Sunday, November 3, 2013

Riding Elephants, Tourist Day

While Elder and Sister Jones visited Ayutthaya we took our first spin around the city in tourist style. Ayutthaya is a favorite tourist city because of its history as Thailand's capital for 417 years until Burma destroyed the city in 1767. Now Ayutthaya is built around the ruins of the time period.

Since the Jones are finishing their mission in three weeks, Sister Jones wanted to ride an elephant before stepping on that jet headed back to Meridian, Idaho.

Here is Elder Sowards and I on an elephant. Elephants are seen walking through Ayutthaya on a daily basis, usually with tourists on their backs. Our guide is holding a pass-along card which he thoroughly studied on the ride. He and Elder Sowards had a long conversation about why we were in Thailand.

This ominous Buddha at Wat Phananchoeng is one of the largest in Thailand. Huge. It is the most revered Buddha in Ayutthaya.

                                                                                This Buddha face peeks from tree roots at Wat Maha That. After the city was destroyed this face was placed in the roots that now have grown around it. A tourist hotspot.  Above are more ruins at this most popular ancient wat.

We will miss the Jones very much. What great people they are, and what an asset to the mission! They have been good friends, too.
Sister and Elder Jones

Everywhere we go people are impressed that Elder Sowards speaks fluent Thai, and with correct tones. Thai is a tonal language. One word may have five meanings determined by the tone: high, low, mid, rising, or falling. Most Americans don't get the tones right, it is a strange concept to us, but Elder Sowards does very well.

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