Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Our zone rocks the tones!

Hello Family!!!
 I love you all so much! Thank you so so so much for the pictures/emails/letters this week!

This week has been great!!! It's crazy to think that it was a whole week ago that I was sitting in this same spot... feels like yesterday, but so much has changed since then!
 Last week I talked about how the Thai was really easy and I felt like things were super unstructured. Last Wednesday evening we kind of got the scoop about it all. Apparently, they try to make the first week a "fend-for-yourself" experience. They don't really teach anything about teaching/speaking/etc... and expect you to teach lessons. The reason they do this is to humble us, and give us a really low starting point to build off of.... don't know if I wrote that so it makes sense. But, basically they wanted to kind of let us figure things out for ourselves first, and then begin teaching. I was frustrated because I wanted to learn more, but now that we've been through the second week, things are very structured. We learn a lot in class about how to teach lessons, what to focus on in lessons, and Thai. The most important thing that we've learned is that everything we do all day long needs to revolve around our investigators. Whenever we study alone/with companion/language/plan/etc... it should all be about our investigators' needs. So, I feel like we're learning a lot now and I feel way better!
We stopped teaching our first investigator because he was sort of the "welcome-to-the-MTC-let's-totally-freak-you-missionaries-out" investigator.  And you are right... "Phii Dtam" is now one of our teachers. We have Brother Shipley, Brother Burgess and Brother Sanchez as teachers. Now, we are teaching Phii Samad and Phii Maag. We are learning skills about how to teach them. Samad has drinking/smoking problems and wants to change, so we are helping him learn about the Word of Wisdom, repentance, atonement, etc... It's so great! Thai's coming along just fine! We're taught over and over again to focus on the investigators and our scriptures/PMG/etc... and then the language will come.
But, our zone made a new record (or so they say) by being the earliest group to read Thai. We were taught the alphabet in the first week, and now we all can at least sound things out. The tone system is super complex when you're reading it. You should google how to read Thai tones. That'll take some practice! But, I was able to read the first two paragraphs from PMG and understand about 90% of it! (most of the words in the first paragraph are easy and things we've learned from class, but it made me super excited still!) I love Thaiiiiii!!!!!!!
On Sundays RS is combined with all the sisters in the MTC. This week Janice Kapp Perry spoke to us!!! Holy Cow! She was amazing and we all sang a new arrangement of "As Sisters in Zion" that she arranged/wrote. We also sang a whole bunch of her songs throughout her lesson! She was so fun to listen to and talked about her experiences as a missionary with her husband in Chile. Awesome!
Yesterday...drumroll... ELDER NELSON came and spoke to the MTC for devotional!!! So glad we decided to join the choir because we got great seats! haha He is so sweet and personable to listen to. He spoke all about missionary work. There was so much that he covered I don't even know what to write about. He talked about being obedient, keeping in touch with converts, keeping our spiritual batteries charged, and more. So amazing!
So, I'm going to try to answer the questions from the DearElders. When we run we just go around the perimeter of the MTC... about half a mile (maybe a little longer). We tried running around the temple lower fields last P-day, but we got kicked off! (The sign said "OPEN"!!!) haha so... just around the MTC now.
The gym is in the basement of the bookstore. It has a lot of machines... elliptical, bike, rowing, etc... and lots of weights!
Mom, I am glad that you are (sort of haha) training for the SeaWheeze! sooo excited to hear all about it this summer!
Dad and Sam... good luck next time you go fishing! haha glad you had fun outside, though. At the temple today at least 3 or 4 workers asked where I was from and commented on the great fishing in MT!
I'm going to start sending pictures now! I love you all so much!

Sister Stevenson :)