Thursday, August 27, 2015

Week 50 - Khonkaen, Thailand (Feb 8, 2015)

Elder Matt Boonmee indicated that, finally, people in Thailand are recognizing him as a Thai.

"It will be very fun to be serving with these missionaries in Khonkaen. I will keep all that I do in line with what the Lord has in store. It's possible that there is a reason why I am staying in the อิสาน for most of my mission. But all I know that the Lord knows where he wants me to go and I will do..."

We told Elder Matt Boonmee about Elder Martin's homecoming, his former companion from Sakonakhon.


"...Jeremy Martin is a great missionary. He was my district leader in สกลนคร He really showed how to be a dedicated missionary. He did some awesome things there. Also, Christian VandenBergh, I have been in almost every single one of his areas. I have followed his areas since บางเขน all the way until now. His last area was Chiang Mai so it's possible that I go there next.

...


I haven't done anything too exciting lately. We have been working hard here in Khon Kaen. We are working to get 65 people at church this next month. I think it will be a great start. My greenie area, สกลนคร has brought the weekly members up to 90 people! IT's incredible. The members in สกลนคร are great. So we will be trying to do what they do there and go out and find our lost brothers and sisters.

Something cool to study is to look into the book, the duties and blessings of the priesthood. It's an Elder's Quorum teaching booklet and talks about a lot of deep stuff. Really cool studies.

Anyways, I don't have much. I love you all and say hello to everyone for me!

Elder Boonmee"

Week 49 - Khonkaen, Thailand (Feb 1, 2015)

Khon Kaen is a good area. On a weekly basis there is about 45 people at church. We are going to try and build it up a little more as well.

People in my district is Elder Parker, Elder Pratt, and Elder Nelson.

Elder Parker was trained by Elder Smith.

......

One insane event happened on Saturday. Elder Parker and I went to the walking market to go inviting. So we parked our bikes turned around and started inviting. After I had invited about 3 people, I turned to find some more people. I made eye contact with some one and I looked away.

She looked familiar so I looked back and turned out it was my Recent Convert from Sakon Nakhon Sister แบม! I just went crazy! The thing is, is that she went less active when I was still there. We lost all contact with her because she had some problems in her life. But I was so happy to see her! We talked for a little bit and I got her phone number. She said she was just in town for testing, but is still in Sakon. She said she would go tell one of the members in Sakon that we ran into each other. Hopefully that will be the way she gets back to church. It was one of the most incredible things ever. I'm not sure, but I think the Lord planned for that. I might have to check up on if she went back to church in Sakon or not. But it was so awesome to see her here in Khon Kaen.

We have been teaching lots of lessons, but are having a trouble holding on to them. But that will just be part of the diligent work. Just doing it. The Lord has a plan and is preparing people and we are just working continually. I know the Lord is almighty and that He knows everything, and that everything that happens, is because of Him.

I love you all

Elder Boonmee

Week 48 - From Surin to Khonkaen, Thailand (Jan 25, 2015)

Transfers was good. I guess I will just start out with what happened this past week.

So on the last few days of being in Surin, I started to realize I was really going to miss them. They are great people. Surin is one my favorite places, if not the favorite. It was a hard place but I learned so much from the area, as well as loved the members.

After we left Surin at 12 in the morning we got to the place at about 6 in the morning and headed to transfers. Saw a lot of past companions and all that stuff. I got a photo with some of the past companions. Then we had transfers meeting. I have a new companion who is actually Elder Jacob Smith's trainee. So I guess it's like I'm his step uncle or something like that. He is a funny guy. And that I was headed to Khon Kaen. Still in the Isan. I have only been out of the Isan for 12 weeks when I was in Bangkhen. I guess I'm just an Isan kid. I've been working on my Isan so hopefully I can speak to grandma.

I've been to Khon Kaen twice for zone conferences so I'm a little bit familiar with the area.

I can't wait to see what is in store. The district is pretty young. I'm the district leader and the rest are pretty young in the mission. It's really different, I realize I'm getting a little old now a days.

Anyways, love you all and I will see you on December 18 which is my finishing date.

Elder Boonmee

Week 47 - Surin, Thailand (Jan 18, 2015)

Not a lot of update this week from Elder Matt Boonmee.

Here are some of the most recent photos. Tell everyone I say hello and I love them!  ...

... not much at allllll. Just working hard with this small branch. Today we will see if anyone moves or not. We have just been doing the same things as usual. Inviting, teaching, and running the branch which is a little different from some other areas. I honestly have not much else to say. I love you all and I'll tell you what happens next week!

Elder Boonmee

Week 46 - Surin, Thailand (Jan 11, 2015)

It's been 4 month in Surin since the transfer. Smaller ward with some challenges but he is doing well and enjoying the challenges. We told him about our upcoming trip to India and our plan to stop in Thailand to visit with my wife's family and perhaps a drop by to attend church with Elder Matt Boonmee as well. We told Elder Matt Boonmee that we sent our request for permission to visit hi to President Senior (Elder Matt Boonmee was adamant about us getting the permission first.)

In addition, our dear friend, in Thailand, was involved in tragic accident in the recent week. We asked the mission office if it was possible that they send missionaries to see our friend and give him a blessing.

On the other side of Thailand, in the province of Sisaket, one of our Thai family member, for the first time, went to church to learn English with the missionaries.

The following are some of  the responses and comments from Elder Matt Boonmee's email to us this week.

"...turns out that the Elders in Thonburi it has Elder Tanner! He was just with me not too long ago. The redhead. He just told me about what happened. I will copy what he said.

"Hey today we were able to go give your dad's friend a blessing in the hospital. I'm not sure if you knew about it, but it was really a great experience. Elder Wheeler, Elder Chambers, Elder Frodsham and I went to the hospital and we really didn't know what to expect. We met with your dad's friend's mother, who is this sweet little Thai lady. She showed us into where this man was laying. He looked pretty bad. No bandages or anything, but he was laying there with kinda a blank stare. I could tell his mother was very worried about him. She said he'd been like that since December 11th or 12th. He had to have surgery done on the right part of his brain because apparently he had been in a motorcycle accident. We asked his mother if she believed that Jesus Christ could help her son, and she said she believed. We told her what was going to go on, and then I was able to anoint the blessing and Elder Wheeler gave a powerful blessings stating that he would become better. We explained where the church was and how to pray to his mother and told his mother that she can pray for him as well. I have faith that it will all be through the will of God. And the interesting thing was that after the blessing was performed, he took a couple of big breaths and his eyes started moving more. Please tell your dad and family to keep praying for them. This will be a great way that this family will come to know who Jesus Christ truly is"

... it is very much possible that I would be moving. I have been here for the same amount of time I was in Sakhon Nakhon. But who knows!"...

... 100% true, that if we give all that we can to follow whatever the Lord asks of us, we will be forever blessed. We don't have any idea what is in store for us in the future, but the Lord does. He does EVERYTHING for us. 

For this week we didn't really have all that much happen. I forget to send a photo of Brother ป๋อง He is our most recent convert. I met him in front of a store. Turns out he had learned with the Elders before and was nervous to come back after not coming for so long. So it was planned that we were supposed to see him again. When we taught him, he was once again, golden. He had no problems. This man will be a future branch president. He has a family. A little 7 month year old baby and his wife. I got to meet his little baby daughter. Such a chubby little cute girl. I can see the gospel blessing him and his family. 

Anyways I love you all and that is all!

Elder Boonmee"

Week 45 - Surin, Thailand (Jan 4, 2015)

This week we reported on Elder Matt Boonmee's friends, Elder Cooper, Elder Richardson, Sister Burr, and Elder Claflin. We also told him many from our ward are coming home soon. Lilly also sent this fire-spitting dragon to her uncle.

Elder Matt Boonmee responded as follow:

"Dear Famaree,

I didn't see any videos or emails from mom. Maybe you sent it to the wrong email? Yeah I saw the photo of him with it. They have that same thing here in Thailand.

It's weird to think that so many people are coming home now. I only have 11 months left and Jacob has only 3 more transfers then he is back home with you all.

Not too much has happened in the last three days. Just slow work because EVERYONE is gone. But we should be back to normal now. 

Keep praying, keep reading the scriptures, and keep going to church. Also, If you ever have the chance go to deseret book and buy something called the handbook for missionaries. It's got a lot of cool facts about the church and what a lot of investigators have asked before.

Love you all!

Elder Boonmee"

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Week 44 - Surin, Thailand (December 28, 2014)

Well, we had a great time talking to Elder Matt Boonmee on Christmas Eve. With today's technology, GotoMeeting, we were able to conference uncle Steven's family, grandma, grandpa, his sister Kelly, nieces Lilly and Daysie into the conversation.

For the first time, we were able to speak to Elder Matt Boonmee in Thai. His Thai was awesome, other than his American accent. He was able to understand everything we said to him and visa versa. He has grown much. Needless to say, we are very proud of him. Unfortunately, we were too excited and busy trying to talk to him that we forgot to capture the screen of Elder Matt Boonmee so we can post it here.

Due to the mix up of schedule during Christmas, we didn't not receive any update from Elder Matt Boonmee until December 31, 2014. The following is what we finally received form him.

"It sounds like a pretty fun Christmas in Utah!

All is well here. The work is getting a little harder because everyone was gone for new years and what not. Last night was New years eve so it sounded like World War III outside. But apparently I'm the only one that woke up when it happened.

On Christmas, I just took a nap and then ate moogratat เข้าใจไหม? (HotPot)

Haha that is too funny. I can't belive how old they look now. Lilly looks like a ฟรัง (white/Caucasian) completely. and Daysie is sassy! haha I can't wait to see them again! They are such little funny ones.

Holy cow you guys bought those things? That iphone 6 plus thing is massive! How do you fit it into your pocket? I feel like a normal is just fine.

Yeah, just call president Senior first and talk to him about it (He is referring to our plan to drop by and see him on our way to visit our YooFoo office in India).

That's great to hear that Jacob is back and happy! Tell him I said hello, if I don't get the chance to.

I'm assuming mom never made that email haha


video

Lately they just came out with a rule that we can't PLAY songs that aren't hymns. The past few months I've been singing and playing hymns with the guitar at church, but now we can't do that either. what a waste of such an angelic voice (His personal joke).

Anyways, It's new years for you all! Hope all is well! Love you all and happy new years!

Love Elder Boonmee"

Week 43 - Surin, Thailand (December 21, 2014)

Due to Christmas, we will be talking to him Wednesday evening (Christmas Eve). Needless to say, we are very excited.

I was able to send several pictures of his nieces (Lilly and Daysie).

While we waited for Wednesady, here a picture we gleaned from facebook, posted by some of the members from Surin.

Week 42- Surin, Thailand (December 14, 2014)

Dear Family,

We've seen videos and pictures of Elder Matt Boonmee and Elder Reid playing guitar and violin, posted on facebook by members of the Surin branch and asked if they have been asked to perform at any of the  church meetings.

"...I'm still in Surin, nothing has changed. Only one elder came in and it's ELDER LINGARD one of my companions in the MTC! He is with Elder Reid. Then for the song, I played the guitar while Elder Reid played the violin. "

And when asked about his last haircut his response was: "Oh yeah, I was furious when I saw my hair. I still am currently in an awkward state of my hair. I look like I have a fuzz ball on my head. I can't do anything until the top is long, then I will just cut the sides. "


"...Once again we are still working as normal, but we did meet a new investigator that was actually a past investigator. HE IS GOLDEN! He has no problems nor does he have any problems. He should be all ready for this Sunday! I just want to talk about the way we invite. We say, "Hello! Have you seen this photo before?" (With baptismal photo) We explain to them that it is the way to be cleansed from sin. And ask them if they would like to be baptized. 

Now it might sound weird, I also feel weird doing it, but how many times has it said in the Book of Mormon, The Holy Bible, Doctrine and Covenants to testify BOLDLY? Countless! This is what we are doing. We aren't missionaries that are here to plant seeds, though we are doing that no matter what we do, but we are here and "the field is white already to harvest; wherefore, thrust in your sickles, and reap with all your might, mind, and strength." (D&C 33:7)

We are here to harvest those white (golden) investigators. By that being said, I had invited a man that way. I had no contact from him throughout the week. Then yesterday, he walked into the church all ready to hear whatever he needed to do. He then asked, "When can I be baptized?" The Lord is always preparing our brothers and sisters. We need to just have the faith that the Lord is doing his part, and we will see the outcomes of his work and through our obedience. 
Missionary work is awesome and I love every second of it!

Tell everyone I love them! God is Love.

also, here is a photo of Elder Ngaw and I.

Elder Boonmee"

Week 41- Surin, Thailand ( December 7, 2014)

So last Monday I got my haircut REALLY short. I didn't intend on it, but that's what the barber thought I said... (Elder Matt Boonmee is really particular about his hair. We used to call him Mr. GQ at home. His hair has never been out of place. So this is really big for him. We could only imagine how disappointed he was when we saw this email from him)

Yes is was a version of hot pot stuff. We really didn't do anything special for thanksgiving. We just did normal work, then ate at that place.

Yeah, there are always alteration places everywhere so I should have no problem. Thanks!
This week we had Zone training in Khon kean. We went out to eat at what they call a "Buffet".... more like, "all you can eat!......until the first tray is gone, then we have no more." It was some pretty awful food, and it was Thai food as well. I had better food on the streets than in this "Fancy" hotel. After that we went to the Church and had the devotional and what not. As a gift for us, president Senior had a blueprint for the plan of salvation. Pretty much what God would have planned. I will have to show it to you later. It is amazing.

I met up with almost all of my district except two elders. I also got to play a musical piece for it on the guitar. I played my favorite Christmas song, "O Holy Night" Other than that, not too much happened this week. I love you all, and hopefully you saw the other email about the calling.
also, what is my blood type? I have no idea. And did you do that social security thing that I sent you? If not can you send it to me in Thai english? I need that ASAP.

Elder Boonmee

Week 40 - Surin, Thailand (November 30, 2014)

For thanksgiving we went to a restaurant that was basically a ton of raw meats and boiling water.

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 ¶Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thineown understanding.

 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Sometimes as I go day by day, talking to everyone you see, getting denied harshly, your faith breaks down a little bit. But all you have to do is remember that everything that has happened and that is happening, is from he Lord and He is always trying to help us.

I sometimes forget that I'm a Missionary. One of those Young Adults with a white shirt and tie with that signature black badge. There was a time a few transfers ago, I was in what some people call a dry spell. A time where the baptisms don't come along as easy as before and most of the time spent is out contacting in the hot streets of Thailand. I got to a point where I felt, why am I doing this? I'm supposed to be helping the Lord but the Lord isn't putting forth his part. I felt lonely as if I had just made a huge mistake by serving a mission. I soon remembered that I have a journal for all my spiritual experiences. I guess my own small plates. And I looked at the first page and read my first spiritual experience. When I had prayed to the Lord and asked, "If you are really there, just let me know by placing a cloud in the sky." I know this sounds like a really dumb question, but it's what a young kid asked. The Lord was more than willing to answer me. So as I remembered that experience, I thought, "Well, I'm in that same place. Why not do it again." So I prayed. I asked the Lord for guidance and direction in what I should be doing. Asking for help and why the Lord hasn't helped me in these times as a missionary. As I sat there pondering and praying I received a clear answer. I had a voice in my head, and it was my own voice say, "Matthew, I know what you are going through. There are elect people out there, I know who they are, I know them by name, but if I told you who and where they are, WHAT GOOD DOES THAT SERVE YOU?" I sat there and realized, all the problems and trials I've had in my life, and on my mission have been trials of my faith as well as what have molded me into what I am today.

This has been something that has helped me throughout all of my mission. Even when people deny my invites, I know that those aren't the elect. I take that as a great opportunity. To continue on, to find the ones that the Lord has prepared.

Another time as we were at the last Zone Conference, we had the opportunity to be with Elder Gong of the 70 to lead a devotional. Something special that we got to do, was partake of the sacrament. As we sat there in silence waiting for the sacrament to be passed, once again I heard a voice, "I know your trials, I've partaken of the bitter cup. I have experienced every one of your trials. Have faith in me and you will have nothing to fear."

The Lord Jesus Christ did not take the sins of the world all at once. He did as he taught, One by One. The Lord atoned for our sins, One by One. Experiencing everything that we have and will do. The Lord knows best and we should always rely on him.

Elder Boonmee