Monday, November 21, 2011

The Elephant Festival




Just me and Elder Dixon riding on an elephant - not a big deal!


Ceremony

Have you ever seen so many elephants at one time?

Look at the baby elephants



Heyyy everybody, thank you for the letters, emails and everything...much appreciated! A great week, probably one of the best on my mission so far. I think this is what a missionary week should be like - lots of hard work...and having fun!!

We had a great Zone Conference in Ubon. Elder Gong from the Quorum of the Seventy was there. He is in the Asia area presidency. He and his wife and also Pres and Sister Smith had great words of wisdom. I always love hearing from them. I am lucky to be a missionary in the Thailand Bangkok Mission. We have the coolest mission pres and mission presidents wife ever! We went over lots of things in the conference, had little breaks, a Q and A session where they asked us missionaries questions then we got to ask them questions. That was way cool. Had a great testimony meeting at the end then headed back to Surin. The AP right now is Thai and from Surin, Elder Komgrit. He is awesome - one of the first missionaries to ever serve from Surin and he is one of the best in the mission.

Saturday we went to the elephant festival. On Friday, we were riding our bikes to go get the mail and saw a bunch of elephants so we took some pictures of those as well. SO MANY DANG ELEPHANTS! Elder Dixon and I decided we don't think there is anything more cool in the world than seeing a whole bunch of elephants. Right now it is my new favorite animal. The actual festival was probably one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life. We went with a member and two senior couples came up from Bangkok to see it too. The elephants did all sorts of stuff like tug of war, soccer, and tricks. I am pretty lucky to be in Surin right now I think.

Can't believe it is almost Thanksgiving. We can't decide if we want to make our own little meal or just go somewhere to eat something cool. Everyone at home eat lots of good food and don't drop the pies (haha inside family joke).

Remember to trust in God in all you do and everything is possible.

I'm trusting that this elephant won't bite me




Look at the sweet Christmas sweaters Elder Dixon and I got!

A Great Transfer

Missionary work has resumed being fun and successful. It helps having a companion that you can talk to and work with. I have learned to have compassion on Elder Intervong because of his upbringing and the things his family has had to go through. I also learned to make sticky rice from him. Last Monday he and I went to Buriram and I stayed there for three days working with the DL, Elder Piyanat, who went to Lone Peak and I knew him in middle school. Elder Intervong went down to Bangkok. Much of it is still flooded and not safe so all the missionaries are just working in the parts which aren't flooded.

Had a cool experience in Buriram. We taught a German guy named Henry who speaks German, Thai and English. He is awesome. He moved to Thailand but has been searching for his purpose as to why he was led to come to Thailand...until he met the Elders. He has been through a lot in his life and shared a few of his experiences that have caused him to have a testimony of God and Jesus Christ. After our lesson last Wednesdsay he gave one of the most sincere prayers I have heard since I have been on my mission.

On Thursday our new companions got there. My new comp is Elder Dixon from Medord Oregon. He is my first American companion since the MTC. He is legit. We are working hard and having fun wile we do it. Today after we email we are going to go eat, then find a basketball court and go play for a while. We made a homemade dinner of french fries, fried chicken and sticky rice because no meal is complete without rice in Asia. Elder Dixon and I are excited for Thanksgiving and plan to make our own little feast.

We are working with a guy named Tong who is about 60 years old and is great. He is recovering from a foot problem and has to go to the hospital every morning so he hasn't been able to come to church. We gave him a blessing to help his foot heal and he promises that when he can he will come to church every Sunday.

We just found out we will be able to skype for Christmas. That will be super cool and we found a real nice internet shop today with big nice chairs and cameras so that is probably where we will go on Christmas.

Sticky rice, chicken and fries meal

Anyone care for pig heads

shrimp

or frogs?

As for me, no thank you. I prefer this traditional American breakfast we made -

Real legit!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Transfer that Didn't Happen

A Pretty Lake

Me Teaching English

October 30, 2011
It's been a little crazy here. I was supposed to have a transfer but everyone is stuck for the next few weeks because of the Bangkok flooding. From what I hear it is getting worse. I guess a damn broke up towards Ayutthaya and Lopburi in northern Bangkok. All of the missionaries in northern Bangkok had to take airplanes last week to other parts of northern Thailand where it's safer. The elders in southern Bangkok are serving as community service missionaries by helping those who have been affected by the flood. So we have two new elders in our Surin house - Elder Christensen and Elder Chamberlain. They are cool. Because no vehicles can enter Bangkok there were no transfers meeting last week and it is looking like it will be another few weeks until the next moves meeting. It is so cool to be in a four elder house again for the time being. I have been switching off with Elder Christensen, not my companion from the MTC, a different one.

We were doing a lot of walking because the elders had to leave everything at their house, just put it all upstairs so it wouldn't get wet. We were walking everywhere the first few days but then we got two bikes from the branch, so that was nice.

Thank you for the pictures from home. I LOVED IT!

A Buddhist Temple

November 6, 2011
I have now been on my mission for SEVEN MONTHS! Amazing how the time is passing. I am ready to move on from this moves, it has been long and I am ready for something new. I got a big list of all the missionaries in the mission and where they are going. There is no time to have a moves meeting this transfer because of all the hecic chaos going on in Bangkok but from what I can see from the list of people on the list my new ZL will be Elder McDonald from our stake. Sweet! My new companion will be Elder Dixon and we will be in Surin. I don't know anything about him. My current companion is moving so I have to go somewhere and wait for my new companion I think. I will find out when I call the AP's.

The two elders I had here last week left on Monday. One of them got sick and had to go to the hospital. If there is anything I have learned this transfer it is PATIENCE. Everything that happens is the Lord's will and I have learned to be patient and wait for things to work out according to His will. I have learned a ton from this transfer with Elder Intervong. President Smith said this to me about this transfer, "I have endured well. The things I have learned over the past few weeks will give me the confidence and knowledge that I can overcome any challenge. Sometimes the best lessons learned are the hard lessons, such as, learning how to work effectively with someone that comes from such a radically different background."

Gib's baptism was on the 5th. It went well. She is great. Honestly did not have one problem with her while teaching. GOLDEN. She will be a great addition to this Surin Branch and it's semi-growing young women program.

There is a huge elephent festival for 11 days here in Surin starting on the 10th. I will send you pictures of elephants for sure. I have heard there are 1000 or so elephants, the most elephants all together at the same time in the entire world! We are allowed to go to it for one or two days. This festival happens once a year. Speaking of animals, Thai people eat weird food. I have been offered a frog, a dog, and a rat......Nooooo thank you!

Gib's Baptism - Elder Intervong, Gib, President Daay, Me


Surin - The City of Elephants

Monday, November 14, 2011

Life in Surin

October 2011 General Conference - look at the dedicated members in the Surin Branch

My house in Surin

The sweet ping pong table in my house

Study and eating room

The Surin Branch

Eating a big hambuger after zone training

About My Second Transfer

October 17, 2011

Another week here in Surin. I have been feeling better. This last Thursday was Zone training in Ubon. It was way good. We had to get up at 4 in the morning and get on a bus. It took about 4 hours to get there. The training was all on "how to begin teaching" points in chapter 10 of Preach My Gospel. Great stuff.

I saw the coolest elephant in the world this last week - 55 years old, absolutely humongous. I didn't have my camera though so I will work on getting a picture with that elephant before I leave Surin. I think I am getting more used to bugs and stuff. There was a big cockroach on my leg in a lesson the other day and I didn't even hyerventilate. I just flicked it off like a man. Gross though. There are always big snakes that come out of a pond by our house too. This week it has rained super hard here. It doesn't flood by our house, thank goodness, but it does in front of the church. Other places around Thailand have flooded pretty bad I heard. Everyone says Surin never floods like others places for some reason. Udorn didn't really flood either.

Gift (or Gib as Thai people say it because there is no "ft" sound in Thai) will be baptized on November 5th. She is great. No problems. We also have An but he will most likely not make his baptismal date on the 5th because he can never meet with us. My companion and I are going to fast and pray for him to get the faith to stop drinking and get ready to be baptized. We also have the two Cambodian investigators that will be ready for a baptismal date here very soon. They also have two new friends that came from Cambodia this last week but they can't speak Thai. Lots of members here in Surin can speak Cambodian as Surin is the closest city to Cambodia in Thailand so we bring them to teach with us a lot. It works out good.

October 24, 2011

This has been a hard transfer. I am hoping I get an American companion. Haven't had one since the MTC but whatever Pres. Smith does is best I know. I would love to be companions with someone around my mission group age. That would be legit. Anyway, this week has been alright I guess. Switched off with the ZL's this week which is always fun and I love learning from the older missionaries and leaders of the mission and seeing the way they do things and different ways to have success. Good to find some things that I am doing well on and some things that I can constantly be improving on to become a better missionary. Most of all it was fun. There are occasions, few and far between, where I can honestly say that I have had fun this transfer. It really is hard sometimes and I am ready to have fun again.

This week I have been reading in the book "Making the Most of Your Mission" by John D. Whetten. I haven't read it since before my mission. Some of the things he wrote in this book were things I thought were new to Preach My Gospel - NOT! Just a testimony builder that this work will never change. God will never change and so missionary work will never change. There will always be new ideas and things to help missionary work be more successful but just getting out there knocking on doors and carrying the light of Christ everywhere we go will always be the same. It is awesome to know that the same things I am doing on my mission right now are things that Dad, Ammon, Emily, Nic, Paul and Adam did when they were missionaries. The work does not change.

I have been reading the BOM for personal study as well as the PMG. Almost done with my third time through the BOM on my mission. Pres. Smith gave us a cool way to mark our scriptures that I have been doing. First time go through the BOM marking all the names of Christ. Second time through mark the doctrine or gospel of Christ. Third time through marking the words of Christ. Fourth time through marking Christlike attributes. I enjoy it. It is funny when I think of how lazy I must have been before my mission when it took me months nad months to finish the BOM one time.

Answers to questions: Bangkok flooding - the worst they have had in 50 years. All of the members here have said it is pretty bad. My laundry - we have a washer right outside our back door. There are no such things as dryers in Thailand - wait, there are actually, it's called the sun.

Happy birthday to Jonah and Nat this month. Don't party too hard without me.
P.S. Some mail in the mailbox would be real nice!!!

Love you all,
Elder Zitting