So first just really fast, I am no longer in a trio because the only sister Nong Thai that came in last week has been fast tracked! She is now companions with Sister Nixon and Sister Robinson and I are a regular companionship now (as of yesterday) Sister Choulomany is half Thai and half Lao so she has spoken Thai a little in her house. Her accent is AMAZING but she doesn't know all the gospel vocab and she can't read script, but she is catching on so fast! She has only been her 6 days and we are the ones asking her questions..crazy!
So on Wednesday a man came in and said "tomorrow your district is having a prep meeting for your meeting with the General Consul"....haha what? Anyway so the next day we took out study time and had a 75 minute prep meeting for the real meeting the next day! Basically the state of Utah invited him to visit and the MTC invited him to meet a group of youth learning the language of his home country and he accepted! There has never been anyone that high to come visit for Thailand and it has been 5-6 years since the last visit! He is in charge of EVERY Visa to go in and out of Thailand--including missionaries. So there was a very long list of do's and don'ts. One thing we had to do was make our room absolutely spotless. I spent 20 minutes ironing the Thai flag because the man said it had to be perfect. 20 minutes. I can now cross "iron a flag" off my bucket list though so it worked out;)
Another thing. When we heard about this we thought it was going to be every Thai district--wrong. It was just ours! "We have only heard good things about this district which is good, because with some districts we can't have anyone come because they wouldn't treat them with enough respect. You definitely have a special spirit going on here." AH! So that just proves how amazing my district is, I am very very blessed.
When the General Consul came for his actual visit it was in a word: anticlimactic. We were prepared for an hour meeting of him asking us questions in Thai and us going over a lesson to show him how we learn and then asking him questions about his country. It was really 15 minutes and he did not understand the concept of missionaries-which I found super funny. He said and I quote, "You really don't need to study the language at all, the people will help you get to places you want to see." Haha so maybe he thinks we are going to be tourists, but hey, hopefully he felt the spirit at least a little bit! Also we had the president of the MTC and his wife there, along with Elder Clarke of the Seventy! (Although he didn't introduce himself) Haha an elder from the district said, "that moment when the Seventy isn't the coolest person in the room." Anyway the visit was nice-he got into politics which we were told not to bring up so we just kind of sat and nodded. So yeah! Fairly uneventful--except for the fact that we now have his business card in case we don't get our Visas! Woo!
So as of last Wednesday we have just under 3000 missionaries in the MTC! So cool right? Seeing that many young adults sacrificing their time to serve the Lord? Yeah.. those aren't the thoughts that come to my mind when I wait 35 minutes for a chicken sandwich. Haha one night last week no more missionaries were allowed in the cafeteria because they had hit capacity! So we ate some crackers from our dorm and called it good. Also they have ran out of food a bunch! So yes, it is wonderful experience let me tell you;) I have loved it here, but 7 weeks is enough time to really experience the MTC--13 DAYS! I can't even believe it. We get our flight plans on Friday!!!
In honor of the Olympics officially starting I just wanted to announce that Southeast Asia (Thai/Cambodian) beat the Frozen Chosen (Finnish/Danish/Swedish)!! I was told that it was quite the battle...it was pretty big news around here so we're pretty proud of our elders holding up our reputation.
We did our first English Fast (can't speak English -- Thai only) on Saturday and it was fun! It was challenging because you had to talk a lot slower than your mind worked, but it helped so much! Now every morning from 6:30-12:20 (lunch) we do an English Fast! We have to prep after all because in 2 weeks we will be 100% Thai 100% of the time! Ah! We are very excited!
Also one of the highlights of the week was Sister Painter's idea to have an activity to help with our 'shopping' terms. We had a mini store with only Baht and we had to haggle with the elders at the front. Sister Painter went around picking up random things from around the class to buy, but by the end of it we were buying/selling everything! (see picture) I bought 7 MTC swipe cards, Elder Flygare bought almost everyone's name tag, Oakes had 4 watches, Tuttle bought everyone's tie and my favorite was Elder Hansen..he bought my bag. Haha apparently it was for sale but yeah. In the picture we took we all look like hobos because..well you can see for yourself.
Not our best look. Please note the missing name tags, ties and watches.
I think I got the best loot.
hahahaha -- This killed me (get it -- DeBaht -- Thai currency)
Lately our lessons have really been focused on being completely ready to enter Thailand. Brother Hartman and Sister Painter gave a phenomenal lesson on how magnificent missions truly are and it got me so so excited! They also mentioned how the government only allows 150 Visas to foreign missionaries and just how lucky we are to be numbered among the 150. Sister Painter ended with this quote, "When you're in Thailand LIVE. See life in the vivid color it comes in." So that is my challenge for all of you this week. See life in a new, better way. See the good and ignore the bad because that makes life that much better. I love this gospel and I couldn't love being a missionary more.
Have a wonderful week and thank you so very much for the love and support you have showed me!
Much much love,
How we all feel at the end of the day sometimes
The Elders worship Brother Hartman.
They seriously follow him around like baby ducks and it is hilarious.
Hugging Brother Hartman for luck before finals (I'm telling you, they worship him)
Yeah I don't know what happened.
Week 7! Almost there!
Some Thai and some Cambodian missionaries!
Our VERY favorite sisters!
I knew the one I am next to at BYU and Sister Robinson grew up with her companion!
How crazy is that?? This was their last day and now they are across the world!