Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrating the Easter Week

by Elder Sowards

 Last Monday night we had a huge storm. Though I slept through most of it, Tuesday morning we found the storm had taken down the papaya tree in our front yard.
 We and the four elders, and a few members helped clear a sister’s yard of fallen branches from the storms. It was a very hot humid day and we ended up wetter than Water Day. 

One sister was baptized this Sunday. What a special opportunity to be baptized on Easter!
Elder Vance demonstrating life saving technique on Elder Mageno
This week we went to a nearby Chinese cemetery and photographed headstones. We try to photograph some every week. We only have about 2000 names left to do before they destroy the cemetery in August.

The Lord helps us in different ways. I had been feeling we should visit one of the sisters I home teach. I knew she is not well, and had planned to call her on Wednesday to set up an appointment. She lives about 40 KM out of town, so our visits take a good chunk of our day. Tuesday night she called and asked that I come to visit and administer to her. It was a special opportunity to bless her.

Elder Vance, who
 worked as a lifeguard at the beaches in CA before coming on this mission, taught the youth at our Saturday activity about life saving and first aid techniques. This is a hard topic for any missionary to translate and teach and he did a great job. Afterwards, the youth dyed and hunted Easter Eggs. This was a 1st experience for the members in all three activities. 
Elder Kittavong joined the church in his native country of
Laos. Nine members of his family are now members because of
his pioneering. 

We attended the 3rd Buddhist funeral for members' parents since we have been here. It struck me as interesting that we were at a funeral where people had no idea about death and what happens beyond, at the time of year we especially honor the mission, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Easter Sunday: Sacrament meeting was wonderful. The primary sang Did Jesus Really Live Again and the elders plus a member, sang This is the Christ. Joan accompanied both on the piano. Both groups did well and the speakers gave great talks, but the best part was our little CTR4 girl singing with the primary. Each child (about 7 of them) held and sang from a Children’s Songbook, but she sang enthusiastically while holding the regular hymnbook. (She can’t read yet and didn't know the difference.) 

Happy Easter!
We are all brothers and sisters and can love each other in spite
of our differences. We have more similarities than we think.

We fed the four elders on Sunday night (Elders Kittavong, Mageno, Vance, and Crump.) This is transfer week and we expect two will be leaving Ayutthaya. We served taco salad for dinner and German pancakes for dessert. It is always hard to say goodbye to our elders at transfer time. Best wishes to them in their new areas.

We are happy to be in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we missed being with our family and friends at home at Easter.

We also miss Cadbury Eggs. Haven't seen one yet in Thailand.

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