2008 News
December 13, 2008 - Bangkok Stake Celebrates the Christmas Season.
"Joy to the World" was the theme of the Bangkok stake's Christmas celebration for 2008. The event was held on the grounds of the new church building on New Petchaburi road not far from the Asoke building. The photographs were provided by Wisan Wisanbannawit, 1st counselor in the stake presidency. Additional photographs can be found on facebook.
The Invitation
Sisters share their talents on the flute
Young Women Choir
Choir Shares Christmas Music
Entry - Trees Lit with Lights
Where do you find a Santa outfit in Bangkok?
August 14, 2008 - Church donates 980 Wheelchairs in honor of His Majesty the King's 80th Birthday [ Source: LDS Church News - September 13, 2008 By Elder Wayne G. Facer and Sister Mary Gayle Facer- Public affairs missionaries]
Elder Halstrom with Kamthon Sindhvananda and a few beneficiaries
BANGKOK THAILAND Nearly 1,000 Thai citizens with physical disabilities will receive wheelchairs thanks to a major donation through Latter-day Saint Charities, to His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej in honor of his 80th birthday.

The donation was made through the Privy Council, an advisory counsel to the king, to the designated charity, the Sai Jai Thai Foundation, a charity under the patronage of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Providing the 980 wheelchairs is Latter-day Saint Charities, the charitable foundation of the Church. The Sai Jai Thai Foundation will distribute the wheelchairs to those in need with the assistance of nine nominated charities.

Accepting the wheelchairs from LDS Charities in a ceremony Thursday, Aug. 14, was His Excellency Kamthon Sindhvananda, privy councilor and vice-president of the Sai Jai Thai Foundation. His Excellency Kamthon thanked Latter-day Saints Charities and the Church for the donation.

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Seventy, president of the Asia Area, thanked Sai Jai Thai for its assistance in receiving and storing the wheelchairs until they could be distributed. He explained that the Church has been involved in many humanitarian welfare efforts in Thailand over the past few years and that it is a privilege to help the poor and needy in the Kingdom of Thailand.

Work began on the wheelchair donation shortly after senior missionaries Robert and Theone Snow, Thailand country directors for Latter-day Saint Charities, arrived in Thailand in March 2007. They met with M.R. Benchapa Krairiksh, a descendant of King Rama IV, to ask for assistance in making a donation to the palace.

M.R. Benchapa has done much charity work with local charities and is the wife of Sakthip Krairiksh, former Thailand ambassador to the United States and Japan. While in the U.S., the couple became friends with members of the Church in the Washington, D.C., area. They were hosted by Church officials in Salt Lake City. In Utah, the couple became friends with President Gordon B. Hinckley.

M.R. Benchapa said that she was excited about working with the palace on the wheelchair donation and suggested the Snows write a letter to the Privy Council outlining the proposal. She said that "the letter should state that Latter-day Saint Charities would like to donate 980 wheelchairs to H.M. The King in honor of His Majesty's 80th birthday." That specific number was suggested because the number 9 represents the current king who is the 9th king in the Rama line and 80 represents the king's 80th birthday in December 2007.

In Thailand, the Church has 15,000 members in 39 units throughout the country. Elder Snow noted that the Church has made significant donations to the Thai citizens over the years. Those donations have included neonatal resuscitation equipment and training, vision care equipment, infant health kits and infant formula, tsunami aid, intensive English teaching assistance and clean water projects for schools and villages.

June 15, 2008 - The first church services were held in the building on the new church property on New Petchaburi Road
"The Asoke ward and the Dindaeng branch are meeting at the new location. After remodeling of the Asoke building, the International Ward (English speaking) may return to that location.
June 7-8, 2008 - The Bangkok Thailand stake held stake conference at the Amari Watergate Hotel.
Among the speakers were Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the presidency of the Quorums of the Seventy.
April 2008 - New Building Purchased in Bangkok
President Wisit reported that "The Church has purchased a new building near the intersection of Soi Asoke and New Petchaburi road." President Wisit described the new building as being located "next to the new speed train station which will connect the new airport with Bangkok". "It is just west of the intersection of New Petchaburi Road and Soi Asoke. Click on the images below for an enlarged view. The property is about 4.5 Rai or nearly two acres.
Building on the New Stake Property
Map showing the location of the Asoke Meetinghouse and the new Bangkok property

This building will become the home to the Asoke Ward and Dindaeng Branch of the Bangkok Thailand stake starting on Sunday June 15th. While President Wisit made no commitments at this time, it appears that perhaps the new building will be replaced (or perhaps remodeled) so as to become the long hoped for multi-use building for the church in Bangkok. If that is the case, then the long term future of the historic Asoke chapel may be in doubt.

The English speaking ward in Bangkok is moving to the beautiful new Srinakarin building on On Nut road (photo).

April 26, 2008 - Bangkok Stake Sports Day -
Held at Ramkhamhang University
The Sisters have a Tug of War
[Photo: Brother Thanachard]
Shining moments: Simple faith - Source: LDS Church News Published: Saturday, May 24, 2008
Chiang Rai is a small city in northern Thailand where riches may be scarce, but determination is great. The branch there was greatly blessed three years ago by a 14-year-old boy whose faith touched the life-long members.

Bouy was being taught by the elders, but had not yet been baptized. His mother was a recent convert and his sister was serving a mission. His mother worked hard to provide for the family, though it was hardly enough for their needs. Bouy had a passion for the gospel and deeply wanted to be a part of the Church.

He was soon baptized and scheduled to be confirmed the following week in sacrament meeting. As the meeting began, however, Bouy had not arrived. There was much tension as the time for his confirmation approached. When administration of the sacrament ended, almost on cue, the young boy came through the doors and headed straight for the stand, wearing the best clothes he had — a shirt with his favorite superhero and a pair of clean shorts.

This young man was being faithful to the covenants he'd made the previous week. But more incredible was the reason for his late arrival.

The family motorcycle had broken down and Bouy's bicycle, the only other form of transportation, was needed elsewhere. He knew he needed the gift of the Holy Ghost to complete his membership in the Church. Yet, being too shy to ask for a ride, he walked two hours to attend meetings. There was scarcely a dry eye in the building as he explained the difficulties of the morning.

Bouy now continues his faithful membership by riding to the meetinghouse each day at 4 a.m., to attend seminary, which begins at 5 o'clock.

This young boy was not extremely knowledgeable about doctrines of the Church, but he knew it was true.

Examples like Bouy's remind us that simple faith leads to action. When we as members of the Church truly know that this is the Lord's Church, there is nothing we won't do for Him. — Heather Sommer of the Zion's Peak Ward, Salt Lake Valley View Stake, served in the Thailand Bangkok Mission.

March 14, 2008 - President Clyde T. Lowe passes
President Clyde T Lowe passed away on Friday, March 14, 2008. He lived a great life and was a great mission president to those that served with him. We know he is enjoying a reunion with his sweet wife who preceded him in death some years ago. President Lowe was 92 years old at the time of his passing.

President Lowe with his wife served from July 1, 1979 until June 30, 1982. He was the third president of the Thailand Bangkok Mission. Prior to his call as mission President he and his wife had previously lived four years in Thailand while he was employed by the U.S. government.

Asoke Chapel to close for remodeling.
The first chapel in Thailand near Soi Asoke, will close in May 2008 for 6 months or more of remodeling. "The church continues to search for a suitable place on a major road in Bangkok to construct a multi-use building, including a new home for the Bangkok Thailand Stake.
The Asoke Chapel under Construction 1972 [Photograph: Ray Brown]
Saturday, February 2, 2008 - Celebrating 40 Years of Missionary Work in Thailand.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of that day in 1968 when the first six missionaries arrived in Bangkok, Thailand. The Bangkok Thailand stake invited the original six missionaries to return this weekend to commemorate their arrival 40 years ago. Of the original six missionaries only Alan H. Hess and Larry R. White made the trip back to Bangkok for the commemoration activities. The other four former missionaries Peter W. Basker. Craig G. Christensen, L. Carl Hanson. and Robert W. Winegar sent letters that were read during the commemoration fireside. Robert W. Winegar was nearby in Phnom Penh Cambodia serving as president of the Cambodia, Phnom Penh mission.

[Note: Elder Elam Luddington was the very first missionary to serve in Thailand. He arrived in Bangkok in 1854, but stayed only a few months].

Photograph after commemoration fireside at the Asoke Chapel
Elders Hess and White are on the far left
[Photograph Wisan Wisanbannawit]
Left to Right: Alan H. Hess, Srilaksana Suntarahut, Larry R. White

[Photograph: Larry R. White]
While in Thailand Alan Hess and Larry White visited with Sister Srilaksana. Elders White and Hanson were the missionaries that taught Sister Srilaksana and her daughters the gospel in 1968. They also visited Sister Srilaksana's younger sister Pathumthong who is in a Bangkok hospital being treated for cancer. Elder Hess was the most senior of the six missionaries and the only one called from Hong Kong (the rest were serving in Taiwan). Additional photos of the 40th Anniversary of the arrival of missionaries
Monday, January 14, 2008 - Mani and Noodchanaada Seangsuwan enter the Missionary Training Center
[Photograph: Mani Seangsuwan]
The Seangsuwans are the first Thai couple to serve as senior missionaries in Thailand. Mani previously served a mission in Thailand (1974-1976). He was the fifth native Thai to serve as a missionary. Their 1st assignment is to the Udorn Thailand district. For updates on their mission please see their blog.