Monday, March 16, 2015

Be Humble and God Will Make You Strong

It's Monday so you know what that means... Elder Neal update! Like last Sunday the family was all sitting around our computers emailing Keyen. His second week went really good! Here is what he had to say about it...

"Well this week was pretty good! This week was my first full week in Thailand and it went good. On Monday we just had a chill out day and went to a market and bought some cool stuff. I bought some Gucci sunglasses and a new shoulder bag! So that was nice! Tuesday was fun because we Taught English class that night. It was way fun teaching English! It felt nice being the one who knows how to speak the language!! Everyone else was confused and not me for once!! We taught a lot of lessons this week! We have been trying to get this Chinese guy to move his baptism date up but he insists on being baptized on the 2nd of June! So we will keep working on him! We have these another two, X and Yamee Who will hopefully be Baptized next month. X needs to get legally married to his wife before he can get baptized. So hopefully that can happen soon! We also taught Beem. We taught her one lesson and committed her to baptism! So that hopefully will work out!! She will probably get baptized next month:) This week was really good and we put up some good numbers. Hopefully the next week will be even more successful!"

Cute Elder Neal! I'm so proud of him! He says he is still homesick but his mission president told him don't feel bad that your still homesick, it means that you love your family and that's not something to be sad about. He said that since it was his P day they were going to go look at some waterfalls, which are probably awesome! He said he would take pictures.
"And if men come unto me I will show them their weakness. 
I love this scripture and it doesn't just apply to missionaries, but to EVERYONE!

He also told us to read Ether 12:27 He said that it helped him a lot this week.
It reads...

I give unto men weakness that they may be humble;
and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me;
for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me,
then will I make make weak things become strong unto them."
Ether 12:27

He said keep sending the love and prayers!! We love you Keyen! Stay strong!
Keyen said him and his comp walked around a market holding this sign it says, "Do you know Jesus Christ?"

Teaching English
Eating "good food" 

Ancient deserted temple 

Keyen's house 
PS I don't know why the fonts and sizing keep changing...

Monday, March 9, 2015

First Update from Thailand

Sunday night was pretty exciting. We started getting emails from Keyen around 10:00 PM our time. Thailand is 13 HRS ahead of us. It was so great! Keyen is doing really well. 
If you watched the videos on the Facebook page you saw that Elder Neal's companion is Elder Cooper. He said Elder Copper is awesome! He is very funny and is from Australia. He really likes him and said that since he is in training he will probably be with Elder Copper for about 12 weeks, which is awesome! 
The area Keyen is in right now is called Kamphaeng Phet. It's a small rural area about 250 miles outside of Bangkok. He said that the house he stays in is really nice and they live 2 other elders. He has air conditioning in his bedroom which is good because he said is extremely hot and humid! 
He said that the Thai people are very fascinated by him because he is white and American ha! 
He said he very busy all day every day, but that he likes it because the days go by fast. 
Here's more of what he wrote all of us about his first week...

Ok everyone my first week has been crazy!! I was in Bangkok for two nights:) The first night i just went to the airport to the hotel and crashed! Then the next day i had to do a bunch of boring stuff like blood work and orientation stuff haha. Then on Thursday i got my companion and my area! I chilled with my Comp in Bangkok for a while then At like 9 o'clock we got on a bus and drove 5 hours to get to our area:) The bus was way nice and i just slept the whole way haha:) The next day my companion and i taught a lesson to some members:) The members here are awesome! They all love the church and they all love us missionaries! There is no such thing as a lazy member in this branch! Its not even a branch yet because its so small! But i really like it here! We do a lot of stuff with the members which is fun. Anyway after we taught the members we went and bought me my bike:) One of the members took us to the bike shop and helped us out! So after i got my bike we went inviting at a market for a while:) Then that night we had sports night with the members:) We played dodge-ball and this game called Zombie which is kind of like that game sharks and minnos:) haha so that was fun:) Then we went out to eat with the members and then called it a night! The day after that we went to do some service:) So this guy Bro. Chaang has a ton of banana farms! so he asked us if we would go with him and help him cut down the bananas:) Hes like 60 years old and hes really funny! Hes the same guy who helped me get my bike:) So we went and cut down some bananas for a couple of hours and it was fun! The we were driving home and Bro. Chaang wanted us to talk to this lady whose husband is a member bur her and her kids aren't. So we went there. When we got there She was trying to build this hut thing so elder cooper and i and some members built it for her! It was way fun! We taught her a lesson after and she said she wants us to teach her again!:) So we have a few investigators and they are all awesome! 1 of then I Yammee and her dad. Yammee is 9 and reminders me of Bella! so i want to get her and her dad so bad!! But its been a crazy week!!

I'm so glad he is doing! He looks happy and seems to really love Thailand already!
Keep the love and support coming for Elder Neal!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Update From Mission President

My parents got a letter from Keyen's mission president, President Senior. He said that Keyen got to Bangkok safely and he stayed in a hotel his first night. They said that there will be a transfer meeting tomorrow where he will get his first assignment and he will still be emailing on Mondays.
He said, "He is in good spirits and is anxious to begin laboring in the Lord's vineyard in Thailand." That gives all of us a lot of comfort. I'm so excited to hear all about his first week there.
Please keep the emails coming and letters would be even better. It's about $1.25 to mail a letter to Thailand, just saying.
We love you Elder Neal!

Keyen and President and Sister Senior

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

He Made It!

Elder Neal left for Thailand Monday morning. We were all so excited to talk to Keyen. He first called us around 6 AM and he was with a group of about 40 other missionaries heading to the airport. They took the Front-runner and TRAX to the airport so he called us while we was on the train.
He sounded different but in a good way. He sounds like a young man instead of my little brother. He said there is about 15 of them heading to Thailand, including a couple sister missionaries. He really likes everyone except for his companion haha. He said they are just "different" but he said he is a good guy just a little bit too up tight. He will be getting a new companion in Thailand that will be his trainer so that will be good. He said that he was very excited to finally get to Thailand, but really nervous because he didn't know what to expect. I know he will be just fine. He can bear his testimony in Thai which was so cool to hear. It blows my mind what he has accomplished in 2 months. It stands as a true testament to me that this church is true.
We got to talk to him till he got to the airport and then once he got through security he called us again. I'd say we got to talk to him for about 2 1/2 hours total. My mom, dad, grandma, Austin, Sadie and I all got to talk to him for a good amount of time. I mostly gave him the sports update and Austin and him talked pretty much about Top Gear. It was such a fun morning, all of us sitting around the phone eating breakfast talking to Keyen.
He boarded his plane around 830 AM and we all gave him a last good bye. I was so sad but proud that he made it through the MTC. His flight went to Portland where they changed planes and then headed to Tokyo. The flight was 11 hrs. My mom and I tracked his flight the whole way there haha. Once he got to Tokyo he had about a 3 hr layover and then headed off to Bangkok and landed at 11:15 PM Bangkok time. His travel time was about 32hrs. Wow!! But he made it!!
Now the real adventure begins and I couldn't be more proud and excited for my brother. I can't wait to hear about all his experiences as he shares Christ's messages to the people of Thailand. My brother has strengthened my testimony by his dedication to the Lord and his children.
I know this church is true. I know Keyen knows it too. I'm so grateful to him and the other thousands of missionaries around the world who will be sharing this truth.
We love you Elder Neal! Be safe and stay strong! Can't wait for what is to come.

Also...Here are some pictures of his teachers and other missionaries in his district.