Every 9 weeks the Thailand Bangkok Mission receives new missionaries. Elder Marvel (He and his wife are responsible for Employment Resource Services and the Perpetual Education Fund in Thailand) a Senior Missionary here has taken it upon himself to produce a video that gets posted on Facebook after each transfer. Parents of the arriving missionaries are truly excited to see the video of their son or daughter experiencing their first day in the mission field. Other parents also may catch a glimpse of their missionary in the video.
Elder and Sister Meeker can been seen several times during the 10 minute video. You will see in the video that these new missionaries arrived about midnight. We did not go at Midnight to pick up the new missionaries. That honor was for President and Sister Senior accompanied by the Assistants to the President and the Office Elders who drove the second Van to transport the luggage. Also going along of course was the cameraman Elder Marvel.
We had our most recent Missionary Transfer on December 18th. We had a very compressed transfer schedule this month. Normally the new missionaries arrive on Wednesday and returning Missionaries depart on Friday Morning. Because Friday Dec 20th was the Friday before Christmas with the attendant increased holiday travel the Church wanted the departing Missionaries to travel home on Thursday morning. So we did every thing we normally do in two days in one day (Wednesday December 18th). I had the opportunity to go with the new missionaries to have their blood drawn on their first morning. I was there to pay for the service and to collect their passports immediately afterwards. I then took their passports to Sister Meeker. Sister Meeker then made color laminated copies of the first two pages of their passport (She did this while the missionaries got their pictures taken). The Missionaries keep the laminated copy and use it as identification. We store the actual passports in one of the office safes. My assistant, Brother Narin then uses the original passports to obtain and keep current both the government issued work permit and Visa to stay in the country. Sister Meeker and I then spend a little time with the missionaries doing an orientation. We have them sign forms, update information, distribute fluorescent green safety vests (to wear if they ride their bike after dark) and I give them a Debit Card. I put money on their card each month for them to use to provide for their personal needs and feed themselves. They then were interviewed by President Senior. Lunch was served and then we traveled to a large Church Building (Future Stake Center) in Northern Bangkok for the actual transfer meeting. After the transfer meeting I deal with moving cell phones (phones stay in an area not with a missionary) and reimbursements of house and transportation expenses. I maintain a Petty Cash account of 30,000 Baht (about 1,000 dollars). That amount was not enough to get me thru the transfer meeting. I used some personal funds and loaned them to the Petty cash account for the day. Hope you enjoy the video. Note: we met these 7 new missionaries; 2 Elders and 5 Sisters when we were in the MTC in October and early November. We do have fun here in Thailand and these are some awesome missionaries.
See the video link on the Facebook page below.
December Arrival and Transfer Meeting Video
The actual Facebook Page address can be reached via the link below. Some of the content on that page will be in Thai.
MormonThai Facebook Page
Notes: The Christus Statue you see in the Background of the picture above was made by members of the North Bangkok District as part of the Christmas decorations and it is actually cardboard. In addition the Decorations you see during the video in the conference room where lunch was served were all made by Sister Meeker (snowflakes, icicles, Christmas ornaments). Individuals asked Sister Meeker where she bought them - she actually made them. Sister Meeker is awesome.