Sunday, September 22, 2013

Silent Night

Elders Smith, Omer, Watkins, and Unsworth
Our wonderful, hardworking elders sang a beautiful rendition of "Silent Night" as the musical number in sacrament meeting.

Elder Sowards' Trainer, Anan Eldridge

Elder Sowards with Anan

We were privileged to spend time with Elder Sowards' trainer from 40+ years ago, Anan Eldridge. Anan was the first Thai male baptized in Thailand. Then he was adopted by an American family (where the name Eldridge comes from) and after coming to America with them, he was sent on a mission to Thailand. He and his lovely wife Rozella live in Las Vegas, Nevada where he is a jeweler and Rozella is a banker.

Rozella and Anan
Anan served as mission president in Thailand 15 years ago with his 1st wife Margaret, now deceased. They are loved and remembered by so many. Several Church leaders in Thailand today
served with him/and as missionaries under Anan's leadership.

He has been a good friend of ours through the years and appreciate that he has kept in contact with us, even while we are serving in Thailand.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Battleship Youth Activity

Our youth activity was an ocean theme. Gathering--we traced our hands, cut out, then decorated as fish. The game was scriptural Battleship (thank goodness for against girls. The boys won by sinking the girl's battleship. None of the youth had played Battleship before. Their culture does not include much boardgames.

For a gathering snack we served dried seaweed. It was a big hit. Truly. I took one bite and thought I'd lose it and feared we'd be taking three bags of the foul stuff home. But no. It was eaten quickly. Afterwards, we served Roti Ayutthaya--a specialty of the area--stringed sugar wrapped a thin rice tortilla.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Odds and Ends of Our Exciting Week!--Sept 2 through 9

When we first moved to Ayutthaya, we were averaging about 3 people to the weekly English class. Now we are getting 20. More of our members are coming because we moved the meeting time up to 6:00 so they can be home earlier. We have about 5-6 non-members who come, too. The more the merrier and we have a lot of fun. We love their enthusiasm for learning.

Dennis spent much of Thursday with President Wisan of the district looking for a building for our branch meetings.

Elder Sowards had a Birthday!

On Sept 6 Elder Sowards turned 63 years young. We went to The Pizza Company for his birthday dinner. It was almost as good an American pizza (or we think because we can't remember what pizza tastes like) and also made a Texas Sheet Cake. We baked it at the church since we don't have an oven, and shared with our four Elders: Omer, Unsworth, Smith and Watkins. It was a real treat.  Dennis listened to the ASU opening football game through a Sacramental State radio Internet station – he couldn't find one from Phoenix! A great win for ASU. The only thing better was that we Skyped with all our children & grandchildren. Great birthday!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Another Cookie Adventure

This week in our pirate-themed youth activity, we talked about "the true treasures in our life." Elder Smith from Rancho Cucamonga, CA gave a great lesson. Our first activity was to make chocolate chip cookie in-a-mug (thank you Julie for the idea.). Here we are mixing our individual mug cookies in our home-fashioned pirate hats.

The following activity was a scripture treasure hunt found on  The contributor wrote, "We had a hard time keeping the youth from running through the church." It sounded promising.

Apparently, clue-to-clue treasure hunts are not part of the culture. It was a 4x4 experience: Four youth were practically dragged through our four-level church building by four elders looking for 14 clues. It was the elders who ran, trying to muster up enthusiasm. Halfway through, the youth started catching on, but by then clues had been skipped and picked up out of order, but somehow with the persistence and talents of Elder Unsworth (West Valley, UT) we pulled it all together.
(Sidenote: it didn't help that I lost a clue when I placed it on a 3rd floor window sill and the breeze whisked it away.)

While we played another game, Sleeping Pirate,