The Brethren

The Brethren

Thursday, November 13, 2014



คิดถึงทุกคนากฯตอนนี้ผมอยู่อุบลราชธานี!!!!!!!สนุกมากกกกกกกกกกกกก! สนุกจะตายยย!! :)

Okay, so I just copy+pasted what I just typed in Thai to Google Translate (which I think many of you will do...) The Google translated result is definitely NOT what I typed in Thai!! 

Again... it's been a while since my last entry.. This entry will be a short one since I've officially made my mind on writing blog entries more often (as I have said about seven times already)

So last week, we had transfer meeting! My third companion, Elder Tamang became a trainer, and moved on to a new area. I got Elder Hinckson, from Orem, UT, as my fourth companion!!! He's been in country for about three months! To say a few words about him, he's waaaay awesome, and we get along so well - for the reasons of wanting to work our hardest, and being consecrated to our Lord!!! It is just so amazing to be serving with him!

Today, I just want to share a few things I jotted down while coming back to my area from transfer meeting in Ubon. (About an eight hour bus ride away)

12:55 A.M. On a train headed from Bangkok to Ubon... Missionaries usually use tour buses for travel, but due to some mishaps, we had no choice but to take the night train.

Let me describe how much I loved this experience. This is what it is like... the "real" Thailand experience. I'm in a rail cart that's well... I've thought of many poetic ways to describe this.. but let's just say that it is straight up old. Probably post-World War II era... In front of me, lays a grandpa on the floor snoring so peacefully. He's missing most of his teeth, and the sweat on his face are trickling down into his mouth. People are piled everywhere possible in this rail cart, with most not even caring whether they are in a comfortable position or not. My new companion, Elder Hinckson is out of energy from leaning against a wall for 6 hours in a bumpy train ride. I don't blame him.. it's honestly been a long day. I'm currently positioned myself in a corner, shifting my weight on a structure that used to be a sink. I've been positioned like this for a few hours, and have a good seven more hours to go. This is sooo Thailand! Since we've been on this rail cart, we talked to a lot of people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many people appreciated our message, and we even got a few phone numbers to contact again. In a country where the over-majority is Buddhist, it's always a fun time answering questions, and de-bunking rumors and creative stories about followers of Christ.

"Is this all worth it?" A passenger asked me, as I was sharing with him our purpose as disciples of Christ. He expressed his feelings that this whole missionary program didn't make sense. He pointed out that I'm just a 20-year old boy that should be in college or working. He said, "อันี้มี้ประโยชน์อย่างไง", or "How does this benefit you?" 

I gave it a few seconds... and replied, "มีประโยชน์มาก!!มากกว่าผมจะเข้าใจได้", or "It's definitely worth it. It's worth than what I can understand. Here's my reply, "There is a God. The Almighty God whom is the Father of our spirits.. Thus, our Father in Heaven. He loves His children, and wants everybody to feel His love. I know that He exists, and He has called me to help my brothers and sisters rely, and love God. You asked me if all of this is worth it? I testify to you that it is worth it, probably more than I can understand. I'm here to help change people's lives; including my own." 

The rest of the train ride went smoothly, and we safely arrived in UBON!! I absolutely love being here, and just full of hope for this transfer. It's been a crazy adventure so far in Thailand (can you believe I've been here for more than six months now!?!?) And I know it will only get better!! I love my God, He is a loving being who knows us personally. I love the people of Thailand, and I am so pumped for this transfer to do some serious damage again in UBON!! I love being a missionary! 

Love you all!!

Elder Takeuchi

Have you ever heard of McDelivery?!?
Correlation Meeting
My Mission President and Elder Gong (Area 70)
Our Recent Converts!  
Way awesome Hotel for Mission Conference  
Reunited with my MTC companion! 
Extreme Selfie!  
Teaching Taxi Drivers in Bangkok
Youth of Ubon
Making ลอยกระทง
My ลอยกระทง
ลอยกระทง Festival 
More Lanterns! 

นิด and Ubon Elders
Ubon is Awesome! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

2nd Area- Ubon!

Family, friends, participants of this amazing work, สวัสดีครับ!!

DAAAAAAANG... it's been quite a while since my last blog entry... I feel pretty terrible because I told Tiffany (She's awesome. She runs my blog and Facebook) that I would try to write a blog entry at least once a month.

So as the title says, I am finally in my second area in Thailand!! Here's the rundown of how my mission went so far

Feb. 17, 2014 - Entered Provo MTC
Apr. 23 - Arrived in Bangkok, Thailand. Assigned to serve in Chiang-Rai, the northernmost area in Thailand with my trainer, Elder Calderon (Florida).
Aug. 8 - After spending three months finding/teaching/and baptizing people like crazy together, Elder Calderon was transferred, and became Zone Leader in a different area.
Elder Sugihara (Washington) became my second companion.
Sep. 19 - After spending almost five months in Chiang-Rai, I was transferred to UBON!! with Elder Tamang (Utah), and it's a whitewash transfer!!

*Whitewash transfer = When missionaries are transferred, one usually goes, and the other usually stays to introduce the new missionary to the area. However, sometimes both missionaries of that area are transferred, and two new missionaries enter an area without knowing who the members are, what the area is like, anything... We go in knowing nothing of the area... that is called "whitewashing in".

So before I start talking about how awesome my second area - Ubon is, I just want to take some time to talk about Chiang-Rai.

With all of the faculties that I possess, I can honestly say that I love Chiang-Rai!!
- That's my greenie area!!
- That's where I learned how to speak this crazy Thai language!! (and some Northern too, but that story is for another day)
- That's the place where I learned step by step to become a missionary
- That's where I truly came to know the meaning of "Relying on the Lord"
- I came to believe in miracles in Chiang-Rai
- The members... the recent converts that I had the privilege to teach... I love them beyond explanation..
- They are still in my prayers. I am so excited for those saints who are currently preparing themselves to be missionaries as well. 

I'm grateful for the two awesome companions I had the opportunity to serve with in Chiang-Rai

Elder Calderon (Florida) - 15 weeks!! 12 Baptisms! My trainer, the one that taught me by example what missionary work is all about!! Out of all of the amazing missionaries our mission has, I'm so thankful that Elder Calderon was the one that trained me. His Thai is impeccable... Still one of the best Thai speakers I've heard among missionaries. He showed me the meaning of consecrating ourselves to the Lord. We witnessed some mad miracles together, and had so much fun touring up the north! I will never forget it. 

Elder Sugihara (Washington) 6 weeks!! 1 Baptism! In the mission, there are about 180 missionaries, of whom 4 speaks Japanese. Which are the Mission President himself, Elder Sugi, Elder Jeng, and I. When we have the opportunity, we chat in Japanese with each other. President Senior must have had a pretty good laugh when he received inspiration to place Elder Sugi and I together as companions. Elder Sugi is way awesome. He whipped up gourmet dishes everyday, and we went ham on strengthening the members in Chiang-Rai.

My last day in Chiang-Rai was difficult to bear. I had come to love the area so much! The members, the people on the streets, people at the local market.. no matter if they were members or not, I knew them by name.. and they knew me by name. It was especially painful to exchange farewells to our recent converts whom we have taught and baptized... They are still in my prayers, and I am so excited for the day that I'll see them again after my mission! Our Father in Heaven game me the wonderful opportunity to witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ change their lives for the better, forever. They will be a source of energy to uplift me for the rest of my life. 

SO, UBON!! Man... where do I even start... Ubon!! one of the biggest cities in the east side of Thailand. Everybody speaks Thai, but their first language is the "eastern dialect", which is close to Laotian. So... I'm currently learning that as well. On top of Thai... now it's time for me to learn the eastern dialect... Starting this transfer, I became companions with Elder Tamang, who only became a missionary two months before I entered the field! Usually... both of us would be paired with a companion that is much older in the mission... so there must have been a really special reason why the two of us (Reminder.. we're still young in the mission. We don't speak amazing Thai.) became companions, and whitewashed into Ubon. 

Actually, I want to take this time to talk about my new comp and District a bit. Elder Tamang - from Alpine, Utah. He's not the typican Utahn though... He's half Nepalese, half Caucasian. His height is 6'3, so very easy to spot among Thai people. Overall, he loves the work, he knows his purpose, and likes work hard! He's awesome!! Oh, and in Ubon, we have so many missionaries! There are 4 companionship, or 8 missionaries serving in one branch, one city! In the Ubon branch, we have the Zone Leaders, Ubon Elders 1(District Leader), Ubon Elders 2(Elder Tamang and I), and the Sister Missionaries! These four companionship make the Ubon District! 

It's been almost three weeks since we came here, and we've already been blessed so much. Heavenly Father led us to those people who were ready... Ready to hear the Gospel, and be baptized. Yesterday, 10 people were baptized from our district... of them, 4 were from our companionship!! Elder Tamang and I were surprised ourselves that we are witnessing miracles after miracles. 

I love it here. I honestly love being a missionary! In our weekly emails to the Mission President, I wrote something like... "President, my first week here was a little bit hard because I just missed Chiang-Rai so much. But, I already love the people here in Ubon. All I want to do now is to stay here, and continue the work of Salvation!! I absolutely love it."

I love you all. Much Mahalos!!

Elder Takeuchi

I will now bombard you will two months worth of photos. 

Ubon is beautiful
what happens when it rains
Lion Statue