Sunday, January 12, 2014

Fullfilling Sunday in Bangkok

Just finished a very fulfilling Sunday in the Thailand Bangkok Mission
The Day started out with a Skype Session with my Mother and two of our four Children. It is always fun to talk to them.  Eric's son Evan and his oldest daughter Lily seem to enjoy talking to us very much. Jennifer also caught us up on the happenings in her life. 

After lunch we were able to attend the Asoke Ward Sacrament meeting.  According to the Bishop there were more than 150 people in attendance. As part of the meeting there was the Confirmation and bestowal of the Gift of the Holy Ghost for 6 new converts who were Baptized last Sunday.  Bishop Sombun performed the confirmation for all six new members.  There was one young man about 15, one adult man and 4 women.  The Bishop also presented two other recent male converts to receive the Aaronic Priesthood.

Yesterday - Saturday - was a national holiday in Thailand .... Children's Day.
National Children's Day (Thai: วันเด็กแห่งชาติ) is celebrated on the second Saturday in January. Known as “Wan Dek” in Thailand, Children’s Day is celebrated to give children the opportunity to have fun and to create awareness about their significant role towards the development of the country. Usually, His Majesty the King gives advice addressing the children while the Supreme Monarch Patriarch of Thailand gives a moral teaching. The Prime Minister also usually gives each Children's Day a theme and a slogan. Many Government offices are open to children and their family; this includes the Government House, the Parliament House Complex and various Military installations. These events may include a guided tour and an exhibition. A notable example is the guided tour at the Government House, where children have an opportunity to view the Prime Minister's office and sit at the bureau. The Royal Thai Air Force usually invites children to go and explore the aircraft and the Bangkok Bank distributes stationery, such as pens, pencils and books to every child that enters the bank as a community service. Many organizations from both government and commercial sectors have celebration activities for children. Children can enter zoos or ride buses for free. There is a Thai saying that states, "Children are the future of the nation, if the children are intelligent, the country will be prosperous."

In honor of Children's Day three Primary children were asked to give talks in Sacrament Meeting.  I was very impressed.  the first Speaker was a young boy (my guess - age about 10).  He was dressed very smartly in a white shirt, tie and a dark suit. He confidently strode to the pulpit stood up on the carpeted riser to give him more height in front of the podium.  He adjusted the microphone to be in front of his mouth.  He said hello (in Thai of course) introduced himself and proceeded to give a very good gospel talk.  He was followed by two primary aged girls who also did very well with their talks in front of this very large congregation.  We filled the chapel and 2/3 of the small Cultural hall. When they were finished the 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric, Brother Mac stood up to he podium. He stepped up on the carpeted riser left by the Children, smiled, stepped back, removed the riser and most of the congregation laughed. 

Thirty minutes after the conclusion of Sunday School and Priesthood Relief Society meetings the ward held a Baptism Service.  There were probably 75 people in attendance.  Two college age young women were baptized.  They had been investigating the Church for three weeks.  Today was their third Sacrament meeting.  It was  lovely Baptismal service.  After the two ladies were baptized, they changed out of their white dresses they then returned to the chapel.  The service was held in the chapel because the room with the font is not big enough to hold all who want to be in attendance.  The youth sang a special musical number (they have done this to every baptismal service I have attended here at this ward). Then the two new converts were asked to bear their testimonies and express their feelings.  There testimonies were marvelous. This bearing of testimonies by the new converts is also something that I have seen done at every Baptism in this ward that I have attended. 

Sister Meeker and I returned home and she had some Sticky rice soaking for several hours.  She steamed the rice and we were able to have a Thai Stir fry dinner with sticky rice.  We also had some fresh mango.  Thai food is marvelous.

This evening we had a young sister from Myanmar (new name for Burma)fly into town to begin her mission  First you need to know that Myanmar and Laos are within the boundaries of the Thailand Bangkok Mission.  There is one branch in Myanmar meeting in the old capital city of Rangoon.  There is also a branch in Vientiene, Laos.  Because Sister Lwin does not live within the boundaries of a stake the Mission President is the church leader that submits here Missionary application and when called is the individual to set her apart.  President Senior asked that I assist him in setting Sister Lwin apart.  Sister Lwin is the daughter of the Branch President in Myananar.  Her sister has served a mission to Australia previously.  There is currently another member from Myanmar in the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo Utah preparing to serve in Australia. President and I set him apart two weeks ago. Sister Lwin is headed for the Provo MTC to receive Missionary training and to learn English (better) and then will serve in the Utah Salt Lake City Mission. She is staying overnight with some Sister Missionaries near the airport.  They will take her to the Airport at 3:30 AM in the morning to catch a 5:30 AM flight to the United States.

Lois just finished baking two deserts for Mission Office Staff Meeting tomorrow morning.  She made some chocolate chip muffins and Oatmeal Muffins.  I go to taste both yum-yum,  Life is good.

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