Thursday, April 3, 2014

One Year Out!

by Elder Sowards

We took Elder Kittavong from Laos, a missionary serving in our branch, and his companion to Bangkok to hear Steven C. Wheelwright, president of BYU–Hawaii present about the value of going to BYUH and how Thais and other Asian members can apply and afford it. We also tried presented the information at our Saturday youth activity. At least one youth is interested in applying in 3 years. It would be a great opportunity for her.

On Sunday we had 8 investigators at church. They even stayed and listened to my presentation about family history during the combined priesthood Relief Society 3rd hour. I taught not by choice but the Asia Area Presidency had asked that the lesson be taught by the branch presidents. The other BP could teach it easily in Thai. I struggled through some of the Thai terms. We were asked to follow the outlined lesson plan from Hong Kong.  We couldn’t get to show on the LCD projector and ended up using Joan’s Macbook Air, which was hard to see for 40 people. Most of the members don’t use the Internet anyway, so maybe nothing was lost except lesson time.

Our branch sent four young men and five adults to the district general priesthood meeting Sunday in Changwattana. Probably the most representation Ayutthaya Branch has ever had at a district priesthood meeting.

Our surprise of the week was brought by Jackson Shaver of Mesa who often comes to LopBuri, just north of Ayutthaya. He brought a fun package from Ted and Rex about a month ago. Jackson called this past week and said he had another package for us--this time from Cameron McKay. Turns out that Jackson is in Cameron’s ward and happened to mention to him that he had brought a package to a senior missionary
Mexican food care package sent by Cam McKay
couple in Thailand. Cameron asked who and was surprised to find it was us. Small world! Cameron sent us two large packages of corn tortillas (6” size with about 50 in a bag), 10 cans of Rosarita Refried beans, a large jar of salsa, taco mix flavoring and some yummy candy. WHAT a treasure! We are planning to feed the whole branch. Most have never tasted Mexican food.

We helped teach a man from the Philippines with the young elders. It was interesting to watch them struggle to teach in English. During the lesson Elder Mageno bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. He said he had read it many times himself and with his family. What a wonderful compliment to his family that he can say he has read it as a family.

We said goodbye to Elder and Sister Marvel. They have served as senior missionary couple on emergency preparedness and the perpetual education fund. They
Sowards with Jackson Shaver--the
care package carrier
Taking brownies to the LopBuri elders,
Elders Cutler and Love

Farewell dinner for the Marvels
are always so enthusiastic that it is contagious to be around them. They will be missed.

Our mission had 212 baptisms this month. That is a great number considering the first few months we were here the whole mission had about 60 –70 per month.

Today (April 1) marks one year of our missionary service. We have been so blessed by being here in Thailand. 

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