Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thailand Week 70, 14 Dec 2014

Hey Family! 
This week was pretty crazy for a little bit.  So the transfer call came and the only one moving out of Sagon Nakon was Elder Osborn, Elder Evan's trainer.  That was Monday. So he started getting ready and everything, trying to do it at night so he didn't waste proselyting time. Then on Tuesday the APs called him and told him that he was going to serve in the office and needed to leave as soon as possible.  So we did a weird switch off.  I went with him to pack while Elder Amontabe went with a member to teach, and Elder Evans did the same with another member.  So they left that night and were there all Wednesday and then the meeting was on Thursday.  So it turns out Elder Evans new companion is Elder Wright!!!  My old companion from Saphaan Sung!  Too bad he didn't know he was moving and was in the most out there tiny town in the mission.  So that was an adventure getting them together and to get them here.

In Elder Wright's last area they had a transfer of miracles, even with elders having dangei fever and other things going on, they managed to get church attendance up by 30 in the 6 week transfer.  It's all because the members started inviting their friends.  There were 15 investigators in that branch that Sunday and most of them were friends/family of members.  We're going to start the same program here and help Sagon Nakon get strong enough for a new church and help this district become a stake.  

Last Sunday we got to teach an older sister of a member we went and visited a few weeks ago.  She is just recently returned to church and she is now sharing the gospel with her family!  I know that this is only the beginning of all the miracles that will happen this transfer!

Love Elder Keller

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thailand Week 69, 7 Dec 2014

This Sunday was full of miracles.  We had a lot of things we still needed for our goals that week.  The mission has standards we've got to try and meet each week.  It includes 2 people at church, 2 new investigators, and 2 people with baptismal dates.  As of Saturday we had a couple people confirmed but the other 2, daters and new investigators, we had 0.  But we had faith. 

We went to church and no one was picking up Sunday morning.  So then this one guy walks in.  A Buddhist monk we met who speaks English, exchanged in America for school, and had been to temple square.  It was so awesome to see a monk in bright orange sitting there reading the Book of Mormon in sacrament meeting!  He was nice, made another appointment, but not surprisingly doesn't really want to be baptized as of right now. 

So then after sacrament meeting we get up and look around to see if anyone had brought a friend.  And there was a new lady we've never met!  She now has a date for the 21st of this month! 1 down!

So 2 people at church.  2 new investigators, 1 new dater.  1 dater left.  As we were eating lunch with all the members this tall guy with sunglasses walks in.  It was this guy I had contacted and confirmed but it turns out his late night job kept him up too late and he slept in.  So we taught him and he is so prepared!  He has been through a lot and knows that the Gospel can help from the things he's heard before.  He also has a date for the 21st!  Thailand needs 155 baptisms this month to hit 2000 baptisms in the year 2014!  We can do it!!!!!!

There's a talk called "The Challenge to Become" by Elder Oaks ( This week I started a big study about Ether 12:27 and I've been trying to apply it.  I've been praying out loud on my own at night to be more focused and sincere.  I've been focusing on relying on Christ more.  I can feel a change coming.  I can feel the power of the Atonement more.  It's so incredible.  I want to become the kind of person that can rule in the Celestial Kingdom.

Love Elder Keller

Sketchy place I got my hair cut

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thailand Week 68, 30 Nov 2014

Hey Family,

The biggest thing of this week was definitely the Thanksgiving activity on Thursday!  We managed to find a turkey from some guy like 10 kilos out of the city.  So we went with the branch president and bought it.  We then turned it over to Brother Bong who took care of all the feathers, insides, head, feet, all the nasty stuff.  Then we had to get it from him and send it to a member on a public transport truck to cook it.  It barely got done but it was really good!  We also got to have a great spiritual lesson where everyone, including some investigators and new members, got to share their testimonies about the blessings of the church and the family we find at church.  That was definitely the biggest theme, the warmth, love, and closeness of all the people at church together.  

I'm so grateful for my family: Mom, Dad, Nathan, Matthew, and Natalie.  And also for the world wide family of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Please, come and join our family!

Love Elder Keller

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thailand Week 67, 23 Nov 2014

Hey Family!
Something interesting happened this week.  There was a man who moved here from Eagle River, Alaska about 12 years ago, got married to a member here (or something like that, not sure the order) and passed away a few months ago.  His name was Wallace MacPherson.  I was looking around in the church storage room and found his journal.  I read the first entry and it said, "Moved from Eagle River, Alaska."  I don't know why yet but I felt impressed to grab it.  Do you know the MacPhersons?  If not could you try and find them?  I think they want to know more.

This week kind of all blends together until the last little bit.  That's when all the miracles happened.  The zone leaders came on a switch off and did a lot to help us. The biggest thing was relighting our fire and reminding us how to contact along the way and not forget those perishing in unbelief that are already in our path.  We were quick to apply what we learned and quickly saw miracles!  This Sunday two sisters got baptized!!!  That means our district's goal of 2 baptisms per companionship is complete!  The baptisms for next Sunday will only add to that!  We are working with one of the sister's family and I'm so excited to help them receive all the blessings of the Gospel! 

Love you all and hope you have a good week!
Love Elder Keller

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thailand Week 66, 16 Nov 2014

Hey, so this week we're rushing out to get some sightseeing done at this market at the Laotian border.  

We didn't have a baptism this week but next week we have a goal for 2 baptisms!!!  One lady has a friend who is the greatest help ever.  She just translates everything we say into the Lao/Thai mix they speak out here haha.  My favorite quote from our lessons.  "Get in the water first and then you'll know!  Just go in the water and then come and tell me how it is."  Missionary work at it's finest.

The other lady has been learning for a little bit now.  She's exactly like Joseph Smith.  She has parents who believe in God, her mom is active at a church in Bangkok and her dad "shows his faith differently than most people".  She wanted to find the church for herself, even though she's been attending somewhere for 3 years now, and the Spirit guided her to our church on Sunday night when there would usually be no one there.  But that day there were a couple members waiting for a meeting.  

Every time we teach her I feel the Spirit almost stronger than ever.  She hadn't come to church until last week because she was scared and nervous about the change.  We met with her and we told her "Today we are just going to talk about your concerns.  All your questions and all the things that scare you, just tell us."    All her questions were good but in the end superficial compared to the faith and desire she had to follow God.  I received a witness in teaching that listening is the most important, and that the quiet 2 second gap between speakers is also important.  The whisperings of the Holy Spirit are loudest in the silence.

This week we're excited to work with all these investigators and find even more!

We've been throwing these foam stress balls at each other for a while now and my shoulder is kinda sore sometimes.  The game is, you toss/throw it to each other until someone drops it.  Then that person goes and stands against the wall and is beamed by the other.  It's great.

I play the piano every other week or so in sacrament meeting.  Me and Elder Osborn switch off.  The hymns  have become my favorite songs.  We're starting to bust out Christmas now!  Not in sacrament meeting but just to play for fun. 

Love you all!
Elder Keller

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thailand Week 65, 9 Nov 2014

Hey Family!

So I feel like a true Thai person now.  I went out and harvested rice!  There's a partly active family we visited earlier in the week and we found out they were going to harvest on Saturday and we offered our help!  It was way fun!  I'll send you some pictures.  They also fed us some frog from their pond!  It might have been what gave me diarrhea that day but that's just a normal thing now so it's whateves.

Dad have you ever read the King Follet sermon?  I haven't read it all but it's from Joseph Smith on the nature of God and stuff like that.  There's one section that talks about the organization of intelligences and it talks about how God was amongst them, saw that he could help them become exalted as he was, and so he established order.  Gave them rules and a plan that would help them all progress and become as he is.  I'm thinking about this because the Zone Leaders came and trained us on consecration and obedience in preparation for our 2 baptisms per companionship per month goal.  No rule is without purpose, whether it protects us or simply is for our own growth and blessings.  When we are obedient we bind Heavenly Father with chords of righteousness for he is "bound when [we] do what [he] says."

That's definitely something I've learned as a missionary.  That obedience is for our own benefit.  I regret all the little things I neglected before I came on my mission and I definitely will do everything I can when I get home.  

This last week we've been working some more with the members and it's been a blessing to see the people more.  On one trip we went past an elementary school and stopped for a second.  This was in the middle of nowhere and all the kids were just playing with a beat up soccer ball or a volleyball or something like that.  But they were having so much fun!  They were so happy with the little things they had.  There's this sport called Tai graw which is a little bit like volleyball with your feet.  There were a couple kids playing it and I got to go and play with them too.  It taught me that it's important to immerse myself in the people as well as the work.  That's one of the greatest joys of a mission.

We have a goal for a baptism next week!  A member brought a friend to church yesterday.  They've been friends and sold stuff together at the market for like 10 years.  The member has for sure been inviting her friend to church for the 4 months or so since she's been baptized and she finally decided to not sell on Sunday so she could come to church.  Already a big step of faith!  The Lord is preparing people left and right!

Nate I have a request.  Because I won't get to eat a normal thanksgiving dinner, I need you to eat twice as much as you usually would. Can you handle that?  I'm sure you can, you could destroy me in an eating contest...and still stay in shape.  

Natalie would you ever eat a frog?  or chicken feet?  or a bug?  or sketchy soup with coagulated blood in it?  If we ever get to come to Thailand I'll have to take you to eat all the weirdest things there are.  But nothing is as gross as all the meat in the supermarket here.  Just out in the open (and some packaged up) they have fish, giant squid wings, giant squid fillets, pork, chicken carcasses, pig intestines, pig uterus's, and all kinds of other gross meat.  It smells awful...

Matt mom shared part of your talk with me!  It's really good!  I'll be all grown up and 20 years old when I get back so we'll have to go out and do some camping trips together.  Will you find some new places to hike and camp before next summer?  Hopefully I fit in all my old boots and stuff.

Love you all!  I'll send pictures too!
Elder Keller 

Harvesting rice


Bring on the rain!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thailand Week 64, 2 Nov 2014

Hey Family!

So I got my new companion!!!  Elder อามรเทบ!!  Let me think... Aahmontabe.  He's from Saphaan Sung and has been out on his mission about 3 months now.  He's such a punk.  He loves to play pranks and is a rebel at heart.  But he knows why he's here.  He has the same goals and the same purpose so we can get along just fine!  

And then we had a baptism yesterday!!!  So awesome!!!  Our mission is going for a Bovember 2.0!  Last November we had a goal for 1 baptism per companionship.  Since then we've grown and improved.  Now we're trying to revamp the excitement and the faith with 2 per companionship!! We got kinda lucky with the timing honestly and already have one baptism from yesterday.  There's no doubt in my mind that our mission can make it happen with Heavenly Father's help.  

I'm so excited to hear that they might make a new ward in Eagle River!!  I've thought before about how much is the church progressing in Alaska and what the vision is.  Here it's pretty simple, build stakes and build the temple.  What would you say it is in Alaska?  Do you think they would ever expand the temple?  The problem with that is that it is only used by the Alaskan saints really.  We just need to baptize more in Alaska!  ;)  

Mom I totally remember that trap object lesson with Bishop Fullmer.  Anything with an object lesson is way better.  Satan does some crazy things.  Elder Osborn said once that the "fiery darts of the adversary" are distractions.  That's really all he has to do.  If we're distracted enough that we don't do daily things it puts a huge gap in our armor. 

Nate that's awesome you're gonna do skiing! Do you remember the jump hill?  The coaches caught us there once and it wasn't good...the funnest days of skiing are when we just played in the snow or had snowball fights and stuff.  Do you like driving?  Has dad taken you drifting yet?  Don't go in any me...

Natalie that's a sick costume.  It looks like it took a solid 30 minutes or so.  It looks kinda like the thing dad would make for duct tape day. ;)  It's weird to see our house again haha.  How many pull ups can you do now?  I did eight the other day at the park with Elder Osborn.  Only because of skiing.

Matt way to go!  You're doing missionary work!!!!!  Keep it up!!  Your hobo costume is dece too.  Next step.  Get Alex to church on Sunday with his family. ;)  But for real though.  Do it.  Are you excited for winter? What's your favorite winter activity?  I'd have to pick between snowmobiling and skiing.  We'll have to mix the two some how. ;)  

For Christmas, don't worry too much about a ton of stuff haha.  I'm just thinking that I'll be home 5 months after Christmas so...Ugh I don't want to think about that quite yet. ;)  That time will come.  Oh and if you want to see a ton of good videos about Thailand look up Nathan Bartling on Youtube.  He's a returned missionary who came back here to work. He's the churches media manager for the area and also does a ton of free lance stuff.  He's super good!  I'm in a couple of the shots in one of the videos of the Tri-district meeting a bit ago.

Love you all!  I hope everything is going well and you are happy! 
Love Elder Keller

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Thailand Week 63, 26 Oct 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thailand Week 62, 20 Oct 2014

Hey Family!!! 

This was one the most spiritually uplifting weekends of my entire life.  Saturday was just a big cultural event with a ton of members making food, putting on shows and just seeing tons of missionaries. Then Sunday we had the huge meeting with over 900 members from the whole Issan section of Thailand!!  President Gong, the Asia Area President, presided and we had Elder Khanakham, the first ever Thai member of the 70 there as well to conduct and lead the changes.  They dissolved the KonKhaen district and split it up between the Ubon and Udorn (me) districts to make them more strong. This will set everything up really nicely to prepare for new stakes to be made withing the next year or so.  Less according to the plans!  After that we ate lunch, (they made like 1500 brownies)  fellowshipped and caught up with members/missionaries and then headed to the church for a devotional/sacrament meeting.  It was a really special opportunity to hold a sacrament meeting.  It had to be authorized by Elder Holland even.  Elder Gong trained us on the importance of the sacrament and the importance of Christ as well.  It was the most spiritual sacrament and one of the most spiritual meetings in general that I have ever been a part of.  Elder Gong commented that this was the kind of meeting where Christ could come visit.  And he was looking at the door the entire time wondering if he would come in.  Then that Monday we had our office zone conference on the doctrine of stakes and really we just learned a ton of doctrine and principles.  One of my favorite parts was when he brought up Fire, Water, and Blood.  Which are all elements of eternity in some way or another.  Moses 6:60 and then I looked in 1 John today in studies and saw that chapter 5 has a huge section on it too.  I'm definitely going to study more into it!  These things are so exciting to me now haha. 

We have a goal of 2 baptisms this Sunday.  Transfers is in 10 days and I'm not sure what will happen.  For sure Elder Williams will leave.  That's the general consensus because he's been here 12 weeks by now.  I usually wouldn't think to move but there are 21 new missionaries coming in so they will definitely throw some crazy stuff around haha.  More than half the mission will be on the training schedule for the next bit!  That's crazy!!  I'm super excited.  Elder Hunsaker is now teaching at the MTC and I know he'll prep these new missionaries to come out and do the Lord's work!  

So some random things.  Do you know what a My Family Book is?  Probably.  It's that little Family history booklet with like 4-5 generations.  Could you fill one out for me?  Or even type up the sections and send them to me so I can put it together?  I would love to have one to show people so I can help them be motivated. 

Also during conference I felt impressed that I should continue on and go to BYU when I get back.  
Love Elder Keller

Missionaries from the Issan area

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thailand Week 61, 12 Oct 2014

Hey Family!!!

This week was super good!  Conference, new investigators, baptism, happy members, zone conference coming up, there are a lot of reasons to rejoice.

We had a good amount of investigators at church this week!  :)  A few have dates for the 26th!  We'll be in Khon Kaen for a combined tri-district conference headed by the Asia area president followed by mission tour/zone conference on Monday!!  So much Spiritual uplifting!  We're going to be floating around Khon Kaen with 3 zones worth of missionaries there.  

Dad we had an awesome finding story this week!  We were just calling the phone numbers of the people we contacted on the street to follow up and set appointments, when this lady picked up and as I talked to her and invited her to church she asked "Right now?"  I was kinda caught off guard and asked when she could come.  30 minutes later we started teaching her and she accepted a date to be baptized on the 26th of this month!  She came to conference on Sunday and loved it.  She made friends with so many people in the ward and got to watch a great baptismal ceremony for the 3 people who entered the waters of baptism yesterday here in Sagon Nakon.  The Lord is preparing people left and right!  

Mom is it true if you add an egg to a cake batter you can get brownies?  I remember hearing something like that but I was too afraid to try the other day, so we just made a flattish cake.  ;)  We bought a Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix and some chocolate frosting this last week.  I'm so excited to make it.

Nathan how is junior year going? I'm trying to remember that year...there was a lot of stupid stuff that happened haha.   So much dumb drama and stuff like that.  I'm gonna guess you just ignore it all haha.  That's the best way for sure!  I've been doing a bunch of push ups and I'm getting so yoked dude.  But too bad I eat ice cream like 4 times a week...this one member was making fun of me cause I'm fat the other day haha.  It's pretty typical here.  

Natalie there's this one member your age here and she just sits around playing on her iPhone all day.  When people were taking pictures at the baptism she was on the side taking selfies of nothing....  please tell me you aren't like that....  Just kidding I know you aren't.  How was the tri-stake dance?  Did all the Tongans make the floor shake like usual?  Just kidding.  But really.  

Matt would you dare eat bugs?  There's this one kind of curry called Little Crap Curry.  It's awful.  But they made me try it.  I immediately regretted my decision.  That happens a lot.  In order to make sure people aren't offended you have to eat sketchy food that might give you diarrhea or food poisoning.  I've had both...the horror...

Love you all!  :)  

Monday, October 6, 2014

Thailand Week 60, 5 Oct 2014

So this week was pretty good, but it wasn't really what we wanted.  We worked, taught new investigators, received some referrals, and some other good things.  But It was still disappointing to get only 3 investigators at church.  None of the people we contacted came to church and so we don't have very many new people to work with.  That's going to be one of the focuses this week.  Especially because the 18-19th we will be in Khon Gaen for a tri-district conference of the whole Issan area of Thailand!  Then that Monday is our mission tour! President Gong the area president will be here!  And we're thinking...this is a big meeting. They don't usually combine the districts like this.  And the last time President Gong came he created a new stake in Bangkok!!! :)  That's what we're hoping for!!!  
Mom I'm sorry I've been so bad at it...and still am...but here's a couple pictures!  There was a frog in a basket outside and there are a few cows that like to graze across the street.  Elder Evans likes to step outside and moo at the cows until they look at him.  Then the staring contest is on. ;)

Matt I bet you would like the frog, it wasn't like a little toad, it was a frog frog!  One day me and Elder Osborn came home and there was one stuck to our front door!

Natalie I don't know if you would like the Issan very much.  There's a ton of bugs and spiders.  There's snakes and geckos too.  I've only seen one snake so far but I've seen a ton of geckos.  

Nate we played soccer the other day for sports day and there were a bunch of Thai guys that came and played with us.  They wrecked me...they were so good.  I was so sore after that day haha.  Like my entire body hurt.  

Dad I just found out Elder Osborn loves snow machining!  Have you heard of a place called Tower Mountain?  You should look it up!

Mom our house is super nice here.  It's perfect too because all the walls are concrete and you can throw all the balls you want without a problem!!  ;)  We actually cleaned today too!  My desk looks so organized it's a miracle.  We made this kind of pork called waterfall pork the other day with the branch president here and it was pretty easy!  I'll have to figure out how to make it work at home.  

Love you all!
Love Josh

sunburn/tan line
Water buffalo crossing the street

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thailand Week 59, 28 Sept 2014

Suh go-n nuh kon (say the last o like in the word 'gone')

So that's how I would try and spell it (the name of the town where I live) in English so you can say it right.  Fun fact: in Thai the name of this town is spelled with all consonants and has implied vowels.  สกลนคร

This last week was a week with some trials and some tests of our faith for sure.  We started with some good goals and some promising lessons.  One investigator has been investigating for a little bit and we can tell that she is super humble and full of faith!  But she's also scared and timid.  We're going to teach her on Tuesday, maybe watch "Lord I Believe" by Jefferey R. Holland with her.  That talk works miracles.

Then we met taught this guy after church who is feeling guilty for something that happened like 10 years ago.  He hasn't been able to shake it!  He took our message and he loved it.  He was so willing.  We told him one of the things he has to do is come to church.  He started off nervous cause of his job but really without persuasion decided he would do it!  He said "I'll try.  Not. I'm going to be there! I'll go for sure."  We're so excited to teach him this Wednesday!

We got a video message from President Senior today, it was a call to repentance and a summons to more repentance and faith.  Our mission kind of faded for the past little bit but now we're back and ready to go!  I promise I'll take more picture this week...

Love you all!
Love Elder Keller

Monday, September 22, 2014

Thailand Week 58, 21 Sept 2014

Hey Family!
So like pretty much everyone guessed, I moved out to the wilderness of Thailand to the rural town of Sakon Nakhon!  There are cows everywhere, a mix of dirt and pavement roads, we ride bikes again now, it doesn't smell like Bangkok does, there's waaaay more nature, and not a McDonalds for a couple hundred Kilos.  I love it here!  

The city definitely grew on me, there's definitely energy there from all the business and everything but this is a lot more like home for sure.  And the small branch of 70 or so feels like a home as well!  They love each other so much!  They take care of each person with so much care, anyone who comes in will feel so welcome.  The branch president is a great guy too!  He's like 5'3" and 200 pounds with a little mustache.  He is such a cheerful guy!  He leads this family here with so much sincerity.  

I'm with Elder Wiliams who came in the same group as Elder Wright!  We have a young district of 4 here and are 3 hours from the nearest missionaries!  I love it!  We don't have as much time today because both keys to the bike lock bent in half or literally snapped.  So the ripped old member down the street walked out in his garments and grabbed a hammer to come help. (he put a shirt on first)  We set the bikes down and smashed the lock with a hammer.  

Okay cool scriptures, The bible dictionary definitions of prayer and miracles are so good!  And then read the talk "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" by Gene R. Cook!  It's taught me so much about faith and miracles and how it all works together.    

Love you all!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thailand Week 57, 14 Sept 2014

This was the best week I've ever had in my mission!!  Or at least way up there!!  

Elder Wright and I took the training from Steven Allen to heart and just opened up so many more aspects of missionary work.  We had a ton of recent convert lessons which turned into a total of 3 referrals this week and a lot of progress in the ward.  We have a ton of great potentials for next week and there will be a couple people baptized for sure!  The Lord has provided us with so many new opportunities to teach.  

My favorite of the week: We had an appointment with the recent convert and young mother with 2 kids.  We were exited to teach her, she's doing great so not a lot of pressure.  And then she brought a friend!  At first her friend was reluctant to come into the lesson but we convinced her.  Me and Elder Wright went to grab teaching pamphlets and had no idea what to teach about so we just grabbed one of everything and went for it.  We started with a prayer and used that to jump start on God and from there we just asked questions as guided by the Spirit to get her to open up and understand what she needed.  She is one of those people who has so many deep questions and we were able to help her understand so much more, particularly about the plan of salvation. We'll be working with her and we know that she'll be baptized soon!  So many people are looking for the truth and just don't know where to find it! :)

This is the greatest work ever!  

This week is transfers! My companionship will definitely be moved around somehow.  Training is over and honestly I feel like I'll get sent out to the boonies but who knows haha.  It's never what I think it will be.  I'll keep you updated! :)

Love Elder Keller

PS I'll have some cool wax museum pictures next week!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thailand Week 56, 7 Sept 2014

Thailand Week 55, 31 Aug 2014

Hey Family!
I've gotten so many pictures of Denali this week haha.  It's such a cool place to be!  But I'm gonna have to vote that Thailand is cooler. ;)  One thing I get to see here is lightning!  It's one of the few things Alaska is missing.  There are some Way intense thunderstorms that happen here.  I was SO close to catching a lightning strike on my camera....I got a flash and the ridiculous cannon noise that comes after it but not the actual bolt..  The other night some lightning struck way close to our house and the thunder crack woke us all up!

This week blended together so much I can't even remember what we did for a lot of it.  Lots of street contacting, quite a few lessons, and lots of prayers for sure.  We also had another baptism this past Sunday!  

Sister _ is so prepared and loves the gospel so much.  She's a young mother of two. We haven't met her really young son but her 5 year old daughter comes to the lessons and sat next to her at church.  She loves being at the church and is so happy there.

We also met this guy who is another of those people the Lord prepares!  We met him like we meet most people, walking around on the streets.  He's actually learned with missionaries one lesson before and apparently it stuck with him because he keeps the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, has read to Mosiah in the Book of Mormon, prays every day, and can keep the Sabbath Day Holy!  Such a blessing to get to walk into these people's lives and see their experiences.  I've learned so much over the last little bit that me going on a mission will bring to pass much good in the lives of others, but that I'm actually here to become truly converted myself.  The Lord does all the real work and I have the priceless opportunity to see the miracles.  

Alma 26:14 Yea, we have reason to praise him forever, for he is the Most High God, and has loosed our brethren from the chains of hell.

15 Yea, they were encircled about with everlasting darkness and destruction; but behold, he has brought them into his everlasting light, yea, into everlasting salvation; and they are encircled about with the matchless bounty of his love; yea, and we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work.

16 Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.

Love you all!  We're going to a huge aquarium and wax museum today so I don't have a ton of time, I'll send you some cool picture next week! :)

Love Elder Keller

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Thailand Week 54, 24 Aug 2014

Hey Family!!  

We're doing a zone sports day today so not a ton of time!  

One of my favorite scriptures to use with investigators is 1 Nephi 7:12.  "Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him."  

This verse helps investigators understand that their problems aren't problems for God.  So all they need is faith.  I'm always so impressed with how far the Thai people will go with simple faith!  One Sister quit drinking coffee in like 2 days from 4 cups a day!  And she is now baptized!  She's from the Western part of Thailand in Ratchaburi.  She didn't have an education but can speak Burmese, Galleon, Thai, and her western dialect.  She has the craziest stories.  Like how she caught lobsters from age 13-16 to support her family and would guide her boat back home with the stars.   She has so much faith and conviction I feel like I learn from her example as much as I teach!

Mom I scored a fujifilm XP 70 for 5900 baht and it's perfect.  Everything proof and 16 mega pixels.  It's really good and I'm going to be way better at pictures!  Here's one from this week and then I have to go!  Sorry!  

Thailand Week 53, 17 Aug 2014

Hey Family!! 

This week was pretty nuts.  There were tons of blessings, but they were mixed in with a lot of trials and surprises too.  We didn't end up with a baptism this week for lots of different reasons haha.  One Sister got called on a work trip but is not going to have any problems with next week.  She is one of the most solid investigators I have ever taught and I have know doubt in her testimony.  Another Brother is in the same boat, except he got dragged away to help some family in another province on Friday night.  We're going to coordinate with the missionaries up there and help him get baptized in the church up there!  

This week we also have a good goal.  There are so many people out there and it's the greatest miracle when you are guided to someone the lord has prepared.  We met a lady that is one of those people.  She is a Thai language teacher and so she has such proper speech.  In Thai there are different levels of speaking, comparable to slang, but more interwoven into the culture and social system.  When she prays it's so sincere and she uses the more beautiful language, you can really feel the Spirit.  

Me and Elder Wright are turning our focus on qualifying for the miracles we're expecting and looking for.  For example, we learned last night we can run home from the church in about 3 minutes without too many problems!  It's useful knowledge to have haha.  

I know we "reap what we sow" as we are taught in Galatians 6.  That's our goal, to sow miracles with faith and diligence!

I'm glad I got to see the pictures of you guys at Eklutna!!  Funny thing, I was just telling Elder Wright about all the things we've done at Eklutna. All the camping and big fires and dam jumping.  

So today we're not sure what we're gonna do.  I don't think the zoo is gonna happen, but maybe we'll go find some good lunch at one of the ginormous malls here.  

Mom I'm sorry I lost my camera haha.  I was thinking that that's really just the kind of thing that would happen to me isn't it.  I'll take better care of the next one for sure.  And use it more to get you some good pictures!  I've been slacking there.  This is my lesson.

Dad what kind of food did you eat on your mission?  They're trying to push us to cook our own Thai food...but it's more expensive, takes longer, tastes worse, and is a pain.  So we made french toast instead for our mandatory homemade meal. ;)   It's the easiest for sure!

Love you all! :)
Elder Keller

Monday, August 11, 2014

Thailand Week 52, 10 Aug 2014


So the news from transfers, really not a whole lot.  Our entire house is the same, we're way pumped.  Elder Cosper, Elder Kohler, Elder Wright, and I have a ton of fun together.  Sister Ference killed off Sister Crockett (she completed her mission and went home) and is now training!  Sister Peck is the best Thai speaker I've ever heard out of the MTC.  

This week we really picked it up!  After being in the office for what is still more than half my time in Thailand I was honestly a little rusty.  I was a little bit sloppy and we didn't get as much work done as I wish we would have.  But we're picking up our game!!  This last week we went harder than ever and saw the miracles because of it!  Church attendance was looking a little iffy after calls on Saturday, not too many people confirmed but we knew it would work out because we put our effort in and prayed for the blessings.  Sunday rolls around and we start greeting our investigators at church!  We ended up with 5 people at church! And they're all so prepared!  We taught one man and he is in the perfect place for the Lord to fill in all the gaps he has in his life.  He handed over his cigarettes in the lesson and is never going back.  Another is here to be baptized and he knows it.  He watched the other baptisms that day and said "So next week you'll be the guy who says the prayer when I get baptized right?"   And then Elder Wright talked to a Sister and she liked the baptism but "didn't get a chance to do it this week, but next week right?"  Two of them were both met Saturday night practically as we were walking home.  I know the Lord is in this work and every other righteous desire of the world.  When we pray and work for miracles they will come!

Love Elder Keller

Monday, August 4, 2014

Thailand Week 51, 3 Aug 2014

Hey family!!!

I don't have a ton of time today because we're going to be running around doing some stuff.  But I definitely learned this week that missionary work has it's trials.  This last Sunday was not very successful for us as far as numbers and expectations.  Neither of our daters came to church and we only had 1 investigator there.  The lowest we've had in probably forever actually.

But there were other successes. Several recent converts who haven't been to church in a couple months came back and were fellowshipped right back in.  We were able to teach some awesome member lessons with those that came to church.

I read a talk called "The Atonement and the Missionary" ( I think) by Elder Holland today. He says that missionary work is supposed to be hard.  In order for us to really receive Christ's atonement in it's fullest we need to go through our own Gethsemane and walk the path to Calvary.

I know that Christ lives and that he will walk beside us in our trials.
Love Elder Keller

This is us riding a song taew!  We take one every day to go contacting.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thailand Week 50, 27 July 2014

Hey Everyone!

This past week was a big faith building experience for Elder Wright and I.  This whole week we just decided to step it up a notch.  Instead of the two hour contacting minimum we decided to bump it up to 2 and a half hours, we were more diligent about calling our investigators, and just focused more in general.  And we definitely saw the results.  

One of our investigators was our most likely baptism for this week.  And it was all looking good!  But then we called him on I think Thursday, and he said he wouldn't be able to go to church because of a work trip that came up.  His first report was that he wouldn't get back until Monday.  Well we knew that wasn't going to happen, he had to be baptized.  We held up our faith and just didn't even consider that it wasn't going to work out.  On Friday, after a whole day of faith talk and praying we called him again and his schedule was changed and he was supposed to come home on Sunday morning now!  Just in time for church!!  It was such a miracle and a blessing to see him get baptized.  He had been such a quiet investigator, it was hard to gauge him sometimes.  But his testimony about how peaceful he felt chased away any doubts.  And after wards he was able to help us teach his son and it was such a spiritual lesson.  This family of 4 kids and a dad lost their mom a few years ago and now because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ they'll get to be reunited.

This week we're praying and expecting more miracles. and we're going to work even harder for them! 

It looks like you had a ton of fun in Utah!  I remember that one time we played laser tag and I think it was me that gave Hayden a gun muzzle bruise under his eye haha.  

Mom you look good!  Sister Ference looked over at picture last week and guessed that you were my older sister not my mom, true story.  We go running for like 4-5 miles in the morning a few days a week here.  I've lost some office fat I think!  My face looks thinner than before.  But then the members buy us ice cream, fried chicken, and sticky rice.  It's a hard battle.

Dad you have a sweet beard.  After shaving every single day for two straight years I'll probably have to try out a beard at least for a little bit.  It's in my blood apparently.   I definitely need to shave more now than I did at the beginning of my mission.  Dad would you rather eat a fried fish that's been sitting out on the street for like 10 hours or eat a chunk of flour deep fried and filled with stringy bean paste?  Both options are available here.

Nate your shoes are sick!!  I'm gonna need to get a new pair when I get back for sure.  Will you keep up on all the hip styles and cool doos for me?  Or else I'll just end up dressing like a Thai person with a t-shirt with a dramatic picture of a sunset in a city and a poorly translated message like "Love is our friend.  It likes to make us hurt some time but it hold our hands always."  You see that kind of thing a lot.

Natalie are you excited for Freshman year?  Did you do that freshman orientation thingy yet?  I remember doing that and it was kinda boring.  Really all you have to do in high school is not care what people think and you're good.  

Matt you're looking good! Did you like go carts or laser tag better?  I think I would like Laser Tag. I practically played go carts driving around Bangkok in that big van.  

I love you all and hope you have a good time!  :)
Love Elder Keller