Monday, December 20, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Heavenly Father looks like. Then she asks do you have a picture of what Heavenly Father looks like? Thankfully I had a passaolng that talks about the first vision. I pulled that out and showed it to her and pointed out in the pitcure that see here is a picture of what he looks like and his Son Jesus Christ as well. She was even more intrigued. So we asked if we could come back to see her again with a guy memeber with us. The next day was just as cool. We are going to go back tonight to see her again.
Monday, November 29, 2010
I'm doing super-duper this week. How's everyone at home? Well I don't remember if I told you that this last week was a transfers week or not but that's alright, because I wasn't planning on moving anyways. I did however get the package that was sent and will be putting up the decorations in our house if we have time. we should.....maybe. Anyhow.
This week went by really fast. In our district only 2 out of four companionships stayed behind to work. That makes this the 3rd transfer meeting that I missed through out my entire mission. It's strange not going down because you're not informed about a lot of things. Its all kind of up to the Zone leaders or what you hear from the gossip in the mission to get informed.
This week many of our investigators were either out of town or were unable to meet with us. So we had a lot of time to go find new investigators through the wonderful technique of tracting or inviting as I have sometimes called it. Its great to spend the time out in the sun day after day talking to people who really could care less. But I also love it because it's the best time to really understand Thai people and culture. For example I learned that right now in Thailand there is a huge craze about Hula hoops. I have been noticing more and more women and a few men hula hooping. Last night I figured out why. The heath department has set a goal for all of Thailand here to have more then 70% of Thai women with waist sizes under 30 inches. They decided that hula hoops were the way to do it. Maybe I should get on this. I seem to have trouble working out in the mornings. For the last week I have been working on my leg strength by walking. From my bed into the next room to the sofa. I think I am starting to see great results. Anyways
In the last week we had a few miracles in our finding. For example. There was a night when we were out in a neighborhood that Elder Jensen and I have been walking through at least once a day to find new people. This particular time we were with a member named Ice. Remember him, he was one of the 3 brothers that got baptized when I first got here. He is an amazing missionary. Anyways we were walking and Brother Ice saw a man behind his gate and hailed him. We went over and talked to him for a few minutes. Then asked if we could share a message about eternal families with him. He said he had to ask his wife first and walked inside for a few minutes. After a few minutes he came back out, and said if we could come back later because his wife wasn't feeling very well. That's a normal excuse not to listen to us so I figured he wasn't interested. But we asked if we could exchange phone numbers anyway. After that we walked away down the street. at the end of the street I got a phone call and to our surprise it was the man that we had just invited. He asked if we could come back and talk for a few minutes.
Some what still surprised we decided to turn back and see what he had to say. As we got there we were greeted by him and his wife at the gate. They both welcomed us in. As we sat down and started talking we learned that the wife had been a former investigator about 5 years ago and almost was baptized. The man talked to us a lot about family and how he liked how we talked about Eternal families. He said that kind of has a ring to it. Anyways I asked him why they didn't let us in at first. They said because at first the wife thought we were some kind of insurance salesman. Now that I think about it It's true, and its the best kind. 555
We haven't had a chance to get back to them yet but we will try in the future.
This week I sent some pictures home. the first few are of our thanksgiving party that Elder Jensen and I had. We had 2 there. Then there are some of the baptism that we had over the weekend. Remember the lady we baptized a few weeks ago. Well her children were baptized this week. It was a crazy week trying to get them ready for it.
Then I also sent some of our ลอยกระทง (laykrathong) adventure last Sunday.
Ok I have run out of time today sorry
I love you all
Elder Brandon John Holt
Happy ลอยกระทง. Remember last year when about this time, I was in Lop Buri still. That seems forever ago. Yesterday was Loykrathong day here in Thailand. We had a few minutes just before we went back home last night to go float the plant boats that a member made for us. It was fun to take part in the Thai culture for a few minutes. I understand a little bit more about it this year then I did last year. Loykrathong is a festival in order to worship the spirit of the water, which brings life to all the earth and plant and rice and so forth. It also sweeps away all the bad stuff in the earth as well. So in order to give thanks to the water spirit they make small islands to float on the rivers and lakes of the cities. So last night we went to a reservoir nearby and placed the boat in the water. There were so many people. The only way that I can explain it is by comparing it to the 4th of July. But I still don't think that could come that close.
Anyways. This last week was a busy week but I feel like we got more done. On Tuesday I exchanged companions with Elder ตัอม or Tom in Warin the area across the river from us. We went and taught 3 new families, one being a part-member family with a less active member in it. Those guys are doing great over there. The best missionary is a native one working to bring his people unto Christ. And Elder Tom and Intavong or intawong prove that.
The rest of the week Elder Jensen and I worked in our area together to help our investigators. This was a week where we looked at many of our investigators that have not been progressing or we have been unable to meet with and decided how much time that we have to devote to them. Many of them we have decided to stop teaching because they have either no time or lack the commitment to progress. So until they are ready in the future we will, as President Smith says, "place them on the shelf" where we can see them but not teach them until they are ready to progress. AKA Formal investigator part in our area book. And with the cleaning up of the area book we have been doing the last few weeks the Elder in the future can find them again. A clean area book is very important, I'm sure Nate or Jed know how it feels when you get to a new area with missionaries that haven't been taking good care of the records.
Anyways we found a cool new investigator yesterday. We were tracting or inviting in a neighborhood that we have been to quite a lot the past week. As we were walking, we saw a man walk out of his house to take the garbage out. We talked to him and come to find out that we had invited him to come to English class a couple of days earlier. I hate when I talk to people that I have talked to before and don't recognize them. That happens a lot to me. And because I am one of the few white guys that can speak Thai, my age in this part of Thailand everyone remembers me. 5555. Anyways after I finally realized who he was, we started talking to him about Christianity. He asked a lot about a being missionary and the mission life. For example he couldn't believe that on Sundays we live and work from 8 in the morning to 8 at night without pay of one baht. We kept talking to him and he said he would like to learn a little about what we had to teach.
His name was เบิล (bun) or gun in Englih. He lived with his wife. We sat down and asked if his wife would be interested in learning too. He said that he was a little scared to ask because they had been a fight in the morning and on non-talking terms for the day. (what a great time the meet the missionaries) Anyways we asked him to try and he did but she wasn't willing to even say more then a word to him so she didn't come, but she did at least sit down in front of her computer in the same room. Anyways as we started talking he asked what is a great way to calm down after a fight like this. I looked at him and said well we have this thing called prayer. That works really well. so from that we started teaching him. It turned out that he was really interested in learning more. We have our next appointment with him tomorrow.
Well my time is short again. I need to learn how to type faster.
I love you all
Elder Brandon John Holt
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I'm doing great this week. I finally got a whole week in my area. By the looks of it, it will probably be the only whole week that Elder Jensen and I will have together as well. This week I have companion exchanges with Elder Fowls and Elder Perry, our zone leaders. Then at the end of the week is Zone Conference. Its funny I was thinking this morning about when there were days that I had nothing to do before I was a missionary, and now I hardily have time enough to write a letter on our preparation days. I think I like it better this way. I always have something to do.
Well over the past week we met some amazing people and had some miracles happen. I'll start with Pa Brayad, the man you wrote about in the email today. A few days ago we had an appointment to teach him. Well he is a 63 year old man. He lives with his daughter and son's girlfriend right now. Anyways we have been trying to teach his daughter but she has been in Bangkok for the past few weeks so we haven't been able to teach her. This last time she was there. As we sat down she had got up to study, she is taking tests and trying to get a job in general management. I had a thought that went through my mind that if she did not sit down at this time with us now she probably won't ever sit down to learn with us. So I did the only thing that I could do which was to shout into the next room and try to start to have a conversation with her until she came and sat down with us. It worked. After that Elder Jensen and I had an incredible lesson with both Pa Brayad and his daughter named Fone or Rain. We committed them to be baptized when they know that the gospel is true and they both agreed.
Next was one of our new investigators that we taught last Saturday. We have been trying for the last 2 weeks to talk to them. They are a husband and wife named Ahkome and Jambii. They work with some of their family as clothes washers and they pick up side jobs on the side to make money as well. As we finally got a few minutes to sit down with them, one thing that really stood out to me is a thing that Jambiii said when we asked her why she sat down with us. She said that for the past few years that she has been looking for two things and she doesn't know why. One is that she has been looking for something that she doesn't have. She said she doesn't know what that thing is but she thinks we might have it for her. Next she said she has had a feeling that she needs to change her name and that she thinks that we might be able to do that. ( in Thailand its really easy to change your name. A lot of people do it here) I told her that I might not be able to help her change her name but I know that I have something that she is looking for if she is willing to listen to me. I'm way excited to go back and teach her and her husband this week.
Last is a thing that happened last night. Elder Jensen and I had been out tracking and had decided to change areas because we were getting bored of the place that we were in. As we were going along we ran into Ice, one of the 3 brothers that was baptized a few weeks ago. We had a quick talk with him then he went on his way. As we were talking to him a man stopped close by to smoke a cigarette. After talking to Ice the man looked as though he wanted to talk to us but couldn't bring himself to do it. So to help, I went to him and started to talk to him. I'm not sure why but I started talking to him about smoking and how if he was willing to stop we had a way to help him stop for good. ( Word of wisdom invites are always shocking to me) Anyways we started to talk and then he started talking about the Book of Mormon and Nephi. That was a little shocking. So I asked if he had learned with the Elders before. He said yes but he had only learned a little then stopped. He said that he had only read the first chapter of the Book of Mormon. For only reading a little he knew it really well. I asked him if we could meet him at his house to talk to him more. He said he was going to a friend's house and because it was closer we could go there. I thought about it and figured it was OK. So we went to his friend's house and taught him and his friend a lesson and got their information, to go back another day. Afterwords Elder Jensen and I thought about it. If we had not decided to change areas that we were inviting in that place at that time we would have never ran into that man.
There are some of the miracles that we saw.
OK time is short today
I love you all
Elder Brandon John Holt
Monday, November 1, 2010
I'm doing great here. Well Its been a busy week with a meeting in a different providence of Roy Et. or 101 in numbers. Elder Tom and I left on Wednesday and we were in the meeting from about noon until noon on Friday, with breaks at night to sleep of course. We both went because we were trainers. This is the training meeting for the new program called the specialized training program, original name huh, but anyways we have to go to training meetings about every 2 months until the program enters the MTC in May.
It's way sweet if nothing really new, everything we learned is found in Preach My Gospel. Its just now more tuned to help us teach with the Spirit better. One of the things we are working on is asking inspired questions that help our investigators realize the things that we are teaching and how it is true.
We got back on Friday, and Elder Jensen and I went to work. One of these weeks we will get a chance to work together for a full week. It might be this week....maybe.
But after that on Saturday and Sunday was district conference for all the branches in the Ubon district. So on Saturday night we had quite a lot of people at our church. President Smith found me that night as we were taking a break and asked if we could stay behind to translate for Elder and Sister Watkins, the senior missionaries that are in charge of family history. Not many members came for the Saturday night session because of the distance they have to travel.
But for Sunday it was even crazier. We had everybody come. Including the missionaries. We were able to get several of our investigators to church that day as well. One of the investigators that we have been working with lately is named Brayad.(ประหยัด) He is a 62 year old man that we invited out in front of his house. The first time we taught him he told us that no matter what he would stay Buddhist as the rest of his family. The first week after we had contacted him he went to church and has been going every week for the last three weeks. He is one of our best investigators he tries to understand everything we teach him and after going to church he always has questions to ask. That's my favorite type of investigator one who asks questions to understand better. It beats teaching a quiet one any day.
Well think about the paragraph about coming and picking me up. I think it would be a great idea. I finish in the middle of June. I don't have my exact release date yet but I will in the next few weeks. The only problem is that if you pick me up I still have to be a missionary until I get released fully by President Hunter. I also think there is a rule on not going to visit your areas. So thinking about it, it may be better to wait until I get home then have a date within 6 months of getting home to go back. Because I think I want to show you all those that I taught and met. As well as do a few things that I couldn't do as a missionary. We still have some time to think about it.
I'm still wondering about this strange Mercedes that I keep hearing about. Its been in three crashes already. I think everybody is trying to take it out.lol If this is the trouble of having a nice car, I don't ever want to get one.
With the photos of the sunflowers, that was a photo that was left over since I was in Lop Buri. I thought she (Grandma June, Mom) would like it. Today we went to a tiger zoo. I took some pictures but didn't bring anything to put them on the computer. next week.
Well that's all I've got for this week.
Elder Brandon John Holt
Saturday, October 30, 2010
How's it going? I am surprisingly dry....for now. Well as for the reports of the floods I hear about them often. And it makes me miss Lop Buri. I always hoped I would see a flood when I was there and now they have flooding up to their necks. There is also flooding in a area called Corad. That not spelled very well. Anyways the flooding isn't good because it's over the biggest traffic and transport part of Thailand for the north and Essan to Bangkok. So a lot of people are having a hard time traveling. Here in Ubon the rain missed us so it's been pretty dry for now but because the river that flows around Ubon comes out of that area it won't be long until flooding takes effect here as well. And when that happens the Elders will be ready to help out. And of course we will be careful. I have also herd of the reports of the typhoon heading this way as well as a tropical storm on coast of Myanmar heading this way. Its going to make a really fun week if they both make it this far inland. I can't wait I can already imagine myself using my lifeguard skills and pulling several people out of the water.55555
Well It has been quite a busy week for us here. Because we had to plan and have a baptism as well as switch off in different areas in the middle of the week. Elder Jensen was a little nervous to lead the area and carry out the Lord's work while I was in a different area. He gets to do it again because Elder Tom, the Thai elder in Warin, and I have to go to training meetings for three days in a different province north of us. Elder Jensen and Elder Intawong will be staying behind and looking after both areas. The best part is they are both new missionaries.
This last week I went to the province called Yasothorn to be with one of my old MTC companions Elder Petvixey. It was fun. Thy are was much like Sakon Nakon, out in the country side. It was funny as I talked to people, many people kept asking me why I came there. Then they would say this is Yasothorn nothing ever happens here. It was a good 2 days.
Then on Saturday we had the baptism. Her name is Mai. I talked about her a few weeks ago about how she literally taught herself. Well we got everything worked out and ready to go so that she could get baptized. She asked me to be the one to baptize her. I was happy to accept and this time I wasn't as nervous as I was last time. Then on Sunday she was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have to say she is probably one of the most favorite people that I had the chance to teach so far. She is an amazing mother and I'm pretty sure she considers the elders her children now.(and I thought that 3 moms before was too much) She told me of a story. A few weeks ago we had to tell her that she couldn't get baptized on her original date because of a family problem that came up. She then told me that because she had a lot of anger at me specifically because I was the one who moved into the area and told her the news. Well that week on Saturday I called her to invite her to church. She said that after she hung up she thought a lot about if it was worth it to go to church if she wasn't able to get baptized. In the end she decided to pray about it. She said that after she prayed about it she got the impression that if she stopped going she would be throwing away everything that she had been saying when the elders came and taught her. So she said she went to the church that week. And that she would go every week afterwords no matter if she would be baptized or not. Well about 2 weeks ago President called me and we had a good talk about her family situation. Then he gave the OK to baptize her. She said the day we told her that she was going to be able to get baptized she has never felt so much joy. Then she said that after that she liked me a lot more than before.( I'm not sure what to think about that 5555) anyways I for one am really glad she made that choice to keep going to church because if she had chosen not to go she may have never gotten baptized. It goes to show you even if at first our life seems hard and the way is dark if we trust the lord and follow what he asks us to do we will get to where we need to go.
I have to say its been really fun to train and watch Elder Jensen learn to be a missionary because I can see a lot of what I did when I first came here. I was afraid to offend someone because the culture was so different and everything I did seemed to be awkward or a mistake. That's kind of how Elder Jensen feels but he is doing great. I think in a few weeks he will be a great missionary.
Hey Uncle Lance is in India. If he can get a visa to Thailand there is a international airport in Ubon (our house is right under where the planes land and take off. There are f-16's that buzz our house every day) he could come and visit. I could show him what real Thai food is. But he may not be able to travel after that. 5555. The food is hard on an American stomach. There are still a few things that I get diarrhea from when I eat it but it's so worth it.
Sister Wichittra Wongwiruphab. I know her. I heard that she was going to BYU after her mission. That's interesting that she found her way into our ward. I met her when she was serving in Kong Khang and I was with Elder Blackhurst in Sakon Nakhon. That's something I'm going to have to tell Sister Akagi who is in my district. I think she was companions with her for a little bit. I haven't met her sister yet but maybe in the future. Before I forget have I ever told you guys that the Thai ward is in the church by Hidden Village park. I'm going to have to go there a few times to practice my Thai after the mission.
Well that's my week in a nutshell. I think I'm going to be in for another crazy one this next week.
Before I go I was thinking about something that needs to be addressed now even though I still have a long time until I go home. Have you guys thought about coming to pick me up or maybe better coming back to Thailand with me after I finish? If not I think its something we should start thinking about.
OK I love you
Elder Brandon John Holt
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Well I think many of you are interested in what happened the last week. Well here's how it went. So on Monday and Tuesday everyone in the district was excited trying to guess where they would be going and what was going to happen. And then President Smith started making calls. Well I found out Monday morning that Elder Baker received the calling to be a district leader in a different area. So thinking about that I figured I was safe not going anywhere because I knew the area. Next after that I got a phone call. Right then I started praying that I wouldn't be called zone leader. But that wasn't President Smith's plans for me. He called me and asked me to be a Trainer for a new missionary coming in. So I asked if I would be moving and he said no. So I said yes. After that on Tuesday we got a phone from the zone leaders telling who would all be moving. Elder LeSueur was moving to his excitement. He is getting bored of this area and wanted to see more of Thailand. Well he got his wish and at moves meeting he was moved to Asoke which is the center of Bangkok and the most busy part of the mission. We as missionaries give it the nick name of "The Beast"
Next they said that Elder Baker and Elder Christenson both are moving. Elder Baker moved to Lop Buri. He will have a good time there and Elder Christenson to a province called Maha Sadacome or something like that. Cant spell it in English. Then said that both the sisters are staying here.
Well we took a two-story tour bus down Wednesday night and after picking everyone up on the way down we got to the church in Pakkret in the morning. At moves meeting I met several others in my group who were going to be trainers as well. Anyway after the normal things that happened. The missionaries that were going home gave their one liners and the new missionaries introduced themselves in Thai, some were very good and others were somewhat awkward. That's alright, we are all supportive with cheers because we all know what it was like to be in their shoes. Its strange in the group going home was my third companion, Elder Blackhurst. Remember him? Another strange thing to think about is next transfer meeting Elder Jolly my 4th and last senior companion will go home. Man I'm getting home in the mission.
That's something that President Smith talked about in this meeting is that 60% of the missionaries have been in the mission less then 5 moves or less than 6 months as missionaries. So in order to spread out the experience more He combined some of the districts together and increased the size. That happen to the District that I,m over now. Now we have a extra area in a different province called Yasotorn its to the north-west of us.
Anyways until the mission grows old and more experienced things are going to get a little tight with leadership positions. They also combined 4 different zones to take down the number of zone leaders that are needed. There are now only 6 zones. But I'm pretty sure my next move might take me to zone leader.
Anyways after that President Smith announced who was going to be companions with whom. I found out that I'm training a Elder named Elder Jensen. He is from Ceder Hills Utah. Down by Provo. Its going to be good to be with a companion from Utah again. Anyways. Elder Jensen is awesome already. He is doing a lot better than what I was when I was a new missionary. He can understand Thai, and speak it pretty good. Yesterday he was given compliments from a few members at how good he was already. Its going to be a good transfer with him. Right now he is in NMS New Missionary Shock. Something everyone goes through in the culture shock cross over. But in a few days after he has gotten use to Thailand, he will be a great missionary.
So I got the package. Thank you for the new shoes. They fit pretty good. I have forgotten what it feels like to wear shoes that aren't broken in. I haven't had the chance to break them in outside yet because of the rain, I want to try and keep them nice, so I might only wear them on Sunday and meetings and in case of emergency flooding. Normally when it rains everything that is not placed in a bag gets wet so my shoes get wet and soaked. At night though, if I place them in front of a fan and then in the morning polish them, they are as good as new.
For the next package I'm not sure what I need but I'll be thinking about it. The next moves meeting will be on Thanksgiving if nothing changes so that's an easy deadline to make. After that the first week of January. Woo where did the year go.
Anyways that's all I have time to send today
I love you all
thank you for your prayers
Elder Brandon John Holt
Monday, October 11, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Well It has been a busy week since Elder Perkins from the Asia Area Presidency came through Ubon. On Wednesday night the Zone leader called me up and told us that Elder Perkins and President Smith were going to interview our zone the next day when they fly in. So on Thursday the whole zone came in and spent the day at the church.( that's never a good combination, a bunch of missionaries stuck in the church that are dying to work.) Anyways, between Elder Perkins interviewing the junior companions ( lucky Elder Lesueur 555) and President Smith interviewing senior companions, they got through us all in little under an hour and we were able to go back to work. So we helped relive the boredom of some of the missionaries that had to leave their area and Warin and we switched off with 2 another district of missionaries. It helped a lot too, we were doubled booked for some of our appointments.
The next day we had the a meeting with Elder Perkins, President smith and their wives. It was a really really good meeting. Elder Perkins told us this when he started the meeting that he didn't really prepare much to share and said that was the purpose of the interviews the day before was to receive inspiration on what he needed to talk about. The over all focus of the meeting was on using the Spirit in our teaching. But he also talked about the importance of Christ-like attributes and tied them in to the temple covenants, and then talked about the idea of being bold in teaching and inviting people. That's something that has been on every missionaries mind. He asked us to try and follow an experiment wherein we each wrote down two question that was on our minds then let the Spirit answer them in the meeting. It worked, I had one answered before the end of the meeting.
In the end it all went over really smooth, no problems. Everything went through.
So after the meeting the next thing for me and Elder Lesueur to tackle was a baptism that we decided to move up 2 weeks ahead of time. We had 3 people baptized this Saturday then on Sunday they were confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Their names are Ice, Jay Jay, and James. Well, that's their nick names anyways. They are 3 sweet brothers that have been learning with the Elders for 1 1/2 months. They met us through the English program that we teach every Tuesday night. As far as I understand the whole story it goes like this. Ice who is 19 years old. Came and learned English and piano, which the sister missionaries teach here, the Elder Lesueur and his last companion asked if he was interested in learning about Jesus Christ. He was and they taught him a first lesson. They next asked if they could teach his family at his house the next time. Ice agreed and introduced the Elders to his younger brothers, Jay who is 16 and James, 13. Next they asked them to go to church at that lesson and they have been going to church plus every other activity that was at the church for the last 3 months. Ice is a great leader for his family. In the last week we took him with us to help us teach and he did a great job.
One of the coolest stories that I heard about these three is this. About three years ago Jay was doing a homework art assignment and found a card of Jesus Christ and painted a picture of the card. Well the funny thing is that that card that he paint was a pass-along card that the missionaries use of when the Savior visited the Nephites the first time. He had no idea what it was about until the Elders taught him three or four times and one day they pulled out the card for an example. Jay got up and pulled out the painting and the elders found out it was a good copy of the the pass-along card. That helped Jay get a lot more interested in the picture. They showed me the painting the other day when we were teaching them. Its really good. I'll send a picture of it in the email.
One of our biggest focus' this week was to help them get their mother to the baptism. Their mother is a single mom that makes an income by washing and ironing clothes. She hasn't been able to learn with the elders because she literally works from sun-up to long after sun-down. So in order to help her have an hour to see her three sons baptized, Elder Lesueur and I took our ironing boards and irons from our house, luckily we have 2 of both, hoped on a tuk tuk and drove over to her shop on Saturday morning. She was a bit surprised to see to white guys in shirts and ties with ironing boards and "can't take no attitude" show up at her shop. We decided if there is one thing that we are good at doing its ironing shirts. So before she could refuse we had set up our boards and had piles of cloths that we were working through. After an hour we had reduced her load enough to help her have free time to go to the baptism. It was good she went, She definitely felt the spirit that night.
Saturday night Elder Lesueur baptized the three of them and I was one of the witnesses. Elder Lesueur was way nervous to do it in ThaiIbut he did a really good job.
I don't know about you guys but I think the time is going really too fast. We are already back to the fall. Sooner than later it will be spring. Anyways, I still miss the cold a lot. I hope one day that I will get to to throw a snowball at Connor again.
Yes i got the journal in the last package you sent me. but it may not be a bad idea to send me another one. If I keep up with writing in it I should fill it up before I get home and will need another one. Thanks for sending me shoes it much appreciated.
OK quick about the photos. They are of Ice, Jay and James' baptism day and there are a few of when we helped their mom iron clothes. Other peolpe in the photo are members. and check out the painting that Jay is holding in the second photo.
OK I've got to go.
I love you all
Elder Brandon John Holt
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I repented from stealing that bread if I went in and stole a chochlate bar would I have still repented. she replyed well no because you are still stealing. If you truly repented when you tell Father in Heaven that you won't steal again its not just for bread but for everything you need to follow the commandment. Bingo. 5. Keep the commandments. She has been really fun to teach. If everything goes well she will be baptised in about a month.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Hey Everyone. I’m doing great. Well this week is the week of moves. If it all goes according to plan moves meeting will be on Thursday, and outside of that I’m not really sure what’s going to happen. From the knowledge I was able to gain last week. It sounds like there are some District Leaders places opening up, in Ubon in the south east, In Chiang Mai in the north and In Non Kai or the providence above Sakon Nakon and Udorn. And of course there probably are a lot of places in Bangkok that are opening up but, I didn't want to try and figure that out. Too many areas there. My guess is that I will go into Bangkok but I wouldn't mind going to Chaing Mai or Ubon. I still can't figure out why but there are a few Elders that have predicted me to go into the Office. That brings up nightmares of when I worked at Spectrum. Oh the redundancy.
So after sending the email last week we got on a taxi and drove into the heart of Bangkok. I don't know why but I always get claustrophobic a little bit when I go there. There are a lot of people everywhere. And little places to walk. Anyways one of the most popular places for missionaries to go to is a little stand that sells Neck ties for 20 baht a piece. The Lady that sells them knows us so well that she gives missionaries a "special price" and for missionaries that go their first time an even better deal of 6 ties for 100. It a great place I bought about 6 or so ties to replace some of the ties that have stains on them for my messy eating habits.
After that we didn’t really have time to go looking for watches so I still don’t have my Rolex, But next time I’m in that area I’ll get one, and maybe a suit as well. So after eating lunch at Dairy Queen (that was a treat) we headed home back to the area that I was going to work in that night.
As I was in the center of Bangkok I caught a glimpse of the mall that was lit on fire a few months ago. Central World. A lot of the glass windows on the outside were melted. That must have been a really hot fire. Anyways they are in the process of rebuilding it now. Thankfully there is another mall close by called Siam that is just as nice, and just as huge. America has nothing on the malls here.
That night Elder Carlile and I spent the night inviting and trying to find people interested in learning the gospel. It was amazing to me there are so many people. We spent three hours walking down one street that was probably a half mile long if that and talking to everyone we saw. That probably shows that I have been out in the country too long. 55555 lol
Thursday was another day of training meetings. Sister Smith announced that they were getting too many phone calls from worried moms not getting emails on time. At that time it was up to 22, I’m sure before the day was up there was more. So in order to prove that we were alright she took a picture of us and put it on the web site. One thing you might want to look into mom is face book. Sister Smith has a face book page and says that she is always on it in the office. Connor should be able to help you find her page. Anyways ,these meetings are pretty sweet. They are taking place all over the world. I just got a letter on Saturday from Matt in Australia talking about his experience with the new curriculum. Really it is nothing new. It is a better way of teaching and understanding of how to use the spirit in our teaching. Everything that we learned was in Preach my Gospel but it was a new way of looking at it. I’m way excited to start applying it into my teaching.
After the meetings, that night we hopped back into the vans and took the same route to get back to sakon, dropping everybody off. That was a really long way home. It was about 15 hours both ways. So far that the van driver said that we had to pay 3 day payments, although we only need him for 2 we had to pay for 6. That cost a lot.
That route was fun because I have never been to any of those areas before. So I got to see different areas a little bit and see many of those that I knew. Something hit me that week. I know almost everyone older than me. Those who are in the leadership positions either are in my MTC group, in the group ahead of me or just behind me, or I have been companions with them or worked with them or close by them. That’s not a good sign. I’m getting old.
Speaking of Matt he should be getting home in the next month that’s strange. Not only that but Alex Recseck will be getting home in December. Oh man where did the 2 years go? All my friends are heading home.
Wish Jen a happy Birthday for me. That strange to think she is almost 30 that means I am almost a legal adult. I better stop thinking that way.lol
Well I’m pretty sure the next time I write I will be in a new area with a new companion. I’ll tell you all about my experience next week.
For I have to go.
I love you all
Elder Brandon John Holt
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Sorry this letter came late this week. I'm still doing well and am well alive. Well let me explain what has been going on the last few days. It all started Saturday when Elder Peacock and I were inviting, the Zone leaders gave us a call. Because it was Elder Peacocks day to have the phone he answered and then handed me the phone. That's never a good thing, if they don't tell him or they only want to talk to me because it means its something important out of the ordinary. I said hello, it was Elder Degrafanite. I love how he talks so here is his dialogue "Elder Holt, you know how we talked about having those training meetings in the near future?" I replied yes. He said "Well I'm calling to tell you that they will be in the near future, as in next week." After that he explained that on Tuesday (yesterday) and Thursday we would be having meeting for the district leaders, trainers, and zone leaders. And they would be taking place in Bangkok. After hanging up I could only think of the headache that would come.
On Sunday after church the zone leaders called again and gave me an assignment and the path that I was to travel to get down. My job was to find a รดตู้ or a van that would carry 10+ missionaries down. Then on Monday morning I was to travel into the south of the Issan or the south part and pick up every district leader and zone leader in that area. Elder Peacock would be switching off with his old MTC companion in an area down there.
Funny think happened after I hung up the phone on Sunday is that all our appointments fell through all of a sudden and I had time to begin to negotiate a price with Private van drivers. It wasn't that fun and in the end it took another member who could speak Issan and Thai better then I could to make sure I understood everything clearly enough to be able to get a OK price. Then working through the assistants I had to try to bring the price down. In the end it cost about 9000 baut. Some of that had to come out of my personal money and MFS money so that we would have enough cash to pay.
On Monday Elder Peacock and I got on the van at 8 in the morning. Then went to a providence south of us called Yasotorn, where Elder Peacock hopped off and switched off, after that we went to Ubon, then Si Saket then Surin then to a place called Corrad. Then to Bangkok. All and all I was on that van for 15 and a half hours. After this I will never complain about the ride to Laguna again. Anyways we got into Bangkok about 12:30 that night. Thankfully the APs felt our pain and let us sleep in a really nice hotel. With an all you can eat breakfast buffet. yummy.
The next day was Tuesday. We spent all day in meetings. It was a lot like the MTC again. President Smith did a lot of training on the new program that was coming in. Its not really new. Its just taking the stuff that we know already and helping us do things better, ie, using the spirit more, asking questions, using the Book of Mormon more in our teachings. I learned a lot.
After the meetings we switched off and were paired up with elders that are in areas of Bangkok. Then we separated into those areas. I was placed in a area called Suppan Suun or translated Tall Bridge. I'm paired off with Elder Carlile who is a district leader in Chiang Rai the farthest north in Thailand you can get. Its been a lot of fun to be with him because he was companions with Elder Hawks after I left Lopburi so he has been filling me in a little bit with what happened after I left to Sakon.
Today is our preparation day and our plans our to go "shopping" in Bangkok. I need some new ties and I think I might buy a watch if I find a Rolex for the right price...lol
Anyways after today's activities Elder Carlile and I will be working in this area to invite and find some families tonight. Then tomorrow we will be going back to meeting all day.
After which We will be traveling the night back to our areas. Woot Woot another 15 hour car trip. I can't wait.
So next week is the week of moves and I will be moving this time. Its been fun to talk to other missionaries down here. They all make fun of me that I stayed 5 moves in an area. I still love it though I have seen great change in the area over the last 7 months. Talking to Sister Smith,she said that President Smith felt really bad that I stayed there that long. and that there was a mistake that was made that he didn't catch. But I still stick with my statement that I made, there was a reason whether I know it or not that I stayed in Sakon for as long as I did.
Anyways I should be able to send one last email from Sakon before I leave next week. As I came down an elder that I'm good friends with in Ubon predicted that I will be moving into that area so I can be a district leader there. In the end I don't think I really care too much where I end up just as long as its in a bigger city then Sakon. The country is nice to live in but its a hard place to do missionary work.
It sounds like it has been a busy summer these last few months. Now it's back to school. Here is a scary thought. Next time Dad gives blessings for school he'll give me one, but I'm not trunky.
That's way sweet to hear about Kaylie starting to walk and soon to be running. I can't wait to see pictures in a few weeks. I have a feeling that I will soon be hearing more adventures of Kaylie the girl and Chip the dog.
OK, I'm out of time for this week.
Before I go I read the talk that Elder D. Told Christofferson gave in the last conference. It talks about the importance of the Scriptures. They not only give us the teachings of the prophets but the standards that the Lord expects us to live in this life as well as in eternity. I am grateful for them and am learning the truthfulness of them as I teach with them more and more. I know that they are true.
I love you all
Elder Brandon John Holt
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Mom, I'm doing fine.55555 That's a scary thought, Mom you are learning Thai text. the number 5 is pronounces ha (I cant really explain the tone very well without speaking it).So they use it the same way we use LOL to say that we are laughing or what not.
Well Its been an average week. We have taught our usual families that are progressing. The Vietnamese family from France has gone back to France. So Elder Peacock and I are going to see if there is anyway we can get their teaching record to France so they can continue to learn. They were really fun to work with. We have two or three other families that we are working with right now.
Another family is named น้อย and ปลา ( noy and blaa) or little and fish. We have been teaching them for the last 5 or 6 weeks. They have two daughters. They are a pretty sweet family the other day we started teaching them about The Plan of Salvation and the Gospel. Blaa was really interested in the gospel after we taught a little about it. I think that she will progress nicely.
I have a interesting story to tell you. In the last few weeks the rain has picked up a lot. I don't remember if I have ever told you but, the rain hasn't been falling very often. well let me rephrase that it hasn't been raining like normal. To me it rains more then enough. lol. Anyways. In consequence many people who plant rice were not able to do it until the last few weeks. The other day we were out inviting. Moments before we had had one of our appointments fall through so we were a little sour about that but that's life. So we went back to work. As we were going through an area that I swear that I have talked to everyone before, we came up to a family that were getting ready to plant rice.
Elder Peacock whispers to me as we stop, "let's see if we can help them" I not thinking much of it said OK. As we started a conversation with the farmers. we figured out that they were getting ready to plant rice the next day. Currently they were moving the rice plants from where they first planted it to grow to take them to another field to plant again. As much as I can figure out they first plant the rice to let it grow roots and grow a stalk. then after a few weeks they pull the plants out and replant them in a new field ( like the ones that I sent photos of). Anyway the Rice farmers were standing in one of the fields that is full of water as we are on the side talking to them. as I was trying to talk to one of them Elder Peacock was trying to talk to another person in the field and moved to the path that goes between the fields so that he could talk to them. Or so I thought.
Elder Peacock asked them if he could help out. and like most times we ask people if they need help, they said no and not to worry about it. Well this was not my companions idea. Next thing I knew Elder Peacock was rolling up his pants pulling his socks over his pants and walking into the water Shoes and All. I almost laughed when I saw the faces of the rice farmers when they saw a white guy who was dressed up in white shirt and tie and nice dress shoes walk into their field and started to pull up the rice as well. It was good. Anyways between the protest of "Don't worry, you get dirty," I decided to follow the example of my companion and rolled up my pants and socks and walked in.
We didn't have a whole lot of time to help but we did a little bit. In the end we talked to the one in charge and gave him our number. Whether or not he was interested I'm not really sure but, they definitely got a new impression of "the white guys that ride their bikes around the town."
After we left that area we decided to go into a new area or an area that I have never invited before. It was getting dark about this time and a storm was coming in. So everyone who was smart went home and locked up. We on the other hand went back to work. After a few minutes in this new area with not a lot of success it started to rain. There hasn't really been too many rain storms here in Sakon when we were biking that the rain comes down hard so we tried to find some cover under a tree. unfortunately the rain picked up and the tree we hid under wasn't enough to slow it down. So we decided to leave our cover from under a tree and see if there was a building or something better that we could hide and wait out the storm.
Within the 30 seconds that we ran/ biked for cover we were soaked through. I wondered if we were breaking rules because we literally had to swim through the rain. We were able to find a little motorcycle shop to hide under for a few minutes. after we got there a few other people ran and joined us as well. We sat there with the others that were with us for about 30 minutes until the rain slowed down a little bit then hopped back on our bikes and rode home in the rain. In between waiting we talked to those around us and found out that they were the employees that worked there. They were mostly young college kids a little younger than us. Then there was their boss who was about 30. We had a fun conversation with them about the Issan language. Then we invited then to come learn English with us. Then took off.
When we got home that night our street had flooded. That was sweet to see. I haven't seen flooding since I left LopBuri. Anyway I decided whoever built our house was smart because it had been lifted a few feet off from the main level of the street. So there was no flooding in our house but some of our neighbors got it bad.
That was a fun night
I recently have been trying to make a Thai dish called kai-ge-ow. Its basically a egg omelet. But its something that I like to eat a lot so I thought I would try and learn it so I can take it home.
That's way strange to think that its been over a year already. On grandpa's birthday it will be one year in Thailand. I must have changed a lot physically because every time I show the picture that we took as a family a week before I went into the MTC. People think that I am Connor in the picture. Then they are really shocked when I show them which person is me.
Anyways wish Grandpa and Kaylie a happy birthday for me.
I love you all
Elder Brandon John Holt