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.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Thailand Week 72: Udon

I'm Asian

So much is happening. I need to write in my journal.

This past Sunday, Brother อานนท์ (Anoon) got confirmed. He's a really interesting guy. He has been affected by the overuse of drugs, but he gave it up and found God. We will keep on working with him to prepare him to receive the Priesthood.

Also on this past Sunday, Brother คำพรธ์ got baptized. His faith is amazing! The previous Sunday, we finished up teaching the lessons. Found out that he and Sister ดรุณี (a member of the church) weren't keeping the Law of Chasity. But Brother Khampon understood the process of repentance and knew that he had to make things right. It was then that Sister Durani felt horrible for not keeping the commandments herself. She knew she had to repent and make things right. Within the next couple days, they drove to Surin (probably in his little สามล้อ/รถตุ๊กๆ) to file out his divorce papers. They then drove back and did their marriage papers the following day. Brother Khampon got interviewed and baptized. I was happy to see that both Brother Khampon and Sister Durani came to church with smiles all day. They applied the Atonement in their lives by sincerely repenting. That's when they started to realize of God's love and blessings for them.

Brother เจ (Jay) got interviewed and passed. He'll be moving to Bangkok for school, but just before he goes... he wants to get baptized. He is reminds me of my younger brother, Jesse. He's pretty quiet, but when you get to know him, he's a different story. All the youth members are pretty close with him and you can tell that he likes having friends. I'm excited for him.

Sister เจน (Jane) is a cool. The first week that I came into the area, she gave us a call while we were in Bangkok waiting for our flight to return to Bangkok. She has learned with the missionaries before... and wants to try again. During the three weeks, her faith has grown. She still has an amazing desire to love God. She'll be baptized for sure.

We had several switch offs this past week. Don't have pictures on my camera. I'll try to steal some from Elder Dugquem next week. :)

I'm Asian. Because I got to ดำนา... Got to pull some rice. Then plant them nicely in another field. It was fun. It made me think of mommy's garden back at home.

I love you all! ... Go write in your journal. :)

- Elder Santeco

Oh Elder Dugquem. He's awesome.

Hanging out with President Tiger.

Switch off with Elder Fjelsted in Khon Kaen. Sorry for the blurry pic.

Switch off with Elder Wilcox in Udorn. :D

While visiting an RC, we walk into this recycling place for their bathroom. Reduce Reuse Recycle. It was cool seeing the recycling process. 

We had a Mini MTC activity hosted by President Tiger this past Saturday. After the training, we took them out for a little missionary experience. It was super fun!

This is Sister เอิง's car. Wow.
She wants to be baptized... But she will be going to Bangkok soon for school. :) We'll keep working with her!

Brother คำพันธ์ baptism. His name is Khampan, not Khampon. Sorry. Hahahah. My brain isn't working right now.

President Tiger is cool. He lost at least 15 kilos this past 3 months. Crazy.

We had them put away their phones for dinner. :D Success!


Brother ประมวล and Sister แสง got baptized! SOLID. Brother ประมวล has already received the Aaronic Preisthood and is preparing to receive the Melchizedek. :)

I like rice.