We had the opportunity to meet the Pioneer of the gospel in Laos. Let me do my best at recounting her story. She is the small Sister Kelly and I are standing beside in the rice field. In the early 1990's Sister Bounmy moved to Minnesota to live near her eldest daughter who had joined the church while living in the USA. She heard the lessons and she and her husband joined. All converts state how much they loved the missionaries that taught them and this is true for Sister Bounmy. After living in the USA for a period of time they wanted to return to their homeland back in Laos. As they returned they wanted to share the gospel with their friends and family and proceeded to do so. The local police came by and threatened her husband that if he didn't stop they would take action. He continued to preach the gospel. The police arrived and gave him 24 hours to leave the country and never return. He left to Thailand and then off to the USA. Sister Bounmy has never seen her husband again.
She has a beautiful home with her family all around her and while I understood nothing she said but that which was translated to me by the branch president, her whole countenance exudes the gospel of Jesus Christ. She hopes one day that the field that is in her back yard of rice will become the next LDS church location. I agree!
The branch president is also a Pioneer. He was a driver for an LDS person who worked for the CIA and then became the driver for the missionary couples to their humanitarian projects. He said, "I gained my testimony by listening to the missionary couples pray before we would go anywhere". A number of years ago young Elders were Laos for one day from Thailand and on that day, he and his wife were baptised.