How is everyone? From what I read in the Dear Elders and everything it sounds like you're having tons of fun! I hope you don't get all hiked and camped out before I get back! But you can get done painting the fence and stuff like that if you want. ;) I promise I wouldn't mind. Actually we do weekly service here so I'm getting my fair share of work in too. This last week I cleaned drinking fountains and the computer labs. At least it wasn't bathrooms! Or scrubbing walls. My district members have told me that that's the worst one. In two weeks I'll be leaving these cold brick walls and camel fur blankets. Who knows if I'll be living somewhere better or not haha. Probably not. One elder that left the group ahead of us wrote someone and said he's living kinda near the ocean and their house is a little moldy and has lots of cockroaches. So there's a good chance I'm gonna miss the cold brick walls keeping everything out. But I doubt I'll miss the camel fur blanket, I really don't think I'm going to want it in Thailand. I hope I get used to the heat fast! I don't really have a choice.
This is our last normal week here in the MTC. Next week we have a different schedule with infield orientation and some other stuff. I haven't really looked at the schedule though. We finished our last grammar principle the other day! From now on we'll either be learning other things our teachers want to teach that aren't in the book, or just reviewing. I need a lot of review. When you look at the book it's easy to remember everything, but actualy using it, I forget it a lot. We had a testimony meeting in Thai the other day that proved that to me. It was just in front of Brother Olsen and the other people in my district but I was still so nervous. It's going to be so nerve racking doing it in front of a whole Thailand ward! Lots of prayers will be said.
But all things aside, I'm super excited to get going. Our teachers have told us that we're way ahead of where they were and that the learning curve is higher nowadays. So I know we'll be prepared. We don't really know a lot of words to just get around all day. Like words for all the things you could deal with in a day. I'm going to be relying on my senior companion a lot that's for sure.
So I just read through my journal to see what I should talk about this week and it was pretty boring. Not a lot of exciting things happened this week. There were some good parts though. In TRC we had another good experience. We taught the same person as last week just without his friend. He seemed more calm this time and actually a little sad. We didn't have a specific topic this week so we just picked to teach the first lesson in PMG chapter 3. It starts with stuff like God is our loving Heavenly Father and stuff. The one section that had the most affect I think was "The Gospel Blesses Families". We asked him how his family was and he said that they don't always get along and have a lot of unity. We read some scriptures and promised him that keeping the commandments brings a happier atmosphere. The rest of our lesson went pretty good too! I'm not sure what specifically helped him, but it turns out he was trained by our teacher Brother Thrap. He told Brother Thrap that we helped him receive personal revelation about how to help his family be happier. It feels good to know that you really are helping people. Some times its hard to see the real goal in the MTC.
The other thing that happened this week was the musical number we sang in sacrament meeting. Everyone said it was pretty good actually. A couple people also said they couldn't hear me haha, I'm not surprised at all. I can't sing very loudly and still almost try to sound decent. Elder Beatty didn't sing because he had a sore throat. We sang that version of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" that we have the music for. Sister Bentley played it really well. She's the one that decided we would all do it. But I'm actually glad we did it. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Crazy to hear those words from me huh?
In our district we actually have four peopel who's birthdays are in the MTC. So we got some gifts together and stuff. It was also Brother Booth's birthday too! We went a little more all out for him. Elder Watkins had this big baseball cake that he got for his birthday but never ate. So we brought that in to him and also picked a bunch of random stuff from the book store. Crump and Watkins put a bunch of little notes on them all.
Our devotional last night was pretty good. They talked a lot about how important a mission is. Spiritual Thought: A mission is hard, and bringing people to the Gospel is hard, because of the price that Christ had to pay for our salvation. We each will go through a few minutes of Gethsemane and take a few steps towards Calvary while we do our part to help bring to pass the work of salvation amongst the children of God. It gave me a whole new perspective on missionary work and Christ's Atonement.
That's about it for excitement. Oh!! Just like 30 minutes ago I saw Jacob Curtis in the cafeteria! He just got here this morning! He's way excited to be here. I'm not sure what room or anything he's in. There's a chane he'll be in my residence hall. There are quite a few english speakers in there and I think we're between groups right now. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
We went and talked to the immunizations office today because we never got the second part of our Japanese Insefilidus (?) shots but the sisters did. It's a good thing we went! They had forgotten about us! We could have died!! We go in on Friday to get them really quick. We should get our travel plans on Friday too! I got a letter from the Mission Pres, I'll forward it too you. It talks all about our trip and what to have in the carryon and whatever. I'm so excited to get to go to Thailand! I love you all and I miss everyone so much! Until next Wednesday!
Love Elder Josh Keller