Monday, October 27, 2014

New Zone Sister Training Leader

Hey family and friends!

This week went a whole lot faster at the MTC. I loved reading all the dear elders, and thanks so much Aunt Lisa and Grandma for the packages, they were so thoughtful and creative!! 

I'll start this email by telling kinda a funny story, that I hope I haven't emailed about before haha.On a temple walk (its where you go and walk around the provo temple with all the other missionaries, talk and take pictures) I met this Sister Missionary from Thailand!! She was so nice, and is going on her mission to Australia. She told me that once I get to Thailand the food will make me skinny, and I will get tan. The only thing is, she said all the white people sweat so much that I will have a lot of zits.... aha it was awesome. 

This week, as the Phii Thais are leaving today, Sister Burbank and I got called as the new Sister Training Leaders! So we are over all the sisters in the zone, which is Cantonese, Hmong, and Thai. 
It's crazy because we've only been here like 3 1/2 weeks, however, the way the MTC does weeks I am in week 4! Only 5 left, yay!!

Another funny story from this week, we teach our "investigators", who are really our teachers daily, and this week we taught 2 of our different teachers, who always choose to act like Thai people with long Thai names that are hard to remember. I was having a hard time keeping the names straight so in one of the lessons, i kept calling the investigator the wrong name! When I was trying to say something really deep (I mean as deep as I can say in Thai), I said the name of another investigator, to the one i was trying to teach again! I just started laughing, and he started laughing, and Sister Burbank starting laughing, and I could not pull it together for the rest of the lesson. Even at the end, when saying bye (Choke-dii, it also means good luck) I accidentally called him the wrong name again! Oh man. 

Also, on Saturdays we do this thing called TRC, where we teach members (RM's, or actual Thai people) lessons.We are filmed, and our teachers give us feedback later. At the beginning of a lesson with some Thai people (who talked SO fast), Sister Burbank asked the man and woman, if they were father and daughter. Turns out they were friends/dating/we are not really sure but they were definitely not related. 

Thai is coming along pretty well, I can recognize and understand very well, but my accent is atrocious. I cannot figure out the tones for the life of me. My teacher this week had me try and read English sentences from PMG trying the flat, rising, falling, high and low tones, and it was so hard. I feel like I am so used to having expression in my speaking on every word, so it is hard to not change the meaning by saying a word with a different tone. Although this week instead of saying, "I believe in.... I said "I evil...." SO that's kinda funny. 

Also I am in the MTC choir, and I think they are doing a worldwide broadcast of it next tuesday, so watch it and watch for me!!

I learned a lot this week. One big thing that really stuck out to me was trying to think of myself less. I had this big "aha" moment when I was reading my scriptures by the fence at the MTC. I was looking out at the mountains and sunset, thinking about all the fun things I'd taken for granted before I came to the MTC. 
But then, looking at the sunset and mountains, i realized the world is so beautiful, and joyful! I am starting to think the only reason anyone is ever sad is because they are focusing too much on themselves and the small problems that can consume us all (if we let them) day to day. I need to definitely work on this, not letting my small problems consume me, and I would challenge you all to do the same. Read 2 ne 31:20, its awesome. 

We also had an awesome devotional where the speaker was one of those guys who spoke in conference in a different language. He spoke in English at the MtC, and he was so funny! Hard to understand, but funny. He talked a lot about how, "If your family were to spend a day in the mission field with you, would they be proud?" He also told us to read Moroni 8:1-3, and think of it as from your family to you. It was really touching, and I just want to tell you all how much I love and appreciate you. Know I pray for you all, and think about you everyday. 

Have a great week!


Sister Remington
Auburn's zone

Monday, October 20, 2014

Auburn's Having Some Fun

Hey Family!

This week was quite a bit better. It's still kinda hard, but I've been praying a ton and Heavenly father has helped me so much day by day. 

Thanks so much for all the dear elders! It made me so happy to hear from you guys, I was SO excited everytime I got one. Thanks so much for the (wool haha) blanket too mom, I've been alot warmer! Also grandma Cammy and Grandma and Grandpa both sent me some AWESOME packages-my whole district was like, "woah your family really loves you." Thanks so so much! I wrote you all letters, so let me know when you get them!! Also PLEASE feel free to dear elder me anything awesome, newsy, funny, inspiring..whatever and whenever! I LOVE getting them. 

There are 12 of us going to Thailand in the neung Thai (younger Thai) group. We have 2 districts, so that basically means there are 6 people in 2 different freezing classrooms (the AC doesn't turn off) learning Thai and doing a lot of studying! There is the Phii Thai (older Thai) group too who are in our zone so they have classrooms in the same hall as us, and we all hang out a bunch. I have become really good friends with lots of them, so I am sad that they leave for Thailand next monday

Every day basically goes like this. Wake up at 630, go outside and get a sack breakfast of gross hardboiled eggs and a bagel/donut..those are the only options, then go to gym time. At gym time I usually run like 10 laps (a mile) and then do some pushups, I will then go to the lower part of the Gym and play four square... yes you heard me...four square, Haha its actually pretty fun though, and there is always a long line and all the elders and sisters are super competitive! By the end of my 9 weeks (which is basically the longest anyone is in the MTC), I plan to be champion. 

After that, we shower, get dressed (all within 30 minutes) so suffice it to say my hair is usually wet, and then we head to class where we have one of our sweet RM teachers teach us Thai for a couple of hours. The teachers are honestly awesome, and my Thai has gotten SO much better this week. I actually can understand and know a lot of what they are saying, and words to reply, which is a big blessing because some of the elders in my district are having a really hard time with it. However, my teacher makes fun of me that my accent is decidedly French...hahah. 

After this, we go to's usually pretty gross #CannnonCentergoneBad I usually get salad, and have already lost like 5 pounds since being here ahahahah

After this, we come back and will either do personal study, companion study, and extra language study- and then have another Thai class. This order switches day by day. We also usually teach an "investigator", who is really one of our teachers. I usually just sit there and look kinda confused as they ramble about something in Thai and all I can say is "Prapupenjow rak khun" (God loves you) like 10 billion times. It is getting better day by day though. 

We also have this computer program thing called "TALL", that we do language practice on-its basically like rosetta stone and has allowed me to come to the conclusion that Thai has like 500 words that if you say them with a different tone- they mean 5 different things. Oh and that like every word starts with a K or a P. 
Its actually really fun learning Thai though! I learned the word for cake and is kaangnomekeg. This was so when the "Investigators" asked me what i like to do, I could simply say I like cake (shoutout to my roommate Destiny). 

The only things that usually change between the couple things I've mentioned are that on mondays we go to the temple, and sundays we have a bunch of devotionals, as well as one by a general authority on tuesdays. Man I love the devotionals. I also joined the choir! I suck at singing, but the choir director tells the best stories. Its cool being in the Choir because we get to sing for the general authority/apostle tuesdays!

Some funny things are:
I've started this thing called story time with lots of the elders in my zone and me and my companion. We basically will all get together the last 20 minutes of the night, and tell funny/awkward/embarassing stories. It's so funny- and also really fun to reminisce with some BYU people!

Some elders in my zone had an "Investigator", that when they asked him what he likes to do, said he liked to "Watch fish". They thought this was hilarious, so one of the elders who was from Utah, got his grandpa to overnight mail them some LIVE goldfish!! The goldfish then get there in the mail next day, half dead, and then when they teach the "investigator", they give him some half dead goldfish as a gift. He broke character and was laughing so hard, saying like, "what the heck, what even"... because you can never leave the MTC for like any reason except to go to the temple, so he was AMAZED they'd been able to get goldfish! So funny. 

Okay, now for the big things I learned this week.
Firstly, I just want to tell you all how much I miss and LOVE you. Being at the MTC gives lots of time for reflection- and I think I may have said this before-but I have been so lucky to have such awesome family and friends-who I miss and love so much. However, I know that everyone deserves this opportunity, and I know sharing the gospel with the people of Thailand will help them so much!

At the beginning of the week, I was questioning a bit being here on a mission. But during personal study, I read in 1 ne 21:23. There is one part of it that really stuck out to me... its that, "Ye shall not be ashamed that wait for the lord." I was just thinking of all the things I am waiting on by being on a mission, school, friends, family etc... but it really hit me that i will  never regret waiting on these things by serving the Lord for 18 months, and this is the best thing I could be doing in helping others to receive the wonderful knowledge that I have. I am so grateful that I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers, and that the Book of Mormon is oh so true and can bring great light and knowledge of the truth into anyone's life that reads it. I am also grateful that as missionaries we don't just push our beliefs on others, we invite them to pray and to act and to find out for themselves if these things are true. With all that said I would like to challenge you all to read the book of Mormon and pray to find out if its true. I know that if you do you will be blessed. 

I also came to the conclusion this week, after doing some reading, and seeing an awesome devotional called, "the character of christ", that the only way to find joy in the journey is by helping and serving others. I need to realize that this is all not about me, it is about others, and if I serve and help them it will all work out. I need to do as christ does, and "turn outward, when you would usually turn inward."

I hope all of this random stuff made sense, I love you all and would like to leave you with a bit of my testimony in Thai, but before I do, I want to share with you some awesome words of a hymn that really help me. 

"Don't let opportunities pass by, saying sometime I'll try."


Sidteee ruu waa prayessukreed pen prabud khon prapupenjow,

Prapupenjow le prayesukhrid rak khun

Prayessukrid pen prapuchuayhayrod khon loog.

sitdee ruu waa pra waa sidtee aan prakhimpi moomon le suadanwan le sitdee ruusig pen khwamjing. (p.s. this is all the romanized, we learn thai script soon!)

Love you all!!

Sister Remington... a.k.a Auburn 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Auburn's first letter

Hey family!
I'm going to try and get back on at like 2 and send some pics! 

This has been a seriously hard week.
As my companion Sister Burbank said, "The MTC is like life you have a lot of ups and downs, they are just all in one day!" There has been some good times this week as well as some bad times where i wonder what I signed myself up for.
The first day I got here they led me through this gauntlet (is that the right word?) type thing where they give you all your books, papers, and whatnot. Then I rushed around and they showed me my room (basically helaman halls), and then took me to my classroom, where I met my companion and district. My companions sister Burbank from Washington, shes pretty quiet but nice. (Mom shes the girl that sent me that facebook video). We also had a devotional the first day, where one elder played an "If you could hie to Kolob" piano solo. It was so nice, and as Wyatt, Elliott, and Sawyer know that is my favorite hymn. For the closing song we sang, "Armies of Helaman", which is the song Elliott and Sawyer and I played on the piano before we left. I felt the spirit so strongly then.
Thursday was decent, we taught our first investigator all in Thai! Well Sister Burbank said some stuff, I just sat there and looked super confused because I know absolutley no Thai. I then got some shots, and while I was getting some shots an Elder from France was trying to explain his medical records, but couldn't really explain them in English so as I sat down to get my shot, a lady asked, "Does anyone speak French?" I said I did and was able to translate for him, and get his medical stuff sorted out. Unfortunatley, the next day I think i got sick from the flu shot because I felt like I was going to barf and was dry heaving like the whole day.
The MTC is basically just class, class, class. We study the scriptures, Thai, and teaching lessons from 7:55 Am-930 at night. So crazy. I'll take a picture of the schedule to send you. My teacher Sister Painter is really nice and funny, she really makes Thai fun, even though its so hard!! I learned how to pray in Thai this week so that was super cool!
The MTC food is sooooo bad. Its like cannon center but a billion times worse. One elder gave me the advice to just not eat salad though, or else you'll feel super sick, and won't be able to handle other food.
My district (the people I have class with) are all super nice and funny. There's Elder Darby from Calgary, Sister Burbank, Elder Graham, Sun, and Webb. We all just laugh and joke around. There's another district here that got here the same time as us, and they are all super nice and funny too. There is a mexican and samoan Elder in that district that are my favs, they just smile and laugh and joke around all the time.
The MTC has been hard for me so far, but i guess its just change, and change is always hard. Mom and Dad getting your package really meant the world to me. I have read Dad's letter so much and it has helped me more than I can describe.
Although the MTC has been hard, there have been some really good times too! And I have realized that everyone feels the same. As Elder Webb said when my district was talking one night, "I know everyone says at the MTC you just have to make it to Sunday, and then you'll be good... but what if you make it until Sunday and it still is rough?" I honestly laughed so hard because that's exactly what I was thinking.
Sunday was pretty good, we watched some really awesome devotionals, studied, went on a temple walk, and just kinda chilled. This morning I was able to go to the temple, and that was a good experience, the Provo temple is super beautiful inside! I have met some really nice friends at the MTC, Sister McDaniels (apparently she's cousins with the Tanners), and shes going to temple square, as well as some really awesome elders! Everyone just talks to everyone which is nice!
Although this has been a week of some big ups and downs, I just want to say that my testimony has grown so much! I want to write you all letters because I hardly have any time to email! I'll try and get back on for a few minutes to send some pictures though.
This week I prayed more than I ever have in my whole entire life, and more sincerly too. When it got so hard missing you guys, and my life, I would just pray and heavenly father would answer my prayers, be it through reading a scripture, having someone strike up a conversation with me, or feeling the spirit so strongly. Honestly, it really helped me to learn that when we rely on the Lord we can do anything, and even if it seems impossible, we just have to take it day by day, and Heavenly Father will never give us more than we can handle. I am grateful for this opportunity that I have to be a missionary, and even though its hard I know it will be worth it.
I love you all so much, and think about you everyday.
Rak (Love in Thai), 

Sister Remington