Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Visit to Chaing Mai

The Shepherds in Chaing Mai
We visited a member and sang “Happy Birthday” to her. She had tears in her eyes. That was the first time anyone had ever wished or sang her happy birthday. Celebrating birthdays is gradually becoming traditional here in Thailand when before it hasn't.
Sowards in Samoeng

We visited a mother of a sister who is serving a mission on SLC Temple Square. The Sister is originally from Ayutthaya but left from a Bangkok branch. She had emailed asking us to visit her mother and take a Book of Mormon to her mother and her step-father to read. We had a good visit and invited the mother to church. She said she may come.

The two young missionaries and I visited the mother of another sister in the branch. The mother is not a member and just had her knee replaced. She wanted a blessing. We administered to her. She then asked if we could give her younger sister, who was there, a blessing too. We explained that we usually administer to the sick. The mother said her sister had bad migraine headaches and could we administer to her. We explained that the blessing is by the power of Jesus Christ and faith in him to be healed. We administered to her too. What a special opportunity to use the priesthood to bless people’s lives.

I had challenged the young men to memorize Section 4 and I'd take them to DQ where they could have anything they wanted. All but one has memorized it and received their treat. The one is almost there. The young women felt left out, so I promised them the same. So now all the active YW have memorized it and have had a trip to DQ; we took the last two this week.

We had lunch on Friday with Anan Eldridge and his wife Rosella. They are wonderful people and always so kind. He took us to a wonderful lunch buffet at a 5-Star hotel saying he thought Joan might be tired of Thai food. We ate big time. Delicious! We love talking with them.

We usually feed the elders before transfers. Joan made German pancakes and the elders ate them up, but didn’t seem to want more than two – unusual for young elders. They confessed they had just had dinner with a member and investigator. They had planned to come hungry to our supper, but when the investigator invited the, they felt obligated. I would never had been able to eat both meals!

We went to Chiang Mai this weekend (with permission from the mission president) and stayed with Fred Shepherd. He has a very beautiful house in the mountains west of Chiang Mai. 

Shepherd's Home

Bbq bugs for sale at food market. Yum!

We attended both Chaing Mai branches’ sacrament meetings and also witnessed 2 baptisms.  I even met the daughter of one of the early converts baptized while I was there. Her father drove a 3-wheel taxi bicycle back in those days. When he joined the church his wife left him with three very young children to care for while he still had to make a living. This sister was the youngest who was not even a year old when the mother left. I had may doubts that he would stay strong in the church. The father has passed away but the children have all grown up in the church. This daughter said her father would not let her be baptized until she had a testimony of the Book of Mormon and had memorized the 13th Article of Faith. She was not baptized until she was nine. She  has two children leaving on missions soon – one to San Diego and the other to Rochester NY. I am most humbled to have helped start the gospel in that city 44 years ago.

Monday evening back in Ayutthaya, we invited a Sister and her son to have family home evening with us. The husband is not a member but she and the son are. We had hoped her husband would come, but no. We discussed prayer and Joan shared the story about when Von was a baby, we prayed and fasted three months for Von’s tear duct to open without surgery.

The sister shared a story about having only 100 baht (less than $5) and needing food. Her husband does car upholstery and had some jobs in the works but doesn’t get paid till finished. She had prayed very hard that they would sell an old bicycle collection they had for sell. People had shown interest but no buyers. She felt really down and had wondered why her prayers were not being answered. That evening some men showed up to buy the bicycles and paid cash. She felt blessed. 

We are very blessed each day of our mission. It is a joy to be serving the Lord.

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