Monday, April 14, 2014

Celebrating the Thai New Year

It is unusual seeing elephants on the highway, but
today we saw a herd of them celebrating the new year.
It is now the year 2557--at least in Thailand. :-)
Happy New Year!

Elder Crump’s bike was stolen from in front of church while we were all teaching an investigator. This is the first time we've had a bike stolen in our year in Ayutthaya. Our area is usually very quiet and safe.
We had three members in hospital this week. A Sister's seven-month-old baby who was born premature a few months a ago, has been in and out of the hospital with problems. Another member had surgery to remove a tumor. When we visited her on Thursday she asked for a blessing. What a great opportunity to use the priesthood to bless one of Heavenly Father’s daughters. The doctor had told them the surgery/hospital bill would be around $1130. When she checked out on Saturday the bill was about $580! (when does that ever happen in the US?) What a blessing to the family! We did visit with Brother W today who has been in the hospital over two months.  He is still not able to breath on his own so he is back to the RCU. When we arrived, it was not visiting hours, but the nurses remembered us and directed us to him. We only stayed long enough to give him encouragement and have prayer with him.

Making tacos between Saturday's sessions.
I thought about our recent baptized members seeing a conference for the first time. What do they think as they see not a small group of members but a huge building full of people, a great choir, (even though they don’t sing in Thai), and lots of great conference talks. I wonder what it really means to them?
We prepared Mexican food for the members that came on Saturday to watch General Conference. 

I had challenged the Aaronic priesthood young men to memorize Section 4, and told them if they did it, I would buy them any ice cream at DQ. One young man quoted it to me on Saturday, so I keep my promise. I treated the other young men and missionaries who came to the general priesthood broadcast Saturday afternoon to a small blizzard at DQ, too.

Honoring-the-elderly ceremony for the new year.
We are the elderly.
Sunday was the Thai New Year aka Water Day. The Thai new year tradition is to pour flower water on the hands of the parents and elderly while wishing them great things for the new year. Guess Joan and I and Brother McGeorge are the branch old people. Members came kneeling to us one or two at a time and poured flower water on our hands over a basin. Joan will probably post pictures on the blog. Some other members came to our house later and did the same thing.

As we drove through town, everywhere people were celebrating Water Day by throwing water at everyone else. People on bicycles, motorcycles and in the back of pickups are favorite targets. Often the people in the pick-ups throw water back.  Since we were in the car only a few people threw water on us.

Happy New Year -- 2557!

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