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.

Wisan is also over church facilities in Thailand. We found a building to rent that is in a better location than our current rental, and not much more in cost. It is not as close to our home as our meeting house now, but would be worth the extra travel. The building we are in leaves much to be desired in terms of location and layout. The church has used it for over 10 years. Also, with the new one, Dennis won't have to worry about hitting his head coming down down the stairs. This new building didn't get flooded in the last two 100-year floods (back to back).

September is the month with the heaviest rains – we are still in flood danger. Our home and our present church flooded lasttime – several feet high. The residents of Ayutthay say if you live here, expect floods. I pray not so this year.

Saturday & Sunday we had district (like stake) conference. We went for an adult meeting on Sat. and the general session onSunday. We took a busload of members on Sunday. Each family paid a set amount to help cover the bus rental. We had an Area Seventy attend – Elder Wong presided. He is an inspiring leader.

Our past home teacher, Harry Swanson, also came to the conference. He is in Bangkok for a week doing work for his company. We enjoyed seeing him. 

Anan Eldredge also came to the conference. He is in town for a jewelry show. He was Dennis first companion and is a great man. Anan is the first male Thai to be baptized in Thailand, the first Thai missionary to serve in Thailand, the first (and so far only)Thai mission president and the first return missionary who served in Thailand to come back to serve as a mission president. When Elder Wong found out who Anan is, he had him speak in a leadership meeting. Anan in 70 years old now but still has the energy for the gospel he had as he taught me to love the Thai people and to teach them the joy of the gospel. Anan even brought us smoked salmon he recently caught in Alaska. It is delicious. But the biggest treat was to see him again.

Our branch (almost 40) took a bus at 8 AM to Chaengwattana to the conference. Members brought their lunch so they didn't have to buy it on Sunday. Joan and I had peanut butter sandwiches and the last of the birthday Texas Sheet cake – good stuff!

Sunday afternoon from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM we had priesthood leadership training for the district. Since the branch all came together on the bus, this meant that many members, who are not leaders including children, had to wait around until the afternoon meeting was over. After riding the bus back to our church building, many members then had to ride their motorcycles another hour to get home. These members show their faith by their actions.

Did I mention that we had rain this week?--several tons of it!

--Elder and Sister Sowards

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