Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hurrah for Israel!

Sawaddiikha!!! How are you all doing? Thank you so much for all the letters/DearElders/emails! Always one of the best parts of the day!

It sounds like you are having a great boys week full of softball games, fishing, cub scout camp, Farmers Market! So much fun! Whitefish summers are the best! And it sounds like Mom is having a great time in NY!
In answer to questions:
The language is coming along great! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Thai!!!! I cannot even explain how much I love this language! It is so rewarding to be able to at least somewhat speak it and I feel like we all have a good enough base to get us going in Thailand! I'm sure we'll be completely confused when we get there, but I think it'll come pretty fast once we're immersed in the language and culture! I cannnnnot wait! 3 more weeks!!!!!!!!!

And we are definitely still learning a lot. I love our teachers and everything we learn from them. To be honest, we really have to take our learning into our own hands, though. They teach us basic grammar principles and teaching techniques, but it is up to us to really learn it on our own. If I only studied what the teachers taught I don't think I'd be very far. They really encourage us to study far beyond what they teach. It is AWESOME!
For the missionary training fireside thing we are singing (of course haha) "Called to Serve" and I think we also will sing "Behold a Royal Army" or something like that. We had our first ever devotional in the Marriott Center at the Y last night. It was awesome to sing with 2000 missionaries, and it was even awesome-er to leave the MTC and cross the street! First time I've left the MTC in 6 weeks! Wahooo! They choose the missionaries just based on who will be here June 23rd. So, that is me!!!

Okay, there's a lot to cover this week. Let's see if I can get it all in.
Today the new group of Thais come in! So excited to meet them!
Sad news: because the new Thais are coming in, they are changing our teachers. :( They don't usually switch up teachers, but they wanted the more experienced teachers to take the new Thais. I like the teachers that have been training a lot, but we're going to miss Bro. Burgess!!! In fact when he told us the news, all the girls started crying!  It's amazing how attached you become to your teachers. They almost feel like your parents.

Oh, this was funny! This week at the TRC we taught an elder that had just gotten home two weeks ago from Thailand. As Sister N was teaching he started chuckling, then laughing, then belly laughing. Then he couldn't stop. Then he would try to regain composure. Then he would burst out laughing again... Maybe our Thai is not coming along as well as we thought! haha He just could not stop laughing the whole lesson. Made my day! A cool thing about the TRC is seeing how fluently the RM's can read. It's crazy and so awesome.

This week I was waiting in line to get my Japanese Encephalitis shot and an elder from the Dominican Republic was standing in front of me. I started to try to speak to him in Spanish, and I literally could not say anything. Anything I tried to say came out in Thai. I couldn't even remember how to say "no."  No in Spanish= no. Same as English. Maybe when I come back I'll have to take Spanish 101 again! 

Our floor where our classroom is is being infiltrated with Japanese and German speakers. I mean infiltrated in a good way! haha  I can't think of another word.  But, there are a group of elders down the hall that like to sing hymns barbershop-style at the top of their lungs. It is so funny! Sometimes it sounds good... usually not. It is soooo distracting and so funny! It is soooo loud!
This week I got called on to speak in church. I got lucky because this week it was only our two Thai districts. So, I wasn't really nervous because we talk in front of each other all the time and I feel comfortable with everyone here. The topic was repentance. I talked a little bit about Enos and Alma the Elder... I'll send you my thoughts in a letter.

Oh, this is funny, too! This week we decided to be better about getting up exactly at 6:30. So, we all agreed to sit upright when the alarm goes off and shout "Hoorah for Israel!" then hop out of bed. So, on Monday, Sister M set the alarm. When it went off in the morning we did what I described and hopped out of bed. It was so bright that we were all blinded and running into each other when the light turned on. We looked ridiculous. Then, Sis G looked at her clock and realized it was only 6:05. We all groaned, threw our pillows at Sis M and went back to bed. Fail. So funny! She had somehow set her alarm wrong.

On Tuesdays missionaries from out of country come. We now have many Japanese missionaries in our building. So much fun. One truth I learned last night, though: Japanese vending machines must be very different from ours. I walked into the room where the vending machine is and there was a companionship trying to put a $100 bill in the machine! Sis S explained to them that you can only put $1 bills in, but they don't really speak English. So, with some sign language we were able to help them. Then, after they put in the right money, we showed them how to push the button to get the drink they wanted. The sister pushed the button and started squealing because she was so excited!  Made me laugh. Remember, it's the little things in life...

I love you all so much!
Sister Stevenson