Friday, July 26, 2013

July 26, 2013 - Forever remembered.

July 26, 2013

 So apparently it was a good idea to get up at 4 in the morning and do laundry again. Highly debatable. (but really - obedience to the schedule here is a big deal. You wouldn't think that switching around times or being a little late or early would matter too much, but there is a certain power/blessings that come from what we like to call "exact obedience", which I like to call "diligent obedience" - the principle that you follow the schedule because you want to be here. And it's hard to explain the ways that God blesses you for it. Little things. Again, hard to explain, but entirely real. Hence conflicted about regular 4 in the morning laundry.) Anyway, my swipey card, which is used for everything - getting in doors, and food, which is just about everything here :) - fell behind the washer. At 4 in the morning. Sniffle. And hilarious at the same time. So Lauren, when you come, check behind washer 11. My card may still be there. :) (they said they can't move the washers, though I'm supposing that's until hardcore cleaning time. So it probably won't be, but a Sister can dream, right?)
Sad that that's my story of the day. :)
Plenty of other hilarious things that I cant' think of now. Another reason why I'm not particularly a fan of writing at 4 in the morning. but alas.
I suppose I ought to talk about going to KOREA! I'm both entirely excited and entirely terrified. It depends on the hour you ask me if I'm ready to go or not. On one hand, it's time. I've been in the MTC long enough, and even though it's going to be a rough go out in Korea, talking to people in, like, you know, Korean, and being rejected all over the place, but it's time to start working with people. Which I'm SO EXCITED about! But on the other hand, I don't actually speak/understand Korean. I speak a TON for someone who has been studying for about 2 months, about 3 formal hours a day (most of the rest is personal scripture study, teaching activities, etc), but I, uh, am far from fluent. But hey, that's part of a mission, right? Jumping in and being ready to learn, and knowing the Lord will support me. Yeah! On the other hand, I can't WAIT to leave! I have big dreams about what is going to happen in Korea, am excited to work with people and the members and talk to random people - I guess the love it when people try to learn their language, which is nice - and to be a part of the work to bring happiness to His children. I've been realizing more and more just what happiness that the gospel has brought to me - to our family, that I know I always have support from y'all and from Him, who never fails, that there is a purpose to life and a reason for existing (which knowledge has helped me more than I think I realize) and through these supports and many other blessings and understandings (so MANY!), I'm happy. Even when life is rough (and boy, has it been rough at times here - and I'm sure that's just the beginning :) ) I always have something to turn back to.
Yeah, that will be the email for the week. plenty else to say, but not plenty of time.
And yes, I did receive the crocs, and they're great - but I'm wondering now if I have room. I'll let you know. and thanks for the jacket! Once again, I hope there's room, but if not, I'll send it back in a post-mark package with Jen. We're having breakfast on Saturday!
Love you! Have a great week :) *hug*
Sister Claire Thomas

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19, 2013 - MTC, week something

July 19, 2013

So, I don't actually keep track of how long I've been here. Just since it's closer to the end than to the beginning, that there are about 10 days 'til I leave. Wait, what?!?
We got travel plans this morning while doing laundry at 4 in the morning - I'll be off to Dallas, then to SEOUL on the 29th. Crazy talk.
Also, today we got to clean the temple - I helped with one of the chandeliers. They're amazing - we took them apart crystal by crystal, and polished them. I was there for 3 hours, and we didn't finish one. 156 chandeliers in the temple. Amazing, huh! And really, it was just nice to go to the temple again, even if we didn't do a session or anything. The temple has been closed for the last few weeks, and I've really missed the peace in the temple. So it was nice :)
I was wondering what to talk about this week, since it's been mostly the same as other weeks - and then I realized I didn't say much about what we do day to day. SO! Here's a quick run-down of the Missionary Training Center:
Everyday, we have 6 hours of class, which includes Korean, teaching skills, and progressing investigator. We finished the Korean book like, 3 weeks ago, so we've just been learning other random grammar and expressions, and practicing LOTS on the basics. Really, you don't need fancy words to share the message of the gospel. Which is nice. Because I don't know fancy words, or always how to put them together. Korean makes a lots of sense, but is different in most ways from English. Subject, Object, Verb. Etc, etc. Crazy :) But it's really amazing how much and how fast we all learn here, assisted by the Spirit. The romantic language speakers sound just about fluent (in gospel vocab, anyway) when they leave. I'm a long way from that, but for studying Korean for only 2 months, it's amazing. (Though I still feel like I don't know much - Korea is going to be an adventure :)) We teach a progressing investigator in Korean all the time - right now we're teaching commandments like tithing and the word of wisdom - which is nice, because it's a situation where you can mess up horribly and it's okay. A lot of the teaching skills we go over are in Preach My Gospel - which is a wonderful, wonderful book. (sweet. My chair just broke :P) Sundays are the best - we have devotionals, which are always a pick me up, and sacrament meeting in Korean.
Aaaand I'm just about out of time. that's only a little bit of the MTC. But it's what I do :)
Sister Thomas
토마스 차매

July 19, 2013 - So…. It’s 4 in the morning

July 19, 2013

It's 4 in the morning.
I'm doing laundry.
I don't know that I spelled laundry right.
Everything looks funny right now, anyway.
This is our district doing laundry at 4 in the morning, 

and being sad and hiding in the shade. 
I can't tell if it's actually funny, 4 in the morning funny, or missionary funny. Suffice it to say, it's me.

Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013 - Hello! Here are some pictures

July 12, 2013

Hello! Here are some pictures:

a lot of the sisters in the branch (did I mention that we have the largest branch in the MTC? We've been up to 112 missionaries, right now we're at 94 I think, and on Monday we'll have about 103, if all goes according to plan - because our Korean missionaries come on Monday! The ones who are leaving with OUR group! HOORAH!) And I can't remember the other pictures I attached.

One of me and sister Florence,

and then the Koreans who just left (One sister is going to Seoul! We've decided we're going to be companions, so I sure hope that the mission President and the Lord are on our side :) )
Pictures only work on the computers in the laundry room, so I attached them a while ago. Email is crazy here. Laundry is crazy here. 아마딘. (anyway.)
I'm really not sure what to write about. This week has adventure. Sister Florence left, which was super hard. She's so fantastic, and even though we were only sort of companions for 3 weeks, we were pretty close. That's been both rough and weird. Also included in the adventure is a total loss of confidence. Korean, myself, etc. It's been rough, and included lots of tears. I'm doing betterrrrrr now, mostly. Too high of expectations for myself. Something Cecil O. Samuelson said, along the lines of: "The Lord has expectations for us, and it's not our place to either raise or lower those expectations." I'd look that up, because he said it way better than that. Maybe if I find it again, I'll send it next week. Anyway, I've been trying to figure that out, because it's just not fair to beat myself up when I'm giving it all I've got. 아마딘.  Happy thing - teaching really does pull me out of a bad day. We taught our progressing investigator (our teacher pretends to be an investigator, a real person they taught while they were on their mission - even though it's not really real, amazing experiences still come of it), Brother 김, about the plan of salvation, about how God is our Heavenly Father, and we are His children. I felt like I should ask him what made him happy. He talked about how he feels good when he does well on tests, and that, even though his family situation isn't the best, his family does make him happy. I started explaining to him that first, families can be together forever, and so have that happiness forever; and that this life is a test that God wants us to and will help us to pass. It's hard to explain, especially in Korean, but I feel like I gained as much peace from the lesson as he did, and that the Spirit and peace don't require perfect language and explanation to be felt. One of many experiences this week. It's been a rough go, but I only pray that the Lord is building me though this. He can make so much more out of me than I can. Proverbs 3:4-5.
A couple extra notes, things that aren't worth a whole story, but are exciting:
We get our travel plans next week! We're actually going to Korea. Crazy.
And next P-day, we get to clean the temple! It's closed right now, so we can't go through a session or anything, but I'm actually just about as excited about that as I am about travel plans :)
We had a new group of missionaries come in this week, 20 Korean speakers.
Other questions exist if, me to send please. (isn't Korean syntax fun? :))
Yep! Love you!

Friday, July 5, 2013

July 5, 2013 - The big email that Isn't a big email.

July 5, 2013

So, I've enjoyed talking over e-mail more than big long news-lettering, and the days all mush together anyway (I swear P-day was yesterday, but on actual yesterday, I couldn't remember what happened in the morning because it was so long ago.)
So, I'm still at the MTC, and still learning Korean!
And I still have companions! Though Sister Florence is leaving this week. sniffle.
Oh! Cool things:
-Revelation explosion during personal study. One of those just purely amazing experiences. In short, this work is sooooo much bigger than I can even comprehend. I read D&C 138, praying to catch a vision of the work. Verse 47 clicked in a way it never had before.
-Fourth of July yesterday! We got to watch the fireworks and see a REAL movie (17 miracles - I admire their faith.)
-We're teaching our investigators about the gospel of Christ right now. It's pretty exciting :) They both have baptismal dates right now for July 17th and 20th! Maye more about teaching later.
also, the temple is closed. :( though I suppose that means I have more P-day time, still sad.
-Good thing - (though I suppose also sad thing, since sister Florence is leaving), but I have a new sister training leader I'm working with! Sister Blickenstaff, She's so great too. I'm excited!
Yep. I'm still at the MTC and still learning Korean!