Fun and Fellowship

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Hello Family

It was a good week, filled with fun, fellowship, and another baptism. On Monday, we went to Surin again to ride elephants. We went with a lot of the members and met up with the Elders from Surin, including my MTC friend, Elder Daybell. We all piled onto about 8 elephants, and started our journey to the lake. We were on the elephant of the guy we went with last time and he was very happy to see us again. We went through the woods and made it to the lake.

Unlike last time, our elephants went into the water more, and everyone in our groups got soaked! Elder T and Elder Williams fell off into the water, and a lot of people went swimming. After the long day of elephant riding and gift buying ( I may have bought another ring…and a sword…), we went home and changed. We went to sister Phonsiri’s house and ate dinner with her family and members. The next day we went Sister Dam’s house and helped her clean out her house. She is a generic old lady, who has lots of cat. They promptly assaulted me and I spent most of the time with itchy eyes. We also saw a lizard that if it bites you it will not let go until you get it surgically removed. P1050077We went to Swenson’s, the ice cream place, as part of our district meeting. Some of the funny questions asked this time were: What would you rather fight, a Bear with a katana, a gorilla with a combat knife, or a shark with an explosive harpoon gun with one shot? (I chose bear because the shark will eat you, the gorilla will tear your arms off, and you might have a chance with the bear. What would your special weapon be? (Falcon Punch and Falcon Kick) If you saw the first zombie, would you let it go to have the zombie apocalypse or kill it to save everyone (I would totally kill it. I love the Walking Dead, but don’t want to live there.) We then taught English class, where a creepy stalker dude followed sister Bee to the class. He has found her at work before, is protestant, and called our church the “Church of Satan”, but he will still come and learn in our free English class. The next day we cut studying short and went to the Church, because sister Pooh wanted to meet with us. We met with her, and she said she didn’t have time to be baptized on Thursday, so we told her we could baptize her that day. We then had the Zone Leaders and the Surin Elders show up for training. They want us to focus more on families, for a temple in Thailand, so they cut our inviting down a lot and want us to teach families more. They also want us to be good citizens so I can no longer stand up against people when they ask me to leave and the law can’t touch me. I have to leave if they ask me. So no more emulating the Apostle Paul! We went on switch offs, and I went with Elder Wheeler. We did some work, but had to rush to the church and prepare for Brother Ness and Sister Pooh’s baptism. It was awesome, and I baptized her. Her testimony was amazing, and Brother Ness is totally gig to be a missionary. We then taught Scripture class, and went out to eat with the members. That night the ZLs slept on the floor in our room, and left at 5 am. The next day we woke up and P1050004went and printed pictures for the RC board and did records. On the way out of the house the lights and the power went off, so we assumed the construction up the street had done something to it. We were teaching Pa Lek (He taught us more than we taught him haha) We got a call from the other Elders. The power was on, and the water was not working. They asked if we could go to the house at 5, and wait on a repairman. We helped Sister Phonsiri send an email to her Daughter, who is on a mission in Australia and who I knew in the MTC. She did not know how to work a computer so we taught her. We ran by La’s house, and went home. The repair guy did not show. We called him, and he said he was coming about 5 times. Our night was a little wasted, because we were at the house for 3 hours. In that time we just called everyone and made appointments. We went to KFC and went home. The next day we went to the church and taught/talked to Brother Chog (pronounced “Ch-oh-g” he looks like the hulk). We went to Sister Nong’s house because her husband was going to drive us to an LA who lived far away. The LA’s phone was off, so we could never contact her to find out where the house is. We went to Brother Natapon’s house and talked to him a lot. At night we took some of the members to Sister Somoh’s house (pronounced “Some-oh” or “Zom-o”). We drove down a dark road to get there and it looked like something out of a horror movie. When we got there the dad was drinking alone outside, and he was drunk. He tried his best to speak to me in broken English, but it didn’t work. We taught her family a little, but it was really hard to have a good lesson because the dad would roam in every now and then. We went to the DSCN2268church, and I taught push-up form to some members for 10 minutes, and we went home. The next day was a nightmare for me… Valentine’s Day. The people stared at me even more than usual, and every motorcycle with a girl would pull right up next to me at every red light. It was a crazy day. We went to an LA guy named “Dee” who has reverted to being a Catholic, and is a little crazy to begin with. I went hard on him and got really straight to the point with my lesson and questions. It was good though, and he will meet with us again. We then visited another LA named Sister Oiy. She has a big house with hornets everywhere around it so I sprinted inside. It was another good lesson, and she loved the photos I have of my family. We then went and had Sports Day. Not many people were there because a ton of the members went to Roi-Et for a big meeting about becoming a Stake. We played an intense soccer game and I was the goalie. I also ordered an American Football from a sports store for next week’s sports day. The next day was a good day of church. Brother Ness got the Holy Ghost, but Pooh did not because she showed up late. We went to Sister Bop’s house, and met her family. We had a good time, and taught about families. We went home and planned and then got ready to go to Sister Sun’s house. We biked all the way there, a 30 minute bike ride, and dodged between some road work on the way there. We had dinner, and then had to leave early to get home on time. We ended up in the roadwork again, and shot between huge machines driving down the road. For P-Day today we are taking a day of rest. We will clean, check the bikes, and do other things around the house. Next week we will be seeing a soccer game, and it will my last opportunity to do so in Buriram. We have about 2.5 weeks left, and no one knows who will move and who will stay. I will go where the Lord wants me to go.

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Give my dogs a hug for me
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This is where I sleep

Elder Ridings

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Good Week in Thailand

C360_2015-02-09-13-36-05-217Hello Family,

This week has been pretty cool, a lot of awesome stuff happened, including me playing a part in the welfare of about 500 people here in Thailand. Before all of that, a summary of the week. On Monday we all suited up, greased the bikes, charged the cameras, and biked a good 40 minutes from the city into the country-side. We biked all the way in the heat to a mountain that is an inactive volcano. On the top of this mountain is a 60- foot golden statue of Buddha. We biked all the way to the top and got to see the Buddha man up close. They had a tomb up there, for some priest that we checked out, and it had huge bells that I P1040725promptly rang as hard as a I could. We saw the statue up close, and took some photos as people did weird rituals in from of it. Some old lady was staring at me, so I said “Hello” in Thai, so she wanted a photo and clinged to my arm very awkwardly. We took some pics, slid down a slide, and biked all the way home. For FHE we played some games, and taught some of our RC’s before returning home for the night. The next day we had District meeting. For funny questions, we were asked: If you could creat world, what would it be? If you had to marry a woman twice your height or weight what would it be? If you could make a new law what would it be? What would you do for your last 24 hours of life? I chose a Star Wars world, because you could travel to other planets. I was the only one who picked a woman twice my height, because we would rock at basketball and sports in general. I then said my law would be no working on Sunday, because for my last 24 hours of life I would invite everyone to church. We printed pics for the RC board, and happened to run into a LA dude right as we were walking out, so we set up a meeting with him. After the day was over, the Peterson’s showed up again to train the branch presidency. I had to

translate the entire meeting, because no one else could translate and Jackie had lost her voice. Afterwards we taught RC’s and went home. The next day we helped a member at her house and taught her neighbors. Her kids had wrecked her computer and put viruses on it so I got on and worked my magic to fix it. We then helped a member with a report he had to do for college because he has memory problems. We taught a friend of an RC and she accepted baptism. We went to a member’s house, where once again they had computer problems too! So I fixed their computer also. They introduced us to 2 families that are all interested in the Gospel. We ate at their house and went home. The next day, we were supposed to meet with Sister Pooh, but she was a no show, so we taught some people, and I had to go get a new voice recorder. My old one had broken to where it wouldn’t turn on, so we ran to Big C (Thai Walmart) and looked for one. They didn’t have one, so I called a lot of members to ask if they knew where to find one. No one knew, except for Jackie. She told me there was a store by the bus station that might have one. We were getting ready to leave, when Jackie called back and said they had one. She had gone to the store and checked without me asking! She was super helpful, and we were able to by another voice recorder. It was just like mine by Sony only the next on the tech scale. It was perfect and all my files transferred without a problem. We then taught, invited, and went to find Sister Phon, and La, mIMG_2396embers that I baptized. We biked all the way to Sun’s house, and with her help we found her. She was so happy to see us, and we taught her. She says she has been busy, and had no time to come to church. Pooh then showed up! It was awesome and we had a great lesson with her. We left, and had a normal day. The next day, we went to Phon’s house and did service for her to help ease her work and get her back to church. We raked and cleaned her property around a second house she is renovating. We went to the church, and waited for Sister Bop.  She didn’t show so we went to find her at work. We found her, and taught her. She was sorry she hadn’t come, and everything was ok. We went back to the church, and taught a lot of people. After that, we went to Sister Phone’s house, and talked to/ taught her family. The next day, we went to play B-ball at 6 am with a member, and then went back home and studied. We taught, got hair cuts, and played sports with the members at night. We saw a member of the Pro Soccer tame named David and we took pics. The next day we had a lot of people come to church. Pooh came and said she got her answer. She wants to be baptized this week. We P1040769

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had meetings, and then I went with representatives of the church to a village. There were 500 people there, and the church was going to install water facilities for them. I translated the English and the Thai. We had an awesome time, and I spoke to the entire village. We went to Sister Sun’s house for dinner, and went home. Today we will ride elephants, but right now soldiers and police just busted into the internet run, and are making all the Thai kids go back to school and stop skipping to play video games, so I have to go because they are cutting the breaker. Love you family, see yah next time!

  • Elder Ridings

Bringing members back to church

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Thai temple

Hello Family.

It was a good week, with a lot of refocusing the work, and changing visions. I am still having to get used to a new companion, but things have been working out just fine. Elder Opad is more of a Less Active and Member working missionary, so expect less baptisms this transfer in my emails, but expect a lot of people coming back to church and a lot of families returning after years of missing church and the fellowship of other members. So on Monday we did nothing but sleep, eat, and clean the house. We were all really tired, so not much got done in the way of leaving the house. For FHE we played a ton of fun games, and ate some good BBQ! It wasn’t “Southern” BBQ, but it was more of a kabob (Is that how it is spelled?) kind of thing. The next day we had a district meeting. For a bit of humor the questions: What would your super power be? What would you want to

My new comp
My new comp

eat for the rest of your life? What would you ride into battle? And what world would you want to live in (There was a list). I chose time control, watermelon (it has water and nutrients so I don’t die), a DRAGON, and the world of the Lord of The Rings. We went to church to teach a laday. It was an interesting lesson since she has proposed to missionaries in the past, but we ended up giving her a blessing and she was very sincere. We then ate at the ice-cream place called “Swensen’s” We taught some people, and went to the church and taught English. The power for the whole street went out! Luckily I was prepared and had a flashlight in my bag, so we were able to teach English in the dark! It was a pretty unique lesson, so we adjusted the lessons to vocabulary relating to darkness, lights, night, and day. It was very fun. Sister Pooh showed up, so we were able to schedule a meeting with her. P1040564The next day we went to Nopodon’s house out in the country, and taught him amid the sounds of farm animals and chickens. We then came home, and went to Bahn’s house to find her, but she wasn’t there. We taught a Book of Mormon class, and I helped some of the members with their English homework. The next day we did some inviting, saw an investigator at the mall, taught sister Pooh about reading the Book of Mormon, and then came back to the church. We had a huge meeting with a lot of missionaries, and President Senior came. It was a lot of fun, with a lot of emphasis on the family and history work. Brother Chode, the crazy guy, showed up in the middle of it, so we had to teach him. After the meeting we all went to a pizza

Pizza with President Senior
Pizza with President Senior

place, and ate a ton of pizzas, all payed for by President himself. The next day was the start of a weird chain of events. We woke up, and after some studying went to the church and chilled for an investigator. She never showed,

so as we were leaving we found

man sleeping on street
man sleeping on street

a dirty, old man sleeping out on the steps of the church. We invited him inside, and taught him. His name was Joy, and he had a gnarly case of foot fungus going on. We taught him, and he agreed to meet with us again. We then biked down a random street, and got stopped by 2 ladies who had been taught before, and wanted us to teach them. So we ate yellow watermelon and taught them at a convenience store. We then went to a school, and played volleyball, basketball, and soccer with a ton of the members, and some random people. At dinner I noticed that 2 RC’s, Brother Chog and Sister Beeboh, were gone. I later figured out they ate dinner together! Temple marriage right there. We then went home. The next day we went to teach the two girls again, but only Nan was there. As we were teaching her, a girl driving a motorcycle passed out, and crashed in the road, hard. We sprinted to her, and got the bike off of her legs, before getting her out of the street. We figured out she was anemic, so she had fainted. We then helped her eat and drink water, and she sat in our lesson with Nan. Her name is Buen. We loaded her bike in the back of Sister Jackie’s pickup truck, and drove to her house. Her family was so happy we had helped, and we picked up her mom, and took them to the hospital. We helped them load her unto a stretcher, and waited with the mom while she was checked out. We then ran across the street, said hi to Sister Nong, and bought food for Buen to eat. We stayed with them for a little bit, and when she was ok, and was going to spend the night at the hospital, we left. We went to KFC with Jackie, ate, and then went back to the church. A lot of our RCs were there, so we taught them. On Sunday we had Sister Bah, Sister Beeboh, and Sister Phone all get the Holy Ghost. After church and a ton of meetings, we went out to a village 30 minutes away, and were successful in getting some old LA’s to come back to church. We went to Sun’s house for dinner and played some fun games and shared a spiritual thought with the family. One of the games was called “Black Magic”. There was a certain way to play it, and I eventually figured it out, while everyone else was confounded. Look it up on Google to find out what it is. Today we will be going to a Volcano, after we meet with Sister Pooh again. It is strange how since the work has sifted from finding new people to saving old ones that the Lord is putting new people in our way for us to teach. I have learned not to worry, keep working, but don’t worry. The Lord is aware of all of us, and those who need our help. So if life’s seas get stormy, and things look bleak, just know that the man at the helm knows exactly what you need. He will guide your ship to the safe harbor, and all will be right. Trust the Captain, His Father taught him well.

Elder Ridings