The Brethren

The Brethren

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Teachers, Prophets, and Famous People

Hi everyone,

I hope this week was great for you all. My blog entry from last week was kind of weak, sooo I'm working on writing more interesting articles! It's been pretty cold lately, having been coughing, sneezing, getting chills.. but somehow still managing each day. It has to be the prayers that are directed towards missionaries!

I leave to Thailand on the 21st of this month.. and quite honestly, I just want to fly to Thailand already!! Below are the entries for this week!!

3/20/14 - The Khruu Crew

Today, I want to introduce my teachers!
Before entering the MTC, I had this vision that they would be Thai people that would drill the language into my head. To my surprise, they were all in their 20s and attend BYU. (The MTC is right next to BYU) 
All of them previously served in Thailand, and teach Thai part-time as they continue their education at BYU. Despite their young age for a foreign language teacher, they're some of the finest I've ever had.

I'll start with Brother Brigham Shipley. This guys is buff, and has magnificent hair. He makes us repeat vocab words until we get the correct pronunciation. There are five tones in Thai, and using the wrong tone can completely change the word. For example, saying "dii" with a flat tone means "good", but saying "dii" with a rising tone means "lesbian." So yes, Brother Shipley is a great teacher for making sure that our tones are accurate. Whenever we do something wrong, Brother Shipley gives the nod of his head in disapproval from left to right. Sometimes accompanied by a wag of his finger, and the words: "Klabcay!", a call for repentance.  We call this phenomenon the "Shipley Shake."

Sister Erin Stolworthy, she's the newest teacher, but teaches just as good as the others. She loooooves to do planning. During class, she often shares personal experiences that makes us so excited to go to Thailand. 

I've learned so much from her lessons, and little does she know that I appreciate her so much! We think she recently got engaged, but she hasn't come clean with us yet..

Update - 3/23 - She finally announced that she got engaged. She has a fat engagement ring

Sister Hirschi - Without sounding rude, I'd say that when it's time for her to teach, she means business. There's no such thing as getting off task or sneaking in a nap during her teaching time. If any of this at all makes sense, she's like the female version of the military captain from the Disney movie, Mulan. She means business, and will make a missionary out of us.

One characteristic of Siste Hirchi that I absolutely respect and appreciate is her teaching style. I preciously said as if she is strict, but truth is... that I need this kind of teacher. For example, I once... actually many times doctrine questions or "How to say this phrase in Thai" type of questions in Thai. As much it is easy for her to blurt out the answer, she'll take the time to solve the question together by referring to the Scriptures, the Thai Dictionary, and the Preach my Gospel

She allowed me to study and figure out the answer with her support. At first, I didn't appreciate her method much... but after a few times I started to see her righteous intentions in trying to make me the best missionary I can ever be. I truly am thankful for her service in being my teacher.

Brother Stephen Thrap - Now this guy.. this guy is the man! I don't think he realizes any of this, but he is one of the humblest people I've ever met. The amount of effort and heart he puts in teaching the lessons are clearly visible. He is just so down to earth.. My district of seven elders came to the conclusion that when Brother Thrap cries... we will all cry.. Again, all of this might not make any sense at all, but it means a lot to us.

Sister Tracie Thompson (Yeo)  - She lifts. That is that needs to be said. Oh, and she just got married.

Brother Sanchez and Brother Booth are resource teachers that we go to for help during our study time. Brother Sanchez is fluent in the order of English, Spanish, Hmong, Laotian, Kamay (Cambodian), and Thai. He's currently learning Russian, Hebrew, and Mandarin.. 
What a crazy guy he is. 

Brother Booth is fluent in English, Laotian, Thai, Japanese, and Kamay (maybe).

Elder Anderson, our zone-renowned artist

3/23/14 - A Cheap Experience

I had the opportunity to watch a past mission conference talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland called "Missions are Forever." In one part of the talk, he asks, "If missionary works is truly the Lord's work, how could it be so hard?", "If God wants us to spread the gospel, wouldn't God deliver us to make it so easy?" As a missionary, I definitely side with the question. How exciting will it be to have investigators flock to the baptismal font to to be baptized! How wonderful it will be to NOT be rejected a few hundred times a day! 

Elder Holland answers, "Why should it be easy for us, when it wasn't easy for Christ? The experience of salvation is NOT CHEAP! Often times, missionaries would open their call, and someone will comment that serving in that country will be tough.. 

"Your mission call is amazing! But darn.. that it will be a hard mission to serve." 

Elder Holland shuts down the above claim saying, "If done right, all missions are hard! They are supposed to be hard so missionaries can learn to rely on the Lord, and recognize His divine influence!"

He is right. It is only through the power of Christ that we can bring them to the truth. We are sent NOT to convince people with our intellects, but to touch their hearts through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. 

3/30/14 - David Archuleta

Every Tuesday and Sunday night, the MTC holds devotionals with special speakers each time. The speakers are usually a member of the Quorum of the Seventy or a MTC director. We haven't had an Apostle in the past few weeks, but we're expecting one for Easter Sunday

So tonight turned out to be a unique devotional as we had special speakers and singers, Brother David Archuleta and Brother Richard Elliott. As most of you might know, Brother Archuleta is a well-known name in the Mormon community and music industry. He just finished serving a honorable full-time mission in Chile. Brother Elliott is the organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and, often plays for General Conference and The Spoken Word. Together, they provided for us a musical devotional along with their fervent testimonies.

Oh how crazy the sister missionaries went when the conducting speaker announced Brother Archuleta's name.

I've never met him in person till tonight, but I have to say he's a pretty cool guy. His humble testimony touched the hearts of many tonight. He shared an experience when he was still a new missionary in Chile. 

He was riding the bus to attend a meeting, and noticed a girl about his age standing across from him. She had multiple piercings on her face, and he honestly felt quite intimidated by her presence.

That's when the prompting of the Spirit came to him. He had a flyer for a single adults activity, and he was impressed by the Spirit to invite her. Elder Archuleta tried to talk himself out of it saying, "There's no way she would be interested... She's going to think I'm a creep."  

The impression of the Spirit came back again. "Invite her." Elder Archuleta said to himself again, "I'm getting off in just three stops.. there's not enough time to talk to her and be able to invite her.. maybe next time.."

The impression came again...Defeated, Elder Archuleta approached the girl, conversed in small talk, then gave her the flyer for the activity. He had barely just enough time to invite her before his stop came. He was convinced that he would never see her again.

A month later at a zone conference, missionaries from a different district approached Elder Archuleta if he knew a girl by the name of Ingrid. Ingrid was that same girl whom he invited to the activity. To his surprise, she actually attended the activity, enjoyed it, and is now taking the discussions from those missionaries. Elder Archuleta was exclaimed by the news. He would have never thought that a simple invitation can lead to her being interested in the gospel. As Elder Archuleta was transferred to a different area, he kept contact with her.

She was soon baptized. Her family was later baptized, and were sealed for time and all eternity. She recently submitted her mission papers, and is currently preparing to serve the Lord. 

The Lord knows His children better than we do. Who are we to judge? Trust Him. Trust that He will direct you.

The days are long, but the weeks are flying by. Talk to you all next week.

Elder Takeuchi

Elder Jeng filled with the Word of God

Meatball Mondays!! 
The district with James, our Boss for service hours

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