The Work Moves Forward

Sept. 21, 2015

This week was better. We saw some good work done, and we had a much better time now that everyone’s health was back. On Monday we went out and emailed where tragedy struck. So I have to explain stuff for everything to be understood. I have 2 hard drives. I bought one in Buriram that I backed everything up onto from Buriram to the middle of Rangsit. I then bought a new, bigger hard drive and copied everything onto it. Today I brought the old hard drive to the internet cafe and formatted, as in I deleted everything on the old one to clean it out and make space for new stuff. As I went through the old hard drive I realized that everything had copied over except the voice files from before the new hard drive. Half of my mission’s voice recordings had disappeared, and I had just deleted the one way to restore them, the old hard drive. I was devastated, and my whole email time was spent trying to recover them with all the ways I knew how. We did not have enough time, so all the hard drives were locked down and the rescue operation postponed until another day. So with these concerns on my mind we went to find a place to bowl at. We eventually found it and it was the huge building that I went ice skating in a long time ago. I talked about it in an email months ago. We went in and had an awesome time bowling. My name on the scoreboard was “Ice Man” . I could not really find much enjoyment because I was so focused on my lost voice journals, and they had loud music and terrible music videos playing in the place. We then came home and visited a sick member in the hospital, and gave her a blessing. She is doing good, and is still happy. She wanted us all to sign her cast. We talked for a while and then went and got food. We took a taxi home in hard rain. The taxi driver purposely went the wrong ways to try to get the meter higher, so I made him stop and we bailed and got a new taxi dude who was honest. We made it home and got dinner. Tuesday we ate at the Sizzlers place for district meeting and it was awesome. I spent a lot of money, but the food was totally worth it. Us 4 white guys wrecked the all you can eat salad and soup bar. We went to the church and as we got  district meeting setup I got some automated programs running on the computer that started to scour the old hard drive for my old voice recordings. We had a good meeting and we went learned some good things. I then called a ton of people and had

some great conversations with investigators and members. After all of that I went and worked on the computer some more. We then taught English class about direction and had a good time. The next day we went out and ate some lunch, worked on the computer some more, and met up with Poo-A. We talked to him as we waited for the Thonburi. They finally showed up and we had an awesome lesson with him. He has absolutely no commandment problems, and is still a boss. We then taught an RC named sister Eve about the plan of salvation with a mix of Restoration thrown in there. She had tons of good questions. We then worked on the computer and I did it. I fixed the problem! I was able to recover all of the mission voice journals, and it felt like a huge weight was taken of my shoulders. I felt like a new man, and I went home that night super happy. The next day we had a big planning session, and went and bought packages to ship stuff home. We invited for a while and went to the church to teach brother Note. We taught him the plan of salvation. He loved it and had tons of cool questions that no one has ever asked. He is a smart dude. We then had a good lesson with Eve again and had correlation meeting. It was a good day, but we are having problems because a ton of our investigators are out of town. The next day we sent some letters and went to Big C to buy food. We met an old investigator and got her number, and got some numbers from a surprising amount of people. We then went and talked to Sister Duke at her coffee stand. She is doing good, and had some things she needed to talk about. We then went and saw this weird Buddhist thing setup in the mall, and I found a place that makes patches for uniforms. I might get something made thBOSS0212ere. We had a fun Book of Mormon class with games and food, and everyone had a good time. On Saturday we went to the church and cleaned the church for most of the day. There was so much stuff to do, and we all had a ton of work top do. I took up the task of fixing lights, electronics, and the fluorescent lights that had bad starters or bad cables. After all the cleaning was done the church looked so good. We then went and saw member named brother Egg. He is a return missionary who served in Salt Lake. He fed us dinner and showed us all sorts of cool stuff from his time as a missionary. He had cats, and I
started to die ofallergies so we got out of there. It was good, besides the cats. On Sunday we had people show up, including LA’s like that lady we talked to last week. The members were all blown away by how clean and new the church was. We had tons of meetings, and then I talked to a member who wants to be a missionary. She had tons of good questions, and she was a super cool person. I wish her the best of luck as a missionary. We then went and saw Sister Duke because she needed our help. On the way back home that evening we ran into a crazy homeless man that says he is a member of all religions, and that Islamic people took his arm bones. His arms were fine. So it was a good day had by all. Today we are going to ice skate again at that one place, and hopefully see some more good times this week. I will see you next Monday!

-Elder Ridings


A Bunch of Sick Elders This Week

September 14, 2015

This use to be a parking lot before the rain.
A typical Thai house

So this is probably going to be one of my least exciting emails because sickness swept through the district and wiped out the work for a few days. Not much really happened this week, but next week will be better. So on Monday we went out and emailed, and then just ran errands for the whole day. We did some shopping in the mall and I got a new black Oakley backpack. After that we were supposed to go to the church and teach somebody but they were not free, so we went to FHE at someone’s house. We had a good dinner and shared some spiritual thought. I defended everyone from mosquitoes by using an electrified tennis racket to kill the bugs. It was super effective! We then took a taxi home. On Tuesday we ate at the mall, and then met up with the other Elders to get ice cream. I figured out you could get little American flags on our ice cream. So we got tons of flags because our patriotism is so strong. Poo-A showed up and we tried to teach him as best as we could with the language barrier of Burmese to Thai. Tons of people showed up to English, and we had an awesome time teaching. Elder Frodsham called me from Rangsit and gave me a referral to talk to, and we talked a little with brother Wat after class ended. It started to rain really hard, so a ton of people left really quickly. We the made our way to dinner, and then home. Wednesday during studies elder Gardener was feeling kinda bad, so all he wanted to eat was soup. White people soup. We went into a place called Sizzlers because I knew they had an all you could eat salad and soup bar. We went in and were floored by how expensive everything was, even for American prices. WE had already committed though. We were sitting and the waiters were, well, waiting on us. Elder Gardner said he wanted to go to the other steak place that had soup for cheaper. SO I told the waiters give us a moment to think. As soon as they went to the back of the restaurant we hauled out of there and awkwardly bailed from the restaurant. We then went to the other restaurant and ate soup for much cheaper. After we ate we got medicine and came home because Gardner was not doing so well. He slept all day. I cleaned the apartment, read books, and sat on the apartment balcony, on top of the washing machine, for 3 hours watching rain fall and pondering the meaning of all things. The next day Gardner did not even wake up. He slept all day again, and I went crazy from being bored. I cleaned some more, manhandled the refrigerator onto a stand that makes it taller, and watched the sun set from the balcony. I felt like a prisoner in my own home. Luckily the other elders brought me McDonald’s to help me cope. The next day we woke up and Elder Gardner was feeling a little better. We had Zone training over at the stake center, so we took a taxi through the rain to get there. We had an awesome session, and a lot of good things were said. After the meeting was over we came home, and I went with Elder Walker because now Gardner and Reed were sick. We taught this guy named Eddie and his girlfriend Porsche. They are super awesome, and they had lots to talk to us about. They will be getting married soon, but they are not sure when they will be ready for baptism. We then went and had Book of Mormon class, and had a good time. Brother Kenny called me, and said he is back in Thailand. If you remember him he is the one who took us to the ancient city, and the theme park back in Rangsit. He had some stuff he wanted to give me, and wanted to meet the next day. So the next day we planned because we did not do it on Thursday because Gardner was sick. We payed the water bill, and then we went and taught an awesome dude and his Mom. The dude is named brother Non, and he has a majestic, red afro. He has been an investigator a long time, and he knows his stuff. He is basically a member. He just has to get permission from his family to get baptized. I got to meet his mom and teach her a very good lesson. We then met up with Brother Kenny at the church because he wanted to help us teach an investigator who did not show up. We took photos with Kenny, and he gave me some cool stuff from my family. We took him to the roof and took photos with him. We then visited LA members and had an awesome lesson with a lady that speaks awesome English. I bore hardcore testimony and she said she wants to come back. We got kinda wrecked on Sunday because none of our people showed up, except for Poo-A, the awesome dude. After church we had tons of meetings and went LA hunting again and took the sacrament to a lady who could not come to church anymore. Kinda tough week but that’s how it goes sometimes. Sickness is rough when you are a missionary. Not working is a terrible feeling. Gotta keep working to keep feeling happy. Next week will be better. Until next time.

-Elder Ridings

Raining and Finding

September 7, 2015

Hello Family.

This last week was awesome! We had tons of cool things happen, and met some interesting people. So picking up off of Monday we went to a new internet place that was not too good, so we changed places for this week. We had to do some special stuff to the computers to get photos out to you last week. We went out and got food, and then went to the new super mall, Central Plaza. It was calm on Monday because not many people were there. We shopped around, checked out the shops, and saw some cool stuff. I bought new Oakley glasses because my other ones got stolen. We went to the book store and got BOSS9886new pens, and rode around on this hover-board like things. It is like a sideways skateboard with wheels that moves when you lean. It was super fun to ride in. I had to practice, and got good at it as the other Elders rested in massage chairs. I bought a new chest rig for the GoPro, and some new parts for it. We then went to the church and taught a heroine addict that is just BOSS9829looking for happiness. We taught him the gospel and the commandments. He really wants to keep them. He talks a lot and will cut you off in the conversation if you let him. We then did some stuff with the camera, and went home. Tuesday we went and ate at the food court in the mall. We then had ice cream and went to the church for our district meeting. It was a good one and then we went home. At the steps of the walking bridge we ran into this lady dancing for money that i first saw over in Rangsit. She was here too! Also 2 people said I was superman. I am not sure how to take it. Maybe because I am big. At the Church Poo-A the Burmese man was there. We ate dinner with him, and set up a Burmese Sister Missionary named Mon to come help us teach him on Friday. We had a ton of appointments cancel on us because of the rain, but we still taught English. It rained the hardest I have ever seen in Thailand. English was fun, and we had an awesome time playing telephone. We ran into the South African guy that lives on our floor in the condo. He is nice. We then ate at pizza hut because sometimes you got to eat big. We started eating but the power went out so we got it to go. We then invited on the street around the mall. We went to a member named Duke who sells coffee, and another Member named O. They tried to convince me O was not a member because we had never met her, but we saw through their deceptions haha. O is a returned missionary! We then IMGP1459answered some awesome questions that Duke had about the Book of Mormon. We went to the church and waited for people to show up. We taught this cool 16 year old named Note. He is totally down to keep the commandments, and drives a sick motorcycle. He likes guns as much as I do! We then taught the Heroine guy and it was crazy. He was scatterbrained the whole lesson, and kept talking about Aristotle. We then BOSS9522ate food and went home after that stressful lesson. He is still coming to church. We went back to Duke and talked to her about the temple. She gave us nice iced coco. She will never let us pay for it, so I have to sneak the money into her money basket. She helped us get a phone number from a customer of hers. We went to the church to open the computer room for her. We then taught Note and his mom the restoration and taught the commandments to his mom. It was an awesome lesson. The Zone leaders showed up and switched off with the others. Walker will work in the other area for a day and Jang will be here for a day. We then went looking for food after showing them the roof of the building. The next day we went out to eat, and then went to see Duke one more time. We left and ran into Poo-a. We took him to the church and taught him when Sister Grover and Mon showed up. They helped us translate he lesson and poo-a wants baptism. We then had correlation meeting, and Elder Walker came back. I bought an anaconda wallet and a lizard wallet from a member. The next day we went to the church and talked to some members. We invited/walked way north of the church and ran

into hostile dogs and crazy homeless men. We saw boats on a river and ran into an LA girl that Sister Grover told us to find. We literally found her parked on the side of the road and started talking to her. It was a miracle. Needle in the haystack. We then came home and taught an investigator a quick lesson, and went back to the church to help a member with the computer. Not much happened besides the amazing find on this day. Church was kinda hard for us. None of our daters for baptism showed up. It was a very normal day. But kinda a bummer. A lot of them had stuff come up. We then planned and went home to make dinner. Our electronic lock on our door died and could not open. We went to 7-11 and bought a 9V battery because I found a way to hot-wire the door and get it open. So luckily we were not locked out for too long. Today we are going to the mall again because so much more still needs to be discovered. Next week we will be going to a temple, and hopefully a new miracle happen. See yah next week!

-Elder Ridings

Working in Bangbuathong

Aug. 31, 2015

BOSS9631Hello Family.

So this has been an interesting week in a interesting area. Bangbuathong, or BBT for short. Last Monday after emailing we went out and explored the town. We mostly just bought stuff for the house, and spruced the place up a bit. We then went to the church to teach a lady who thinks that Buddhism and Christianity can be combined haha. We then made our way over to a member’s house for an FHE/Birthday. We went to meet up with two of the older members who would take us there. On the way there a funny man yelled at us because he wanted us to fist bump him. We did and he ran away screaming. At the members house we shared spiritual thoughts and ate some awesome orange cake. They have about the ugliest dog I have ever seen living at that house. We had an awesome time, and then took a taxi driver home who smelled like he had not showered in 3 days. We got dinner, and then went home. On Tuesday we studied for a while and went to the mall to eat some Ice cream before our District meeting. The American inside me got the better of me and I ended up eating at KFC too. After our meeting we went to a members house who lives in a Muslim neighborhood. We had a good lesson with him, and basically worked with him on his

faith. We went over to the church and had a huge English class. I have been inviting all sorts of people to English, and I think it paid off. We taught about nature and played fun games. We then went out to dinner, got caught in a monsoon, and went home. We have to slip through a metal gate in an alley way every-time we return to our apartment building. The next day we went inviting all over the town. We found a silk shop and got watched like a hawk by the people that worked there. I was able to find a phone case for our new phone in a very sketchy phone dealership tent. We ended up in some weird shopping mall that is trying too hard to feel like the wild west in America. We went to a store to a place called the living mall to buy food for the house. We saw a dog fight, and went to the church. We were waiting for a Burmese man called Poo-A or something like that. His name is Burmese so I don’t know how to translate it over to English. He was trying to find his way to the church but gave up. While we waited for him we explored the top 5 floors of the hotel building that the church is in. The top 5 floors are abandoned and kinda scary. We then came home for dinner, and went upstairs to visit the other Elders because their apartment is in another part of the building. Elder Gardner locked our door. We have a keypad lock, and no key for the deadbolt. We were locked out with no way in. Luckily I always carry my lockpick set, and was able to pick my way back into the house. The next day we planned for a long time, and went out to eat with the other Elders. We ran over to this abandoned mall that is near the house. I tried to smooth talk the guards into letting us explore it for a P-day. They said no, and would not be convinced so that was a bummer. We then ate KFC again. We invited all the way to the church, by walking there. We waited for an investigator to show up, but she did not so we were able to get to know the member helping us teach. She will be a missionary in England in 2 months. We had correlation meeting in the church as a monsoon raged outside.. We then braved the storm and came home because it was late. The next day we went out to eat after studies, and decided to eat at the new mall that had just opened.

Our day started early though when fireworks went off at 4 am in celebration of a Chinese holiday. The mall is called West Gate. It is the biggest super-mall in Southeast Asia. It is MASSIVE. We went inside and got lost. We could not find the door. We saw dudes in robot suits, mascots, and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty was there. We then invited and went with the other Elders to teach an LA at his house. We tried to help him with his smoking problems, and then went to the church. On the way there we ran into a little kid who looked like the Michelin man and called us racial slurs. It was funny.. We then had Book of Mormon class and talked about Lehi’s dream. The next day, Saturday, We walked all the way to an LA’s house that was like a 40 minute walk away. We invited all sorts of people on the way, and finally found the guy’s house. He was not there. We then walked back and invited everyone again. We walked by a guy we are pretty sure was dead, and found a cool fishing shop that sold some good stuff. We ran into the other Elders and Taught an RC of ours named Duke. She sells drinks on the side of the bus station. We then went to the church because Poo-A finally found the church! We tried to teach the Burmese man but he speaks little Thai. We gave him all the church materials we could in Burmese, and sent him on his way. On Sunday we had the baptism of a girl named Sister Bop. She speaks awesome English, and is a cool person. I gave a talk on repentance for her baptism. We then had lunch, and my black glasses vanished and I still have not found them. We then taught a dude named Note, and he brought his whole family! We gave them all baptismal dates, and they were awesome people! It was a great Sunday. Today we are going to check out that super mall for real this time, and just kinda resting. This place is strange, but I expect we will see a lot of happiness. See you next week. Tune in for more insanity at BBT.

-Elder Ridings