Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I am so excited to be a part of the work!!

(Getting a hug from Carlie when she got her call to Thailand. March 11, 2009)

September 21, 2009
Elder Holland came to devotional last Tuesday. We are pretty spoiled. His talk was pretty much AMAZING!!! (So was Sister Hollands. She talked about fear and faith as it relates to missionary work - the fear to open your mouth. She promised us that if we strive to be repentant and pray without ceasing and continue to study, eventually we will be able to banish fear completely.) He is so powerful. I just scribbled furiously to try and get everything he was saying. Elder Holland started his talk by saying "Sister Holland has the fatal flaw of being absolutely perfect. It is a great burden in life." ... He also said: "Go out there and embrace your mission. Get serious about it! I know we ask a lot of you. No matter how well prepared you think you are, it will be sobering when you touch down. But be ready to not miss a moment! This only comes once! This isn't a dress rehersal!" He also talked to those of us who are learning languages and said that we wil be able to speak the language. He went through a ton of scriptures and the verb is always SPEAK. He yelled to us about giving our missions all we've got and NOT having regrets! "DON'T YOU DARE RUN THAT RISK!" DO NOT COME WITH REGRETS!!" . . . As you can tell, that devotional was quite amazing. After that I felt like I could convert all 62 million Thai people and the King on my mission. Wow. I felt so good after that! I still feel so good! It was awesome! I love Elder Holland! Yay!
So that was the high point of the week. The low point? For service we got to clean hair off the bottom of vacuum cleaners. Like years worth of nasty hair that we had to pick off with exacto knives. I recommend just buying a new vacuum when they get all nasty. That was like the worst thing I have ever done. You should feel sorry for me. But we survived. :-)
I was really bummed to think I had attended the temple for the last time in 15 months this morning, and after staying as long as I could, I was feeling concerned as I left the temple. But almost immediately, the words from How Firm a Foundation popped into my head - "Fear not! I am with thee, oh be not dismayed! For I am thy God and will still give thee aid! I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand!" It was really empowering.
I go to Thailand in SIX DAYS! WHOA! I alternate between freaking out and thinking that I need another year in the MTC to being ready to go and start talking to people and preaching the Gospel! It is really quite entertaining. I think everyone around me thinks I am bipolar. But for the most part I am just excited out of my mind! Thailand is going to be so amazing! The people are going to be so amazing! The Gospel is amazing and it can help so many people! I am so excited to be a part of the work!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Let the freak out begin!

September 15, 2009
Another week has gone by. I am leaving for Thailand in THIRTEEN days. Let the freak out begin. We are madly trying to study our grammar book and memorize scriptures and testify and trying everything we can think of to try and up our ability to speak Thai. It is quite the funny scene. Our teachers started this thing where every day they tell us an experience from their mission in Thai - to get us excited and help with our comprehension. Sister Knudson's are a little more fun because she served in Thailand (Brother Sakhaa served in Canada). Yesterday Sister Knudson told us about the first two days in Thailand - that we stay at the Mission President's home on Wednesday night, which she said was FREEZING (ironic, isn't it?) because they overcompensate with air conditioning. But then she told us about "moves" meetings - where they tell everyone where they are being transferred and who their new companions are. She said that she was expecting it to be this nice quiet meeting since it was in a Church, but after the opening prayer, the mission president got up and was like ok! Elder so and so! (Yelling), you are going to this city and this is your companion! And then everyone claps and screams and yells. I am really excited for that - and everyone from all over the mission comes, so we get to see everyone every six weeks. Yay! That will be so much fun.
I should tell you more about the other Thai district, especially because I like them so much. We have all become really good friends in the last week or so. All five elders are a lot of fun. Yesterday, I told them how it kind of bugs me when Elders stand up when I sit down, so, naturally, they all stand up when I sit down now. Should have known better. Oh well. I guess I will just have to deal with it.
I love you all so much! I am so excited to talk to you in two weeks! Get ready for some awesome Thai (even though I still can't speak it.)
Sister Webb

Sunday, September 13, 2009

That made us a little squirmy - we are all excited to go!

September 8, 2009
We got a letter from another Phii Thai - this one was from Elder Newman, the one from our stake. Basically his whole letter was in capital letters and just said AMAZING over and over again, and about everything. On the back of the envelope it said THAILAND=JOY! He went through the people, the food, the smells, the work, the other missionaries, and just praised it all up and down. He absolutely loves it there. Of course that made us a little squirmy - we are all getting so excited to go.
I can't believe I only have three weeks left in the MTC. Crazy. We leave three weeks from yesterday. We are starting to freak out just a little bit, based on the fact that we can't speak Thai. But Sister Knudson and Brother Sakhaa keep assuring us that we are one of the better districts they have sent out (because we are so small and get one on one attention) and that we will learn it quickly when we get there. Sister Knudson said that Thai is a language where they don't expect you to be the least bit fluent - they just give you a foundation and trust that it will come when you get there. Fun. I really do love the Thai language. Yesterday, we did an activity where we each shared a story in Thai about a Gospel subject. I told about when I decided to go on a mission and it was really neat to share the experience because I could actually say what I wanted to in Thai - I got the whole story across and was able to convey my feelings. That was awesome. We taught the Plan of Salvation in Thai in the TRC this week. Sister Meyers and I taught Elder Petvixay's Mom again. She is so much fun. We were really excited because we actually understood her when she talked and she is a native Thai so she is harder to understand. The lesson went pretty well. There were some pretty funny grammar mix-ups but we didn't get too confused. And if you think the Atonement is hard to explain in English, try it in Thai - pretty difficult. But overall, we were quite pleased. The Thai is really coming along.
So I heard that BYU beat Oklahoma on Saturday. You will never guess how I know. It was announced - in MISSION CONFERENCE! As in, the entire mission is sitting there and a member of the mission presidency announced it. Pretty funny. BYU sports are the only thing they will talk about that is not related to the work. I was pretty surprised, but quite excited. It was also announced in our Branch council leadership meeting by a member of the branch presidency, along with the score and several key plays. I love how we would probably never know if we went to war with someone but we know when BYU wins. Funny place, this MTC.
We went and did initiatories in the Temple this morning. I really love those. I also really love the Temple. We only get to go two more times and then we don't get to go for 18 months! Bummer! But there are rumors swirling that land has been purchased for a temple in Bangkok. I honestly don't think they are very trustworthy, but wouldn't it be fun if they announced a temple while the we are there? That would be awesome!

"Don't worry! - - When we die, we all die in Christ!"

Sister Meyers writing letters home
September 1, 2009
We got a letter from one of our Phii Thais -- Sister Larson. She is LOVING Thailand. She is out in the country part of Thailand, but she said the city she is in even has a mall. She confirmed that the people are so nice there -- she says that people tell her she is beautiful like 30 times a day! She also confirmed that we won't be wearing make-up (because it melts off). She says that the problem with trying to contact people is that they will start talking and the people will get so excited that they can speak Thai that they won't listen to what you have to say -- they just freak out and tell you how good your Thai is and how beautiful you are. (And she says she isn't even that good at the language yet -- but that it's coming since she is immersed in it.) But she told us to work really hard on our testimonies because she testifies a lot! Wow! We are so excited! I love Thailand. I can't wait to see what it actually looks like.
As for the funny Brother Sakhaa moment of the week: yesterday we were learning passive voice in Thai and there is a verb you use if it was a negative thing - so he uses the example: I was struck by lightning. Then he says, by the way - there is a problem with lightning strikes in Thailand - lots of lightning. So we get all wide-eyed and he says "Oh! I didnt mean to scare you. Don't worry." Then he pauses and gets a smirk on his face and says "Because when we die, we all die in Christ." He cracks me up. I know I say that every week - but he just makes me so happy. I honestly think he could cheer up anyone on the whole planet - you just can't resist him.