This Is The Missionary Life…..

“The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every climet, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”

Hello Family.

It was an awesome week, and we had some good stuff happen! Monday was normal. We had FHE, and then taught Some-oh after with her friend Phone. Phone wanted to be baptized! The next day we did some studying, and then went to the church. We had a big District Meeting, and we centered it around Alma 29. We then ate, and went inviting for almost 4 hours at the mall. One of the other Elder’s investigators was there, and she actually helped us invite. She was pretty good at it. We then taught English. Me and Elder Hinkson taught lesson 21, and we had a hard time trying to get them to pronounce the “T” sound. While we were teaching, Elder T and Lodwick taught a ton of investigators. The next day we were waiting for an investigator. She was taking a bus, and would call us when she got on, so we went to KFC to eat. While we were there we got a call, saying she was already at the church. So we took our chicken and booked it back in about 45 seconds. Her name was Sister Bah.

She is 18 and is a dancer, kinda like from the movie Step Up. She had some sick shoes on, and showed us some videos of her dancing. The rest of the days were normal, full of teaching and inviting. Wednesday we mostly stayed home because Lodwick got a crazy fever, but we did go get some of our custom pants  On Thursday the Zone Leaders came down and trained us. We did switch offs and I went with Elder Hogan. We taught some simple lessons, and had a pretty good day. The next day was busy with lessons and drama. We had a rough lesson with Sister Pooh about Idol worship, but we shared nothing but scriptures with her. That night Sister Phone got interviewed for her baptism, and she passed! She is awesome, and chose me to baptize her. The next day was very boring, except for a little movie-like excitement. We had a girl named Bahn, who was awesome, and had been to church before so she wanted baptism on that Sunday. We were thrilled! Until she blocked us and never answered her phone.?? One day, we were in the 20 Baht store next to the church getting sodas, when I noticed Lodwick was pacing around the store. I asked him what was up, and he reminded me how we met the girl in this store, and he hoped to see her again in here. I remembered that she said she lives very close to the church, so I said “ Lets find her.” We started walking down the street. We passed some side alleys, until I turned down a random side street. We started walking around this place that looked like little Mexico. I started joking about how this reminds me of that scene in the Princess Bride, where the main character uses his sword to guide him, because he thinks his father’s spirit is in the sword. We roamed around for a good 20 minutes, until we decided to head back. As we crossed a field, we saw a dog, a dog recognized! Whenever Bahn came to the church, she had this dirty little mutt come with her, and it was that dog! So we ran after it, and followed it all he way to a lone, solitary house behind a warehouse. We knocked on he door. And it was her! She said she had been feeling bad, so she wasn’t up to coming to church. We were pumped after we left her house, that we had found her! But as of today we are still blocked and she hasn’t come back. It is ok though because we know where she lives. The next day we had a huge number of investigators come to church, and I baptized Phone. It was an awesome Sacrament meeting. We had meetings all day, and then crashed at home. The next day, before we went emailing, we got the call. Hinkson and Lodwick will be moving. P1040457It wasn’t unexpected, but still a sad call to hear. Lodwick and I have been through a lot over 12 weeks, and it would be hard to separate from my fellow southern man. But this is missionary life, we have to change. This work is awesome, and will be an experience I will look at with a warm heart for years. I would have never thought I would be in Thailand, preaching the Word. I am far away from home, but these people are worth it.

  • Elder Ridings

And a little more from Elder Ridings…

Custom Thai pants

This week was good, besides some changes around here. On Tuesday we went to the church and did a lot of lessons, all the way until the night. At night, Lodwick interviewed a girl name BeeBoh, while I taught Sister Bah the Law of Tithing and Fasting. A lot of people were pretty sad that night, since everyone knew who was leaving Buriram for good. The next day, we taught Ting, and then went and to Jimmy’s one last time to see Ting while she was working, and said goodbye to Jimmy. We then had Pooh’s interview, but she didn’t pass, she has to work out some things for the next interview. We then all gathered at the church, and all went to a huge buffet place to eat for Lodwick’s farewell. We had a ton of the RC’s there, and a ton of people were sad to see him go. There were close to 40 people there to see him. The buffet place was good, but I ate something bad and got a stomach ache from it. We then went home, and started packing. We had to be at the bus station by 12 at night, but Lodwick was slow to pack because he did not want to leave either. We then all piled into Jackie’s pickup truck, and drove to the station. P1040469When we got there, there were a ton of people there, and a lot of tears being shed. All the workers had no idea what was happening, and when we finally got on the bus and drove around the corner, we could not see the people anymore. Sad! We had 6 hours to Bangkok, so I slept. We arrived at 5 am, and got in taxis to the church. We got there, slept, caught up with friends, and then had transfers. My new companion is Elder Opad, a Thai, he speaks no English. Elder Lodwick got Elder Sun, a missionary from the group below me at the MTC. Lodwick went to Bangkok, and Hinkson went to Nong Khai. Elder T got Elder Williams. P1040460I then had to go get my visa renewed at a huge government building. We then all had the “Last Supper” at Que Pasa, a Mexican restaurant, and then all departed our separate ways. We took a long ride home and slept. We got into Buriram at 2 am. We showered and then slept some more. The next day everyone woke up kinda late. We went and had our bikes worked on, met all of our RC’s, and did some inviting. That night we taught some lessons, and nothing out of the ordinary happened, except I have to talk more since Elder Opad is a quiet guy. My voice was shot after that long day. On Sunday we had a good day, we had a good meeting with some investigators and a lot of RC’s show up. Sister Bah and Beeboh got baptized! I baptized Bah, but my voice was even worse than the day before, so I was worried I couldn’t even say the baptismal prayer. My voice came back long enough to say the prayer, and everything went off without a hitch! We then had meetings all day, and finally went to Jackie’s house for a good dinner. Today we woke up and are emailing. I don’t have my trainer anymore. I am going to have to step it up to keep the steam rolling. Lodwick set the example, now I have to follow it in my own way. I have a lot more responsibility on my head, but I hope I rise to the challenge.


I Saved The Hulk in Thailand

IMG_2979January 12, 2015

Hello Family,

So this has been an awesome week. We had a lot of good happen, which all led up to an amazing Sunday. These are the kind of things you go on a mission for! On Monday we woke up and went to the church to follow up with Sister Ting. She works at a restaurant, and has work on Sundays. She finally was able to get work off until 5 on Sundays, so she could come to church, but was still trying her best to get the whole day off. We emailed, and ate at a small restaurant with some members. We saw a silk shop across the street that was closing, but we stopped the owner and went in and bought some awesome silk. We had a plan to turn the silk into awesome pants, and I got some fabric for a scripture case. We came home and slept for a little bit, and the landlord finally fixed the water pump. It had been having problems with running out of water for almost 3 weeks now, and they finally dug up the pipes and patched them up. We bought some food at the mall, and headed to The church for FHE. We played a hilarious question and answers game, that was fun for everyone. We taught some investigators after and came home. The next day we went to the church to wait on an investigator who didn’t show so we went to eat, but got halfway there before we got a call saying she was at the church. We returned to the church and taught her a great lesson. She is  Sister Pooh and she is very smart! She asks great questions, and has a good deductive thought process. We mailed some records to the Mission HQ, and ran into an old investigator named Chompo. She is not interested at all. We

went to the church and taught English. I taught with Elder Hinkson as Elder T and Lodwick taught a ton of investigators. The next day we met Ting again, ate at a pizza place, and then biked about 10 kilometers to find an awesome shop to make us some pants with the silks we bought. We then went to the mall and taught Sister Boom. She is not very good at all, and she worships some weird idol in Buriram and gives it chicken. We get weird cases like this all the time. We went to the church and taught Pooh and a lot of other investigators. Pooh said she saw the truth of what we taught IN OUR EYES. I found out that one of the other missionary’s

investigators plays airsoft! I miss playing with you bro. The next day Sister Ting got interviews and passed! We were so worried the whole time, and everyone was happy. We went to the mall and invited, and then went to Sister Nong’s hoIMG_2980use to get our scripture cases started. We also bought more silk from that shop. We went to the church and had 4 investigators show up at the same time. We had to split up and teach them all, and Brother Chog helped us. The next day we taught Sister Bop. She has not come to church in a while, so we had to help her through some problems. We went to some college out in the country, and met up a girl named Jimmy, and taught her. She was pretty good, but has school on Sundays. We then taught Aah and Doo. They have been having church attendance problems also, and we had to help them through their own personal trials. P1040140The next day we invited all morning and afternoon. It was “Kid’s Day” that day, so traffic was terrible and people were packing into the mall. We went to the church at 6 because Chog, Bop, Doo, Aah, Phone, and Someoh all showed up. I taught a lesson by myself with Bro Rakmag to Sister bop, and the chapel looked like a speed dating session because everyone was split up teaching separate people. Someoh and Chog both got interviewed, and they both passed! We were so proud of them. We tried to arm wrestle Brother Chog, But he looks, and is as strong as the Hulk. That is his nickname, the Brown Hulk. The next day was awesome! We had a ton of people come to church for the baptisms. I first baptized Sister Someoh, and then Brother Sanyong, the Royal Thai Marine. The font was overfilled so I splashed some people! Lodwick then baptized sister Ting, and Then the Hulk, Brother Chog. He caused a tsunami that splashed everyone! They all gave their testimonies, and then we took them to Sister Sun’s house and taught her mom. It was an amazing week, and is P1040104what every missionary lives for. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I hope to have many more experiences like this in the near future. I saved the Hulk yesterday!. Also we found Buddhist stuff written on our house, which is supposed to put a ghost in the house to protect it. So we probably have ghosts and in the house now, so I have some exorcisms to perform.

  • Elder Ridings

Happy New Year from Thailand

P1030770Hello Family!

So this email is going to be half a summary, and half a detailed email, because I Skyped y’all last week, I didn’t email. photoSo I have 2 weeks to catch up on! Last Tuesday I got a bike rack finally, and we taught a ton of lessons to different people through the day and then taught English. On Wednesday we taught a lot of people, including a dude I found named “Joker” and invited at a huge market. I got a ton of cool stuff, and a ton of phone numbers. The market was set up across from the college, and in front of the courthouse. It filled up and entire avenue and spilled over into the courtyards and side streets. It was packed with a carnival, street performers, and people, and was a prime inviting spot. On Friday not much happened, besides us inviting all day, and then we went to Sister Sun’s house and ate dinner, and taught her mom. We made some good progress with her, and taught her how to pray. The next day we went to Surin by bus, and participated in a zone training with the Zone Leaders. We got our packages from our parents, and bought some cool fabrics. We then loaded up and came home. The next day we invited at the market again, and I bought some awesome things I will not list in this email. We then went to the ward Christmas party and it was awesome! There was food, music, and plays. We played games, and had a ton of investigators.

P1030782The Stocker’s, a senior missionary couple were there. Elder Stocker served in Thailand before as a young man, so he could speak Thai. The next day we had 6 investigators show up, and we did a ton of inviting at the market. On Monday we went to Jimmies for dinner and followed up with one of our investigators, Sister Ting. We then had to go to PA Lek’s house to get his “butt size” The Peterson’s (another Senior couple) are making a wheelchair for him, and they need the size of his butt! We went to his house, and sat down and talk to him for a long time as he broke into a tangent of life stories. We had him sit on a newspaper, and we marked it off with a pen! We then went to the church for FHE, and Elder Lodwick went home with Hinkston because he was feeling really bad. It was Sister Geh’s 24th birthday, so we had a huge party and played a ton of games. The next day we stayed home all day because Elder Lodwick was sick. The only time we left the house was when I went with Hinkston to teach English class. We played games, and had a good time. The next day we helped the other Elders teach a hilarious lesson with this crazy Lao Marine. We taught the law of chastity and it got pretty crazy. We gave a blessing to the son of a member and then went to a girl named “Ploy”‘s house and taught her and then went and saw Jackie’s mom. The next day was awesome. We skyped y’all and then went to the Surin Elephant village! We got to play and ride elephants all day.

photo 4photo 3photo 2

We rode them through the woods, and even into the water! It was an awesome experience, and I got great GoPro footage too! I got some northern pants, which are basically like the pants Aladdin wears. We then came home, and shopped for food. I got 3 jerseys from the soccer team (the best in the country), and will be sending 2 of them home. The next day was normal. We taught a ton of lessons, went and invited at the mall, and then went home. The next day we invited all day at the mall and then finally decided to cross the street and invite at a new market that opened up called “The Lively Market”. It was a huge outdoor market that wouldn’t seem out of place in America. It was super loud because of a car show going on, but we managed to get some numbers.P1030804 The next day Sister A got baptized! It was awesome, and P1030712she will be a super strong member. We then went to Jackie’s house, and helped her family make food for dinner. We then went and invited at the market. There were 2 models advertising through microphones, so we went up, invited them, and then invited everyone around through the speakers. It was hilarious! We then went back to the church, and taught Sister Bop about some things she was confused about. Next day we taught Sister Doo and Aah some things about the restoration, and then invited at the mall all day. The next day we taught Ting again, and invited some before going over to Brother Sanyong’s (The Marine) house. He lives way out in the country, and we biked all the way there. We hung out and made food, and then all sat down for dinner. We had to leave early though. We had to be home by 7 because of New Year’s parties. We chilled at the house, I worked out, and now we are here. I am having an awesome time here in Thailand. It is a once in a lifetime experience. I am serving the Lord, and having fun. I hope the holidays were good for everyone back home. For me, there are no holidays. There is work to be done, and I can’t take a day off.

-Elder Ridingsphoto