Monday, August 19, 2013

A Little Work, A Little Play

by Elder Sowards

Elder C, who had been in the hospital for four days, was released on Friday. It cost about $800 for a private room, blood tests and an ultra-scound. He has a bad intestinal infection but has recovered. Hopefully that will teach him to not eat worms.

We finally got the internet at our home! Joan received her new Apple computer (the old one gave up the ghost). Now we will be more productive. We also hooked up our washer on our back porch. We we have to run the exhaust water on the lawn (the earthworms don't like it), and run a power cord from inside the house. It works and we can finally wash clothes at home. 

Now, if we only had a kitchen sink.
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Friday night we went to Bangkok to a Deseret Book hosted concert to hear a group called Beyond5. (Picture of our Ayutthaya group at R) They are young men (15 to 19 years in age) and very good dancers, singers. They played the music very loud and had lots of flashing lights. Their songs had positive lyrics. We took our branch youth and advisors to see it and everyone had a good time.

Saturday morning we were up early to help with a branch service project cleaning a member's yard. We cut down 3 foot high grass that grew between her house and the riverbank--a space of about 20 feet. It was a good opportunity to serve and see how our members live. The elders helped and even gave a first discussion to some of the member's neighbors.

We then went with two elders to a hospital to give a blessing to a member. We thought we knew where the hospital was, but we spent two hours driving up and down the super highway to Bangkok in crazy traffic before we finally found it. The elders had never administered to anyone in Thai. I had the opportunity to teach one how to anoint and then I sealed. My Thai isn't that great but the spirit compensates for our weaknesses. When we go to hospitals we are sort of celebrities. For a Thai to have 4 foreigners show up all dressed in nice clothes and to visit only him, is special. The nurses treat us with much respect.

This Sunday was not filled with as many unexpected happenings as usual. One speaker for sacrament meeting refused to come, as he is afraid to speak. Another one (his son) was too sick (or afraid) to come. We still had 2 speakers lined up and they gave good talks, but short on length. We asked the two new missionaries assigned to our branch this week to bear their testimony. One has only been in Thailand a few days. Both did well. After four short speakers, there was still twenty minutes left. 

One section of the ancient palace ruins
Baby Theodore is now home after
a 10-day hospital stay.
The 1st Counselor in the mission presidency had come to visit again. He called on his wife to speak, and then he finished the meeting with a good talk.  The real surprise came when we had a family history fireside after our usual potluck luncheon. The fireside wasto help the members do family history. The surprise was that Joan was on the program as one the speakers (Joan forgot). Then Joan surprised me by asking that I translate for her. I can do OK with regular church terms but terms like the Spirit of Elijah, 4-generation records, etc. are not so easy (for me). I also get emotional when talking about very special spiritual experiences and that makes it harder to translate. We did OK as a team. I could have been better prepared with time – Joan is always good-to-go to share family history experiences.

By Sunday evening I was wiped out!

Monday we went with a member to a market to find some fabric for Joan's dress at Von's wedding reception. This is a Thai market, not usually visited by tourists. People seemed surprised to see us. We then took the material to a less active member who is a seamstress. She said she will make the blouse for Joan. We gave her a picture of the blouse Joan wanted, and she took measurements. She said it will cost about 150 Baht ($5.00) and would be ready tomorrow. We’ll see how it turns out. 

The member took us to see the ancient palace ruins in the middle of the city. Beautiful!

Best wishes to all and a BIG THANK YOU to all who helped and prayed for Chris & Kristy's new baby Theodore. Members here here in Thailand even prayed for him, not knowing our family but knowing of our concern.

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