing. I am excited to see the branch continue to grow.

This past week, we have been inviting all to come unto Christ. Including members. We visited a good amount of members this past week. We visited Brother TongSuk (ทองสุข) one day and Sister Lek (เล็ก) another day. We also visited a large group of KKU (Khon Kaen University) students, Sister Ohm (ออม... from Roi et), Sister Kim (ขิม... from Gumpawpi), Sister Ing (อิง... from Khon Kaen), and Brother Paw (ปาว from Gumpawapi)... It's been a fun week. This week is also going to be another great one.

"22 And it came to pass that we did come down unto the tent of our father. And after I and my brethren and all the house of Ishmael had come down unto the tent of my father, they did give thanks unto the Lord their God; and they did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto him." 1 Nephi 7:22

I've been impressed at how often Lehi and his family gave thanks to the Lord. There's so much to be thankful for. It's amazing to see how merciful the Lord has been to us. I know that God loves us. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

LOVE YOU!

- Elder Santeco

This is Brother Tongsuk. :)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Thailand Week 89: Khon Kaen (ขอนแก่น)

A lot happened.



Halloween night was a blast! It was the first branch activity that I had here in Khon Kaen. At the end of the night, everyone left the church with a smile on their faces. I was not able to carve out a watermelon, but it was great to see people's determination to design it. :)




We were able to visit Brother Chay and Youri (ชัย/ยูริ) and their kids at their house this past week. They also happen to be the winners for the watermelon carving. They are a really cute family. I got a video of the parents singing a song for us, but it'll take a very long time to upload... so I'll hold off on that. They really opened up to the missionaries and in return, they were inviting their friends over for the lesson. It was great. We got to meet Sister แบ๋ม, a close friend of Sister Youri. She listened in to the lesson was more than happy to learn more. :) I love families.

This past Friday was the last night for Loy Kratong, a Thailand tradition. I was able to attend it last year in Lopburi with the members, but I've missed it this year. But that's okay. It was an amazing night. We missionaries thought that there wouldn't be anyone coming to sports night, so we decided to plan to clean up the church instead. But a lot of the members and investigators actually came to the church for Sports night. Elder Nielson was pretty firm on cleaning the church first, so that's what we did. We shared a spiritual thought, then went to work. I decided to made it game to do it within 10 minutes, and it worked out great. Afterwards we played games/sports the rest of the night. It was fun. :)

Saturday. We decided to visit a former investigator, Sister Yok (หยก). She's great. She shared her experiences with the missionaries and enjoyed it. She's been reading and praying and believes that Heavenly Father loves her. We invited her to trust in the Lord and pray to know how she can make it to church on Sunday. She was more than happy to do it. Afterwards, we decided to do something new for Elder Nielson... doing studies at a park. We decided to bike to a nearby park. Early in the morning, there was hardly anyone there. But we did see a few. We talked with them. We met Brother Naam (น้ำ). Spiritual lesson. He comes to the park quite often in the morning. He opened up and told us that he felt that there is a God, but isn't that sure yet. We introduced him to prayer and was really willing to pray. We have an appointment with him this Saturday. After having this miracle. We biked around looking for somewhere to sit down for studies. We found a spot and just as we were about to park our bikes, Elder Nielson requested to use the bathroom. This is where the other miracle happened. We biked to the park's bathroom and Elder Nielson walked inside. I sat down outside and started talking to a man named Poo (ภู). After talking for a bit, he shared that he has actually been invited by the missionaries many times when he was in Sakon Nakhon, but wasn't free at that time. Now that he's in Khon Kaen, he's free! He made it really straightforward that he had his religion and that all religion was good. As the conversation went on and Elder Nielson joined in on the discussion, he wanted to know. He wanted to know if our message was true. He wanted to know how to pray. We explained and then invited him to pray in his own time. He said he would. (And he did!) Then out of nowhere... Elder Nielson invited him to church! In my mind, I was panicking a bit... but then Brother Poo said, "Sorry, I'll be in Udon." MIRACLE! We told him that we have a District Conference this week and that it's actually tonight. He then asked, where? I explained it... since it was my last area. Then MIRACLE! I remembered that I had one inviting card in my shirt's pocket... and it happened to be the Udon's card with a map to the church. MIRACLE. He said, "I'll be there." And he did. He came on time. He also came on Sunday. And Monday for a short lesson(He returned to Khon Kaen at the same time as us... พอดี) and he came to English class yesterday. On monday, He shared several spiritual experiences. He said he feels like he's changing, and everyone else around him is also noticing it. And best of all, he's reading and praying. :) He has a date for December 3rd.

Hearing from Elder and Sister Evans, President and Sister Johnson was amazing. Along with all the other speakers too, people preparing on their missions and President Tiger. I had a lot of impressions as I listened to them. It was great.

Another miracle. Elder Evans committed us to focus on teach to find. And when we returned to Sister หยก's place the following day... she gave us 6 new referrals. We taught one of them, Brother Grung (กรุง) whom is an awesome new investigator. He was hesitant at first, but really opened up and wants to meet again. He also gave us an additional referral. It's been great. Elder Nielson is so diligent. He's very good at making lists and making sure it happens. He talks about the list all the time. Literally all the time. I sometimes feel like it's too much and overbearing. But it's great. I'm learning so much from him. The Lord is making things happen as we work diligently.

Life is good. I love the missionary life.

I LOVE YOU ALL!

- Elder Santeco ☀🌮
That was a very long message. :) There's actually more that happened... I should write it in my journal. :)

Some of the people that came for sports night. :)

This is Sister หยก. Amazing investigator.

Zone inviting at a nearby park in Udon. :)

District Photos as well.

We match. We match.





It was so good to see all the Udon members again. :) 

LOVE YOU ALL!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Thailand Week 88: Khon Kaen (ขอนแก่น)

This past week
Elder Nielson got into a car accident. But
HE STILL SMILING! :D I LOVE THIS ELDER!


WAS SO MUCH FUN! I don't have a lot of time. Sorry.

Monday: We went to the Khon Kaen Zoo. We took pictures. It was lovely. Later that night we have FHE with Sister Nok and Sister Net! We talked about "The Living Christ", it was really spiritual. To finish the night, we sang Happy Birthday to Elder Nielson! He is 19 years old. :) Funny moment: While taking a picture, Elder Nielson tilted his jelly cake at an angle for the camera... just while Sister Nok took the pictures, the cake  accidently slipped off his plate. The funniest part was that Sister Nok caught it all on camera. The first picture had all of us looking at the camera, the second had all of us looking at Elder Nielson's cake. We looked at the pictures and just instantly laughed our heads off for a good 5 minutes. We then picked up the cake and ate it anyways. :) Elder Nielson said that it was the best birthday ever. :D I'll try send the pictures next week.

Tuesday: ENGLISH! Service!

Wednesday: We met an LA named Brother อู๋, Ooh, and he is a lovely man. We are working close with him to help him and his family get involved with the Church. Also met Brother Bird, an investigator. He is earnestly seeking to know if the Book of Mormon is true or not. I know that someday, he will know.

Thursday: A special day dedicated to the King of Thailand.

We had district meetings, studies and weekly planning.

Friday: Inviting! It was the first solid inviting session I had since I came here in Khon Kaen. It was really fun! Met many people at a nearby park. :)

Saturday: We went back to the park and was able to teach many people with a member! Whom happens to be a recent returned missionary from Thailand. I served with her when I was in Thoburi. She has an amazing testimony and really shows it by literally talking to everyone, even if she doesn't have a missionary badge. Oh and I had dinner three times that night, thanks to Sister Nok. :D I love ปาเต.

Sunday: We got to talk about Family History! We are going get that started up here in Khon Kaen. Yay! This upcoming week will be FUN! We got a Halloween activity planned for this Tuesday. We will also be having a District Conference in Udon this upcoming Sunday. We will also be having Zone conference on Monday the 6th. So I'll probably be emailing you all next week Wednesday. :)

I LOVE YOU ALL!

- Elder Santeco


This is our House.

This is the 2nd floor view from our house. There is the church. We live by the church. :D

LOOK AT US! AT THE ZOO!





Sister Shaw, Sister Nixon, Sister Flash(แฟลช), Sister Gung(กุ้ง)

On the Skywalk





The Park!



Sunday, October 22, 2017

Thailand Week 87: Khon Kaen (ขอนแก่น)

ขอนแก่น (Khon Kaen)

Elder Nielson is amazing! It was just obvious to me that he truly loves the Lord and His work. It has only been a couple days and I can already tell that he really wants to do his best. We made several changes in our daily schedule so that we could have more companionship prayers and studies. I've seen the blessings as we set just a little of time to read from the scriptures while we eat breakfast and before we head to bed. I am learning a lot from Elder Nielson. :)


This past week, I was able to meet with several members and investigators. All of whom are great. I'm excited to see how this week will turn out. I'll keep you all updated next week.

"And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him." 1 Nephi 2:3

Obedience is showed through our decision to do as the Lord commands us. I love how in Thai, it is เชื่อฟัง, which breaks up to two separate words... เชื่อ: to believe and ฟัง: to listen/do. I know that as we do all we can to be obedient to the commandments of the Lord. We will be blessed with peace and joy. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I LOVE YOU ALL! :)

- Elder Santeco

My MTC teacher and her family! :D

 With Brother Taw and Brother Joe :)
This is Brother Hat. He's been an investigator for 4 years. :D Haha

First dinner out with Sister Nok and Sister Net! Both are awesome! :)

This is Brother Arm. He loves doing missionary work!

The clean up crew. We working hard to prep for Sunday.

This is Brother Off and his son. His wife is currently an investigator of the Sisters. Ah, families can be together forever. :)









Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Transfer #14/Thailand Week 86: Khon Kaen (ขอนแก่น)

I've again realized...


That time goes by so fast... I've been here in Udon for 3 transfers... and now I have another 3 left. 😰 President Johnson called me this past Tuesday and told me that I will be reassigned and will be moving to Khon Kaen (ขอนแก่น) with Elder Neilson. I'm glad to still be in the same Zone with Elder Lovelock, we'll still be talking/seeing each other pretty often. I'm excited. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to look back at how my mission has been... It's been amazing. But now it's time to rededicate myself and sprint to the finish. :) 

A lot happened this past week. It's been a real eye-opening experience to see how much the Lord has really blessed us. We all have our weaknesses, but all the Lord asks of us is to do our best... and follow the Spirit. :)

Today... We started out our morning with soccer... there's still quite a bit that I need to do... get a haircut/eat some lunch with the members/pack/etc. :) Don't have much time. But I love you all!

"Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day." D&C 4:2
I know that this is the Lord's work and I am ever so grateful for the Lord's trust in imperfect people including myself to perform such marvelous work. I know that God does love his children. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

- Elder Santeco☀🌮

Thanks Brother เก่ง for the pictures!




 








District Picture...

Much Love from Elder Lovelock and I... 😙