Sunday, August 27, 2017

Thailand Week 79: Udon

We stayed in Udon!

This the officially the first time that I have stayed in Udon for the entire week. Therefore, we were able focus on building up our area. On the journey to do so, we were able to find many new investigators by going around the neighborhood nearby the church. It's really cool finding faithful investigators that live far away, willing to do all they can to keep the commandments, including going to church every Sunday. But, I loved that when we stayed nearby the church, we still managed to find new investigators with amazing potential. The gospel is for everyone.

This past week, we met with Sister Apple Pie. She's a sweet 65 years old woman. She married a England guy many years ago, but the husband left her for another person. Her son is busy working in Japan, with no time to talk to her mom. Her life is pretty hard. But she's home, always helping her neighbors and caring for the others. She heard about the Mormons before. The reason being is that when the Udon church was being built, she planted trees there. She has really opened up to what God has in store for her. :) 

Sister ปุ้ย and her daughters are so cool! I met Sister Buoy the two weeks ago. It was when inviting, I thought I lost Elder Lovelock... So panicking, I went biking around and asking if they saw a foreigner with a blue helmet nearby. Sister Buoy, buying some fried bananas at a nearby cart, thought that Elder Lovelock went this direction. In the end, I found Elder Lovelock who was in the same store that I was inviting at... I just didn't notice him. A week later, we started inviting down the same street... but we decided to turn into the branches of the street. At the end of the road was Sister Buoy! After talking about how we met last week... we started talking about religion. She was hesitant, didn't know if she really give her phone number to us because she wanted to learn or because she felt obligated to. This past week, we tried meeting up with her. 1st time, she cancelled the appointment. But we rescheduled for the following day. They were there at the house. All open and willing to learn! At the end of the lesson, they asked us if they could have us over again. We said yes. The next lesson they asked if they could go to church. We again said, yes. :)

Sister หวาย is an English Student that decided to come on Sunday! She has been learning English with us to prepare for when she goes to Australia. We've noticed, with that being a huge change for her... it must have been the reason why she's willing to go to church... She's changing. She loved Church. She's super smart. Super happy. During 2nd hour, we talked about the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Health... apparently, through experience... she has already been keeping this commandment. We then taught her after church. She said an amazing prayer. :)

We had an Area Seventies visit us here in Udon. Elder Khanakham is amazing. I am so thankful for the many great leaders in this Church. After church, we were able to attend a meeting/training for the all the church auxiliary leaders. I came to realize the amount of hard work that everyone is putting in to build the Kingdom of God. :)

There's been a lot going on here. And there's so much more... That's why I've FINALLY started writing in my journal again. :) Whoohoo!

Life is good. I know that I can't do the work alone... because it's not my work... it's the Lord's! I know that God is real, and He loves us! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I got a haircut. I also stopped by the hospital to try get my ears cleaned, because I felt like my hearing got worse... turns out, my ears are already cleaned. The doctors even took pictures to prove it. But my hearing probably has worsened. Hahah.

I love you all.

- Elder Santeco

Some extra photos of the trip to Laos. (2 weeks ago)

We went to Nhongkhai for last week's P-day.
District's photo on the skywalk. 
 The Skywalk

Vibrant Colors.

                  With Elder Lovelock
That Asian Pose.

It was very foggy.

Then 10 minutes later... it wasn't.

We went into a cave. It was fun.

The hardest part of the journey. We had to crawl in this little hole... Brother Ooh really impressed us. But when you're that deep into the cave, there's no turning back. Haha.

I got out. Hahah

Scary stuff down there. Hahah. Just kidding... It was really cool.

There's the waters that separate Laos and Thailand.

Elder Lovelock's birthday. 

I had a burger.

This is Sister Deuy (เตย)... She finally came back from vacationing is ready to help us teach. She reminds me a lot of Marisa. Hahhaahhaha

We went to a waterfall!

We went to a waterfall! Group picture

This dog came out of nowhere. :)


- Elder Santeco

Monday, August 21, 2017

Thailand Week 78: Udon

Adventure time!

We spent most of our time everywhere but Udon. Hahaha.
Met up with the Laos Elders; Elder Saunders and Cheney.

I had the wonderful opportunity to do a switch off with Elder Hunt down in Asoke. He's an amazing missionary. Always up about with helping others feeling God's love. It was quite a switch off. Several things fell through. But at the end of the day, we had a total of 10 amazing lessons and 7 new investigators. I gained a better understanding of how attitude really plays a huge role in missionary work. Being in Bangkok, where there's people everywhere. It's pretty easy to be discourage by the repeated rejection. But, I realize that the fact that we are out and trying to help others feel happy... we obviously need to show that we are happy! It was a really fun day doing all we could to do to brighten other's people lives.

I also was able to do a switch off with Elder Decker up in Nong Khai. It was a blast. We spent majority of the day out and inviting, but we had fun doing it. Some cool things that happened: A drunk guy said that he wanted a better life, so we shared a message with him. However, he didn't seem all there. Therefore, Elder Decker will meet up with him again in an upcoming day.... We had several people come up to us and asked to learn about Jesus Christ... I got honked at for no reason. It got Elder Decker and I all confused... It was a such a good day.

The miracle of the week is Sister จิ๊ก. Ever since Elder Lovelock came in, we have been working with her pretty often. She has been progressing tremendously. There were several miracles that I saw in her conversion.
1. In our first lesson, she wasn't interested into our message at much. She was making a lot of comparisons between her religion and Mormonism. So it wasn't until we started sharing what was different between the two religions that she gained interest. What got her wanting to know what this Mormonism is, was when her friend Sister Ming (an Recent Convert), mentioned that in the Book of Mormon the translation of time was wrong. She was confused to see why it would start with a bigger number... be like 588 - 570 B.C. When we explained to her how the time was referred to before Christ, Sister Jik was also listening. That was when Elder Lovelock pulled out the the first chapter of the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi... Which took place about 600 B.C.. Meaning that the religion of Jesus Christ has been on earth longer than 2600 plus years. That's where Sister Jik clicked. "That's a long time!" She then started asking a lot of questions... "What is this book? Where did it come from? Who wrote it?" We gave her a commitment to pray to God.
2. In the next lesson, we followed up on prayer and decided to review it. She was first confused on how we don't have any graven images or anything of a sort when we pray. After explaining that prayer is, she came to understanding that prayer is more than requesting blessings. It is communication between God and her. It made praying more personal to her. At the end of the lesson, she said an amazing prayer. In her prayer she asked the missionaries to come back and to learn more. She wants to learn.
3. We talked a lot about faith in Jesus Christ. It was an amazing lesson. At the end, she asked us... "How can I build my faith?"... We gave her Alma Chapter 32 to read.
4. Saturday night, we called her and asked if she would be able to go to church. She replied, "No." She had to take her son to school. In fact, all of our investigators had something come up and said that they would be going to church.
5. Sunday morning... Just right after the opening prayer was given... Sister Jik walked in. Elder Lovelock and I looked at each other and couldn't help but smile. In sacrament, the speakers talked about the Holy Ghost and it's role in our conversion. During Sunday class, we talked about faith in Jesus Christ. It was perfect. I feel like Sister Jik enjoyed it. Sister Jik was our only investigator at church. She's the one.

I can't believe I just wrote this much for Sister Jik. It's practically a Teaching Record already. Haha.

Brother Taw and his family were given to the Sister missionaries. They will be taking care of him now. We felt like they would be able to work with him more since we were always out of Udon. They came to church yesterday as well. :)

It's been a crazy week. Numbers are low. But, we are going to use that to push ourselves to do better.

The Lord is so good. I know that God is real. He's our Father in Heaven and only wants the best for us. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ is true. I know that this gospel is more than just a religion... it changes lives. It holds more value than money could ever buy. I love being a missionary. Along with seeing others in the process of conversion, I see myself also being converted. :)

I love you all!

- Elder Santeco

Trip to Laos.

President Tiger.

The lovely couple. Sister Dukatha and Brother Jack.

Mango Pancake. Yum.

Brother Jack is shy.

President Tiger was a tour guide... so it was really fun hearing of all the symbolic meanings and history behind everything.


Elder Hunt got a ticket. It was a shock for us... but the policeman did look like he was having a bad day. 

We moved this lizard away from the office to our garden.

Elder Decker. Fun Switch Off.

Finished Saturday night off with an amazing desert. Yum.