So it's my second Preparation Day. I can't believe it! I feel like I have been gone for so long, but the time has flown since last week! It's been so great! I'm really starting to love it here. The spirit is amazing and everyone is so kind! It was great to get the new missionaries on Wednesday. Ryan Reese and my roommate Mike Groesbeck got here. Its been great seeing more familiar faces. I'm excited to see who will come in tomorrow.
Last Tuesday we heard from Elder Russell M. Nelson. He was amazing! He talked about being the missionary who, when times are hard or its almost time to go home, keep working. Those missionaries go to the next door and knock, because more likely than not they will find a person who is ready to hear our message. He was so great and I loved hearing from an apostle.
Mom, I can't believe that you were down here! I hope that you enjoyed seeing what Life is like here.
On Sunday we had a fireside given by Stephen B. Allen, the managing director in the missionary department. He talked about how we need to realize that we were saved for these last days for a purpose known only ot our Father in Heaven. He also talked about how we need to put down our weapons of rebellion as the people of Ammon did. We need to not fight against God anymore, whether that be through pride, anger, cheating, contention, or disobedience. One of the things he said that really impacted me was when he quoted the last words of Nephi. "I must obey. Amen." he then said, "NOW DO IT!" It was so great! I love being able to hear from men of God. I know that the words which they speak are true.
So, life at the MTC is just fine and dandy! Haha. The food is decent, but I love when we go up to the temple and get to eat there because that food is SO good!! I'm pretty good with the schedule, but I'm always really tired. It seems like a pretty common thing. That's another interesting thing that Elder Nelson talked about. He said that like a car, our spiritual batteries recharge when we are studying, teraching, and doing the things of the Lord, and it is important to remember that. I never thought that I would like sitting in a classroom learning, but when the Spirit is there teaching you, there is no better place to be.
It's so great to learn a lot about the gospel, the Thai language, and the culture. One of my teachers, Brother Miles, told us last night that even though there is only one stake in all of Thailand, the church has recently built two nice, state-of-the-art stake centers that are serving districts. They even have basketball courts which is unheard of in Thailand! I'm so excited to get there!
On Sunday our branch President read us a letter from one of the missionaries in Thailand now. THe missionary said that the people there rock, and that they were planning on having a bunch of baptisms by the end of May! It will be amazing to see the church grow over there.
The language is hard, but it's coming along. We started learning to read Thai script this week. We were all very excited about that! We made these cards with all of the vowels and consonants on them which is really helpful! I kind of thought that when we made them reading would become very easy, that it would be like haveing a urim and thumim, but it's still very difficult. We had to do a TRC on Saturday which is like a simulation of teaching a lesson, and we had to ask someone if we could teach them in Thai, and ask about their family! Luckily we got to teach the restoration in Englinsh though. But I can't wait until I can teach it in Thai! It will be so awesome! The spirit has really helped me with the language and I have been very blessed.
I never realized how much Spanish I knew until I started learning Thai. I was praying the other day in class and afterward, Elder Tolman told me I threw in some spanish words. At first, I wished I were learning something like Spanish because Thai is SO hard, but I'm glad that I get to learn this language, and I know that it will be a blessing to me.
Things with my companion Elder Doria and I are great! I couldn't have been blessed with a better companion. He is a spiritual giant. He always has such good insights. He loves to throw in analogies and stories! He studies talks and now I have started to as well. I read President Faust's talk from 2001, The Atonement: Our Greatest Hope. That was really cool to read. I love to study the atonement, because that is the reason that I wanted to serve my mission. I haven't forgotten that. I thank my Father in Heaven every day for Jesus Christ, and his infinite atonement.
I love it here, and everything is great! My district has some really funny guys in it, but we all are solid in the gospel too! It's the best of both worlds. The world we live in, however is that of the gospel. We are no longer in the world, nor are we of the world. We are out of the world. We are blessed for our sacrifice, and you are blessed for it too.
I sent you a bunch of letters last week but I haven't gotten any responses. Did they get to you? Please write, or even dear elder. I love hearing from home knowing all is well with you. Good luck with everything! Don't worry about me Mom.
I love you all so very much.