Udon Lantern Festival Week - November 30, 2015

Hey family<3

This week was awful

hahaha gotchya it was actually way great as usual. At the beginning of the week, we had a special visit from president johnson, and he wanted to show up for district meeting. he said something to the effect of "i wanna see you in action" haha so there were high expectations for a way good district meeting this week. i was a little stressed about that the night before, BUT it turned out to be the best pump-up, spirit-filled district meeting i've seen so i was way stoked to start the week off with that. we had interviews with pres. johnson, who is just such a great guy. i loved working with him in asoke, what seems like yesterday but i guess it was close to 4 months ago now that i left the office. It was fun having president here, and that day also just so happened to be the lantern festival. The purpose is to say sorry to the River Goddess or something like that, for all the dirty stuff that gets put into it. and so they light these little floating things and float them off into lakes and rivers all over thailand, and some places they light them off into the air. it was fun having that, but the better part was the insane amount of people that gather at the Nong Pracag lake here in Udon, so the inviting was very prime. i wanted to get permission from pres to stay out all night inviting because it was so good- 

miracle- our investigator Mac. turns out he got a job and he is living like 2 hours outside of the city, but he made it to church on sunday, and told he that he still wants to get baptized next week, even though we hadnt been able to contact him for like 4 days. he got a new job and is way busy which is a good thing. but it is sweet to see his faith as he still makes the sacrifice to come to church and partake of the sacrament. so he is way good.

we had lots of cool finding miracles go down as well- one that i love was early in the week when we were going out to visit a returning LA, we get lost, and one thing leads to another and we meet this lady who said she was down to meet with us again. at first, she didnt seem that golden, but we came back and visited her with the boss member, sister Pon, and just had such a good first lesson with her it was awesome. She wants her daughter and her whole family to come to church, and so i was bummed when this sunday they couldnt come because they were harvesting rice, but she said next week fasho- so thats sweet. A way cute little family, with tons of extended family living in that neighborhood, so miracles awaiting. 

One of the sweetest miracles that happened was on sunday. an LA that none of us missionaries recognized, she came to church, and introduced us to this lady and her daughter that she brought to church. i start talking with her and learn of how much God has prepared her (sister Bom) long story short, she already has a powerful testimony of prayer, and she has 5 kids. her husband is from america but is gone most of the year working. she came to church for the first time, loved it, and so we are meeting with her this week to go teach her family, and the LA that brought her wants to be involved in teaching her the gospel. So way excited to see the miracles of this family getting baptized and this awesome sister nang be reconverted to the gospel along the way. such an awesome miracle, words cant describe

well lets see- i got a picture of two investigators, some of the sickest people ever, that i taught in Korat, get baptized. so i was wayyyy stoked to see that- a way great feeling seeing the influence you have even after you leave. i love those guys so much- han, and mild. brother Taw got baptized the other week too- ah so good. 

this week we have a lot going on. the ZLs are crazy busy and have to go down to bangkok for training stuff, so we are teaching some of their people, i have to go over to Gumpawapi for another day this week and do a switch off there, (really i should say i get to beacuase its gonna be way fun), and we have zone conference stuff happening this week as well. another cool miracle from this morning- we went to go do some exploring in gumpawapi today with some of the members (one of which is an RM from temple square, one an RM from thailand, and one who has a call to serve in oakland CA) and we ate dinner with the grandma of the two RMs (there names are Geng, and Gaew which sounds way wierd but their cool thai names and super awesome people i love these guys) and anyways we eat at their grandmas house, and i sit down with the gma after we ate our quick lunch, and i talked to her for a bit, got to know her, and shared a scripture with her randomly. she said she would be happy to have me come again and share more about this message- she even yelled over to one of her daughters that lives with her, that i shared a scripture with her, and how she loved it, and that shes having us, the missionaries, come back on wednesday (when i have the switch off here in gumpawapi) to teach them. After this whole thing happened Gaew told me about how miraculous it was how much her gma's heart opened up, and so shes way excited to come teach her with me. The branch here in gumpawapi is way small, and the 2 missionries serving here just re-opened the area this transfer, and are apart of our district. anyways- it was all way cool, and i guess in summarizing, God is truly preparing people. He loves each of his children and I know that he loves each of us. Theres nothing greater than the joy of bringing the gospel to familes. families are forever ;)

its gonna be another way full week- im stoked for it. i love you guys, and i love being a missionary. i love udon and i love the amazing people i get to meet and serve and work with each day. it makes me think of mosiah 18:21 and then i think 22 as well. let us be knit together in unity and love. i love you family and friends you guys are awesome- strive to makes someone's life better this week. thats where true joy is found! much love from the other side of the world over here in Udon Thani, Thailand. 

Elder Chamberlin<3

Rice Harvesting and Other Pictures

Hey Homies November 22, 2015

Hey! this week was sick, and it was a special surprise as i was sitting in sacrament meeting in the back row yesterday, and got tapped on the shoulder, and when i turned to look back saw the smiling beautiful faces of travis, alexis, and jon and leslie clarke. I love that family so much- and i had no clue they were coming to Udon so that was wayyyy cool- turns out it was travis first area. 

So cool stuff that wend down this week- its rice harvesting season, so we have had a lot of early morning (5am) service projects of going to go harvest rice this week- way fun and surprisingly super tiring. Makes you grateful for indoor jobs and airconditioning. But it was a super fun experience with the crew, im basically professional now. On wednesday when we were harvesting some of the neighbors saw us and thought it was pretty funny to see white people out in the rice fields. so they were crackin up over on the other side of the fence, and elder hancock went over to talk with them and invite them. they handed him a water bottle while filming this whole thing with his phone in the other hand hahaha it was way funny it was like elder hancock was like a zoo animal, as this was all happening haha. it was funny in the moment. but our service projects have brought some nice new investigators and strengthened some relationships with LAs this week which has been way good. Im glad we were physically able to make it through the week though- probhably the most tired i've ever been i literally felt like a zombie almost all week. 

Some great miracles this week- at the beginning of the transfer i challenged us as a district to go out and visit every member in their homes this transfer. And just in this last week with the few visits Hancock and I have made, to those people that come to church, and then go home and we dont see them til next week ( people hancock said they always just kinda overlooked), we have seen such great miracles. with new investigators, new daters, and strengthening these members, it was just a way solid direction to take this last week. One of my last weeks in Korat i remember visiting a way strong member that lived 40min or so out of the city, and he had been a member for 7 years. we had made a dinner appointment with him, and when we got out there he said that they hadnt had the missionaries in their home for over a year. and it was just such an uplifting and exciting visit for them as they loved looking back over old pictures, and talking about their baptism, etc. it made me realize how vital it is that we go into the homes of every member. So ive set a goal to visit every active members home in each area i serve atleast once. a lot of fire has grown in Udon about getting excited about missionary work this last week, so im excited about that. 

We taught some awesome new people this week, both people we met at the mall, and friends/family of members that we visited. I've also been working closely with Elder Kanduns little brother to help him prepare for a mission in a couple months. Theres a ton of potential missionaries coming out of Udon in the next couple months so thats another exciting facet of the work here. I feel like there was just SO much that happened this week, but its like too much to remember, and i honestly dont have much time to sit and think about it. Sorry for the lack of juice in this letter haha, but just know that we're killing it out here and having a lot of fun watching the Lord just pour out blessings here in Udon. 

I love you guys- and I love my #1, Jesus Christ. 

Elder Chamberlin

Pictures and Video leaving Korat

What's Up Udon Baby - November 15, 2015

Alright i don't have much time- but here's the down-lo 

I had an amazing final 3 days in Korat, as Joyem and I went around teaching a lot of our RCs, investigators, and visited our members. It was pretty sad because this was the first time i left an area when all the members knew ahead of time, and so there were lots of little parties and get togethers and what nots. Its crazy how quickly your grow to love the people you serve on your mission and how hard it is to bear that final testimony as you leave them- they really are my family. So a lot of them went to send me and Elder Joyem off on wednesday night- Joyem and I arrived in good old Bangkok at bus station at about 2am and took all our stuff over to the missionaries house over in Jaengwattana, and stayed with them that night/morning. It is way funny going down to transfers with Joyem, because the transfers meeting is held in his home ward building, so its just like coming home for him. We went and got a way tasty waffle breakfast that morning, and then had transfers. It was bitter-sweet seeing my son grow up and move on to a new companion- but there is a lot of exciting stuff happening this transfer. So i got transfered upto Udon, way up in the north-east of thailand, and i'm serving with elder Hancock who just finished his 2 transfer in country. We are in the same house as the ZL's who both happened to be past office elders and theres always a special bond in that so thats pretty sick- espeially elder curtis who we've been praying to be companions one of these days, but staying in the same house is second best. We have 12 people in the district serving over 3 branches so theres a lot of responsability to take on, but getting to know the members these last couple days and a lot on sunday just gets me way excited for this transfer. Its gonna be a short 5 week transfer to finish right before christmas. 

A lot of fun stuff this week here in Udon- but no time sorryyy. I'm excited to take on this new calling her in the beautiful promised land of Udon. The mission is such an adventure full of mystery and excitement, and there is nowehere else i would rather be. My testimony is strengthened as i see the miracles that God is pouring out to his children here. I love you guys- the gospel is so so true :)

love elder chamberlin<3

November 9, 2015

Good morning my good brothers and sisters<3 

The weeks fly by so fast its crazy! We find out today whats going down- if i am staying in korat another transfer or what. I feel like i'm moving but my heart tryna stay so we'll see i guess. We had a way good sunday yesterday. The stake president and one of the counselors from the mission presidency, pres. ampawn, and pres. wisan, came to visit and give some training. 

Sister Neung (one), and her daughter praew (glimmer) got, and then sister muk (pearl)'s friend Bi Mai (New Year) got baptized yesterday. Typical thai nicknames haha but they are all super sick with some solid faith- they all had tons of obstacles to keep them from getting baptized- like down until minutes before the baptism, ahhh but after they got baptized and bore their testimonies it was so happy. Some tears were shed and thats when you know it was good... or really bad haha, but this time it was good. 

English Class was way fun- the sisters were having a hard time controlling all the little kids when they were in a class by themselves so we decided this week to just combine everyone into one large group and i would lead the lesson and it was way fun. It can be pretty stressful when the pressure is on and your expected to make the lesson fun and edifying, help everyone get involved etc. but needless to say i think i have a gift. hahaha- but really it was cool that one of our students that comes regularly, sister Ahw, she went up to north thailand this last week and brought us brought us back ties to thank us- so that was sweet. 

On tuesday we went out to find a members house who drew a little map for us to his house. The map made it look way close, like 10 min bike ride tops, and we start going and keep asking directions and 20 minutes pass, then 30, and we are biking sooo far its ridiculous, through army camps, and through wide open fields, and im thinking where are we at dude we've like biked to a whole nother city. Of course this brother doesn't have a phone, and all we new was the main road he lived off, and that he lived in a two story complex, haha so we finally found the street and were about to give up after searching the street for 5 min to no avail. we make some calls, and no one knows where his house is. right as we are about to head back after this hour+ long adventure, we head back down a road i swear we had ridden before, but this time we saw a complex that could possibly by our guy's. we walk over and he opens the door and yes we finally made it haha, we had a nice 5 min lesson and chat, and then had to start our journey back to the church to get back in time for english class. it was way good that we went out to visit him- and it was good for my legs too there lookin nice and big lately ;)

We went out to visit another member that lives way far out in another little town, his name is brother dam (black), and his family. They said its been over a year since they've had missionaries over, and they were so stoked to have us, and eat with us, and share old picture books and what not, and it was wayyy funny going through some of their history before they were members haha and then pics with the elders that baptized them 7 some years ago, etc. Brother dam had a little personal book of memroies from growing up and it inspired me to take lots of pictures to have good records. his pictures were SWEET aand way classic. yeah im sure i cant explain it to sound cool so ill just leave it at that i guess- we went to visit another family that we serve with all the time but have never went to their house, and that was way fun as well. one of my favorite part of being with the members is learning about their background idk its so exciting to me. one of our RC's mom, was telling us how she fed the american soldiers that were stationed here in Korat during the Vietnam war decades ago- and thats why she speaks pretty good english. This cute 75 yr old lady that was able to speak some english- it was way cool to see haha a pretty rare sight. 

2 of our inv. that are working on giving up smoking are puttin in work. brother T told us a couple days ago- that he doesnt even have the desire to smoke anymore- its been a little over a week, and he said he just feels so free. At first we gave them these mint lozenge things to eat throughout the day if they feel tempted to smoke, and at first he was running thru them way fast, he finished the bag the other day and we had just bought him a new one, and then he told us that he was out but he doesnt want or need anymore. T quit so quickly, and in contrast to a couple other people that we have been teaching that relapse pretty much every day the difference in why is so clear. its all about the Book of Mormon! for real there is so much power in it. the only difference between those who were able to quit and those who still havent is that one group has been reading the book of mormon, and others havent. T told me his favorite scripture right now is 1 nephi 3:15 when nephi says some thing like "as long as the lord liveth, and as long as i live, we will not return back to our father in the wilderness until we have finished the thing the Lord has commanded of us... to get the plates" and T was just like "nephi was such a boss, and such a good example." Anyways long story short- the book of mormon has power to change people- really its jesus christ, but its a super clear that the book of mormon really is a testament of christ. We have seen T's desires change because of it. 

About desires- was my favorite part of the week. Our district meeting on tuesday was all about desires, and then we got trained on thursday and it was all about desires again. i wish i could just relive it all with you because it was so good. but just to give you a little appetizer taste of it. read in D&C 7, all of it, about peter and john the apostles, and what they ask Christ for. verse 8 has Christ's promise to both of them:  "Verily I say unto you, ye shall both have according to your desires, for ye both joy in that which ye have desired." What is it that we desire? I love from that story that Peter has way good desires of serving the Lord for his time here on earth and then speedily going into his kingdom when he has reached a good age. But John "has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men than what he has before done." we talked about Hollands talk "the first and greatest commandment", and another talk by Elder Oaks, that had talked about when we have a vision our desire and ability to act are increased. I dont know if i explained that right, but what im going for is- if my desires are like peters, (comparing my life to my time on my mission in thailand), and i want to work hard while im here, and then speedily head home, and its like my mission is over, well its a good desire that i want to serve him, but we should desire to do more, a greater work than what we have done before. Its helped solidify that vision that our discipleship never ends, and this period of time is just prepping me to be an even better missionary in the states, preparing me for future callings and duties, etc. and with that widened vision of the mission, it gives me a greater ability and motivation to act, and work, and give everything now, because everything i do now effects and prepares me for what is to come. they showed pictures of salmon that are flopping across a slightly flooded road, jumping up mini waterfalls, and cruising up stream, and we talked about how after salmon are born in the river, they swim out to the ocean and grow up, but before the end of their life, they have this embedded desired encoded within them that they NEED to go back home, and thats where they spawn their kids. And they are willing to go through anything, and do whatever it takes to get back home. in conclusion- its time to reevaluate or desires. why? because God grants us according to our desires- whether we desire good or bad or great. And God has never gone back from what he has promised- so thats a pretty sick promise: whatever you desire, its yours. And desires is one of those cool things you can continually change, and improve, so some food for thought. 

Runnin' low on time so yeah- lots of good stuff happening her in Korat and im so grateful for the opportunity to serve here in this part of His vineyard. Christ is our Redeemer and Savior and the church is true. I love you guys<3 

Elder Champ