Learn more about what Elder Bundy is teaching in Thailand!

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June 29, 2015

 Elder Bundy and Elder Wright 
visit Buddhist Village 

Elder Bundy wrote,  "Last Monday after e-mailing home, a member drove us an hour out of town to this crazy mountain Buddhist village!  It was a CRAZY beautiful drive!  Just shear cliffs on all sides!  I guess I was getting my reunion drive fix in...Anyway, we made it to what foreigners call the Willy Wonka Wat!...lol....It had this 80 foot statue of 3 white Buddhas sitting on each others laps, an 80 foot crystal spire, and a huge monk tower thing (I don't know what they are called..lol) 
It was sooooo pretty!  We had a bunch of fun and the weather on the mountain was wayyy nice."
 




Elder Bundy is loving every minute of his mission.  He loves the people, the teaching, the food, his bike, the amazing sites he is getting to see.....in other words, everything!  He also reports that they are having some great success in their teaching pool and hope to start baptizing investigators very soon.  All prayers for them would be greatly appreciated.

He wrote, "This week has been a long work fest.  My companion and I have been grinding way hard.  We set some pretty lofty goals and we have just had the mentality that we were not going home if we don't achieve them, (although, we go home no matter what at 9:00 p.m.) lol.....Missionary work is more fun than anything, tho..... We just have a blast every day."

He goes on, "Here in Thailand, it's just an adventure every day!  I meet crazy people, eat crazy stuff, get to teach people the Gospel of Jesus Christ, ride a bike all day, see a guy driving a Lamborghini down the road and then 5 seconds later, here comes some (other) guy on a water buffalo, lol!  It's SO beautiful and the people are just happy, most of the time... unless they are drunken and don't have a house.. they usually aren't very happy at that point..."
Reaction to the onset of the rainy season!

Elder Bundy reported that the rainy season started this week.  It rains at exactly 5:00 p.m. every day...HARD and for a LONG time.....but he says, "it's fun riding in it and nice to have it cool down.."

His shirt after a long day of riding in the rain.

Next Monday, Elder Bundy and Elder Wright have an OFFICIAL appointment to ride real live elephants.  They are super excited!  He wrote, "I'm way pumped!..... I've done some asking around and apparently you can ride more than just elephants here.......There are WATS spread throughout Thailand that have crazy stuff you can ride......there's one in the north that trains Ostriches, and if you talk them into it, they let you ride them......Somewhere in the east they have RHINOS!!!  The one I'm most excited for though, is in the south where there is a Wat on a super high mountain that trains tigers!  There are supposed to be like 30 tigers that just wander the halls of the WAT freely.  I KNOW people don't ride them.....way to dangerous, but, can you imagine?  How many people in this world have ridden a tiger... If I could ride one, I'd be straight up He-Man." lol
One handed handstand taken in the Church....that's the taser in my other hand

Elder Bundy had his first experience with someone attempting to rob them.  He wrote, "Somebody tried to rob us this week, lol....I shouldn't laugh, but.... It was about 8:50 in the evening.  We were headed home when we stopped at a stoplight.  This little Thai man popped out from behind the corner with a big 'ole knife strapped to his belt.  He walked out in front of us........I was behind Elder Wright and the guy with the knife didn't see me at all......He stopped us and commanded us to tell him where we were going, so we stopped......I stood up and started responding back to him....(He was a good foot and a half shorter than Elder Bundy).......when I stood up, he looked really worried and we told him to get lost, and he did...lol"  


June 22, 2015



Elder Bundy says goodbye to 
President and Sister Senior 

Elder Bundy had a good week!  This past Wednesday and Thursday,  he and his companion went up to Chaing Mai for zone conference with President Senior.  (A Zone Conference is where all the Elders and Sisters in a certain area called a 'zone' come together to get instruction from the Mission President.) Chaing mai is in the northern mountains of Thailand.   And Plok, where Elder Bundy is currently serving, is located in almost the dead center of the country. On Wednesday, they hopped on a bus for a 6 hour ride through dense jungle and rice fields.   The view was CRAZY awesome. Elder Bundy wrote, "Zone Conference was super awesome! President Senior will probably be the next apostle or something, he so knowledgeable and just a great guy, but sadly that was the last time we'll get to see him.........President Johnson comes here in the next couple weeks.   I'm sure he'll be a boss as well......We stayed the night in a REALLY nice hotel and in the morning they had breakfast!!!! FRENCH TOAST!!!! They had FRENCH TOAST!! I literally ate a loaf of bread! It was amazing.....but it made me pretty sick lol.... Thais don't eat bread, like ever and it's nowhere to be found here, so when I ate a bunch after not having it, it was interesting.."

Elder Bundy wrote about the night bus ride they took back to Plok.  He was SO excited because at the bus station they saw a MEXICAN restaurant, and he wrote, "I lost my mind!! It was pretty much the BEST day ever..I miss Magueys in Cameron! lol......I bought 2 tacos for like 180 baht, which is about 5 dollars US.  That is like what I usually spend in 2 days...lol" 

Elder Bundy with a big 'cheesy' grin.  He's on a duk duk going to catch the bus

Elder Bundy told about an unusual experience he had with a street contact on the way back to the bus station.  He wrote, "I saw this OLD man sitting on the corner.........I had to take two double takes because he was wearing what looked like this Majestic Flowing Robe, made completely of TIGER......I was very confused........he was also wielding this crazy staff!  It had spikes and diamonds coming out of it.......so of course i had to go and talk to the guy.......I asked him if he was some kind of monk, and he said he was a 'scc ruslii'...........I was like what the heck is that?  He said he was called of the spirits to protect the forest.........I was like, 'alright, this guy is either really legit or crazy.'   So I told him good luck with that bro and asked him if he wanted to go to church........then I slowly backed away and left.......LITERALLY 5 Seconds later, I looked back and he was gone!......So, I asked one of the members what a scc ruslii was and they told me it was a wizard who just lives in the forest, does crazy magic and can control animals and stuff....."  Elder Bundy went on to say that the members told him it is super hard to see one, because they NEVER come out of the forest.  When they do, people don't usually talk to them because they are extremely afraid of them. He added, "So....that was crazy!"


To add to some pretty great experiences this week Elder Bundy told us about an 11 year old investigator, Sister Gartoon who is planning to get baptized this week.   It is clear that he truly loves this little girl!  He wrote, "She acts, looks and talks JUST like our Eliza Roxy! It's CRAZY......I'll make sure to get you the pictures next week.........her grandma is a member just recently, but her parents meet with us but (they) just don't progress!  It's really sad, but (little) Sister Gartoon is amazing.......she has an awesome little testimony and she always tries to help us teach her parents......"



Those are a whole lot of prick peppers in a little bowl of soup!

Elder Wright and Elder Bundy report that they have surpassed all Thai people in being able to down spicy food!  Their training in pounding straight prick peppers daily has really paid off.  Elder Bundy writes, "at this point, there's no food that's really spicy anymore....lol..."



Elder Bundy wrote, "WE ATE CROCODILE FOR SUNDAY DINNER... it was DISGUSTING!!.. That's all I'll say about that...."




Elder Bundy decided to switch things up.  He's been practicing doing this instead of doing a handstand this week

Elder Bundy had his first dog scare!!  He wrote, "I was almost eaten by dogs!......Yesterday we were coming home from a home visit.  In the alley, Elder Wright rode ahead a little bit......a Pack of HUGE Bear looking dog creatures jumped out and started chasing him!  He out rode them, barely......then they turned around and stared right into my soul!.....So I promptly turned my bike around!  I kept thinking, I'm not dealing with that!   But then all of the sudden, two more came up the back side!!  I was being cornered by these large creatures.......I was legitimately scared a little bit....lol....So, I just built up as much speed as possible and rode straight at one of those things!........I got within 10 feet of that thing before it sidestepped my bike!.....lol.....after that, those creature dogs all joined in this crazy chase!  We biked as hard as we could, but they kept up!..........So........we rode into the highway and hoped they'd get hit....lol.....we finally lost them..."

June 15, 2015


video
Elder Bundy riding the streets of Plok

Elder Bundy reported that he had a great week in Thailand this week.  He has been very busy and feels like he is finally getting use to the climate, the culture, chop sticks, the food and all the other new things he is experiencing on his mission.

 Elder Wright and Elder Bundy have been practicing eating spicy foods by eating a "prick" pepper everyday.  Their practicing has paid off as even though it hurts pretty bad at first, their tolerance level has increased exponentially
  
Here's what Elder Bundy has been up to this week:

Tracting and teaching?

The Bangkok Thailand Mission standard is to tract at least two hours everyday, usually right after our studies in the middle of the day.   Elder Bundy and his companion go finding, which means just talking to everyone and anyone who will listen.  The culture in Thailand is almost nothing like America.  Missionaries stand in front of people, motorcycles, run with people, anything to get people's attention and just start teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Basically, Elder Bundy said, "we do anything we can to get people to stop and listen.  Most of the time we just start yelling in crowds things like, 'who wants their sins cleansed?',  'who wants to be forgiven of their sins,'  'who wants to be with their family forever?'  Elder wright and I will get close to 20 numbers everyday.  It's pretty fun..."

Wash machine problems.

Elder Bundy said they are still without a washing machine!!  He added, "and we can't get a hold of our landlord, so we've been hand washing all of our clothes this past week...  :(  It's not very fun.."

Best experiences Elder Bundy had this week?

Elder Bundy and Elder Write go regularly to a backwoods neighborhood to teach investigators.  When they went there this past week, there were kids in the street playing soccer.  Elder Bundy hopped off of his bike and started playing with them.  He was amazed at how good they were.  The kids all looked to be about 6 years old.  He was shocked when he asked them how old they were and they told him they were all 12 and 13.  Elder Bundy added, "the kids here just don’t develop the same as in the states.  They just don't have good water, and malnutrition is everywhere. It’s pretty sad..." Elder Bundy really enjoyed playing street soccer with them this week and will send a video next week if he can.  He added,  "......we’re like celebrities in that neighborhood tho... we teach 3 people in it and a guy from there is carving an elephant statue for Elder Wright.....We play with the kids whenever we are there.......it’s hilarious, they chant our names when we roll in and make us feel really special."
This is Elder Bundy teaching a Yay, (grandma), in her house. This is a typical house here.  Elder Bundy said that they keep them as clean as they can, but they are filled with creatures.  They can't really keep them out.

This past week Elder Bundy and Elder Wright were going to baptize the 86 year old woman he told us about last week.   But when she arrived at church this week, she was super weak.  Elder Bundy writes, "She asked us for another (priesthood) blessing and after the blessing, we just felt like we had better wait a week, or maybe two." 

After they gave the blessing, they went into the kitchen at the church where a 17 year old member was preparing food for everyone.  Elder Bundy noticed that the girl's nose just started bleeding.  Her mom started explaining that her daughter has a low blood platelet count or something.  She explained that the bleeding probably would not stop.  Elder Bundy wrote, "then out of the blue, randomly... she started bleeding out of her eyes!!  It was the weirdest thing I have ever seen!  She just started crying tears of blood......Elder Wright and I immediately gave her a blessing and the bleeding immediately stopped....all of it stopped... thank goodness for the Priesthood!"

When does the new Mission President take over?  Did the Elders in Plok get to attend the meeting where they formed the stake in Ubon?

Elder Bundy believes the new Mission President takes over the first week of July, but he is unsure.   The new stake in Ubon is up and running.  He added, "it's way cool... and no, Wright and I are the only Elders in like a 500 mile radius, so we had to stay here in Plok." 

Sleep?

Elder Bundy answered, "It’s okay, we have an AC unit in our bedroom, but it's usually about 99 degrees when we come home, so, it takes a while for it to cool down.  But for the first week, I was sooooo tired by the end of the day, like in planning I was passing out."

How close is he to Bangkok and the mission home?

It is about a 6+ hour bus ride from PLOK to Bangkok.

Did the wart on his hand ever fall off?

Elder Bundy wrote, "Yes! That thing was gone the second week in the MTC... Funny story... Elder Lor, accidentally on purpose spilled consecrated oil on my hand.  The next day it was gone.... SO we always had a good laugh about that, lol." 

Riding elephants?

Elder Bundy has not yet been able to ride an elephant, but says that he is definitely going to get to ride them next week.  So watch for those pictures.

Where do they write their letters home?  Is it like an internet cafĂ© in the states?  A lot of things in Thailand are cheap, but how about cameras, phones, etc.?

It’s called a ‘gaming house.’  It’s like 50-60 computers lined up for people to play video games on.  It costs them 30 baht for 3 hours use, which is one dollar US.  He added that commercial stuff like IPhones, cameras, etc., are the same price in Thailand as in the states.

What is it like singing the hymns in church?  Has Elder Bundy played the piano for any meetings?  

In Thailand, there is a sister in Elder Bundy's district who can play the piano, and that’s her job, so he hasn't been asked yet.  He added, "The hardest part is just reading the Thai fast enough, I guess.  It’s kinda nice tho, because you don’t have to read the tones."


Elder Bundy's handstand of the week.

This week's handstand is on some train tracks that they cross about 5 times a day every day to reach investigators they are teaching.  The trains come every 5 minutes.....just enough time to get this picture, then get off.




June 8, 2015

Elder Bundy takes time to meditate
This was taken at the Buddhist WAT the Elders went to Sunday.

Elder Bundy reports that he is loving his mission, so far!  He writes, "I am a little tired, getting used to the heat, biking, wearing Sunday clothes everyday all day and finding everything, but Elder Wright is an AWESOME trainer!  And……we are always booked for teaching, which is totally awesome!"  He writes, "that President Senior is seriously the coolest guy ever and he’s leaving next month!   I’m sure President Johnson will be just as good."  Kind of cool that Elder Bundy's Dads mission President’s name was also Johnson.

I asked Elder Bundy to answer some specific questions.  Here is what he wrote:

BEST EXPERIENCE THIS WEEK
The Sister Missionaries in the area have an investigator who is 86 years old!  Her health is not very good at all and lives in the most third world circumstances you can think of.  Elder Bundy has not seen her walk, or do anything for herself.   Her daughter takes care of her.  In order to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, an investigator must attend church at least two times.  For this sister, this requirement seemed impossible.  Elder Bundy writes,  "so, we offered to give her a (priesthood) blessing and she accepted.   Heavenly Father is so great!   The next day, we showed up with a duk duk (a taxi, motorcycle three wheeled thing) and sure enough, she walked out that door unassisted, she hopped on up, sat herself on that duk duk and stayed all 3 hours of church!  It was such a miracle!  It was awesome."
This was taken at the Buddhist WAT they went to on Sunday.  
It's way up on top of a mountain.  

FUN THING WE DID THIS WEEK
Yesterday after church, Elder Bundy and Elder Wright went with the members to this world famous Buddhist WAT.  The members and missionaries go every week and the Monks feed them.  He writes,  "I’ve never seen so much food!  The Buddhist people do service to the poor by feeding them on that day every week, and we go participate."
This was taken at the WAT.  Behind them are flat rice fields for miles, and buffalo too.  Elder Bundy expressed how awesome and helpful the members are there.  This is brother Lucas, Sister Dueyneuy, Brother Fluke, Brother Gap and us at the WAT.

This picture was taken in the WAT on the mountain.  A member, Brother Gap has a truck and drives everyone there.   Elder Bundy wrote, "like I said, it’s on top of a mountain and really nobody else comes and there is mounds of food and they are super nice and inviting."  
Elder Wright and Elder Bundy in front of a SERIOUSLY huge Buddha Statue.

Elder Bundy thinks everything there looks like it came straight out of an Indiana Jones movie!  Everything is all in solid gold and is so surreal.  Again, he commented that the food was pretty unique too, including:  squid, fish eggs, green noodles, chocolate rice and sweet beans.  He added, "It was different but TOTALLY AWESOME"  

Elder Bundy reported that the dragon warrior statues were his favorites!

HANDSTAND OF THE WEEK  
For this week's handstand of the week, Elder Bundy decided to just do it outside of the church in the middle of the street.  It kind of depicts what the streets look like in Thailand.  

BIKING
Elder Bundy writes, "The biking is great, and a little scary all at the same time.... the cars don’t follow any rules here.  I just have to be super forceful and aggressive, like cut cars off and weave in between stuff.  I’m getting kind of use to it tho."  He also stated that it gets so hot that everywhere feels like he is inside the wrestling room during a hard practice.  He added, "We usually eat at least 1 sketchy thing every day.  It just makes you have tccng sia once and you’re good."

P-DAY & SERVICE PROJECTS
They get up and do their morning routine of studying, eating, cleaning, exercising and then go to this gaming place to write their letters home.  It is a big room with about 50 or 60 computers that you pay about $1 US for an hours worth of use.  Elder Bundy writes, "We have to wear missionary clothes at all times unless we do something that we CANNOT do in a white shirt and tie.  A month ago, a couple of Elders wanted to run a 5k in their town on p-day.  President Senior told them if they wanted to do it, they had to 1. Win  2. Hand out pamphlets as they ran, and 3. Wear their white shirts, ties and shorts as they ran lol.  They did it, so it was pretty cool they ended up getting a bunch of people to church from that."  He reports that they haven’t been able to line up any service projects yet, but that they are always asking members for stuff to do.  He adds, "I am like seriously a solid foot taller than ANYONE in this country.  Seriously.  So, Elder Wright advertises my size as a plus to help people out.  So far, no one has taken us up on it."  After they have taken care of all the things they need to like laundry, writing home, etc., they sometimes go to Dairy Queen get huge blizzards for like $.80 cents US!  After 6 o'clock, they fill the evening with teaching appointments.
                          
Elder Wright and Elder Bundy at the Church with some members

CLEANLINESS 
Yes!  They keep their apartment clean the best they can given the circumstances.  Elder Bundy said that the worst things in their little huts are the lizards!  They make bird sounds and keep them up at night.  He said that these lizards are everywhere and in every house.  They also are lucky to have a "laundry machine" in their house, but unfortunately, it stopped working this week.   Elder Bundy actually bought a hammock for 100 baht and now sleeps in it so the lizards and bugs don’t crawl on him in his sleep.  He doesn’t know if that stops them or not.

FINANCES
Elder Bundy wrote, "Everything is really inexpensive here.  I use about 100 baht a day.. that’s like $2.50 US$ and we usually eat off the street and get snacks from 711.  The mission allowance we get is more than enough for our needs."

PACKAGES & MAIL
It takes like 3 or so weeks for packages to get there, and then they sit in the mission home until transfers.  Transfers happen every 6 weeks.  So, anyone who sends anything should not send anything too perishable or fragile.  Send packages to the mission home with Elder Bundy's name on it.  But remember, he has to pay customs on anything he receives, so keep it small.

DIET AND EXERCISE
Elder Bundy writes, "I love the food and I have a pretty diverse diet, so don’t worry about that...."
Elder Bundy seriously loves the food there!  
They get like all they can manage to eat for like 50 cents a meal!  

He added, "I was showing Elder Wright my pictures of you guys and I flipped to my state pictures.  I had this overwhelming sense of urgency that I needed to become more dedicated to working out and getting back into shape."  
Elder Bundy using chopsticks
Elder Bundy writes, "So, it turns out they use chopsticks a lot in Thailand.  The members make fun of how bad I am at using them."