Experiences in Thailand on Our Mission

After the Flooding, Huge Humanitarian Effort

After the Flooding, Huge Humanitarian Effort
In Front of The New Chapel in Bangkok

In the Chapel putting Relief Bags together

In the Chapel putting Relief Bags together

Friday, February 10, 2012

January 2012

This is more of an update from December 2011 and January 2012. Sorry its been a while. From the flood, to the humanitarian projects and other missionary work, we have been very busy. There has been so many good things happening though and I wanted to spend a few moments to share them with you all. For almost a month, we spent many hours daily at the airport putting supplies together and making sure they were shipped to all the areas in need. The Church did a great work here and was a big part in ensuring the needs were taken care of all people here. We were presented with recognition from the Thai government for the effort the Church made. It was very good publicity for the work of the Lord. During these times, it seems that the service the Lord asks us to do is magnified and we love knowing that people see the good things happening. It was a hard time to deal with and many families were displaced. Things are almost back to normal, but we know that we have a lot of good things to do to teach the gospel and be examples to them.

We have been conducting many missionary firesides in different branches in Thailand. This last month, we went to Phisanulok Branch to visit the members there for our Church meetings. After church, we took a quick lunch and helped with a Missionary Fireside. We talked about missionary work and how the members could refer people to the full-time missionaries in their area. The Phisanulok Branch is in the Chiang Mai District, in northern Thailand. We have had great response and the missionaries have been busy. The members have learned that they cannot be shy and not be afraid of sharing the gospel. It has made them happy and something good that they talk about continually to each other. We believe that this effort with strengthen themselves and the branch in a lot of ways. We do the same things each time and help members to refer their friends to the full time missionaries. We also have been working to follow up with the new members and visit less active members to bring them back to church.

Of course, we have been busy helping the missionaries in our area teach with their families. We love being a part of those discussions and being an example of a Thai couple understanding the Gospel.

We went to Ubon District Conference with our Mission President and I also help new brothers who have been ordained as new Elders to learn how to bless the sick and afflicted. We made sure that each have consecrated oil in their home for their family. It always been great to travel to another districts out of Bangkok.

We took four Senior Couples missionaries to visit our relative for the new year . We all enoyed dinner and they learned how Thai people celebrate New year’s. We also taught them how to make Somtum, as we know as Papaya Salad. We will make sure that you all know how to make it too when we get back.

By the end of the year, Sister Seangsuwan have been very busy following up with all branches, district to collect the Thailand Church History from each branch to send them to Hong Kong, and Utah to get the work done for them. By doing this, we have also been able to ensure all of our work for the next generation could get done and that the Thailand Church History is being used.

It seems like Sister Seangsuwan and I continue to receive additional callings. We have been very busy, because they also do not release us from our other callings. They must know we love to work hard. Each year, the leaders in Thailand received the training from the Asia Area Presidency. My assignment was to make sure that all district presidencies from Ubon, Chiang Mai, Khonkean, Udon are able to get the air tickets and hotels finalized. I didn’t realize how hard it is to be a travel agent and make sure things were done perfectly, but we got it done. That is one assignment I have as the Executive Secretary to the Mission Presidency.

As member of the Bangkok North District High Council, my assignment was to speak at Bangken Branch. The topic was "Being Prepared during a Flood.” We definitely had experience to talk about that.

We have also been assigned to work with another couple and do some work with the Thai government office. We visited the former Thailand Prime Minister, on January 16th and the Newspaper Agency in Bangkok. We gave them a presentation on the donations the Church made for blankets and mosquito nets to the rural areas.

And finally, they recently called me to be the Director of the Thailand Media Committee. There, we will be getting more in front of media and ensuring that people can hear more of what the Gospel can do in their lives. We will work very hard in getting the Liahona to member and nonmember homes.

We hope that all is well for you in Utah and that you know we love you all. We love the work of the Lord and plan on doing this for as long as we can!!


Elder and Sister Seangsuwan

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 31, 2011

The Open House for the new meeting house was great. During the VIP Session there were 139 people that attended the presentation. In the afternoon there were over 1000 participants there. It was a wonderful day! Many members and nonmembers from the community and from far away came to see the new church building. Some of the people that attended were the Deputy Director General of the Social Development and Welfare Services, the Vice Governor of Nonthaburi, Khun Suchanee Seangsuwan, the head of the PR of the Social Development and Dr Somyot Seangsuwan and almost 20 of friends showed up. We had many business leaders, goverment officials, Lion Club and Rotary Club members who were very impressed learning about the Church’s FHE program, young men/women program, primary and Relief Society programs.

On proselyting, we are currently working with the Elders whom are teaching five investigators. Just last Sunday, Sister Nitaya Paracheap, 43 years old was baptized. We continue to work with the young missionaries to teach the gospel and we love it. We love how they utilize us. In some weeks we get to participate in their DL meetings and share with them examples that helped us in the Gospel.

We have also been going out in the evening to look for families to teach the gospel. They’re many people waiting for us. During the Open House, there was a couple that came to us. One was a business man, 57 years old and his wife. They came and talked to us and seemed very interested in learning more. We have been trying to set a date to meet him to start the missionary lessons. He said he would bring his family to listen to us and Elders. He enjoyed the program at booths on that day and was intrigued. The Spirit was there to testify that what we were sharing was something that they should listen to.

Elder Seangsuwan responsible for ensuring the meetings with the Mission Presidency happen each month. I have been making the agenda and reports for the meeting to keep track of what everybody should be doing. He has also been called to be a member of the high council and has been assigned to oversee the missionary work in the Bangkok North district. We are now planning to run the training programs to ward/branch mission leaders to work as a team with the full-time missionaries and get more involved. It will be on November 19 and we have a lot of work to do. We are also coordinating the presentations at the Services Center to ensure that the leaders understand what things need to be done for the community and people. The leaders and members of the Church should know what the function is of the Services Center.

Another task that we have been given that has kept us busy is typing many letters in Thai for the Mission President to send out to the leaders. He is instructing them how to make reports, how to do the Branch history for the Church and how to run the budget the correct way. “Rescue One By One” is another project that we have to follow up with. Each District and Branch planned an event and we now need to follow up how much they have done.

We recently heard some very exciting news! Many members would like to have an LDS Temple in Thailand. They know that only wanting is not enough. They must work and take action and work hard, as well as be full tithe payers. We have also been instructed to fellowship and work hard to keep our members active in the Church. They have given the members a plan to work towards and we are all very excited.

We love to serve the Lord in our Native country. We are very excited for General Conference and to hear the inspiring words and revelations from or Prophet. We love our family and ward family back home!

Love you all,
Elder and Sister Seangsuwan

August 30, 2011

We have been busy as usual! The latest project has been the new Ward Building that was built just around the corner from where we live. It is on Cheangwathana Road, Pakkret, Nonthaburi. We have been working on getting as many people there to the open house and dedication. President asked us to also contact the Minister of the Social Development and Human Security to come to the open house and to be at the Wheelchairs Donation Presentation. We finally had the opportunity to visit the General Director of the Social and Welfare Service. We also invited him to come to the Open House on September 10.

Many people in the community ask us about the building and what we do there. Of course, we invite them to come and check it out. It has been a good opportunity for the members of the 8 units in the district to go around the communities and business building passing along invitation and information cards to the public about the Church.

Some very exciting news and accomplishments from the Ayuthaya branch the past few weeks have been that three brothers were able to receive the Melchizedeck Priesthood at our last district conference. It has been a great branch for us to attend and serve the members there. There are now about 45 to 50 members that attend each week. We love seeing the branch grow and we have been working hard to find and reactivate less active members. Ayuthaya was the first district Elder Seangsuwan served when he was a young missionary over 30 years ago.

We have been working with a few families in getting them reactivated. One family Brother Panja, his wife and two daughters will be going to Hong Kong Temple this October. We also have been going out with the Elders to teach a family in the Prakkret area. We will try and write more, but would love to hear from you all. If you can’t come visit us, then please email us at utahismystate2010@gmail.com


Elder and Sister Seangsuwan

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 26, 2011

Sorry it has been so long since we have had an update. We have been incredibly busy with coordinating events, service projects and humanitarian efforts as well as proselyting, member fellowshipping and, of course, office work. It is all in a days work and we love the work of the Lord.

We went to the Thailand Youth Leadership Conference on May 5 - 7. There were over 240 youth there attenting and the Area Seventy came and talked to them. The majority of the youth have a desire to serve a full time mission in the future. The Spirit was strong throughout the conference. We were introduced to Thai youth as the very first Thai couple to ever be married in and LDS Temple and also the first Thai couple to serve the Senior mission in Thailand. Sister Seangsuwan and I love this opportunity and having experience with conversion ourselves as well as the Thai language and background, we have been able to assist in the work.

A while back we had told you we were in charge of organizing the even where the BYU Ballroom company were asked to come to Thailand and dance for various groups. It was a big undertaking, but well worth it. They performed in Thailand at five different locations: 3 in Bangkok, 1 in Chiang Mai and another one in Khonkhen. About 1000 total members attended and more 8000 none members. We think that it was a success.

As far as humanitarian efforts, we have been able to get involved with a Social Development organization of the Thailand government designed to help combat battered women. My niece Suchanee Seangsuwan has been working as the Manager of the Department of Public Relationship under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. She also attended the BYU Ballroom events twice and loved it. We introduced her to our Humanitarian Project Director and PA area Director for the mission. Mrs Suchanee Seangsuwan has been very helpful to us in the way of Public Relationship and has also given us recognition allowing us to get involved more in the community and get the Church more recognized. In a recent humanitarian even that we were able to be a part of, she introduced us to some government programs that aid in donating wheelchairs to the needy people. In this even, we were able to teach more about the Plan of Salvation and talk about families and the Eternal perspective. There we were able to receive rewards and recognition for helping the Thai people.

I have been invited to talk on radio regarding my family with two cultures and how to keep the Thai culture intact. It was pre-recorded and will air soon. During the recording, I spoke about how we have Family Home Evening and use this to strengthen our family relationship as well as draw closer to God. I also spoke on our youth of the Church and how each one can become good example to their friends and family members.

Another opportunity we have is to be translators to General Authorities that come to Thailand to visit. We have been assigned to be in Ubon District Conference on June 25-26 with the Area Seventy to help him to train and translate his talk there. We have been assigned to call the members of the church who were baptized in the first 10 years in Thailand. Those who were baptized in 1970 to 1980 will be asked to talk about the former mission president, Brother Goodman. ABYU Professor will be coming to Thailand to interview them. I have about 25 members for him to interview and I think it will be a great article.

We were able to have visits with Armstrong and Rachel in Bangkok for five days and we had a great time juggling the differnet visit sites and family visits. They were able to see many different things in Thailand and our family here took very good care of them. We did our best as a tour guide.

Attached are a few pictures of the Humanitarian event and the Wheelchair donation ceremony with the Minister of the Social Development and Human Security. It was a very good opportunity for us to get involved for the Church. We were able to share our Plan of Salvation board with people that came to our booth.

We hope all is well and that everyone is safe and happy. We love the Gospel and love to teach the people of Thailand!

Have a wonderful 4th of July and write to us soon! We would love to hear from you.


Elder and Sister Seangsuwan

Monday, March 7, 2011

March 2011 Update

Happy Birthday to Sister Seangsuwan on February 27th and Happy Birthday to Osmond today March 7th!!!

Time continues to go by very fast. We are already in March and there is still a lot of work to do. Last month was a great and exciting month for Sister Seangsuwan and me. We were able to see the Gospel touch many people’s lives and help them progress towards baptism.

We completed the Missionary Fireside and training for two wards and one branch now with a few more to do still. They are the Srinakarin and Bangkapi wards and the Rangsit Branch. The firesides went very well. It was the goal of the mission to help build more support for members in those units to be better member missionaries and learn how to reach out to friends and neighbors, as well as provide more support to other members. We will continue to do conduct these firesides in Bangkok Stake.

At the Rangsit branch, I was excited to meet up with Brother Banja and his family. I first met Banja when he was 17 in Ayuthaya where I served my first mission in 1974. Reed Haslam and I taught him the missionary discussions and he was baptized there in Ayuthaya. 36 years ago. Bro.Banja is now an officer in the Thai Royel Airforce.

I also met Brother Chaiporn who we met and taught him in Udonthani in 2008. He said after we moved to Buriran, he got baptized and now is strong member of the Rangsit Branch.

Another assignment we have is to be work closely with the Asia Area Audit Training Department. In this assignment we traveled to three districts in Northeast part of Thailand: Udonthani, Khonkhen and Ubonrathani Districts. As translator, I help the district and branch leaders to understand how to handle the money of the Lord.

We enjoyed working in Bangkok with our Mission President. We keep busy during the day and work with young missionaries in the evening teaching families with them. We love being able to help other Thai people that it is possible to be happy in the Gospel and that they too can understand the Plan of Salvation. So far, the missionaries have 7 people to be baptized this month and next.

These are two pictures for you: the baptism of Sister in Ayuthaya and Brother Banja's family.

We Love You All!

Elder and Sister Seangsuwan

February 2, 2011

Sister Seangsuwan and I continue to stay busy teaching with the missionaries, working with all the wards and branches and assisting in the mission office. We have an Area Leadership Training on Feb 5 and we have been assigned to make sure that all district presidents and their counselors arrive in Bangkok safely and have a place to stay. They are coming in from Chiang Mai, Khonkhen, Udornthani.

We have also been assigned to run the missionary firesides in Authaya, Bangkapi and Srinakarin branches. This is to help and motivate members to refer people to the full-time missionaries. We know that this is a big responsibility and that our experience and history in learning and sharing the gospel is important to share with them. We are grateful for our conversion and for the persistence that our members have in sharing the gospel. So far, they have enjoyed the firesides and many members have asked questions in how they can bring souls to Christ.

As far as proselyting, we have been going out with the missionaries in Bangkok almost every week. We are helping them teach one family and the wife has already accepted an invitation to be baptized by the end of February. We are so excited. She is wonderful and will help her family progress.

The other day we had a dinner with one of our relatives, Somyot Seangsuwan and his family. We introduced them to other senior missionary couples and also invited them to one of our family home evening sessions. He enjoyed it very much. Keatisak Seangsuwan and his wife in Bangna asked to have missionaries visit them at their home and are now being visited twice a week. We have also been visiting and teaching four families in Ayuthaya with the missionaries there. There is one sister that we have been teaching there as well and she has asked me to baptize her on the 5th of February.

Sister Seangsuwan has been coordinating with all branches and ward advisors in Thailand to submit their annual history to Hong Kong and to make sure that everyone does it on time. It is the first year that the Thailand Mission has increased in Branches and they will all write their history to be sent to Church Headquarters in Salt Lake.

The Church is doing well in Thailand and we are working as hard as we can to do more. We are determined to make sure we do everything we can every second to help the Church progress and it has been fun and exciting each day. We are grateful for your support and would love to hear from you. We hope that all is well in Bountiful, Utah and we hope that more members are looking for ways to serve. We know that we have truly been blessed.

Love Sister and Elder Seangsuwan

Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

We have been busy, we have to be and we love it! Our Mission President asked us to have a Missionary Fireside with the members in the Bangkok Stake. We have the opportunity to work with each Mission Ward Leader and the full time missionaries assigned to that area and talk to them about our experiences. Last Sunday, we went to the Srinakkarin Ward. There are many wards and branches for us to visit. Our goal is to motivate members to refer more people to be taught by the missionaries. We feel that because of our conversion and our Thai background, this could really help them overcome any fears that they may have. We love sharing with them our experiences of being members and spiritual messages about our purpose here on Earth. That seems to always captivate the member’s as their previous religion was usually Buddhism. We also want them to get excited about serving as missionaries themselves here in Thailand.

Elder Seangsuwan has also been very busy as the Mission President's Clerk/Executive Secretary. There are many assignments that we have to follow and things that just need to get done each week. Getting to know the Mission Presidency has been wonderful. President Nurak and President Chote are our Mission President's counselors. They are both great men have a strong conviction and desire to serve the people of Thailand. It excites us that we are able to work with them and help the five other District Presidents in each area.

As far as proselyting goes, we try and do this as much as we can as this is our favorite thing to do. We have a meeting with the missionaries on Tuesday where we get to work and go out with them to teach a few families and another investigator. We try and go out each evening and walk around tracting in the evening and meet people to teach. There is a couple who came to work with Uncle Somyot (Mani’s cousin) and we think that we will have the opportunity to take them to church someday.

We still have the assignment of visiting the Ayutthaya Branch. It is about an hour drive from Bangkok. We attend church meetings there and continue to visit less active families. This is where we left off from our first mission. President Smith asked if we could visit this branch twice a week and we love to do so. Last two week, the branch president's son and daughter in law were baptized. This was such a spiritual experience and I know they will be strong members and work hard to serve the Church. It makes us happy when we see each member do their best in serving each other here and helping them give each other support. We know in Thailand it can be hard to be a member of the Church, but with the support of each other, we are happy and it shows!

Elder Seasngsuwan was also given a new assignment as High Coucilman for Pakkret District last week. This assignment will require him to be a speaker in five branches. President Chaimongkol is the district president. He was the one who had stayed with us in Bountiful, Utah when he came to visit Utah with is wife. He says hi and hopes that you come to visit soon with the family.

This is such a wonderful time of the year. Not only do we think more of the Savior, His Birth and His Sacrifice, but we also come closer together to remember the true meaning of Christmas and have good times together. We hope that you have all had such a wonderful Christmas! We were able to have a Christmas dinner. We had a great American dinner at our mission home. It was a good change since we get to eat Thai food all day long! We are really trying to walk more and ensure we keep the weight down. But what can you do?

We miss all of you and love all of you. We love our Ward back home very much! We thank all those who donate eyeglasses for people in Thailand as this has made a bigger impact in peoples’ lives than we had initially thought. We will look for more things we can have you do back home to help and maybe have Anna or Osmond bring them or ship them here. They love to have them and want to thank all that had donated and helped out!

Spiritual thought we would love to leave with you is in Alma 29:9.

9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.


Elder and Sister Seangsuwan

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Second Go Around...

We arrived to Thailand safely and are ready to do the Lord’s work. The first thing we were able to do was show the people in the mission office all the eyeglasses that had been donated by our Ward/Stake and friends back home. They were thrilled that the members had been so kind in doing that for the Thai people. Later, I brought many of them to the members of the first branch we visited and asked if anyone needed any. I couldn’t believe how many people were in need for eyeglasses! They were so grateful and said that many people in the Branch did not have enough money to get a pair or replace their broken glasses and that this was indeed a blessing for them. They were shocked to know how many glasses had been donated. I told them how wonderful the members were in helping me with this little project and I knew they were touched by the Spirit and the love they felt. We have many more to bring to the other Branches we will be visiting on assignment and I know that they will all be put to good use!

I will explain more in detail later, but Elder Seangsuwan was called to serve as the mission clerk and executive secretary to the Mission President. We were also asked to help coordinate the ballroom dance group that will be coming from Provo in April. There is also a Branch that we had served in during our first mission in Ayutthaya that needed a lot of help and we were asked to attend there for the first few Sundays and help them out. It is about an hour drive away from Bangkok. A few things are needed there to help out and train on and we are glad we are able to do it.

I have also completed training to be the coordinator for the Distribution Center for the mission. We will help the members order books, the Ensign, their Garments and other needs they may have. We will make sure they get everything they need. Elder Seangsuwan and I will also be traveling to each Branch in the mission and train all the leaders on how to start their family history. We need to reach out to every zone and make sure that all current records are accurate by January 15.

A lot to do!! Though we have been called to serve in various capacities, we are still able to proselyte and teach the gospel. We will be going out with the Assistants many times and visit members and other missionaries as well as help teach and share our experience.

Even though we were serving less than two years ago, there is still so much to learn. The learning process is always fun, but we want to keep busy. We have been made aware of small problems that need to be resolved in each of the Branches from managing budgets for the distribution center, understanding the gospel, learning the Church software and church history and helping members stay active.

Today we made an appointment with an investigator. We will be visiting them later with the Assistants. We hope to teach their family more. We had met them before we returned home from our last mission. The last two weeks, we have also been helping other missionaries in other areas.

We know that it always helps them to see another Thai couple in the Gospel and we enjoy sharing with them our experience and the happiness that we have in our lives knowing and living the Truth.

Last night, we visited a Stake President at his home. We talked about solidifying the English classes for the Thai people and how the missionaries can help teach them at Church. This has been a very effective tool for potential investigators to come to the Church, see who we are, what we are doing and also see how we operate.

We want to tell the members in the Ward hello and thank you so much for your love and support!

We will keep you updated as much as possible and tell you about the wonderful experiences we are having with serving the Lord and sharing the Gospel. I would like to get a few email addresses, but if anyone has time, we would love to hear from you all. Our email address is utahismystate2010@gmail.com.

Osmond will also be keeping a blog of pictures and any other updates we give him. We love you all and we are so grateful for the service you provided for us and for helping with the eye glasses. The Spirit is strong here and we are excited to once again serve the Thai people. We hope you all have Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!


Elder and Sister Seangsuwan

Thailand Mission Photos

Preston and Tanner Saying Hello to Grandma and Grandpa

It was a great time at Ching Mai that all Seniors there, and would like to post their names as follows; Elder and Sister Oldham, Elder and Sister Cook, Elder and Sister Facer, Elder and Sister Gonzales, Elder and Sister Greenwood, Elder and Sister Hatch, Elder and Sister Jones, Elder and Sister Laing, Elder and Sister McPhie, Elder and Sister Sitivong, Elder and Sister Snow, Elder and Sister Wasson, Elder and Sister Jones, Elder and Sister Meakley

January 27, 2008 to Present

We have been assigned to work in the Udonthani District. We have been given assignments to teach new and less active members by using book "Preach my Gospel." We work with less active members and we take part in humanitarian service. We have also been teaching teens on drug and alcohol prevention and keeping the law of chastity and the word of wisdom.

Sister Seangsuwan and I have also been asked to help with the training of the church leaders in this area. We have been in Udon since Jan 27. and do not know how long we will be in this district, it is up to the Mission President. We love the people here and love working with the other missionaries.

We have contacted about 44 families which 7 families are being taught the discussions. Our Mission President asked me to preside and train the leaders in Udon district on March 8. He and his wife are very happy to have us working with the people in this area. We are really happy and enjoy our assignment. For the most part the Thai people in this area open the doors and let us in to teach there family members. They are humble and happy to see Senior Missionaries come to their homes.

Our testimony has grown due to our assignment of teaching the truth of the gospel of the Lord to His children. Our most memorable moment so far is when we introduced ourselves to them that we are from Utah and come to serve the Lord in Thailand, eventhough, we miss our children and grandkids. Serving and leaving family is such a small sacrifice for such a great purpose. It helps us understand more of the great work that we are doing. We work each day and love to serve. Sister Seangsuwan loves to study scripture more and more and is doing her best to learn how to teach the gospel. She still loves to talk alot and share her testimony. We should teach only 30 minutes, but she still goes on and on and the converstation ends up over one and half hour each family.

I told her not to worry about the family at home. When we work hard we know that the Lord will take care of them. So far, we love to serve the Lord in Thailand as well as eat the Thai food. Wednesday is our Preparation day. Sister Seangsuwan does alot of window shopping but does not buy anything. She just likes to look around and I love to follow her. In the evenings, we return back to Church to help young missionaries teaching ESL and we also are able to meet new people to teach. In class, the last 10 minutes, I was introduced as Guest Speaker to teach something that I have learn in the US and answer their questions.

We have had a great experience on our mission and love all of you! Thank you so much for your support! More comments and pictures to come.