Sunday, November 27, 2016


You have your lows. Then you also get some highs (aka some really epic weeks ((Like this one))...)

Let's do this.

Thanksgiving at a Japanese Buffet. We ordered like 60+ trays of meat and way too much ice cream....

Translating some stuff

​Did some translating. One of the elders gets an email from some senior missionaries asking for some help in translating some people's conversion stories to be compiled into some sort of book/record. They had sent around 5 different people's stories to be translated. Got the way special opportunity to translate 3 stories, 2 of which were from members that I have served in one of my previous areas. SO SO SO SICK. Conversion stories and the stories of why people are are my favorite things ever.

Got kicked out of another market this week. But in the 20 minutes before we got kicked out we got a handful of phone numbers.

Teaching some people that aren't actually from Thailand.

Ok well this is Brother Came....He's from Lao. We had taught him over in Samut Prakaan. Saw him at a massive multi-stake stake conference! The fourth stake has been created in Thailand! Now just in Bangkok alone we have Bangkok West, Bangkok North, and the Bangkok stake. Time is flying.

Wait. Why isn't he wearing a missionary tag? Pretty crazy that I still see around one of my old companions.

But today it's not about his story. It's about a guy named T (ที). He's from Cambodia. While me and Elder Smith were on comp exchanges we had went out and invited the whole day. Walking down the street we were just going and asking people "เฮย์สนใจลองเข้าโบสถ์มั้ย." And in English that is "Hey, do you want to try going to church?" So we were walking and just having a good time talking to people then I go up and talk to T. Ask him in Thai and he has no idea what I'm saying. So I awkwardly ask him in English "Soo. uh. Yeah. Hey. You ever been to church?" He says yeah. Then I'm stuck awkwardly stuttering in my now broken English "Well cool. So uh. You wanna try go to the church that has the restored gospel?" And he's just like...yeah I'm down. Get his number, give him a pamphlet don't think much of it. Sunday comes, and he walks in. But he's super busy all week long and his only day off is Saturday. But the next weekend comes and he's actually in Cambodia. Then this past weekend. Get an appointment with him. This is where it gets trippy...
He's been Christian since around 2004/2005. He has had a ton of miracles asking where if Christ was real please heal him and provide for his family in Cambodia. And his faith and prayers are so real and powerful. So he's been a super strong Christian in Cambodia. Then this past year he had moved here to Thailand to work. He's working, but he had said it's hard to be Christian when you are here by yourself. He faces all these temptations around him but he knows he must withstand them. And he does, through diligent scripture reading in the bible! Oh and get this. 
It's so real. People have been prepared well beyond what we can even imagine. Right now he is progressing like fire towards his baptismal date in December.

Teaching some people that are from Thailand...
Got some way awesome new investigators. That are actually from Thailand! Stoked to see how they will progress.

Baptism in sign language

We are indoors and my eyes are still closed...I don't understand. how?

Other companionship (Elder Smith/Bunker) got their first baptism here in Rangsit! They have been working like spiritual machines! They came into this area with literally nothing. Having to start from scratch with investigators. Didn't even have a house. But now they have investigators and a house. Yup. You could say they're going places.
Oh funny side story. So we were in Bangkok at a hotel for the stake conference, but we had prepared the church building the night before for the baptism. Everything was good, water was in the baptismal font, it was clean, white, and ready. So we lock up the church. Go to the meeting, then come back around 1:45, for the baptismal service to happen at 2. Well surprise. NO WATER IN THE FONT. Yeah. We came back to a font that was dry. Like my skin in Utah dry. Dry.
So we rushed and filled the font and eventually got the baptism under way at 3 pm hahaha. But it's all good. The sister that was baptized is way amazing with such a strong testimony and desire to serve in this church.

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
This was definitely the top used scripture this week when teaching everyone. Again. It is a question that takes a bit of pondering. Where is your heart. Where are your desires. Don't want to say too much, cause having everyone ponder on these things is part of the good stuff. This scripture is also found in the bible. Straight out of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Where is your heart? (also if you're a missionary and still reading to this point. KEEP THAT THING LOCKED UP)


Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Welcome to the Bridge

Well here we are. Transfers have come and gone. Our whole group has almost stayed the same. Except for our favorite red headed missionary. He has transferred out. Welcome to the bridge Elder Bair (yes as in หมี ).

This week started off a bit rocky with some soaring 102 degree fevers and the usual stomach problems cause of some spoiled chicken that we ate for a few days in a row....But we knew that this too shall pass. And it did.

A member asked for some help in painting a few rooms. We ended up painting her whole apartment. Good, fun, and a great project the whole 6 elders got to work on together.

We've been trying to do a whole lot more service and less active and semi active member work here in Rangsit to maintain steady growth. And this week has been way productive in these aspects of the work. We have been so blessed with opportunities to be serving others and meeting with a lot more members that haven't been able to come to church because of various reasons. Working with these people is so much fun and just such an amazing opportunity. We get to learn about their stories, why they first came into the church, why they converted to Christianity. All of these people have got such an amazing story and truly have seen their lives change from the gospel. It's such a sweet blessing to be working here in Thailand and an even BIGGER blessing to be working here in Rangsit.

The child.

Yesterday to finish our Sunday on a good note we went out as a District and just did a mass district inviting blitz. Went down to some bus stops and just talked to everyone.

Fun highlights from this super short 30ish minutes of finding...
  • Motorbikes drive wherever they want. Including the sidewalk. Yes it is illegal. But they do it. So as 6 Americans are walking along the sidewalk. We sorta make a barricade. Usually they just honk their horn and we move but we were inspired by some members to not let them go....Of course not the best. But they did slow down and it gave the new missionaries and opportunity to practice talking to people on the go. No way you can get past us if we don't move out of the way. And no way are we moving out of the way if you haven't been invited at least 3 times.
  • Sometimes there are people that we always talk to. Love them so much, this one lucky guy got invited by all 6 of us. As we are talking we don't always keep the best track of who has already been talked to.
  • Got some people really pumped to quit smoking by smashing their cigarettes and throwing them off the bridge.

From Left to Right "Ellis, Bair, McKay, Decker, Bunker, Smith"

Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven"

There was some talk about how if you are good, you should go out and be straightforward and say and exclaim how good you are. Correct. To an extent. But so much more powerful is when your actions exceed that of your words. I've seen some of the best examples of really quiet people that were just the most amazing workers. Go out and let your actions show who you are. Do it with all your heart, might, mind, and strength.

Stay stoked.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Respecting People's Agency

Yup. Probably the hardest thing I have to deal with being a missionary in Thailand. But because of this, I had one of the most amazing weeks ever. Yeah. Ever.

The story starts last week Tuesday.

​These were the goals. We want to be balanced missionaries, working every aspect of the missionary game. Having to Serve, Contact, Retain Recent Converts, Active less active members, and work with strong Members. We wanted it all. Then on top of that we decided, we need to get stoked again. So we made another goal to get a total of 300 phone numbers within the whole district. The goal setting was Tuesday.

Wednesday. Oh yeah....
​Companion exchanges this time. Due to my poor planning. I had done companion exchanges almost every day this past week. Yeah. Forgot that there were a total of 4 elders that I need to do exchanges with.....
We planned our day and it looked way sweet. We had lessons with new investigators, progressing investigators, Recent Converts, Less Actives. We were going for the full SCRAM. But then that morning. We go and start making calls. And then yeah. Hah. Well. Every single appointment CANCELLED! Haha. Yeah. So Elder Ellis and Smith went hard. And by hard I mean from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. we went out inviting. Took a little time for lunch and dinner. But when it came down to it. We were every where, opening our mouths with everyone. And ended up doing alright. The total count for the day was 60 people contacted (Or in other words, a total of 60 phone numbers of people that expressed an interest to meet with us and change their lives) and probably a thousand other "seeds" planted. It was way too much fun. And we also found these sick Christmas lights at a store for like $5 dollars. It's like a 8m strand and has 6 different type of settings.

"Rangsit is lit"-Quote by Elder Decker ft. Elder Ellis x Smith

Thursday another switch off this time with Elder McKay. He's pretty epic. Not gonna lie. And we went from a day that looked like it was gonna be another 10 hours of contacting. But as we went throughout the day, appointments were made and new investigators were picked up. We got like 3 new investigators and a bunch of member lessons and just like wow. Things are working in mysterious ways.

Saturday was the 50th anniversary of the church in Thailand! Went over to the biggest church buildings in Thailand and had a huge meeting with members from all over the country and also from missionaries all over Bangkok. Got to see a member that I knew from Hawaii, and also a bunch of good friends from the other areas that I had served in. Apparently the pics are on Facebook <>.


After like 4 months of teaching this investigator, she finally got baptized! Her name in thai means shrimp. So Sister Shrimp was invited to learn more about the church. She was Protestant but eventually felt so strongly that she needed to start coming to church here. And as she continued to pray, read, and study the scriptures she progressed. Not gonna lie. This was a true test of patience and respecting people's personal agency when teaching her. And then Elder Decker baptized her. Rangsit is pretty awesome.

So to come full circle.
Respecting People's Agency.
Missionaries always say that they "Love the people where they serve." People often times will just say these words, then there are times when you show that your words are true. Serving with my heart, might, mind, and strength I tried my best to show to these people that I truly love them all. But for some reason, I had hit a metaphorical stumbling block. We were going out, working as hard as we could, but for some reason I was just so frustrated. So we had a discussion as a district about what we needed to do to become better. And this topic came up. Some really amazing advice was given. 
"When your eyesight isn't working, pray to ask that your sight to be removed and replaced with God's sight." 
This is so much more than just praying for charity. This is a specific and earnest call for help. So I did. And this made me so much happier. Seeing and loving and trying even harder to push and love even more than I thought was possible. As my sight was removed and replaced with a bit of how God sees these people, a lot changed. The work became happy and successful once again.
Mosiah 4:10 "...and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them."

Learn. Believe. Do.

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Is Daylight Savings A Thing in Thailand?

I'm pretty much done trying to do that video thing. If anything it'll just get thrown up on the blog if I try to do it again....

This week was pretty amazing. Typical Thailand. Run down on the week....
Monday-After going out to a mall, we had rushed back to the church to help teach a Cambodian man how to read Thai!

Tuesday-Went over to immigration to do renew the visa. I went down with another missionary in the district because he was a fully year younger than me and had to renew his visa also. Plot Twist. In the queue line I got number 4. He drew number 104. Therefore, I was done in 20 minutes, and we had to wait until 3 pm to get his visa renewed. But no worries, because the work went on, and English was still taught.

Wednesday was a way special opportunity to meet with Elder Wong of the 70, he had came and really spoken to us giving some great guidance. He touched upon using new methods and being memorable as missionaries in how you worked. Also another big part was teaching those people that are truly willing to act upon the message. Which had us reflect on our current investigators. The number of people willingly acting and changing upon this message has been decreasing. This only means that we need to find more new people! So that's the goal, and that is what we'll be doing. And what we have always been doing. 
Major takeaways from the conference
1-Be memorable, don't be basic
2-Teach those that are prepared and actively changing
3-Teach Repentance and the Atonement a whole lot better

The famous Rangsit pig. I gotta get a better pic of it in its full magnificent glory.
Probably the highlight of my week was coming and meeting with these two members from Surin. Surin was my first area. It's been a little over a year. While in Surin, Elder Sayavong (my trainer) had baptized this family but right when I moved into Surin, two of the daughters moved out and into other provinces. We would try stay in contact with these members but it was sorta hard, so we decided to change up how we use our time and just started calling other people. Fast forward a year. Here I am in Rangsit, getting a call from the missionaries over in Surin asking if I know these people. Well I don't. So we get the number, get an appointment. And now finally a year later this mystery has been solved. For a long time these two sisters were just a name and a picture, but now after meeting with them and seeing how their faith has just kept on building, they are so prepared to come back to church. There is so much being planned, our vision truly doesn't compare with that of our Heavenly Fathers. Pretty sweet. Can't forget the little things.

"Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church."
To explain the context of this verse a bit, there are two groups of people Nephites and Lamanites. At this time, the Lamanites were about to over power the Nephites in war but then they (the Nephites) remembered why they were there. And this motivation led them to overcome their enemies.
Yeah. Staying motivated through love and through a desire and willingness to do. It's a game changer. I'm doing the things I do cause it's all real and it's all worth it. God is real, Christ lives and atoned for our sins. It is what it is.
What is your cause to work. To do. To live? When things get slow or a little difficult it's time to go back to the basics and just figure out what is your why. So yeah, take some time. Ponder on this for a minute. 

Why do you do what you do?

Elder แลลิส
Forward Ever. Stopping Never.