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.

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