Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Okay, so even though we actually have a Pday this week, this will be a little shroter than usual. Tough luck!

So quick update on things: Phuket was way fun. Way busy, so no, there was very little sight seeing. However, after church we made it over to a near by beach for 20 minutes to smell the air (oh MAN i love the smell of the ocean!!!) and took some pics. Fun time. It was very strange to be in such a small branch, but the spirit in that room was AMAZING. It was also fast and testimony meetings which made it extra special. There was 18 people in attendance (which quite frnakly is better than some branches that have missionaries in them) and 4 were from australia, 3 from the philipines, a recent convert/return missionary from the states, and a walk in haha. very good spirit. The Australians were here on vacation and when they considered to themselves Church, they all decided that although they were tired, they needed to make it to church; upon being in the meeting they all expressed deep gratitude that they decided to come. We have 3 investigators down there and we taught each for about an hour. The thai woman named "warm" was a very sincere person. Her boyfriend is a member who lives in Utah and she was introduced to the Church about 8 ish months ago. Shes been to church every time work hasnt come up. She came to chruch too! Wilma is the next one.. she is the mother of one of the members in Phuket, Sister Roma. She is catholic and of course is a believer. She got WAY excited when we talked about Joseph Smith and that he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ (which started to clear up that confusion about God and Jesus being the same person). She didnt make it to church, and seemed way rushed when we went back on Sunday, but she has been reading the Tagolog book of Mormon that we sent her, and praying with her daughter and son in law. Really nice woman. The last is Antonio.. love this guy because i have now taught Nacho Libre on my mission! At one point he told us about his prayers.. he says them "evveery Day!". You cannot even know how much i wanted to respond by saying, "no way.. everything you said, is my favorite thing to do! Every day". Awesome. His daughter is a convert and is now serving a mission in Uruguay. She gets back next year. He seems really proud of her and she writes him every week. Antonio is a really nice man, but there is a language barrier there.. tangents are abundant too. He didnt go to church either.

Here in Pakkret we have Jiab of course.. she accepted a date for the 21 of July.. yay! Shes read to Alma already.. way good. She hasnt been to church lately because of work.. thats a problem. Also right now she is in Khon Gaen taking care of her mother.. her mom needs to have surgery. The Doctor told the family to wait because her blood pressure was too high, but they all insisted. Jiab went ahread and prayed on her own and felt that she should tell her fmaily to shut up and let the doctor do his thing. The Doctor made an apointment to come back in July. So needless to say, Jiab is starting to relaly understand prayer and trsuting the Lord. Her faith has grown a lot since we first met her too. Cool stuff.

Paulo is a very sweet man.. he has autism and loves Church.. period. Hes one of those folks that most people would kinda stay clear of, but honestly he is a way sweet guy. He calls every day to talk so follow up is no problem. Hes scared to death of sin and has read the Book of Mormon twice.. not bad. I was under the impression that he was not allowed to be baptized (just from what people have told me) but President Smith called and said if hes understanding and coming to church like this every week, lets get him baptized. So now we are working again with his family. His dad apparently is opposed to it though. Bummer. Way nice guy.. i love him to death, even if he does call at the most inconvenient of times every day.

Very busy week. Exchanges in Chiang Mai and Ubon.. ill tell you more about Ubon later, .. actually ill tell you now. I felt like i played too much, among other things. Not an area that im most proud of by any means. we baptized a lot but didnt help the branch grow. Member relationships were not the best, and retention and activation was absent. This time while i was there i got to see a lot of the same people that were baptized when i was there, and had left the church shortly after COME BACK. way good turn arounds. Also we taught 2 Less Actives, both of which i knew back when i was there. 1 of them is still very far from the church, and the other one said he would come back. That lesson was very good.. partly because he was humble to our message. Very powerful. We felt prompted to talk about the temples and it immediately hit a sensitive stroke that he responded too very well. He said he misses it all and wants to come back. Way cool.

we are finally in our area and about to go eat lunch with Brother Joy;s family, then go pick up our new suits. We gonna be fly.

We at the top of our game! Working with members really is the key to missionary work. When there is nothing else to do, well yeah we go out and hit the pavement. Either way, its the most important work we can do. Love you guys! Thanks for you constants support. Try to not get trunky ;)

Elder Gudmundsen

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yo sup

Sent May 25:

Well, my group is officially the oldest in the mission! Thats weird! Sent my phiis from the MTC to the airport yesterday... that was fun. I was so dead tired.. but it was cool to see them off.

So i am now looking at my last calendar month left on my mission.. feels weird, but exciting; crazy, but good; nerve-wracking, but fulfilling. Gonna go out with a bang! Our schedule is going to be JAM PACKED til the day i pass out on that plane. Theres no time to be trunky even if i was going to accept it... so much to do, so little time.

For example, we need to find peope who are ready for the gospel! We are trying our best to work with Brother @ but MAN... Satan is such a thorn in my... EAR! Man... something happened that he wont tell us about.. ever since sunday he hasnt been willing to meet and is just coming up with all sorts of different excuses. Its way sad and we know there is a deeper concern that he just wont tell us about. We think it must have been his family.. he brought is niece, Ice, to the church and i bet she went home and talked with her parents, which probably angered them that he was learning about christianity and THEN trying to get their daughter to go too. We are trying are best.. praying a lot. I dont do many things well, but i can certainly pray a lot.

Jiab is doing better.. shes starting to recognize the feelings of the Holy Ghost and is really starting to trust us and share experiences with us. She knows that its true.. period. Just accepting it takes time and being confident in herself and the answer shes received is difficult. She doesnt want to be baptized simply because we want her to.. which is a good sign. But shes showing signs of repentance and faith.. love for others, service, and shes happy. She asked about the other investigator, Rabbit, too. Thats a good sign of charity. We have high confidence that she will be baptized.. she cant really escape it now!

The rest of the week was.. TRANSFERS! Mine, my groups, and most importantly, President and Sister Smith's last one. It was really exciting and mainly because secrets were kept this time. I took video of it so you can see what the best mission in the world looks like in 4 weeks. Kidding..but really. The sister missionaries sang a song for Sister Smith.. that was touching. President Smith gave a very powerful closing testimony if you will.. short and simple: Hes an amazing man. Hes been an incredible example of dedicated service his whole life. He has served 6 missions too... crazy. I love him. His wife, Sister Smith is probably the perfect example of Charity towards all men.. i am convinced that she has a gift unlike any person ive met.. she loves everyone, instantly. Holds no grudges. Period.

I love you all. I am beginning my last transfer (shortened) and it feels great. The work is true. The Gospel is of Jesus Christ himself. And i only have one question (yes, in that accent.. you know the one): Are you happy now? Are you satisfied? Ponder that one for a few weeks and we'll talk more.

Peace and Love

Elder Gudmundsen

PS: Tam and Nog finished the Book of Mormon this week.


Sent May 18:

...are delicious. Just found out that there is a shop downstairs that sells eclairs for 50 baht.. who knew? Delicious

Well it was fun and fantabulously trunky talking to you on monday.. just kidding (but kind of). I enjoyed it.. Josh, you are jacked. Chaz.

Fun week. After i talked to you we went to Khon Gaen and that was a blast. I was with Elder Leyva from my MTC experience and it was the first time we have gotten to work together in the mission field. Its also his second to last week. Hes doing good and hes a great example of faithfulness and hard work.. also hes super ripped.. his 8 pack is kinda ridiculous. Also everyone flirts with him. We went and taught this referral at the university (taught in a library conference room haha) and it went really well. As we began to testify of the Restoration and that we have a loving Heavenly Father, she started to tear up... im not one thats afraid of slience at all, and so we let her cry for a bit and asked her if she could describe what she was felling right now. She couldnt, but she felt like the past few months shes felt really lonely and has felt like no one is ever around to talk to.. good opportunity to help her get addicted to praryer rather than missionaries (cause that happens a lot) and she cried a little more. When she got it together we began to teach about the Godhead and when she heard that they were separate beings she exclaimed a little bit in agreement. Shes had experiences with other churches before and they always tried to drill it in her that God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost were all one person.. but she had a dream not too long ago where she KNEW that that was not true! How cool is that? So basically she got a nice confirmation there and to back it up we got to the Joseph Smith story... she felt like Joseph Smith and when we were about to recite the first vision for her, I asked her to close her eyes and just follow my speech and try and picture it: "I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually untill it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me, i saw two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other, This is my Beloved Son, Hear Him!"....

.....That hit the waterworks.. as she opened her eyes, i held a picture of the first vision that i carry with me everywhere, in front of her. Another confirmation that her dream was both preparation to meeting us, and personal revelation. She cried for a while... I would say those were tears of joy as she started to fight off confusion that has come upon her in the last little while. It was a really good experience and man.. everytime i get to recite the first vision, especially in an atmosphere where its quiet, and nothing is interrupting things, its just pure bliss. We know she got her answer and we committed her to begin to pray out her feelings and her doubts with God; to pray right now for strength and then pray without stopping especially in times where she is not "afflicted" or needing something special. I really hope she continues to progress up there.

The rest of the week was way hectic and crasy...everything just seemed to hit the fan, thrice and fice (thats five times). I wont even get into it, but on the bright and brightest side, we taught Brother @ twice, and 11 thai missionaries came back from the Philipines MTC. They are an extremely fired up group and the coolest thing is that i have worked with every single one of the Elders, minus one. In Don Muang was Elder Dawin (Wisan's son). In Ubon was Brother Ice (Now Elder Wilamas) and then in Buriram was Brother Bom (Elder Saa Nguan Sak). In Asoke there was a Sister named Sophia from Cambodia, and she is now a full time missionary. While here in Pakkret we went up to Chiang Mai and i got on this one brothers back often about being a missionary.. well, he came in too! Its been surreal. I remember President Smith saying earlier in the mission that we couldnt have picked a better time to be a missionary... that statement is true at ALL times. Theres never a better time to be a missionary then RIGHT NOW! Just Nike it. Im almost jealous for some of the new missionaries who get to work with this huge group of thai missionaries, cause thats the future of Thailand.. they are serving right now.

Brother @ is doing fantastic... he loves to talk, but man, everything he says is just so good! Our lessons go over cause he talks so much, but its rarely ever about nothing.. by that i mean he always relates things to the Gospel. Crazy. Hes good, set for baptism and i very confident in the 30th of June. We are constantly asking the questions, "okay, what is going to STOP him from being baptized?".. that may seem like a pessimistic attitude, but hey, we gotta anticipate things that could jeopardize his "salvation and stuff!"... nacho libre moment.

Sister Jiab.. well, we are working with her. We havent seen her since last week and we should see her tonight at a bpatism. Speaking of Baptism, Tam and Noke over in Asoke.. remember them? With their adorable kids? Yeah they both passed for baptism and they are getting baptized tomorrow... Tam asked me to baptize them both.. so im significantly excited for that.

K, Kae nii gaun na jaa! Rag khun ja dai. Im gonna go spend money for you haha. Also cut a new suit. Any suggestions? Too late, bye bye! Love you all! Thank you so much for your support! The Restoration is true.. werd.

Elder Gudmundsen


Sent May 11:

Well, this will be short because we will be talking in like, 2 days anyway. But i just wanted to give an update about current investigators.

Right now we have only a handful of really solid people who are seeking for the truth. A lot of the people we have found in the last few weeks have kinda just slipped through the cracks. However, 4 of our investigators are SOO AWESOME! I love them a ton. The first is still the man we met last week.. his sisters son got caught by the police for doing "something"; i didnt ask what it was. So hes currently comforting his sister and is out of town. It was kind of a double edged sword (that phrase actually exists in thai) because although he was out of town and hadnt told his family about learning the gospel, he told me, "i havent told them that i am going to change and go Christian" ahahha.. So at least we still know where his desires are for the most part. Not sure when he will be back but he said hes had the Book of Mormon in his back since we gave it to him.
The next is a new man that we met and his name is @. Yes, that is the symbol for the word at. He was found at English this week and was just glowing with that "please help me i want to be christian!" look on his face... you know that one dont you? Anyway, last night he asked us very early on in the appointment, "so, ive been wondering what i have to do in order to kind of.. you know, become christian?" hahah, well that couldnt have been an easier seg way into Baptism. Needless to say, he has a baptismal date for the 30th of June. And yes, that is the same day as the first investigator, SuPab, and also the first sunday after im gone. Both intentional and not so intentional. On one hand, the spirit told us that day, and 2 i kinda just dont want to try and get everyone baptized on my LAST week as if its like a celebration or something.. just get em baptized when their ready and im happy! Ill see myself in the picture anyway (or Josh can photoshop me in haha).
The next 2.. oh man! I love you Erika! I feel like you prepared me for people like these 2.. they are both about your age (however they are single) and just kinda have the same personality. I dont know how to describe, but i see you in them! Its really easy to teach them and i feel like they really are my sisters! The first is named Jiab, and the second is rabbit. What was superb was that they both came late to church (i know, your asking yourself "uh, elder gudmundsen what are you stupid, how is that anything close to superb", right? im getting to it!) and as they were waiting outside, they sat next to each other. Then, when they walked in, i watched them sit down together again! They also sat next to each other the following 2 and half hours as well! They looked like best friends, seriously. You know what was way cool? Both of them were wearing the most modest clothing of anyone at church; dresses down to their ankles! Take that immodesty! Ill probably tell you more about them in later emails, or on monday, but i see them both getting baptized soon.

Anyway, ill keep it at this.. oh, by the way, it was zone conference this past week and i got to give my final testimony :( It was nice.. felt weird, but hey, all good things must come to an end, and then be replaced by something else thats epic! We ride north! (I got a nickname from the District here as Aomir from LoTR)

Elder Gudmundsen

PS: Happy Mothers day to everyone in E-N-C 1st! You go girl (S)!

Yo sup dawgs and kittens

Sent May 5:

Hello there. Itsa me, Mario. Not really, but it is Elder Gudmundsen. Did i surprise you? nvm..

Great week so far. Probably one of the most normal weeks ive had being here in the office/pakkret branch. Wednesday was a very enjoyable and productive zone leader council.. super long, and lots of preparation for it. Took a while to get home the night before.. but it went well. It took so much time because its preparing zone leaders for zone conference and then for the following months specialized training too. We also had a group follow up about how the month of april went, in terms of the family history trainings. For the most part the general consensus was that it was great.. really great, but no one has done a thing with it yet. Except for us! We had a family history class on thursday.. booyah! 21 people there too. Not bad for the first one ever in the country. Anyway, the zone leaders were in agreement that the trainings went well and everyone felt the spirit, however now that is passed, the missionaries have forgotten about it. So, everyone is going to follow up more and really get it going. I dunno, personally i think it went really well. It was not perfect by any means, but for the first time? Not bad. They were all investigators (current for the most part) and some were brand new. Starting to realize that the students going to Family History classes will be those from the english class. I think it works nicely because we already spend time and money on passing out flyers for english, which pretty much just serves as our pool for getting people to the family history class; add that on to any other pass-outs we do for family history specifically and you got a good thing going. One thing that i see working well is how this will play in for our key indicators. Those key indicators lead to baptism, and the way we have activities set up at church now, they lead to the sacrament. Tuesday: English with a small spiritual thought... Thursday: Family History with a VERY LARGE spiritual thought and then all that leads them straight back to the church 3 days later. I really see it working well. Now if only everyone can get on the boat here and stop procrastinating!! Just kidding (but really).

Had a nice exchange with Elder Merrill (from my group) and it was way fun. Hes seriously way good at teaching. I really enjoyed it and i think we learned a lot together. Thats almost everyone in my group that ive had a chance to work with.. the only one left is Elder Hess! But hes a district leader else where.. kinda far.

As far as real missionary work (ha) i felt like we made a lot of progress. Weve taught and find a lot these past few weeks, and are trying to get people to stick.. been struggling a little bit. Met a really nice old man (who is 81 and can play the violin like a BOSS) who turned out to be islam. Doesnt actually mean anyting cause hes open to listening, but he loves talking and comparing everything, which just causes mind destruction on a large scale. Last night was an amazing experience.. we were inviting in this neighborhood after dinner and Elder Kambanat made a suggestion to try this one area.. i didnt even realize it until after the fact, but it was exactly like Nephi said; that he was lead not knowing beforehand where he was going. the place we went to wasnt even in our plans, and we found a family. A husband and wife in some of the poorest situations ive seen in a while... very humble, extremely contrite and broken, but not down; happy with what he has. He immediately let us in to talk to him and we could already feel that it was going to be a good experience. He almost instantly started asking questions because heh had a frioend years ago that would always talk about christianity. but never got a godo chance at learning. He sincerely thanked us for coming saying, "ive always wanted to understand more about this Christ being our savior, but ive never had anyone come to tell me what i NEED to do.". Basically "kept from the truth only because he knows not where to find it.". As we started to pray he stopped us and said he needed to put more clothes on (i didnt think much cause we're used to half naked people in towels). After much speaking and listening we found at that he feels like a sinner that needs help.. so we taught a simple lesson about baptism, since there is one today, and committed him to come. We showed him a picture of Christ that made him feel very close to the Savior and wanted to be like him. Hopin he can come today and that work doesnt conflict. Very sweet man, and his wife is actually interested, contrary to our judgement.. she ended up teaching her husband how to pray haha.
For other investigators we have a lot of progressing single women.. i dont know what it is about the world today, but its just impossible to find men! We have Noke, Jiab, and Rabbit, who are all doing fairly well. way busy, but super interested and way motivated and dedicated to understanding the gospel. Just an hour ago i called Rabbit and she picked up saying, "hi! You're calling to ask about how my reading in the Book of Mormon is going, right?"... hahah. Awesome! Follow up is so important.

What else is going on... we went to a crocodile farm today.. that was cool. There was also an elephant break dancing there too. I dont think ive ever seen anything like that. At the same time they had (its raining right now) another one of his friends running around fondling everyone for cash... man, those elephants sure know how to get tips (or steal them depending on how you look at it)!

Thanks for the inspirational messages Dad.. they are super lon---i mean way good :) Personal study this week has been fantastic.. feel like ive learned a lot and it is nice to actually have personal study.. some days it seems like we can never find time, but we made goals and are really working on ways to make being here in the office not such a burden/full of rules being broken. Feels good. Love the work, love the people (love the rain) and i sure hope thats not a hemorrhoid (too much info haha)
Love you!

Elder Gudmundsen


Sent April 28:

It's WAY hot. 43 celsius. Werd. You dig? I think you could use the accumulation of every Elders sweat to fill a swimming pool.. quite frankly i wouldnt be surprised if there wasnt an Elder to go swimming in it after.

Anyway, now that you have a semi vivid image of what my back looks like (delicious?) we can move on! Bee tee dubs, some animal spontaneously combusted in P-Loke (the furance) because the ground was so hot... HAH! Thats crayz. A train in Bangkok (in Don Muang) was derailed becaseue the bars heated and expanded. I dont think anyone was hurt, but i did see the crash.. gnarly. Two people died also. Thats weird. President Smith told us to tell every missionary that they need to drink 2 liters of water every morning before leaving the house. yeah... 2 liters. Im gonna get fat off of water... Elder Kambanat is a hose.. constantly in the bathroom.. we're both small bodies! We cant hold that much! Forget it.

Okay, family history is really starting to pick up coal in order to pick up steam (hahah, its slow alright!). Almost done with all the trainings in District Meetings and so far things have gone great! It feels good to see all the zone leaders being way passionate about it.. especially the ones that werent all for it at the beginning. Everyone is starting to catch the vision! We havent been able to open a class yet, but its happening this coming thursday! Im way stoked. Sister Tem, our new convert in that big family from last month, just received a calling as a Family history specialist! haha yes! Perfect timing. I think the members are a little nervous about it because we are putting a lot of the role on their shoulders (since they can use computers and we cant). We are going to type up a definitive agenda.. it looks good if i do say so myself. We're also worked out some role plays while up in Ubon yesterday.. and then i went out and tried it with Elder Hanni.. worked WAY well actually. The idea is kinda full of stuff, but when we actulaly tried it we felt the spirit. Something about looking at those pedigree charts stops a lot of people that would nromally say "no" say yes. We went and taught an investigator that Elder Chapman and i found in ubon the LAST time i was up there on exchanges. I remember him and remembered that he said "i dont have time" about 15 times in the first five minutes. This time, after showing him my pedigree chart and explaining why we do it, he just stared at it. FInally he said, "....... lemme ask my wife first". Hahah it was a baby step, but a step none the less. After that we went swimming.. jk, but really.. it just dumped on us yestreday.. i was freezing! A tree fell down too. Way crazy wind. Later on i took some pictures of an incredible view on the airplane.. like, crazy stuff.

For all of those investigators that we met last week.. well, its been pretty hard to get them to stick. One, being gone so much is a bummer, and two, they may not be that prepared. But, tonight we will be over by there and will contact a bunch of them.. see if we can get them to get in the path for real.

Sorry this one was way short, but i feel like im gonna pass out.. way tired right now haha. I love you guys, hope all is well in zion. I want to hear some more stories about our family.. what else you got? Especially your side mom.. i know nothing about them! Book of Mormon is true, this work is SO true. I love it.

Elder Gudmundsen

PS: Glad you arent fat anymore haha.. great work Dad


Sent April 21:

Why hello there. Are you all sabaaydeemai? Hope so. I am sabaaydeemaag.

I felt like this week was a much success (yes i just wrote that). This week was the start of the district meetings which trained on this months specialized training, which of course is family history. I gotta say.. the spirit was very strong this week. We sat in on 3 district meetings this week and they all went really well. I think the term "spirit of Elijah" has never really been understood by anyone until this week (myself included). The excitement from the other missionaries about using it finding and teaching was contagious! Elder Gambanat is really excited for it as well, and some may call us big dreamers, but we say, "why not?". This program is going to be bigger than it is.. and the Lord is going to open doors that no one ever has thought possible. I dont know if you know this, but Thai records are absolutlely turrible. They have no records for anyone unless your chinese. On top of that, it hasnt been that long since "last names" were introduced and so when you go back in history there are so many people with the same name, and no one with last names. Side note: interesting that the gospel was restored after thai people got last names. Paw Dee. Anyway we believe that as the members and investigators and missionaries really put a great effort into this program to find thai ancestry lines, the lord wll accept our efforst and open something big. I dont know what, but everyone thinks its impossible to break passed a certain line of ancestry which makes us say, "bring it on. Is there anything too hard for the Lord?". I think me says no. I wont be here for it, but ill certainly hear about it in the future. Elder Gambanat also talked about something kind of amusing.. everytime we talk to people about religion, they say that their ancestors are buddhist. However, if they could do their family history and make it back to Adam and Eve, well.... see where hes going? Just kidding! You're ancestors are not buddhist! Maybe you should change to make them happy haha.
This week we were up in Chiang Mai on exchanges with the zone leaders and Elder Wagstaff and I (yes, the same guy that was in my MTC group) decided to try and use Family History a lot in our inviting and what not. We biked out to a group of flat buildlings (very far.. like, extremely far.. so far) and kinda struck out for an hour or so. Finaly we made it to this room with an older woman and her son sitting and drawing. They were very nice and let us to sit down and cool off. It was obvious from the get go that the son (about 27) was not fully there. He seemd very slow and after a few minutes we could kinda understand that his mind was behind anything done or said by about 10 or 15 seconds. Anyway he asked me if i was chinese and if i was 32 years old.. ouch. I answered no to both and asked him if he was chinese. He answered yes. He said that his father was. We asked them if they had ever done their family history and they sadly said no, but that they had wanted to. Elder Wagstaff got out his pedigree chart and gave it to her... after which, uhh.. i dont think ive felt the spirit this strong on.. ever. Or atleast in a while. She instantly blew up with excitement and grabbed her glasses to read it.. but shes too old so she couldnt see it, so she grabbed her magnifying glass and started reading from start to finish. Elder Wagstaff and i just sat there in amazement at how excited she got. Soon after her daughter came home and after looking confused at the 2 farangs sitting on their couch, proceed to ask her mom what she was looking at... BOOM another one bites the dust! She got even more excited than the mother! She began to explain how she had once done her family chart but lost it and couldnt do it again; Shes always wanted to though. They started telling each other how they wanted to do it and we took the opportunity to invite them to church to meet with a representative who could help them get started again. They very willingly said yes. We askedif we could share a short message about why we do family history work and they looked like pros when they got on their knees to pray, including the handicapped son. After we prayed we testified of the importance of finding out about our kindred dead and how we have sacred places to do ordinances for salvation for them. Now, remember how i said the son was slow? Right after the prayer we very simply said that finding out about our ancestors gives us meaning and connection to the past.. instantly the son exlaimed and did a motion with his hands.. he made the connection with what we were teaching, and although he could not put what he understood just now to words, it was very sweet. He understood that there is a line from him going back of people who have helped him and love him, and he felt the spirit. So did we. It was very powerful. They said that would go to church and start their family history this sunday. So cool right? In a later district meeting (yesterday actually) one of the zone leaders confessed a story about when i told him about family history being taught in specialized training and he kinda made a face like, "really? thats dumb?" scolded him...well, after studying it and using it with a soon to be recent convert who broke down crying upon learning about her ancestors, he was convinced that it was a good time to start using family history. The Spirit of Elijah is real!!!!

In other sweet stuff, our areas is getting build up again.. admist the travel and the plane flights and all the other stuff we have managed to find some new people in our area (even though the assistants may or may not be moving soon). Its been fun. It feels good to fly out to the isan in the morning, teach a distrct meeting in the afternoon, fly back in thea fternoon and make it back in time to go out and invite on the very things we taught. Very fulfilling. Did i tell you i love this work?

Had an interview with President Smith this week.. hes getting interviews out of the way before his last zone conference cause its going to be BUSY. It was a very nice interview and i felt very edified.. normally the interviews feel kinda rushed, but this time around i could see that hes really trying to free up his time so he doesnt look bored or rushed in the interview. It worked. He revealed some interesting stuff and i gotta say.. i felt good. I may tell you later.

Did i tell you that its hot? Well, its way hot outside. We were out in the Isan one day this week and on a Tuk-Tuk.. that wind was not enjoyable.. it was like fire going up your nose without end! So hot! I called a zone leader one day and when he picked up he sounded when upset.. "whats wrong Elder?" "Its... WAY hot outside.. its 107 man!". hahah.. i lawled. Elder Wagstaff sweats like a boss.. 10 mintues after i stopped sweating hes still going! Its good.

K well im done for today. I leave you with an experience from last night.. we taught this guy who was housing a monk for a few nights (fancy that, monks cant stay at a hotel alone..looks bad) and after the lesson, the monk came home. When finding out we were missionaries his immediate response was "all religions just teach us to be good". Now, besides feeling pity for the guy, i thought to myself "what do i sound like when i testify of the Book of Mormon, or the savior?'. Do i sound like that? Do any of us testify of these eternal truths with as much confidence as this monk searching for the truth, but not obtaining it? I came to the conlusion that i can do better. When we testify we gotta sound confident! Not arrogant or prideful, but meek and powerful! Not like this monk with 0 confidence. Dont get me wrong, he was a nice guy, and i cant really blame him.. he doesnt know any better.. hes doing the best with what he has. Review your testimony and then grab it by the horns and release it on someone!... with love :)
This is the work of the savior. I know its true.

Love, Elder Gudmundsen

PS: Who do you know that the missionaries can teach?