Christmas Eve night we got to skype Keyen and it was AWESOME to say the least! He looks great and he seems to be doing really well. I was surprised that none of us cried, besides Sadie haha! The first time we skyped we all pretty much cried, but I think Keyen is really in missionary mode. We got to talk to him for about 3 1/2 hours! President Johnson trusts his missionaries to be responsible for how long they spent online. He Skyped us from a computer lab in his area and his other companions had their own computer as well so they all got to Skype for quite awhile. He of course misses home but he says that he is so busy that he really doesn't have time to think about anything else and it makes the time go by way fast.
Keyen is still in the same area he was last transfer. He said that it's kind of scary because it's a very poor area. And he is still with his companion that he was training and he really likes him too :) So far his favorite place was Bang Kane which is an area in Bangkok. He likes being in the big city and he also had his best teaching and baptism experience there. The members in Thailand are amazing!! There may not be a lot but they are very special people. They LOVE the missionaries.
Keyen's mission president is also a way cool guy. President Johnson, they call him PJ, is probably the most busy mission president ever. First of all the Bangkok, Thailand mission covers the entire county of Thailand plus parts of surrounding countries. So President Johnson is constantly traveling. Even though the numbers of members is growing, he has to act as a stake president a lot of the time for all these members across the county. He's pretty sweet and Keyen has a special relationship with him. He really likes him :) I feel like I know him and I love him for sharing his great knowledge with Keyen.
He told us some really great stories and funny things about other missionaries and spiritual stories about investigators. members etc. He also read us some scriptures in Thai which I though was pretty neat that he can read Thai so well. He is also working on writing Thai, which if you have seen Thai that is pretty crazy!! His Thai language is awesome! I asked him how comfortable he felt speaking Thai and he said "I could live comfortably in Thailand if I needed to." haha! He says he is already planning on going to visit when later in life haha!
So some words of advice from Elder Neal? He said LOVE! Love one another because that is what Jesus said and that is what he wants us to do. To love everyone because that is what sets us apart from other people and that's all that matters. He also said to remember that the Savior is always with us and that he has taken care of everything. There is no need to worry because everything will work out.
Now it's time to brag big time about my brother. Keyen is such a great missionary because he is a great young man. His personality has also made him a greater missionary and person.For those who know Keyen well, he is not like other guys his age. He never has been. Keyen connects well with all kinds of people from all walks of life. He doesn't judge either. He also is very observant and has a great instinct of what is right and wring, true and false. All of those characteristics make up a great missionary as well.
At the end of our skyping we all felt really happy and it wasn't such a heart wrenching experience to say goodbye because we all know that Keyen is happy and he is where he needs to be. Plus he only has about a year left!!! And then before we knew it, he was gone. We will get to skype him again in May and then he will most likely be home in time for next Christmas!! Yay! So I think it's safe say and I think my family would agree, that Keyen is a pretty spectacular missionary and young man. And we couldn't be more proud of him.
Merry Christmas to all of you who are thinking of and supporting Elder Neal. I know he can feel your love so don't forget about him :)
Stay strong Keyen! WE LOVE YOU!!!