OMG they moved up our departure date!!! We are leaving NEXT WEEK!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D
Ok, ok--April fools! Hehehe. I had to get you mom.
I’m still leaving on April 9th. How are things back home? I hope everyone is healthy and happy. The weather is getting cold again, which we are not too excited about because we were ready to pack up our coats and send them home. I guess we will hang on to them for another week or so. Thank you for all your letters and the slippers! I love the purple, you know me so well. :)
Well this week there were a lot of neat things that happened but I'm not sure what to start with. So yes, I will be singing in Conference this Saturday during the afternoon session. I'm in the soprano section and I'm wearing my pink shirt that I wore on the first day to the MTC. But who knows maybe you'll see me :-) It would be “neato” if I could see all of you. I'm super excited for conference though. Every day in my journal I write about how blessed I feel to be here at the MTC at this specific time. My companions and I truly got the best of everything. We've heard from 3 general authorities (Elder Holland twice) and will have someone come visit on Easter Sunday. Our branch presidency wives tell us that usually general authorities come here and there but we have heard and will hear from them 5 times in 2 short months. Plus we also get to listen and be in conference and then when we go to Thailand in TWO WEEKS we get to be there for the New Year. It will be a huge culture learning experience. I hope that we can do a lot of work on those three days because it's like the equivalent of the New Year in Mexico. So anyways, when we get there we'll just be soaked in the water people throw at us. haha
Elder Oaks came last Tuesday and spoke to us for the Devotional. I left my notes upstairs in our classroom. It's second nature now that being without my companions is weird. Not that it happens, but the thought of it is weird. Usually it would be easy to say at home I’m going to go upstairs and get something and have no one come with me. Such is missionary life! Elder Oaks talked about how to recognize the spirit in everything we do. His wife also briefly spoke and I loved what she said. I'll send you home a letter today when I have my notes with me. I just remember feeling the love that comes from the general authorities. It was the same when Elder Holland and Elder Nelson came that as soon as they spoke it was a comforting soothing voice. It's nice to be able to sit so close to them and shake their hands.
So we "baptized" both our investigators this last week. We've been working with them for quite some time and even though it is a situation with teachers and volunteers here I feel like I’ve grown a friendship with these people; who are actually investigators our teachers taught when they were missionaries. One investigator was so perfect; he was willing to give up anything to learn how to follow Christ. I think we could have baptized him earlier than we did. The other was a little harder because she had a lot of questions about why we do certain things and also getting her to keep commitments. We pray for her and that she'll understand and do.
Another thing we do in class is culture moment. Our teacher Sister Wongwiraphaab (which sadly had her last day yesterday) she told us about the creatures in Thailand. Hmmm NOT excited at all! The most common are called Toogee which are basically red spotted lizards. They are ugly and sound horrible because in Esan, the north part of Thailand, I believe they have tons of them! The make noises and just hide. They really are just creepy because of their red eyes. Bleh.... but it's ok. Then, there other random things of course but what places doesn't have bugs.
This week we ate some real Thai food. It was fantastic! One of our noogthais (the younger district) parents owns the Thai restaurant at the Riverwoods. Anyways, her brother-in-law works here at the MTC and brought her food. Although, they are not supposed to eat in the room you could just smell it. So, during dinner time we brought it to the cafeteria and ate some rice and curry. Soooo good to have something other than the usual food, which we don't mind but eating is more so a routine now. I have no complaints though because it does keep up energized and such. P.S. I'm happy to report [cough, cough Travis ;-) ] I have not gain a single pound in the MTC! haha I actually lose weight every now and then. I drink so much water and eat fruit and vegies at every meal. So, I feel good and keeping that in mind for the two coming weeks before we ship out. AHHH it's so crazy that it's just going by so fast! I'm just savoring every moment trying to learn and become converted myself.
Oh I feel like I forget to mention this every week but on Sundays we have study time and often we spend time on our online study portal on lds.org. If you have time, check out the Mormon messages! :-) You just go to the home page and scroll all the way to the bottom. There are some really powerful, moving ones there. It so motivating to hear different people's stories and how they really are faithful in the gospel. Oh and before I forget forever, can you ask Travis if he know Gavin Rodriguez? He served in Taiwan, same mission same time as Travis. That's my companion’s older brother. Anyways, just curious.
Well with two weeks left I know I mentioned it last week but I'm going to try and send home everything next P-day. I think I will send it all in one box. Just clothes and letters and books I want to keep for after. My companion said that they have a special mail system that it cost like a dollar or two to send packages. I think that is something that you mention as well mom but I'll try to figure that out today. Also as far as calling home when I get to the airport, I don't have a specific time yet but I will get my travel plans this Thursday so I will copy them and send them home to you (I'm sure you'd like to have that as well) I think we stop in Hong Kong because that's where our Phiitays stopped over. I'm not sure on weight but I might need more vitamins and the Sensodine toothpaste please? Just as a personal request can you find the fine point Sharipes and "TUL" pens. I've used a lot of my writing utensils in the last two months and the pens here are kind expensive-ish. But if not I can get them here. They are the skinny kind of sharpies and with a super thin point. I'll attempt to draw you a picture in my letter. And the pens are black and silver. Travis might know what they look like. Sorry, I feel like I make too many request and hopefully this will be the last.
The time is spent but I hope you look forward to conference and hearing from our prophet as much as I do. We are so blessed to have someone to guide us because even as member of the church we still need guidance and clarification from a true source that never leads us astray. Yesterday in our Book of Mormon study we talked about 2 Nephi 33 and the study was guided to what we what to be able to say at the end of our missions and my goal is to be optimistic and love the Thai people and learn to be exactly obedient. One of our elders said that his was to be forever changed. I knew it was something that we have heard so many time here at the MTC but it's true. The mission will be the foundation for my life so in 16 months when I come home, it won't be something I check off a list but rather something I continue to build off. I guess we will see when the time comes. I remember reading a quote in the ensign that said something to the effect of "If I was the devil I wouldn't get the saints to commit a big sin, I would just keep them busy." It’s so true. It easy to get caught up in being busy but something we are not productive. There was a really good talk given about that a year or so ago in conference. Which is why I'm loving being on a mission, study the gospel all day; which should always be the first priority anyways but I can wake up every morning at 6:30 a.m. and say my only responsibility today is to study and preach the gospel. :-) Love it!
Well I love you all and I hope you enjoy and are richly edified by conference this weekend :) Love you all!!!! :D
Love Sister Yeo
Another week has gone by and “they have just flown so quickly,” which is what most people say. I'm so glad to hear that you had a safe and fun trip to Arizona. I noticed that it snowed and I was thinking about you all (especially you mom because snow is not your favorite.) I keep you in my prayers always but this week specifically that you would be watched over. Well, how are things at home? How is everyone? Dad is your back better from standing up and waiting for copies? Mom, are you sick? I might have read one of your letters wrong but I hope you are feeling 100% or are recovering. :-) I re-read you letters the night before P-day (last night) so I can make sure to catch up on questions and be able to share all the thoughts of one week. I write in the little column of my planner, thoughts and all that.
First off, last night I had a really hard time falling asleep and it wasn't until 12:30 a.m. that I managed to fall asleep and then this morning one of the Korean sister (which we are not fond of but we love ... because we are missionaries) got up before 6:30 and was just really inconsiderate as far as noise and loud door bangs. --The doors at the MTC are a little bit heavier so if you don't hold them while they close they sound like someone is slamming a door-- So all the preface is for that fact that if my thoughts are not connected I'm just lacking in a little rest. Being P-day and all I feel it is appropriate to take a quick nap ... better now than in class.
Oh yes, THANK YOU for all the treats. I feel like it's Christmas or my birthday when I get a package full of treats. I wanna tell you about Kwamsug (means happiness in Thai) but I share if I have time at the end. I did get the stickers and stamps. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I saw that stamp on your letter and it was taped differently so I had a hunch that there would be some in there. Before I opened the letter I turned to my companions and just shared my prediction and that my mom is awesome!!! And I am always grateful for your letters. Yesterday, I was thinking that you just got back from a trip and you are probably exhausted from traveling and the details of it but you still set me a letter. :-) I so blessed with a supportive family because when I served as the coordinating sister I was always sad for those missionaries that never got mail and how much more I have an appreciation for you, mom and the effort you put into sending me letters and love from home. On P-day sometimes it's hard for me to just write one or two letters because my mind is on so many other things I need to do and study. I know that I am a priority to you and I feel yours and the families love each day. Thank you... Khoob Khun. I don’t think I can fully express that in words but it means a lot to me.
Well this week was an answer to a lot of prayers. 3 weeks till we go to Thailand so it is even more effort than before. Luckily, I haven't felt tired here at the MTC because I know that by doing the Lord's work, He is giving me the strength I need to complete every day preparation and tasks. In the two weeks I have been trying to give my best but I also needed to be open to change. I know I'm not perfect but I hope that every day I am and we all are learning how to be. So in the frustration I noticed that I didn't take the time to see what I needed to change before asking others to working on things. But long story short I needed to change myself first and also be humble and be flexible. That's what companionship is right? One person can't always be right and there needs to be compromise and unity, if not the spirit is not with us and the end results with no teaching being done. So as we had a very meaningful companionship inventory ... like Travis said is important, it just solved so many things. Our teaching has improved on so many levels and we come out of our appointments feeling good and that the spirit was able to teach the investigator. The MTC does teach us how to teach but I think it also teaches us about ourselves. I learned that I need to communicate more about what I'm thinking and instead of initially being frustrated and expect people to know why... to explain -with love- how we can improve. This week has been good, so good. Oh, and to answer your question, I don't mind that you shared about my companions with the young single adult members. But I have to say that I love Sister Stolworthy and Sister Rodriguez. Heavenly Father knew why we needed to be together; because I needed to learn these lessons, because we get along so well and we love each other and we will be lifelong friends.
This part might get random but I am just addressing questions from letters. Mom how was your lesson last Sunday? I am always interested in teaching skills because that's what we do all day here. Last Sunday, for our film we watched a talk by Elder Holland about the gift of teaching and at first I was not engaged in the film because the role play seemed a little “corny” but It totally caught my attention at the end because the more I thought about it, teaching is a gift and a skill that everyone needs to work for, especially teaching with the spirit. So I admire you a lot mom because I remember when we were teaching Primary that you would always prepare you lessons a week in advance (which is what Elder Holland said we should do) I know I can repent there because I'd prepare my lesson the morning of the Sunday I taught .. uhh oops. I will repent and from day one in the MTC... Prepare is all I do now.
I was a little sad to hear that the young adults in our ward didn't do as well for their service project thing. You're absolutely right mom. That's what we learn here too. For our investigators if they need to learn about the word of wisdom and we go in and teach them the law of tithing we are not meeting their need. We are just doing what WE think is right instead of asking them what can help them and following the spirit. I know we aren't perfect in serving/teaching but it is important to learn from it and be better for the next time.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you share about Trina’s sleep walking. Although it is not good that she sleep-walks which I hope she will overcome I smiled and laughed when I read that. I could just picture it in my head. LOVE IT. I miss the squirt.
Which to address the other question... missing home. Well yes, I do miss you all but I guess when I say that I don't miss home it's not in the attitude of I don't care; it's more so that I have no time to think about anything else other than missionary work. During the day we have every hour if not almost every minute planned out (at least I do ... OH YEAH I finished the Book of Mormon yesterday. AH, I have no time I wanna share) but I do miss you all and love you all so much. I do think of you when I read letters late at night or if I come across something, like a lesson and I have our family picture in my scripture always. So you are always in my heart but I like the scripture in Luke that he who looks back is not fit for the kingdom. I'll look up the reference but the time is flying right past me and as I fill each and every hour with something meaningful my mind is so engaged (which is nice .. no cell phone distractions etc. hehe ) that I can't think of anything else.
I have little time but this week everything just seemed to fit together. As I read the Book of Mormon I really came to know Christ. It's amazing the things I learned and I wish I had more time to share it all but I know without a doubt that it was translated through Joseph Smith by the power of God and we do really come to know Christ through each and every page. It is key to conversion and we always need to be learning and re-discovering our testimony despite the number of times we read before.
This week for devotional and spiritual upliftness, President McIff, he is in the MTC presidency here, talked about how to keep ourselves healthy and 5 things of successful missionaries. He is a doctor by profession but it was very good and I don't have time to share but in Relief Society that we need to trust in the Lord. Moroni 7:33. Sister Bradshaw from the General Relief Society Board spoke about it in detail. It was great!
Ok, really quick I'm going to probably send home 2 maybe 3 boxes of things home next week or the week after. (Weird how it's already time eh?) One box is going to be all my clothes, one is just letters and books etc. Oh, and quick question do you want me to send home the blankets home too? Oh, and so our district is super lucky we get the best of just about everything. We have had the chance to be part of the 50th anniversary and we have heard from 3 apostles (which was AMAZING) and we get to have general conference here!!!!!! And then when we get to Thailand it will be 'sonkrang ' Not sure how to spell that in English but could you Google that for me? Thailand New Year Celebration. When we get to Thailand it will be the first out of three days of the New Year and in celebration people throw what on you. I'm not able to look up information but I'm interested to know more.
Have a great week! I love you all. I know that as we trust and have optimism from day to day we start to notice the small and simple things that the Lord blesses us with. As I was noticing around the MTC this week; we are just so blessed. I'm not sure what I'll see or experience yet in Thailand but I know that we have so much big and small. Especially the Book of Mormon that so many people can have their own copy and if not multiple copies of the most precious book of how we gain salvation. Everything we do has an eternal purpose and it so nice to have that perspective of something so much greater. Oh yeah, and this morning in the temple, a temple worker said that the mural in the chapel was put in yesterday. If you have time you should head to the temple this week! :-) It's beautiful.
LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!
How is everyone?! Thank you for all the letters mom and especially for the flowers. :-) I love them and they are so nice to look at every day! Are you all in Arizona this weekend with Trina? I'm pretty sure that's this month. I hope she recovered and she is doing well. I pray for all of you and your health to be dii maag :D Trina told me that you were driving to Timpview High for her concert and you and her waved at the MTC trying to guess where I was at. Now that the weather is getter nicer, sometimes we study outside. We are on the south side by the flags because we have classes there, typically though, we are inside in class or having personal or language study etc. I'm glad you had a chance to see Connor, he was always very encouraging when he wrote letters to me.
Well this week seemed to come and go. It seems like we just had P-day but still learning many things each day. It's a little hard to remember what went on because I got sick again for 2-3 days. I'm not sure how I keep getting sick but I took the appropriate medicine, had soup and went to bed early one night. I am 100% now so don't worry. I just think it's so strange because I never got sick at home (or rarely).
So as a district, we make goals together as well as individually. We have several but my favorite is Thai day. All day we speak Thai and any words you say in English our companion writes down and we look it up later. It's a work in progress because not everyone sticks to speaking Thai all day but I love it because it helps me see where I need to improve and I also get to see what the other district is learning. A personal goal I set last week that has been really rewarding is reading the Book of Mormon. The teacher from the other district, Brother Day came in and talked to us. It was good to see the different teaching styles but he said, 'you can finish the Book of Mormon here in the MTC. You can even to it in two weeks' I liked that so I'm doing it. I started last Wednesday and I'm about to Alma right now so I have one more week to finish the rest of it. I carry my Book of Mormon and study notebook around everywhere. If I find a spare moment I pick up where I left off.
As far my struggles are concerned, I expressed last week, from reading the Book of Mormon, I am learning more about the qualities of Christ. Also the thought I shared with you last week from Alex Boye that "We become what we think about most," well it is true. There are days and times when I get frustrated and so I've been trying to think, what would Christ do in this situation? I'm sure He felt that way in His time here on earth. Looking at it that way helps me so much. Preach My Gospel is so right when they say that the Book of Mormon is key to conversion. It has helped my relationship with the Savior grow more this week. I hope that family scripture study feels the same way for you all. I love 2nd Nephi; it hard for me to understand in the Isaiah chapters, but later I love how simple it is. Have faith, repent, be baptized and endure to the end. Pretty much the missionary purpose on page one of preach my gospel. :-)
Firesides and devotionals were also really good this week (but when do I think that they are they not?)
*sidenote - Our NoogThay's (younger district) are super great. They will by far be better Thai speakers than us. The thing about the MTC and I guess the Church in general is that they are always surveying and analyzing how things can be better. Some of the grammar books for them have been modified and they are on day 4 they are already learning script!! We didn't start that until week 3 or 4. It's good because I hope they are better so when we all go to Thailand the work just rapidly increases. It would be amazing if President Monson announces a temple in Thailand this conference! :-) :-)
Ok, so Sunday Brother Heaton who is the MTC facility president (at least I'm pretty sure that's his title.) he talked about goals. It was super interesting because he shared thoughts about goals that I've never thought of before. He said that often times, we missionaries will set goals for investigators and when they don't go to church, or keep their commitments, we think we have failed. He said that, that is the wrong attitude because the key indicators we set as goals are about them and their agency. Those goals are a perhaps, goals. In my study notes I wrote they are faith goals. Which when I thought about it more afterwards, it really makes sense because we often say that it is according to the Lord's time table and he will help that person because He knows them far better than we do. So he told us to not be frustrated about how the investigators choose to use their agency, because it is something we don't control. Goals help us exercise our faith but if goals are not met, we keep caring for those people and evaluate those goals. He shared so many examples from the scriptures and I wish I had time to explain them all but it gave me a different perspective. One I really liked was in Jacob 5. “The allegory of the vineyard.” The tree decided how it was going to grow and long story short, when the tree did not produce fruit; the Lord continues to prune and dig and nourish it.
At time I know I tend to measure myself if I accomplished my goals or not but the last thought he shared was, "Your worth to God has nothing to do with how many people say yes [if you accomplish your goals]. Serve with all your might." I loved that.
Well in the last minute, is there anything that you would like me to share? I have a few question for you mom about the airport stuff; like what I should lock and other question I can't think of at the moment but I’ll ask you those next week. We leave so soon!!! :D
I'm hoping to send pictures home today but we took a nap so our schedules are a little off and that why we are e-mailing so late. It was needed though.
LOVE YOU ALL
Love, Sister Yeo
How is everyone doing? There were so many cool things that happened this week!! How's Trina feeling? I hope she is going to recover super quick! I can't believe it's already time for her OAKE experience! :-) I am excited for her. How's Travis? Busy I'd assume--the semester ends by the time I leave the MTC. It's going by fast, week seven already!
Thanks for your letter mom! It's nice to get mail :-) Hmm well, I guess I will just start from last Tuesday.
It was an a.m.a.z.i.n.g fireside given by Elder Holland. He spoke about our responsibility and the expectation the church has for missionaries. He started out by sharing how loved we are as missionaries and how people all over the world pray for us. He expressed that for a while and oh man, it's hard to describe the feelings that I had. My heart seriously felt like it was going to pop; it was so special and it really is amazing to think about how much missionary work is looked at in the church. Thinking about it now, I'd always be so happy to see missionaries; especially the sisters when I went to temple square. Elder Holland asked us a question: "Are we doing the things that we teach our investigators?" Meaning have we taken the steps to our own conversion. He said that we couldn’t expect our investigators to be converted if we only have the mentality that for this 18 months I will do the Lord's work and then go back to “real life.” He said, “THIS IS REAL LIFE!” He said that if we are not converted and don't commit to continue to live the way we are living as missionaries, then we should not go at all. So Elder Holland doesn't talk to the missionaries the way he speaks in General Conference. [He is much more direct.] It was powerful! My companions and I talked about it and we said we've never been chastised and felt so loved. He said, don't go back to what you were before the mission; even if you were terrific, God wants us to be a more mature terrific. Then I loved how he told us to savor it. Savor the moments of a mission here at the MTC and basically everything that we experience. I agree completely because the more I think about the fact that we go to Thailand in a month, the more I realize I need to stop worrying about what others don't want to do or not be obedient but that I’ll decided for myself that I would be exactly obedient as you all have advised me too and has been taught here a lot. It was an incredible fireside!! I wish you could be here for every single one of them.
The week has been good as far as language study. Tomorrow, we get new missionaries... going to Thailand. Oh BTW, I got released from my calling as a coordinating sister. It made me really sad initially but I asked Heavenly Father to just help me be comforted. I thought about it and I thought about Christ. He didn't need a special calling to love and serve people; so I don't need a calling to do that either. My companions still tease me because they say I know everyone, but that's just me; I like to meet people and hear their stories and it helps me to see the good in the world through other people. It was funny because one day an Elder came up to me and said you look like a girl I know from back home. (He's from Hawaii) and I said oh, I'm probably not related since I am from here [Utah]. So my companions said you probably know her (the Elder's friend). So, he mentioned the name and... I do know her older brother. The weird part was that I saw her older brother at the temple on Sunday when we were out for Temple walk. It was crazy! It's Provo and a lot of people from BYU are here, so I guess that's how that works.
Sunday was mission conference, and we heard from our MTC presidency. President Brown spoke about the Atonement and the way he did it was very educational and also very spiritual. He really detailed every aspect and even that led up to the crucifixion of Christ. He was betrayed; he was beaten and taken to several illegal trials and still said nothing. He suffered so much in the garden of Gethsemane and was hung on the cross. It hard to explain all of it in such a short time but I think that would be a great lesson for FHE. It's incredible (for lack of a better word) that he turned outward and cared about everyone else while he was going through the hardest thing anyone could experience in life.
Our branch president was released and is not serving in a different calling here at the MTC. He and his wife are so great and very loving! We miss them but will welcome in our new branch president. President Brown and his wife came to our sacrament to conduct business and I have a feeling I might get called up to speak one day because I led the music and ... I like to smile, it's never a bad thing, so she would look at me, smile and ask Sister Roach a question. President Brown talked to us afterwards and He is so very kind.
Okay, in the last five minutes… Sunday devotional was different but amazing! A man named Alex Boye came. Youtube him! (Oh and sidenote ... if you haven't seen Mormon messages on the LDS website, you should check them out; we love them here and they are our spiritual booster when we all need a minute to be uplifted). So, Alex sang and I want to share one thing that really stuck with me:
He said, “We become what we think about the most.” I LOVED that! At the end, he also told us to, “think as BIG as you want.” Which is so true, God created us in His image, which means He has invested in us and believes in our abilities to become like Him as we rely and come to know Him. I wrote down that sentence in several places because during the week when I get frustrated with things or people I think about that, the Savior and my potential. If I am working toward my potential then I will remember that the Savior is patient, He is kind, and He loves without end.
I love you all without end and I am SUPER DUPER grateful for the love I feel from you and your prayers. You are the best!!
LOVE YOU ALL!!!
p.s. Thanks for the snacks mom!! I almost ate the whole pack of Adobo in one night. It's all American treats here in the MTC. Oh, and my bruised knee has not been bruised for a while. I was playing Volleyball and kinda might have dove for a ball. I repented ... I don't do that anymore. I'm all in tack and ready to go to Thailand. :-) Yesterday, I was super allergic to something (but I took my allergy medicine) so I might be getting sick again ... but I've been eating healthy and wearing my coat everywhere. Don't worry tho Mom, I"ll be fine and take great care of myself then keep you updated :D
AHH OH yeah! I sure hope that I'm home if Uncle Bobo and Aloysius and Ah-wei comes to visit!!!!! That would be SO SO SO cool!!! I'll cross my fingers.
Well last thoughts, I know that serving a mission is where I am suppose to be and I am so grateful for the opportunity to give all my time, talent and everything to this wonderful work. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3