Monday, June 9, 2014

Walking on sunshine....whaaaooo!

My awesome-sauce nametag

our district picture!
myself and my lovely khuu (companion)
Sawatdiikha! Today is my first P-day so here's my first big email! I've only been here for six days but soooo much has happened!

The first day I got here, we sang "We'll Bring the World His Truth" but they changed the words in the chorus from "We will be the Lord's missionaries" to "We are now the Lord's missionaries" and it was so powerful! I felt the spirit so strongly as I looked around the room and I finally felt the confirmation I've been wanting for so long that THIS is where I need to be and what I need to be doing, and every day since then I've received that confirmation again in countless ways.

In six days, we have taught two lessons to our new investigator completely in Thai and taught him how to pray and prayed with him, and we've given him a Book of Mormon! We study Thai for 6-8 hours in class every day and then we also have extra study time on our own. It's really structured and rule-oriented, but also we have a lot of freedom to structure our study in a way that will help us most. In our district (our class, of all the Thai missionaries that entered the same day) there are six elders and eight sisters, and we are soooo tight. We do everything together and we're always studying together and trying to help each other out. We're such overachievers on the language, we spend all our spare time trying to pick up new words and grammar rules from the other Thai district who has been here longer. The older Thai district keeps telling us to calm down and stop making them look bad because apparently we're much farther along than they were when they were five days in. We love it.

Our zone, which is a bunch of districts together, has around 60 missionaries speaking Thai, Vietnamese, Cantonese, and Cambodian, going all over the world where those languages are spoken. We always eat together and have (friendly) competitions during gym time.

My khuu (companion in Thai) is Sister Herrmann! I was so thrilled when I saw her. We met through the Sister Missionary Facebook group during winter semester this year, along with Sister Brown, who is in our dorm with us and her companion, Sister Nethercott. The four of us get on so great.

The best spiritual experience from this week was with our investigator, Txg. He's actually role-playing our investigator, he's really our other Thai teacher, but when we roleplay the feelings and experiences that we have are just as real as if we were teaching in the field. Phii Txg is Buddhist, a single dad with an 8-year-old daughter who has been crippled from birth, and he's had a really hard time taking care of her but he heard about Jesus Christ and the Plan of Happiness in our church and wants to know so badly how to get the light that he sees when we come to visit and share scriptures with him. We have some language barrier issues, naturally, but when my companion and I pray to have the spirit with us we go in and we can truly understand and communicate with him. We talk about faith a lot in the context of KNOWING things, but we often forget that faith starts with a simple desire to know the truth. When we taught Phii Txg to pray and he prayed for the first time, it was so simple and yet overwhelmingly powerful because he wants to know the truth so badly.

In my time here, I've come to realize more and more that everything I have and am is because of what God has blessed me with. I'm so blessed to have the language coming to me more easily because of all my experience with Spanish, but I never would have learned Spanish if I hadn't been led to take Spanish 101 last spring term at BYU (shoutout to Sarah and Maggie! I think of you girls all the time and how much you're going to LOVE the MTC/CCM!). Everything I thought I was sacrificing and giving up and having to suffer through has truly all been for my good.

Shoutout to Michael Perry and Brianna Fabiano for being my family and dropping me off at the MTC! Thaaaaaank you thank you. It meant a lot to me and helped me be less nervous than I would have been if I'd gone in by myself.
Extra shoutout to all the people I know who work here! I know seriously half the people working in the cafeteria and people on custodian crew and a few teachers too! It makes my whole day to see random wardies and cafeteria people.

And to anyone reading this, feel free to DearElder me! Please do! It's free for you besides the time that you put in and it makes my whole day. My address is on facebook and it's so easy!
Lots and lots of love,
Sidtaa Zoller

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