Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 18 - Bangkhen, Thailand (I just got transferred!)

The Elephant Tower in the back
I'm no longer where you think I am.

I will start with Monday. I had the feeling that I was moving, so I was planning for it. Then we got a phone call late at night that said that I was moving out of Sakon Nakhon. I called the members telling them that I was leaving. I really love it in Sakon Nakhon. They are like my other family for sure. I will definitely go back and visit them again.

Then the next day I had to get packed, and say final goodbyes to members and such.

Then it was Wednesday, I had to wake up early and head to Bangkok where the transfer meeting was. We got there really late at night and we asked the บางเขน (Bangkhen) Elders if we could stay there for the night.
The Elephant Tower
Turned out that there were other Elders there as well. So we had about 10 Elders in one condo.

Their house was super nice compared to what I had in Sakon. Then I woke up and looked out the window and just said, "I would hate to be here only seeing buildings." Then we went to the meeting, I met my trainer and he just went home.

Elder Drew Jex. He is now back in American Fork. So I got a new companion named Elder Hill. He is a pretty cool guy. Then I found out that we were going to บางเขน! (Bangkhen) I have to go back to the place that I stayed the night at and live there!

It also turned out that we were white washing in to the area. So both of us are fresh in the area. Then on Friday we got to meet some of the members on sports day. It was super fun. And we have an actual church! Then on Saturday it was pretty normal. We had lessons then Book of Mormon class. Then on Sunday I met the rest of the members in the WARD. I'm in a ward.

Also I found out President Sangsawan (our family friend from Salt Lake City, now serving as the first counselor to the Mission President) is in this Ward as well, He says Hi. I still miss Sakon Nakhon a lot, but I am needed in บางเขน (Bangkhen). There are so many people here. And I walk everywhere instead of biking.

Anyways, I'm really excited for this transfer!

Love Elder Boonmee

Week 17 - Sakon Nakhon, Thailand (June 19, 2014)

I realized 1/4th of my mission is already done. Time is flying by. This week was pretty eventful! We had our investigator baptized yesterday! He is extremely old and doesn't know his birth date.

We had two firemen carry him into the font (just kidding) and baptize him. One of the most memorable and hilarious things in the world. He is always saying โชคดี (good luck) to us. He has no teeth and speaks Isan (Northeastern dialect) and so cute and we love him. I hardly understand anything he says.

Anyways, it was probably the greatest thing on earth. It is really awesome seeing how the Gospel doesn't just apply to young people, it's also applicable to really REALLY old people as well. Even though he is near the end of his life, it was comforting that we can, at least, give him the first and most important step. Baptism!

Today we went to Muhkdahan (a province near Sakon Nakhon) for a P-Day excursion. We just went to see an old Chinese temple and shopped around. I'll send some photos.

And Happy Fathers day! Just wanted to say thank you for everything that you do and I'm grateful for you being in my life. Having a father in the family is so important. Being here in Thailand, it seems like the Father figure is destroyed. But thank you for putting a good example for me.

Love you all and Say hello to everyone!

Elder Boonmee

Week 16 - Sakon Nakhon, Thailand (June 9, 2014)

Three pounds of mangosteen and this is the only one left.
Yeah I got to see the Browns! (President and sister Brown from our stake serving their mission in Thailand)

I will look for that talk (Overcoming our Goliath. by president Monson's 1987 ensign).

That sounds like a lot of fun!, at your company party how many people were there?

It's nice to hear about Braeden. Please send me a photo of his invitation.

So this past week we had zone conference which was awesome. It was focused on the Godhead and repentance. The most I got from Repentance was that it can't be a checklist. President Senior pointed out that repentance  was a change of character, more than just a focus on what we need to do to get it out of the way. I think, that a lot of people believe it to be a hard thing to do, but it really is an opportunity to use the Atonement and really change your life for the better.
It was really good to hear, especially for our investigators. Not too much happened but that is what was important!

Love you all

Elder Boonmee

Week 15 - Sakon Nakhon, Thailand (June 1, 2014)

We had Sister แบม (Bam) receive the gift of the holy ghost yesterday. It was so awesome seeing the growth of investigators. Not too much happened this week. We are still working hard and trying our best. It is starting to get harder to find new investigators because everyone has either talked to us or they heard from someone else about us. We will continue to strive on and still talk to every single person we see. The coup has pretty much stopped and we are back to normal now.

love you all!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Week 14 - Sakon Nakhon, Thailand (May 25th, 2014)

This past week was really strange. We got news that we can use facebook as missionaries. We make new accounts and what not. The purpose of it is to stay in contact with our recent converts and investigators. I can only be friends with people in the areas I have served. So I can only add people in Sakon Nakhon so far.

Then with the coup. The first day the mission office told us that we can't go out of our houses. The whole day was pretty strange. Here, in Sakon Nakhon, nothing is happening. It is very normal here. The only place that I know of, close by, is Udorn. They have some riots. But here in Sakon we are pretty safe. So currently all missionaries can't go out contacting. We have to keep low profiles and just stay safe. 

We had one of our investigators baptized yesterday!
Her name is Sister แบม (Bam). She is 17 and she isreally great. I met her at the park and she was just interested in what the church was all about and now she is a member! It's great seeing the spirit work in people. It might be a little bit more difficult to get some new investigators right now, but the lord is preparing people. 

We had an emergency transfer here so Elder Astle (District Leader) is moving to Ubon and we are having a new Elder come to Sakon. He was pretty bummed out because he didn't have a proper goodbye to members.

The members in this branch are some of the best I've seen. I think back at home and I realize I didn't know anything about the missionaries. So I will learn from that and become more close with the branch and will try my best to do better as a missionary.

Other than that, not too much for this week because we've been stuck at the house but I love you all and hope to hear from you next week!

Elder Boonmee

Friday, June 13, 2014

Week 13 Sakon Nakhon, Thailand (May 18, 2014)

A little context about the guitar. Elder Matt Boonmee's new companion, Elder Hogan, loves music. He's from Provo. Elder Matt Boonmee mentioned that they were both members of their respective high school percussion band. In fact, I believe they have even competed in the past. Anyway, Elder Hogan brought his guitar with him to Sakhon Nakhon so Elder Matt Boonmee went and bought himself one as well. When I was my mission, ages ago, one of the activity we did was to have family home evening night at the church where we invited members, and investigators to attend. We would have such activities as; games, volleyball, trakraw, even singing, and etc...  After a while, the family home evening nights became quite popular with both members and investigators.

When Elder Matt Boonmee told me about Elder Hogan, I had suggested that the two of them should work with members to plan something fun for family home evening nights where the two of them can play guitars. So, below is Elder Matt Boonmee's reponse to my suggestion.

"...We haven't done a whole lot with the guitars and contacting. We aren't really sure how we are supposed to contact people with it.

My Thai is good. The members are great as always. This past week has been pretty great, we have some new investigators that should be baptized this coming Sunday! We are trying really hard for all these investigators but now it really is up to the lord and them.

Yesterday, an older gentleman came and argued with me about boon (Buddhist merits) and baab (sin). I could tell he wasn't there to listen to what we had to share. He was very confrontational so I just said thank you for your time and chokedii (Good Day/Good bye). That was probably the first time that I really felt angry at someone, but I ended it with what I thought was the best way. It is so hard, at times, when all you want to do is to share what you believe is so precious but all they think is that we are trying to convert them. We as missionaries and members desiring salvation for our brothers and sisters. Our desire is to have all of our brothers and sisters with us in the next life, with our father in heaven.

I also had a really awesome studies this morning. I read in Jacob 5 and it was about the olive tree and grafting of the branches. It really helped me understand how merciful the lord is and how important the restoration is.

on the other note, I ate a lot of kuay teiw (Thai Noodle soup) this past week. tasty as always.

I didn't any new photos because not much has changed. We might go eat at a hot pot place today. It's a buffet so I am really excited"

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Week 12 (Mother's Day), Sakon Nakhon. (May 11, 2014)

Week 11 (Mother's Day), Sakhon Nakhon, Thailand

สำหรับวันแม่ เราได้คุย Gotomeeting กับน้องแม็ท สำหรับผู้ที่อาจไม่เข้าใจ, มิชชันนารีมอร์มอนเหมือนน้องแม็ทจะได้โทรมาบ้านเพียงปีละสองครั้งเป็นเวลาหนึ่งชั่วโมงในช่วงวันแม่และวันคริสต์มาส นอกจากนั้นจะเป็นเพียงอีเมลในวัน P-day (วันส่วนตัว)

 ทางครอบครัว, รวมทั้งคุณปู่,คุณย่า,น้า,อา, และหลาน ก็พร้อมหน้าพร้อมตารอคุยด้วย

We had a great time with everyone on Gotomeeting for Mother's Day. For those that may not know, Mormon missionaries only get to call home twice a year, for an hour, during Mother's Day and Christmas. The rest of the time, email on P-Day (personal day) is the only communication.

So, needless to say, Elder Matt Boonmee's mom was very happy to get to talk to her son (and so was I). We had grandpa, grandma, aunts, uncle and nieces online.

The time went by pretty quickly, as Elder Matt Boonmee was trying to comply with the one hours, mission rule.
Lot a lot to mention this week, other than that Elder Matt Boonmee misses his family and was glad to see most of everyone.