Wat Fights and Tigers

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Hello Family.

This week was pretty awesome! Baptism, Temple Fights, and Tigers. I can truly say this is the best mission ever. On Monday we did our emailing, and went Ayutthaya to meet up with our entire zone for P-Day. We got up there, and our large body of missionaries set out to see a Wat, or Temple. This was the Wat that they filmed part of the Mortal Kombat movie at.  If you

know anything about MK (Mortal Kombat) you know it is a fighting game with a lot of punches and a lot of blood, so naturally the first thing we did at the Wat was to take fighting photos. I met up with some of my old friends like Elder Darby, Magera, and my main man, Chio. We toured around the Wat, took sick fighting photos, and had a good time. We went to a market on a river, and took photos with a huge tiger! At the end of the day, we all came home, and played basketball with the members. The next day was a normal day, but on the way to invite,

I got stopped by a taxi driver, who asked me to help him with English. He was really nice, and I got his phone number. For helping him, he gave me a small water bottle, and a huge one and drove off. I held on to the small one, but the big one was way to big, so I handed it to a group of nearby homeless guys, who were very grateful to get it. We taught English, and some lesson teaching. The next day I went to the Zone Leader’s area as companions with Elder Winsor. We invited and taught all day, and ate at the local mall. I was surprised to see a Cold Stone here in Thailand. The next day we interviewed a super old DSCN8903guy for baptism. He can’t remember the past, so it was an interesting interview. We then taught the vegetable lady, and she said she wants to be baptized. The next day we spent a long time finding and inviting. We traveled a long distance to find a guy who wanted a Book of Mormon, P1060183but couldn’t find him. At the huge mall we invited, and I got a new cheap wallet to keep my nice old one alive, and a Thai Red Bull shirt (Red Bull is from Thailand) The next day we taught some RC’s at the mall, and then a family in their home. The next day the old man got baptized, and because he was so old we just kind of laid him down in the water very carefully. Sunday was full of meetings, until a kid took me upstairs and showed 5 children that had got trapped in a room with a broken door handle. The door wouldn’t open, so I shoulder bashed it and cracked the frame and the wall. They told me to ask the bishop before I destroyed the door.  P1060006I really wanted to kick the cheap panel door in, but after 45 minutes they got it open. Today we did some shopping. I bought a Thai Air Force uniform, and we will be going to the Air Force museum. Bangkok is a strange, silly place. To infinity and beyond!

-Elder Ridings

Bangkok!

DSCN8935Hello Family,

So this week was pretty awesome, with me just learning how to hail taxis, avoid traffic, and finally find out what living in the city is like. So things are pretty new for me since I haven’t been in Bangkok yet. On Monday we went to McDonald’s, since you can’t escape the clown, even here in Thailand. P1050860We ate some food, took photos with Ronald, and spent the rest of the day exploring “Future Park” the biggest mall I have ever seen in my life. We spent the whole day shopping, and I got a cool Timberland watch that is good for diving. On Tuesday we spent the whole day teaching people, finding people, and biking all around town. We socialized with the members before English, and taught the English class. We taught people after English, and then went home and ate the gross vegetarian food.P1060014 On Wednesday we went to the stake center for Zone Training. We then all ate at Burger King, because why not? We then went home, taught a lot of people, and generally had a good day. The next day we taught a white pastor named Cliff. We didn’t really teach because he told us his life story, and then made us tell ours. We spent about 3 hours doing this, and had to leave due to other work. We went to the mall again, and invited for a long time. I bought a map of the bus routes, because we kept getting lost. We did a ton of teaching, and then went home. Saturday we started out the day early, but then I got a call that some Buriram members were here!I went to the church, and there was Sister Sun and a lot of the members!!! It was so good to see them, and they all seemed to be happy to P1060015see me too. Everyone in Buriram is doing good without me! We had to leave them to go find people to teach. P1060009We taught an old army Lt. Colonel named Chuck, taught a lady, went back to the church, saw some of the other members from Buriram who were down here for a dance competition, I translated a love letter into English for a member, and Sister Rak got interviewed for baptisms, so all in all, a crazy day but GOOD! I then had to call Elder Stone, and warn him that one of his investigators, the crazy one that worships a vegetable god, was in love with him! The next day was a normal day of church, except a family that was half Thai – half white showed up. They were called the P1060024“Hunts” and I talked a lot with their son Hollis, who competed in DECA the same time I did! Vegetable lady was there, and basically said she changed her mind, she doesn’t love Stone, and now wants to be baptized. The rest of the day was just meetings. If you are wondering why this email is shorter than normal, it is because I got lazy last week and didn’t write it! So far the city is fun. I miss the country, Buriram, but the food choices here are so much better, and riding in a taxi is fun. The buses are insane. They go fast, weave, and they firmly believe in “Size Matters” on the road. Pray for us!

-Elder Ridings

I’m In Bangkok!

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Hello Family

It has been a crazy week. I have finally moved. I have moved from the country, my beloved home Buriram, and I am now a city boy. I am in Bangkok, baby! I am now serving in Rangsit, with a ward of about 130 people. This is the place that my trainer, Elder Lodwick, started his mission. All the members remember him, and that won me some points with them. Before that though, lets review the week. On Monday we explored an abandoned hotel. It had been abandoned since 1995. We went through the whole place, including the top floor and the basement.

The place looked like something from a horror movie. We were there for almost 4 hours, and I took 200 photos plus 2 hours of GoPro footage. We then ate dinner at a members house and had a good time. The next day we sent packages home, packed and got ready for transfers. We just ran around all day and did errands to prepare. After English we all ate at Swenson’s, andawesome ice-cream place, and had “The Last Supper” and ate some good ice-cream. The next day I finished packing, P1050646and got final things done before we had a party at the church. We ate food at the church, played games, and I gave my goodbye testimony. All of the RC’s were there, and it was a sad time for everyone. I left good friendsand family behind, and I will always keep their memories with me. We all took our last photos, and I headed for the bus station. Everyone went with me, and they said their goodbyes before the bus pulled away. We made the sad, 5 hour trip to Bangkok. When we arrived we slept in the church until transfers. I saw all of my old friends from the MTC, and transfers were crazy. Elder Hall and Elder Hinkson are going to Burma, and Lodwick is training again. My new companion is a super diligent and awesome guy named Elder Codling. We are going to Rangsit. We then ate dinner and arrived at Rangsit. It is under P1050807
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a super-highway, so there are tons of people, and tons of traffic. Bike riding is forbidden, so we walk. We have been teaching and inviting a lot and Sunday was awesome. I made friends with a ton of the members and bore my testimony in sacrament. My mom is already friends with the members on Facebook, there is no escape from her. Today we are going to check out the malls and have a relaxing day. This email is short because time is shorter, but I am excited to be here, and I love the city. These P10508226 weeks will be awesome, and this ward will grow. I am a country boy lost in the big city now.

Elder Ridings

Saying Goodbye to Burirum

photo 3Hello Family.

So this week was pretty good, a lot of work was done, things planned, dinners eaten, and a surprise baptism was had. On Monday we had a normal P-Day. We went to the post office to get a package from the church, got food, and got our bikes tuned up at the shop. A few weeks ago I got a display on my bike that shows how fast I am going, and how far I have gone. In 2 ½ weeks I have biked 230 kilometers. We went to the Branch President’s house, and had dinner and played fun games. He had a ton of lizards in his house. They are called dook-eh’s, and they are HUGE. If they bite you, they will not let go. So we chased them around the house with brooms. The next day we had district meeting and almost got bitten by the black dog down the road. He has gotten hyper aggressive, and has started rushing us every day. He never comes after me, he only gets the other Elders. He will rush everyone else, and calmly walk by me. After our meeting we went to the village and taught Bop’s grandma and saw the drunk dude  again and took some photos with/of him. We walked around, got barked at and taught people. It was a very productive day. We taught English and went home. photo 4C360_2015-02-26-15-43-11-856The next day we went back to the village, and taught a lot of the people we contacted. I use my family photos as an ice-breaker and the women always say my mom is beautiful, and then they freak out when I tell them how old she is. We saw the drunk guy again and had some good work done. The drunk thinks I am Neil Armstrong, and keeps talking about Apollo 11 to me. We went to a market and invited, where I bought 2 shirts that ended up being too small for me, So I will send them to my bro. We went and taught Book of Mormon class and met a friend of Brother Chog’s and talked to him for a little bit. The next day we went to Sister Nong’s house, and I fixed a computer again. We went home, and went to Bop’s again. On the way there, we saw a dog on the highway that was trying to bite motorcycles and cars. I think he had rabies..! We then met, you guessed it, drunk guy again, and of course he was drunk again, and he called me Neil Armstrong again. We taught people in the village all day and then went home.. The next day was just teaching at the village, and then sports day. We played Volley Ball and Basketball, and then IMG_3310ate ice cream together. The Thai Elders left for a Thai Missionary activity in Bangkok, so it was just white guys in Buriram for the night. The next day me and Elder Williams ate at the white guy restaurant, “Jimmie’s Sports Grill” to see our RC Sister Ting, and then saw Sister A at the mall. We taught/helped Sister Somoh with a talk she had to give on Sunday.IMG_3295 We taught Sister Bee-Boh, and we had a really personal lesson with her. Williams started to feel really bad then, and had migraines. While we were teaching her, I saw the abandoned hotel across the lake, and was possessed with the idea of exploring it for P-Day. We went there to ask the lone guard if we could go, but he wasn’t there. We then went to Brother Bomm’s house, where Williams finally was so sick we went home. He slept as soon as he hit the bed. The next day was a normal day of church. The other Elders got back home at 3 am, but still went to church. Somoh was relieved it was testimony meeting, because she didn’t have to give her talk. After some meetings and such, we all went to Bomm’s and ate with a ton of the members. We all went to the hotel, and finally met the guy. He said we could enter the hotel Monday, today, at 3 pm. We are all geared up, and I have the go pro and all of my survival gear ready. The hotel is huge, and they ran out of money before they finished it. It probably has ghosts and zombies, so expect some good photos. This may be my last week in Buriram, but we will find out in a few hours. I love this place, but I will leave if I have to. I’m not n a vacation, I’m on a mission, and I will go where the Lord wants me to go.photo 2

  • Elder Riding

Experienced a Thai Hospital

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Hello Family.

So this week was hectic. It involved a ton of biking, rainstorms,and hospital visits. On Monday we had a normal P-day and just chilled. We got our bikes worked on, and I got two water proof saddle bags hooked onto my bike for extra storage on long trips. We then bought food, and had FHE at the church. We watched “17 Miracles”. In the movie the main character, Levi Savage, goes on a 3 year mission to Siam, the old name for Thailand. When he comes back he carves an elephant out of wood, and that just confirms that he was a Thailand missionary!  The next day we went to the hospital. P1050129Opad has had heart palpitations for about 3 months now, so the mission nurse said to get over to the hospital and get tested. We were there for 6 P1050112hours and it was horrible. There were more people than an airport, people sleeping on the ground, dogs and cats fighting in the hallways, and it was open air so bugs were everywhere. There were so many sick people, that they would make them sleep out in the hallways in their beds. The family members would sleep at the hospital in tents or on blankets. I was stunned. After all the tests, they told us to come back tomorrow. We then had district meeting that night, and taught English. I helped people do some homework for their English classes, and then we bought food and went home. The next day we went to the hospital early to beat the crowds, but it didn’t work. Everyone was staring at me. The doctor told us that for 24 hours Opad would have to wear a holter monitor, and that he would be staying in the hospital. T stayed with Opad at the hospital for a little bit, while I went with Elder Williams to get some work done. We taught Beeboh at a park and then went to Bop’s house. We wore rain jackets because the skIMG_2833y was dark, and we got hit hard on the highway by the rain. We were soaked when we got to Bop’s house. We taught her grandma and got her to commit to coming to church on Sunday.P1050116 On the way out, some drunk guy with no shoes tried to talk with us, and he literally was a zombie. We went home, I got a night bag, and went to the hospital to stay with Opad. I did not sleep more than 2 hours. People were coughing, dogs running by, bugs, sewer smells, people freaking out, a literal nightmare. A ton of members visited us, and brought us food. Once we were released, we went to give a blessing to an old member because of her back. We then went to Phon’s house, and I taught her about prayer with her husband. He is an Army Drill Sergeant.  We then went home and crashed. The next day we went to help a member email her missionary daughter, taught Bop’s grandma again, and then went to Brother Bop’s house to teach him, he is an LA member. We then had sports day, and a ton of people showed because we had managed to get our hands on an American Football. P1050165It was made out of rubber, with fake painted laced but it did the job. I taught everyone how to pay, and then let them loose. I was the QB, and  I was bombing passes, and then ran a 60 yard touchdown. We had a ton of fun, even though none of the members could play it. The next day we went to Bop’s house for service. We got her grandma to accept a baptismal date, and even saw the drunk guy again. He was still drunk, so I took a photo with him, and some funny videos. We then taught a crazy grandma, whose daughter told us to leave the house. So I took my sweet time getting out to be stubborn. We then saw Somoh’s mom, and she made some good food for us after our lesson. We then booked it to Sun’s house, and taught her older sister. Sister pan has become very open hearted, and I taught an awesome lesson to her about the restoration. In the past she would never listen, but now she does. We then went to Brother Bop’s house, where he showed us weird videos of UFO’s, giant spiders, and Apache gunships in Iraq. He has a photo he took that he claims is a UFO, and says aliens come to his neighborhood every day. We then

flew home to get home before 9 pm, and I had to kick a dog that attacked me on my bike and tried to get my ankles, it was a solid kick too. On Sunday we had a ton of people come to church, including Bop’s grandma, and Brother Bop himself. We had a ton of meetings, all about the area, and then we went to Sun’s house and cut down and trimmed trees for her. We then played games, ate, and taught Sister Pan. We had a very good night. Today is just a normal P-day of rest again. No one has money to do anything. Missionary life will make you lose weight, especially when you have no money for food, and only members to feed you. This is my last normal week in Buriram, transfers is next week. Things will get hectic until then, but we will keep working. After this mission, the memories of that Thai hospital will be with me forever. If you are in Thailand, fix yourself up if you have a problem, don’t go…. to the HOSPITAL.

-Elder Ridings P1050206