Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Two Rivers and an Ear Doctor by Elder Sowards

May 5-11
Hellfire Pass where WWII POWs were forced to carve railroad passage out
of solid rock.

Another crazy week. Monday I had my ears tested. I have been in denial that my hearing is OK – it isn't. I went to a Thai doctor at the hospital. All doctors have their offices at the hospitals here. After the testing they said my hearing of higher pitched sounds in about half what it should be, but the rest is in the normal range. The doctor said there is no treatment for this and I just must try harder to listen and read lips. That means I must read their lips in English & Thai – not easy. Most Thai women speak softly anyway.

We received news that this coming Saturday and Sunday, Elder Neal Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will come to Thailand. What a great blessing. We knew an apostle was coming, but not who.  As missionaries we will meet with him in a special meeting Sat. morning.

We attended a senior couples conference this week. Part of it was a tour of the museum, graveyard and some spots on the river where the Japanese army force many prisoners of war and Asia natives to build a railroad from Bangkok to Burma. It is where the story Bridge over the RiverKwai takes place.  I had read the book and see the movie but did not realize that about 100,000 prisoners died during the project. About 5000 were British, Australians and Americans. Many died of tropical diseases and starvation. What a waste of lives. The best part of the conference was getting to know all the other couples. Some are assigned in Laos and Myanmar (Burma) and don't come to Bangkok often. One of the couples in Myanmar is Don Hobbs from Mesa (Maricopa Stake.)

We came home from the conference on Sat. After a 5-hour ride, we unpacked, repacked and took a shuttle to Ayutthaya. It was a long day of travel. We had good church meetings. There was no mention of Mother's Day. It is celebrated in June by Thais. A sister did bring Joan a birthday cake (pictured in an earlier post) and the whole branch sang Happy Birthday to her.

We received many answers to our prayers this week. None are huge, but all were answers from a loving Heavenly Father.

Yesterday was Mother's Day and Joan's birthday was today (May 13). We celebrated Mother's Day with a DQ dipped ice cream cone. Today, for her big 60th we went on an evening boat ride around Bangkok, then ate at Tony Roma's (the only one in Thailand). Ted, Rex & Von sent Joan flowers, and when they were delivered it was a real surprise and treat. I tried to find a store that sold German Chocolate cake but with no luck.

Did I mention that it is hot – on Thursday it was 99˚F and about 300% humid.

We were so excited to talk with our our children and their families this week. We love you all.

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