How are you all doing? I hope all is well. Mom, I'm glad to hear that girls camp went well. I know that you must have put on an awesome time for the girls in the Parleys Stake! I have loved your theme and have written "B.L.O.O.M." in my planner everyday for the past couple of weeks as a reminder to become like our only master.
Well, I can't believe that I've finished 8 weeks in the MTC! It's crazy! I leave in 20 days for Thailand! I am so excited to get there. I was thinking about it after the TRC on Saturday, and I realized why I'm so excited to get there. Before I got here, I was excited to go because its Thailand--the most exotic country in Asia (that's what all the travel posters say). But the more time I spend here, I notice that what makes me the most excited to get there is when the teachers talk about the people. Last night, Brother Miles was telling us about his first Sunday in country, and how the members just love when the missionaries would talk to them. Especially the older ones. It made me so excited to go meet these amazing people. I pray everyday that I will be able to love them, and I do. I haven't met them but I know that they are amazing people. My heart goes out to them already.
On Sunday during temple walk, we also ran into a former Thai missionary. It was awesome to speak Thai to someone outside of the MTC! He told us a lot of stuff, which sounded like it's outdated. He taught back when they had the memorized discussions. But I really liked hearing about that because I got to see how much the work truly has changed since he got back in 2003.
We get our travel plans 1 week from Thursday Dad!! My last p-day here I'll be able to tell you where we get to stop along the way. I'm excited because I've been able to pick up how to say hello in Korean, Mandrin, and Cantonese here at the MTC. So if we stop in Seoul, Hong Kong, or Taipei I can talk to people a little bit!
Thai is coming along. We all realized as a district that we need to work on our tones more, so that's one thing we're doing. But we are also speaking Thai most of the time inside class, and a large amount of time outside of class. Its wonderful! I love the language because its kind of a mix between the softer European languages, and the harsh Asian languages. It really is so cool!
This week we had a devotional from Cree-L Kofford, emeritus 70. It was good. He talked to us about how we need to learn two simple things. 1. Obedience, and 2. Discerning the Spirit. One thing that he said that I really liked was about discerning the spirit. He said that it's harder for us today to hear it because there are so many things of the world constantly calling for our attention. He said that we need to learn silence. That is when we will learn the most from the spirit. He said. "The essence of success is not in knowing the doctrine. it is in recognizing the Spirit." I know that this is true, because the spirit knows what investigators need. We must not think that we don't have to do anything. We must treasure up the words of life continually. We need to fill our wells, so that when the time comes, the Spirit can draw from the wells that we have prepared.
On Sunday night, we had a fireside by Brother Richard Heaton. He said that in the church, we need to get away from the notion that repentance is a bad thing. Its positive. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and it didn't use the word "repent" but the word schub; meaning to turn (toward God, and away from sin). Look at Ezekiel 14:6, Daniel 12:3, Hosea 12:6, Helaman 13:11. In the Greek New Tstamtent, the word Menlanoia (might be spelled wrong) was used. This word means a change of mind. a fresh view about God and the world (See Bible Dictionary: Repentance) Then came the Latin Bible. This version used the word paenitiene; to feel regret or contrition. This is where the notion arose that we had to suffer. Then William Tyndale invented the word repentance. The Clergy wanted the word to be due pennance, so that the people would have to pay them something, but Tyndale didn't think that was accurate. He was later burned at the stake for being a heretic. Repentance shouldn't be negative. It should be a positive thing that we look forward to. We should want to be in the Hall of Fame of repenters. I finished Acts and Romans last week and am almost done with 1st Corinthians. As I heard Brother Heaton's explanation of repentance, I thought, this is what happened with the Apostle Paul. He is one of my heroes. I think of Paul and Alma the younger. They are in the Hall of Fame of repenters. I have so much admirition for them, because they changed. We all can come unto Christ, and be redeemed through Him, not matter what we have done.
One thing about church members is that I think that we could all be better at is fellowshipping. I realize now that if the missionaries ever would have brought an investigator to P3, I wouldn't have even known about it. Members play such a crucial role in missionary work. I want each one of you to promise me that you'll be a better fellowshipper. Reach out to people who are searching. This is the will of the Lord. I think of what Paul said in 1st Cor. 9:16, "yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" Look for opportunities to serve in every capacity.
Well, I hope all is well! I love hearing from all of you! Jen and John, good luck in NC! You'll love it!
I love you all so very much!
ps tell nans hi