Monday, September 8, 2014

The Place I Will Live Forever

Greetings from the MTC. The place I will live forever. Just kidding. But it feels like it a lot of the time. Saturday marked our halfway point! Which is both scary and exciting, because it both feels like we just got here and like we've been here forever. All at the same time. To celebrate our halfway point, Sister H. and I had grand plans to sneak downstairs to switch out our floor's broken toaster (you have to hold down the handle the whole time) with the one on the floor below us. But then we learned theirs didn't work at all, so our plans were futile. And then we popped some popcorn. It was quite the celebration.

This week was a bit rough. I caught a cold and was running low on sleep (as per usual), which made everything else that happened seem rough. Here you don't ever really get time to recover. Even p-days and Sundays are just as busy as every other day; they're just busy with other things. But I got over it. And I'm determined to have a better week this week. It's kind of a mind game. I'm not really one to have a positive attitude 24/7, but it actually does help here. At 6:30 every morning (or really, 6:24 so we can avoid the line for breakfast) I wake up reeeaallly not wanting to face the day. But whether I want to or not, I have to do it. So I might as well try not to hate my life while I'm doing it. In mission conference yesterday (more on that to follow) someone said the quote "The best way to to get over trials is to go through them." Or something like that. 

We went to the temple today for the first time in two weeks (because it was closed last Monday) and that was really nice. We're helping an elder in our zone do family names, so we take a different name each time we go. He's getting a lot done.  Sometimes we catch the 7:40 am session and sometimes the 8:00 am. 

On the way home from the temple this week we were walking back through the gates into the MTC and a girl dressed in jeans is walking out and saw my tag and freaked out and asked if I was going to Cambodia. Turns out she got home three weeks ago! She was super nice, and we chatted with her for like 20 minutes. She told us that she looooved Cambodia and that she's having a hard time now adjusting to regular life and wishes she were in our place (it was a mutual feeling I think--going to BYU, or even just being able to walk out those gates freely is enviable). But she said we'd love it and that the food was delicious (lots of fish!). She told us not to worry about the language, that it will come. She said she stressed out about everything way to much when she was in the MTC and after she first got to Cambodia. We asked her all our questions. She did say that most everyone will get in a bike accident in the city, but that nobody ever really gets hurt(?). So pray for me. (But really). 

Yesterday was a very long fast Sunday. But we did have mission conference, which was kind of interesting. It was for the entire MTC, and the MTC presidency and their wives spoke. It was all about fear and faith, and it was a good thing for me to hear after a rough week. We had a lot of free time with no relief society or choir on Fast Sundays, so we spent a lot of time hanging out in our classroom (like every other day). We've taken to watching movies on on Sundays, and it's a really nice break. We've gotten through a lot of Mormon messages, so yesterday we watched some classic seminary videos, "Johnny Lingo," and "The Phone Call." Does anyone remember that one? It was definitely made in the 70s. Look it up, it's hilarious. And it has no spiritual undertones at all, so that's fun. 

Khmer is coming along. We're getting better at speaking Khmer outside of class. I'm learning quite a bit of vocab, but the trick is to be able to use it in common speech. So hopefully this week I can do a better job at that. I slacked off on reading this week, but I'm going to need to work hard on that this week because we are going to start reading the Book of Mormon out loud in class. So wish me luck on that one... 

Teaching is going pretty well. We're hoping to commit our "investigators" to baptism this week. My teacher mentioned this week that when he was at the MTC (which was only like 3 years ago, AKA he's basically my age) they only taught once a week during TRC on Saturdays. I can't imagine that! We teach a 20 minute lesson once a day. And it's the most helpful thing that we do at the MTC. And when it goes well, it's the most rewarding.

I have a little pile of packages sitting on my desk for tomorrow! It should be an exciting day. And it's Tuesday, which means we have choir and devotional instead of one of our usual classes, so it's a pretty good day to have a birthday. Everyone hear knows I'm old (Sis. S. likes to brag for me that I'm a college grad), so we joke that I'm turning 30 tomorrow. The big 3-0. It's been really fun getting to know everyone in our zone. Because we literally do everything together, we've become good friends. And because we (unlike most zones) have a bunch of different languages, we can walk down the hall and say hi in Cantonese, Thai, Cambodian, Hmong and Vietnamese. So I feel very multilingual. Sometimes the Hmong elders will try and chat with me in Hmong, but the little Hmong that was in my head from last summer has been pushed out by Cambodian. I barely have room for two languages in my head. And even though people are little here, lots of the time it's not noticeable. And I keep thinking about Mason, because all these elders are his age. When I talk about my family I'll mention my little brothers, only to realize that they are also 18/19. Wouldn't it be crazy if Mason had gone out of high school and we were at the MTC at the same time! 

Anyways, that's all the rambling for today. Sorry this one was lacking in exciting news or spiritual insight. I'll include some good pictures though. Have a good week everyone!

 This picture is one of our tasks for the week. It is the First Vision. We have to memorize it (which isn't really too much, I think it's just part of 17 and 18 of JST). We wrote it out and translated the whole thing with our locruu, which is nice because it has made it easier to memorize. But the board just looked so impressive that we all took pictures of it to send home. I'm only about 1/5 of the way through memorizing it.

The last picture is me and Lauren Smith! (Who is a friend from BYU I know through Sarah). She got home a few months ago and she teaches Japanese on the floor below me.

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