written MARCH 12, 2013
So I am now passed my one month! How crazy. All those feeling so inclined to write me.... follow that prompting! ;) I love and miss mail. As per usual. I've been getting complaints that my blog hasn't been updated since February. ... -cough- :)
So some funny stories to start out:
-Sis. McDermott (in the trio) was giving a spiritual thought-- and now all our thoughts have to be in thai-- so she asked to have us open to Luke 18:27-- unfortunately, the number 18 sounds incredibly close to the #11. So Sis. Steele and I both found ourselves looking up Luke 11:27. We were SO confused, and it was the funniest mix up ever. If you don't understand, go look it up. It's pretty hilarious.
-Elder Steiner: "So when do we use this 'can' in a sentence?' -holds up grammar book- ..... Bro. McConkie: "....may I have a 'can' of tuna?"
As for news:
I've been getting these sweet postcards from Jenn Lee in the mail-- she's on a road trip! So they come in every couple days. Oh man, love that girl. Tell her she is amazing.
I can't express my gratitude that dad was kept safe at the Sand Dunes with that crazy inspiration not to ride the 500. I bet he got home, saw the broken pieces, and was in total gratitude as well. I sure do love my dad, and I can't say how grateful I am that all of you are protected while I'm away. The Lord is keeping all His promises. I can't even describe it.
I am so jealous that you are all going to Sea World and Mopars! I would love to go. I miss animals. And life outside the MTC. Waiting for my Bangkok adventure in 4 weeks or so. We leave April 8th!
The MTC continues to grow and grow and grow. Bangkok may seem spacious when I get there!
Speaking of which, our "Phii Thais" (the older group), flew out yesterday and she get there tomorrow!! I can't even believe it. They were the last group to be on the 12-13 week program. We get new Thai missionaries next week-- so we may get a companionship in our bedroom in our 3rd bunkbed. I can't wait to bring in the new group and try to help them as much as we can, emotionally and language wise. I remember what it was like! So to anyone coming in tomorrow or next week, I'm hosting the new missionaries! So I could see you and bring you and all your luggage in. :)
There is a big bug that is going around our district, as spread by Elder Chambers! That boy needs to cover his mouth. :P :) So my companion got really sick yesterday and I had to figure some splits so I could make sure our cleaning jobs got done... by me. Hahaha. Luckily I have yet to catch the bug once more. Heaven knows a 2-month flu was enough. Oh! Did I mention that my flu shot gave me the flu? Yes. It did. I had the flu for 2 months. Go figure. So life on the mostly healthy side is delightfulllllll.
Script and reading is coming along-- things are sticking much better and the language continues to progress. I finally had a great couple of teaching experiences in the TRC-- (where we teach volunteers who speak Thai), and they actually went really well. I'm suprised by how much I can say. Though, I still have SOOOOO far to go. It's really humbling. But I can tell I'm in an escalated learning environment-- God still knows how to teach Thai best.
Our teacher, Bro. McConkie, got engaged on Saturday! To a girl who went to Mt. View in Mesa. Somebody creep on Sarah Rowley. So happy for him! Especially if he got an Arizona girl. (Let it be known, he left us an hour early to go propose, so it was a good excuse! As he left, he said to another teacher, "khun pen phuuchuayhayrccd!" (and I knew it was a big deal because that means, 'You're a savior!" haha. Well, actually it means literally: "person who helps give salvation". Hahaha! Thai is so great.)
Elder Wheeler is now in a trio, and Elder Bartholomew is our district leader. We actually lost an Elder. That was a hard adjustment for all of us, but it was the right decision for him. He'll be back soon, we know it.
I had a dream this week about preaching the gospel to some teenagers. I can honestly say I have never had a dream where I am bearing testimony. It was bizarre, but realistic. I guess that happens when you live and breathe missionary work.
There's just something about serving a mission that makes all your flaws materialize. It's both really hard on you, and motivating to change. I'm getting massively humbled because of how draining all this can be-- and of course, your companion is just as drained as you, so by the end of the night, you say: "Groodniihh..." (that's not Thai, that's just sleepy talk for goodnight. Life is rough. haha)
I was really inspired all week from reading Jacob 5-- the parable of the vineyard. I just loved it. It made me think of what Grandma Ines used to say: "Grow where you are planted." because in the parable, the servant in the vineyard says: "How comest thou hither to plant this tree [here]? For behold, it was the poorest spot in all the land of thy vineyard." (vs. 21)
Lord of the Vineyard says : "Counsel me not. I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it, this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit."
They continue walking and the Lord sees another tree: "Look hither," he says, "behold I have planted another branch of the tree also, and thou knowest that this spot of ground was poorer than the first."
"But," And then he stops him and points, saying, ".... behold, the tree."
It just hit me that no matter where we came from, or where we were planted, if we grow up nourished by the Lord and keep our roots dug in Him, we can grow and flourish no matter our background, and no matter how poor our circumstance.
Just call me a vineyard worker.
"Good timber does not grow with ease;
the stronger wind, the stronger trees;
the further the sky, the greater length,
the more the storm, the more the strength,
by sun and cold, by rain and snow,
in trees and men good timber grow."
(Thanks cousin Tyler, for sending that poem to me again! I had lost it since you served!)
It's been nice and warm(er), so we're loving life for the moment! We sat on the temple grounds on our walk on Sunday-- a real treat!
I'm so excited for Brekk to go to Disneyland! HE IS SO CUTE!
Keep working hard, and keep smiling! I love you all SO much and I am so grateful to have each and every one of you. I can't tell you how much you all mean to me! This missionary loves you!
That girl who is currently on Week 6 starting TOMORROW!
Sister Monica Painter!
the usual lunch
Sis. S & I hosting for the first time! Bringing in new missionaries!
Our district had a food fiesta last P-Day! We brought out the 5lb chocolate from Uncle Tom!
(sorry I'm not in it, it's also missing a few people!)
Bro. McConkie (doesn't he look oddly like Jared Hammer? :p Anyway, that's Bruce R's grandson! Teaching us Thai!)
Sis. Steele & I
Sunday sit on the lawn of the temple :) (Elder Quinn and Elder Kelley <-- from Australia)
our district on the lawn!