Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Thailand Week 89, 26 April 2015

We had three baptisms this week!!!!!
Brother Bank is 9 years old.   He was so fun to teach because he wouldn't always talk, but would raise his eyebrows or something to answer us.  He opened up in the end! It was awesome to see his dad baptize him!  He's a 3rd generation member!  There aren't many of those in Thailand yet!

The other two are members of a family, Sister Oy and Fai.  Oy is Fai's stepmother and has been raising her for the past 7 years since she was about 8.  She's 7 months pregnant and has a handicapped almost 2 year old who has suffered from seizures and so her brain hasn't been able to develop normally.  She wanted to find a church and so she walked in a couple months ago and we started teaching!  For the longest time they couldn't come to church, but as we continued to teach them their faith grew and they came to church and have progressed to be baptized!

We have a mission goal of 4 baptisms per companionship for the month of May!  What a way to go out!  This last month we hit this goal, and we have the faith we can do it again!!  There are people who the Lord has prepared that are looking for the church all on their own!  Elder Paxton and Elder Morley found an investigator who in his own words "came as an empty glass waiting to be filled" This next month we'll pray, work, and find others the Lord has prepared!

I know this work is true and it is the Lord's.  The Lord has prepared his elect people and we can do our part to find them.  We're getting new training from the APs on contacting tomorrow and I'm super excited to get it and share it with the zone!

The plans I know for the temple have it being built right where the office building is.  It's at the corner of a massive 4 way intersection with the canal boat, the airport rail link, the subway, and the sky train all super close.  It's the best place they could ever have!  I'm really hoping they buy out the corner lot too, just dominate the four way.  Thousands of people will see it every day.

When do the Clayton's leave?  I have such a big desire now to be a mission president, 25 more years!

Does anyone use the ping pong table anymore?  I was trained by this old Thai guy in Saphaan Sung so I'll take on anyone!!

Love Elder Keller

Monday, April 20, 2015

Thailand Week 88, 19, April 2015

So my new companion is half Maori New Zealand and half Filipino. But he grew up in Australia. He's a brand new zone leader and is super ready to work. I'm excited to learn from him and share what I now as well. We have big goals coming up and we've got to help our zone get back into the mindset of finding the Lord's elect so they can happen. We have a goal for 4 baptisms per companionship next month! It's going to be tough but it's definitely possible! 

Right now we have quite a few investigators. We had 7 people show up to church! The most likely for baptisms this next week are Ooy and Fai. A young mom and her step-daughter who really want to come to church and be baptized! She's 6.5 months pregnant and has an almost 2 year old, who, in some way or another, is under developed and can't even hold her own head up really. They live in a small house near the church while her husband is on duty as a cop, but when they get the chance they go home to a town outside of the city about 30 kilos where they have AC and everything. It makes it kind of hard to come to church but they did it! Last Sunday they came to sacrament meeting and it was such a blessing! Fai is 15 and has come to about every activity at the church for the past 2 weeks or so. She loves being at the church. We're helping them reach their goal of baptisms next Sunday and will be praying hard everyday!
Mom I have one request! When we're down in Utah I would like to take one Sunday and go to church in the Thai-Lao ward in Murray by Salt Lake if we get the chance!
Love you all! Have a great week!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thailand Week 87, 12 April 2015

Hey Dad! This was a good week, if not a little busy with conference and people getting ready for the water festival. That's why we're emailing early. Go online and look up pictures of the water festival in Thailand!! We're playing today so we're just getting this done fast! It's a blast but it also requires us to be cautious. We switched our studies to the evening and will start working at 8:00 AM Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday because after it gets dark people will be more drunk and other unfavorable things will come out. Transfers is this week as well. We've known since Saturday because of the complications this holiday brings. Busses are booked, so many people out of Bangkok (like us) will wait in our areas and the APs will call with new assignments. People will travel directly there. We also can't travel at night and they only want those actually moving to be traveling around. We got like 20 phone calls Saturday night and everything was a mess haha. But now it's all figured out for the most part. I'm staying in Roi-Et to die and Elder Watkins is moving to a new area. We were hoping we could die together, MTC companions and then together at the end! We got close and had tons of fun though!! I'm guessing I'll get a younger missionary to come up and be zone leader because a lot of people are going home this transfers and the next so they will start bringing a new generation up.

This is my last transfer and it's made me refocus on diligence and perseverance. I can't stop running now, I can't let the ball drop. This is the time in my mission that I am the most effective. I know the most, I have the most experience, not compared to those around me but to myself. I have all the capability to make this the most effective and work filled transfer ever. I just have to focus. Focus. Focus. That's always been a struggle for me. I'd day dream in class, procrastinate important events, all those random things. And now I'm fighting all those urges. I have to focus on the Lord's work and do what he would have me do, and only that. Nothing else matters. These verses from Jacob chapter 5 help share this vision.

71 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come.
72 And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things.

If I will be diligent and obey the commandments of the Lord in all things, hopefully I'll hear the cherished words. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of thy Lord."
In the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Thailand Week 86, 6 April 2015

Best Day Ever!!!!!!
As soon as I get a job I'm going to start saving money to attend the Thailand Temple dedication!!!!!

This week is the last full week of the transfer, and it's already crazy because I'm sitting in Bangkok just having finished Mission Leadership Council.  Elder Watkins and I will get back on a bus to Roi-Et this evening and work as hard as we can!  Saturday and Sunday we watch general conference, and then Monday-Wednesday is the national songran water festival, then Thursday is transfers meeting.  It will be a little hectic this next little bit but the work will move on as always. We have some great investigators we're working with!   Sister Mali got baptized!!  She's the mother of a recent convert who just got the Melchizedek priesthood!  Then we have Mint and Thohm, a mother and daughter who are open to find the truth.   Next is Nah who has a true desire to be baptized, just has been out of town for the last couple weeks, we'll help her prepare for baptism as soon as possible.  Her goal is for this Sunday.  And there are other people we'll be working with to help them prepare! 

I'm so happy right now!  My joy is full!  We've got to get to work!!  People need to know there will be a temple in Thailand!  We've got to find those who have been away from the church and let them know! We have to help members prepare themselves and their families!  We have to find new people and tell them all about the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
As President Senior says, "It's all over but the work."

Love Elder Keller

This is by far the best Easter I've ever had.   Nothing could have been more fulfilling than the temple announcement for Thailand.  As Elder Watkins and I were on a bus overnight to attend mission leadership council today we got a call from the Assistants to the President.  In Thailand we watch conference a week later that the English world to account for the translating work, so we weren't as on top of the news as you, but we got pretty close!  We got that call from the Assistants at 12:05 at night.  I had just stirred from a couple hours or so of restless sleep and Elder Watkins reaches over and tells me the APs have something to tell us together.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but the truth was better than anything I could have hoped for.   They told us that Thomas S. Monson, the prophet of the Lord, had just announced that the Bangkok, Thailand temple was going to be built.  I'll do my best to explain the significance of this glorious occasion. 

Nearly 2 years ago when I first came to Thailand I attended a zone conference up in Chiang Mai. We were told that our vision was a temple for Thailand.  We wanted to help bring the blessings of eternal families, ordinances for the dead, and personal endowments to the Thai saints.  That was our vision. Our methods of work have varied in some ways, but our vision has always been the same.  At first we just tried to get as many people into the church as we could.  We talked to everyone about baptism, we expected miracles and we saw them.  We kept pushing our goals higher and higher, and achieving them for the most part.  Eventually our efforts also turned to preparing the saints for a temple. Without worthy members who hold the Priesthood of God a temple could not function and our vision could not come to pass.  We've lately turned our focuses to families.  Those that are with us and those that have already passed.  We believe that in order to enter into Heaven we must perform sacred ordinances such as baptism for the remission of sins.  Because there are so many of our family who passed away without the blessings of these ordinances and a knowledge of Christ, we seek, gather, and prepare information on our ancestors to perform these ordinances for them vicariously.  It's hard in Thailand because of poor records and several other factors, but we pushed it and are seeing the blessings.  We've been focusing on helping the family members of the saints enter into the church as well.  With all the diligence, perseverance, and faith that accompanied the push for baptisms that I had been apart of at the beginning, we have focused efforts on helping people be united in the church. And now it's all coming to fruition!! There's going to be a temple in Thailand! The Lord has seen the faith of the church here in Thailand, he has poured out his blessings on this amazing country, and the millions of other people in South East Asia who will take part in the blessings of the temple here.  I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of God on this earth. His work is going forth and we are seeing his hand in Thailand.  I want to share what a missionary from the Book of Mormon, Ammon, said as he saw similar miracles in his ministry.  Alma 26:12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, amen.