Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It's like Disneyland but better!

Heeyyyyyoooooooooo everyone! The MTC is seriously the funnest place on the planet. It's like Disneyland but better. I absolutely love it here! My district is sooooo tight, and my companion is a stud! His name is Elder Allen. He is from Lindon, UT. Oh, fyi... please excuse all grammar mistakes and spelling errors - I am just typing as fast as I can here hahahaha. (My mom is posting these letters and photos to the blog.)

Let's see... how about we start with Wednesday? After I said goodbye to the FAM (LOVE YOU GUYS), they ushered me around the whole building and just cranked out lots of paperwork/orientation. It's like a machine here on the first day. I guess it has to be when they are getting so many missionaries all the time. So we had lots of orientation meetings and meetings about how to act as a missionary at the MTC, how to do this, that, and the other.... blah blah blah. Mainly everyone was just relieved to get to their rooms that night and just crash because of all the emotional upheaval of the day hahahaha. The next day we had more orientation, and lots of workshops. All day long. I will give you a quick run down on my class time here at the MTC.

No English is spoken - it's ALL Thai. And on our second day we had our first lesson with an investigator, Sister Coo (pronounced Joe). So yup... Elder Allen and I had to practice what we would say to her in our lesson. Surprisingly, we could say a lot. The gift of tongues that God blesses you with is amazing. We taught Sister Coo for 45 minutes. 45 MINUTES. On our second day here we explained her purpose in this life, how she could find happiness through prayer, that her Heavenly Father loves her, and then we proceeded to teach her how to pray, which she did at the end of our lesson. I can never understand what she is saying.... but the Spirit helps out a lot with the translation. My Branch President told me yesterday something I will never forget.  He said, "The Holy Ghost speaks Thai much better than you can." That's the number one thing I have learned here at the MTC.

We had a different experience two days ago when we taught Sister Coo for a second time. Our Thai was impecable - perfect grammer and we remembered all of our vocab. But we didn't teach with the Spirit. We taught a lesson, NOT an investigator. We learned a valuable lesson a couple days ago.  It's frustrating because I can't communicate some things in Thai... but I've learned that I shouldn't be worried about that. The rule at the MTC is that FIRST you learn the language of the Spirit. You develop a relationship with your Heavenly Father and His gospel through the Holy Ghost... and THEN you study the language of your mission. I am learning that personal conversion is much more important than learning the language. Great lesson. I love the MTC. Holy Cow this place is awesome! 

Cool stories? Of course I have some.  Funniest thing yet - my district is hilarious. We have 8 guys from Utah, Oregon, and Hawaii. They are studs, and we are already becoming really good friends. We see other districts just walking together talking seriously.. but our district is so funny.. we just laugh and laugh and laugh and joke around with each other. The other day our district leader, Elder Lindley was like, "Elders, missionary work is like speed dating in the cafeteria," then pointed to Elder Krebs and Elder Walker who were siting at another table and at least 6 sisters were sitting around them. Gotta love that missionary handshake hahaha." IDK. We just get along really well with each other.

We are all in here to learn things from each other - and I can learn a lot from each of them, including my companion. Elder Allen (my companion) is a pretty shy guy.  I am trying to get him out of his shell, because during one of our companion inventories he keeps telling me to teach him social skills. When he speaks - it's with the power of God. He has taught me a lot about consistency. He keeps telling me not to get frustrated, because I am really just trying to learn the language at 100 miles an hour. He keeps me grounded by saying that that is not why we are here at the MTC. He is a STUD.

Sorry... so cool stories? We met some sisters (KhonThais) from Thailand yesterday! They were serving English-speaking missions and are in the MTC with us. They read my nametag and said, "Elder Smith-Driggs!! We have heard about you from like 5 different people! It is good to finally meet you!"... Of course this was all in Thai, and I had no idea what they were saying until afterwards... but I just smiled and said it was a pleasure to meet them and sorry my Thai wasn't very good. They asssured me that it was, but I think they were just being polite. Typical Asian kindness - gotta love the KhonThais.

I see everyone here every day! Elder Garff, Elder Curtis, Elder Woolley, Elder Holmes, Elder Hammond, Elder Muir, Sister Stone, Sister Pugsley, Sister Odom, Sister Clark..... I could go on and on. It's like a big BYU reunion!! Just being able to see friends serving the Lord with their misisonary nametags on everyday is sooooo awesome to see. It is such an honor to wear Phraayeesuukrid on my nametag. I get pretty hyped when I put in on every morning. I love it here!

Oh mom, could you send my blanket down please? John was right... it's freezing down here hahaha. Don't worry though I have been sleeping great! Just cold..... 

HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO THE BEST DAD EVER. Sorry I couldn't send you an email Dad. I even asked my Branch President if he could text you on his phone, "Happy Father's Day from Elder Smith-Driggs" hahahaha, but he said no. It's ok. I love you! So happy you are my dad! 

Let's see... anything else from the MTC? It's great, my Thai is pretty decent already thanks to the Holy Ghost, and in our next lesson with Sister Coo we are probably (if the Spirit directs us), going to ask her to be baptized. So yup... you could say I love it here ;)

Elder Smith-Driggs

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