Special Photo Archive: All featured photographs on the HTown-Publishing web site.:
Elder Reed Haslam (left) and Mani Seangsuwan (right) work in Ayuthaya Thailand in 1974. This photo was staged outside the elder's residence. It was originally used in an article written by Elder Haslam regarding the strength of members serving in their native lands. Elder Mani was the 5th native Thai to serve as a missionary.[Photo: Mani Seangsuwan]
Translating Scripture: The Thai Book of Mormon Early Members of the Missionary Musical Group - SidTiChonYukSudThay - 1975. This music group has been reincarnated many times since 1975 to attract attention to the church in Thailand. [Photo: Thomas R. Christensen]
The Light Breaks on Southeast Asia - Elder Gordon B. Hinckley baptizes Brother Win Naing in Rangoon Burma- September 1987. [Photo: John P. Colton/ Win Naing]
The Light Beaks on Southeast Asia - Elder Holland in Vientiane, Laos, February 22, 2006 to offer a prayer of dedication and a blessing on the people of Laos. Pictured here on either side of Elder and Sister Holland are Brother Khamphee (branch president at that time) and his wife Boualay.[Photo: Scott F. Hansen]
Confirmation at the Burmese Waters of Mormon In January 1988, 67 Burmese were baptized and confirmed at the Burmese Waters of Mormon outside of Mandalay. The new members were all from the Chin state in Northwest Burma. This was a follow-up from Elder Hinckley's visit in September 1987. Photo: [Floyd B. Weed]
Dedication of Cambodia 1996 - Following the dedication of the Hong Kong China Temple, President Hinckley traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to dedicate that land for the preaching of the restored gospel. Pictured here on May 29, 1996, following the dedicatory prayer with Brother Vichit Ith who is known to some as the father of the church in Cambodia.[Photo: Leland D. White]
Dedication of Thailand 1966 -
The War in Viet Nam brought numerous Latter-day Saints to Southeast Asia, some to fight and others to provide support services for those fighting. Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, then a young member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, visited Viet Nam and Thailand during the fall of 1966. On October 30, 1966, he dedicated South Viet Nam and 3 days later on November 2, 1966, he dedicated Thailand. This rare photograph from Alan Hess shows President and Sister Hinckley (center), Elder Marion D. Hanks (First Council of the Seventy) and his wife (right) and President Keith Garner and his wife (left - Southern Far East Mission (Hong Kong)) at Lumpini Park in Bangkok on the day of dedication. Read the dedicatory prayer (unofficial copy) English
. President Garner returned on February 2, 1968 with the first six missionaries to Thailand. [Photo: Alan Hess]
Baptisms in Siem Reap Cambodia (2007). Sister Diane Enslen a senior missionary with adopted children of Loy Bunseak a member of the branch presidency. Brother and Sister Enslen arrived in Siem Reap shortly after the first missionaries and they anchored the new branch for the first year of its existence. Siem Reap is near Cambodia's number one tourist attraction Angkor Wat. [Photo: John & Diane Enslen]
The home in Vientiane Laos that serves as the meeting house and the offices of Deseret International Charities (DIC) in Laos. From left to right. Brother Khamphee former branch president and driver for the humanitarian missionaries. Elder and Sister Luangwrath (first native Laotians to return from the United States as missionaries to their home country. Elder and Sister Neilson. (August 2011).[Photo: Gary Neilson]
Srilaksana Suntarahut (1924-2013) was an early convert to the LDS Church in Thailand soon after the first missionaries arrived in 1968. Her testimony came powerfully, after reading just a few verses, from the English Book of Mormon. She and two sisters, were raised by the widowed and childless Queen of King Rama VI, with the support of her parents. She became the principal translator of the LDS Scriptures into the Thai Language (1970-1979), receiving revelation to solve challenging issues. While she could not be their priesthood leader, she was the shepherd to the young flock of early converts, hosting them at her home every Sunday afternoon. She shared her testimony with all who would listen. Her story is one of the most remarkable in all of LDS Church history. Sister Srilaksana Suntarahut passed away on November 7, 2013, in Bangkok, Thailand, at age 89. [Photo: Srilaksana Suntarahut]
The First Chapel in Cambodia - South District Center - The first chapel in Cambodia, located in Phnom Penh, was dedicated by Bishop Richard C. Edgley on January 25, 2004. The large two story building provided a gathering place for all the Saints in the area. It was the largest chapel in Southeast Asia at that time. [Photo: Church News]
Ground was broken on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2002 by President John P. Colton. The ceremony followed a leadership training meeting. Photo: John P. Colton]
In June 1992, while Thailand was suffering from a political dispute that had led to bloodshed in the streets of Bangkok, Elders Neal A. Maxwell and Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, visited Bangkok and spoke at a district conference held on June 7. Thailand Bangkok Mission President Larry R. White asked Elder Maxwell if he could leave a blessing on Thailand at the end of his talk that day. He did so, urging the Saints to pray for a resolution of the political difficulty as promised in his blessing. On June 10, a new prime minister was announced who was embraced by most of the Thai people, ending that political crisis. Pictured above, left to right: Sister Srilaksana Suntarahut, President Larry R. White and Elder Neal A. Maxwell.
[Photo: Larry R. White]
It was the war in Viet Nam that brought the gospel to Southeast Asia. In Viet Nam it was LDS servicemen who were the first missionaries in this part of the world. Without that war it probably taken another decade or more before regular full time missionaries entered Indochina. In this photo are LDS servicemen who were being visited by Church Leaders (the white shirts). Standing are Gordon B. Hinckley, then a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and 4th from the left Marion D. Hanks of the First Council of the Seventy. This photo was taken in 1966, perhaps at the time South Viet Nam was dedicated for the preaching of the gospel by Elder Hinckley. Elder Hanks made many trips through Viet Nam to visit with LDS servicemen during the war. The first regular full time missionaries were transferred from the Southern Far Eat mission with headquarters in Hong Kong arriving in Saigon on April 6, 1973. Fifteen full time missionaries served in the Saigon area before the evacuation of all remaining missionaries in early April 1975, as the troops from North Viet Nam were making progress towards Saigon. [Photo: Virgil Kovalenko / VASAA]
The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. The most prominent Buddhist shrine in the country's largest city. Yamgon, Myanmar is home to a growing branch of the church. Photo taken during a storm at night. [Photo: Dale Simpson]
Humanitarian Services have been going forward in the People's Democratic Republic of Laos since December 1995 under the banner, "Deseret International Charities (DIC)". Pictured here is a fish hatchery built by DIC to provide income for disabled members in the country. Brother Khamphee is at the far left. [Photo: Richard Forbes]
Cambodia Celebration - Twenty years ago the first missionaries, Elder and Sister Dobson arrived in Cambodia. On July 1, 1997, the Cambodia Phnom Penh mission was organized from the Thailand Bangkok Mission with Leland D. White as the first mission president. He and Sister White had been serving as senior missionaries in the Thailand Bangkok Mission (serving in Cambodia) prior to their call. On May 25, 2014 the Cambodian Saints celebrate 20 years of missionary work in their country with the creation of two stakes - Phnom Penh Cambodia South Stake and the Phnom Penh Cambodia North stake, the second and third stakes in Indochina. The Phnom Penh.Cambodia North Stake is pictured above. [Photo: Robert Winegar].
When the Asoke Chapel was completed in Bangkok Thailand during 1972 there were no skyscrapers towering over it. The tall buildings had not yet made it to the area near Soi Asoke and New Petchaburi Road. The chapel is still home to the Bangkok Thailand Stake, the Bangkok Ward (English Speaking with members from many nations) and the Asoke Thai Ward. [Photo: Betty Morris]
LDS Senior Missionaries returned to Viet Nam in 1992 when Elder Stanley and Sister Mavis Steadman along with their friends Elder LaVar and Sister Helen Bateman were assigned to Hanoi to provide humanitarian services. From that point forward there have continuously been LDS missionaries in Viet Nam. In 2012, regular proselyting missionaries were sent to the branches in Viet Name as "Branch Builders" from the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission where many Vietnamese speaking missionaries had served since 1995. These missionaries could not go looking for investigators, but any investigators who came looking to learn about the church could be taught. On May 30, 2014 the Deseret News announced recognition
for the church had been received recognition through a group of three Vietnamese brethren who officially represent the Church inside the country. The article also noted that church membership now exceeded 1,600 inside the country. The photo above was from the Hanoi branch in 2012 [Photo: Lewis Hassell]
Angkor Wat, the national treasure of Cambodia was the site of the largest city in the world in 1200 A.D. It is recognized as the source of the Khmer people of Cambodia. Nearby Sien Reap has been the location of a branch of the Church since 2007. It has its own International Airport to support the number of tourists who visit Angkor.
Large reservoirs accumulated water during the rainy season. The water supported the huge population during the dry season. The lack of muck rain from the monsoon, for a period of thirty years, led to the demise of the great city, which was eventually left to the jungle. The jungle has consumed much of what was left.
Today Angkor Wat is the largest of several temples in the area. It was during this time that the King changed the local religion from Hindu to Buddhism. [Photo: Robert W. Winegar]
In the aftermath of the Great Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 26, 2004, Elder and Sister Zaugg were sent to Phuket, in Southern Thailand, to supervise the Church's relief efforts in that area. The Phutket area was hit hard by the monster waves.
One of the projects they supervised was helping fishermen to get new boats to resume their livelihoods. A total of 70 boats were built. The fishermen themselves were hired to build the new boats. To thank the Zauggs and the Church for their effort and support, the final boat was named "Families are Forever". [Photo: Scott Hansen]
The fascinating ancient ruins of Began Myanmar (Burma). Many ancient pagodas can be seen in this one photo.
Myanmar is slowing changing, allowing more freedoms to its people. LDS Humanitarian services have been on-going in Myanmar since the late 1990s. This year following a pattern that began in Viet Nam in 2012, young missionaries are now serving in Myanmar as "branch builders" under strict rules that prohibit public proselyting of any kind. The branch in Yangon has over 100 members. Several missionaries have been called from Myanmar to serve in other areas in the world. [Photo: Dale Simpson]