Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Another Amazing Week in Thailand

by Elder Sowards

Transfer meeting this week was a big surprise: We lost three missionaries from branch and only received one back. With twenty-two missionaries leaving and only 8 arriving, the mission had to downsize so we lost a companionship. To make it more interesting Elder Kittavong stayed so we have gone from three English-speaking Elders to one – Elder Larsen. Teaching English class is now more of a challenge with 3 classes.
Elders Kettavong and Larsen

We have several English-only speaking members attend Sacrament meeting and the missionaries translate into a transmitter that allows them to hear the talks through wireless headphones. Elder Larsen, the new elder, has been in country less than 6 months and it is all his job now.
We have had several big rainstorms this week. The lawn was so tall I had the lady lawn-care person come cut it on Saturday. With the big storm we received Sunday nigh it will probably be just as tall in a few days. Two days of rain

We held a Work of Salvation Fireside on Sunday afternoon to help encourage more unity between members and missionaries. I was one of the speakers. We had made no-bake copies and I asked a few members plus the new missionary to come up to the podium. I asked if they looked exciting to eat (they look like mud). The Thais said no. Only E. Larsen was happy to try them, as he knew what they were. After they all tasted them they want more. I used it to illustrate that we shouldn’t judge people such as investigators or new converts.

Taught crocheting at the Saturday Youth Activity. Only a few were interested in crocheting, but it is good to be exposed to the basic stitch.

We held a special meeting honoring Joseph Smith on Friday June 27th. One sister said that her grandchildren had asked why Joseph had to die like he did.  She said after the meeting they understood more and had a better testimony of the prophet.

During our combined Priesthood-Relief Society 5th Sunday lesson, I realized how important reading is in the Church. The lesson was about being better teachers of the gospel. The stake Sunday School president used several lesson manuals to help explain how to teach. Most Thais and many Americans do not read the training material provided us. As I thought about this, I wondered where the Church would be if Joseph Smith had not read the Bible?
 We fed the two full-time elders Sunday night. We had bought Oscar Myers hotdogs and potato chips at an American food store to celebrate the 4th of July. We didn’t have apple pie but substituted brownies.

Gorgeous but tasteless. Thai people don't care for rich desserts as do Americans,
but they enjoy a great presentation such as this cake.
Brownies are American.

Everyone have a great 4th of July. Happy birthday, America!

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