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

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