Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Lunch at Bangkok Service Center

Sister Moleff and I went to Korat and did not return to the Service Center until after the Monday Devotional.  On Tuesday, Sister Moleff found out that she was in charge of the Service Center Christmas luncheon.  So what did she do, well she called Heidi and emailed Andy for help.  And you know what, the Christmas luncheon was a success.  The following are a few photos.

Sister Moleff's place settings

Sister Moleff's Nativity Set drew quite a lot of attention from the Thai folks

Sister Smiths bread

Folks looking around

Christmas carol L-t-R:  Sister Noi, Sister Som, Brother Ronny, Brother Travis, Brother Peter, Sister Sasithorn, and Sister Wan

President Senior delivering a Christmas message

Sisters singing a Christmas carol 

Some of the food.

Getting in line for the food

Using the bells

Bangkapi Christmas Party

This is the 3rd Christmas Party that we have been to.  I guess we are just party people.  The program and food was excellent.  Please see photos below.

Chapel turned into a manger 
Singing a Christmas carol in German

Joseph and Mary

The 3-Shepard's

There were 10-different stations of delicious food

Youth around the Christmas tree

Another food station

Sister Moleff with an angel

Young adults having a good time

Sister Moleff with Bishop Jongsathid

Paleface Elder Moleff with Bishop Jongsathid

Bangkhae Branch Christmas Party

The Bangkhae Branch had its Christmas party on the evening of 13 December 2015.  The party included a special Christmas gift (below), Gift Tree, Dinner and a program.  There was cookie decorating and chocolate dipping.  Check-out the Christmas present below!

Elder Moleff presenting Sister Natthaya Panmongkol with an envelope from church  headquarters that contains her mission call.
 In Thailand Mission calls come to the Thailand Bangkok Mission Office and then
 are hand delivered.  Since we go to the Bangkhae Branch we were given the
honor of delivering this call to an angel.

Sister Panmongkol opened her Mission Call read that she has been called to labor
 in the Australia Sydney North Mission, English speaking, and to report to the
 Provo MTC on 5 May 2015.  She was thrilled and everyone cheered.
 She asked if this meant she would get to go to the Temple.  We said YES!

A Christmas gift tree.  Little rolls of paper were tied to the branches of the tree.
A person would come up to the tree and point to a tied paper.  Some one would cut
the rolled paper off the tree and escort them to the gift table.  On the paper would
be the name of their gift.

The new Bangkae District missionaries singing carols.  L-t-R:  Sister Belnap, Sister Lam, Elder Crump, Elder Thomas, Santa (aka Elder Davis), Elder Basset (District Leader), Elder Opad, and Elder Graham .  On Thursday 11 Nov. we had transfers and we got 5 new missionaries.

The cast acted out Luke 2.  The two who played Mary and Joseph had beautiful singing voices.
He fried rolled out bread balls.  Added sweet condensed milk and added sugar.  I had 2-without the sugar.  They were delicious.
It was starting to get dark when we had our Christmas feast.  The Thai food was
outstanding.  Sister Moleff mentioned it was the first Ward/Branch Christmas
dinner we had ever eaten outside - it was 81* at 6:00 pm.

Wat Saket - The Golden Mount

Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan (Thai: วัดสระเกศราชวรมหาวิหาร, usually shortened to Wat Saket (RTGS: Wat Sa Ket)) is a Buddhist temple (Wat) in Pom Prap Sattru Phai district, Bangkok, Thailand.

The temple dates back to the Ayutthaya era, when it was known as Wat Sakae. When Bangkok became the capital, King Rama I renovated the temple and gave it its present name.

Phu Khao Thong (Golden mountain, ภูเขาทอง) is a steep artificial hill inside the Wat Saket compound.  Rama I's grandson, King Rama III (1787–1851), decided to build a chedi of huge dimensions inside Wat Saket. Unfortunately, the chedi collapsed during construction because the soft soil of Bangkok could not support the weight. Over the next few decades, the abandoned mud-and-brick structure acquired the shape of a natural hill and was overgrown with weeds. The locals called it the "phu khao" (ภูเขา), as if it were a natural feature.

During the reign of King Rama IV, construction began of a small chedi on the hill. It was completed early in the reign of his son, King Rama V (1853–1910). A relic of the Buddha was brought from Sri Lanka and placed in the chedi.The surrounding concrete walls were added in the 1940s to stop the hill from eroding. The modern Wat Saket was built in the early 20th century of Carrara marble.

The Golden Mount

Water Taxi

Each day on our way to work at the Service Center we walk over a bridge with a water canal underneath.  The canal serves as a water route for boat taxis that go up and down the river.  We took the taxi going north to the Golden Mount.

Waiting for our water taxi.  L-t-R:  Sister Moleff, Sister Meeker, Elder Meeker, Elder Smith, Sister Smith, Sister Ure, Elder Ure.

Our water taxi coming in

At the Golden Mount

On the roof with Thai flags waving in a stiff breeze.

I couldn't get it rotated into the right position.  There are 2-Buddha's.  One in front of the worshipers, the other behind the glass window

Wat Ratchanatdaram Woravihara (Loha Prasat) is a sacred Buddhist temple built by the King Nangklao (Rama III) in 1846 for his niece - Mom Chao Ying Sommanus Wattanavadi. Aprt from being sacred, the temple’s claim to fame is its iron roof called Loha Prasat. The roof is 36 metres high and has 37 metal spires that signify the 37 virtues needed to attain enlightenment

The Democracy Monument was started in 1939 to commemorate the 1932 revolution that ended the absolute monarchy and introduced Siam's first constitution. The design of the monument is full of symbolism. For example, the four wings are each 24 meters high, signifying the 24th of June date the new constitution was signed. The location of the monument, between the old Grand Palace and the Dusit Palace, is also significant. A copy of the original constitution is held in central pedestal.

Where we ate a Thai lunch of 1800 Baht for 6-people.  The food was excellent as was the restaurant, the service, and live singing

Our Water Taxi back to Asoke.  The roof lowers for passing under low bridges.  To enter or exit we grab the rope that runs the length of the taxi  and swing in or out.  Or when seats are full, we stand holding on to one of the ropes attached to the roof.

Bangkok West District Family History Center Located in Bangkhae Branch

In November 2014, Travis from FM Group 1, installed 2 desktop computers, 1-printer/scanner, and 2-UPS's in the clerks office on the 2nd floor of the Bangkhae Branch Building.  This building will be the office of the Bangkok West District Presidency and the latest Family History Center in Thailand.  The computer equipment was purchased by the Family History Department out of Hong Kong.   

Presently the internet connection is very slow and will not support all of the FamilySearch functions.  FM is negotiating with the Internet Carrier to increase the internet speed at the computer location. By the end of this month we should have a proper functioning Family History Center.

L-t-R:  Sister  Khanitha Jeepimjmy and Sister Wow Family History Consultants

Sister Jeepimjmy at the computer

L-t-R:  Sister Jeepimjmy, Brother Thanachard (Bangkok West District Assistant Family History Director), Sister Wow, Sister Pranee (Bangkok West District Family History Director), and Elder Moleff 

Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) Family History Trip

Senior Missionaries, Elder and Sister Peterson asked Elder and Sister Moleff to visit Korat and present Family History training.  They set it up such that on  Saturday 29 Nov. we would go and visit the less actives presenting the My Family booklet as a reactivation tool.  Sunday 30 Nov we would speak in Sacrament Meeting, teach the 5th Sunday lesson, and train the Family History Consultants after the block meeting. 

Elder and Sister Peterson have served in Thailand before as PEF missionaries and came again about 1-year later to serve a 6-month mission on their own nickle. They are called as District Missionaries to labor in Korat in the MLS program.

We took our first trip by bus to visit a city - Korat.  The bus line was Nakornchai Air Bus: BKK to Khon Kan.  There are more than 140 direct buses serving almost around the clock daily between Bangkok and Korat. There is main Highway between Bangkok and Korat, so it will take about 3 hours only to reach Korat. The total distance is 273 kilometer. Direct buses, non direct buses (stop Pak Chong),air conditioned buses, non air buses, there are many type buses

Our Hotel  Sima Thani

Sima Thani Korat, Nakhon Ratchasima
Sima Thani Hotel Where We Stayed While in Korat
Hotel Entrance
Looking down from 4th floor.  We had room 436 for 1300 Baht / night including breakfast.  That's Elder and Sister Peterson below (white shirt, blue dress)

Kings Birthday and Christmas Tree Display
Our transportation was a TUK - TUK

This is Mr. Cookie and Sister Moleff.  Mr. Cookie is the Tuk Tuk owner and driver.  He speaks good English and is employed by the Petersons as their transportation.   He charges 100 Baht to take us to the bus terminal. His business card says, "There is only one Tuk Tuk in Korat who knows everything."

The Korat chapel is being renovated and with modifications scheduled to be completed just before Christmas this year.  A photo of the rented space where the Korat Saints were meeting including the baptism font is shown below.

Church services inside of glass doors

Same type of baptismal fount we had in Ulan-Ude at our Russia-Siberia Mission

5th Sunday Lesson

 This is Sister Moleff talking about the My Family booklet.  The lesson was a Power Point presentation because there is no internet in the rented building.  Halfway through the lesson Sister Moleff handed out My Family booklets to those that did not have any and asked them to enter their names and birth dates into the booklet.  We asked that the Family History Consultants stand and identify themselves so that the Consultants can help members enter the booklet data into FamilySearch.  After this exercise, the Power Point presentation was completed.


Since the rented building did not have internet, Sister Bird drove us and the Family History Consultants to the hotel where we could get unto FamilySearch in the hotel lobby.  We taught for almost 3-hours.

Elder Moleff teaching Family Search.  L-t-R:  Sister Sroyphatai, Elder Moleff, Brother Manop, Sister Bird

L-t-R:  Sister Sroyphatai, Sister Bird, Brother Manop

L-t-R:  Sister Sroyphatai, Sister Bird, Brother Manop