Monday, June 16, 2014

Life isn't a t-shirt giveaway!

Sister Heaton, Sister Herrmann, Sister Tu'avo (probably spelled wrong), and I. Sister Heaton and Tu'avo left for Hong Kong this morning! We love them.

Me, Sister Nethercott, Elder Curtis and Elder Hinkson. I don't have favorites, but if I did, those would be my favorite Elders.

We told the Elders to smile for their moms and that was the result.

the Thai sisters! I love love LOVE them! Pitts, Alley, Herrmann, me, Peck, Brown, Nethercott, and Mamea.

Brown, Herrmann, me, Nethercott, Mamea. We love temple walks on Sundays!
Sawatdiikha iig! It's our second p-day here in the MTC! This week is a lot more down in the trenches getting dirty, but we're still learning so much and loving everything!

This has been a week of miracles. It's said at the MTC that obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles, and this has been a week of miracles in our district. When I give everything to the Lord and trust Him, I can feel the spirit speaking through me and helping me remember words and phrases that I would never remember without divine help. I've been sitting in lessons not knowing what to say when suddenly a phrase will pop into my head and I'll know exactly what the Spirit wants me to say. It's a powerful experience and I'm so grateful to be learning Thai.

It's said that Thai is one of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers, along with Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, and Cambodian...all the languages in our zone! It's supposed to take thousands of classroom hours to be able to learn all the grammar and syntax and everything and the fact that I can carry a broken conversation and understand what's being said is nothing less than a miracle.

It can be really stressful and discouraging at times, despite all our success and motivation, and this week was definitely long and hard. I was frustrated initially because I can't deal with stress how I normally would by jamming out to music or going for a drive or a late-night run, but I've realized I have sooo many resources to help me even here. I've been blessed with an AMAZING district and whenever some of us get down, Elder Curtis or Elder Hinkson will crack a joke or Sister Alley will give us a positive pep talk or someone will read a scripture or we'll have an Easy Cheese friday night party or I'll get a priesthood blessing and they're such simple things, but they make such a big difference in helping me make it through one more day at a time. Around here, you gotta get excited about the little things and tender mercies because they're EVERYWHERE but you just gotta look sometimes. Some days when I get really burned out I go listen to spanish hymns while I study Thai, and it's such a tender mercy from the Lord to be able to have access to those on the LDS website. And all the mormon messages! Go watch the one called "True Christianity" with the cute little old men in the biker club. I love it. And go watch the one about fathers, too! It's even better!

One night this week, we were sooo burned out. We'd had 8 hours of Thai and were feeling like we weren't getting any of it, and as we were moping one of the Vietnamese Elders named Elder Andrews stopped in our classroom and we started talking. Out of nowhere, he shared with us some things his district had been talking about recently. He emphasized that the mission is the Lord's time; when we come here to serve, we sacrifice everything about our old lives to devote everything we have to serving the Lord completely. This is His time, not ours, so obedience is key. Then someone reminded us of that quote that goes something like "You have two years to give to the Lord and the rest of your life to think about it." CRAZY. but true. Talking with Elder Andrews was exactly what we needed that night to put things in perspective.

I remember a picture/saying that used to hang in our house back in Wisconsin, and I don't remember if we still have it but it says, "With God behind us, and His arms beneath us, we can face whatever lies before us."
Happy Father's day! It was hard being in the MTC yesterday when literally all anyone was talking about was how great Dads are, but it's true. Dads are awesome, and mine is especially awesome. I'm so grateful for his example to me and his patience and love. In addition to our earthly fathers, we all have a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants nothing more than to help us. Turn to Him in everything you do, and you will notice an increase in divine help in whatever you need help with. Remember, if it's important to you, it's important to Him.
Have a great week everyone!
Sidtaa Zoller

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