The Brethren

The Brethren

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nevertheless, It's the Fourth Week

Hi everyone, 

I hope you all had an amazing week :) This week was truly humbling for me. Below are my blog entries from last week! I hope they're worth reading on your spare time!

3/6/14 - Mission Stories from Brother Booth

A typical day here involves studying for about 10-11 hours a day... The majority of the time is used for language/teaching preparation classes. The Khruu (teachers) are really amazing at teaching, and I absolutely appreciate their work! But I can honestly say it is difficult to keep a high level of concentration for a long period of time. By the end of the day, we get so drained that the morning felt like it was three days ago.. After dinner, we have our final studying block for three hours without teacher supervision. This is usually the time when our dedication to study is truly tested. We get so distracted because someone will inevitably start talking, and we'll soon be having a conversation that's totally off topic. 

So to prevent this from happening, Brother Booth, a language resource teacher was dispatched for a day to make sure we make use of our time for the final block. It started off with all of us diligently studying.. but it only took ten minutes till all of us including Brother Booth began having a conversation that was totally off the subject. We found out Brother Booth also served his mission in Thailand, and once we found that out, the discussion soon shifted into bombarding him with questions about Thailand. He told us many stories and helpful tips. Listed below are some of his thoughts.

Words of wisdom by Brother Booth...

- If you like spicy food, great.. If you don't.. sucks to be you. (I like spicy food!)
- Go to the Elephant Village at least once, and ride elephants!!!! 
- If sent to the country side, try to eat at a restaurant with at least three walls. Eating at a hole-in-the-wall place might give you diarrhea.
- Oh, and speaking of diarrhea.. it's a daily thing.. You'll get used to it after a few weeks. Embrace it.. There's no way around it.. (I teared up a little)
- Shop at the Water Market at least once. (Google images can show you how cool they are)
- He's taken every companion to the hospital at least once for. Usually because of stomach flu.
- There's a slight chance that we'll get to serve in LAOS! 
- At least try some of the bizarre food they have. Such as scrambled eggs with fire ants, fried beetles, and roasted cockroaches.

- Despite some of the interesting experiences you'll have, the Thailand Mission is the best mission! Enjoy every part of it!

It's so much fun to learn about Thailand. If you come to find out anything awesome, I ask you to please share with me!

Elder Gillam aka "Lightening Punch" studying Thai Script

Elder Quirante (Cambodia) with scripture cases from Thailand/Cambodia

3/13/14 - "Nevertheless"

Today, I want to write about one of my favorites words in the scripture. The word is "Nevertheless". Before I knew the actual meaning of this word, I just thought it was a synonym for words like "But" and "However". I came to understand that it means waaaayy deeper than that. The creation of "Nevertheless" dates back to the 16th century when William Tyndale and a group of scholars were translating the Bible to English. (I apologize if some of the facts are wrong. I'm quoting what I remember of what my professor said at BYU) So Tyndale wanted to wanted a word that meant "always the greater", and has a stronger meaning than words like "but" or "however". He couldn't find such word, so he made one! Soooo why would I take so much time talking about this word... It sounds so boring.. It's because Nephi, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, along with many other prophets used it numerous times.
In the first verse of 1 Nephi, it says, "having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in my days; yea having had a great knowledge of he goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days." 

To simplify this verse in my language, Nephi says "Life was tough.. I went through a lot of difficult times in my life. Nevertheless, having felt the love of God, and knowing his good works, I record on this plate the things I did."
Nephi goes through so many trials in his lifetime. He was taunted and rejected by his own brothers. Beaten and bound by rope, surviving through famine, and dealing contentions between his family. He could have died on many occasions. Nevertheless, Nephi chose to live righteously. His faith in God never dwindled. This is the caliber of faith that I desire. I want to live by faith in Him that He will deliver us. This is the kind of life I desire.

3/15/14 - Service Hours/Assurance in the Lord

Twice a week, we have service hours first thing in the morning. Most of the missionaries have to clean bathrooms and wipe the floors, but my district got super lucky, and got meal preparation duty. Attached are a few photos of us looking so enthusiastic of our meals. We've eaten the food here enough that we know the weekly schedule of the meals :/

Burgers all day everyday

Elder Beebe and I enjoying service hours to its fullest

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