September 7, 2011

One Month

It's getting hard to keep everything apart.  All the English speaking missionaries that came in with us are long gone, and another batch are headded out.  It's crazy.  They are barely here at the MTC.  One of the English elders, Elder Berbank (spelling?), and so he had to go through a bunch of rediculous tests (MRI, CAT Scan, blood tests) which ended up showing that he had just fainted.  The MTC, in it's wisdom, is holding him back from his district.  Elder Staten managed to get him to be our roommate, so we now have four in our room.  Well, in our new room as of today.  Our building is being redone, so we had to move everything down from the fourthfloor, across campus, and up to the fourth floor this morning.  That wasn't that fun, but we started packing Sunday night. 
Speaking of packing, while we were packing, the Phii Thay were packing as well.  They are mid flight to Thailand right now.  It's super quiet around our classroom, as most of the asian language missionaries just left.  It's going to be sad to not have them around.  In two weeks we will get two more Thai missionaries.  One elder, one sister.  At that point, we will become Phii Thais ( Older Thais ).  Watch out for that - we are really excited for our Nuung Thays, when they are here, we will be the Phii Thais.
Our service assn. changed - instead of unneccesary cleaning, we now help in the cafeteria.  It's way cool, and we got food afterwards.  It was fun to enter in the loading dock, wander the storage until we found someone, then get to do worthwhile service.  We got food afterwards.  I found some asiago cheese bagels, which was great.  I'm a bit tired of the food here.  And being here.  It's good, but I'm really looking forewards to being in Thailand.
This week's great language mistake was when we learned some grammar for asking if someone had done something already.  Everything was fine until we each had to stand up and practice with our teacher.   We were using the context of the word of wisdom.  Instead of asking if she had stopped smoking yet, I asked if she had forgotten to smoke.  I laughed so hard that I couldn't say anthing more, I had to sit down with tears.  Fortunately we don't find all of our mistakes so funny, we'd never get to teach a lesson if that was the case.  A second mistake has mislead us on what we had been accidentally saying.  We had asked if in the past he was able to read.  Not the same thing as asking if he had read.
Sunday was good.  I got called as district leader, Sister Knutson got called as coordinating sister.  More meetings for us.  We had mission conference for two hours - It was good, but nothing to special.  For our Tuesday night devotional we were much better off.  Usually a little bit before it starts they show who is speaking.  Instead we got some man telling us some protocol.  That was a sure fire tip that this wasn't some common speaker.  It was Elder Holland, he gave a fantastic devotional.  It was neat, it was having a apostle come and back you up on what you think (and taught in some points).  I really did enjoy it, both for the material and the spirit.
I finished 1 Nephi 2 in Thai.   I don't understand it, but I do get plenty of words.  My reading speed is starting to pick up.  I have noticed repeated words, and learned some from that.  Scriptural language is different for some things.  It's more formal, the biggest difference is the pronouns are all different.  This week I've swapped to using a hymn book in Thai script.  It's hard, but it's fun to do.
Last Saturday we had a great weekly planning session, as well as companionship inventory.  It went really well.  We have a rock that we carry around.  Whoever last said something that they could have said in Thay has to carry it around until someone else makes the same mistake.  We do have exceptions on it's use (e.g. Sunday, residence, class).
Well, I have to go.
Elder Robert Buss

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