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Re: (temporal) mission prep [updated] 11 Apr 2005
1. It's a lot cheaper to get your ties in Thailand, so four is fine (even two or three would be fine if you can get through the MTC without much variety). Normal ties are 40 baht apiece ($1) and zipper ties (which I prefer) are about 80 baht, though prices of course may vary depending on where you are and who you're bargaining with.

2. Deodorant is cheaper in America, so yes, take the two years' supply.

3. Most missionaries seem to just accept the rain and don't bother with a waterproof jacket -- what I did was carry around a 7-Eleven plastic bag in my proselyting bag, and then whenever it rained, I would put everything from my front pocket into my bag, then put the bag in the 7-Eleven bag and tie it closed. I would get soaking wet, of course, but everything in my bag would be dry and it's hot enough that you dry off quickly anyway. I'll admit that for the first few weeks I didn't like being wet much at all, but I got used to it and it's terrifically fun. (And the rain is warm, not cold like it is here in America.)

4. P-day clothes: you don't need a lot -- a couple of t-shirts and a pair of jeans/shorts is fine.

5. Everyone says to get slip-on shoes, but I got two pairs of lace-up Havana Joes and they were easily slipped on and off. Personally, though, if I were to do it again, I would get the cheapest nice pair of shoes I could get here (only one pair), and then in Thailand I would get a new pair whenever needed (a pair of nice shoes is only 500 baht, which is $12). Much cheaper than the $134/pair I spent on those Havana Joes, but I guess it depends on one's taste, too.

6. As far as cameras go, do take a good camera. I didn't and I regret it. As long as you take good care of it, you won't have any problems. There really aren't many theft problems, and if you keep your house locked and your valuables in non-obvious places, you don't need to worry. I wish I'd invested in a digital camera -- the photo development shops in Thailand can take a photo card and burn the pictures to CD for a couple of dollars (and of course get prints if you want), and that saves you from having to scan the pictures in eventually if you want them in digital format.

Good luck,
Ben Crowder Send Email
(temporal) mission prep [updated] 11 Apr 2005
To all you Thailand veterans out there:
I'm buying all the necessities for my service in Bangkok, but I'm not clear on some of the items. For instance, my clothing list says to bring only four ties. Is this correct? Did anyone follow this instruction? Also, do I really need two years' supply of deodorant? What about raingear? Is a light, thin, breathable waterproof jacket alright? Any recommendations on luggage? P-day clothes? And what about shoes? Slip-ons? Lace-ups? You can tell I'm new at this. Your help is much appreciated.


ALSO: what suggestions do you have concerning cameras? I've heard I should take a good one and I've heard the opposite . . . I'm not really worried about mine getting beaten up or soaked or anything but is there much risk of theft?
Matt Selman Send Email
"To Bring the Thais His Truth" 10 Apr 2005
I've decided to attempt to write a small book about the translation of the Book of Mormon into the Thai language. The working title at the momment is "To Bring the Thais His Truth".
In part I will compare the effort on the Thai translataion to that of Joseph Smith's original effort from the original record.

Yes it is sad that no one has attempted this before given that the publication was nearly 30 years ago; but better now than 10 years from now.

I spoke with Sister Sri on the phone this evening and she is willing to participate, even though her memory is starting to get weaker.

I know of some of the great stories about Sister Sri's conversion and some of the issues she faced such as what term to use for Priesthood and how to deal with "the brother of Jared".

I am looking for input from all the Elders who worked with Sister Sri doing translation, and especially from President White regarding finding and baptizing Sister Sri.

Tonight we made a list of the Elders that she can remember working with. That list totals 29 people. If you are registered at the Alumni site and you are on this list you will probably be receiving a direct e-mail from me in the next few weeks.

Anyone with information to share regarding the translation of the Book of Mormon into Thai is encouraged to send me e-mail.
Reed B. Haslam Send Email
President Hansen 05 Apr 2005
I'm entering the MTC in May, headed eventually for Bangkok. I've got a few questions for President Hansen, but the only way I have to contact him is snail mail. Does anyone know President Hansen's email address? My email is ><. Any help is much appreciated.
Matt Selman Send Email
Slater Reunion Pictures 02 Apr 2005
I've posted some pictures from the reunion last night (President Slater) at
Ben Crowder Send Email
Re: Laos & Myanmar 17 Mar 2005
I just got an update from the Coxes (they're the senior couple in Nong Khai, which is just across the border from Laos). So far, they've had 42 Laotians come across to be taught the discussions and baptized. All of these new members are still active, too. They're expecting to have 50 members by June.

The entire branch presidency is Laotian (the branch president is Khamphee, the driver of the van which takes the investigators across to Nong Khai; the first counselor is Brother Tung, who was baptized in Minnesota several years ago and is the grandfather of many of these new members; the second counselor is Khamyom, who was baptized back when I was there). All of those who bless and pass the sacrament are Laotian, too.

There are three senior couples there (Elder and Sister Forbes; Elder and Sister Clark; and Elder and Sister Martin will arrive there next week). There are no young missionaries stationed in Laos yet, however, and only President Hansen and the APs have gone over (once, a few months ago, for a training meeting). President Hansen is still waiting for permission from Salt Lake to send missionaries there.

I'll post more updates as I receive them.
Ben Crowder Send Email
Laos & Myanmar 15 Mar 2005
While visiting Utah State University with my daughter last week I found a "Map of World Missions" in the Institute of Religion. The map was correct with respect to changes in the missions of Japan in July 2001, thus placing the map's date some time after that. On that map Loas and Myanmar (Burma) were assigned to the Cambodia Phonm Penn Mission. Thus at some point in the late 1990's or early 2000's responsibility for those countries was shifted from Thailand to Cambodia [ Perhaps Presidents Goodman or Slater could give us a precise time]. Such a move ignored that fact that Laotion is much closer to Thai than Cambodian]. Moving responsibility back to Thailand simply makes sense, thus the return of Laos and Myanmar to Thailand Bangkok that occured last year.

Anyone know the latest on the work in Laos?
Reed B. Haslam Send Email
Thai Testimonies 28 Dec 2004
We'd like to announce a new site, Thai Testimonies, which has grown out of the Christmas Testimonies project. We were very pleased with the testimonies that were submitted, and because of the power of those testimonies, we've created this new site to bring together the faith and spirit of both the members and the missionaries. The year 2005 is the 200th anniversary of the Prophet Joseph Smith's birthday and the 175th anniversary of the organization of the Church, and President Hinckley has called for a yearlong celebration of the Restoration. Please take a few minutes and write your testimony of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and President Gordon B. Hinckley. Please write in Thai if you can; if not, feel free to write in phaasaa elder (instructions are at the bottom of the page) or English. Thank you!

The site is at:

Ben Crowder
Jon Haase


เราอยากจะประกาศเว็บไซต์ใหม่ซึ่งเรียกว่า ประจักษ์พยานไทย ซึ่งก็เกิดจากโครงการประจักษ์พยานคริสต์มาส เราพอใจมากกับประจักษ์พยานที่พวกท่านส่งมา และเพราะว่าประจักษ์พยานเหล่านี้มีอำนาจจริงๆ เราสร้างไซต์ใหม่นี้ที่จะรวมศรัทธาและความมั่นคงของทั้งสมาชิกและผู้สอนศาสนา ปี ๒๐๐๕ เป็นปีฉลองครบรอบ ๒๐๐ ปีของวันเกิดของศาสดาโจเซฟ สมิธและครบ ๑๗๕ ปีของการจัดตั้งของศาสนาจักรฯ ประธานฮิงค์ลีย์ขอให้ฉลองการฟื้นฟูทั้งปี กรุณาใช้สี่ห้านาทีและเขียนประจักษ์พยานของท่านเรื่อง โจเซฟ สมิธ พระคัมภีร์มอรมอน ศาสนาจักร์ของพระเยซูคริสต์แห่งสิทธิชนยุคสุดท้าย และประธานกอร์ดอน บี. ฮิงค์ลีย์ หน่อยครับ ถ้าเป็นไปได้อยากให้เขียนเป็นภาษาไทยนะครับ ขอบคุณมากๆ นะครับ


เบ็น คราวเดอร์
จอน ฮาซา
Ben Crowder Send Email
Burma 03 Dec 2004
Before becoming part of our mission earlier this year, Laos and Burma were part of the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission. President Towers had visited both countries a couple of times a year but he was rather far from both and that was probably one of the factors in putting them back in the Thailand Bangkok Mission.

As far as Burma goes, President Dickson and President Towers went there not too long before the change and baptized several dozen people in Rangoon, the capital city. President Hansen visited Burma in early August 2004 and met with several members. The last time I heard, there were around 50 members there, with at least two humanitarian couples (one in Rangoon and one elsewhere). So far the only thing the Church has translated into Burmese is the Joseph Smith pamphlet.
Ben Crowder Send Email
Call for Mission Memories 03 Dec 2004
There aren't very many posts on here, but everyone who's served in Thailand
certainly has many memories that could be shared. So, please take a few
minutes to write up one or more mission memories and post them here. Here are
a few ideas:

1. What was it like to be a greenie?
2. What surprised you most when you got to Thailand?
3. What do you miss most about Thailand?
4. Any amusing language stories?
5. What was your favorite Thai food? Why?
6. What was the weirdest food you ate on your mission?
7. What was your favorite area? Why?
8. If you opened (or closed) an area, what was it like?
9. What was it like to become senior?
10. What was it like to be a trainer?
11. What was your most memorable zone conference? Why?
12. Any spiritual experiences you'd like to share?
13. Any good bike crash or khlong stories?
14. Did you ever go back and thiaw? How was it?

This is just a handful, of course; feel free to write about whatever you want
(provided that it's not gossip or demeaning). And if you're not a "writer,"
don't worry, because anyone can tell a story.
Ben Crowder Send Email

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