June 26, 2014

6/23/14- MTC Week 3

Well this week has been one of miracles, blessings, and spiritual growth! It started getting really routine here but the spiritual and language study is new and fun everyday! On Monday it was Pday! Sister Brown and I went to the temple and did sealings. We started class at 5:15pm and did a lot of role plays. I had a whole conversation with sister Hershi in Thai! I was so proud of my self!  Sister Zoller and I made up little raps to memorize words during language study! We were laughing so hard! The next couple days were like a roller coaster! My cough got really bad and everyone thought that I was dying! On Tuesday, I was really praying about what I should study when I remembered Elder Cook telling us that there is always something to learn about the, “Tree of Life story!” I started reading and then it hit me! The fruit of the tree is the atonement and love of Jesus Christ!  My purpose is to do what Lehi was doing--inviting and yearning for others to partake of the fruit (the atonement and love of Jesus Christ). We know how good it is because we have partaken of it and want others to know the goodness as well!!!!!

Later that day we were teaching n))n (our teacher Brother Thrap). It was a literal train wreck! It was very humbling because of how well it went with txg.  Funny story- in the lesson I was trying to say "cawcay duay" (I understand too) but I said "cawcay tambien" AHHHH! I said it so confidently too and he started laughing and I was so embarrassed!  I completely mixed up my Thai with Spanish!  After that lesson I felt like the language was hopeless. It was the fist time I truly got discouraged. A couple of hours later the mail came and I got a package and letter from my sister, Caitlin! My whole day was turned around. I am so grateful for the love and support I get from my family! For the devotional that night, Russell M Ballard, came and talked to us about focusing on the simple doctrine of Christ and how that will keep our foundation strong. After the devo I got to see McKenna from college.  I love seeing people from the outside world. That night we watched Legacy! It was so funny because they had 3 kissing scenes in it and everyone was freaking out!

On Wednesday we taught pl))y (Sister Hershi) and it was hard because she was so non-responsive. It was frustrating. That day I was worried and had so many questions. I was praying and reading for an answer. I read 2 random scriptures in D & C, Nephi and Alma. The scriptures were all connected with the same topic.  I thought and prayed for a long time and suddenly it all clicked! It was like a puzzle! After I connected all the dots, I could feel God say, "There you go, you got it!" That experience made me realize that lots of times it takes a lot of searching and working to receive answers! Heavenly Father will help us understand in his own way, his own time and his own will. We have to remember to be patient! That day 13 new Hong Kong sisters came in and they are all so CUTE!

On Thursday we had service in the morning! It was so fun! We were singing and making up chants and remembering girls’ camp songs! I never knew that mopping floors could be so fun! In personal study I read about how we have to keep studying because we will gain more and new knowledge and insight even if we feel like we already understand! Alma 28:28-30, "for unto him that receiveth I shall give more". We have to keep building our foundation of Christ! That night during our additional study time, my Khuu went out for interviews and all the sisters left to go to the bathroom and I was just in the room studying. When I looked up from my flashcards I realized that it was just me and 6 Elders in the room! The teacher looked in and started going off in Thai because that wasn't allowed!  I booked it out of there trying to find a sister to be with. It was so funny. That night I got like 3 hours of sleep because of all that was going on. I was so worried I was going to be grumpy and tired the next day but I was awake and happy all he following day! The Lord really did bless me! In the morning we taught Pl))y.  The lesson was a very boring topic and it made the gospel sound not as good as it its. So at the end of the lesson I felt that I was suppose to say something about the happiness of the gospel! I looked at Pl))y and said, "This gospel is suppose to be happy! We have it so that we can have Joy." As I was saying this I felt the spirit testify to me that it truly is a gospel that brings happiness! She cracked a smile for the first time! I was so happy!!!!!!!! 

On Saturday a package from my mom came! (It made me so happy because it had fun little things in it like bubbles.) In class we learned how to tell time! It was so confusing because for each hour you have to say a different phrase with the time! It is a lot of memorization! We had a lesson with N))n that went so much better. We taught a brief overview of the Plan of Salvation and he asked us a lot of questions that we were kind of stumped on but we are ready to answer them next lesson! 

One thing that I learned is that you have to know how to personally express how you know things are true! We have been working a lot on that this week.  In Khuu study we focused on D & C 42 (the last verse), "if you love me serve me and keep my commandments."  We put this into every context we could think of but related it most to missionary work and the MTC. If we truly love God we will exactly obey him.  I have to remember theses are God’s rules and if we love him we will follow them. It was an awesome conversation. We did lots of SYL with our district then watched a Mormon message, "missionary work and the atonement!" It hit everyone really strong in our district and made us all want to be better disciples of Jesus Christ. It talked about when we are tired and want to rest, "remember him", remember what he did for us when he was tired and wanted to rest. 

Sundays are always my favorite here because it is not the normal routine we usually have!  We get to relax more and be spiritually fed by others. All 15 of the Quorum were here in the MTC for training. In our devotional, l Janice Kapp Perry came and spoke and it was the funniest devo I have ever been to. She was cracking jokes and in the middle of her talk her husband got up and KISSED her and all the missionaries went crazy chanting and clapping and "ooowing”, it was so awesome! At the end we all stood and sang, "The Armies of Helamen and Sisters in Zion."  It was so powerful. It is so amazing to hear all the missionaries sing that song. We then watched to the Joseph Smith movie that made us all cry. It was a good Sunday! 

Overall this week was amazing. I am so grateful for my sister training leaders, Sister Lindley and Sister Uresk. They are so fun! I love my district! We are all best friends! We have a reputation in the building as the loudest district- it's because we love each other so much we can't stand not talking to each other! I love the Church so much.  I know that God is in all the details of our lives and he has a plan for us even if we can't see it. I’m glad Heavenly Father lets me make mistakes because without them he couldn't help me learn and grow. This week I was reading in Mathew 14…if we take our eyes off the Lord we will start to sink. If we do start to sink his hand is stretched out towards us waiting for us to grab on. He will never leave us alone even when we forget him and start to sink. He is always there. 

I love you all so much.  Have a great week!  PRAY.
-Sister Herrmann

Role Playing.
Messing around. 
Our favorite Elders!
My district.
The sisters in my district.
Me and sister Uresk and Lindley. I love them! 
My cute bed. Someone shoe left, gave me their bedspread. 

June 17, 2014

6/16/14- MTC Week 2

Dear Family and Friends,

First, I want to make a shout out to my dad, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY DADDY!!!!!!! You are literally the best dad on the planet! On Father’s Day they kept showing videos of children with their dads! I don't know why they would do that to us. It made me miss you even more! Also, happy birthday to my mom. She is the best mom in the whole wide world and is my best friend. And HB to Chase for being a pretty cool brother! 

This week was all over the place so I am just going to go through each day! On Monday it was P-day! It was really weird having time to myself! Class started that night started at 5:15 pm and we talked about how important it is to teach investigators and not lessons!  As missionaries we need to get to know the investigators and teach according to their needs. I like a quote that says, "they don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  We can’t shove information down their throats. We have to start with love. Monday night was the fist night I’ve cried because I miss home! I prayed and prayed for comfort then my mom's voice popped into my head, "When you are missing home serve and do something for someone else!” I took a deep breath and started thinking about Pii Txg and what I could do to help him understand the gospel better! It is crazy how when you "lose yourself" in service to people and the work you are happier and feel better!

On Tuesday, it was harder to wake up but we did it like usual! For gym we did splits and Sister Nethercott (she is in my cousin Makenzie’s home ward) and I went to the field and played botchi ball! After that we started right into study time in our classroom. In personal study and comp study we talked about Nephi 7:11-13 and D&C 68:6. This is all about the atonement and how we are not alone. We thought it was the perfect thing to introduce to Txg!  He started asking about Jesus Christ and we knew exactly what scriptures to show him.  It was amazing! When the lesson was over and we were about to leave he looked at me and said, "khon phuud dii!" which means you speak well! It made me so happy because I felt like I was just spitting out words and I didn't make sense but apparently it did! My Khuu (companion) and I had a good khuu inventory. I love her so much but are we are very different--100% opposites! We learned that we have to talk things out to have the spirit with us and avoid contention. The people in my district amaze me each day. Their stories and faith to come out and serve on their missions especially in difficult situations is so amazing. I am so blessed to have such a close and fun district. They are always making me laugh! Elder Cook came and spoke to us. He talked about how missionaries are to invite investigators to gain testimonies of the Lord and not to gain testimonies of the missionaries. It was amazing! 

On Wednesday, it was just like every other day at the MTC. We taught Txg a lesson it was really good! I am getting worried about the grammar of Thai! I feel like I am speaking like a little kid because they don't use filler words and the sentence structure is really weird! I feel like the Lord humbles me everyday! One second I will be so confident and feel like I totally understand the language, then the next second I feel like I suck at the language and that it is so hard! Ether 12:27 - if we are humble he will make weak things become strong unto us! At the end of the day we just did lots of study and talking with the district!!!! We are so close and love each other so much! 

On Thursday, it was A LOT harder! Wednesday evening I started to get sick. My nose was congested, sore throat, headache, really bad stomach ache, etc. I was tossing and turning all night and woke up with a fever and stomach and cold symptoms. I went to class because I didn't want to be stuck in my room all day. In class I couldn't really focus. I am so grateful for my district for showing me so much love.  

On Friday, it was so weird because our investigator, Txg, came into our class and is now our TEACHER! His name is Brother Thrap and he says things WAY different than Sister Hershi said them. We felt like we starting back at day 1. We learned a lot about our new investigator (who happens to be Sister Hershi, so we were all dying because we love her so much and it is going to be weird teaching her). I am super excited to teach though! I love teaching! It helps me so much with Thai and gospel.

On Saturday, I still felt sick but wanted to learn Thai so much that I just sucked it up and went to class! We had two--3 hour Thai classes as usual. We love our teachers so much! They are both such generous and wonderful people.  They feel like parents.  I hope to be like them someday.  We had 4 and a half hours of personal/language/companion and additional study time! We studied self worth because that is what our investigator is struggling with! We laughed a lot today…as usual! My khuu and I were “talking” Thai so much and so loud that I started losing my voice!  

On Sunday I woke up with my voice completely gone! My Khuu had to talk for me! I was dying because I had so much to say and I couldn’t say it! Sister Sheri Dew came and spoke for the devotional.  She spoke about grace it was so amazing! We watched the movie "Legacy" and all the missionaries were dying of laughter because it was so cheesy! We said goodbye to the Hong Kong sisters because they were leaving the next day! It was so sad! This next week all the mission presidents are coming to the MTC to get trained so lots of general authorities are coming and maybe even the prophet! We are all super pumped!  

Well, I still love the MTC even though I was sick half the week! The spirit is always so amazing and strong here.  Everyone here is so nice and loving! I am growing closer to my Heavenly Father each day! Keep it real! LOVE YOU ALL!
(Our district hashtags) #teamthaithighs #talkthaitome #teamohana #teamnonap, teamnotalkduringpersonalstudytime ... HAHAHHAHA oh, how I love my district!

- Sister Herrmann

Friday Night in our room!
My District
Some of the girls that are leaving to Hong Kong

June 10, 2014

6/9/14 - MTC week 1

Dear Family and Friends,

I feel like I have been in the MTC for 100 years! I LOVE IT HERE! This week has seriously been so amazing! The spirit I feel here is so strong. Saying goodbye was sad but right as I turned the corner I instantly felt peace and comfort and ready to go! I walked in with Sister Francis (from Mountain View) and received my name tag! As soon as I put it on I felt so happy. I couldn't stop smiling! My teacher is Sister Hirshi and she is amazing! I love her! When we walked in the classroom she only spoke Thai so we were all so confused! My companion is sister Zoller! I met her once before and we are a perfect companionship! We are constantly laughing with each other and smiling! My district is so awesome! I love them all! There are 8 sisters and 6 elders.  I feel like I have known them my whole life, they are like my brothers and sisters. We spend every second together! In our first meeting we all stood and sang “Called to Serve”, and the spirit flooded in once again! I am so honored to be a representative of Jesus Christ and be able to serve for the next 18 months!  

The fist day we did this thing where 50 missionaries got together and had to teach one investigator! It was hard because everyone wanted to say something so we were all over the place! I felt so much love and just wanted to share the happiness with them! We also did this thing where we talked about our purpose as missionaries and which methods were really effective. I always thought that the missionaries were there to help the investigator but we learned that the main reason why we are missionaries is to lead people to God and to help strengthen their relationship with him. The way the teacher described it was so cool! 

Every day is filled with things to do. There is never time just for you. We have 3-6 hours of personal/companion/language study and then 6 hours of language class and investigator teaching and then eating. Sister Zoller and I love companion study! I love reading PMG (Preach My Gospel) and the scriptures with her.  She has helped me develop a new perspective on what we study. We always start everything with a prayer so we pray like 50 times a day, literally. BUT, I love it! When I study I don’t just think about how this might help me, but I am starting to think about how this can help my investigator Pii Txg.  Thai class is insane! It’s like charades the whole time. Our teacher has to use a lot of hand motions and it still takes us 5 minutes to understand what she is saying.  Recently we have been able to understand better because we can pick out certain words.  My district is constantly laughing in class with all the sounds and tones we are saying! So there is a word in Thai that is Fxg which we had to practice.  It sounds like a bad word in English, so every time the teacher would say it my comp and I would look at each other and laugh. Finally the teacher asked me to say it and I just couldn't! It just freaked me out. I was dying of laughter!! We were all cracking up!  Personal study is a time I always cherish here. I feel like I have learned so much in personal study these past couple days. There spirit is always there and I feel so close to Christ! Oh, and by the way, all study has to be done in our classroom so we are in there literally 10 hours a day! I know how to pray and bare my testimony in Thai and I am learning simple words. I can understand a few things when people talk in Thai!

On the second day I had to get more SHOTS.  I was so scared, but Mom, you would have been so proud of me! I held it together so well and didn't cry at all and just took it like a man! Gym time is very precious in the MTC. It is the only time you have that isn’t learning and in a classroom! We play basketball and volleyball while all the other sisters run.  

Our lessons with our investigators have literally been so amazing! The love I have for Txg is unreal. The first time my comp and I taught we were so worried about getting our Thai lines right that we made a script and that ended in p kind of fail. We went into this room and sat on the floor and tried to give our lesson but ended up laughing the whole time because we had no idea what he was saying. All we could get out was, "I know God loves you". In Comp study we read about how when we teach we should not prepare what we are going to say before hand and just have an idea. We decided to just prepare a topic and to go over the nature of God and prayer. We went in sat on the floor (after praying 100 times). The spirit was so strong. We could understand him. He wanted to know the truth of the gospel so badly. He wanted what we as missionaries had. We taught him how to pray and talked about how God is the father of our sprits and wants to hear from us. We told him to pray about what he felt. He knelt down and started, "Heavenly Father, please help me know if this church is true, I just want to know the truth, help me feel thy love". The spirit was so strong my Comp and I started to tear up. He went on and it was amazing. It was so powerful. There is nothing better than hearing someone pray for the first time in such a childlike way. It strengthened my testimony of desire and if you truly have a desire to want to know if something is true, you will feel the love of God and you will know! Prayer is the only way to God and to know for yourself. No one else can give that to you. I am a missionary to lead others to Christ. I am just a tool in his hands. Through God is the only way they can know the truth. 

Sunday was literally amazing! The best part of the day was when our district (we call ourselves “tea thai thighs” because our classroom is on the 5th floor and we go up and down 50 times a day!) went over our faith talks. Every Sunday at church the branch president gets up and announces who is going to speak so everyone has to prepare a  talk just in case!  None of us had to go so we just did it in district meeting and everyone bore their testimony and shared experiences. I felt so much love for all of them. We became so much closer that night! Also that night we had devotional and watched the talk, "Charters of Christ".   It was probably the best talk I have ever heard and it was all about how Christ is always looking outwards and how we need to be converted to Christ! You have to watch it. It is amazing!

In the MTC everyone says, "Obedience brings blessing, exact obedience brings miracles!" I have been really working on that this past week.  There are a lot of rules that I don't understand and agree with here, but I know that this isn't my work and isn't my 18 months.  This is the Lords plan, he is in charge and I’m just a tool in his hands. I have to be exactly obedient to him. 
Well family, I love and miss you so much but I really feel so blessed because I was stressing about being home sick but the Lord has helped me focus and feel his love so strongly that Homesickness hasn't been a problem for me.  I love learning and growing closer to the Lord. I have learned to rely on the spirit more than ever. I stopped planning every word when speaking and have just tried to rely on the spirit.  I love the MTC so much and am so glad I am here! I know it is where the Lord wants me to be. I have so much to work on to become more Christlike and am glad I have the next 18 months to focus 100% on the gospel!  Rag Khun!!! THANK YOU Mom & Dad and Cait for the packages. They are the best ever!

PS: Please write letters!  I have more time to write letters than to  email! You can also send me letters through “dear elder" online because it come the same day and it is free.

June 6, 2014

MTC Drop-Off

It was been a whirlwind the past few weeks with the overlap of Spencer and Tessa being home. But all that ended this week when Tessa entered the MTC on Wednesday. Tuesday night we had her favorite dinner and then she was officially set apart as a missionary. The blessing was incredible and so specific to her. Wednesday morning we went to Kneaders and then to the MTC. We said our goodbyes and a few tears were shed, but mostly we were just excited for her. She was so prepared and ready for this mission. She will be the best missionary. EVER! We are so proud of her!