Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Adventures of a Senior Missionary Couple

It's always an adventure in Thailand! - by Elder Sowards

As we finished a great district meeting at the church Tuesday, a lady walked into the church and proceeded to talk about a seven year old boy who telepathically told her things in her future. She also spoke of an American man (showed us his picture) who continually robbed her, even though she could not see him. She hoped we'd say it was a Christian sect. We did not know, of course, but told her about our church services. I am not sure I would be excited to see her walk in some Sunday.

Later that day, we (Sister Sowards, Elders Slaughter and Crump) traveled to visit a member, when a car swerved over from the center lane and almost hit a motorcycle moving into the same lane from the outside lane. Luckily they didn’t collide. The motorcycle moved to the center lane to turn. The speeding car pulled up beside the motorcycle and started talking (possibly yelling) at the driver. Then he pointed a gun and at the driver. After a few tense moments the sped off. That was scary as to what could have happened\. From my view the car driver was at fault. But at fault doesn’t matter when someone is crazy and has a gun.

We had a good experience that day, too. We met with the member as she had asked for a priesthood blessing. Her older brother had died last week and the whole family was so distraught that no one could sleep, and all were shedding many tears. I sealed the anointing and promised her, in the blessing, some things I had not thought to say or would not normally promise. I trust the Lord will deliver on His words. Then, I felt to ask her if her younger sister, who is a member, desired a blessing. She said her sister did, so we administered to her, too. It was a different blessing than what was said to the 1st sister. The whole experience was wonderful to be part of.

Saturday, I took the elders quorum president to Bangkok to attend the Asia Area training. I leaned much about improving the branch. One point I really liked is that, as a church leader, we cannot really help members solve their problems. We can only help them seek answers from the Lord. The answers will come from the Lord as the member prays and studies the scriptures. Our role is to help them do just that. Consider what that means in our own lives too?

While I was at the training, Joan led the youth activity. Each youth had to bring 3 things to put in a bag. These 3 items were to tell who he/she was. As the bags were opened, people had to guess whose bag it was. Then, the person explained the meaning of the 3 items. After that, Elder Mageno taught about family "Coat of Arms". They each then drew their  own. Joan said the bag discussions when fast, but the youth took 45 minutes to create their family coat of arms. The pictures were very interesting.

Monday, the Smiths (our friends from Mesa, and previous Thailand mission president) took Sister Sowards and I to Khaw Yay (translation: large mountain) a national park and game reserve. I had visited it as a young missionary. It was all dirt roads then. Today we saw a beautiful park much like Yellowstone. Their visitor’s center was comparable to any one might see in a national park in the USA. There are wild animals roaming around including elephants. We didn’t see any elephants, but saw some elephant dung. We saw some other animals – pictures attached. Another picture attached, it is of a replica of the last man-eating tiger killed in this park. 

That was about 10 years ago. It was cool

er there – about 62 degrees. (Cold for Thailand.) And it felt wonderful.

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