I always have so much to tell you and it has only been 7 days but those have been very busy, learning, and fun 7 days. Because of time limits I’m going to get to it and please excuse my grammar because my brain now thinks and spells in Thai. I will also send a written letter home later today!
After P-day ended last week we had the most amazing opportunity/experience for our weekly devotional. Last Tuesday was the 50th Anniversary of the Missionary Training Center. In Celebration, Elder Holland and Elder Nelson came to speak to us as well and offered a dedicatory prayer for 5 new buildings here on the MTC campus. It was amazing (for lack of a better word to describe it). The spirit is always here but when our current apostles entered the room; you just feel it. The whole time I was just so happy, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. Elder Holland opened the meeting and bore a brief but meaningful and powerful testimony of missionary work and told us that we as missionaries need to do our best to fulfill our callings. He said, "you are, the only word that comes to mind is, obligated to do your best to be the Lord missionaries." I love Elder Holland! I still remember when he came to our stake conference and we had the chance to meet and shake hands with him.
Elder Nelson also gave a very thoughtful message about the legacy of missionary work. He said that each of us is taking our places in history as we sit [here] tonight. He shared several stories about missionaries and the legacy they left behind. He shared one about Heber C Kimball, Harriet Nye (who was the first sister missionary) Dan Jones and others. I thought of Travis and when he was in Taiwan, how he had the chance to stand on top of a box in the middle of the busy markets and share the same message we will be sharing in Thailand and is being shared all over the world. One of my favorite thoughts he [Elder Nelson] shared was about a plaque that is in the main lobby on the MTC. It says, “Where thou art, act thy part.” I thought about that a lot in the last week and that is a message for everyone. No matter where we stand in life, we need to be in our circle of honor doing our part; its not just on a mission or when we are in church, etc. He finished with a dedicatory prayer and it was like he was speaking with Heavenly Father and not just a rote prayer. It was great!!
Following every devotional we have a review with our district and a member of our branch presidency. It is a great way to end the night because we share what stood out to us most and bear testimonies to one another. My district is awesome and so is our zone. We have a few nuts but everyone loves everyone and there is a lot a respect for one another.
Wednesday was fast, or at least it seemed that way. We have a usual schedule of breakfast, class, language study, lunch, TALL, gym, dinner and more class. That's basically our lives for the next 2 months. :-) Every once in a while we get cool little workshops and Wednesday we discussed prayer and how we can help our investigators learn and use prayer for personal revelation. One thing I shared in the workshop was what we need to do once we pray. I know when I use to ask for things I would wait for something to happen instead of working to find the answer. That lesson hit me a lot this week. I have a firm testimony of prayers, they have always been answered but as I've learned this week, sometimes prayers don't come in a way we expect and a lot of the time we need to “diligently seek” our answers. [Side-note] This last Sunday, being fast Sunday and all, I fasted and prayed for a very specific question. As I sat in our leadership branch council meeting an hour later the answer came so subtly to me. When I finally caught on, in my head I thought 'WHOA! Think about that for one more minute before you leave the room,” THAT's my answer. I was so grateful and you know that definitely went in my journal. ;-)
Well Wednesday's are special days because it means ... new missionaries!!! As a coordinating sister I went with our zone leaders (Elder Federico and Elder Wright) to welcome them and gave them an orientation. (There is a picture on the memory card you can look at with the three of us). Even though at that point I had been here at the MTC for a week, I felt like this is why Heavenly Father wanted me in this calling to help me love everyone, and of course I do. Currently our zone is the biggest it has ever been. We have over 40 missionaries! Our District A is leaving us this week but tomorrow night we are welcoming in 10 new Elders. 2 are going to Japan and the other 8 will be serving in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Tomorrow will be another fun day, but they all are! Well I have five minutes to tell you about so much more so it will be a lot of spelling spacing mistakes. *Sorry*
A Thursday highlight was a lesson I sat in on with our Phii Thais (the older district). My companions went to the Residency so I stayed with Sister Chan to listen to their lesson. I was immersed with 10 minutes of the Spirit. It's amazing how fast you can feel it, once you've learned to recognize it. Like Travis said at our last meal together “learn the language of the spirit” and it has help and comforted me so much. The rest of our day was fun and my companions and I laugh and study so well together I honestly couldn't have asked for better companions and the fact that I get 2 is fantastic!
Friday we found out that the investigator we have been teaching our first week is actually our teacher for the class. Sister Wongwiraphab (took us several tries to pronounce that right) but she is so great! I love her and she has helped in so many aspects. My favorite time of my day is when we do personal study because that is the time I get to use the tools that my teachers have given me and apply them. Basically our teachers teach us how to learn and to do it effectively. Then we are required to do our part and study it out. It's been a little frustrating for those in my district who don't understand the concepts so they make noise and are distracting during personal study time but I know that's another lesson for me to be patient and to lovingly encourage them to make the most of their time.
Thank you mom and dad for teaching me the value of learning and focusing on study. The language is so easy or at least I think it is. Our teacher gave the first lesson in Thai and it was amazing that I understood it all. The gift of the spirit is wonderful! Then, when I gave the first lesson in Thai for others in the class I was even more amazed. Again mom and dad, I learned from the best, the value of learning. And it's not even our time; it's the Lord's time. Last night when I was thinking of thing I wanted to share with you today, I just wanted to assure you that I am doing great and I love it here. The MTC is seriously on lock-down. No one can get in and no one can get out, no other time in my life, unless I teach here, will I get to be here learning and having devotionals, etc. It’s a blessing to be here and learn from so many good examples.
Well I will need to send the report for Sunday's mission conference in a written letter because I am always three minutes over. :P
I love you all!