9/29/14... HUMP DAY..I am officially on the downward slope to Thailand. CRAZY!

FAM!! Or should I say WORLD TRAVELERS!!  Pen yangray bang?!!!! 

Oh my goodness, so fun to hear about what is going on!! It sounds like everyone is doing great and that you are all so busy! 

I love getting all the details... Especially thinking about the whole pushing into the bushes incident... I can picture the whole thing going down and it makes me miss you guys so much! hahaha I love it! 

Another great week at the MTC... Can you believe it, HUMP day was 2 days ago! I am officially on the downward slope to Thailand. CRAZY! But again, another FULL week, so I will give you some of the highlights. 

On Tuesday we had our devotional with  Elder Ballard, and again it was AMAZING. It was so cool, he opened it up and just said, "tonight I want to give you some advice the way a grandpa would give advice to his grandchildren." He gave so many good insights on how to have a good mission, but one of my favorite things he said was that we should "PLEAD for the SPIRIT, and LIVE for the SPIRIT" It really got me thinking about how with every choice, every thought, every action, we are either inviting or driving away the Spirit from influencing us. Not only should we ask Heavenly Father in our prayers to guide us with His Spirit, but we need to consciously be LIVING for the Spirit so we can be receptive. I love that, because wouldn't it be cool if the Lord knew that when He needs something done, He can count on us because we will be living in a way that we can recognize His Spirit when He sends it? The coolest. Being in the presence of one of the very apostles of Jesus Christ not only strengthens my testimony of the reality of the Savior, but strengthens my testimony of a Loving Heavenly Father who is mindful of and wants to give love to His children. At the end of the Devotional, before Elder Ballard left, he turned around and went over to the missionaries sitting on the stand who had offered the opening and closing prayers for the meeting. My heart was so full of tender happiness as I watched the small, humble Sister Missionary from the Marshall Islands weep upon shaking hands with an Apostle of the Lord. It was such a testimony to me that even though their calling is over everyone in the world, like the Savior, they truly love and care for the individual. How grateful I am this week for the Prophet and his apostles... I am SO excited to hear from them next week!

Wednesday was Elder Frodsham's birthday and I had promised him I would sing him happy birthday in Dutch on his birthday, but it turned into a multi lingual serenade where I started in Dutch (loud and proud for the VanSlootens... especially on the hip hip hoorays! hahaa) then it went into Sis Lor in Hmong, Sis Beuchter in Korean, then Eld Slabaugh in Italian, then Eld Magera in German, Eld Choi in Chinese (probably the funniest thing ever cause he is completely tone def... we love him so much) Eld Raleigh in Spanish, then everyone in English. Elder Ridings parents sent him this voice recorder so we recorded it and it was ridiculous.. we have been having endless fun with that thing. My district is great, and it was super fun having a "party". They are definitely my little family right now, and I am so grateful we have each other. 

Thursday we started out with our service assignment and this week we were planting flowers. When we were done, the grounds keeper called us all over to his truck, and with tears in his eyes, thanked us from the bottom of his heart for our service. He told us that in 1 hour we had done what would have taken his crew an entire day. We were just following our daily schedule and doing what was assigned to us, so we were definitely taken back, but it was such a good reminder to me that you never know when doing something you think might be small, will impact someone more than you know. So a challenge to everyone who still reads my letters... Do a random act of service today! Later that day, we got the rest of our shots! Then I went up to the Dr. to fill them in on my podiatrist appointment, and I told them how the brace they gave me was making my foot swell up and was so painful, and the lady was so nice and insisted that I go back sooner than the next scheduled appointment. So she called right then and Sis Coates and I left like 30 minutes later! We take a shuttle to and from the Dr. Appts and we keep having the same shuttle driver and I am pretty sure if I keep having appointments one of these times he will actually break down and take us to Cafe Rio. hahaha. I ask him every time. But the appt was good, he gave me a smaller brace, and it has definitely been feeling a little bit better. TYLER, I think he called me in a prescription to the BYU health center... Can you maybe check on that? THANK YOU!! 

Grandpa, THANK YOU for the Doughnuts too!! :) Everyone loves Floyd and Phyllis here!

Friday was the best day ever because I got two packages!! Best family ever! DAD... I don't even know where you got that cake but it was like a work of art!!! Everyone loved it, the treats are like the hightlight of the week!! You are the best, but it is going to be hard to top that in the coming weeks. I believe in you though. haha.  And MOM... I can't even say how perfect your package was... I loved all of the inside jokes (I haven't eaten it yet, but you KNOW I will be eating that Kettlecorn in one sitting!! My companions don't understand how popcorn can be a favorite food group the way you do **HINTHINT anyone wanting to send love to their favorite Sister at the MTC** haha) and my companions LOVED their treats! When I read the note I definitely went a little crazy thinking you guys were AT THE MTC!! So close to me!  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

Aside from that excitement, we are learning so much with reading Thai! I seriously love it! Heavenly Father is helping us so much, because somehow, I can make sense of the squiggles that once seemed impossible to understand. There are all these random rules though, like if two consonants are next to each other there is an invisible "o" and sometimes it is an "a" and we will just know? The tones are also crazy! We did this exercise where we read from the english Preach My Gospel and every syllable switched between the 5 tones... you feel so dumb doing it, but it was really helpful! Our teachers are so amazing.. it is weird to think that we are like babies trying to learn how to read... in one of our books that we practice the alphabet we totally laugh because at the top of each page is a little picture of a baby with a pencil.. it is slow and steady, but it is coming! And FAMILY, that card from President Senior with the vowels and consonants and tones totally makes sense now... who would have thought?! On Friday we also taught Saang, our investigator, about the Plan of Salvation, and it was a super good lesson. I am grateful to get to prepare these lessons and study these topics in depth. Such a good reminder of Heavenly Father's love and goodness toward us, His Children, that He has a perfect plan laid out, and all we need to do, is enter in by the way.

This is what Sarah is learning to read!!!
 Saturday  AKA HUMP DAY!!! We were all just so giddy and in morning at the gym (there is a weight room here that is super good!) my companions decided to lift weights with me, and it was so funny... They think I am like the work out queen and they had all these other Sisters asking me questions about how do push ups and about what work outs are good and stuff. Haha good times! I am whipping my district into shape though, 25 push ups every morning is one of the new district goals. Later, we taught at the TRC again, and it is such a help to hear their testimonies in Thai and converse with them! And..........I officially opened my Thai Book of Mormon!! I dont know why I hadn't taken the shrink wrap off until then, I think I wanted it to be some significant day or something, and I feel like HUMP DAY was the perfect occasion haha. I read 2 verses, and that may not sound like much, but it probably took me 20 minutes. So basically at this rate, I know that Nephi was born of goodly parents, and is righteously seeking after truth. HAHA. But the teachers really say that reading is one of the best ways to get the tones, learn new words and grammar etc, so I am going to read from the Book of Mormon out loud as much as I can.

Sunday was fast Sunday and it was a great day! My companions and I got made the new Sister Training Leaders so that will be fun! It is like the Sister version of the Zone Leaders type of thing. The Cambos and Viets all leave next Monday so our Zone is going to be SO small until the new Thais get here on Oct 8th! I am going to miss them, so many cool Elders and Sisters! But it was awesome, while the Elders were practicing their song for General Conference next week the Sisters in my district and I watched a documentary on Thomas S Monson and I totally had my heating pad and fuzzy socks on (Mom you would have been so proud!) These buildings are SO freezing here!!! Then at the Devotional, the speaker opened up and asked everyone serving in Thailand to stand up cause he and his wife had just been there! He had pics with the Seniors that he showed and he just said it is the most amazing place and the most amazing people... WOW I am SO excited to serve there!!! 

So many experiences this week where I have just felt SO full, I think that is one of the greatest blessings of the MTC, just feeling full to the brim of the Lord's goodness and spirit. I testify that He loves us. I testify that His son Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I love Him and I love wearing his name on my shirt everyday. And I also love that I can finally actually read it :)

Love you SO SO MUCH!!!!

Ty Brad and PJ, I asked Bro Yuen what the equivalent of "Keep shredding!!!!" would be and he said it is "SUU SUU"..... keep fighting

So, suu suu, love you guys, and keep up the good work!!!

All of my love,
khwaamrag thii sud,


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