Monday, April 21, 2014

In Bangkok

It is Saturday April 5, 2014, the day has arrived for us to leave for Bangkok Thailand.  We drove from the Provo MTC to our son Aaron's home in Riverton, Utah.  We showered and dressed for our trip.  Then Aaron and his 3-year old son Blake took us and 6-pieces of luggage, plus carry-ons, to the SLC airport.  The flight schedule was as follows:


SERVICE              DATE  FROM           TO          DEPART ARRIVE
___________________ _____ ______________ ____________ _______ _____
V ECONOMY                   TERMINAL 1     TERMINAL 4
           NON SMOKING      FOOD FOR PURCHASE             NON STOP
                            RESERVATION CONFIRMED         1:50 DURATION
                            SEATS 09A/09B NO SMOKING CONFIRMED

L ECONOMY                   TERMINAL B     TERMINAL 1
           NON SMOKING      BREAKFAST/DINNER              NON STOP
                            RESERVATION CONFIRMED         14:45 DURATION
                  AIRCRAFT: BOEING 777-300ER

CATHAY PACIFIC        07APR HONG KONG      BANGKOK        850A    1040A
L ECONOMY                   TERMINAL 1
           NON SMOKING      BREAKFAST                     NON STOP
                            RESERVATION CONFIRMED         2:50 DURATION            
                  AIRCRAFT: AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A330-300

After a loooong 26 1/2-hour scheduled trip (really was about 2 hours longer because of delays in Los Angeles) we arrived, tired, in Bangkok on Monday April 7.  We would recommend Cathay Pacific airlines to anyone.  The service and food was excellent.  They also had a good selection of free movies, TV shows and games.  After 5-tries I finally beat the computer in chess and then retired from the game as a winner!  But I really think that the computer felt sorry for me - its bad for business if the computer keeps winning.

After stepping off the plane and walking into the terminal, a young lady held up a sign with our name.  We went over to her and she said that one piece of luggage had not arrived with the plane, and to follow her to baggage claim.  She got us through passport control quickly and we picked up our luggage except for one piece of Sister Moleff's.  We were then escorted to an office to file a claim.  After filing the claim we were told that the luggage had not left Los Angeles and that they would deliver it to us as soon as it came in a few days later.  On Wednesday the luggage was waiting for us at our apartment building.  We were both impressed with the efficiency and courtesy we received at the Bangkok, Thailand airport.  On our first mission to Russia, luggage also did not arrive, but the experience of missing luggage in Moscow is like a horrible nightmare compared to Bangkok Thailand.  

President and Sister Senior, and the office couple (the Meekers) met us at the airport, bought us lunch, drove us to our apartment, and helped us get 5-heavy pieces of heavy luggage to our apartment.

This is our apartment building.   Our apartment is on the 19th floor on the opposite side (behind) of this building.

This is our apartment dining-living room area.  Mirror to the right, slate floors, and balcony straight ahead.  We have 2-bedrooms, and 2-bathrooms.  There are 4-other senior missionary couples that live in this apartment building. 

View looking out our balcony window.  It is very hot and very humid.  April is the hottest month of the season.  We walk about 1/2 mile to our office.  We are wet with perspiration when we arrive at the office.

Another view of Bangkok taken from the 19th floor of our apartment.  Though its smoggy, it just doesn't have the quality or  aroma of the smog in LA where we lived for 9-years.  Sorry, the Bangkok smog just doesn't measure up up to the quality and robustness of the LA smog.

Yep, on the 27th floor is a modern gym.

The 27th floor also has a pool.  As of this posting  we haven't availed ourselves of the pool or weight room.

This is the Bangkok LDS Service Center (a former bank) which houses the Service Center Thai Employees, Mission Office and Bangkok based senior couples, Distribution and Garment Center, Translation Offices, and Seminary and Institute Offices.

This is the first floor view of the Service Center.

Stairs leading to the second floor offices.

Elder and Sister Moleff's work area.

This is the meeting house for the Asoke Thai Ward and the English speaking Bangkok International Ward in the Bangkok Stake.  On 15 April, the International Sisters asked Sister Moleff and I to help teach a Chinese fellow who learned english in Australia. The discussion went well.  On Sunday, 20 April, we helped teach a Nigerian person.  Our Mission President assigned us to the English speaking International Ward  to attend  as our initial assignment.  The Bishop has been out of town and we hope to meet with him on Sunday 27 April to discuss the Family History program in his ward.  Church is about a 5 minute walk from our apartment.  The Saturday before Easter there was an Easter program at church.  It was the 'First Easter in Jerusalem' and the 'First Easter in Zarahemla'.  There was a choir and most of the cast were recent converts - it was very nice.  On Sunday there were two musical numbers in Sacrament Meeting; the first was the young Elders and Sisters and the second was 2 primary aged sisters singing 'Gethsemane'.  They did a marvelous job.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Our Family History (FH) training was from March 31 - April 3, 2014 at the Joseph Smith Memorial building in Salt Lake City. We were shuttled from the MTC Travel office to catch the 7:50 am FrontRunner train to take us into Salt Lake City (SLC) and then transfer to the TRAX to the Joseph Smith Memorial building.  There, for 4-days, we have intensive FH training.  (We liked taking the FrontRunner - did not have to worry about freeway traffic.)

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building where we had our Family History training.

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building, formerly the Hotel Utah, was built in 1911. This stately building, which was completely renovated and reopened in 1993, now houses the Legacy Theater, reception and conference rooms, a FamilySearch center, Nauvoo Cafe, and The Roof and The Garden Restaurants.

We had breakfast in the Nauvoo cafe (breakfast was excellent-chef made great omelets), and lunch in the Garden Restaurant.  The view of the temple grounds from the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.  Note the Conference Center in the background of the photograph.

To the right are the Herrmanns, our hosts, instructors, and coordinators for our 4-days of Family History instruction.  The Herrmans served 3-missions in Germany, have toured extensively in Europe and Asia, and are now serving as International Family History trainers.  It was a joy working with them.  Our first day training agenda is shown below:

Thailand Family History Missionary Training
-----------------------------------------------------------------------Elder and Sister Moleff
March 31th – April 3nd 2014

Monday, March 31st :  Salt Lake City
With Whom
Meeting Title
 7:50-8:50 am
Front Runner Station
On Your Own
Ride Front Runner Train from Prove to Salt Lake in Salt Lake
You will need to make arrangements to get a shuttle from the MTC to take you to the Provo Front Runner Station.  The train leaves Provo at 7:50 am and arrives in Salt Lake Central at 8:50 am
8:50 am
SL Central
Front Runner Station
Elder and Sister Herrmann
Meet and Greet
Elder and Sister Herrmann will meet you at the station and show how to take the trax to the Joseph Smith Building for training meetings.

9:00-10:00 am


Elder and Sister Herrmann
The Heart not the Chart

10:00-11:00 am


Alan Wensel
FHD Doctrinal Review

11:00-12:00 pm


Art Johnson
Family History as a Resource in the Work of Salvation
Five elements of the Work of Salvation
The Hastening and real growth
12:00-1:00 pm

On your own
Please make arrangements to bring a sack lunch from the MTC with you or be prepared to pay for your lunch in the cafeteria.

1:00-2:00 pm
Curtis Petersen

Business Intelligence Reports
Area Priesthood Key Indicator Report
2:00-4:00 pm


Kris Jackson
Who We Are/ To Turn the Hearts
Photos and Stories
Consultant Role

4:35-5:42 pm
North Temple Front Runner Station
On Your Own
Ride Frontrunner back to Provo
You will need to arrange to have the MTC shuttle pick you up and take you back to the MTC.  The train leaves Salt Lake at 4:35 pm and arrives in Provo at 5:42 pm just in time for dinner at the MTC.

The Salt Lake Temple is the centerpiece of the 10-acre  Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The temple grounds are open to the public.  Due to its location at LDS Church headquarters and its historical significance, it is patronized by Latter-day Saints from many parts of the world. The Salt Lake Temple is also the location of the weekly meetings of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. As such, there are special meeting rooms in the building for these purposes.  The official name of the Salt Lake Temple is also unique. In 1999, as the building of LDS temples accelerated, the church announced a formal naming convention for all existing and future temples. For temples located in the United States and Canada, the name of the temple is generally the city or town in which the temple is located, followed by the name of the applicable state or province (with no comma). For temples outside of the U.S. and Canada, the name of the temple is generally the city name (as above) followed by the name of the country. However,  the Salt Lake Temple was made an exception to the new guidelines and was not renamed the Salt Lake City Utah Temple.  The Provo City Center Temple, currently under construction, is the only other temple that does not follow the naming convention.
The white lights show the location of temples around the world.  Besides these temples, there are 14 under construction and another 14 that have been announced.   Elder Moleff is pointing to Bangkok Thailand.  In June 2014, a second stake is to be organized in Thailand.  The Thailand saints are looking forward to when there will be a temple in Thailand.