Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hello family

I'm am so grateful to finally be able to get some news from home.
Okay, first Mom I'm really sorry I wasn't able to email you Wednesday night. I think if I was able I would have only sent this message,"I am here" by night here in Thailand all 15 of us were barely able to form complete sentences, we were so tired from traveling. Sorry you had to wait so long to get this email. It's about 5:30 pm here in Thailand. It's been a busy week and we just now finally have a small break to email. love you

Okay to start, I have been chased by dogs, monkeys, crazy moped drivers and nearly hit by the crazy traffic in Thailand and I'm loving every second of it.
So let's see after I hung up the phone on Monday of last week I ran to my plane so i could bound. We took off about 9 and landed in LAX around 10:30 Pacific time. From there we had to travel out of the national terminal into the international terminal. ( I apologize for the spelling now I'm losing my sense of English) any how. Here was the first culture shock to us. Most people who were in this area were traveling to southeast Asia with us. Here is also the worst part of the trip. Because of our name badges they moved us to the front of the line. So as I was checking in, it turns out that there was a miscommunication between the airport and 7 of our tickets. They forgot to change it a week ahead or something. any ways I got to pay a $100 fee for the change no biggy. yet. Because of the problem our travel leader sister Akagi had to call the travel office. We then spent the next 2 hours trying to fix the problem and the result in the end was to pay the fee and get reimbursed in Thailand like I decided. but because of this there was mega frustration some tears, some yelling, some mashing of teeth so not calling home, some moaning and complaining, I decided that night that I don't want to ever go back to LAX. That was a pain. Any how everything in the end got sorted out and I learned a lot about some of the people in the district.
OK so next there was a 14 hour flight to Taiwan. I liked it the Chinese take good care of their customers on their flights. Anyways I never saw the sun on Tuesday and I never slept. It was nice.
We landed around 8:30 in the morning their time. Time for breakfast. Yay. Me and another elder, Elder Newman, broke away from the main group. Yes, we could do this and took the time to find some food. We found a place to change so money which i still don't understand. And got some rice and pork , yum.

We stayed there for about 2 hours and I wanted to call you but my card didn't work internationally. We got onto anther flight and spent another 4 hours which flew by, no pun intended, in no time.

Bangkok airport is huge. It felt like we walked forever to get to customs and our stuff. ( side note at this time they had given a note to Sis. Akagi to give to the elders that suggested we freshen up before we leave the baggage claim. Don't know why, I figured I smelt good although I did have a really good shadow growing on my face.) Again as we began to walk through customs they saw our badges and waved us through.

We met the office Elder and the APs and President and Sister Smith on the other side. I like them. Brother Saakha described him as a soft teddy bear. he was right.
anyways I took some pictures to follow the trip.
We next went through the crazy streets of Thailand. People here drive very aggressively but at the same time very polite. For example, the horn is never used in anger. It's just a polite way to let someone that you're in their blind spot passing them. I think I prefer it here. At the mission home we took pictures that I think will somehow get back to you with the mission president. We ate lunch then we took off and and took care of some paper work at the office and got interviewed.
By night we were so happy to rest our heads on a real bed that I don't remember much after I crawled into bed.

The next day we quickly got ready and took off for the church. We met our trainers there. Because of the huge group of missionaries leaving the mission that we're replacing, every missionary in Thailand was there. We got to see our Phii Thai's that left us 5 weeks before and meet their companions. Well because I'm running out of time I'm going to skip most of this and just say my trainer is ELder Ito. If the name is familiar it's because he was Elders Young's companion when he got hit by the truck. I met him too, he made a full recovery and no one would know that he was in a mess before. Elder Ito is from Claton Utah, he is on his last 2 moves in the mission which means he leave in November.
They assigned us to a city called Lop Buri, the city of monkeys, we opened the area. there our 2 Sisters that work in our district as well. so it's the 4 of us. Lop Buri is 2 hours north of Bangkok but still in the Bangkok province. it's about in the middle of Thailand. OK

I have to go I'll be looking forward to telling you more about my adventure next week

love you

Elder Brandon Holt

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