Monday, May 19, 2014

Senior Missionary Conference

We had the opportunity to attend a Conference organized by the Mission President and his wife this past weekend (Thursday thru Saturday).  It was located at a National Park called Khao Yai. There were 22 Senior Missionaries and the Mission President and his wife - therefore 24 individuals.  We used four vehicles to get there. Three Vans and Presidents SUV.  I drove one van, Elder Sowards drove another and the third van was a rented van that included a driver.  Amnuay the driver was 29 years old and not yet married. Very polite and helpful. 

Senior Missionaries prior to departing to Specialized Training 15 May 2014
We departed Thursday morning early and drove to the entrance to the National Park. Khao Yai  (meaning Big Mt.) National Park is located about 200 KM North East of Bangkok.  I presented our Work Permits (proving we are residents) to the attendant at the entrance to the Park to get the Thai Admission price - 40 Baht($1.30) versus the Tourist Price of 400 Baht ($13.00). We also had to pay 50 Baht per vehicle.
Sister Meeker at the entrance to the Park with Elder and Sister Brown at the Sign
We drove a few Kilometers to the trailhead for the largest Waterfall in the Park- Haew Narok (Misty Hell) Waterfall.  We then hiked about a Kilometer to the base of the Falls. Overall the falls are 450 meters high for the three tiers.  We only saw the first tier.  It was hot and humid, but we were in the woods so it was at least somewhat shady.  The last part of the trail included very steep concrete steps to get down to the base of the falls.
Note the Steep steps in front of Sister Meeker

After the walk we returned to the parking lot and picnic area to have lunch.  Sister Seppi and the other Sisters made some wraps and Lois had made golden graham smores for desert. Yummy.

We then drove thru the rest of the park. The Park which is Thailand's oldest and best known park covers 760 square miles. It has four separate vegetation zones from rainforest at 300 feet to evergreen forests at 3000 feet. The highest point is 4500 feet above sea level.  The park hosts lots of wildlife. There is a wild elephant herd of more than 300.  We did not see any of the Elephants during our visit but we did see their droppings quite prominently scattered on the road in many spots. 

After we left the park we continued on to our hotel for the next two nights. It is called Thames Valley Resort. As you can tell by the name it had a British flavor to the  surroundings. It is a brand new place. It just opened in February. See the video from the roof top of the "castle". Very picturesque and comfortable.

Red Dragon Fly

Getting ready to go to an offsite lunch

Very calm peaceful surroundings

Sister Meeker had to take a picture of the Bright Red Blossoms

I rented a conference room in the hotel for us to meet in.  Very nice amenities. Each couple had their own microphone.

The instruction was enlightening and inspiring Several senior missionaries made reports on their stewardships.  We heard reports on the Humanitarian work in Myanamar and Laos.  We also got a report on the Family History and Public affairs efforts.  President and Sister Senior did a marvelous job on their presentations and instruction. We all came away uplifted and inspired. 

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