Tuesday, September 6, 2016

First Vision - Week #5

This week nothing much happened, I just continue to try cramming as much Thai in as possible. In the coming weeks I have committed myself to learning about 30 words a day so we will see how that goes. Our grammar is very simple and we try to fit words in an English, not Thai, way. So I also want to learn grammar principles each day.

This week my district has been watching the documentary Two Brothers Two on the Mormon Channel. We watched all the mission episodes and it really got me both pumped and nervous for what is to come. The most helpful episode was the one in Cambodia because it was closest to what Thailand is going to be like but actually more close to Myanmar and Laos if I get to serve there. The episode really taught me just how little of the language you actually learn in here because once you get out there, like the Sunday Night Devotional speaker said, "it is a whole different language than you learned in the MTC" But I am not worried, I know it will come eventually, just have to work up to that point.

The Sunday Night Devotional was a great talk. Chad Lewis, who played for BYU and in the NFL, spoke to us about several different things and also pumped me up for the mission ahead. He tied some great stories about football like jumping over people into the gospel and how we need to prepare do something difficult so that it will just come easy to us. There was also a mission conference that morning and President Burgess brought on a senior couple who was serving in the Belgium mission at the time of those attacks. The Elder was in the airport with those missionaries and was blown back by the explosion, suffering scars all over his body and a broken leg. He said that his testimony remained unchanged, and that even to this day everyday he is happy to wake up. I wish I was that happy to wake up here haha.

Yesterday we went on splits again, we are now doing it every Monday and I was paired with Elder Latimer. Such a funny Elder, he says very random and funny things at random moments and he will not allow anyone to give him a hug, he drops to the floor if you try. We taught a lesson to a less active yesterday (my teacher Brother Saunders) and it was difficult because he spoke so softly. We could tell he wasn't comfortable so we tried to get to know him, which consists of about three conversational questions we know, and then moved into a lesson about enduring to the end. It was hard for us to discern what he needed because we could tell he was so closed. But we did feel impressed to talk about repentance and as it turns out, during the evaluation, Brother Saunders told us he did need that because he had been drinking.

Speaking of Brother Saunders, tomorrow we will lose him to two Laotian Elders reporting tomorrow, our next additions to the zone. He is technically a Laotian teacher because he served in Laos while in Thailand, as well as Brother Hartman who will also be teaching them. We love them both a lot so it is sad that they won't be teaching us anymore, but the Laotian class is just two doors over so we will still see them. New Hmong Elders came in last week, crazy language. They have I think 8 tones and the words sound out very weird. When I got here there was a solo Hmong missionary going to Wisconsin, so having three is different. All Hmong speakers go stateside to places like California and Minnesota. So our zone is slowly rebuilding. Next week we finally get the new Thais and Cambodians. We are not exactly sure how many there will be but there will probably be a district of each.

And to finish, the title of this post is first vision because I was the first Thai elder to memorize it almost a week ago! The tones aren't perfect so I still need to work on that but I have all the words down. Crazy how fast I learned it, I learned the first part one day and then put it away for a long time as I tried to work on reading and then one day worked on it again and had the whole thing memorized, the teachers were impressed. My companion pretty much has it down at this point, I still need to help him with a few words.

Well that concludes what happened this week, nothing much going on in here. Hope everything is going well back at home, love you all!

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