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