Here in Thailand in Phitsanulok

Elder Calderon (center) is my trainer

Tired at the Bus Station in Thailand with Elder Calderon

Goodbye Provo - Hello Thailand
Here we come Thailand

Meeting Up with Hayden at the MTC before leaving for Thailand

Where we Email in Town

Fanta from 7-11

My neighborhood

My Humble Abode

1st Week in Thailand

Ahhh! so much to talk about i dont even know where to start!

so i guess to answer some questions:

the flight was wayyy long like over 20 hours of flying hahaha, but for some reason it really wasnt that bad. i was able to sleep a lot of the way over. lax was cool being able to talk to the fam for a little bit, and then it was off to hong kong. we flew in there at night so we couldnt see anything but the lights and so the view was pretty sweet. then in the airport it seemed pretty much the same as LAX except the ratio of white to asian people was flipped haha. and the loud speaker was just loud asian sounds haha. then the final little flight over to thailand was nice. it all went by way fast. there were soooo many people traveling into thailand that were in the passport line to get into the country it was crazy. we stood in line for like almost as long as the flight just trying to get through customs haha, but surprisingly it wasnt too hot our stuffy or humid or anything- apparently it was one of the nicest days of the year (weather wise) to welcome us to thailand- it was super surreal seeing president senior as we finally got through the airport he is such a stud! wow this all seems like sucha a long time ago...

of course on the bus to bangkok from the airport we got to use our thai and talk to people about jesus- fortunately i sat next to this couple from new cacedonia or something and they didnt speak thai haha so i used my english. 

our first day in thailand was filled with food, getting our blood drawn, inviting people on the streets of bangkok (which was super fun once you get over the imminent rejection 90% of the time) and hanging out with the president and sister senior. president senior keeps telling me to "ask my dad about it" whenever he tells some crazy story about his mission in japan haha- but president senior is so awesome. in the mission perfect obedience and hard work is expected- so everyone does it- and so i guess thats a change thats come about in this mission the last few years- and now the seniors are really focusing on not just getting thailand a temple (because thats gonna happen soon anyways) but really preparing the people and the hearts of the people for a temple through family history work, focusing on the family, and strengthening members and wards as a whole. they didnt feed us super spicy food when we first got there but there was a big pot of some pretty nasty soupy looking thing which i figured im on a mission now so i might as well just start eating all the gross stuff too- and it was actually SO good haha. thai food is amazing, ive had some pretty gross stuff and felt like i was eating straight raw something- but it hasnt been too bad yet. 

we stayed in a pretty nice little place in bangkok that night and in the morning went to the huge transfers meeting. driving in bangkok is literally chaos. not only is everything going on on the opposite sides of the roads- theres just bikers and pedestrians and people driving the wrong way all over the place haha. One of the APs right now was driving and forunately hes a native so he was pretty skilled at weaving thru all the chaos. 

transfers was such a blast hahah it kinda felt like the hunger games or something before we walked into the meeting bc all the missionaries were like cheering and clapping super loud as we ( the new missionaries) were about to walk in hahaha and we walked in side by side with our companion. it was intense. its weird now not seeing all the missionaries i was used to seeing 24/7 and having a new companion but i love it out here sooo much more. my new companion is elder calderon- hes mexican and from orlando florida but he is such a stud. I told pres senior i want the hardest working trainer (bc travis told me i could do that i guess haha) and pres said he already knew who i would be with but i seriously feel so lucky this guy is so awesome. He shreds and on the skateboard but more importantly just has such a strong testimony and devotion to this work- but at the same time is super like relaxed almost while we are working so hard- idk how to explain it but it makes missionary work waayyy more fun. being here in my first area (phitsanulok) is super crazy- its hard to really understand anyone but i have in fact gotten a few "wooooow phuud phassa thai gheng maag!" which means im super skilled at thai hahah which just isnt true but most foreigners dont speak it at all so yeah. 

so first crazy experience in thailand and really a miracle. actually before i share it, i think one thing that has surprised me the most here about being a missionary is how like laid back it is in the sense that we all got our new assignments to whatever area- and then they just expect us to figure out how to get to our apartment through public transportation, members, etc. i would be living on the street somewhere in thailand if it wasnt for my companion who can fortunately speak thai haha. so anyways our crazy miracle we had- so we took a taxi with all our stuff (bags and calderon's bike) to the bus station in bangkok and once we got there we had to wait for another missionary to get to the bus station bc we were gonna drop him off with his new companions in an area near pitsanulok- but he had to renew his visa or something so he had to do that for a few hours. so were waiting at the bus station for a few hours and then get a call, and he said we need to come back and pick him up bc he had no way to get to the bus station from the church which is like an hour drive. its getting pretty late, its like 6, and we have no way to get him- so the sisters that were traveling with us said they would watch all the stuff while we figure out how to get this elder. Elder calderon gets up and starts walking and says alright say a prayer- were gonna go to the back alley of this bus station and find someone who has a pick up that could get us a ride there and back (and everyone back behind this bus station is way sketch). so i pray pretty sketched about our situation and we start walking, and calderon of course picks the sketchy two extremely dirty dudes tatted up and smoking and starts talking in thai. i guess long story short we end up getting a ride, everything works out, and the guys actually turned out to be pretty nice, and im alive. so we take the 5 hour bus ride up to phitsanulok which left at 10pm and arrived at like 3 in the morning, fortunately i slept most the way, and then got there and its like pitch black outside. My first experience with how awesome the members are here was sister nancy who came and picked us up from the bus station and took us to our apartment- shes been so awesome getting us around places these last couple days. we love driving with her bc shes got this sweet classic little old light blue pickup with two seats in it, so we just sit in the truckbed while we are mobbin on the streets of thailand hahaha its been way fun. 

so the next morning after barely getting any sleep we wake up at 630 and just get to work like a normal day haha. next miracle from God was the evidence that when your in his service he really does give you the strength and energy to accomplish the things he commands us. i have no idea how i stayed up that whole next day, and the next, and next, and just made the transition so smoothly. going to bed at night is amazing though. our small little house is pretty nice for the area i think. definitely different than america but it has AC which is life saving. 

So we do a lot of contacting at Big C which is like a mix of a walmart and a mall- and our first day i think i was surprised how much success we had just asking people to come to Christ's church, or asking them if they wanted to be clean from sin. haha its like so bold but so effective here. i think overall we had 9 investigators at church this sunday (and we whitewashed into this area meaning neither i nor calderon had been here- and there were 0 progressing investigators). we also have two sets of sisters in the branch that we are serving in as well. Our church is like a 4 story building smooshed in between all these other random houses and stuff-so its small but really nice for a branch. even though i can hardly speak and understand the members here are so cool and accepting. our branch has 2 missionaries serving right now which is cool. pretty much all of our lessons we have with investigators we bring a member too- definitely super helpful. 

another miracle we had this week was when after my companions bike tire had popped on i think it was saturday, we were literally walking for atleast 2 hours following the awful directions of thai people around town to try and fix his bike. fortunately we made good use of our time and found some new potential investigators while we were walking around. but the miracle came when we had gone down a bunch of streets, following the directions we were given by people, and calderon had mentioned how even though you dont understand why we are doing something, or dont know what the outcome will be- just continue to work hard and move forward and the lord will always provide. and so we ended up meeting our golden investigator pha noy, this cute old man that repairs bikes, and he had told us that he has been waiting for missionaries to come teach him- hes been praying for years and has been wanting to go to church but didnt know when or where. he is getting baptized next week. 

ummm so a typical day is filled with studies in the morning, lunch at this super dank and cheap place we found near our house, then the day is either contacting, appointments, or doing little things like getting my bike or whatever. but what i really like is really no matter what we are doing or where we are going we are always contacting. so like when we are going from our apartment to the church to meet with a member, we talk to everyone on the way over and invite them to church or ask if they want to be cleansed from sin, or learn about jesus, etc. so our day is just so full of contacting and finding people and teaching people i love it. thinking of our missionaries serving in california- i think the key to finding people to teach is talking to EVERYONE. God has prepared people who are waiting to learn the gospel, and he is preparing people all the time. So talk to EVERYONE and when people reject you or just kinda laugh which happens a lot here, just smile and keep going haha because that just means they arent ready for the gospel- but find those who are- and you can only do that through inviting everyone. so anyways as you can tell its been super fun these last few days- but super super tiring. ive got some wierd bug bites showing up on my body too haha so i put up my mosquito net around my bed last night and hopefully that solves the problem. 

im healthy so far, im happy, i dont need anything but the love from home im already getting<3

We dont have a missionary leader in our branch, and our branch presidents name is.... hahahah uhhh i forgot haha its hard to remember names here, and i just call him phrathaan (president) anyways. hes thai and super nice. oh yeah my companion got called to be the counselor in the branch presidency and i got called to be a counselor in the elders quorum presidency which is sketchy for me bc our elders quorum president is a white guy (elder calderon and i still havent figured out why he is living out here in phitsanulok all by himself haha hes pretty kooky) and he speaks less thai than i do. he gave a lesson this sunday and it was a little strange- but the class wouldnt have understood ANY of it if my companion wasnt there to translate pretty much the whole lesson haha. we have been given all sorts of random responsibilities in home teaching and other random things, so they are keepin us pretty busy. were gonna turn this branch into a ward though and get a stake in the changmai zone. then comes the thailand temple ayyyyye. thailand has a super good vision and goals so it makes the work so much more fun when everyone is pumped about it even the members. 

so as for thailand as a whole it is WAY different here. im in a small city and so its not quite the beautiful thailand you see on google images. in most parts its pretty chaotic like bangkok but just not the huge buildings. everything is pretty run down to be honest. theres so many loving people here though. i dont really know how to explain it but i like it here. im super excited to work here and serve the people here. 

the thai is coming along slowly but surely. calderon continues to give me more responsibilities to help me become a more useful companion haha, like making calls to set up appointments and what not. i embarass myself most of the time but just gotta laugh it off and keep working haha, its fun, and i got such an aamzing trainer im stoked. he actually is dying this transfer, but has a super good attitude about working hard til the end, and trying to make a difference in this small branch we are in. (that means he ends his mission haha ^)

love you all so much! i know that jesus christ lives and loves everyone. God's hand is in all things, and i know he has a plan for each of us. Be bold and work hard! i love hearing about your fun experiences with the new puppy momma haha, so proud of you;) much love from thailand

ya boy, 

elder chamberlin

Final Week in the MTC --- Elder Evans and Elder Nelson!

its finally here!!!! i cant believe it, feels pretty weird, but this last week in class has gotten me so excited for thailand! we've been looking at pictures, talking about the culture, and all that good stuff the last day or two. it was surprisingly really hard saying goodbye to all of my teachers today haha. who knew you would grow so close to them in just 9 weeks?! i have so much love for all of them<3

so this week was very eventful, and very special just like you predicted mom;) so tuesday morning elder dunnaway had saved these dead fish that elder bingham got in the mail like last week (picture attached) and thought it would be fun to keep in our room- which i was very against- but anyways he kept them and then finally decided to get rid of them when they started stinking up the room, but elder morley took them bc he wanted to have some kind of a funeral for them first. long story short he set them on the ground while he was eating breakfast and long story short, he spilled the mini aquarium of like 6 dead goldfish and brown water on our floor. The smell literally was the worst thing ive ever SEEN in my entire life- it was like a legitimate green mist traveling through the hallways it was awful. i plugged my nose and moved all my stuff including my bed into the other room hahaha, and again long story short we finally got the smell out for the most part with some pretty intense cleaning. pretty sure missionaries arent suppose to have pets so in my scolding of elder morley for spilling the fish i acknowledged the source of the problem was probably the disobedience hahaha. anyways that kinda ruined the day. fortunately it got better and as elder dunnaway and i are sitting down for dinner,  a security guy comes up to me with a paper with my picture on it and asks "are you sam chamberlin?" and im thinking at this point run.... haha just kidding but we were pretty confused and i reluctantly gave myself up as he hand cuffed me and took me to the front office (except he didnt actually hand cuff me). haha so we get to the front and president roach one of the counselors in the MTC presidency is there and says something to the effect of "Elder Chamberlin we've been expecting you. We have a friend that would like to meet you", haha and then i realized it was Elder Evans, so we meet up with him and he was super super cool and nice. he told president roach to make sure we got VIP seating to the devotional that night (which Elder Nelson one of 12 apostles just happened to be speaking at). so i snapped a pic with elder evans (had to borrow president roaches suit jacket bc mine was in the cafeteria so i look gianormous haha) and then we went our seperate ways. 

then at the devotional which was suuuuuppper good, which elder evans talked about an experience he had at our stake at the youth meeting, and he shared the EXACT scriptures that i talked about in my last email home- Alma 26:26-30, and so of course im trippin because a member of the 70 totally just used my thoughts and message to then give to the whole MTC- but he never gave me creds and i dont think he was at the house still when i sent it, so maybe we're just on the same wave length. either way i feel pretty cool. then after the whole devotional (elder nelson gave an awesome talking about trust, and all the trust God and others have put in us- so basically live up to that trust) elder evans signaled for elder dunnaway and i to go behind the scenes basically and hangout with elder nelson. so we get to shake his hand and talk to him for a little bit... what would you say if you had a couple minutes to talk to an apostle of the Lord?!?! it was a really cool experience. elder evans had some photographer guy take a picture of all 4 of us and he said he would sent it, so thats pretty sweet. 

then wednesday elder dunnaway and i got invited to be the model missionaries that like teach the first investigators that all the new missionaries come and spectate their first day in the MTC- so we did the beginning part of the lesson (killed it of course) and then they take over from there so that was fun. 

then we had our last lessons with our investigators today which was surprising how hard it was to say goodbye to them and that we are getting transfered haha. even though there not real it was like really sad. 

i dont have much time- but my birthday was so much fun here in the mtc with all the love from the fam and friends! thank you to everyone! i love you all so much! and i will talk to you when im in thailand what whaaaat! keep it real this week much love<3

elder chamberlin

More pictures at the MTC while saying goodbye

This is with Brother Saunders, who i also reaaaally love. He's a stud and reminds me of Travis Clarke alot for some reason.   Both Hunsaker and Saunders knew Travis and still know him pretty well.                         

The picture is of me sitting down with my favorite teacher- Brother Hunsaker.  He's theee coolest guy here, love him to death.  He's the kind of guy I'll be hanging out with when I get home. 

Another quality picture with Brother Hunsaker 

This is our Thai native teacher named Ratchapong Kaosucharit (Brother Gao) he's hillarious. 
We talk about video games every once in a while, and he's a super good guy too.

                      Me and Brother Thrap. Love that guy-- He's probably helped me grow spiritually 
                                                   and in the language the most while I have been here. 

                            Me and one of our younger Thais. His name is Elder Swagger (really its Wager) 
             hahaha but i knew i was gonna love him just from his picture that we got of him before 
                       he even arrived. He's hillarious and he's from AZ.  He's 25. Quality human being.

Our Crew with Brother Thrap and my teacher Brother Shipley

The crew with by far the coolest and best teacher ever, Brother Thrap. He reminds me of Ben for some reason, but mostly just the spiritual side.  He was our main teacher along with Sister Butler and I love him to death. It was by far hardest saying goodbye to him tonight (today was the last time we saw all our teachers.)

                                                     Brother Shipley.  Super good guy.  We became really close.

Merkley and Yuen

                               Me and my boy Merkley (Lao teacher that taught us the last week or so)

                                                Brother Yuen and I, (Ben's friend, he's from Irvine -- such a stud)

My District and Teachers

                   This is the whole crew with a few of our teachers (Kaosucharit, Saunders, and Hunsakers.)

Picture with Elder Evans

Hangin' with Elder Evans at the MTC (i didnt have my suit coat bc we were stolen out of the cafeteria while we were eating by a cop guy for some unkown reason) haha and so im wearing President Roach's suit jacket (He's the MTC Presidency counselor and is pretty big as you could assume) i love you!

A few last Pics while at the MTC

                                                            Here we come Thailand!

                                                    Megan's Dad with Elder Bingham

8th and Last Week

good morning!

i cant believe its the final week in the mtc- its pretty surreal and when i think about being in thailand it still feels super far off, but we got our travel plans this week so stoked on that! we leave monday the 19th at 1:30 pm and take off around like 7 i think. land in LAX for a 5 hour layover then at midnight that night we take off for hong kong, get there a full day later, and finally get to thailand wednesday in the afternoon so itll be a lot of traveling. ill probably be wishing i could be wearing sweat pants or something so thatll probably the the hardest part. stoked on life though its gonna be really fun, and im exciting to be back out in the real world! 

The MTC has been so amazing though i cant believe its only been 8 weeks... it has felt like so much longer than that especially when i look back at everything ive learned and done. I lucked out with super chill teachers- i couldnt definitely see hitting them up when i get back, and some will probably have kids too which is weird. Its been really pretty up here and not as cold this week which is good. ill be sending home all my sweaters and jackets and what not momma just a heads up! 

we did some fun activities in class this week finishing up getting prepared to get to thailand- super excited to be able to cruise the streets of thailand helping people learn of Christ, its gonna be wayy too much fun! 

its funny how every week i feel like im pretty ready for thailand, and for teaching and helping real people, but then after that week i look back at all the things we practiced and learned and think theres no way im ready for thailand! so idk i feel pretty prepared but at the same time im gonna learn so much my first couple weeks there!

had some pretty cool revelation this week in class about teaching and dont really know how to explain it- but how when we teach the gospel, as a missionary my only job is to help them realize the spirit and help them to act for themselves bc conversion almost always comes through what they do AFTER the lesson. and thus in a lesson when we teach, most of what i say should be questions, because even though teaching the material is important its even more important to have the spirit teach the investigator, and that comes through testimony, and having the person being taught think about and respond to inspired questions that will help them grow and realize God in their life- and an investigator knows them-self better than we do- so idk how to explain it but yeah, good stuff. 

I think one of my favorite things about being in the MTC is meeting people from literally all over the world its pretty sweet- becoming super close with and elder from sweden, and the phillipines, or japan, a guy from haiti, its just so cool that there are people from all over the world here all for the same reason- pretttty sweet. 
I think my favorite moment this week was in class saturday- we were all reading from Alma 26 together- as ammon is returning back from his mission, and he starts going off about the greatness of God and boasts about all the great things that God was able to do and accomplish through him during his mission, and then in verse 26-30ish he starts talking about "the call to discipleship" and all the hardships they endured throughout their time teaching the lamanites, ill just copy past it:

 "26 But behold, my beloved brethren, we came into the wildernes s not with the intent to destroy our brethren, but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls.
 27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord bcomforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with cpatience thinedafflictionsand will give unto you success.
 28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.
 29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their asynagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been bstonedand taken and bound with cstrong cords,and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.
 30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this,that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our ajoy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some."
haha so even though i probably wont get stoned or thrown into prison (hopefully) it was really powerful for some reason when i read this- the joy that comes from sharing the gospel. Even though the endured and suffered all the afflictions, they always remembered to trust in God and remembered there purpose of being out serving and teaching- that they might bring salvation unto even one person. Pretty inspiring missionary scripture, and talking about missionary scriptures ive come to really love 2 Nephi, mosiah, and alma they are just so full of good stuff. Elder Dunnaway compares the scriptures to when he was on debate and whenever he would find a piece of really good or convincing evidence to prove his point how excited he was, and how scriptures i kinda similar in the sense, becuase scriptures are just so powerful in conversion- the word of God just has a way of changing people, weird. haha kidding but yeah i love that book of mormon. 

Watched some solid bible videos yesterday on too and its almost like watching a supper good movie and then wanting to read the book- especially i think it was called "my kingdom is not of this world" and it just helps you visualize what a boss Jesus was, how awesome he was and how much love he had and still has for all of us. i would most definitely suggest watching it- great use of 5 minutes. sooo we had a devotional last night by Elder Heaton i believe and our MTC president had invited Elder Heaton's son with autism, probably about 12 years old named richard, come up and bare his testimony, and that was super powerful. He had his dads phone with what we thought was his whole testimony written on it, but it turned out he just had words like "jesus" and "missionaries" and he bore a super pure and powerful testimony of the savior and the importance he has in his life. Then Elder Heaton's talk had the theme of "minding the gap". Meaning the time in between your lessons with people and investigators- thats the most important time for conversion and growth. It was cool because it was really similar to the things i was thinking about and learning this week. he had all the converts stand up in the devotional of probably close to 1500 missionaries and they made up close to like 10% probably. then he had the people who were baptized within the last 2 years stay standing and then share the short version of the moment they knew they wanted to be baptized, or what was the main factor in their conversion, etc. the point was that almost all of them had some sort of spiritual experience whether through prayer, or through reading the scriptures, being at the temple, or just being around mormon people, where they had the confirmation that they knew they wanted to and need to be baptized. it was a very solid devotional. 
a fun fact for bekah, i woke up this morning singing "one week more" in my head- of course to the tune of one day more from les mis. not even a musical kinda guy but yeah. 
blakes wisdom teeth videos are hillarious hahaha- such a good kid. aaaand its good to hear that everything went well with Elder Evans this weekend for stake conference it sounded like a huge success love you family! dont know what else to say other than things here are really good, im doing really good, and im super excited to take off to thailand! we got a picture of our new missino president coming this summer- its gonna be a good time. Love you all and hope you have the best week! oh and favorite quote this week was in some guys testimony- something about "when you hit rock bottom, don't get too down because Christ is the that rock at the bottom" and i dont know why it seemed so mind blowing to me but it made me think of the scripture i think D&C 122:8 how the son of man has descended below it all. Christ really is always there to pick us back up, no matter how far we feel like we've fallen or how many times we do, his arms are always outstreched- i feel pretty lucky to be sharing the dopest message there is- nothings as great as knowing you can be clean and free from guilt- but more importantly happy, filled with peace, and with your family forever. Love you fam keep it real!
Elder Chamberlin
P.S. on a lighter note, some new guy moved onto our floor and his companion had heard about the kilt that my companion currently owns (the strongest elder on the floor has rights of it), and so he waltzed into our room challenging dunnaway to the quilt, and ill be honest this guy looked huge and apparently was in the army haha, so of course i was backin my companion up givin him a little massage in preparation for an arm wrestle, pushup, then pull up competition, best of 3 and winner takes the kilt, and dunnaway just embarasses the guy in both arm wrestling and push ups, they didnt even end up doing pull ups hahah. i was pretty stoked bc my companion's success's are my success's, and if hes the strongest elder here, i pretty much am too so yeah no one messes with us. hahahaha