Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thailand Week 19, 20 Dec 2013

So today is Saturday I know, but seeing as I just moved to the office to work as an office elder along with my two new companions, Elder Smith and Elder Cosper, Saturday is my new P-day!  

So that's my big news for the week!  This transfers meeting was seriously crazy!!!  Especially because it makes a lot of important work for us here in the office to do.  But I love it all.  We have a great area to work in with the Assistants to the President, President and Sister Senior, and tons of other great people I'm going to learn a lot from.  I'm in Asoke right here in Bangkok.  It's so busy and hectic but I love it here already!  It's a little overwhelming coming from P-lok where it's kind of quiet but the change is good and the experiences are completely different.  The first night we had to go help take all the missionaries who are going home to the airport at like 3 in the morning.  We do a lot of stuff that's kinda behind the scenes.  We're in charge of the mail and distributing it to all the missionaries across the country, it's pretty hectic with all the Christmas packages and stuff that are here right now.  I can get packages and stuff anytime now because it comes straight here! Not that you have to send another one anytime soon, haha. 

This is so weird, I'm still getting used to it.  We share a house with the assistants to the President which is way cool.  It's fun to be in a house with more than just your companionship!  And this house is way nice.  There's not a ping pong table which is kinda sad...but there are other perks!  It's actually an apartment and we have a little weight room with a ton of dumbbells and a couple weight machines!  And then really close by is this big field with a fut sol soccer court and tennis courts and stuff.  We're pretty dang spoiled here! We even get to drive!  We have a big creeper style van.  It's like an '08 Toyota journeyer or something.  I'm going to get my license on Monday I think. It's kinda scary driving around in Bangkok and stuff but we pray every time we drive somewhere.

I'm in a ward now!  We have a way nice church building and the few members I've already met are so awesome.  There's a lot that happens here in Asoke.  We get to meet with President Senior all the time and his office is right across the hall!  I'm actually sitting in our office right now using our computers.  I'm going to have to learn to type in Thai. It's hard because there are like 40 different characters all over the key board.  We inputted baptismal records the other day though and I was picking it up pretty well I thought, haha.  

I'm so excited to get this going and start really getting used to the work here!  It's way fun and this area is so cool!

I'm excited for Christmas!  Thanks to everyone that sent their support!  I love you all!
Love Elder Keller
เอ็ลเกอร์ เคลเลอร์

Monday, December 16, 2013

Thailand Week 18, 15 Dec 2013

Hello everyone!  

Only 9 days until Christmas!!  At least for me.  You all have 10 more days. >:)

This week the most memorable thing was the branch Christmas party on Saturday!  It was so good!  There were a ton of people there, including a ton of investigators!  They did a Nativity scene, a gift exchange, had some really good food (include chocolate fondue) and a couple other activities.  It was really fun.

This week we also got really good at asking everyone for referrals.  Especially the people who reject us haha.  They want us to ask every single person we talk to for the name of a friend who might be interested.  It's hard to remember and sometimes people don't even stop to let you get a word out. (It's kind of funny sometimes actually) But we've seen the blessings!  There's been an influx of people referred to the missionaries for us to teach!  It's awesome to see the church growing to strongly!

So as of right now I don't know where I'll be for Christmas...We're anxiously awaiting the call from the zone leaders to let us know who's going to be moving on this coming Wednesday.  Wherever I go, the church will still be true and Christmas will be awesome!  

Love Elder Keller

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thailand Week 17, 8 Dec 2013

Hey everyone!  

This week was good but pretty normal too.  It's weird, as a missionary things all kind of blend together.  It's exactly six months since I entered the Missionary Training Center!  That was so long ago! But at the same time it's hard to believe that so much has happened in between. Especially because I didn't quite understand everything that was going on for a chunk of that time, haha.  But Thai is getting easier and easier every day.

One thing out of the ordinary that happened this week was that I did a front flip off my bike.  It actually turned out better than it sounds like it would.  I came out of it with just a few bruises.  It's because I was wearing my neon yellow safety vest I'm sure of it.  We were biking and waved to some investigators we saw, and while we were distracted Elder Lucas started turning before I did and hit my front tire, which turned sideways and so my bike stopped dead.  I flipped over the handle bars and apparently rolled into it pretty well.  Honestly I don't remember anything besides laying there on my back.  But it was all okay in the end!

I read in Alma chapter 26 today about Ammon's joy in the Lord. It was really good to read about how no matter that they were depressed and wanted to turn back, the Lord comforted them and when they relied on his mercies it was all okay.  That's how I felt on Sunday.  We didn't get any of our investigators at church even though we expected quite a few.  I was kinda depressed and wanted to turn away but we still did our work and had a really good 2 hours of contacting.  We have a lot of good lessons set up this week because of it!  No matter if we feel weak and sad, we can rely on the Lord and all things are possible.

Love Elder Josh Keller

Elder Lucas at a place we found out biking

Big beetle I saw

Gecko that died stuck to the wall

My giant bowl of pasta

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thailand Week 16, 1 Dec 2013

This was a crazy week!  Oh and Happy Thanksgiving!  

Thanksgiving wasn't quite like it is at home, but some of the members who have lived in America made a turkey and a bunch of other good food for the branch activity on Wednesday so that was good!  

This week we saw miracles for sure!  We worked really hard to make our goals. It was harder this week because we had one less day with the meeting on Monday.  But we did it!  With the help of Heavenly Father we did it!

We ended up teaching 8 lessons yesterday!  It was a pretty full day. And we split up to teach more people.  I still don't like teaching people on my own.  I get tense and teach a little to fast.  And I still don't understand 100% of everything, but soon!  They were good lessons in the end though and we got enough lessons and everything to have balanced key indicators this week!  

So November we had a mission wide goal to get a baptism for every companionship in the mission.  It was such a good month!  We had tons of success the whole mission wide and ended up with a total of 109 baptisms!!!  That's so good! That's a whole new ward in Thailand!  The work of salvation is going so fast!    

Anything is possible with Faith and Hope!  

My culinary skills are getting better and better!  We made no-bake cookies twice this week!  They were our contribution to the ward Thanksgiving party and then we made them again just for us.  The most expensive part of the whole thing is the butter.  But it's worth it.  And then for Sunday dinner we made garlic bread and spaghetti with meat and onions cooked in too.  But it's not quite as good as mom cooking! 

I hope you all have an awesome week!
Love Elder Keller

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thailand Week 15, 25 Nov 2013

Hey everyone!  This will be a short email, sorry.
This week has been good!  Pretty typical though.  If there's ever such a thing as normal out here.  The highlight was our big Mission Tour meeting as a zone up in Chiang Mai yesterday!  We had Elder Wilson and his wife train us on the Book of Mormon!  He's a member of the Asia Area 70 so it was awesome to get to learn from all his experience.  

That was the main thing.  It was way fun to see Elder Vance and Elder Beatty from the MTC again!  They're in the same house now!  And I got to eat a whole garlic chicken pizza by myself at our zone dinner at this way good American food restaurant haha.  So yeah here we are back in the Daily Grind and I love it.

I think I'll be all set for thanksgiving!  There's a white guy serving in our branch who served here once and married a Thai girl he met at BYU and they're taking care of it all.  So I'm really hoping for some good food.  I've started expanding my diet. I bought oatmeal today and found that we have some cocoa powder so hopefully I can make no bake cookies!!  I'll let you know how it goes! 

Oh and by the way, there's a Thailand Bangkok mission Facebook page now! Go and check it out!!
I'm thankful for emails, for the Book of Mormon, for donuts, and for peanut butter!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

Love Elder Josh Keller

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thailand Week 14, 17 Nov 2013

This week has been so awesome!!!

We had a lot of good things happen this week.  Mostly because of this new training we got. It sounds pretty harsh, and that's how I felt at first, but it really does work.  It involves tons of people, a picture of baptism, and filtering.  We talk to as many people as we can about baptism.  The usual stunt is "Hey do you know what this is?  It's baptism, it's being cleansed from our sins.  We can have eternal life and happiness (other blessings, anything really). The 21st of December we'll be having a baptism service.  Do you want to get baptized on that day?"

Basically we try to find the people who are really prepared by the Lord to hear our message.  We know they're out there and every missionary loves finding them!  But that's usually the hard part.   
Now the goal is to filter through those who aren't interested right now to find those who are.  Obviously about 90% of people aren't interested at all. But that's okay.  We move on!  And move on!  We get rejected so many times but when someone is interested they're really prepared and the Spirit has already been working on them.  We have a lot of new people to meet with this week and are super excited to meet and teach them all!
I know the Lord's work is true!

I heard it's snowing in Alaska!!  Yay!!!  I'm gonna miss a real winter but that's okay, I'm tan.  Well, my arms, face, and the part of my neck that's not covered by a collar and tie....Haha I'm gonna have the darkest farmers tan!

I love everyone and hope you have an awesome week!!
-Love Elder Josh Keller

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thailand Week 13, 10 Nov 2013

Hey everyone!  

This week was good.  We got to go visit the ancient capital of Sukothai on Monday so I'll put some cool pictures up!  

This week we put a lot of focus on planning ahead and saw the fruits from it!  We got some good lessons in with lots of people!

This week we also put a focus on contacting for the whole 2 hours everyday. It was good!  We got a lot of good contacts and some people who are really excited to learn!  On Saturday we went and did some inviting at the crazy Thai market street.  You couldn't move unless the crowd took you. It was ridiculous!  

That's about all the big news from this week.  The Church is still true, Jesus Christ is still our Savior and this is still His work.  That's something that hit me this week. No matter what we do, no matter what results we get, I'm serving Christ and that's what makes me want to put everything I have into this work.  

Love Elder Keller

Monday, November 4, 2013

Thailand Week 12, 3 Nov 2013

So today we're finally getting out and going to see some cool Thai culture stuff in the ancient capital city of Sukothai! It's like an hour bus ride away. Hopefully I'll be able to get some fun things to send home for Christmas. So I'll just give a little wrap up of this week.

Wednesday we had our Halloween activity at the church and the members did a way good job setting everything up!  Halloween here isn't the same as America that's for sure.  American candy is so expensive here, well it's not too bad but it's more than other options. The party was way fun!

Friday we got to give a blessing to a sister in really humble circumstances.  It was an eye opening experience to see so much humbleness and faith in someone who has a lot of reasons to be unhappy about life.  I watched Thomas S Monson's talk on how the Lord will never forsake us, and I know how true that is.

Saturday and Sunday were all pretty normal days!  Well, there's not really anything normal in being a missionary, you've got to be prepared for everything!  We got raged at and flipped off (footed) by someone who was super angry we wrote the word scripture on the ground.  We also had a baptism this week!!  That was awesome.  The water in our font is still coming out green though...

Mom we made food this week!  Elder Lucas had some Au Jus and taco seasoning packets his family sent so we had sandwiches and made up some taco soupish stuff this week.

Next week I'll have some good pictures to send home!

Love Elder Josh Keller

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thailand Week 11, 27 Oct 2013

Hey everyone!  This week has definitely been crazy.
We had a lot of random things to do that made doing normal missionary work kinda hard...but it was still a good week.

We had our normal activities Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and had a lot of fun.  There were a lot of people from English class that came to the activity on Wednesday so that was awesome.

Thursday we went to a part member family's house for dinner so that was awesome.  We hardly ever get fed in Thailand haha. I see emails from people in other places and it seems like they get like two dinners every single day!  They made some really good Suki (I think).

Friday we got to have a fireside for the branch with President Senior and Sister Senior.  It focused on all the younger people in the branch who are preparing to serve missions.  We had a lot of people come and it was a huge success.  All the speakers were great and the cookies and brownies almost tasted American haha.  I understood almost everything that the speakers said too!

Saturday we had a baptism!  This girl was so excited to get baptized that she didn't fall asleep until 3 in the morning!  It's so cool to see the gospel improving people's lives everyday and how much happier it can make people.

Ok so I just have one story for this week to tell.  We locked ourselves out of our house Saturday night.  Our neighbor called us out to talk to us and so we walked out the side door and it shut.  And we had already locked the front door.  So no key, no phone.  But that wasn't too big of a problem for us!  We were able to open a couple of the windows near another door in our house and got the screens off.  Luckily it was by the clothes rack so we could get a hanger.  And lucky that Elder Lucas is way tall and has really long arms haha.  So we had to get through a window, the screen door, and then turn the knob to click the lock.  We managed that with a hose stuck through the window gate and wrapped around the knob.  We were so proud.

This week we didn't get everything done we wanted too. But that just means we're going to try twice as hard this coming week!  I know that this church is true and when we work and act well our part the Lord will provide the rest.  That's the miracle of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. No matter what imperfections and weaknesses we have, everything can be made right through him.

I hope everyone has an awesome week!  
Love Elder Josh Keller

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thailand Week 10, 20 Oct 2013

So this week was transfers week!!!  But not, because I didn't move.  We still went down to Bangkok though!  We had to renew our visas.  And it was good because we got two new sisters who each had 3 suitcases and some boxes of supplies.  I was really impressed we got it all into a taxi haha.  

So I'll just outline how that all went down.  
-We get on a bus at about 11:30 Wednesday and arrived at about 4:30
-We ride in the back a truck with a bunch of luggage from some missionaries we met at the bus station and it was super sketchy...we probably went like 60mph. (We did our best to stay in the bed by grabbing the bikes and suitcases best we could and leaning with the turns...the light rain stung)
-Then we hang around the church for a bit, I took a little nap
-We leave to get to the visa place and the taxi goes to the wrong place so it takes forever...A stick shift in the city is a little crazy too
-We renew visas, which isn't hard it just takes a while with as many people as we had
-Then we go back for the transfer meeting.  All I've had to eat is a donut...
-Transfer meeting was awesome! It was pretty crazy!  I guess they all are but there were definitely some surprises in the mission
-The two sisters remaining in Phitsanulok are now companions and we got Sister Mullen and Peterson! Sister Peterson just barely got here!
-Then we go eat at this way good mexican food place for a late lunch.
-Our bus tickets are for 8:00 so we hang out at the church for a couple hours.  It was way good to catch up with all the missionaries from the MTC and stuff!
-On the way to the bus station there's crazy traffic and we get there with like 10 minutes to move everything, get a snack, and go to the bathroom but we made it!  
-We get back to Phitsanulok and get to sleep at like 3 in the morning...
Let's just say I've been tired the past few days haha.

Another awesome thing this week was a new investigator with a baptisimal date!  We invited him to church on our way there and he accepted a date for November 9th!!  

Being a missionary is really hard sometimes but it's worth every minute to help people find the church and see how happy they are with the gospel blessing their lives.  

Love Elder Josh Keller

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thailand Week 9, 13 Oct 2013

Hey everyone!!  

This week has been good, I'll just keep it simple this time.

So Thursdays we plan for like 3 hours to make sure we have all the investigators and everything on track.  It's really important and productive but not the most exciting thing. So we decided to splurge and get some pizza for the pre planning lunch.  And then we got it the next day too!  A member here got accepted to a college in American and so she took a bunch of people out to pizza and her host family I think paid for it all.  We're spoiled. Pizza is way expensive here.  It's pretty much as much of a splurge as you get here.  Peanut butter, nutella, honey, real cereal, those are at the top of the expensive things missionaries buy.

Then Saturday and Sunday were General conference!  For anyone who doesn't know what general conference is, it's a bi annual meeting that gets broadcast to the entire world in almost 200 different languages.  We get an opportunity to hear the Prophet of the Lord, Thomas S. Monson, and all of his apostles speak to us and give us guidance for these days.  The main message that I got was that the world is trying to lead away the hearts of men.  They reminded us to keep strong and maintain the church and gospel of Jesus Christ as the center of our lives.  I particularly liked a quote from Elder Russell M. Nelson.  "Your Heavenly Father has known you for a very long time."  That's such a simple but powerful sentence.  I know that He knows us each perfectly and will help us whatever our troubles are.

Then Sunday after conference I got to baptize someone!!  It was a way good experience!  This investigator has such a strong testimony and I can see how the church has blessed her life and will continue to bless her for the rest of her life.  It was kind of intimidating to baptize, especially in Thai,  but It was all good in the end!  

So yeah the church is true and the Lord continues to reveal truths to us in these days through his prophets and apostles.  

Love Elder Josh Keller

Monday, October 7, 2013

Thailand Week 8, 6 Oct 2013

Hey everyone!  

This week was a little hectic.  One thing that isn't a huge priority in Thailand is being on time, or coming at all haha.  We had a quite a few appointments fall through this week. But we also had some way good experiecnes!

Our activities were fun!  I love doing so much with all the members.  There are so many potential missionaries in this branch!  I think there are 7 or more members that are planning on being missionaries in the next couple years!  I'll probably serve with some of them!  A lot end up serving in Thailand.  

We went to get ice cream on thursday with a bunch of the members, it was way fun.  And especially because I had 200 Baht free to Swensen's (the Ice cream place) because my group won the activity at zone conference.  

On saturday we helped a part member family move houses, it took from like 12-5, but it wasn't straight work.  We got to ride on the back of the big truck with all their stuff to the new house, that was way fun!  And it will probably make you cringe a little bit Mom! ;)  I promise I didn't almost fall off that truck!   And you should be so proud of me that I've only crashed my bike once!  I'm glad cars have such good brakes here.  

We've just been doing typical missionary stuff lately. Teaching, contacting, making calls, studying. But that's the way I like it. 

I'm jealous that you got to watch conference already!!  We wait until the week after and watch it along with the members who wait for the translations.  I'm pretty sure we get to watch it in English though.  We better...

Cinnamon rolls sound so good! We got adventurous and made garlic bread and spaghetti to break our fast yesterday.  It was really easy!  Mom if you know of any easy recipes let me know! 

How excited are you for it to snow??  It's weird to think about cold and snow.  I'm only cold when the AC is on and I'm all sweaty from biking in humidity, sun, and heat...

I want to see that video of us!! Did you notice that I was the absolute last person to get a new companion? That was stressfull.

Sunday we had a really good experience with an investigator who came to church.  In our lesson afterwards she told us how she just knew that the things in this church were true and that she needs to get baptized.  Her date is for the last week of this month!  I know that this church is true and that the Spirit of God really does touch our hearts to help us know truth.  It's in every single one of our lives, even if we don't see it most of the time.  

I'm looking forward to another baptism this week and another week of service!
Love Elder Josh Keller

Email and Video from the Mission President

Dear Parent’s of the August Group of Arriving Missionaries to the Thailand Bangkok Mission:

We pray that you are all well and are pleased to report how wonderful it is to work with you missionary.  We thought you might like to see a video produced relating to their arrival and first assignment.

Thank you for sharing your missionary with us.  They are a light to Thailand and are wonderful ambassadors of the Savior.  May the Lord bless you and your family.


President and Sister Senior

Monday, September 30, 2013

Thailand Week 7, 29 Sept 2013

So this week had pretty much one thing that tops it all.  Random transfers meeting!!!!  So we got back to our area Monday, and had one normal day.  Then Tuesday morning Elder Hunsaker gets a call from the zone leaders and he moved!!  He packed up everything that day (he has an impressive 60+ ties) and we were in Bangkok the next day by 2 in the afternoon. It was a pretty sad day.  My new companion is Elder Lucas who was actually MTC comps with Elder Hunsaker!  They're totally different people its crazy.  Me and Elder Lucas work well together, but we're still getting used to everything.  The first few days weren't all that exciting. We did a lot of sitting around and introducing all the people we teach and everything.  This week we'll really be able to start cracking down and getting to work!!  I'm excited for it! I've missed doing work the past little bit!  

So yeah that was the highlight of my week for sure.  We did get absolutely drenched one day too.  We road home in like 4 inches of rain in some places.  But it was coming from sports so we were thankfully in p-day clothes.  Elder Lucas' shoes are on their way though so he had to wear wet church shoes all day.

Oh and we got to eat at a member's house!  That was a first haha.  I know Mat and Johnny do that all the time but it's a little rare here, haha.  This sister went to BYU and worked at cafe rio or something so we had waaay good tacos, it was nice to be different from the typical Thai food.  

So yeah that's my week!  I love you all and can't wait to hear from you! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Thailand Week 6, 22 Sept 2013

Hey everyone!! 
This week was fun!! 
We had a pretty typical week.  Wednesday at our activity we had like 30 people!!  I think it's because they did interviews with the Branch President at the same time but whatever it was way fun!!  

Then Thursday we went and got on a bus up to Chiang Mai for district conference and zone conference!!

I wonder how many people get on a bus for six hours to get to their zone head quarters.  Probably not that many.  It was a way good weekend.  The bus isn't all that fun but I don't mind it.  I got to watch the mummy movie with the dragon king. Whichever one that was. It was in Thai though haha.  On the buses you can't get away from it, its on the speakers, so President says make it language study.   I didn't pick hardly anything out haha.  Listening is way hard!  

Friday we had our zone conference with all the missionaries in our zone.  Which includes Phitsanulok (me), Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Lam Pang.  So like 25 missionaries.  It was so fun!!  We talked about conversion and making a lasting conversion so that the church can really progress. That's our goal right now, building up the church so we can have more wards and stakes.  We're not too far from qualifying for a temple!!  How awesome would that be!!  They already know where it will be too!
My team won our activity at zone conference too so now I have 200 baht to Swensens, this way good ice cream place waiting to be used.  Saturday we had nothing planned to do.  We hung out for a while and talked to some members.  There are really cool people in the church here!  Then like 8 of us went and did a really cool contacting activity!!  We did chalk again!! Surprised right?  We went to the park and drew a HUUUUGE plan of salvation!! Like so big we would walk people through the whole thing. You could fit like 6 people on earth.  So many people came to that place too. With like 15 missionaries working we got like 100 people through it in like 3 hours.  It was a way good experience and super fun to work with all the missionaries!! Then we went to the best white person food place in Thailand and I got a huge plate of fried chicken and a big piece of cheese cake.  Sooo good.

Sunday we had our district conference. We had like 25 people from Phitsanulok come!!  Which is good considering it's 6 hours away.  There were members of the 70 there!!  Oh and Elder Vance and I got a chance to teach with one of them!

This was cool.  This guy from Sweden that is living in Thailand for a while has had some experiences in his life that are obviously promptings from the Holy Ghost and Heavenly Father helping him out.  Once he got a prompting to check some soldiers and ended up saving them from -40 degree weather as a soldier in Sweden.  But he's kinda pushed these experiences away because he doesn't understand them.  Then the day before he had another crazy thing happen, some fire he was lighting did something crazy and started spinning or something.  It made him rethink those other experiences and he came into church wanting to talk about them to someone. Elder Vance, Elder Fung (70) and I got to talk to him!!  You could definitely see the spirit working on him as he came to terms with Heavenly Father and was assured that he is real and he does interact with us.  He couldn't come to the meetings but hopefully he learns again soon!  The Lord definitely does prepare people!  

After that we ate tons of food that the members all provided and headed back here.  I'm excited to get back to work in Phitsanulok!  I love it here!

Love Elder Josh Keller

Monday, September 16, 2013

Thailand Week 5, 15 Sept 2013

Hey Everyone!  So here's how my week went!  It had some pretty fun days!  

Monday was pretty typical for a P-day.  I was pretty productive though!  I shined my shoes, wrote a letter, read some in Jesus the Christ, watched the testaments, it's nice just to have time to relax.  We had probably a record number of phone calls though.  All of which I had to answer because Elder Hunsaker was asleep haha. It didn't always go so well.  Thai is so hard over the phone.

Tuesday we had a cool experience contacting.  We had some appointments planned but as I'm getting really used to here almost all of them fell through and people just didn't show up.  So we went and did some contacting to fill time.  Not the funnest thing.  While we were there we got this call from someone we contacted Sunday when we drew with chalk and she said "Hey I see you".  So we got to talk to her again and set up a new appointment!  That was a cool blessing.

Wednesday was definitely a new experience.  We had the zone leaders come down from Chiang Mai for the day.  Elders Harley and Xayavong.  They're both awesome missionaries.  We went on splits with them for the whole day pretty much.  I got to split with elder Xayavong.  Oh and guess what?  He's a missionary from Laos!  We spoke in Thai pretty much the whole time. He's pretty good at English, especially for the missionary stuff.  He's a way good Elder.  We went and talked to a few people and visited one of the sister's investigators with them.  It was a really good experience. 

Thursday wasn't anything too special.  Actually wait it was my 1 month mark in country!!  I've officially been in Thailand for a month now!! We do our long planning session for the week on Thursdays so we always get good food before.  This week was pizza. Oh man it was so good.  We also got to teach Brother J a lesson about the Melchizedek priesthood and we watched the Mormon Message called "Sanctify Yourselves" about an 18 year old football coach for a young team.  One player got struck by lightning during practice and while the other coaches (2 EMTs) did CPR he gave a silent blessing.  They both have served missions since then!  The priesthood has such real power.

Friday was a good day.  We taught a lot.  Which resulted in us doing like a 15 minute crazy dash through the streets of Pitsanulok following brother Gap on his motorcycle weaving through some cars and stuff.  Then we did the same thing right after that to get to the next appointment.  It can get pretty crazy here sometimes.

Saturday we rode a bus out of the city to see a couple recent converts that live out there.  It's crazy how fast it goes from a city to rice patties and big green jungle trees.  I'll post some pictures.  Once we got there we rode to the members house on a crazy cart thing. It's like what Nacho Libre drives.  It has a dirt bike for the back where the driver sits and then a two wheeled cart for the front.  It was a way cool experience,  even if we did get absolutely drenched walking to one of the houses in a rainstorm.  

Sunday was pretty normal. Church, teaching, yeah.

All in all a pretty good week!  

We have zone conference and district conference to look forward to this week!  I'm the music chorister at zone conference.  What the heck?  It was a pretty random assignment haha.  There are 10 "how to Begin teaching" points in Preach My Gospel that we have to memorize along with Doctrine and Covenants section 4. They randomly pick some people to recite them in front of everyone at zone conference...kinda scary haha.  It'll be fun to spend a couple days up in Chiang Mai.

ผมรักครอบครัว That means I love you family!  Thai is getting easier, but it's still hard.  There are so many things that I can't do still.  In Thailand people are blunt and don't really filter things as much so I've gotten "oh you don't speak Thai very well yet".  Or there's this one sister that we called and she was like "why did you make me talk to the greeny??"  haha It's funny though. 

Mom you wouldn't like eating here. It's way good but it doesn't look the cleanest haha.  It's almost always outside with flies everywhere haha.  At the store all the meat is just out on ice sitting there.  But I'm not sick yet!
One thing about being a missionary is you don't ever hear music, so sometimes when we're in stores they play good songs.  I got pretty lucky one day!  (I don't know if I should be excited about this or not haha). But I got to hear "Hard to love", "Burn it down" by Linkin Park and "the Good Life" by One Republic.  Score!  

I'm loving everything and doing good! 
Love Elder Josh Keller

Monday, September 9, 2013

Thailand Week 4, 8 Sept 2013

Hey everyone!  
This week was actually pretty boring.  Well not boring, but nothing super crazy happened.  Monday we had our activity, Tuesday we did English class. That was actually way fun.  It was an end of the unit kind of thing so we put in the Joseph Smith movie in English for them to watch.  I liked it more than most of them I think haha.  Wednesday we didn't have a whole lot to do.  Thai people don't feel bad cancelling lessons or just not showing up.  Usually the later.  So we spent quite a bit of time just sitting at the church waiting for people who didn't come.  

But the ones that do come make it all worth it!  We have a few investigators and they're awesome.  It's so fun to teach.  It's when I can understand most of what's going on because it's all the vocab I've practiced haha.  I did finally see a monkey!  Sorta.  We were contacting and we saw a cage a little bit down a side street.  It was like 3 feet cubed and there was a monkey in it!  It was kinda sad actually.   Some guy threw some water at it.  But yeah that was my monkey experience.  

Oh Monday was pretty fun!  We went to the central mall thing to watch a member do a dance thing there.  He's one of the best dancers in Thailand so it was way cool.  We ended up just hanging out there all day because his time got changed but it was cool.  In McDonald's there were a couple girls that had done exchanges in Utah and could speak perfect English!  They asked to take a picture with us to send to their host families!  It was a cool coincidence.

We've done a lot of contacting this week.  President Senior has requested 2 hours a day of contacting.  And I'm sure in other missions that's nothing but I'm still getting used to it.  I'm getting better though.  Elder Hunsaker is all about starting off in a weird way or something.  Almost like a pick up line.  It works though.  You just have to break the ice.  It's still something that part of me just doesn't like at all though.  We have Thai Book of Mormons that we hand out, but we don't do any house knocking.  Just street contacting.  

I don't really have any good pictures from this week...
Our chalk drawings were awesome though!  Some of the Sisters are way good artists.  We had the tree of life, Enos, Nephi building the boat, King Benjamin, and Abinadi.  I got like 7 phone numbers from it! Having people answer the questions really helps open up the conversation.

Sunday was pretty good!  I didn't understand everything and dozed a bit in sacrament meeting.  But our investigator that got baptized last week got the priesthood!  And another young member got to give it to him! 

Oh and a member asked me if I could give him a priesthood blessing.  It was so nerve wracking to have to do it in Thai.  I read the quoted parts in Thai and tried my best to make sense with the blessing part haha.  

One thing I'm still not good at is sitting cross legged. It hurts my hips and knees so bad.  Sometimes we teach lessons all like that or do an activity that way.  The older missionaries say it gets better but I'm still waiting for that...

Thailand is such a cool place!  Every day I feel less and less like someone who doesn't belong here.  It really helps with everything.  I'll hit my one month in country mark this week!  That's such a crazy thought!  It already feels like this is just what I do.  Time is weird on a mission.  

I just finished reading 2 Nephi and have started Jacob.  The end of 2 Nephi is so intense and powerful.  And then Jacob talked about how he had to preach to the people to fulfill his responsibility to our Heavenly Father as one with knowledge and a calling in the gospel.  It reminded me of what I'm doing and how there are people that need to hear the gospel.  

I love and miss you all so much!  I hope everything stays good at home!  

Love Elder Josh Keller

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Thailand Week 3, 1 Sept 2013

Hey family!  

How is everything?  Phitsanulok doesn't have all the cool Thailandy stuff like some other areas.  I haven't seen a single elephant.  But I have seen a Gecko!  I caught a tiny one in our house and when I tried to take a picture the flash went off right in it's's probably blinded for life now.  We haven't had too many crawly things.  We had one cockroach crawl out of the bathroom drain but he didn't last long.  That gecko you saw at the fair looks like what they call  Dook-aeh.  They're really scared of them because they'll bite you and don't let go until you kill them is what I've heard.  I haven't seen one yet but they're common in some parts I think.  They get like 15 inches long I think.  

This week was kinda boring but we did do some really fun stuff!  Tuesday we got to teach the advanced English class and this week's topic was on slang.  We had some fun haha.  There are now a bunch of Thai kids that know the words boss, dope, swag, peace, yo, dawg, and some others.  They also learned that a lot of the songs you hear use words that aren't nice too...

We helped some member serve a friend too, we sanded some metal gates to get rust off and then painted those and some stools.  It was like 100 degrees.

Wednesday I can't remember anything.

Thursday our investigator 'I' passed his interview for baptism!  So that was awesome!

Friday we didn't do anything too special.

Saturday was the baptism!  It was so good!  Another member baptized him and we also had a member confirm him on Sunday.  The baptism was way good and he had such a good testimony he bore after it.  

Sundays aren't really days of rest for a missionary   The only difference is that I spend three hours sitting and trying to understand.  Without a whole lot of luck most of the time.  I dosed off a bit during testimonies yesterday.  
So yeah that's pretty much it!  

Mom if you ever send a package just know that we get it every 9 weeks at transfers meeting.  And Elder Hunsaker recommends getting the "just add water" kind of things like mashed potatoes or something.  And I can print stuff here at these computer places!  So If you get piano music and send it as an email or something I can get it!  Could you send the pirates of the carribean, the "all creatures of our god and king", and also there's this member that can play the skyrim theme and it's way cool.  Don't work to hard or pay a lot but if you could find that, that would be awesome.  Oh and I bet you'd like "Requiem for a dream"  It's way good but Elder Hunsaker has it already.  Oh! and 'In Dreams' from the Lord of the Rings!  

How's everyone doing at home!  It sounds like everything is going good!  Mom I think if I asked people and tried to figure out their religion I would get Buddhist like 90% of the time haha.  Literally.  There are statues everywhere.  I'm really learning to appreciate you cooking and cleaning and doing laundry.  We have a washer in the house so it's not that hard really, and we hang everything.  We get real food because we eat out almost every meal.  And we just don't clean that often.  There's a bunch of little ants that crawl in through the window by my desk and I should figure out what they're going for.

Dad you would love to come here and see everything just because it's such a different and interesting culture!  Everything here is just not the same.  

I love you all and can't wait to hear from you again!
Love Elder Josh Keller