Dear family that I love,
When Elder Nelson came, he gave us a promise: obedience brings success, exact obedience brings blessings. Because of that my companions and I have been doing our best to be exactly obedient. Let me tell you, you might not thing that there is a huge difference between 6:30 am and 6:31 am but there truly is. When we wake up when we are supposed to our day goes infinitely better. One thing my companion Sister Hughes; friend said is that there is nothing sacred about 6:30 but there is something sacred about obedience. That is completely true. Another benefit of obeying the rules: I didn't open Dad's letter and read about Dot Rice until after I got back to the residence instead of reading it before class. (Dot Rice was a very beloved member of our ward. She died this past Friday.)That would have made for a very awkward beginning of class if I had been crying beforehand. It is good to know that she is in a better place and free of her oxygen tank but it is still sad. She was one of the sweetest ladies I knew and will be greatly missed.
I'm happy to hear that stake conference went well though.
Oh Mom, I no longer need the immunization stuff - I was able to get onto the website and print it off so I'm good now.
I'm glad to hear that seminary is going well and thanks for those verses to read. :) Please tell all those peeps that if they would like me to write them letters, I require their addresses. Actually that goes for everyone. =D Oh, another thing to tell them: get to know the scriptures really well. Know where different scriptures are. When you are mid-lesson you don't really have time to look up keywords in the topical guide. You need to be able to turn to that scripture quickly. So yeah. Those are my words of wisdom. Oh wait! There's more: you cannot teach beyond your own knowledge and you cannot convert more than you are converted. If you want to teach others about the gospel, make sure you know it (D&C 11:21). We watched a video clip of Elder Holland speaking and he said something to the effect of "you want your investigator to pray? The Lord wants you to pray! You want your investigator to feel the Holy Ghost and accept the atonement? He really wants you to feel the Holy Ghost and accept the atonement." I probably got it really wrong but you get the idea. Feast upon the words of Christ. I promise that you will not regret it.
Speaking of things spiritual, WATCH MORMON MESSAGES! They are literally some of the best things. We watch them every Sunday before and after Relief Society. There are some really really good ones. So yeah, I am highly recommending them. :)
Next, I'm fine if you sell the car, just please take a picture of it first. (She's referring to our red Corolla, which she used to drive but which we really don't need anymore.) I want to have a record of what the first car I drove looked like. Speaking of pictures, please take pictures of the house and its insides because I have a feeling that things will change during these next 18 (almost 17 now) months. Oh, and again speaking of pictures, I would love to get pictures of our ancestors! So that covers all the questions I got... I think.
So, the MTC is still amazing, fear not. It is so amazing to feel the spirit constantly. Honestly, it is so amazing and great and wonderful and just yeah. Oh, good news: NO LONGER SICK! Woohoo! And while I was sick, I developed a new position to sleep in: sitting slightly upright but also slightly slanted. I didn't cough as much that way so I could actually get to sleep. I leaned up against the wall and against the closet. I actually slept really well that way. So if you get sick and can't sleep because of coughing, my method is another thing I highly recommend.
So during one of the devotionals, the speaker (Brother Littlefield) made a really good comment: we need to be like an automobile and recharge our batteries while we are going. Waking up at 6:30 is probably the hardest thing at the MTC but it's getting easier, especially now that I am thinking about this quote more. The speaker from last night (Brother Marcus Nash) said that when you don't think you can do something because it's hard or you're tired, do it anyway. If you don't want to wake up, do it anyway. If you don't wake to study for an hour at 8am, do it anyway. It was very good and motivational.
Ooh, fun things about Thai time! In Thai, to repent literally means to change the heart. To breathe means to heal your heart. To be sad is to lose heart. One day we were trying to say bathroom and we accidentally said the impure room. You know how in English, "a piece of cake" means easy? In Thai, the saying is "Snake snake fish fish". Yup. The phrase for "french fry" is "punishing potato". "I'm sorry" means "punish me". Um... I can't remember anything else that stood out. OH! I'm starting to understand Thai more. Usually in class, our teacher speaks just Thai and no one really knows--or at least I don't really know--what he is saying so he has to repeat himself and then we are able to pick out a couple of words. BUT recently I was able to understand everything he was saying. Yes he was speaking very simply but still. And during our meetings with our investigators, I am actually understanding them quite well. it is super exciting!
Oh sad news, our Phii Thais and Phii Cambodians left Monday and Tuesday. Now is it just our disco and a Sister McQuivey who is leaving for Washington next Tuesday. It was sad to see everyone go though it will be great to just have our disco for three weeks. We are going to get so close and I am excited. And then in mid-June we are getting 48-ish people (Thai, Cambodian, and Hmong). It is super exciting. So then we will become the Phii Thais. That's really weird to think about.
So I'm going to tell you about our teachers and the classes. Well first, I am going to ask everyone to send me questions about what they want to know about. It's hard to write letters when I don't know what the recipients want to know about. So class. We have two teachers: Brother Shipley and Brother Phan. We've had Brother Shipley longer so we know him better. If you want to know what he looks like, just think of the human version of the grumpy cat. I'm completely serious. He does smile but when he has a neutral expression, it is that one. Sister Hughes' friend is friends with him so I'm sure he is really funny but during class he always tries to be serious and focused. We enjoy pushing his buttons though. And we have gotten him to crack up a couple of times. It's kinda our goal. :) Brother Shipley is amazing though. He walks into the room and the Spirit comes in as well. Two days ago we talked for two hours on receiving revelation through the Book of Mormon. It was purely amazing and so good. Oh my goodness. He is amazing at teaching. Brother Phan is amazing as well but we just know Brother Shipley better. Bother Phan stays very focused but jokes with us a bit. He was our first investigator. We have been very blessed teacher-wise. The resource teachers are amazing as well. The MTC did a great job hiring them. They also are really good investigators. Brother Shipley is Phii Thom (Christian, has two children, wants to learn about God's plan for him and about repentance. We are unsure if he is married because "fan" means girlfriend, boyfriend, and spouse) and Brother Phan was Sam (Buddhist, 18 years old) and is now Nike (has two children, is taking english classes with the misisonaries, wants to learn about Christ but has little desire to follow him). I have really grown to love our investigators. The first lesson with Phii Thom went terribly but they have been getting progressively better. It's exciting.
I don't know what else to talk to you about. Um... on Saturdays we have TRC which means...um... teaching resource center? Who knows. But it is where people who speak the language come and you teach them. BUT you teach them as them, not as an investigator. It was a lot of fun and really boosted my confidence in Thai. My confidence was also boosted when we spent two hours during class reviewing the grammar we have learned. I was getting frustrated because I could speak better German than I could Thai and whenever I wanted to respond to something, the German word would come to my mind before the Thai one. But it is definitely getting better. Um... what else.
Okay, so I'm going to get off soon so I have time to attach pictures but first, volleyball is one of the best sports and I think you all need to know that. That is what we do every single time for gym because it is something our district can play together. The other sports are not co-ed because those sports have too much contact. But volleyball is totally fine to play with both genders. And it is so much fun. And we get to take off our shoes because it is in the sand. Best thing ever. Oh, advice for anyone entering the MTC. When they say only bring one pair of gym clothes, don't listen to them. Bring multiple. You play gym everyday. So yeah, bring two pairs of shorts and like two or three shirts. You can send them home later when you get to the mission field but while you are in the MTC, I would recommend having two pairs. Um... I'll do pictures really quickly so I'm signing off now. Love you all! :)