Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Week Two: Routines are Thai-t

Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 12:49PM (Email from MTC)


Hey family!!!

So we finally have a routine. Unfortunately, there are a million people here so it's packed and you have to be smart about getting around. In the next 90 days, there will be 8000+ people here. Right now we are pumping 3000. That. Is. Insane.

This week I started to learn how to read script. It's kind of nuts, because vowels can basically go where-ever they wanna go!!! And sometimes consonants make random other sounds too, so it's a learning process. Thai is getting harder as I try to keep everything I already learned under my belt. It's overwhelming thinking they have a whole world of words to learn that all sound the same.

So, you know how I call Mom "Mammy"? Well, the word for mom in Thai is: "MAA!" (Like, MA-mmy. HAHAH. I was like, "yesssss.") The word for dad is 'Pa', and parents is: "MA-pa". :) Just for fun facts.
Jesus Christ: Phrayeesukrid
Heavenly Father: Phrabida bon Sawan
Crazy = babccbaboh. (Buh-bah-buh-bo) :) Hahah.

Funny story: There's a few 18yr olds Elders in our district, and they are fun to mess with. Sometimes I speak fake sign language with Elder DeLagarza because he thought the first time I did it that it was real because it LOOKED legit. He was like, "I DON'T KNOW SIGN LANGUAGE!!!" So once he found out, days later, I told him it was "Thai Sign". Now we speak Thai sign occasionally. Hahaha.

To answer mom's question: The way we BEGAN to learn Thai was by reading in 'romanized' english. So backwards c's and x's are all tonal sounds. Thai has those 5 tones, like I said, and they are represented by vowels in script. Script is coming slowly, and it's amazing that I even remember half the letters. I have a kindergarten book that I trace the characters on. I feel awesome when I do it, because there is pictures.... :) Haha.

I officially cannot eat any more treats for about a month. If anyone sends me a package, send me PENS, HIGHLIGHTERS, or snack foods. I have eaten so many Valentine's treats that I literally cannot eat any more sugar without exploding. :) You all spoiled me!!!!

I ran into a LOT of friends this week! Brandon and Melinda got here, and I saw Alexis's sister working here, and my buddy Rory who works vending machines! So fun.


We also got to go on a temple walk. It was nice to get out, but it is FREEZING! The Provo temple is SUPER nice. I've been twice now, and I love it.

Write me DearElders!!! I miss them! Hugs hugs hugs to all of you who have written me. I should be able to respond today!!!

Sister Stewart and I are teaching lessons this week. Praying we'll start to get the hang of this Thai thing! It really is insane. :p 

I love you all!!!
Sister Painter!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Week One: "What Just Happened? I think I spoke Thai..."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 4:41PM (in the MTC)

Week One! What a DOOZYYYY. But in a good way (most of the time)-- I have a lot of jumbled thoughts here and not a lot of time to get them written down but I'll sure try my hardest.

First things first-- holy cow. There are a million missionaries here. And they all say hi in a different language. No Armenians yet, but I'm looking out! I've run into virtually everyone I know since the first day I got here. And I see them every day! I'm excited to see Melinda tomorrow!!!!!

So the first day I walked into my classroom with 13.7 lbs of book materials. No lie. And Bro. Burgess, my teacher, spoke entirely in Thai from day one. He's nice and occasionally speaks English nowadays, but the first day I got by with what I studied on Youtube, believe it or not! I answered his questions upon walking in, and the Elders were all mad. :) Anyway, as for language learning-- Thai is crazy! There is 5 tone marks: up, down, none, mountain, and valley. So "maa" said in 5 different ways is 5 different words. It's crazy. So I try not to talk when I'm excited or my phrases can go from: "Hi my name is Sister Painter" to "Horses run on the skyscraper" (Just kidding. There is no relation between those to statements, but I'm making a point here. It's crazy.)

I feel like getting used to having a companion around (24/7, WHERE ARE YOU SISTER STEWART) took the longest to get used to. It's definitely not being in a relationship-- It's like having a 5th limb that you can learn from and work with to get stuff done! Sister Melissa Stewart is my companion, she's from Boulder City Nevada. She's pretty cute! I like her.

I've had a congested... well, everything, the last week. In fact, I actually can't hear out of my left ear? Weird. So I went to the clinic and they really didn't know. So as of right now, I've been trying to get my ears to pop and I can't do it. :p It's rough! Anyone who has advice, dearelder it to me!

I don't have a lot of email time, so I suggest dearelder-ing me on Friday night so I can get it Monday and think of a response for Tuesday. It won't be that way in the mission field, but until Thailand, that'll save me some time so I can respond longer!

The first day in class when we got back to the classroom after dinner, it said on the board: "Don't worry, be happy" and I just knew everything was going to be OKAY! Jared always says that to me, so when I saw it, I was like, "Inspired message from my teacher!" Hahaha. The funniest signs are in the bathrooms: "OUT OF ORDER-- NOBODY'S HAPPY!!!!" and "THIS WAY TO THE MINISTER OF MAGIC" pointing to the toilet. I have literally seen it all.

I came in with 800+ missionaries last wednesday-- the largest group in 12 years or something crazy like that! There are 29 people that came into my District with me, so they split us up and literally found the smallest classrooms on campus to shove 15 Thai's into each. We realized we were in "Outer Darkness" when we saw the English missionaries' classrooms in another building. To sum it up, my English is even getting rough within 6 days because of how much I cram into my noggin' every day, so I said to Sis. Stewart: "The English missionaries practically sit in SLEEPY BOY CHAIRS!!!" And she's like, "...what?" And I was like, "Uhhh.. You know, those really comfy cushy chairs... Sleepy... boy.. chairs. No! LAZY boy. LAZY BOY CHAIRS."
Such is the life of Sister Painter.

My district of Elders always say at the end of the day: "Mail came today.... for Sister Painter." My district leader says: "I swear they are ALL for Sister Painter. ALWAYS." Hahahah-- tell everyone THANK YOU for all the lovin' and mail. Apparently the weekend was the popular time to write me, because I got 10 dearelders yesterday (holy cow, I had no idea I was so loved) and the Elders were like, "What the heck?!?!?" so I said, "Hey! I've been writing missionaries for a long time! It's my turn!" :) THANK YOU everyone for the support-- I can't even tell you how much that meant to me yesterday, because yesterday was the hardest day we've had I'd say!

We're currently teaching an 'investigator', and his name is Phii Ut. Thai is nuts! But somehow, I am learning and speaking Thai in what seems like a miraculous way. I just... do it. Like, it's not that hard. Yes, it's hard, but I just REMEMBER words randomly and put them together! Yes, it's "caveman" Thai, but it's still getting the message across! I actually am really loving learning. It's the 'drink from firehose' effect, but it's seriously working.

But the biggest thing: Something amazing is going to happen in Thailand. I just know it. They're in major change, and they're sending us missionaries out there at the front of it. Somethingggg is going to happen while I'm there, or Laos and Myanmar wouldn't be opened to service missionaries now. It's just amazing. We are the biggest group of Thai missionaries.... ever.

I thought the missionary schedule would be hard. Fun fact: It's long, but it's not hard. I have not been sleepy for 6 days, since I got here. I get up at 6:30am like, "Okay ready!" It's so... weird! I thought it would be grueling. However, don't get me wrong, THIS IS HARD. I never understood really what Jared meant until I started living it. Being a missionary is physically, emotionally and spiritually DEMANDING and DRAINING!

Fun fact about the scriptures! In Thai, every brother and sister has to be labeled, "Older" or "younger"-- so.... when you translate the Book of Mormon to Thai talking about the Brother of Jared, what happens??? Well, they prayed and asked Thomas S. Monson whether their decision was correct, and he said yes! So just for everyone's knowledge-- The Brother of Jared was OLDER than Jared! Crazy, right? Go tell your friends. The Thai's know what's up.

Anyway, so something in Thai before I head out real quick (in romanized english, not in symbols). There are people waiting for my computer:

Chan rag phraabida bon sawan le phrayeesukrid. Chan ruu sadsanaacjag khwaamching. Chan ruu phrayeeskrid le praphuupencjaw phrakod cooseb samid. Le Chan rag khrobkrua!!!
(Translation: I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know this church is true. I know Jesus Christ and God appeared to Joseph Smith. And I love my family!)

I'll write next week! KEEP WRITING ME LETTERS!! I promise I will try to respond to everyone as fast as I can, but the MTC keeps us busy!!

(Chan rag raw!)

Sister Painter

PS: Can someone dearelder me Jared's happenings from his blog? elderhammersmissionpage.blogspot.com (Thank you!)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Entering the MTC -- 3 Doors Down

Family and Friends!
My MTC Address is here! If you are planning on writing me a note, I should be in the MTC until April 10th (9 weeks). In a funny turn of events, my MTC address is '3 doors' from Jared's. He was #304!

Anyway, my addresses are listed on the side bar below the Palace photo. You'll never lose them!
And of course, here they are as well.

Sister Monica Painter
MTC Mailbox # 301
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

You can also write me via dearelder.com for free and I get it the same day at the MTC. :)

When I leave for Thailand, write me at this address: (After April 10)

Sister Monica Painter
Thailand Bangkok Mission
1645/6 New Phetchaburi Road
Makkasan, Ratchathewi
Bangkok, Thailand 10400

Everyone, it's been quite the ride. This is going to be the hardest, but most amazing adventure. Any letter from a friend is so appreciated. My sister will be updating my blog while I'm away (in theory)-- but if you would like to get my emails straight through email, let me know before Saturday evening.

See you all soon! Hugs for everyone! And pass one on to my missionary for me. :)

Thai Love You!
Sister Painter