Friday, May 27, 2011

Week #1/First P-day email

Hey Family!
So its my first P-day and I am writing you. I only have a short 30 min to write you and read e mails so if you want to email me please just send it via dear I'm doing great now. All of the Phii Thais (Older Thais) told us that if we could make it through Sunday then we would be fine, and everything would speed up from there. Its so weird that I'm here. I hardly feel old enough to be a missionary.
Classes are great. The Language is hard, but I am managing. The Phii Thais said that we have learned more than they learned in their first week. We are encouraged to "SYL" or Speak Your Language all the time as this will help us to learn it better. I really can't believe the spirit here. Everyone is so friendly and happy its amazing! It's been rough though. We all miss our families, but on Wednesday night our Branch president gave us a scripture to read. D&C 100:1-2. It really gave me comfort and helped.
Also all of the letters that you have sent me have been really helpful and encouraging. Nate always told me letters helped him, and it is so true. Also John's advice about the orange juice seemed to be good advice! I'm so lucky that I had brothers in Law like Dave and John who were so so willing to talk to me about their missions. They have given me great advice.
The language is difficult. It's the fourth hardest here in the MTC my teacher told us. Its crazy because its tonal. If you say, "may may may may may," with the proper tones you would be asking, "if new silk burns." The language is also very literal. You wouldn't say that someone is in his desk because a Thai person would interpret that as meaning that he is trapped inside of the desk. Instead you say he is on his desk. It's the same way with prayer. We say Phra bidan bon sawan which means our Father ON Heaven. Not IN.
It's amazing to see the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues at work here. Eveyone says hello in their respective language and its great! I got to see Wess a couple of times and that was really nice! The people who have him as a teacher say that he is great! They are mostly Native Koreans I think. There are a lot of them here which was really surprising to me. Elder Radmall (a Phii Thai) and I played basketball against some yesterday. It was fun and they were actually pretty good! This one had a really nice scoop shot that he LOVED!! It was so funny because Elder Radmall and I are considerably taller than they were and we were on the same team and they thought it was so funny! They were just laughing at us. I wonder if that is how the Thai people will be.
My companion is Elder Doria from Provo. He lives just up the street from the MTC. His parents moved here from the Philippines, and his older brothers both went on their missions there. You can imagine that he was pretty surprised when he got called to Thailand! I'm so excited to get there!
President Hinckley said that there would one day be a temple in Thailand, and the church already has the property. It's sad because while there are enough members on record there to build the Bangkok temple, there aren't enough ACTIVE members. I really think that is part of why I am going- so that we can get the temple built. I realize that temples are such a blessing, and so many sacrifices must be made in order for them to be built.
On Sunday we watched, "The Mountain of the Lord." I really enjoyed it, and it really made me realize that those who built the Salt Lake temple really built it for their posterity for all generations of time and eternity to be able to recieve saving ordinances. Temples are SUCH blessings. We went to the Provo temple today, and Elder Heap and I were proxys for children in sealings and we were witnesses. That was a really great experience. I had never had the pleasure of doing that kind of temple work before. I really liked it.
There are eight Elders in my district, no sisters. But we are so lucky because we have incredible teachers. Brother Miles from Pennsylvania, and Sister Wongwiraophaab from BANGKOK!! It's awesome to have a native Thai for a teacher. She knows SO much and wants to teach us all that she can. She shares great stories about the people and she even told us the conversion story of her family! It was so great to hear that in Thailand true conversions do happen. Since the people don't even know who God is, we have to teach basic principles such as, God is a person, He has a body, and so on. There is a lot of work to do there.
Well I'm running low on time, but I love you all very much! Please keep writing. It helps more than you think. You are all in my prayers. Stay safe! Stay true to each other, and true to the faith. Don't be like Lot and pitch your tents towards Sodom, but be as the people of King Benjamin and pitch your tents towards the temple. Again, I love you all very much, and can't wait to hear from you soon!
Elder Todd

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