July 28, 2014

7/28/14 - MTC Week 8

Well this week has been an interesting one! This email might be a little shorter because I was sick with STREP, so I didn't do much the last half of the week! 

On Monday Sister Brown and I were going crazy (that is what the MTC does to us haha)! We were cracking jokes left and right. In class we listened to conference talks in Thai! That night we got to Skype phrateed THAI (country of Thailand)! It was the funniest experience. So we get online and Sister Brown's computer wasn't working and the connection was bad so we couldn't see the girl from Thailand but we could just hear her. Me and Sister B had our heads squished together trying to both hear & talk! Our teacher kept coming by our computer and just laughing at us like we were idiots! Finally I took the headset to myself and talked to her and then handed the headset over to sis. B for a turn. I started talking to my teacher and all of a sudden Sister B. turns to me and starts hitting me and yells "CHUAY CHUAY CHUAY!" which means "Help help help!" Then the girl from Thailand hung up on her! hahah I have never seen brother Thrap laugh that hard before! It was a good fun night full of laughs! 

On Tuesday we got to go to the foot doctor! I was excited because I was able to leave the MTC and also because the foot doctor is Brother Jaramello- my old Sunday School teacher! We were so happy to go out to the outside world! He considered doing this foot surgery thing to get my ingrown toenail out. They let us walk back to the MTC which made our whole lives! Right when we got back, we got to teach a member that was falling away. It was very fun! Talking about the gospel is just one of the best things ever:) In class that day a guy in my Dad’s student ward was teaching and it was cool! At dinner time I got to call my Mom for 15 minutes! I got to call her because I had to discuss the decision of the surgery.I felt bad because I wanted to talk to my Dad and siblings too but oh well. I got the cutest package from my sister Caitlin and nephews! It made me so happy. My favorite part was that I got a "pink ball" from Cole and Quinn hahah!  The devotional was really good. The main message I got from it was to push through your mission with all you’ve got!! It made me think- I only have 18 months to devote 100% of my thoughts/energy/time EVERYTHING to the Lord. That is not very long. I want to come off my mission being able to say "I gave it 100%!!!!!!!!!!!!" The next day was Elder Curtis's Birthday so that night a bunch of us sisters got creative and made him a birthday crown and some other birthday stuff!

On Wednesday we wear PINK and we convinced Brother Thrap to wear pink and he actually did!!!!!!! We tried to focus really really hard on Wednesday because we are leaving so soon and we wanted to give it our all!!! In class that night we were reading the book of Mormon in Thai and we actually were able to read it! We just wanted to sixsxxa(study) forever!

Thursday was Pioneer day! At gym Sister Peck and did an arm wrestled and I am just going to call that it was a tie. We were teaching Pl))y today and we went in with the lesson plan to invite her to baptism. We asked her a couple questions and both got the impression that she wasn't ready for that yet. It was cool because Sister B. and I were on the same page with everything. In that lesson I remembered two scriptures that answered her questions perfectly! My testimony grew so strong of the scripture that say, “Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man (D&C 84:85).” Since I have been studying and pondering the scriptures and using them as my everyday guide, I have been able to find ever answer with a scripture. If we diligently study the scriptures he will bring back ALL scriptures to our remembrance. SOOO AMAZING! When Pl))y was reading the scriptures her face just lit up! It was such a good lesson! 

On Friday I woke up not feeling too well but just tried to push through it. We were teaching N))n in the morning and we were really scared because we were saying goodbye. He told us that he had told his mom that he was going to get baptize\ and now she won't talk to him. Then he told us that it was ok because the people at church are his new family and they love and support him! We were amazed at his faith! We taught him the lesson and he understood that it was time to say goodbye. We told him we weren't coming back and his face got really confused and sad. We told him that new missionaries are going to come in and teach him and that the new missionaries will love him just as much as we do. We also told him that no matter what happens to rely on the Lord. At the end we bore our testimonies and told him we loved him. We were crying after. I felt like N))n was a real investigator! It is so weird. I can't even imagine what it is going to be like saying goodbye to investigators in the mission field! During Lunch I went to the health office because they said I had an appointment- so I guess my mom set it up. I was really nervous. We went and the first thing he did was put a shot in my feet!!! The shot was in there for like 6 minutes while he wiggled it around! It hurt really bad so I am glad I got it numbed! Poor sister Brown, I was squeezing her arm so hard. She was probably in more pain than me! haha. After that whole surgery we went back and got our FLIGHT PLANS!!!!! We have been waiting for this day for so long!!! We leave Monday, August 4th at 3PM!!! We go from LA to Hong Kong to Thailand!! We were all freaking out! AND to make the day even better, I got a package from my mom! SHE GOT ME CHEETAH SHOES! She knows me so well! That night I started feeling REALLY SICK. Me and sister B. read the Thai Book of Mormon for about a hour and half which fried our brains but it was fun! 

On Saturday I woke up feeling dead. I didn't say one word because my throat was so sore and my migraine was so bad! I forced myself to go to class but wasn't really functioning. I pushed through till about 5 and finally decided I needed to go sleep. I got a blessing and had the feeling that I was going to get worse before I got better. The feeling was right. That night I had a temp of 102.5. I was feeling awful. I had strep throat.. :( All I really did was sleep. Same with Sunday. President Jackson (he is a doctor) told me to stay in the room. So I packed a little, slept a lot, ate, read scriptures, and mostly slept hahah! The Elders brought the sacrament to me in my resident hall which was really nice and the spirit was really strong.

My personal study this week was cut a little short because of the sickness BUT what I did read was amazing!!!! I read in 2nd Nephi where Nephi knew that God worked all these amazing miracles and that Heavenly Father helped him, but he still had anger towards his brothers. He prayed so hard asking for strength and help to fight off that weakness. It made me think how it is so important for us to ask for help with our little weaknesses that lead us away from Christ. Another thing I loved about Nephi was his prayer was so sincere. He wanted that help from Christ so bad. The scriptures are just so amazing! They teach me so much. I am so glad that I have the opportunity to study them every day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Well peeps, I hope you all have an amazing week! Thanks for all the love and support! This time next week I will be heading to THAILAND! (finally!!!) PEACE AND BLESSINGS!
-Sister Herrmann

Bun Crew
Making a Birthday Crown for Elder Curtis

July 22, 2014

7/21/14 - MTC Week 7

I want to so start off with the exciting news that I found out my sister, Caitlin, is expecting her 3rd baby! I am so happy for her and can't wait to find out the gender! Well, I made it another week here in the MTC--2 more to go!! The MTC consists of studying and studying and eating and STUDYING! I have never studied harder in my life! Sorry if my emails consist of my study insights, since that is all I really do here!  

On Tuesday we started off with personal study! Right now I am studying the Book of Mormon but I decided that I needed to study LOVE! I was studying in 1st John 3 and 4. I love love love these chapters! It talks about how love and God are combined. We can't hate our brethren and love God. "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." "If God so loved us we ought to love one another." "We have the love of God because he laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for our brethren." Then I went on to read a talk called "The Love Of God" and he clearly stated:
"LOVE is the center
LOVE is the bond that unites
LOVE is the power that insinuates friendship, tolerance, civility and respect
LOVE is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate
LOVE is the fire and warmth that fills our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope
LOVE should be our walk and our talk."

Studying this made me just want to love so much more!! Everything always comes back to love. Later that day we were walking around MTC campus and we saw a gold investigator (real and fake investigators that walk around the MTC).  We went and talked to them, it was awesome because they told us about sports and we just talked like friends! Then we started asking him about prayer because his grandma was sick and we wanted to help him feel comfort. He told us he thought it was weird but we committed him to pray. That night we had an amazing devotional at the Marriott center.  He talked about how when we say prayers or bare our testimonies we do it in the name of Jesus Christ. He talked about how sacred that name is and to not use is to get a prayer finished or a testimony finished. When you say it, really think about what you are saying. You are literally putting all the words you said in the name of Jesus Christ. For me it has made my prayers a lot more meaningful and sacred. It reminded me that I am wearing his name on my heart. Anything I say is in the name of Jesus Christ and what a privilege that is. 

On Wednesday WE WEAR PINK! We walked into class and Sister Hershi was wearing pink! We were all so happy and excited. It is crazy what can make us really excited and happy here in the MTC! We taught N))n a lesson and it actually went really well. I was nervous because I was trying to explain the Fall, but it went well--thanks to the Spirit! And plus it is easier to explain in Thai because we can only say it with super simple words which actually makes a lot of sense to investigators! In Thai class we were laughing the whole time.  Our teachers are just SO funny! In personal study I studied John 12-15. IT WAS AWESOME! It was talking about how the MASTER serves us so much we need to be following him and serve others as well. In Chapter 14 it talks all about the Comforter and how he will not leave us comfortless.  You should just read those chapters because they are so good and uplifting and make you want to serve and love so much! That night President Jackson came in and told us that he wanted to switch some companionships around. It is cool because it's like we were getting transfers to a new area. My new companion is Sister Brown. She is the sweetest girl ever!

Thursday was an exciting day because it was the first day with my new Khuu. My personal study was bomb like always! I decided to continue in the Book of Mormon. I love how many times there is the phrase, "I prayed unto the Lord and the Lord answered me" or showed me, etc. It also is so amazing to me how stupid and mean Laman and Lemuel were but EVERY TIME they were humbled and repented and God forgave them. I think that happened like 6 or 7 times! Then I remembered "oh wait that happens to everyone daily.”  I love verse 9 of chapter 19. It talks about how before he was crucified Jesus was treated horribly BUT he “Suffereth all things because of Love.” It reminded me that even when we get treated like crap sometimes we have to suffereth it because we need to have "loving kindness" like Jesus Christ. One thing I love about the scriptures is that we can relate everything to our lives. As it says in verse 23, "He likened all the scriptures unto them for their profit and learning." So so so cool. That day I got a package from my sister and it was so cute and made me really happy! We meet the new Thai's and they are so cute! I loved seeing Sister Grover from college. There are only 3 sisters and but 16 elders that came in. They are all so nice! That night Sister Brown and I decided to have additional study outside.  We were sitting on the grass and we started with a prayer and as I was praying I opened my eyes for .2 seconds and saw a spider climbing on Sister Browns arm. I hit it off and ran away screaming!  I felt bad that it interrupted the prayer but then I finished the prayer. Later at the end of the night I was baring my testimony to her and all of a sudden she comes up and slaps me on the back because there was a huge spider on me! We were freaking out because they were attacking us. I guess you had to be there but it was really funny!

On Friday Sister Brown and I were trying to plan our lesson with new investigators that day. I was nervous because I didn't know her Pl))y and she didn't know me.  Brother Thrap helped us and we brainstormed for awhile and then decided to use an object lesson to help her really understand! We were super excited about it and the lesson went so well! She was so nice and she completely understood because of the activity!  Next time we are committing her to baptism. That night we had our usual study time on an assigned talk.  When I think of enduring to the end it means working and applying continually! We have to keep praying, repenting, reading the scriptures, etc. or we will fall away.  In 2nd Nephi 27 it says, “Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more.”  If we have that attitude we WILL fall away! Then I was reading in 2nd Nephi 31:19-20 and it talks about how once we are on the straight and narrow path we need to continue doing those things that got us here and we can't stop! I was thinking of Joseph smith and how he struggled and suffered so much but through it all he stayed faithful because he kept doing the things that kept him close to the Lord. It reminds me of D&C 121: 7-8 “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.”  I know that if we keep diligently following God's plan and keep doing things that help us stay close to the Lord and in tune with the Spirit we will receive strength and help to endure anything! I loved studying this topic. For Khuu study we saw our golden investigator friends and we talked to them about sports and their lives and then we followed up on our challenge to pray.  He told us he didn't so we were bummed but he told us he didn't because he thought it would be weird because it looks like you are talking to yourself.  We talked to him more about it to help him realize that he isn't talking to himself and then we committed him again. He finally promised he would. I really hope he does! We planned our lesson for N))n the next day and were really excited to use the new teaching method Brother Thrap helped us with.  Sister Brown and I have a very similar sense of humor so we laugh at all the same things so all the quirky dumb things we do are so funny to us but no one else! When we tell anyone else our funny experiences throughout the day they just look at us like we are weird!

On Saturday it was very normal as Sister Brown and I got locked out of our building because we forgot our keys.  We taught n))n and it went well! I love teasing him about things and it is crazy how attached we get to our investigators. When I had to leave my pl))y I wanted to cry! We got taught by Brother Uan. He is an amazing teacher! That day I was hurting because I had a bad canker sore. I went to the front desk and asked if I could get some medicine I’ve taken in the past for them. They told me I could call my mom and ask her to drop some off.  I called her and it was so good to hear her voice.  I felt bad because I really wanted to talk but I knew I couldn't so I just talked fast and stayed on the subject and said, "OK, love you, bye!" I also felt bad making her drive all the way to Provo! I am so grateful for her. She is so willing to help and serve me with anything! At dinner I talked to Sister Aom and introduced her to the new Thai's and she started going off in Thai and I could actually understand most of what she said! I love Sister Aom! She told me that we are going to be friends forever and that I am her favorite!  After dinner we did this thing where we split up into 2 groups in our district and read and talked about a chapter. It was so insightful hearing everyone's thoughts! That night we made microwave s'mores!  We know how to have fun in the MTC! 

Sunday we all ate breakfast as a district and since we are so loud we got asked to be quiet a lot. We were just whistling and laughing.  The meetings were amazing! My favorite was sacrament meeting. The talks were so strong and helped me want to be better person. It was all about enduring to the end! Going to the temple was great and I talked to Sister Aom who told me a lot of funny stories of things that happen in Thailand. Later my district sat around the piano singing church hymns and the heard a devotional about the pioneers. The speaker had everyone who was a descendant of a pioneer stand up and almost 3/4 of the people in the room stood up! It was amazing to me. If those pioneers decided following the prophet was too hard then 3/4 of those missionaries wouldn't be there! The speaker was the producer of all the pioneer movies like “17 Miracles” and “Ephraim's Rescue”. He answered a lot of questions and told us some really interesting things about those movies.  
The MTC is such a spiritual place. I feel the Spirit constantly here. It is such a happy place :) I have been really trying to follow the doctrine of Christ and use that as an example of how I should live. I have learned so much about the Savior. He was a friend to everyone. He was always serving and loving others. Matthew 5, "Love your enemy; bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you." Christ did all this. He is THE perfect example. Look to him and his example in everything. This gospel is amazing and I am learning something new about it each and every day! I am so blessed to have the opportunity to serve a mission!  I want to learn and grow and become a better person!
I want to give a shout out to my parents for sending me an awesome package with everything I ever wanted! Also to my Grandma Bennett for making me a big box full of delicious cookies! My district ate them all up in 5 minutes. And to my sister, Rachel, for sending me a cute package that I loved so much.  ALSO, thank you all who write me letters and dear elders! They literally make my day! THANK YOU ALL :)

-Sister Herrmann
I love AOM! 
Marriott Center
Our favorite game Khub
Saying goodbye to the Cambos made me cry!
We all WEAR PINK on Wednesdays- even our teacher Sister Hershi!
My new name tag

July 15, 2014

7/14/14 - MTC Week 6

Another great week here at the MTC! I was really worried about the MTC before I came but I actually like it here. I have grown so much over these past 6 weeks and feel so close to my Savior which makes up for anything bad about this place!

On Tuesday morning my district made a decision to SYL (Speak Your Language) ALL DAY! We actually did really well. The morning started off with personal study. Sister Zoller and I decided to devote all of our personal study for our investigator Pl))y. (We had a lesson with her the night before and she was really struggling.) I prayed and prayed. After I was done praying I remembered Pl))y saying that all she wants in this life was happiness. After I had that thought, everything fell into place. I felt like Heavenly Father was writing down for me what she needed.  In the middle of class I had to go to an orthodontist appointment because my retainer was hurting me. I was surprised that the people who picked me up were the Chatwins from my neighborhood. It was fun talking to them. I felt SO weird being out in the real world. When I got to the office I felt like I had to keep looking down at my flashcards because there were TV's on! That night Elder Anderson (from the 12) came and spoke to us about feeling the Spirit. IT WAS AMAZING!!! He talked about ways that the Spirit comes into our lives in a completely different way than I had ever thought about before.

On Wednesday Sister Nethercott and I went to the field and challenged a bunch of missionaries in Khub (our new favorite game).  Of course we are still the champs! We taught N))n about Joseph Smith and he still seems confused about some things. We made a plan to address that confusion in the next lesson. We started hosting the new missionaries being dropped off at about 11am and it was SO HOT outside, but it feels nice to serve and help people directly. In class we started talking about how to teach the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. Those topics are really hard to teach sometimes but I know it is important so I am glad we are required to teach it! (If you haven't heard, they made new rules about teaching. We have to teach all 5 lessons before baptism!!) For personal study I have been starting the Book of Mormon over. I was reading in 1st Nephi and it is so crazy how I feel like I am reading completely new stuff. The story and the message are the same but I’m getting something completely different out of it than the times that I have read it before. I guess people weren't lying when they told me, "You learn something different each time you read the scriptures." I love in 1st Nephi how it says, "I did cry unto the Lord." Being here at the MTC I have learned how to pray harder than ever before. I feel like I now understand him better when he says that. The image that I have when I read that is Nephi on his knees humbly crying out with such desire, passion, and pleading/yearning for Christ. As I was reading 2-4 I saw a pattern that is used all over the scriptures. First, pray with faith. (1st Nephi 2:16) Second, it is hard sometimes but the Lord commanded it. (1st Nephi 4-5) Next, we CAN'T COMPLAIN. (1st Nephi 3:6) The Lord will always provide a way for the things he asks of us. (1st Nephi 3:7 and 29) And finally, the Spirit will guide us. (1st Nephi 4:6) We can apply that pattern to any situation! I don't know why but I thought it was so cool! For Comp. study we decided to go outside because it was pouring rain! There were a bunch of Cambo Elders flying kites out there so we flew kites for awhile which was so much fun. I felt like I was 5 again. We planned our lesson and did lots of role play while standing out in the pouring rain barefoot. It was one of the most enjoyable comp. studies ever! We thought, well we better get used to it because this is how Thailand is going to be! That night we had “Joke Night” as a district. It was so funny! We were all dying even though the jokes weren't that funny. That is what happens when you become a missionary, you really learn to enjoy the little things…or you just start to go insane!

Thursday started off with service which is always fun because it is something different than what we are used to. We put up flags and swept. Right after that we went into personal study which I was so excited for because I wanted to keep reading about Nephi! I think it is so amazing how when his brothers tied him up to be killed he prayed to get out, and then when his brothers felt bad about it, he had no hate towards them. All he said was repent and come back to the Lord. I love the scripture that talks about how the Lord gives commandments for a wise purpose that sometimes…most times we don't know and understand. We have to trust him that he knows what he is doing. I could go on and on about my thoughts and insights from the first chapters of Nephi but I don't have that much time. After lunch we got to teach our new investigators. It went really well. I am excited to teach them again. That night we got to read some scripture in Thai as a class. It is really hard reading the Scriptures in Thai because the words they use in the scriptures are so different because they are the royal words which are completely different from the common word.  So it's basically like we have to learn an extra language for the scriptures. It is fun though! 

On Friday We did the usual…lots of Thai grammar. After lunch I was so nervous about our lesson with N))n for some reason! I did what I usually do in those situations…pray my heart out! We went in the lesson and I felt so good. He was really scared about changing churches because his parents would not be happy. He told us that but then he said that he could not deny the Christ. He believed so strongly! I had him read the scripture, 1st Nephi 4:14 about how if we follow the Lord's commandments he we prepare a way. I told him that a lot of the time life is really hard but as we obey his commandments he will always help us.  We will never be alone through trials and we will be lead to the right path. As I was saying this to him I felt is so strongly that it applies to my life as a missionary and to N))n's life with his decision to join the Church of Jesus Christ. It was a good lesson!

Saturday was so FUN! We started off with a little district kickball game, Cambo's vs. Thai's! It was so funny. Our team was just laughing the whole time. Our district has a lot of different personalities and cultural backgrounds so when we play a game of kickball together you just can't help but laugh! The Cambo's apparently called us "the giggles”. Our team lost but we had more fun so that is all that matters right? We had TRC in the morning and I was so excited, I love TRC so much. I walked in and I got to teach and meet with Taryn Bodine! I was so happy. Part of the time I was asking her questions about her family and life in general. We finally got into the gospel discussion of how we receive revelation at church. We talked a lot about how if we go to church with a good attitude it makes it so much easier to receive revelation and feel the Spirit. The next guy we talked to was a guy from Laos and he served in Thailand. His story was so cool. We talked about the same kind of thing with him. At the end he told us that we spoke Thai well and it made me SO SO SO happy because sometimes I think I am awful at the language! In personal study I continue to learn MORE about Nephi.  He was so amazing and had such great faith and wisdom! I hope someday I can be as faithful as Nephi! My Khuu and I planned our lesson that we have on Monday over SKYPE with member in THAILAND! So scary, but exciting! We went downstairs to an empty room to prepare but we could hear people having a lesson with an investigator in English in the next room. As they were talking, Sister Zoller and I came up with a perfect scripture that they could have shared that would have helped! We were trying to casually talk about it loudly so they would hear! That night we were acting as investigators for some others in our district. It was an amazing lesson. I felt that I truly was my character and the Spirit was testifying to her. It was awesome! Before going to bed that night I read a talk with some other sisters about trusting the Lord. We have to always remember that sometimes what we want, even if it is good, it's not what we need. God has a plan for us that sometimes we don't understand. If we submit to the will of the Lord willingly, we will more easily notice and receive the blessing. If you have time go and read, "Trust in the Lord" by Elder Scott.

SUNDAYS ARE THE BEST EVER! I would have to say that my favorite part is when all the sisters stand and sing the missionary version of "As Sisters in Zion". I love the line, "we go forth enlisted with Helamen’s army in numbers much greater than ever before." I think I have mentioned that before but I just LOVE IT. I am just always extra happy on Sundays! I felt so spiritually fed in relief society, sacrament meeting and the devotional! The speaker in relief society was amazing and told us all types of stories of how to be better missionaries. The sacrament meeting was the last one with the Cambo's and they gave great talks! For the devotional we got to walk to the Marriott Center which was a change. It was on charity and how we need to learn how to love before we teach. I get so much out of every devotional here! 

One thing I have noticed here, for me at least, is that being positive and having a good attitude makes it so much easier and so much more enjoyable! I love this gospel and I am so glad I have the opportunity to serve and become more like my Savior. THE CHURCH IS TRUE! Have a great week. Love you all. Remember to read your scriptures and pray lots!  I leave 3 weeks from today!

Sister Herrmann 

PS. Sorry my letters are getting really repetitive. I literally do the same thing every day!
PSS. Thanks for all the support and the packages and Dear Elder letters! 

Zone prayer at night
Our district
After a really long and spiritual day
Zone picture. A bunch are leaving and about 20 new Thai's are coming in! 
Favorite Hong Kong and Cambodia Elders that are leaving. 
Me and Sister L. 
Sister Lindley leaves on Tuesday. I love her! 
This girl has the exact same first and middle name as me- Tessa Marie! 
The girl that hosted me, has become a good friend here!
Favorite Hong Kong Sister. 
Some favorite Elders that I rap with- they are leaving for the Philippines. 
Water gun fight- Thanks moms

July 8, 2014

7/7/14 - MTC Week 5

Well another week has flown by. I have officially 4 weeks left in the MTC! This week has been amazing!!! (LIKE USUAL) On Monday the temple was closed so we had lots of extra time. We took our first naps here at the MTC and it was SO nice!! (That is allowed here on P-day.) In class that night we had an amazing lesson about recognizing the Spirit. We watched this video by Elder Bednar. He talked about how many of us think we have to have a huge prompting to have the Spirit. A lot of people today always ask the question "was that me or the Spirit?” Bednar said in the video- STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT. If we are being obedient, praying, reading the scriptures, having clean thoughts and just being a good person in general, he will send the Spirit to us in ways we don't think about. In his talk he told a story of how when he was a missionary in Germany he had to send President Packer (of the 12) and his wife on a train. Elder Bednar didn't remember doing this but later in life Elder Packer reminded him that he (Bednar) gave Packer 20$ just in case they got hungry. On the train his wife’s passport was not acceptable and they were about to get thrown off the train but Elder Packer gave the 20$ to the soldier and he accepted it and the passport. Elder Bednar didn't know at the time that he was having a prompting from the Spirit, he just thought "hmm, maybe they will get hungry I will give them some money just in case." Sometimes we don't know in the moment if it was a prompting. God will lead us if we are being good. I was really glad I got to hear this lesson because I was always so worried about trying to discern between me and the spirit. Most the time if it is a good thought and will help, then it is from the Spirit. Later in the week I was reading in Moroni 7 (one of my new favorite chapters) and it confirmed what I heard about the Spirit. Moroni 7:16 "For behold the spirit of Christ is given to every man that he may know good from evil. wherefore I show unto you the way to judge: for every thing which inviteth to do good and to persuade to believe in Christ is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ, wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God." If it is good, then it is of God. 

On Tuesday I was reading in Ether 12 and I read each verse like three times! LOVE LOVE LOVE it all but I specifically like verse 6 "faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." There have been so many times in my life where I wouldn't want to go through the trial of faith first, but there is no way we can receive answers, help, anything until we have faith. It is so simple. Later in that chapter it gives like 5 examples about other book of Mormon stories where they had faith first and because of that they received. (If it is God’s will of course.) I also like how Ether was worried about not being able to write and the Lord said "and if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I know that is everyone's favorite scripture but it truly is so powerful! When I was reading this I usually think that if I come to Christ--he will make the things I am bad at become some of my best strengths.  I used to think, “Cool, God will fix all my faults.”  But as I read it this time my mind went straight to the grace of God. The only reason we can have our weakness become strong is because of the atonement. Jesus Christ suffered for our weaknesses so that we can call on him for help and he will make up the difference. I always thought of the atonement for forgiveness of sins.  Reading this scripture it reminded me that he suffered for our weaknesses so that we can become better people and more like him. Then I put it into the repentance process. In the past, I have been really confused because I heard in a talk that said we need to be repenting everyday and I was like, "I am on a mission.. I am not making big sins…how can I repent everyday?" Then I read this and thought repentance isn't just for repenting of sins. We can repent (in Thai repent is klabcay which literally means return to heart) to become better at things or think better thoughts or to love more etc. Repenting is just tuning to Jesus Christ and asking him for help because only though him we can do those things. I am SO grateful for the grace of God and because of the atonement he can make up the difference!! Later in the week I was talking to Sister Snookomp from Thailand and she was telling me that when she was Buddhist they believed that there is no way to clean sin and that the only way for them to make up for it a little is by doing good for others. I was thinking how sad that would be.  And not knowing that you can have help from someone much greater and much better, and not knowing that you can be clean from sin completely. I can't even imagine not knowing that... THAT IS WHY I AM SO EXCITED TO GO TELL THE PEOPLE IN THAILAND ABOUT THE ATONEMENT AND ABOUT GOD AND JESUS CHRIST!!!! 

On Wednesday, it was literally a perfect day! We taught N))n. We had a member- brother Oad (Brother Shiply our other teacher) come teach with us because we wanted him to explain what he had to give up about Buddhism to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. It was so good to hear brother Oad's conversion story. I think it helped our investigator a lot! It was also interesting hearing about what Buddhists believe. After Brother Oad talked I had a strong feeling to read a section in the Intro page of the Book of Mormon. I had him read the last 2 paragraphs and it hit us all so strong. I promised him that if he read the book of Mormon and prayed about he would know that it is the truth. It was AMAZING! It is crazy how when you testify of things you are also testifying to yourself! When I read the book of Mormon I always skip over the intro page but it is so so so powerful. If you have a spare moment in your day, read it and focus on the promises it gives! At the end of the lesson we had our average small talk about what he was learning in English class and how everything was going and then he asked me what I was learning in Thai. I told him I was learning about colors. That day I had a bright pink skirt on and he asked, "let me guess your favorite color is pink?"  And then he just busted up laughing for like a minute.  My face went bright red and I just accepted it and laughed with him and said, "Yep, I LOVE pink!" After our lesson we had the opportunity to host the new missionaries coming in! Everyone in my district wore pink because, "we wear pink on Wednesdays".  It is funny because all the girls had to borrow a piece of my pink clothing! Hosting was quite the experience.  It was really sad to be honest.  We would stand at the curb, welcome them and then watch them cry and say goodbye to their families.  My favorite part about hosting was cheering them up after they left their family.  I just told them how fun the MTC is and how much they will LOVE it! The only weird part was that they were all leaving before me.  Hosting reminded me of the day I came into the MTC. I remember right as I got in someone said, "welcome to the MTC!" and I was still so shocked that I was actually there that I said, "you too" to someone who had been there for weeks!  Missionaries thrive off of saying, "welcome to the MTC", to the new missionaries on Wednesdays.  After hosting we were all so exhausted and sweaty!  My whole district was just laughing about how if this is how we look and feel in Provo, Thailand is going to be death!   We talked a lot to our amazing teachers and they are all geniuses. I look up to each of my teachers so much. It is funny because all the teachers and missionaries in my district are SO SO SO SMART- like can speak 5 languages and got a 35 on the ACT smart!! 

On Thursday, I finished the Book of Mormon! There is no way that the book is not true.  All the promises made in the Intro page were true. The instruction that I receive from the Book of Mormon has made me the most happy in life. I love the book of Mormon so much! I know that each time I read it I grow closer and closer to Christ! I have come to truly know that Christ is my best friend through reading the book of Mormon and praying.  In class we studied the story of King Lamoni and Ammon. We learned that before Ammon even started teaching Lamoni, he was serving him and loving him and asking him questions and truly caring about him. THEN came a change in King Lamoni’s heart where he wanted to learn. As we related that to missionary work I could see how important it was to really care about your investigators! Before the mission I always thought you just go in and start teaching, but I am so glad it is not like that. Some of my favorite parts of lessons are getting to know the person by trying to understanding them and showing my love by listening and trying to serve them. When you truly love and serve a person they will see that and want to understand you better which always lead to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a really good lesson. At dinner we totally got chastised. My district was being so loud (like usual) and the president of the MTC came up and said to us, "remember, quite reverence" AHHAH we were all dying. One of the elders in our district has a very distinct laugh that anyone can recognize from anywhere and every time he laughs (which is like every second) we can't help but laugh too... SOOO we are laughing all the time! In class we switched over to the script hymn books and it is the so awkward, funniest part of the whole day. Basically the teacher sings and we just mumble the words as he sings and then the last word we all know and say with such conviction!  I guess it's a thing where you just have to be there. It was so funny! 

The Forth of July was a party at the MTC! I got decked out in red, white, and blue! I was feeling really patriotic! (Thanks to Caitlin who sent me a lot of America stuff.) I just LOVE America so much! I was singing patriotic songs all day.  We did the usual stuff…class-study-class-study-study-study. We got to teach n))n. We were planning on teaching about the restoration but our plans changed because he had other questions about baptism. We talked about it and then we committed him to be baptized on July 26th.  He was so excited. He has such a desire to learn. The only hard thing is that his whole life and family revolve around Buddhist culture. He is nervous that if he tells his parents they will kick him out. I guess in Thailand that is one of the hardest things about switching religions. This night was a special one because we were having a special devotional! We got to watch 17 Miracles. Oh my goodness, that movie made me cry!  As I was watching it, I realized how much God is watching out for us and willing to help us when we obey him. There were so many miracles that happened because of their faith and diligence. After that we all got to go outside and watch the stadium of fire fireworks.  They were so much fun!  As all the missionaries watched them we sang (again) a bunch of songs! It was so much fun. That night we didn't get back to our room till about 11 (don't worry we had permission). It was a good day :)

Saturday started out with TRC! Ok, we had the coolest experience.  We talked to the first girl (a native) and she was so cute because every time I understood or said something perfectly she would get so excited for me!  The second girl was also a native. We walked in and she told us her name was Pl))y.  We thought it was funny because that is the same name as our investigator! As we went on, she was telling us that she got baptized about 2 years ago.  Then I started putting it together, I had a feeling that the Pl))y we were teaching at the time was the same Pl))y that is our investigator.  I could just feel it! At the end of the lesson I got an overwhelming feeling of love for her.  Randomly I just straight up said, "I can feel that God loves you so much!" We were all shocked when I said that but I just had to express it! After that I asked if she knew Sister Hershi and she told us that Sister Hershi taught her and helped her become a member of the church. I was right! After that she asked for my email so that she could email me when I was in Thailand. It was such an amazing experience. My testimony grew so much stronger through this experience. (Sister Hershi is our teacher who is also acting as our investigator Pl))y who she taught a couple years ago.) I got a chance to see the difference between Pl))y 2 years ago (my investigator now, who is very non responsive about the gospel) and Pl))y now who had such a strong light of Christ within her. The change and difference was huge. It was an amazing experience! The rest of the day was just like normal.  We taught N))n and he was so receptive to the Spirit. We had him read the fist vision and he put it all together himself. He said "all the churches have some truth but only the church of Jesus Christ has all the truth?" His mind was blown. It was awesome to see him put that together! I love seeing him progress and come closer to Christ. I can just see it in his eyes!

Sunday was amazing! It was fast Sunday and I started this new thing about being positive on Fast Sundays! It went really well. Our fast and testimony meeting was amazing! Everyone was crying because the Spirit was so strong! At temple walk I saw my Mom for like 10 seconds.  She was driving home from the student ward and I started waving and ran to the car. She told me she loved me and I told her that I was so happy and then she was off.  It was so good to see her!!!:):) We watched this amazing talk by Elder Bednar. He was talking about the difference between principles, doctrine and application! I learned so much! Everything is in the Doctrine! He gave so many good examples and it is really going to help me in my study time! It was such a great Sunday! 

Well today we got to clean the temple! It was the most amazing thing ever! We got to go in and clean the chandeliers. It is funny because I remember when I first got endowed my brother-in-law, Andrew, was telling me that when they clean the chandeliers they take the whole thing down and take off all the crystals and clean each one by hand! He laughed and was totally joking! BUT they really do that!!!! It was such a cool experience being able to clean the Lords house! 

Thank you to all who send letters and packages! I appreciate them so much! It is literally like Christmas! Four weeks left! I am so excited! I love it here! Peace and blessings everyone! Have a good week full of the Spirit!

- Sister Herrmann
Sister Alley and I won for most patriotic! 
The 4th of July rocked! 
My district on P-Day! 
Putting up flaggggs! 
Hanging out on the temple grounds
I had to get another shot! Mom are you proud? 

July 1, 2014

6/30/14 - MTC Week 4

I can't believe it is already P-day!!! The days go by so slow but the weeks go by so fast! Only 5 more weeks until Thailand! On Monday President Eyring waved to me. He is the sweetest man. The Thai Elders who’ve been a while left for the airport but came back later that night because their flight got canceled.  I am so excited for my turn to go in a couple weeks!

I am really learning the importance of planning! It helps so much. It really has helped me fulfill goals and use my time wisely. Everyone should use planners, they are like gold. On Tuesday a bunch of girls from my zone decided to have a soccer game! It was so much fun. I had to be careful because I didn't want anyone to get hurt.  It was hard to not play aggressive but it was so much fun! I miss playing soccer.  In study time I was reading in Mormon and it is so crazy how they testify of Joseph Smith and refer to this time.  Once again it just shows that Heavenly Father always has a plan.  

In Khuu study we were preparing for our lesson. We were planning and were nervous for some reason. I think we were so nervous because we wanted him to feel the Spirit so badly! In that lesson as we were testifying of the character of Chris,t the Spirit testified to me that the character of Christ comes down to 2 things- Love and Service. Everything he did was because of “Love” which lead him to “Service”.  Service is lead by love! That is how we follow Christ.

We started learning script!  I like script because it is so much fun to write. It is hard though because the teachers just told us to learn it on our own.  It stressed us all out because we have so little time to study it! That night 6 of the apostles came and talked to us! It was awesome! On Wednesday I was caught up in the details of MTC life and really worried about the language and more material things and for a minute I forgot my purpose. That night I got a letter from Dad and he shared D & C 101:16 which reminded me that sometimes we need to stop and feel God's comfort and remember we are in his hands and remember what is really important.  It really helped me. On Thursday we started off with service. It was so much fun. We got to put up the flags during class.  The other day our teacher was talking and said "suad))nw))n" which means prayer and Elder Okimoto and Elder Luker in unison said, "That is so beautiful!" We all died laughing and the teacher just looked at us like we were all idiots.  Now every time someone says "prayer" we all laugh! In our lesson that day I was so out of it. The language was killing me. I was so upset I went into the bathroom (the only place I could be alone) and prayed and prayed. I felt the words, "Do you Trust me?” three times. I remembered that He has a plan for me and knows what He is doing! Right after that happened I randomly opened to the scriptures to Mathew 10:20, "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you".  I realized that I needed to be patient.

On Friday morning we were teaching Pl))y. I was so nervous because I wanted her to feel the Spirit and I wanted to understand and have my tongue be loosed. The lesson ended up being amazing! I could speak and understand perfectly! She felt like she had no worth and that no one loved her. My heart started pounding in a way I had never experienced.  A scripture came to my mind, D&C 18:10. I read it and then bore my testimony about it and to be honest, I don't even remember what I said but the Spirit was so strong and she was smiling. So I am guessing she felt it too because she never smiles. I had never felt the Spirit that strong in that way before. It was amazing! 

On Saturday we started out with TRC! I was so nervous but it ended up being amazing! I walked in and the girl was from Thailand so she didn't speak much English! She was so cute and nice and we just laughed a lot and had a great time talking in Thai to each other. It made me so excited to just talk and love the Thai people. That night was so fun because Sister Brown and I went into the hall at around 11pm and started dancing and just playing around, it was a party!! The only bad part was the fact that we didn’t get much sleep.  Sunday is always my favorite. It is so relaxing and a day to 100% focus on Jesus Christ! I talked a lot with Aom, a girl from Thailand. I love talking to her in Thai because she corrects me. I have been so spiritually fed. The devotionals and videos we watch are so uplifting. That night we all lay on the floor and told stories until 1 AM because the power went out and that's what you do when the power goes out!!! HAHA

Well, like I say every week, IT WAS AMAZING! In Mormon 9:31 it says, “but rather give thanks to God that he hath made manifest to you our imperfections that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." I have realized that I have so many imperfections but through Christ I can learn and receive his grace to be better. Thank goodness for that. I LOVE MY MISSION! 
Have a good week. Write me.

Lots of love,
Sister Herrmann

PS  I love the flashlight that Sister Midgely gave me.  Is there anyway I can get another one?  It has really helped at night.  Also, I feel like Heavenly Father has helped me so much because I get about 6 hours of sleep each night and I never fall asleep in class and I really feel so happy! The temple was closed this morning but next week we get to go in and clean the temple! How cool is that? Tell Chelsea that I loved her Dear Elder letter and really appreciated it! Also Sister Pulham sent doughnuts and Olivia Black’s family sent me a great package.  I also love the packages that you send every week Mom. I feel so supported and loved!
"The Map"
Hanging the flags for a service activity
The 5 flights of stairs that we walk up 10 times each day. 
Friday night food party
One of my favorite Sisters that is going to Hong Kong!
I LOVE writing THAI!