testifying in Thailand

testifying in Thailand

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Week 1 and Practically Fluent...maybe


I love it here! Just an update on the MTC itself. Last Wednesday when we missionaries arrived at the MTC earlier in the day than normal, first because we had 700 plus missionaries (a record) and second because the mission presidents came in the same day we did. Everything was different when they were here, the food (we had incredible food because they were trying to impress all of the apostles that were here haha) Every single one of the 12 apostles were on campus plus the first presidency throughout the week and guess who we got to hear speak?! No one! Haha it is actually funny, most missionaries think we're getting the short end of the stick, but hey, we could feel of their spirit;) OH! And after 5 days of looking through so many buildings I FINALLY found the picture of Grant!! It is so neat because his picture is way bigger and nicer than the ones next to it so he is basically a celebrity. I forced my entire district to come on a field trip after dinner to see it, you're welcome Grant, you're famous.

All you need to know is that the spirit is here constantly and so much happiness is felt, ALL THE TIME! :)

MTC Nametag.  It will be in full Thai when we get in country.

I cannot explain just how much I love my district! It is such a testimony to me that we were all placed with random people who I now consider family. God knew that we would need each other and goodness I am grateful that he knows better than us all.
The Phii-Thai's have been here for 6 weeks and it is so encouraging to hear them speak because it means we have hope! Haha they have taken us all under their wing, especially because they have more sisters than elders so we are with them a ton.
I have seen SO many people I know from high school but also from BYU! Trevor Brown (a super good friend from my ward at BYU) is actually in my district so I see him all the time. I have seen Brenn Parker (it took me forever to find her!) and a bunch of others. My companions make fun of me because I know so many people, they have started a tally and have told me I can only say hi to a certain number of people haha. 
Another thing that is really neat is how old our zone is. A majority of elders going to Thailand went to a year of college, or worked, before coming here so we are such a mature zone! You can definintely tell the difference between ours and others. Also about 80% of people (including elders) in our zone played volleyball in high school so our excercise is SO FUN.

Sister Nixon is my favorite! I seriously love her. (She is the tall one from Wyoming) and Sister Robinson is hilarious and VERY talkative. She kills both of us with things she says. Some how we figured out that we have met this one random time before the mission (long story) and she knows lots of my friends which is crazy! I was not expecting a trio so it has been difficult but we are figuring each other out!

Me with Sister Nixon and Sister Robinson


It is coming!! Whenever other missionaries ask us how the language is going I always reply "we get better everyday!" Which is so true. We are learning Romanized Thai which is just Thai written in english except the sounds are very different. Apparently the Thai people call it passa-Elder (Elder language) because missionaries are the only people who actually want to learn Thai haha. We will switch to the actual script in 2/3 weeks. I LOVE MY TEACHER. She is absolutely hilarious and is incredible. Our branch president (over lots of different countries) has told us multiple times that the Thai teachers are some of the best in the entire MTC. And it is so true! We probably spend 11 hours a day studying the language (haha but definitely not all of that because like I said earlier, we all love each other so we get VERY distracted) One thing that was an answer to my prayers was a compliment that I received from a Phii-Thai. She said that all the older Thai's were jealous because when I introduced myself apparently I had incredible tones and they sounded better than their own! Ah. It is hard not to get discouraged but the moments like that just make things so much easier. Also I have noticed that I am fairly good at understanding people. Sister Painter told this huge story to see how much we caught and I completely retold the entire thing! (the only one in my class who got all of the different parts) However, I can't speak as well. I'm working on memorizing and our goal is 20/30 words a day but I think we are hitting more like 50.

Thai has one of the largest book lists in the MTC haha, but we can do it!

What we walked in on the first day!

Luckily we have one of the NICEST classrooms in the MTC!  Although floor 5 is a rough 96 stair walk 3 times a day.

How we all felt after the first day (Elder Hansen).

So our investigator is a Thai teacher based on a Thai person, Phii Kaww (pronounced "Pee Gaow". He is so sweet. The other Thai district got a super hard investigator so we were blessed. Our first lesson was...rough. So we worked so so hard and our second lesson was amazing! I testify that THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS REAL! Here I was, a white girl from Bountiful Utah sitting in a lesson after beginning to learn Thai 3 days prior and I could understand the questions he was asking us! Kind of sad because he got sick yesterday so we weren't able to teach him, but tomorrow! OH! And I already asked him if he wanted to be baptized and he does! It wasn't an official challenge so it doesn't really count but the spirit was so strong. One of my very favorite things is testifying in Thai because it is so simple but we care so much that I think he feels it. 

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK (haha should be a spiritual part but it isn't)
So our district can get...distracted. The elders have this thing to toss a waterbottle and try to get it to land upright. They had been doing it for probably 15-20 minutes and no one had landed it. I wanted to try so I stood up and BAM. IT LANDED. The ENTIRE zone was dead silent for a second or two then everyone threw their arms up and was cheering and hahaha. It kills me just thinking about it! Until yesterday I had landed it FOUR TIMES and no other elder could! Haha Elder Brooke (district leader) told me "at first I thought it was just luck but after your second time I just realized that it was a gift" Yeah. I'm kind of a big deal.

I landed this water bottle ON SCRIPTURES!! I'm telling you, it's a gift.

I just want to challenge you all to do a doctrine/scripture study with another person. I have been blown away about how much I learn through companion study, SO POWERFUL. So do it, you won't regret it! 

Sorry this was so long, I just had so much information to spit out. Just know that I love it here! I was blessed because the first few days weren't too difficult for me. I have already gotten very discouraged over learning Thai (which I promised myself I wouldn't do) but other than that things are amazing! The Lord is my Light and I couldn't be happier! Have a wonderful week of waterbottle tossing (you won't get it, trust me, you don't have the gift) and enjoy not spending 11 hours in a classroom;) Pray for the gift of tongues for me and my companions as well!

Choog dii! (take luck)

Much much love,
Sister Hammon

Sister Hammon first Sunday at the MTC
Sister Robinson, Sister Nixon and myself in front of the temple on Sunday. My Khuus ;)  (pronounced choo)
(We are sad that the temple is closed for two weeks for cleaning.)

Elder Tuttle selfie--it's a daily thing.

Haha!  So Elder Tuttle (LOVE HIM because he reminds me of Grant) is so so tall!  (6'4") and somehow he ended up with the smallest desk in the class!  He would balance it on his knees, and I was right next to him (a foot shorter) and I had a giant desk!  "Tiny Tuttle Desk"

Yes I am on a chair and yes he is almost as tall as me.

Sister Nixon's mom sent chopsticks so we had to use them.
We used them with goldfish earlier so we could practice for sushi.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

I'm finally Sister Hammon!

Just a quick hello from the MTC! 
     My branch president is letting us email home to let you know how we are, but our normal P-days are Tuesday so I will write then. Oh my goodness I love it here! I am in a trio with Sister Nixon (Wyoming, just graduated high school but she is older than me) and Sister Robinson (SLC and went to BYU last year-Political Science major). We have 2 Thai districts, but we are the only sisters in our district, there are 2 more in the other district. I LOVE my district. We have already have so much fun and we are officially 'Team Thai'. I am currently in the largest zone in the entire world! We have over 100 missionaries (Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia and a few more random countries totaling 8 languages) The older group of Thai's are so helpful and we are already love them so much.

       I just want to say how incredible it is here. I have already felt guided by the Holy Ghost in learning Thai, and by the way our teacher is AMAZING. Love her to death and I wish she was coming to Thailand with us. Sister Painter kind of breaks the MTC stereotype by speaking Thai only 95% of the time instead of the 100% so she catches us up when we give her the blank stares that are happening 100% of the time. Thai will be hard, but so rewarding. I cannot wait to really start diving into it. We teach our first lesson in full Thai tomorrow so that should be interesting. 

Okay I am running out of time but I love you all so much! Mom, don't worry about me I am loving it! I cannot wait to live as Sister Hammon for the next 18 months because if it is anything like these first few days life will be difficult but full of so much joy!

Love you all and I will write you Tuesday! Sawadii!

Much much love,
Sister Hammon