April 22, 2013

Dear Family,

You asked a lot of questions so I will do my best to answer them. We are in the city of Nong khai so it is sort of like the size of a tourist town. Outside the city is fields and fields of rice and jungle. I actually went on switch offs with the elders in laos this last week because they had to renew their visas, so I went with Elder Wright to visit some members and one of them was way out there in the boonies. It was a fun day and it helped us learn more about the area. The Elders in laos live about 29 kilometers away from us in vientiane. They taught me alot about the church in laos. Right now the government has a decree about what a religion can and cant do, so the church is working towards getting it changed so they can get the church registered in laos. In the mean time, the members are allowed to meet in a private building and worship from 10 to 1 on sunday. The elders can teach during that time and that is it. The rest of the time they teach english, do service projects and getting the church humanitarian aids name out. The first person in Laos was a lady that moved to the states awhile back and then went back and spread the word the best she could. The branch in the capital city has a little over 100 people going to church each week. In Nong khai we have a branch with about 55 going each week. I am learning some laos because everyone speaks it here, but most people speak thai so Im not lost. Animal wise there are alot of bugs and spiders. Rats got into our room last night and kept waking me up. Annoying roasters. and some random elephants that roam the streets with people selling food to people to feed the elephants. They arent huge ones, but they are a good size. Its rained a few times, but rainy season isnt until september. I saw Elder Pyne. He didnt really recognize me, but I told him I knew his brother. My companion is fresh from springville utah. He is a boss and we are going to have a good time together. Songran the thai new year that they celebrate by having huge water fights, symbolizing their thankfulness for the water they received.
I hope that answers some questions.
This last week we tried our best to visit alot of the members here and talking to as many people as we could. Elder Mageno is a good example of following the spirit, and because of his efforts we were able to get an appointment with a couple christian ladies. They may have some interest. We also have been working hard to set up appointments with different potentials this next week in order to get the work moving. We are working alot with less actives as well. It sounds like everything is good at home. I hope you all are happy. I love you and pray for you,
Elder harley
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