Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What a roller coaster- Week #2

This week has been wild, well at least wild for the MTC I guess haha. Two important things happened. But first let me talk about my progression in the language.

I have memorized the Missionary Purpose, Baptismal Commitment (minus saying what day and time we will be holding a service, have to practice that still), as well as how to pray fluently, and I can bare a simple testimony. As far as conversation goes, I am still learning because I have to focus on gospel principles in order to fulfill our purpose. We have not started learning script yet but we are told it will start soon, that is going to be interesting and very challenging but we are told it is more fun. There are some Thai native sisters serving in other parts of the world learning English and Spanish and other languages that we see and we try to talk to them and wow they speak way faster and slur more than our RM teachers haha.

Speaking of our teachers, that is one of the important things. Brother Saunders is one of the Thai teachers but he is assigned to the other district, and is actually a Laotian teacher because he served in the Laos area of the Thailand mission for a while, so he actually teaches those learning Laotian but serving state side. What is so interesting is that once he said he went to BYU I asked if he knew Keegan and he said he plays basketball with him! Not only that but Brother Saunder's sister is also affected by Lyme disease but I haven't had the chance to talk to him about that yet, and he was also studying poli sci and economics at the Y but since switched his major because he wants to work in Thailand.

The other important thing is that our first investigator "Phii J" became one of our teachers, Brother Omer. My companion and I flipped out because we were so excited, that they had to calm us down. We loved Phii J so we were stoked when he became our teacher. It is a little annoying that he started teaching late so at times he will start teaching principles of grammar we already know, but no big deal, a refresher isn't the worst thing in the world. We had our last lesson with Phii J the day before he revealed himself as Brother Omer and were able to get a soft commitment on baptism, he said he wanted to get baptized but in the future because he didn't know enough. I said this week is a roller coaster because one of our lessons with him, he started laughing HYSTERICALLY at us, like crying. I was cracking up too but mostly because I did not know what was happening. Our confidence was destroyed because the lesson was going well, and then the feeling was just gone. He then committed to going to church but asked us where it was, we did not know how to explain, especially since we are in a fake Thailand when we teach haha.

Well we have two new investigators now, Phii Baa and Phii Mai (Brother Yuen and Brother Omer playing roles). The Phii Thais tell us eventually we will get up to 7 investigators so that will be fun. They leave in less than a week, today is their last p-day. It will be a sad day since a few of them are really good at volleyball. One of them is a lot like Ryan Shickling, he just skies and pounds the ball. I came close to blocking him only once, I read him but he pinballed it between my arms and it fell to the ground. There is another Elder Brown who plays, Chandler from Arizona, him and I have become close even though he is in the older group. They are all really cool and really helpful with the language.

Not much else has happened. Everyday is so similar, that we often have to ask each other when something happened. I forgot to say that I have also seen Elder Wayment! Elder Young and Elder Skonnard from my Tonga group are also here so that is crazy, as well as four kids I recognize from EFY. I love to go up to the Elders and Sisters going Tongan or French speaking and then just speaking very fast. The Tongan natives easily pick up on it but the palangis, the white elders, will mostly just stare at me and say 'ikai mahino or je ne le comprends pas or something like that haha I can not wait till the day I can speak Thai that confidently. The only thing I am very confident with is the above phrases and texts I have learned.

I forgot to say how tight my district is. Out of all districts, we really have the best guys. We are all really close and have a lot of fun. But I didn't mention that our zone, our row of classrooms is all tight as well. There are FOUR elders and sisters in our zone that I either knew or knew of before the MTC. One of the Smith twins, Tyler, is in the classroom next to mine and we have become so close, we play volleyball everyday and I try to teach him. One of the funniest kids I have ever met, and now I can actually tell the difference between him and his brother! One of the perks of the MTC I guess haha. Also Sister Galland from San Clemente who I talked to a little bit before is in the Viet district, and Elder Thach from Santa Ana who is actually going to the new Vietnam mission is also here (Sister Galland is going to Cambodia speaking Viet). Our branch president served in Thailand and was the mission president for Cambodia so he is a really good fit for the needs of our zone.

Hope all is well in the OC, I have really missed going to Disneyland and the beach and hanging out with everyone. The MTC is good and all but it is really just a slow transition between California and Thailand. There is a rumor floating around that Elder Holland will be speaking TONIGHT so my companion and I are definitely going to attend choir and get good seats for that. I am going to send pictures soon, I am going to move computers so I can send them soon, after I switch my loads. In terms of anything I need, can you send me my Tongan CTR ring, and if it is no hassle, my tupenu (Tongan skirt)? I want to wear it on p-days, the light blue one. There is a Samoan elder going to Singapore right next door to our dorm who loves to call me a true Polynesian and introduce me to all of his Samoan and Tongan friends and even gave me a lava-lava and was like you keep this, because you are a real Tongan.

Love and miss you all! I will be responding to all of your emails soon!

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