Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Pleasant Surprise!

This is the sweet message that I received on Aaron's Facebook page today.
Good afternoon,
My name is Phichet Srimueng. I was a Sunday School President at the branch he is now serving as his first Area, Khonkaen. May I be Elder Proctor's friend on Facebook, please? I left the branch 2 weeks ago in order to get ready for school. I went to BYU-Hawaii for some time after my mission. Now, I'm going back to school again. I'll begin my semester this fall and I'm accepted at University of Wisconsin - River Falls. That is why I'd like to keep in touch with him.
Here is a picture I took with him and his trainer the day I left the branch. Elder Proctor is fun to work with. He'll be in the my beloved home branch for at least 9 weeks, I guess. I went to teach with him and his companion the first second day he arrived the area. He was so nervous, but calm and confident. Above all, Elder Proctor works really hard with his trainer. He also works so hard on his Thai language. And it's getting really amazing! Elder Proctor is very kind. Everybody loves his smile and his kindness. And that's something everyone in the branch is truly grateful for. Thank you very much for taking time reading this message. I hope it finds you in good cheers and well.

Needless to say I cried.


Monday, July 29, 2013

"รถจักรยาน" "Bicycles" a good way to get around

This was another interesting letter from Aaron. He talked a lot about his bicycle. Reading some of his emails remind me of when we are watching the amazing race. The crazy roads.......
He also answered some of our other questions- I think he had a good week!

 (I asked him how they approach people) Basically yeah I just say “Sa Wat Dii Khrab” and ask them how they are doing and then just start talking about how we are missionaries and we teach about Jesus Christ. Then we give them a thing we call a “egasan”. They are cards with different pictures on them they all have a different message on them. Based on what the picture has i.e. a picture of someone being baptized- we then talk about baptism and what not! It was scary the first time but now it doesn't even faze me! I No, we do not have any new investigators yet. We just have lots of potentials from tracting and stuff. Well, our friend has now been baptized! He was very excited, in fact he was so excited he came wearing white pants and shirt to church!!! He will be a great member!

Yeah this week was loads better, albeit stressful because I had no P-day last week because I just worked through it .But No Big Deal we were blessed for that work. 
So the family we are teaching actually took us to lunch and they ordered frog for us.  At first I thought they just cooked food all the time, but actually the dad is a college professor as well and he writes books with his wife as well! Yeah it came out of nowhere!

(Someone told Todd that he had a maid while serving in Thailand…) No, we do not have maids, we do all the cleaning ourselves. On a sad note we may be moving because the members that own the house want to sell it to someone else, which totally stinks because we are like right in the middle of everything so yeah!
Well sounds like you had a fun week! I also maybe the only one in Khon Kaen after this transfer who knows the area.  This is pretty scary because I do not know this area at all!

I love the food in Thailand it is SOOO DELICIOUS! I eat out every day because it is so expensive to cook you own food here it is sad! But the food here is amazing and there are so many things I can try that are new.

I do not think that are any areas that use a car maybe in Bangkok but I am not sure. The bike I bought is amazing it has like a flappy panel gear shift, it's way sweet! It's brand new but it usually way dirty so it doesn't really matter that it is new. The Thai people drive on the wrong side of the road, then they don't even use lights when they change lanes. They just move over whenever they feel it is way scary! My bike is super light , which is way nice I can pick it up and put it in a taxi way easy. I ride my bike every day. It's way nice because we can get around problems such as too many cars trying to get in one lane. There are so many nice cars here like old nice car. They also have a lot of old Hiluxes here its crazy those trucks are invincible! They never die, People in Thailand have almost more trucks then people in Utah it so weird. I will take a picture of one of their public transportation trucks they have its way crazy! I wish I could sleep through all the dogs howling at three every night one starts and then it doesn't stop for like 10 minutes it is ridiculous!!!!! (Reading about Thailand, it seems a lot of the Thai people have dogs and there are many strays as well

I will try to speak as much as I can it is hard because sometimes I don't know what to say but I will do my best!(Aaron has been discouraged about not being able to communicate- we have been encouraging him just to try) I’m finally starting to understand what they are saying to me but some other times it just sounds like the sound the teacher makes in  the show the Peanuts. Yeah I just sit there and shake my head and just go uhhuh then I pick out a word that makes sense and I can piece the sentence to together and understand what they are saying.

There are like 4 or 5 kids in this branch (I had asked how many children are in his branch)
  I love you lots!!
Elder Proctor

A baptism...and Aaron's home...

The new member was so excited to get baptized, he came to church dressed all in white.

Aaron's home for the moment, it seems that the member who owns the house may sell in the near future.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

3rd week in Thailand

Aaron's first email this week got to us at 10pm on Sunday. Thailand is 13 hours ahead of us. He sounded a bit discouraged and there was no real news. Luckily I caught him online and we wrote back and forth for about 30 minutes. He had sent home a bunch of things including his gospel library. He had thought that he was not supposed to take that along. Well, I told him I would send it to him. When asked what they would be doing for their P-day, he responded that they would be celebrating Pioneer Day and that he was bit confused since the pioneers never went to Thailand.... :-)I did remind him then that the Thai members are pioneers in their own way. He did agree. 

Elder Proctor left 12 weeks ago- it seems crazy. As we took a friend to the airport today we saw a family saying good-bye to their son who was flying to the MTC in Preston, England- to prepare him to serve in the German Alpine Mission. To be hones, I did share some tears with the mom since I know her feelings so well. :-) But look at us now, 3 months gone by so fast! 

So here it is......

This past week was pretty rough all of our investigators cancelled on us it was pretty sad.
We went from having an awesome week last week to almost hitting rock bottom, One of our "Investigators" is actually a family.  It is really fun teach them because they have so many questions about the gospel and how it will help them as a family. (If you use the investigator in the blog can you change there names please?) I love our investigators!! We have run into so many Catholics here it is absolutely mind blowing because I am in Thailand and it is 96 percent Buddhist and and we are finding the other four percent!

Inviting is where we go to a public place and invite people to come and learn. We give them a little card that has stuff about the gospel on it and our contact information. So when we are contacting we have a tendency to end up talking to guys that are not looking for the gospel if you know what I mean! They usually call us and are like we want to get to know you better... yeahhh...... (So I find that rather funny......)

I wish it was a ward(I asked him about their ward) because then we might be able to have another stake and then.... a TEMPLE!!! I think.. The branch members like me. They like to call me Elder Harry Potter ( sounds similar to my name in Thai) and Superman because my hair does the weird Clark Kent swirl now !

Yeah weird things I ate this past week .......frog, not just its legs but I ate part of its face, the reason I know that is because I removed a cheek bone from my mouth after eating it ....... not gonna lie it kinda threw me off!
Today we were playing a pioneer game where you have to pick up a 10 baht coin, 5 baht coin 1 2 baht coin and 2 one baht coins, did I mention it was in a garbage can full of other coins filled to the brim with ice and water? Guess who was the only one that got it, that’s right this boy!!! Ok I will stop being prideful

The Keyboard I type on has Thai and English letters. However,  the English letters are more prominent. Same layout I think..... I can't remember what an English keyboard looks like any more. 

Yeah, we get a lot of rain. The days it does not rain,  totally messes me up! No malaria pills for me I am in a pretty well developed place. Some times though, when we go visit some of the members, I am  humbled because they have so little and give so much to us missionaries. They absolutely love us missionaries!

I think stateside would be  way hard mission because you do not get a chance to load up on the spirit like I did at the MTC.   Satan has got such a strong hold in Thailand.  I'm sitting in this Internet cafe and kids that are like eight are just cussing up a storm, it so sad. Everyone here is so superstitious. They are so afraid of ghost, but I guess so are people in America.

Yeah this is such a fun mission, so many new foods to try and so many new fruit to try. The spirit here is so dang good it is way crazy! I have to be careful with all of this great food.  I may gain loads of weight ..... I guess I have to bike a lot then! My bike is the best it is so light and durable it is the best! You can buy food here for so cheap it is awesome for 40 baht I can buy a meal that will fill you up 40 baht is about a dollar and 20 cents I think because 30 baht is equal to a dollar.
 Thank you for putting in this email that the language will come because some days I feel so frustrated because I can't say what I want to so I don't say anything almost the whole lesson.

Here is part of the first email we got from him- he compares his mission to a Mission Impossible movie....

I like to compare my mission to a Mission Impossible movie. WE are all the Lord's "secret" agents. We received a call from the President of our church to go and save some VIPS  who have been captured by the enemy and don't even know they are in danger. The risks will be high the whole time. There will be casualties some people you save will actually not be ready and will be taken back. It's war and the enemy knows each one of our talents, but we do not know all of the enemies tactics yet. Your mission will be for two years and then after that you are released from duty as a "secret" agent, but you are a agent in the Lord's army. We all our being trained for some time but no matter how long you train you still are not ready for the field. It's a learn on the spot kind of work, the best kind I think!
Elder Proctor

Monday, July 22, 2013

ยินดีต้อนรับเพื่อน! (Welcome Friends) MTC Pictures

With Elder Allsup

With Elder Andersen

Yep, that is where we are going with Elder Black and Elder Hogan

with Sister Adams

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pig Skin and Neck, Silkworm and Crickets.... can you guess what's for dinner???????

Dear family,
Yeah I don't like the lake because of the mosquitoes it brings... My feet are basically covered in bites, its the best! My apartment is probably one of the best because it’s not an apartment it’s a house!! The most scary thing that has been in it...would have been a gecko. There are geckos here that make the same sounds as the raptors from Jurassic park make! To be honest I almost pooped myself when I heard it the first time! It scared me so bad! You can only send it to the mission office the will eventually ship it out here. ( I had asked him if there was a more direct way to get mail to him) Thank you for the letter you sent me while I was still in the mtc it came at a time most needed! (I sent a letter to Thailand while he was still at the MTC= he got it when he arrived in Thailand) So our investigators... lets see there is M who is scheduled to be baptized in three weeks, Tb who is scheduled to be baptized in three weeks as well. We struggle with him because he worships other deities, but we are trying and doing are best to bring him unto Christ. Then there is a family we are teaching. I think in two weeks they will be baptize. There is a man that my comp and I found while inviting. He is scheduled to be baptized in two weeks!  This place is ready for the gospel!! It is super crazy! We teach an English class every Tuesday 6 30 to 8 it is pretty sweet!! No, the members do not invite, us we usually schedule a appointment with them and teach them then depending on what time it is they will feed us, here are couple of the interesting things I have eaten are.  Silkworm and crickets, neck of pig, and pigskin, deep-fried of course! Where we usually eat is from street vendors for about 30 baht, which is a dollar you get a full meal, it is the best! We always sit on the floor, so we sit with our legs crossed all the time! Man oh maan 7-11 is huge here you pay your bills through seven, its mind blowing all of the stuff they have there! We do get rejected a lot but it doesn’t faze me because they are not rejecting me they are rejecting the savior. Yeah my bike was on sale so I got lucky with that! I’m kinda starting to hate rice! Ahh so much rice!!!! I need to learn Thai!!  That is all! I love being a missionary this is the best mission on earth It is basically paradise but it rains a lot! Coolest experience would have been on Sunday when I got the opportunity to confirm some one with the Holy Ghost!! Whaaaa? Been here a week and helped in a confirmation! Sorry I let pride get to me there. I love this gospel so much. 
Elder Proctor