Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 1: The MTC is Incredible

Suasdei (soos-day)! 

The MTC is incredible! I love it more than I could ever possibly put into words! I am learning so much, about myself, about the gospel, and about the Khmae language and people!  I love being here and being a missionary so much!! I can speak a little Khmae but not too much. But I can speak it a lot better than I ever expected that I would be able to after just 5 days. On the third day we had to start teaching our investigator in Khmae! Crazy! We also started praying in Khmae on the first day. I'm pretty good at praying in it now, as well as saying a simple testimony. But the headaches about learning Khmae are only going to get worse, we start learning how to read the script tomorrow!

I feel the Spirit so strongly every second of every day (I felt it SOOOO strongly when Elder Bednar came to speak to us last night)

Learning Khmae is so hard and the days are long but if there is anything I have learned, it is that the Lord blesses His servants. There is no way I would be able to work as hard as I do, and as hard as my district does, without the Lord and his angels at our backs. They push us out of our beds and tell us that we can do it when our brains just want to spontaneously combust because the language is so hard. But we all love it. I love all of the missionaries in our district so much!  I absolutely love my companion.

Answers to questions you had:
Companions name, where from etc.:  My companion is Elder Le Nguyen. He is from Surprise, Arizona and is very spiritually in-tune, sincere, and hard-working.  I love being his companion.

 Are you on main MTC campus or Raintree?  We are located on the main campus.

Who do you share room with?  Is your friend from B9 [the dorms] in your room? I share a room with Elder Le Nguyen, and Elders Christensen and Zierenberg. My friend from B9 is in the room next to us. We are all getting really close.
 Which day is P-day?   P-day’s on Monday [editor note:  P-day, or preparation day, is the one day a week the missionaries have a few hours off to do laundry, write letters, RELAX]

How many in your district? 8 elders and 7 sisters. We have one of the biggest districts (if not the biggest) in the entire MTC. That fact became especially relevant to me on Thursday night when I was called to be the district leader. I know the Lord will provide a way for me to serve everyone's needs though and to help me guide our huge district through our first few weeks here.

Teachers making it fun?  My teacher Lookruu Hill is so cool! I have heard him say only two sentences in English the entire time we've been here. They do not mess around when it comes to language. It’s full immersion all the time. We are learning much more quickly than I think any of us thought we would. We began teaching on Friday morning (in Khmae!). I can say my prayers now in Khmae without having to search for words too much. The language is hard though. And it’s only going to get harder. We start learning how to read the script tomorrow.

 Did memorizing Khmae alphabet help? It'll probably help. We haven't started learning it yet though.

 What did we forget to pack?  I can't think of anything 

 MTC Food okay?  The food is edible.

I love being a missionary so much, my heart is just full to bursting every single day with my love for what I'm doing. I absolutely know that I'm in the right place right now for me and that Heavenly Father is so happy with me and my efforts and the efforts of our district. Please pray for me and for my district to receive the gift of tongues (Elder Bednar told us to ask our family to pray for us to receive it). Pray that we might know the needs of our investigators and that we might have the energy to work as hard as we possibly can.

I'm having the time of my life here. I love every minute of it. I love you and everybody else and miss y’all! Pray for me and my district! I'm running out of email time so I'll talk to y’all next week!

Love y’all! 

 The MTC name badge.  Once in Cambodia my name will be in Khmer script

The elders in my district.  My roommates are the four on the right.  My companion, Elder Le Nguyen, is  second from the right.

Two elders from my district learning to bow.

The classroom and Elder Le Nguyen studying hard.

Modeling what we call "preahkompii boresot poa svaay" or "the purple bible", which basically tells us how to say everything we need to say in lessons and stuff in romanized Khmae. 

 My desk in our classroom

Elder Le Nguyen and me at the Provo Temple

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