Bangkok or Bust - With Elder Squire at the Wax Museum

what up fam we got some big changes this week-

so after a way good p-day of exploring with the crew last monday, on tuesday we were getting ready to start district meeting and president senior called us at like 12 in the afternoon. he's like "hey so whats goin on over there?" "how quickly can you get down to bangkok?" "well, get on down here i want you to be here for the new missionaries coming in tonight. are you willing to work in the office with us for the next couple transfers?" so we had about an hour to rush home, pack everything, and make it back to the bus station to make it to bangkok in time. it was pretty exciting, and pretty sad at the same time. the members were planning this big activity on wednesday night to say goodbye and the what not, and so i called them to let them know i was leaving in an hour and they all just rushed out of school to make it to the bus station in time to say goodbye, and it was literally like a movie. our bus showed up, and i was trying to stall it because one of the members was there and was saying that everyone was coming, and then the bus guy was like yo we gotta go, and im trying to stall a little more, and then the bus starts rolling and so i hop on, and right as i get on, i see members on their motorbike things cruising around the corner chasing down the bus hahah, when they eventually catch up it was like them in slow-mo outside the bus as i watched them through the bus window. there was a lot of people i didnt even get a chance to say goodbye to, but yeah so thats what happened. i love them so much they are the best kids ever, im gonna miss them a lot. saddest part of the story is that brother chuu, one of my wayyyyy good investigators had a baptismal date for this sunday, but moved it forward to tuesday, so that i would be there to baptize him, and then i ended up leaving the morning of the baptism. elder wright and i have 4 people getting baptized this sunday, so hopefully ill get the pics and ill send those over. btw elder wright is training a new missionary in p-lok now, so good stuff.

so we get down to bangkok and the first two days here were just crazy busy with getting stuff ready for transfers, getting the new missionaries from the airport, getting the dying missionaries off to the airport, etc etc and so we got up at like 3 the other morning, and werent able to go to bed until like 1ish the night before. it was nice to have a normal night of sleep last night, and i think stuff is gonna start to cool down a little bit with transfers come and gone. Transfers meeting was soooo good its ridiculous. since it was pres. seniors last one, there was just a lot of good stuff idk, an emotional meeting for sure. also something funny- all the dying missionaries stay at our house here for the last couple days, and so i was talking with this one elder, elder vance, and i couldve sworn i had met him before or knew him somehow, and then just gave up and decided he just looked a lot like ryan roche, and then turns out his family came to pick him up and were there at transfers, and the vance family is way tight with the roches, and i know his little sister, sierra, who came so that was way cool. 

yeah so im posted up in the office elder life now i guess- which isnt too much different, but heres some changes: 

im gonna get my license this next week and will be driving our fat vans around in the chaos of bangkok haha

i was gonna list stuff off but i honestly don't really know haha. i think we send out mail and stuff, we help pick up new missionaries and send off the dying ones, we do a couple special reports each week, and enter in baptismal records and what not into the system. the coolest part will be working close with pres senior for the next month or so before he heads home, and then ushering in our new president, president johnson. but yeah other than that im still on that good grind of inviting, teaching, and baptizing. these last couple days in bangkok it is just so much more fun to invite, the amount of people everywhere you go is just ridiculous. you spend a second inviting someone and if they dont want to cleanse their sins, have a happier family, or learn about jesus, etc, then yeah theres only thousand of other people right behind them to invite. so thats a change. bangkok traffic sucks so driving places takes forever. food is way more expensive too. and the skyscraper city life is a pretty sweet change from my humble birthplace of phitsanulok.

so my new companion is elder squire. a nice fellow from nephi utah. he's a little less of a "get out and grind" guy and more of a "do things around the office" kinda guy, but he is a solid, smart dude. im excited to see the miracles that go down this transfer in Asoke. thats my area btw, Asoke, Bangkok west. we have a ward building which is way sweet, and there a huge thai branch that has about 120 people come to church on average, and a foreign branch as well. 

we livin with the assistants to the pres, who are way tight. missions are great things. i love you all, and miss you dearly. i got some wonderful packages at transfers- thanks mom and julie you are the best<3  

elder chamberlin
a shot someone got in the process of the making of our bands music video

some sick place we went to on monday for my final harrah in p-lok<3
Cool Waterfalls

the sun setting on my last day <3

sister lek, my pride and joy - our final goodybye it got pretty sentimental
Mission Office with my new companion, Elder Squire

From missionary, to homeless, to marriage counselor, to bouncer, to cripple‏

Yo fam whats good! elder wright and i are just not able to have a normal week for real haha its nuts. 

after emailing last monday i finally got a nice haricut, it looks very sharp. here in thailand they are way boss haricutters and use these gnarly just straight razor blades to shave the sides and what not, trim your nose hairs, and give you a nice washcloth to the face. all for the generous price of $2. so that was good this week. monday night we met up with one of the way golden investigators we picked up last week named bay. he came to the soccer activity but when he showed up he was not dressed for the occasion, and im like are you playing or what? and he said he actually was just more interested in learning about jesus that night- ahhhhh yeaaaahh. solid lessons with him this week- good kid, i hope to see him entering those waters of baptism in the very near future. 

all in all this week was way good with lessons, with a baptism this last sunday, and with 6 baptisms lined up for this week- all way solid people so we'll see what happens. 

the missionary life to a little twist tuesday night when we came back to our house on a rainy stormy night, and our electricity was out. all the other houses next to us seemed to be fine, and then we noticed that the electric company came and cut our wire connection for electricity or whatever- and it was pouring so i wasn't tryna risk climbing up a sketchy ladder in the pouring rain to try and see if we can take off the tape and plug it back in. we found out there was actually a way old bill that never got payed and thats why they cut our cord. we got a notice about it a few days back but didnt really understand it and just threw it off to the side haha. lesson learned i guess. so the house was BLAZING hot because we had no air. elder wright was straight "sweating like a dog" and i proposed we just try to sleep through the night whatever, it'll just be like a hot night out at lake powell. but as a laid down and closed my eyes for a good 20 minutes or so i woke up literally just sweating from every pore and laying in a little pool- hahah there was no way we were staying and elder wright was already on the phone with the ZL's to get permission to go sleep at the church. yeah so thats what we did. not gonna lie the couch cushions from the church were probably more comfortable than my bed cushion haha. so that was a fun night of being homeless. 

i think i dropped my first investigator this week that i was genuinely pretty upset/dissapointed about because i had such high hopes for this guy and his faith. my boy brother watermelon. but it just wasnt his time i suppose.

i also became a marriage counselor this week. our investigator chuu came in to the church friday night just like way sad and down and couldnt focus on anything in our lesson. turns out he was way stressed about some stuff going on with him and his girlfriend (sister gate who just got baptized this sunday), because of some drama stuff. theres lots of love drama in thailand. anyways, elder wright and i decide we cant continue teaching him like this, and decided just to invite them both into the same room (sister gate was already at the church) and talk it out. haha it was pretty funny at first, but we let chuu vent his feelings, and then sister gate, and then i mention some good mama C advice of repent a little, and forgive alot, something like that. long story short elder wright and i just nailed this lesson with them without even talking about the original issue of some text message. i pulled up a picture of josh and lauren and there cute little family out front of the church all of them just smiling and so happy, and talked about God's plan for each of us his children. we helped him really grasp onto and understand this vision of having a happy eternal family, which is foundation-ed on the gospel of christ. chuu couldnt help but smile and say how happy he felt as i scrolled through other pictures of my super cute nephews. no matter how are family is or was, we helped chuu understand that he literally had the power to decide what his family was going to be like, and no matter who its with (god knows) he can have a happy eternal family. way good lesson- and we couldnt help but feel like brother chuu walked away from that lesson being set for life, even past baptism. his conviction and testimony is so strong of what he knows will bring him true happiness. such a good kid. 

as for sunday- way good day not much crazy to say other than the branch is doing good and continuing to grow together. i love being here to see them come together to help pitsanulok grow in the truth and joy of the gospel! anyways after all the activities of the day and what not we were at the church with a couple members and other people. a little messing around got a little too serious between two of the kids, and wright and i stepped in to seperate it. one thing led to another and i walked away with a little bit of an injury... lets just say i look like a cartoon from the simpsons. however im healthy, im good, and all is well!

We also started the translation of Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration movie sunday night to get thai subtitles. it's looking way good. alright love you fam! pray and read the scriptures- those are the two best things we can do everyday to have a happy life! much love, i love this work, and feel so blessed. thailand wooo!

elder chamberlin<3

            my investigator chuu whom i love with all my heart. he is gonna be a stud leader in the future. 

sister cartoon and bro garfield. they are the cutest and are very good at reminding me of my cute little kids i miss at home

                                                                                      another pic with chuu

                                                   and then after that brother frame wanted a pic hahah

                                                 a drawing that the very talented sister mew drew for me. 

                                              and then dont be worried i just thought the pictures were too funny not to send-                             

                                                                      heres the incident for the week haha.

Bathing the Elephants -- Working to Make a Ward

alright so heres the backdrop for the week: we set a goal at the beginning of the transfer to have 100 people come to church on sunday. average is around 50-60. we worked hard, and we prayed even harder. we literally had every member involved in trying to get this goal to happen. we had all of our home teachers praying for the goal, and telling their families about the goal. And then having them invite others to help us reach the goal, in helping this branch become a ward. (the branch needs 80 people to come to church consistently for 6 months or something like that in order to get a ward building. so thats been our goal. baptisms and rescues. a hundred people at church. 

last week we were at about 65, and we had a big dissapointment of having every investigator not show up. We worked way harder this week, and honestly i was startign to feel like "okay maybe not 100 but atleast we can get 80 people to church." but i still kept praying that we could get 100. now let me relate in a scripture from the book of mormon, the words of the prophet moroni: 

"27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?
 28 For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens.
 29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.
 35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
 36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?
 37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith thatmiracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because ofunbelief, and all is vain."
an answer to our prayers for sure- having 110 people come to church yesterday- we didnt have enough chairs for everyone, we didnt even have enough room for everyone to stand- elder wright and i had to sit on the stairs and just listen to sacrament. it was a way good day for everyone and an experience ill never forget- but of course there is still a lot of work to do.

so some cool experience this week- 
1. so we were inviting in front of the church with some free time in between lessons, elder wright was inviting (i taught him the dance) and i was rolling calls trying to set up some appointments. i decide to go dance and invite with him for a bit, and one of the first motorcycles driving by starts to slow down a bit as if they might be a little interested, but they are too scared to talk to a white boy. so i run after them, my jesus inviting card out in hand, and get them to stop and talk. haha she was signaled to her other friend to stop to, and after hearing my spiel, she said she had free time right then, and so i invited them into the church, and taught these 3 people right there. we had a member at the church just hanging out to so to make it better it was a lesson with a member. it was a solid first lesson, and this crazy miracle lesson of an invite was what helped us reach our goal of 5 member lessons that day. woo!
2. so we finally get sister lek's family to meet us at the church (our recent convert) and its a mom, a dad, and 2 daughters. there was two members there that helped us teach (a single mom with one of her daughters- who they are way awesome but i've always kinda felt like they judged me or just didnt like me for some reason haha not sure why) but anyways they help us teach. we had a really good lesson on the plan of salvation. after the lesson sister ming (the daughter that helped us teach) came up to me and thanked me WAY sincerely, for being such a powerful teacher, and for serving here in the branch. she told me that when i spoke, it brought her to tears (which during the lesson i thought it was just the "because he lives" video that we watched). they thanks me again and complimented me on being such a good represantative of christ. coming from anyone a compliment like that would have meant a lot, but ESPECIALLY coming from them it was very moving, and i just got one of those feelings that i only get every once in a while- that im just so grateful to be out here, and there is nothing in the world i would rather be doing right now. i thanked them for being such a strength to the branch, and they really are. 
3. in one our lessons last night with an recent convert/less active member, we are helping him prepare to serve a mission- which was a desire he expressed to us last week. this last sunday he actually came to church in a white shirt, tie, and nice slacks and looked so great. but anyways, at the end of our lesson, i felt impressed to invite him to share his testimony (however big or small it was) with the 2 investigators that just happened to be sitting in at the end of the lesson. after that i invited both of our investigators to bear their testimonies about their experiences thus far, and then another member that showed up, to then bear his. it was a really good powerful experience where the spirit was strong. our investigator brother chuu, said how grateful he was for everyone else's testimonies, and he bore a way solid testimony himself about the joy that has come into his life in coming to church and meeting the people there. 
4. had a lot of way good street contacts of people down to quit smoking so we'll see where that leads ayye! and speaking of people quitting smoking- we have an investigator named watermelon who is about 32, just a good humble nice dude. he is actualyl getting married this year which is pretty exciting. but anyways we had a powerful lesson with him this week as well. we are helping him to quit smoking. i thought for sure the Lord was gonna perform a crazy miracle and give him the strength to stop smoking that day (in the lesson he was pretty funny and when i asked if he was going to quit or not he said "well it seems like i dont really have any other choice do i?" haha) but he relapsed the next day. last night he called us and told us he didnt smoke once that day, and didnt even crave it. it is so rad to see his faith grow as he meets with us, prays, and reads in the scriptures. at first he was a guy that said he just believed in science and he didnt believe that anyone could REALLY know for real that god was real. his transformation and his trusting in God's power has been making huge differences in his life, and will continue to help him change to become a better person. great dude. 
ahhh soo many sweet experiences i want to share about the week but yeah ill just finish with one last one-
so its friday night and we have book of mormon class. we have a rule as missionaries that if their are sisters or any girls in the church we have to have male present as well- and so we sit down for book of mormon class and only a bunch of sisters show up. elder wright and i were like, well this is wierd i guess we'll just go sit outside haha, and so we take our chairs and sit out front of the church, and i called the zone leaders to see what they thought we should do. they gave us the okay, but elder wright was still like "dude i dont know man i think we should just stay outside", so kinda feeling like he just didnt want to go to book of mormon class for some reason i took the phone and called president senior haha- pres. senior gave us the okay, and after that elder wright was like okay fine lets go, just wait a bit while a call a potential or something like that. so im sitting, and there is a kid walking by and im just like "hey do you feel like your looking for happiness in life and not finding it?" and a little caught off guard he stopped and came to talk to me, and after talking a little more he sat down and starting asking all sorts of questions about our church, and how it would change his life, and what activities we had, etc. the most GOLDEN contact ive ever seen. thanks to either elder wrights slight stubborness or his following the spirit haha we had this way rad contact- who will be entering the waters of baptism in no time. 
yeah so anyways good week, lots of miracles, rode elephants again which was a blast, and i am having the time of my life out here :) 
love you fam!
elder chamberlin

Pitsanulok -- the land of miracles

its wayyyy ridiculously hot in this gaming place im at right now, but here we goo!

the week started off super sick with the crazy buddhist cave excursions and then got even radder as the days went on!

brother da, our investigator that got baptized this last sunday at the waterfall, is such a BOSS! other than the fact that he knows the bible in and out, i think my favorite part about him is the way he ends all of our phone calls with him hahahah, "HALLELUJAH!" hahah he is such a good guy and he's is gonna be a way good leader for this branch in the years to come. 

so yeah this last sunday was probably the coolest baptismal service we've had out here in p-lok. if anyone would appreciate a waterfall baptism it would be brother da. we talked to president senior about it and he was all for it. i felt like john the baptist out there it was a way cool experience i'll never forget. after all his studying, overcoming all his concerns, quitting his addictions, and then seeing him come up out of the water a new person, and the joy that was on his face- there's just nothing better. just check out the pics! come on thats just pure happiness! 

we had a lot of crazy blessings from the hand of the lord and its just crazy how many new investigators he blessed us with. 12 new investigators in this one week! unheard of! and its so evident that it's coming from his hands because literally everyday this week after inviting way hard and working throughout the day not necessarily finding anyone too interested- we will be at the church teaching someone and then some random person will walk in to the church and ask to learn english, and than after some talking accept to learn more about christ with us as well. or like sunday right after church as we were all getting ready to drive out to the waterfall, one of our investigators had her boyfriend come and he was going to come just pick her up but then after some convincing we got him to come to the baptism. on the way we told him about what was about to go down and invited him to do the same thing on the 17th of this month. he accepted and asked way solid questions, and wanted us to teach him right when we got back to the church. 

we had two awesome experiences with WAY less active members this week as well. one we went out to visit named sister kwan, and she hasnt been to church in over a year because of a problem she has with one of the members. we read the scriptures with her and she was just being spiritually uplifted as we read you could see her countenance change, and she accepted the invitation to come back to church. she said she would only come for an hour to "ease back into it" but she came, stayed for all 3 hours, and brought her daughter who is now a new investigator. SO MANY MIRACLES ITS CRAZY! and then another LA who i had randomly called again this week just to see if she could meet (i had called her multiple times before with not much success) but this time she said that she could meet. so we get to know her, and start talking, and then the REALEST lesson ever went down. like i think this was the first lesson ive been in where tears are being shed (actually other than sister kwan when things got pretty serious as well). anyways this other sister, sister geek, is 25ish and a nurse and works crazy hours and gets one day off every 10 days. she was getting really emotional and shared her feelings of frustration, that she felt like God wasn't answering her prayers to help her get work off on sunday, and on top of her having to provide for her family, her grandma had recently passed away and she basically blamed God for it and went back to her old christian church. anyways- some personal experiences and powerful scriptures of encouragement were shared, and although she still wasn't able to come to church this sunday, that lesson was a pivotal point in her life for sure. 

i just thought of one of the contacts i had last night as i was riding to an appointment. out of all the people on the sidewalk late at night as im mobbin on my bike i feel prompted to stop and invite this one guy to get baptized and cleanse his sins. he says no, but i feel prompted to stay there and try to spend a little more time with him, thinking i could change his mind, and after a minute or so and him still not being at all interested, i start to get on my bike and ride before i ride off i invite this other guy that was put right in my path to cleanse his sins. i loved his response, "can i really cleanse my sins?" my answer was yes, you can, and looking back at this experience it makes me so grateful for the gospel of jesus christ and the opportunity that we to change, and become better, more christ-like each day. everyone in thailand, literally everyone will use the excuse that "every religion teaches us to be good people" but its only in and through christ that we can truly become like Him. and of course only through christ that we can be with and live with our families for eternity. so grateful to be the representative, and messenger of the raddest best most important message that could ever be learned.

we also have a ton of young men in our branch that could potentially be going on missions this year so elder wright and i decided to start a mission prep class every thursday so that'll be sweet.

im happy, im healthy, and i love being out here in thailand. oh yeah we also had a good time with pres. senior and his wife as they were traveling through pitsanulok, they called us and told us to meet them at swensens in 15 minutes (a way nice icecream place) and so we got to hangout with them for a while this week. he is such a stud- did he end up sending you any pictures dad?

sister daa, a sister in our branch brought us some snacks the other night at the church. my first time eating anything like a scorpion an earth worms. idk how they trick me into feeling okay about eating nasty stuff like that haha but fortunately i didnt throw up and im alive.   

alright love you guys! great week i hope all is well at home.

much love,

elder chamberlin

More Pictures from Sam this Week