Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Songkran

Hello Everyone

Well, today after a few minutes after our alarm went off to wake us up, our zone leaders called us to tell us to get out of the house and send emails as soon as possible. It seems yesterday the worst fighting in Bangkok broke out and they told us it was all over the news at home. So we are supposed to tell you that we are still ok and everything is alright. That's as much as I know:)

Anyways.... Well I'm not really sure where to start this week. Well Yesterday was my Birthday, that was strange???? I think I am 2 decades old and no longer a Teenager. Weird. ( I love these cool faces i can now put into my email) I had a good Birthday I decided. Yesterday was the start of Songkran so we spent the afternoon dodging water. I'll tell you more about that later, and we had some time to feast at Pizza Company the local pizza place in Thailand. We ordered 2 sodas, spaghetti, BBQ chicken, Garlic bread, and a large Hawaiian Pizza extra thousand Island dressing. Sounds like the appetite of two missionaries huh?? Well a strange thing happens when you haven't eaten a American meal that size for a long time. You get full to the point that you are more then sick but, I think in the end we both enjoyed it. It was a great birthday dinner.

Other then that it was a normal day of work. Most of our investigator appointments fell through due to the National Holiday and we won't be able to get back to any of them until the end of the Holiday. So we spent the day trying to invite.

Well Conference here was an interesting experience. I can't wait for the Ensign to come, to understand the talks a little bit better. It was in Thai like I predicted but, that's alright because it helped me gauge how much I have improved since six months ago. I was able to understand the basic ideas of the talks. It's a little bit harder to understand the talks of Conference because they use a higher form of Thai then normal Street talking, and then when they add in big words in English they translate a little bit funny in Thai. Its also funny to watch the action of the speakers, For example Elder Holland, and then when they get excited the translater still talks in a boring monotone voice. I however love what I understood out of Elder Holland's, President Uchtdorf's, and Presidents Monson's talks. It was really strange for the Saturday morning sessions because for the morning and afternoon we had a total of 11 people watch, and for the priesthood session we had 5, both numbers include the two Elders. Much different from the large groups of people in Utah. But I'm glad to say I feel that the branch here is starting to grow.

Last Week we taught Brother Lek, the member that got baptized a few weeks ago, about the priesthood and challenged him to go to the Branch President and ask for a interview for the Aaronic Priesthood. Elder Jolley and I both feel like he is ready to start preparing to receive the Higher priesthood. He took the challenge and I think he was interviewed after conference the other day. If we get the chance this week to see him we will follow up.

We had a sweet finding experience the other day. One of the days in the past week we were biking around at night trying to find people to invite. To me, It feels like its impossible to invite anyone after it gets dark because a lot of people go home and either sleep or drink. Both make it hard to invite. So we had been riding around for a few hours, and I had notice that we had come out of the city a little bit where there was really nothing but a gas station, With a 7-11,and a Big furniture store that was closed. I was leading and felt like we weren't really going to have any luck finding any one way out where we were so i mention this to Elder Jolley and we began to turn around. As we crossed the street, It was one of the main streets that came into Sakon Nakhon, Elder Jolley took the lead and started speeding up. As i started speeding up I heard someone shout. "Elder, Elder." I looked around and found that someone was waving from a scooter, for me to stop. So I did. It turns out the guy that stopped me had been a formal investigator in another area 6 months ago and had moved before he was able to get baptized. After we had introductions he asked "Can I be baptized." It kind of threw us back but, we said after a little reviewing he could. We grabbed his number and then went on our way. We decided to stop at the only gas station out there for a quick break then head home. As we stopped there was a guy sitting on his scooter waiting for a friend. Elder Jolley started talking to him and he was way interested. So we grabbed his number and then he left on his way. It's crazy how the Lord works on with you to help you find people that he has prepared. If We had not been out that far out of the city we would have never met those two people.

Well for today, President Smith has given us permission to "Play Songkran" as the Thais say. I'm way excited. There is no holiday in the states that I think compares. The best way for me to describe it is its like the 4th of July. Everyone stops work and plays but this is a 3 to 4 day event and everyone plays. Some people buy squirt guns, others just use buckets and pans. Some will hop into the back of a pick-up truck and others station themselves on the side of the road. Then the fighting begins. They throw water, and powder and no one is safe or will stay dry. The Uniform for the Event is a Hawaiian Shirt. So for the last few weeks there have been Hawaiian shirts sold everywhere. Elder Jolley and I bought shirts last night. And are going to buy guns this morning. Then We hopefully can find a place with the members to play. A member has invited us to ride in her Pick-up but that's breaking mission rules so that's out of the question. But it going to be a party. I'll make sure to take lots of pictures.

I haven't gotten the Birthday package and I fear I won't until I go down to Bangkok at the end of the month to renew my visa. With the German I think if you can send it Asap that would be better. Because I'm afraid that I might be moving next month so I may not get a chance to pick up any packages except for when I go to Bangkok this month.

Well I think that my time is up. I love you all. Thank you for your prayers I know they help.

This is the true church. The Book of Mormon is true and it was translated by the prophet of God, Joseph Smith. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary, to be one of the Lord's tools here in Thailand.

Love your son, Grandson, and Brother

Elder Brandon John Holt

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