Monday, March 11, 2013

Week 4 - The Spirit

Hello & Sawadiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
As an official proclaimation: I want mail! I'm eager to hear from everyone!
Also, I am officially 28 days into my mission. That's bizarre. The time continuam here is confusing-- a week is a day and a day is a week. Go figure.
For Melissa--- Elder Pyne not only looks like Winnie the Pooh, but he also is an impeccable resemblence of Josh Peck from Drake and Josh. In fact, when we figured it out, I had him say: "MEAGAN!!" and I basically cried laughing it was so good.
Also, my hat, gloves and scarf finally arrived at Lost & Found after 2 weeks! It's a miracle. I was so bummed that they went missing, and AH! At last! Warm fingers and ears!
M. Russell Ballard came last Tuesday after I emailed! Way cool. We sang "Consider the Lillies" to him in the MTC choir (which I am in) and it reminded me of Grandpa Payne for some reason. Then I realized Grandma Ines's birthday was right after. I can tell they are supporting me out here.
Script continues to beat me to a pulp! It's so hard because of the tones and vowels. The language is getting tough because I can't memorize the vocab as easily when it's in script-- I usually memorize by visualizing the word in my head, but now that I can't read, I also can't memorize as easy! So I have officially turned myself over to the Lord to try to speak Thai-- my semi-photographic memory is not helping me, but I know HE can! :)
I took sinus pressure medicine from the clinic and that helped a little bit, but I'm still getting a a tad bit of the upper jaw bone pain. Not fun, but it hasn't kept me from being productive-- it's just annoying. :) Doing my best to stay positive regardless!
The TRC the most intimidating thing we do here because we teach Thai volunteers-- all of which have already served in Thailand. I have a tough time talking to them because I get so nervous that I have no clue what they're saying-- because I literally DON'T know what they're saying! Haha. We teach them all as members, too, so we can't ask them normal investigator stuff. We just teach them a lesson! It's like church! Haha.
However, we DID teach our 2 Thai investigators this week. In fact, the toughest cookie to crack, Bro. McConkie (grandson of Bruce R. McConkie) was red in the eyes during our lesson last night. I had prayed all day that I would just be able to submit myself to the Lord to teach my how to speak Thai, and when I got to our classroom, we didn't know we would be teaching him right away so we didn't have a solid lesson plan. So Sis. Stewart and I went in faith, not knowing before what we would really say or what "Phii Thii" really needed to hear, and in that lesson, we felt the spirit so strongly as we TESTIFIED IN THAI! I thought of something that needed to be said, and it came out in Thai! Just flowed out like the Dr. Pepper in mom's 48 oz pop! We felt like since Phii Thii knew for a surety that what he had already been learning the last 4 lessons was true, he needed to share it with his family and help them to accept baptism just like He did. Oh, it was crazy just how much love and sincerity was there. Sis. Stewart and I finished and left, and we looked at each other and said, "What just happened?"
The spirit happened.
"Good timber does not grow with ease:
the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees;
The further the sky, the greater the length;
the more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
in trees and men good timbers grow."
We just kids. We're learning a language completely out of our normal spectrum of knowledge, and it's HARD. There's no way that 18-21 year old kids can go WORLD WIDE and tell people that the way they've been living their life is seemingly incorrect, and that they need to change. What 19 year old kid convinced a 50 yr old man to stop drinking and come to church? NO BODY DID.
The spirit taught that man-- the 19 yr old kid was simply the means of setting the environment for the spirit to be there and testify.
"As to my strength, I am weak. I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God. For in his strength I can do all things." --Alma 26 (Just go read that whole chapter in the Book of Mormon. It's my favorite by far.)
I'm weak, but I will testify, in English and in Thai, that Jesus Christ LOVES us. God loves us so much that he sacrificed His Only Begotten Son FOR us, so that one day, when we hurt and we make mistakes, we can return to Him. And when that day comes, I want Christ to be able to tell me He was proud of me for doing all I could to spread His message-- that He will come again. And when He does, I know where I will be. I'll be at His feet, thanking Him for never letting me down. Because I know from now until that time, He won't. And He won't let you down either. I promise you that! Seek Him out, He'll tell you that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is HIS church, restored to the earth again.
With ALL my love, (kab thug khwaamrag kccng sidturr)
Sister Painter
PS: I memorized a fun phrase this week-- "We are missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." --> "Row ben phuusaansaasana kccng sadsanacag kccng Phrayeesukhrid hang [sidtichon yudsathay]" <--- they actually just changed Latter-Day Saints' translation, so I'll let you know what that is now. JUST happened recently! Crazy. Time to RE-memorize... Hahah.
PSS: Sorry no pictures this week, we honestly didn't do much at all except learn!

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