Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Old Heads - Head Back (Part 2)

As I mentioned in Part 1, Former Bangkok Thailand Missionaries keep showing up in Thailand.

You may remember that I am the 283rd Missionary called to serve in Thailand.  In the last post, I talked about number 210 (Elder Tom Perry), 286 (Elder Jeff Rock) and 300 ( Elder Joe Johnston).

Next month number 85 returns to Thailand with his wife.  Number 35 is serving in Ayuthaya with his wife.  Number 16 and his wife who are the previous past mission President and wife are visiting Thailand at this time.

Number 85 is Elder Raymond Brown. He started his Missionary Service in Thailand in December 1971. Elder Brown completed his mission and returned to Utah.  There he became an instructor at the
MTC in Provo.  He was teaching Missionaries called to serve in Thailand when I arrived at the Provo Missionary Training Center ( in those days it was called the Language Training Mission - LTM) in September of 1975.  I spent two glorious months with him almost every day for half of the day.  I have really great memories of Elder Brown and the time I learned to speak the Thai language. Actually I learned about the language - I wouldn't say I could really speak until after I had been in Thailand a while.  But the basis I gained in the LTM made me a successful missionary. Elder Brown and his wife Sister Brown have received calls to be Senior missionaries assigned as Member and Leader Support (MLS) Missionaries.  They are scheduled to arrive in Thailand on February 10th.  I am looking forward to getting to know him again.

Number 35 is Dennis Sowards.  He started his Missionary Service in Thailand in January 1970. Elder and Sister Sowards arrived in Thailand April 8th, 2013.  He and his wife have also been called as Senior Missionaries in MLS.  Their current assignment is to reside in the small town of Ayuthaya about an hour north of Bangkok.  President Senior has called Elder Sowards to serve as the Branch President of the local branch there. You can go back to a post I made on December 31st to read about the experiences, Lois and I had while visiting the Soward's in Ayuthaya for a weekend. As I understand it, Elder Sowards was one of the missionaries who opened up Chiang Mai for the teaching of he gospel.  For as long ago as he served - Elder Sowards speaks the Thai language very well.  He is a great example of the great souls that were called to begin the Lords work here in Thailand so many years ago.    
The Sowards have a cool blog that you may want to check out:  Sowards Blog

Number 16 is Elder/President Michael Smith.  Elder Smith Arrived in Thailand in November 1968.  This is before the missionaries had the opportunity to study Thai at the LTM before being sent to the Mission field.  He was called as the Thailand Bangkok Mission President in 2009 and just completed his 3 year term of service here in June of 2012.  I understand that he an his wife are about to serve
somewhere else in the world as Senior missionaries.  Before they do, they are back visiting Thailand.  There was a dinner honoring them last Saturday night at the Cheangwattana building and also a fireside on Sunday night.  I see on the Mormon Thai Facebook page:
that there is to be a special fireside in Chiang Mai this Sunday night where President and Sister Smith are the featured speakers. There will be  luncheon for them at the Service center on Tuesday Jan 28th.  It is his Birthday this month ... so Sister Meeker is making the Birthday cake for the luncheon.

Note: 5 of the first 16 missionaries called to Thailand have served as Mission Presidents (4 to Thailand and 1 to Cambodia).

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