Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 5: Over Halfway Done Till Thailand

Another week down here in the MTC!! I'm over half way done until I get to Thailand! Elder Christiansen and I just realized that we only have 3 more P-days before we get out to the field. The time seriously flies by in here. Anyway, remember how I said that last week we all tried hot chili peppers and how my companion almost died when he ate one? Yeah, so apparently one of the guys in my district's mom sent us like 3 more bags full of them. We made our teacher, Brother Gao (a native Thai) eat one of them and he didn't freak out or anything. He just ate it like it was nothing. And then we gave some of the peppers to the Cantonese elders and they were fine. So either my district just can't handle spicy food or the ones that were just sent to us weren't that spicy. I really hope we're ready by next month...

The language is going really well. This week, our district's been working hard on reading and understanding the First vision in Thai. We've been working on memorizing it too. It's not easy. It took like two days just to get all the words figured out and to find it's literal translation into English. When you read in Thai, you have to make sure that the tone of the word is right or it could mean a completely different thing. In Thai, depending on what class a certain consonant is with a specific tone marker will determine the actual tone of the word. Not only that, but if a word ends in a "g", "b", or "d", it follows a different rule for the tone. Last Saturday, we taught a volunteer member and apparently when I tried to say faith (sadthaa with a down tone), it sounded like I was saying Satan (saataan with a flat tone). And I'm pretty sure I said this like five times and I had no idea I was saying it wrong. And it's been my fifth week here. Fail. It's hard but there's nothing I'd rather be learning than this language. 

Speaking of the language, one of our teachers taught us some of the literal translations of the words "understand" an "repent". In Thai, the word "understand" is "khaw cay" which translates to "enter heart". The word "repent" in Thai is "klab cay" which translates to "return heart". There's so many words like that in Thai and it's awesome! I've come to see the gospel in a new light as I've learned the meaning of words in Thai and I love it!! Repentance really is a return of your heart. It's about finding out who you really are under all the mistake made in life. Just wanted to share that with you all.

This past week, one of the elders in my residence was insanely sick. Almost every night, he would cough his lungs out. He had to go the clinic close to the MTC and get some antibiotics. We were all really worried about him so some of the guys in his district gave him a blessing. I was able to be a part of that for the first time in my life and the Spirit in that room was amazing. I could feel it so strongly. He's been getting better since then and I learned that as missionaries for the Lord, we've been given so much power to do the Lord's work. One of my teachers told us something that really stood out to me this week, "Every word you say is justifies by God. Choose to walk with Him." He said that the blessings we promise our investigators will be backed up by Heavenly Father. It made me realize how real this work is and how much our Heavenly Father has confidence in me to be an instrument in His hands. 

One more thing I want to share. My companion has a copy of a passage called the "Creed of the Unashamed". I want to share with you guys some of what it says. "My mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I will not give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go until He comes, give until I drop, preach until all I know and work until He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear." This work is real and I'm so blessed to be a part of it every single day. I never thought it could be possible to love this gospel so much but I do. I love everything it stands for and I love my Savior. "We talk about the Second Coming, half the world hasn't even heard the first". In 4 weeks, I'll do my best to fix that. Have a great week everyone!

Elder Rawlinson

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