Sunday, June 25, 2017

6-24-17 Bangkok Thailand














Hey Dad!



So this week has been great! My companion and I have been working more together in this week! It's been getting better, but the work is still difficult, as always, trying to get better, trying to get better!



My health is doing great! I've resumed eating cereal for breakfast... my stomach seems fine with the milk now, so it doesn't look like it's going to be a huge problem for me!



Who is the Pouthanvang family? I don't think I've ever met them before. We'll see though. I'm still in Pakkret, Chaengwattana, Nonthaburi area. That's how it goes, but it's still fun! But when will they get here? It will probably be fun if we could meet!



Nothing really interesting happened this week... we've just been going out contacting a lot to help us get our goals for this transfer! It's been a lot of fun teaching, but we're just trying to help our investigators progress and keep going forward! Finally got to meet with one of our investigators who went off the grid for a little bit! She's back now, so we're helping her work out some of her problems. But she has a date for next month, so we'll help her get there! We have another man who we're teaching, but we just need to get him to church...



The ward is doing good! We get fed well here... hahaha. But otherwise, the ward is good. Sometimes, I feel as though we're just on our own out here, proselyting and doing the Lord's work. It's a little bit out there from all of the other areas in this district, but that's ok! We'll keep working hard. Still working on trying to be a more bold missionary, who testifies right on the spot, and also enjoys the work in every aspect of it!



The language is getting a lot better! I'm understanding a good majority of the things I hear, and I feel that I'm able to express my thoughts more clearly, use more analogies, and help our investigators understand more clearly about the Gospel! Truly, the Lord is blessing us, and helping me to grow and communicate with everyone!



One realization that I came to this week was the simple fact that the Book of Mormon is a history. What does that mean for me? It means that Ammon actually did defend a flock of sheep and converted an entire kingdom. He actually knew the thoughts of the heart of King Lamoni. Because he had faith and trusted in the Lord. Nephi, the son of Nephi who was the son of Helaman, in 3 Nephi, actually had angels minister unto him. He preached so boldly that the people who listened to him could not disbelieve on his words. Because he had faith. Even so the Brother of Jared saw the finger of the Lord and then Jesus Christ, in whole, because he had faith. These aren't stories simply intended to help us build faith. These are experiences and accounts of real people, intended to help us build faith. I know for a fact, that the Lord is unchanging, the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever. The Lord is no respecter of persons as well. So the only answer that is left for me, concerning the matter of faith, is that I yet do not have enough faith. There are still miracles in this world, I witness them everyday! But I still can get better. The works of God do not cease, and so now I'm trying to be a better instrument in the hands of the Lord, and build my faith to be even stronger. One day, I might be able to preach so boldly, that no one would be able to disbelieve on my words. It's a work in progress, but it is a good work indeed!



I love the work, this Gospel, this Church, and the fact that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the restored Church of God. I believe that, whole-heartedly. I'm here on the Lord's errand in this wonderful land of Thailand and I know that the Lord will not let us fail.



Love you! Hope everything keeps going good at home! Talk to you soon!


- Elder Collin Decker

6-18-17 Bangkok Thailand


Hey there Dad!



Well this week was pretty rough all in all. That's ok though! Just keep working hard, that's all.



So it was a little harder to send Elder Cherd off than I thought it would be. No crying or anything like that but I feel like I got along with him really well, we worked pretty together, and we were OK with the ideas we both presented. Right now, it's not quite so, but maybe that will work out in a little bit. Just have to wait a little bit, no? But my new companion works differently, so it's going to take a while. Not fun. Lots of stressing. But, the work is good, no matter what this is like!



For transfers we had to wake up at 4:30 to get to the Mission Office at 6. Way early. Still trying to catch up on sleep. No worries though, it should be good! Still working hard, just a little more tired.



Language is going good! I miss having Elder Cherd around and my new companion speaks a lot of English (by habit of course). Not really a problem but I'm still trying to make the transition from thinking in English to thinking in Thai. Really hard. Have to correct myself a lot, but no worries! It's lots of fun! Just going to keep working hard and pray for the Gift of Tongues all the time!



Otherwise yeah, the entire week has followed that feeling. Not much to talk about there. Just some disagreements here and there about little things! We're working hard though!



Just emails for today! Otherwise, not much.



I know that if I keep my focus on the work, everything will work out OK! Jesus Christ understands us and loves us. No one can sink lower than the light of Jesus Christ, as once said by Elder Holland. So, I just have to trust in his will and try to become better and work harder. This is probably going to be a tough one!



Love you lots! Talk to you soon!



- Elder Collin Decker

6-11-17 Bangkok Thailand - Transfers Elder Tuttle


Hey there Dad!



Well it seems like everyone is getting back now, huh? That's just so weird to me. A lot of time has passed since I was home last. Oh well! Just keep working hard, huh?



Right now, things are going well but... just one week off. Tomorrow is transfers! So the verdict is... 



I'm staying for another transfer. I'm just ready to get out there for this next transfer, and get people baptized! I still have a lot of weaknesses and still have a lot to work on, but I know that Heavenly Father chooses to work through the weak and the humble. Just have to remember that Heavenly Father's grace is sufficient for everyone, and will make our weaknesses as strengths.



Before I say who my companion is, I'm just going to say that I am going to miss my companion, Elder Cherdchaiyaphum for sure. It has been a great blessing for me to serve with him in this area, to work together with him and, of course, learn Thai from him as well. I learned a whole ton, for sure! But I learned what it means to work hard, to think through situations and really try to rely upon the Lord, through prayer and the Spirit. I'm going to miss him a ton, but he's got more to do now, and actually take care of his future! (This was his last transfer after all!)



My new companion is Elder Tuttle. I haven't met him yet so I have no idea what he's like but... everyone says he's good! They say he is super tall, and so that will be fun. No more native companion but that's ok. Every companionship is going to be great if we work hard! We'll see how it goes next transfer, but most likely this next transfer will be my last one here. I've been in this area about 2.5 transfers now, but I'm counting it as just about 3 transfers. So, we'll see how that goes! But most likely I'll be moving! However, this month I'll hit my 6 month mark in country. 6 months! Well, that's a long time no? That means I'll have been a missionary for 8 months. It's going by way too quickly, but it's still going well!



Ok. Enough about transfers. This last week was super great! We had a baptism last Saturday for our long awaited investigator... Brother Tiger! He went to church two Sundays ago so he could get baptized on Saturday! This last Sunday following, he received the Holy Ghost, so now he's a member 100%! I thought his testimony was great after the baptism. He said along the lines of: "I'm really happy I got baptized and followed Jesus... I'm happy that I learned with the Elders.... That's it!" Then almost walked off, but then returned to say "in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen" So great! It was a great moment! Also, we had another confirmation last Sunday for Sister Gate who lives about 2 hours away! She even brought her son, so it was a good day!



Yesterday we went to Elder Kannakham's house, who is an Area Seventy here (the only one in Thailand actually) and we got to have our District Meeting there! I loved to see his example, and see how humble he his, and how much love is in his home. He is a great leader and I love seeing his example for everyone!



I know this Church is true. I know that this is God's work on the Earth today and I know that we are just servants to help our Heavenly Father with this great work. I still have a lot of weaknesses, I still need to learn a lot, but we learn, we make mistakes, and we improve. In the language, in our teaching, there always room to improve. But Heavenly Father will bless us and I pray that my companion and I will have enough FIRE to find those people who Heavenly Father has prepared already!



Love you lots! I'll talk to you soon!
--

- Elder Collin Decker

Thailand, Bangkok Mission

Friday, June 9, 2017

6-4-17 Bangkok Thailand









Hey there Dad!



My week has been pretty good. Lots of good work! We had... a BAPTISM yesterday! So good. The only problem is that she lives far away from the church, about 2 hours, so it is a challenge for her to get to church on a weekly basis. No worries though, she has a strong testimony, in my opinion. Hopefully the foundation will be on Jesus Christ, and keep building on our sure foundation. It will be good, for sure.



The weather though? Pretty good! Hot, but it also rains... a lot! I have pictures from day last week, so I'll get that up for you as well! It was pretty bad, and I was drenched. It rained for about 5 hours straight, so that's how it goes!



Sounds like you had fun at the shooting range! Lots of fun! Can everyone defend the family now? Sounds like it! Mom still might have a little bit of trouble... oh well! Should be good.



Turns out my legs are still going strong, jumping is still going good! As well, sprinting is still ok! Distance? Not really that ok, but I'm working on it... hahaha. I do miss volleyball though... Oh well! One day, indeed!



So we went to the Government Center last P-Day and I actually got a lot of information from there! I found out a lot about where Grandma in Thailand died, where she lived, the year she was born, and the current address of my uncle here, I suppose! Cool stuff! Nothing on Grandpa though... I might need to go to a Wat over there, and see what they have. Apparently they keep good records there, so we'll see!



This week, we're going to an Island though! Should be fun! Called Gokret. I have no idea what we'll do there, but it should be fun!



Sounds like things are fun back home! Life here in the mission is good. Just working hard and always progressing! That's what this Gospel is all about. Keep the train, and the fire going! Love you lots! 



- Elder Collin Decker

Friday, May 26, 2017

5-26-17 Bangkok Thailand








Hey hey!



Sounds like a week, no? Sounds like you had a ton of stuff to do! Believe me, you probably know already, that is a blessing in disguise as well. There's nothing more I despise than wasted time. I'm ok with time for travel and stuff like that, but it worries me when I have a little bit of blank space. Usually that gets filled with inviting, but then we have to decide to go somewhere and... it becomes just a tad more stressful than I would prefer. Not really stressful, but not really that sabaay either. The days when we have to jet from appointment to appointment are often the best days for me. Lots of fun, just the feeling that you are on the Lord's errand, and he is helping you.



So, as for this last week, which I didn't get to cover: It was fairly normal. Pretty good and such but then Friday: switch-off day. Well... it was fun to say the least. I went on switch-offs with my companion from the MTC, Elder Pfleuger! My companion, who is the district leader, went with the other companion to their area, so I was working in my area. Needless to say, we went exploring a bit. Not too far, but we then proceeded to encounter a lady with all black teeth (which the older people think is cool). Invited her, but she didn't want to learn, which is fairly common. Went back to teach an older lady that Elder Cherd and I had taught before. Found out her daughter was there (who is like almost 30) and she had been Christian before, but just did Buddhist stuff because of her family! Pretty cool. She's become a pretty solid investigator of ours. She and her mom have a baptismal date now, so that puts us at a potential of 6 people for this transfer... we can do it! Just need to have faith.



Later that day, Elder Cherd had told me "OK, for this investigator, you are going to be the one to get the signature so Brother Tiger can get baptized." Well, I was still on switch-offs, so it really was up to me. Anyways, it was really good! I taught Brother Tiger a little bit, and then went to talk to his grandma, who is the one that really takes care of him. I felt the Spirit work through me so much, because I know that I can't negotiate at all, but the Spirit was working through me for sure. So, it ended up that I got the signature from her! Now, all we need to do is get him to church a little bit more... but that's ok! He's not that old, almost 12, so we'll keep working with him.



Other than that for this week, we had a lesson with an atheist, who believes in science. It's a little hard to teach to people who have beliefs such as that. He questioned our faith a little, which is normal, so I went back home and started studying. In that moment, I felt the Holy Ghost speak to me, and help me to confirm what I knew already, and then added even more to it. I realized that it just isn't possible for me to lose faith. I can think to myself in questions, but to doubt, even after track season, even after weird lessons like that, I came to the realization that I just can't doubt. It doesn't really work that way. So thank you, Mom and Dad, Kaleb and Kai, for helping me have a good like at home where we were raised with faith in our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. To have good examples gave me a solid foundation, and gave me a good seed, which has now taken root strongly in my spirit.



By the way a general authority is coming to visit Thailand today so that should be fun!



I know without a shadow of a doubt that Heavenly Father is real. He watches over us, and he loves us. Jesus Christ lives. This is his true church. Just read the Book of Mormon if you ever have doubts, for the book leads us to faith. This is God's church, and I am in his vineyard. The work is great, the language is great, the country is great and God's love is great, as well as real.



Love you! Don't get too stressed Dad! Kaleb's home, he'll help with all of that!



- Elder Collin Decker

Monday, May 15, 2017

5-14-17 Bangkok Thailand






Hey hey!



Even though we skyped, I thought I would send another email for today! It will great though, seeing you guys and skyping! Lifted my spirits for sure! 



The performance sounded great! I'm glad to hear that it is doing well! I hope that everyone over there is doing great. Sounded fun too!



The weather here is bipolar as well! Rain and sun, sometimes both! Thunderstorms as well!



My companion is doing great! We had a rough week as far as the work goes, but it's good! We're trying hard, so I hope the Lord will bless us for our work!



Hope everything is still going well back home! I love you lots Dad! Keep it going strong!



- Elder Collin Decker

Sunday, May 14, 2017

5-7-17 Bangkok Thailand










Hey Dad!
So this week has been a little weird huh? With the email in the middle of the week last week it was a little different, but that's ok. It's been a good week for me though!
The lightning was cool! Made some cool sounds as well. Elder Cherd told me that thunderstorms aren't all that uncommon here. Sounds like it should be fun! Rainy season is just about here, no matter if it is hot or not, so we will get some periodic rainstorms here and there. Should be lots of fun!
I was sitting there just the other day, thinking to myself "Wow, Kaleb is going to be home soon. Isn't that weird?" In reality, I was only thinking about this because I found out the other day that my companion, Elder Cherdchaiyaphum เชิดชัยภูมิ is actually on his last transfer. He's going to จบ here. Weird huh? So, it looks like I'll be here for another little while, probably this transfer and next transfer as well. So, in another 6 weeks, you can probably say I'm going to stay here, which will be good. I'm glad to help, wherever I am. But I've learned a lot in the short time that he's been here. It sure has been lots of fun! I can just speak in Thai all the time, and at times, don't really have to speak in English, at all. Think in Thai, speak in Thai, try and improve my accent, and the whole bit. Lots of fun!
Funny story though. The day of transfers, Elder Bastian had to leave way early in the morning, about 4 or so in the morning, and the other companionship in the ward met us at our house here in Pakkret. So Elder Bastian and Elder Knudsen headed down to the office with each other while Elder Whitaker and I just slept until our new companions arrived. Well, as it turns out, the Sisters from our district had told my companion to go to Central Plaza at Chaengwattana (which is a mall) because they didn't know how to get to our apartment. So, Elder Whitaker's companion makes it safe (who happens to be Elder Pflueger, my MTC companion), and we go to Central, which is also right across the street from their apartment. Convenient as well. So, I go with them to go and try to retrieve my companion because he would be waiting there, probably, on the street or some odd like that. Well, it turns out that he had talked with Elder Bastian before leaving, so he ended up going straight to the apartment. Now I was at Chaengwattana with the other companionship, while my companion was at the condo. This meant there was only one solution: I take a taxi to go over to the apartment. But, by myself. Again. It wasn't bad at all. I pretty much understood 85 percent of what he was saying and the whole bit. Just some words here and there that I didn't understand but understood what he meant. It was good, and I managed to get home by myself (yay!). Then the rest of that day was as normal, proselyte and teach, find some people. It was a lot of fun!
Yesterday, some students from BYU performed in a fireside at the church building, which we had the opportunity to see because we were there all day. Lots to do that day. Teach at the church, help with choir, actually have church, go to the Ward Council Meeting, it was all good fun. And, at the end of it all, we had been there since 9 in the morning until 5:30 in the afternoon, or evening, depending on how you see it. The fireside started at 6, so, what was the logical thing to do? Stay and watch the fireside with one of our investigators, and count it as our Personal Study time, so we don't have to feel bad about going. It was pretty good! They're all here to perform around Thailand and Southeast Asia and the Fireside was good, for all the members, and for us as well. Fun! Speaking of firesides, we are actually going to have one of the Apostles come to Thailand on the 25th of this month, so it should be lots of fun for us! He's going to have a special meeting just for missionaries, and then for members later that day. It's going to be such a cool opportunity! I'm excited for sure.
Right now, the work is great. Lots of people to work with, lots of people we are trying to help. Right now we have 7 people who have a baptismal date. It's going to be hard work, but we're going to help them reach their goal for sure! Just need to work hard with them.
The Lord helps every one of his servants for sure. He loves everyone, every single sheep, every single child of God. I just pray, always, that I, and the other missionaries who are around me, can be effective instruments in the hand of the Lord, and try to follow his will always, and overcome the world. It seems like I have had to overcome a lot while I have been here on my mission. Fears, lack of skill, language, a whole lot! But, I know the Lord guides us, and we just have to have the humility to accept his will, be exactly obedient, and we will have everything we need, and help those around us.
Love you lots! I love the country, the work, the language, and the people! This is definitely the true church, and this is God's truth on the Earth. Talk to you soon!
- Elder Collin Decker

4-30-17 Bangkok Thailand

















Hey there Dad!
So I heard you're at a Jazz Band Concert right now. No worries. I'll make this one longer so that you don't miss out on anything.
So this week is the week of... Transfers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But what does that entail?
Well for Elder Decker in the Pakkret Area, he will be...........
Staying.
Yep yep, no suprise for that one. But what about for my companion, Elder Bastian?
The verdict is...
Moving out, whitewashing into another area called Minburi. Should be fun for him! His new district will be 8 people over there, where he'll be District Leader again.
So what does that mean for me? I'll be getting a new companion! I'm sad that Elder Bastian is leaving though. Having someone else from Washington is a ton of fun, especially when you can make fun of different cities from Washington and the schools thereof. But I learned a lot of from him, especially because he is my 2nd/3rd trainer here in Thailand! I've definitely improved a lot in many things that I do here. Hopefully I can carry it on, keep the fire going!
Now for my new companion. My new companion is going to be my Zone Leader from my very first transfer in country: Elder Chudchaiyaphum. It's easier to spell in Thai, but right now I can't remember it... but he is a Khon Thai! I'm super excited, to be honest. We'll be helping each other a lot, though probably me moreso than him. I'll be able to ask a lot of questions though! The funniest part about this is that Elder Bastian called it. Said that this Elder would be coming here to replace him, since Elder Bastian knew he would be transferring out. It will be a good next transfer, I hope!
Now onto other things.
Sounds like you have had a busy week! Lots of fun, a little bit work (or a lot) but all good!
For the missionary work here:
Right now, for this transfer, Elder Bastian and I have worked hard to get it set up good for the next transfer. We have a lot of poeple to teach, and a lot of people to help. It will be a busy next transfer, but as far as last this last one transfer, we had four baptisms! It's been a blessing for me to see them change and grow as they have learned more.
More personally, I feel that I've been blessed in many ways. I feel as though I have grown a lot as far as most aspects of missionary work go. I'm not perfect by any means, but I'm growing, and trying to get better, which is exactly what the Lord asks of us. To grow and keep growing. In Thai too! I feel as though I'm finally able to understand people at most times, so I can better respond to them, and actually set up appointments... but I still have a long ways to go! It is a lot of fun to try to learn a new language, and really try to apply it everyday. The Lord blesses us in so many ways and, the Lord qualifies those he calls (or assigns as well.)
For other business: I'm going to be calling on the 15th in Thailand, meaning the 14th back at home. I will be calling in the morning my time, late evening your time! So just tell me what time would be good, and we can try to work it out. If you don't really have a specific time, I'll probably call about 7:00 P.M. your time. We'll see though! The 15th is also P-Day for me, so we could email after too.
Oh and we had P-Day today because the mission doesn't wanting us wasting proselyting time packing our bags... so they moved it. That's just how it goes. It does at least give us the chance to tell you whats happening before everything changes, or doesn't change!
We work hard! That's it. Work hard, and the Lord will bless us. But I'm super excited to have a native companion next transfer!
We have plans to make this a great transfer, lots of good progressing investigators!
I have about 10 minutes left, then I have to go tackle my busy day (have to go to Bangkok, give a blessing, go to lunch with the district, then teach at 6)
The Lord truly has his hand in every part of this work. The Lord blesses his servants, and his children, all of them. As we strive to be closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus, so they will strive to be closer to us. I love the work, the language, and Thailand! The Lord truly is infinitely merciful, and loves us all.
Talk to you soon! Love you lots, and keep the fire going strong!
- Elder Collin Decker

Saturday, April 29, 2017

4-23-17 Bangkok Thailand

Hey Dad!

 Transfers are actually next week on Thursday. We find out on Tuesday if someone leaves. Chances are... he's going to leave and I'm going to stay. The only reason being that he has been here for four transfers and President Johnson apparently said "Wow you've been there forever! You can expect a change of scenery next transfer." Something like that. So needless to say, he's probably moving. As far as who might be coming in? I have no idea. I feel as though my first trainer, Elder Bjarnson is also going to move into this Zone, or just to Bangkok because he has been in Sakon Nakorn about 4 transfers. Could he come here? Maybe! I would be fun for sure, and really weird, but it would be fun! Every transfer has its surprises. There are lots of people probably going to move around this transfer. The other possibility is if they whitewash us out, meaning we both go... I don't think that's going to happen, but the ways of the Lord are not the ways of man, for sure!

As far as the bike situation goes, I have no idea only because it is about an hour away in Asoke! So I can't really check... Speaking of Asoke, the Zone Leaders are apparently going over to the Mission Office today so I asked them to check to see if my package has arrived at the Mission Office yet. You did send it to there right? That should be the only address you have, and it should get there if all goes well. If not, well... We'll see!

On the topic of speaking Thai: Its going good! I'm understanding a lot more, and trying to improve constantly! My number one problem, not only speaking but in life is: nerves. Nerves throw a lot out the window for me. Be it track, not so much Cross Country, playing trumpet or speaking Thai, nerves get me way bad. I don't let it show too bad, but the effect is present for sure. I definitely speak too fast when I am nervous. So, it's a work in progress, but it always goes well if I try to speak slowly and clearly, accent or not. Otherwise, I think it's going fine! Always getting better. Right now I have a lot of words written down, but not a ton memorized... But if I try a little harder, I'll get there. 

We had a baptism yesterday! One of our Recent Converts (RC), Sister Rin, has been pretty much baptizing her whole family. She was the first one to get baptized in her family. Then her brother-in-law, Brother จี้ (Gee) and then his daughter, Sister Rin's niece, Sister Alisa. But yesterday, it was her Dad who got baptized, Brother ประกอบ. Basically she and her entire family were crying (mostly those who were members already). She works hard, and tries hard to help us, and her family! She has been a big help for sure!

So, this Friday, we had an interesting story. As you know, 98% of people here are Buddhist, or so. The next largest is Christians, then Muslims, mostly around Bangkok. But then you have the subdivisions of Christianity, such as Jehovah's Witnesses.With that as a backdrop, I'll continue. We were contacting in a market over by the government complex called the Ministry of Public Health. That place is particularly good because government workers don't need to work on the weekends. We go there fairly often, but it is only open on Friday Mornings, so off we went. Well, only 10 minutes in, we have a man beckon us over. So we go. He sits us down, and tells us in Thai, that he is Jehovah. However, in Thai, that could mean that he is a Jehovah's Witness, which wouldn't be the best because some people do like to Bible Bash here. Well 5 minutes later, he tells us he knows all the scriptures because he says he is Jehovah. Well. Needless to say apparently we met Jesus at the Friday Market... He then went on to say something along the lines of how all religious are just part of one, and that Buddhism and Christianity are actually the same. He also said that Mormons are the most correct church on the Earth... just not 100% correct. So, I guess that's ok? It was funny though. The member who went along with us was very confused though, so we then went back, sat down, and explained the things we do need to worry about and how everything else will just fall into place. Funny though!

Last Wednesday we also went to a soccer game! It was a lot of fun. Apparently the team here in this area, called Mueang Thong, is the best team in Thailand, so it was fun to watch them play. We also got some souvenirs, a nice exercise shirt, and a cool scarf. That was a lot of fun! I have pictures too, so it will be good. All in all the experience was about 700 Baht, or... 20 Dollars. In reality, the tickets were less than 10 dollars per person, so rest went to souvenirs! So things in Thailand can be pretty cheap. Just getting here is expensive!

Life here is normal! The country does a good job at cleaning up! They made it seem like it didn't even happen... Super weird! It also becomes illegal to shoot squirt guns after SongKran so no worries there either. People are pretty respectable about those things.

All right, that's it from me! Love you tons! I know I'm on the Lord's errand and if we give our best effort, the Lord will not let us fail!

- Elder Collin Decker

Monday, April 17, 2017

4-17-17 Bangkok Thailand
















Hey Dad!

Wow, go Kai! Now just jump farther. Hahaha. Something about Davis, but, hopefully he continue as he keeps training this season. Make sure he eats right too! Not too much, just enough to keep it good. He's going great! Though, that snow looked pretty sketchy as far as driving goes but... seems like you made it back ok! I have forgotten what snow is at this point.

So this week is actually Songkran. Actually today we will be going to that so... it should be fun! Big water fight and the whole bit. Some places are kind of crazy. Hopefully we won't be going to any of those, but we plan to go somethwere pretty safe.

Have pictures from getting caught out in a thunderstorm! It got pretty dark, heavy rain, loud crashes and the whole bit! No bolts but definitely some solid flashes. It was a great day because we had switch-offs that day! Lots of fun,lots of contacting... but it's all good!
Had Zone Conference this week! So much I learned and so much I can improve on, its so great to go! Progression is something that had always inspired me. When left to my own devices, I can improve but sometimes I don't always focus on all the most effective ways to improve. Zone Conference helps me improve that so it is always an exciting prospect to go to Zone Conference, also because we get to see and hear from President Johnson!

Got to watch Conference! There were so many talks that I liked. When I bring my study journal next Monday, I'll let you know what was my favorite talk from the session, there were just too many good ones from here! I did appreciate the words of President Monson, exhorting us to read the Book of Mormon everyday. Indeed, in accordance with the words of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Lord always provides safety for the soul" ("Safety for the Soul" October 2009 Conference). The Book of Mormon is central to our church. If the Book of Mormon is true, then the Restoration is real and this church is the true church of God on the Earth as a result. Heavenly Father will answer our prayers on if this church is true, if we read, ponder, study, and pray. There is no doubt in my mind that it is the Word of God on this Earth and a testament to Jesus Christ. Going off of that, read that talk from Elder Holland! It's a great talk and is a great testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon!
Kaleb will probably know very soon... Scary huh? It doesn't seem all that long ago that I left for the MTC and now I'm in my 3rd transfer in field. Almost 4 months in field, 6 months being a missionary. Scary fast. Still have lots to do, lots to improve on! Day by day, doing all that which the Lord asks of me, and repenting in my weaknesses. That's how we get stronger out here. Always trying to follow the Lord at the first prompting, not the second nor the third. The Lord will guide us in our efforts to further his work.

Love you all! Hopefully all is still well for you! All is well here and the Lord will make sure we have what we need. Talk to you soon!

- Elder Collin Decker