Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Less than two weeks left?

dear family,

i think this computer doesn't have punctation again for some reason but i think we will just have to deal since it's the only computer i can really get to right now. plus, in thai there is no punctuation anyway for the most part. at least this computer allows me to do spaces (insert exclamation point).things are going well here for our last few weeks at the mtc. so much to do, obviously, and so little time. i am sending home the answers to your questions in the snail mail here soon but i don't know the answer to all of them really. i want to spend most of my time writing but you should get my letter sometime soon anyway.

we got two sisters, one of which is from our stake, a sister webb? (apparently president tingey interview her and said would you be willing to go to thailand since i had just gotten my call and it was on his mind. crazy random that she is also going to thailand) one of the elders went home for some medical reason. they said he should be back with the next group of younger thais in about 4 weeks. the other elder speaks thai very well... and probably could go with us if he really wanted to. other missionaries in our district are doing well. some are getting really antsy to leave and expressing it. but like david's friend said before i leaft for the mtc, take advantage of the mtc, it's the only time you will have to study the scriptures like you do and to study thai like you do. we are all pretty excited to get there. which reminds me, what kind of bike should i look for in thailand? bro. duval, one of our teachers, said he had no idea what to buy when he got over there, so i will need some tips for bike buying before i get there.

i did get the package. thank you (insert exclamation point). it was great. ummm.... i need more t-shirts probably only like one or two. and also, i don't know but my belts are a bit sketchy. maybe i have just lost weight or something but they aren't ideal. one of them, the front is already peeling off and the other is way too big. i don't know though. i have lost about 10-15 pounds since being here and i think in thailand that will just be more. bro. duval said that you bike everywhere and people who you talk to on the street think that you are either government agents or professional bikers. yes. professional bikers who wear suits and ties. in bangkok weather. =)

this next p-day we will be packing and organizing a lot i imagine. there's so much to do and so little time, that's the problem. traveling for two years is a bit like trying to eat a whole elephant followed by a small flock of penguins. our phiithays were just frantic when they were leaving because they had so much left to do. i think that us having transfers early makes things a little more crazy even. i would imagine that almost all of us would be in bangkok for the first transfer. though, we have heard that many missionaries who are in the isaan or other parts of thailand have to pick up on laotian or cambodian often. laotian especially. the funny thing about laotion is that all the r's become like h's. which is pretty drastic when you hear it but i can understand about 90% of a simple laotian conversation. the mtc has one laotian elder right now who is going to california. he has two teachers and is a solo elder (very rare).

anyway, this week has been good. we had a devotional by elder groberg that discussed the importance of instilling lasting conversion in converts by setting a temple sealing as the ultimate goal for those we convert. it reminded me of stop, who was sealed in the hong kong temple a month ago. and it also reminded me of the desire of the people in thailand to have a temple. the church has property by the airport in bangkok for a temple but thailand doesn't have enough members to feisably sustain a temple yet. but that would serve as the temple for southeast asia. brother duval said some of the steps the church needs in thailand are hometeaching and increased activity. stop's ward just got a new meetinghouse because of their work. apparently that ward is top notch. their english classes work really well to fellowship investigators and others. the missionaries teach english and it works very well as a finding tool

i also found out a little more about the living conditions in thailand. i found out that we get plenty of money for food, that all apartments that the missionaries live in have western toilets (sans toliet paper), airconditioning, a shower, and a small fridge. bro. duval said that you live very well. he also said that he never got sick after the first two weeks, which was a big surprise to me. but he said, pretty much you know which places to trust to eat and you just stick with them. other missionaries write them down in the area book and you just know. he said that you ride bikes a lot but bangkok is pretty much flat. even though the traffic might be a little hairrubbing at times, i think that it will be fun to ride bikes. as long as i get a good bike with a good seat, i think it should be really nice. apparently missionaries from thailand come back with really strong legs.this past week our task and lesson went pretty well. our phuusoncay (investigators) were returned missionaries, both sisters, who got back 2.5 years ago and 4 years ago. they both spoke very good thai. we had to talk about the plan of salvation and the word of wisdom along with giving directions to the bood (church). it was kind of a lot to fit in but we managed to do pretty well. a native thai family who lives in provo also gave us some sticky rice that was delicious (insert multiple exclamations). i really enjoyed it.

our thai is coming along fairly well. it's crazy to think that we will actually be there before you know it. please tell stop that i got his letter and that i hope he gets mine because i did send him one. tell him that i hope to see him on transfer day at the mission home.

it's been good to hear from all of you and to hear the news of what's going on. it's always so nice to get mail. i will be mailing home a...lot... of letters shall we say. i appreciate all your support and prayers. i will need them this week as the stress level increases and as we get ready to actually go to thailand. it's weird to think that this is 3 out of 24 months for us and 3 our of 18 for the sisters but it's been a great time. our district is close and the likes.other than that, i will let you know in the snail mail if i need of anything else. thanks for all your support.

i love you all deeply and miss you all.

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