Saturday, June 7, 2014

Missionary housing Inspection trip to Northeastern Thailand

As part of my trip to Northeastern Thailand several weekends ago - I stopped and inspected Missionary Homes, As I mentioned in one of my previous posts - We spent Thursday, Friday and part of Saturday traveling. Sister Meeker and I stopped at 7 Cities and visited 12 different missionary residences. Some residences accommodated 2 missionaries and some accommodated 4 Missionaries. Some were apartments, some were separate homes and some were duplex like residences. Overall we visited 34 Missionaries. First stop was the city of Nakhorn Ratchasima or more commonly called Korat. This city was open for proselyting when I was in Thailand in the mid 70's.

Korat Sisters
Sister Black and Sister Maughn

Inside Korat Sisters apartment

2 of 4 Elders in Korat - Elder Beebe and Elder Quinn

Sister and Elder Meeker outside Korat Elders home
We have such wonderful hardworking spiritual missionaries here in Thailand.  Many times they do not really notice and almost always never complain about their living circumstances.  So when I get the chance.... I get them to tell me if there are any issues with their residence or things that should be repaired or improved.  I make a list and then I assign my assistant Narin to call the landlords to try and get them to fix our issues.  Narin and I then follow up to ensure all is fixed.  If I have a recalcitrant landlord - I sometimes hire the appropriate repair man and then deduct the cost from the next months rent.  And if things are really bad, I find a new place for the missionaries to live and we move them. 

As the Mission Finance secretary I pay the rent for all of these residences, it was good to see exactly what I am paying for.  Another responsibility I have in my position is approval of any furnishing purchases over 6 dollars.  So when a chair breaks or a microwave stops working I get a call. If I have a resources in a nearby house or in my garage ( yes I have about a 1000 square foot garage here just like at home) I send them otherwise we talk about an appropriate budget for the new item and I authorize the missionaries to make the purchase and then repay them thru the house fund. 

The house fund is a small amount of money that I have advanced to one missionary at each residence.  They make purchases from this fund for the house and then I reimburse that missionary ( with appropriate receipts) to keep the fund full. House fund expenses include such items as transportation costs, house maintenance  and utility expenses.

Mahasarakham Elders
Elder Jordan Smith & Elder Larsen
The garage is where we store our Book of Mormon supply, Bicycles for Missionaries in Bangkok not currently in a biking area and a few mission owned Bikes available to be purchased by Missionaries who loose their bike etc. I also store extra housing items that I collect from closed houses.  I have had as many as three refrigerators and three wash machines stored there.  I do have 5 mattresses currently in storage.

Our second city to visit was Mahasarakham.

Mahasarahkam Elders house

Roi-Et Sisters - Sister Yim and Sister Weed

Elder Moleff taking Sisters picture in front of their home

Roi- Et Elders - Elder Kelly and Elder Ophad (Native Thai)

Roi- Et Zone Leaders - Elder Cox and Elder Buehner

Our Toyota Vios in front of the Roi-Et Elders home
Roi- Et Elders kitchen area
Note: Elder Ophad just arrived and hasn't removed his night time reflective vest
required whenever Misionaries ride after dark
It says "I am Mormon"

The 3rd city we visited was Roi-Et This city was not yet open for missionaries when I was in country years ago.The Roi-Et Elders home was large. It is of the same ilk as the homes I lived in when I was a missionary in Thailand.  The large front room was large enough to have church congregation meet in.

Kalasin Elders home is located on a busy street in a
storefront like building
We stayed overnight in Roi-Et and continued our journey in the morning.  Our next stop was the city of Kalasin. this city was also not open when I served as a missionary in Thailand. 

Kalasin Elders - Elder Wahl and Elder Brockwell

Kitchen is in the back with the Bedroom and study area on the 2nd floor

Our next stop on our tour of the Northeast was Khon Kaen.  Khon Kaen has had missionaries for a long time as it was open prior to my arrival in Thailand in 1975.

Khon Kaen Sisters - Sister Sararat ( Native Thai) & Sister Broeder
Khon Kaen Sisters - live in a one room studio like  apartment
The Elders house is right next door to the Church property.  Only separated from the church property by the Wall seen in the picture on the right. It is the house at the end of the lane. The home is owned by a church member.  We rent only the downstairs portion for the missionaries

Yes this plaque on the Khon Kaen Elders house contains a scripture
 D&C 88:119  - Very appropriate

Khon Kaen Elders - Elder Schmitz, Elder Chambers, Elder Barfus and Elder Harris
Our next stop was our destination Udorn.  Here is the town where Elder and Sister Brown reside.  Elder Brown is a counselor in the district Presidency.  There are 4 elders and 4 sisters in town.   There are two branches that meet at the same Church Building.  All of the Missionaries live in the same complex.  Each lives two doors apart.

2 of 4 Udorn Sisters - Sister Stewart and Sister Zaugg
Smiling because we brought mail

Elders front door - As you can tell they ride bikes in Udorn

Udorn Zone Leaders - Elder Jex and Elder King

Udorn Elders - Elder Burke and Elder Thanwat (Native Thai)
One more City was visited on Saturday - I will save that for a future post.

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