Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Ayutthaya Branch

by Elder Sowards

This past Sunday we went to Ayutthayaa-- (highlighted in white above Bangkok)-- our assigned branch about 60 miles away.  We went by taxi, shuttle, and then tuk tuk (small truck taxi). We left at 7 AM and arrived at 9:02 AM (two minutes late).  The meeting speakers consisted of 2 families who just returned from the Hong Kong Temple (1st time), testimonies by Joan and I, and 3 newly assigned young missionaries. The high council speaker took the remaining time. Joan did real well bearing her testimony in Thai. The members there were about 40 in attendance. We received a very warm welcome, and we felt their sincere appreciation.

They made the announcement we will have an apostle and a member of the 70's quorum presidency come to Thailand on May 18-19. What a great opportunity. 

The adult Sunday School lesson was on the law of concentration – I could not understand many of the words. (We never taught the law as missionaries.)  I did better in the Elders quorum lesson.

After church they had a potluck lunch. They do this every week as many people only see each other once a week, some live 30 –50 miles away. Part of the food Joan put on her plate turned out to be a well cooked chicken foot. She didn't eat it, but offered it to an elder, and he happily popped it into his mouth.  

After church we decided to take the train back to Bangkok. This was nothing like the train we rode when the family was here in 2000. This one had no a/c in the station waiting area where we waited and hour and a half, or on the train. It was probably 99˚F and 100% humid – very hot. It took 2 plus hours to get back to Bangkok. But the ride only cost 20 Baht or about 66 cents per person. I am sure we got our money's worth in sweating off pounds.

We will attend the Ayutthaya Branch every Sunday, but it is hard I think to just serve there on Sunday. They have offered to let me drive the mission van. I probably will try, but driving in Bangkok is like driving in the worst city in the US on super steroids. 
I may not survive!


  1. It's amazing what you can do when you have to, like driving the mission van. I bet you will be blessed, but the thought of getting behind the wheel, is probably a bit scarey. Good luck.

  2. I need to change my comment name from Life in Cambodia to Life Back Home! This is Julie