Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 3

This past week went by like a flash of lightening...
I must admit, it felt really unproductive and I felt like I had already plateaued in learning, which stressed me out a LOT!
I had finally come to peace with this fact by the end of the week, when it suddenly took a sharp incline upwards! 
I am exhausted now...but here is an update on my past week's adventures :)

Sept 21 2015


How do we keep value in a lesson while being efficient time wise?
-By being sincere
-By being confident in what I truly believe in
Getting to this point is going to take a lot of effort when it's so easy to be hung up on saying the right words in Thai

Sept 22 2015

The highlight of today was at the very end, when Sister Weaver (the wife of our Branch Presidency First Councilor) asked us to share our feelings about Christ in under 1 minute.
This was the testimony that I had in my heart at that moment: 
I have the greatest love and respect for our Saviour. He has taught me what it means to truly love someone unconditionally, despite all of their imperfections and uniqueness. 
And it's a really powerful thing. He didn't just die for our sins, He did so much more than that.
He knows what it feels like to go through all the challenges that we face and beyond.
I know that He will always be with me, even when I feel like there's no one else in the world, and I feel so alone.
I know I can lean on Him. As long as I am doing my best to be righteous by following Him, it's enough for Him.
I know that He will always be there for me. 
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

What are your feelings about Christ, summarized in under a minute?

Sept 23 2015

I finally feel like I'm understanding my companion more when we teach in Thai!
Next Step: getting better at knowing how to jump in at the right times (instead of remaining silent the whole time...)

Sept 24 2015

Today during personal study, I was reading 3 Nephi Chapter 11. In it, it describes how Christ invited all the people to come forward and touch the prints in His hands and feet. 
I wondered why he still had those prints when He had been resurrected and made whole. Then, as I continued to study, I found my answers. 
In verses 14-15, we learn that the prints on His hands and feet remained so that there would be no confusion in recognizing Him. 
Then I also remembered what my friend had said about a verse found in 1 Nephi 21:16. He has those prints because it's a constant reminder to Him of what He did for us. 
He will never forget us! He are literally imprinted on Him. 

Sept 25 2015

When we pray, the Lord asks that we have:
Sincerity- In order to have this, we must first be honest with ourselves
Real Intent- This means making a commitment to act on the answers that we receive
Praying is simple, but it's not easy. We must truly be dependent on the Lord and pour out our hearts to Him. 
We must also remember, that prayer is a two way conversation. As such, we must open up our hearts to receive the answers that He gives us.

The HIGHLIGHT of today was receiving pass-along presents from our Phii Thai's!!
Some of them have been passed down for generations, and some had special rituals associated with them!! I can't believe they're leaving so soon! I'm going to miss them!   

Sept 26 2015

My District's Spirit Animals according to Sister Painter (one of our teachers):
Elder Blad- Baby Black Bear
Sister Smith - Otter
Sister Parker- Angorian Goat
Sister Black - fawn
Sister Htwe- Bermese Kitten
Me - baby bunny 

We taught at the TRC for the first time! 
Sister Smith and I taught 2 sets of 2RMs. I was so at a loss for words that I kept my mouth shut most of the time...

Then, during our second classroom periods, Br. Yuen opened up his heart and delivered a message for us from on High.
He told us, "Heavenly Father was sad when you doubt your ability to speak Thai. He wants you to open your mouths! Don't let Satan stop you!"
This sank deep in to my heart. 
I remembered that Heavenly Father had this concept to be me throughout the past year, through one special person.
But here I was, not applying what He had so carefully taught me. He had taught me that I can help those around me if I only open my mouth and let the words flow by the power of the Spirit. 
And here I was...keeping my mouth shut. I know how much the power of the Spirit can touch the lives of others, but I was acting as a barrier. 
The spirit in our classroom was so strong.
I personally thanked Br. Yuen for reminding me of something so very important. 

On another note, companionship inventory is amazing!!
Sister Smith and I evaluated and revised the goals that we had set last week, and made new ones. One thing that stood out to me in our unity when teaching.
It's always been something that's been bothering me, because there's been a lack of it.
we were finally able to talk it out and set goals to improve in this very crucial component of being companions. 
It felt so wonderful to be on the same page as my companion during this inventory! 

Sept 27 2015

Today was the last day for the Phii Thai's at the MTC!! I am going to miss them so much! I got the chance to listen to many of them bear their testimonies. Elder Ho Ching, Elder Day, Elder Dailey, Elder Weaver, Elder Gremillion, Elder Stevens, and Elder Smith all bore their testimonies during our sacrament meeting. They all have such a great love for the gospel of Jesus Christ and you could feel the sincerity behind their words. They have been such wonderful examples to me and I learned a lot from them. Later in the evening, after the devotional, I also got the chance with my district to listen to Elder Dailey and Elder Hixson bear their testimonies in Thai. It was a powerful and spiritually uplifting experience. The amount of love that Elder Hixson had for the gospel and the love that he had developed for our district was profound. We could all feel it in our hearts. And Elder Dailey's sweet testimony was so wonderful. These Elders' testimonies, along with the ones that I didn't get a chance to hear are so magnificent! Even though I didn't hear them, I can see it in their countenances! I'm going to miss each and every one of our Phii Thai's...but they're off to do the Lord's work and there's nothing greater than that!! I know that they will truly be amazing missionaries. Their diligence and love for the Savior is unmistakable, and the light of Christ shines brightly in their countenances! May God be with them as they venture to Thailand to touch the hearts of the people that have been prepared by the Lord. Thank goodness we're going to the same mission and will get to see them again! Coog dii Elders!

Sister Smith and I have been asked to be the Sister Training Leaders for our zone! I am really excited but also scared that I'll fall into pride's trap. It is my greatest hope that I will be able to look outwards and not inwards. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 2

It's finally, but also already P-Day!
By that I mean, the days are continuing to be very long, but the week goes by fast!

This past week has been pretty awesome.
There were definitely ups and downs, but I know I am where I am supposed to be.
Here are some of the major things that happened in the past week and some of the things I learned and felt.

Sept 14

This morning I had the opportunity, along with my district and the Phii Thai's to join the Endowment session in which Sister Htwe got her own Endowments!
It was so special. It was nice to be in a room full of missionaries who are all straying to feel like friends, and who are all here for the same purpose, and have the same beliefs. 
It was a really excited and heart warming experience!

The funniest thing that happened today came in the form of a little piece of paper, left under my scriptures in our classroom.
It had the email address of an Elder, with Songs of Solomon 4 written under it.
This was the same Elder who had told off one of his classmates for flirting with one of the girls in our class, telling him to remember page 33 of the white handbook.
I'm not sure if it's really from him, or someone else, or if it's a joke...
But a serious word of caution to Elders and Sisters to be... This 18-24 months is what we are dedicating to the Lord. The purpose is to forget ourselves and lose ourselves in the work of the Lord.
If we focus on His work, how much greater will our blessings be after? 

Today's Lesson: "Every conversion must happen with you before it can happen with them" - Elder Holland
We cannot teach outside of our own conversion. Teach what you are! In order to do that, we must become. 

Sept 15

It happened. I broke down.
Sister Smith and I argued over what to teach our investigator and I felt the spirit leave with a wham (in the moment, I didn't make that connection though).
I couldn't help but talk over to the bathroom and just cried locked myself in, sat on the ground and cried. 
I couldn't help it. I realized that without knowing it, I had been holding on to my tears for a while. I wanted to go home. I didn't want to be here.
I was so angry and frustrated and lonely.I had so many negative thoughts running through my head.
I tried to say a little prayer, and managed to compose myself. When I got out of the bathroom, I saw that Sister Smith was waiting for me. 
I was about to stalk away again to grab my bag from the classroom, so we could leave for the night to our room, but she called me back, saying she wanted to apologize.
We both ended up apologizing to each other through tears and hugs. It was so stupid what we had fought over, because we were both right. We were here for the same reason, and we had the same goal.
I realized once again that the way Satan likes to attack me is to bring about the Spirit of Contention between me and someone I care about.
I love people and Satan likes to use it against me. Even thought I knew this before, I forgot, and let things slip out of hand.

Today's Lesson: Attitude is important! 

Sept 16

It's been a full week!
It feels like it's been much more than that though! Today's lesson with Phii Bah was better than yesterday's. We listened to the spirit a lot more and explained the answers to his questions through the spirit :)

We learned how to teach by connecting principles back to Christ and the Atonement.

Today's Lesson: God loves us and because He loves us so much, He send us an ultimate example to follow, Jesus Christ.
When we follow him, we can feel true happiness.
Study: 2 Nephi 31: 2-21

Sept 17 

Today we taught Phii Bah for the last time.
He sent our class a goodbye video message.
In it, he expressed his gratitude to us for loving him and wanting to help him. 
He told us that before, he didn't know God and Jesus Christ, but now he knows that God loves us and Christ loves us.
He expressed his appreciation for prayer and how he can feel the Spirit through it. He now knew that's how God speaks to us (e had a hard time teaching this part).
He said his little faith was growing.
He thanked us for our patience and love, and expressed that he wants baptism. 

It's so beautiful to watch someone be converted to the Lord. It's simple and beautiful.
This experience may have been role play...
But the lessons we learned and the things we felt were real.

I truly learned to love Phii Bah and wanted him to be converted to the Lord. 

There were times when I wasn't really motivated and had no clue what I needed to do...
But now Phii Bah has become the motivation, and it doesn't matter if I know exactly what to do because if I am doing my part by constantly striving to convert myself to the Lord,
he will fill in the rest. 

Sept 18
Phii Bah is now our teacher!
We heard rumours from the beginning that our investigator would become our teacher, but it was still a pleasant (?) surprise! 
Now we get to know Br. Yuen. 

Lesson: Even though it was role play, when I reflect back on our experience of teaching Phii Bah, I learned a lot because we were all sincere. 

Sept 19


I know that when it's hard for me, shifting the focus to others (rather than myself) is the best remedy! I hope that this is something I will never forget~ 

Sept 20

Lesson from Lloyd Newell (Music in the Spoken Word - MTC version)

Virtues that fight off fear:
Power of God - teach truth with testimony
Perfect Love
Sound Mind -foundation and faith built on Christ

Now for some funny stories!

This means sorry in Thai and our way of remembering it is to think of...
"Oh Sorry! I caught a toad!" And so here is Elder Blad and "Caught Toad"
We all love Elder Blad! he is definitely a little ray of sunshine in our class!
He is very caring towards others and loves the gospel! It shows in his countenance!
He also likes to amuse us with saying things like the following:
"You would be a different colour if you were cooked inside a chicken too!"-defending the ham inside of chicken cordon bleu
"Oh! Let me shake your hand Sister!" - the struggle is real! Restraining from hugs~ 

This is my companion, Sister Smith.
She has an amazing testimony and loves a good time too! 
She's diligent and studies hard~ 
She likes to entertain us with her version of the gospel ;)
She amuses us with saying like:
"I have a plan!" - while practicing her testimony about the Plan of Salvation. Sorry Sister Smith! It's actually God's plan...
'We are Phrawinyann!" - She called ourselves the Holy Ghost!!
And she even tried to giver our "investigator" a Portuguese Book of Mormon, with a Thai cover hand written, and tried to convince him that it wasn't Portuguese, but actually in Thai. 

​I was lost, but now I'm found!! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sister Kwak - Blog POST!


Sister Kwak here! Signing in from the MTC!!
I only have 15ish minutes left to tell you all about my past week!
They weren't kidding when they said that emails are stressful!!!
I apologize to everyone who was kind enough to mail, or email this week! I will return your emails next week!

Okay~ So, I'm still here at the MTC and I'm still alive!!
I am surrounded by so many wonderful people who are so willing to help and the Spirit is so strong here!
I figured the best way to tell you about my week is to show you snippettes from my journal entries. So here they are:

MTC Day 1 Sept 9 2015
We got an orange sticker! It Identified new missionaries~
All the other missionaries were so welcoming! 
They all took the effort to say, "Welcome to the MTC!" in nice, loud, confident voices.
(according to one of the MTC presidency...the only reason is because we get ice cream sundaes on Wednesdays to welcome the new missionaries!)
It was an overwhelming day~
From the massive load of books we received... to the no English, only Thai just the number of missionaries all with the common goal of being trained to become effective instruments in the Lord's hands.
We had the chance to meet and teach three "investigators" as a large group (100? missionaries)
My district has 5 missionaries, myself included.
There are 4 sisters, and just one Elder! 
My companion's name is Sister Smith. 
Today feels surreal.

MTC Day 2 Sept 10 2015
Everything is still really overwhelming. Today and yesterday were so jam packed that I can't believe it's only been two days!!!
I am continuing to depend on the Spirit as we continue to learn about how to teach others. We are constantly reviewing our purpose as missionaries. 
So much happens in one day that I can't even remember all that I wanted to write!
I am really grateful to have an amazing companion. I think I will be able to learn a lot from her, despite the fact that she's younger than me ;)
Even Elder Blad (who is also our companion because he's "Solo"), fresh out of high school is really driven to  work hard and has such a solid knowledge and testimony of the gospel. 
Everyone in my district has a great love for the gospel and it's amazing to learn and progress with others who know the importance of teaching with the spirit. I am really blessed to be able to learn and progress with these missionaries. 
Oh! Fun fact! Sister Htwe is the third missionary ever from Myanmar!!! How cool is that! She's in my district and I get to room with her! 

MTC Day 3 Sept 11 2015
Today's Lesson: Being terrified to use Thai and being too hung up on not being able to speak the language BLOCKS the spirit from being able to testify of the truth.
Today, we taught our first lesson. If that wasn't scary enough...It had to be complete in Thai, to some from Thailand that only speaks Thai! you get the picture right? My companions and I were pretty nervous. If that wasn't bad enough...
We got lost on the way to meeting to him because we forgot the room number!! 
So...feeling hopeless, we started roaming around the hallways of 18M, calling, "Phii Bah Tinay?! Phii Bah Tinay?!" Which would translate into Phii Bah Where?! Phii Bah Where?! that grammatical structure... 
After a couple minutes, we stopped to say a little prayer...and lo and behold! At that moment, Phii Bah walked out into the hallway!!!
We were so excited and happy to see him, we called out Swatikahh! (Hi) Over and over again!! 
Our first lesson was okay~ It was better than what I was expecting it to be.

MTC Day 4 Sept 12 2015
Today was our second lesson with Phii Bah. It went much better than yesterday!
I could definitely feel the spirit when Sister Smith gave her testimony.
We taught Phii Bah how to pray, and when he gave his prayer, I could feel the Spirit swelling up in my heart. 
Today's Lesson: Gift of Tongues is REAL~! I can already feel that it's tangible!
There was a point in time during the lesson when I stopped looking down at the my script and listened and was pleasantly surprised that I understood so much! ( I didn't understand the words completely, but I felt it somehow...

MTC Day 5 Sept 13 2015
I learned SO MUCH TODAY!
The highlight of today was the movie at the end of the day. 
We watched an MTC Devotional by Elder David A. Bednar called, "Character of Christ."
If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it!! 

There is so much more I want to write! But, I'm out of time, so... I'll leave it at that for now!
I love you all so very much!
I miss your sweet testimonies and warm hearts!

Lots of love,

Sister Kwak

Elder Blad is also known as Elder Olaf Solo!
Sis. Htwe called him a snowman because he's the only one that is hot in our classroom, while the rest of us are freezing.
Solo is because he's a Solo missionary, meaning he's companion is either 2+ more Sisters, or an Elder in a different class

​This is our district and the Thais a transfer ahead of us on our walk to the Temple on Sunday!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sister Kwak - Finally leaving!

I'm leaving for Utah at last!
The summer went by so fast~
This past month went by in a complete blur...
Opposition seems to be ever persistent, wearing me down and stretching me thin, but I'm not turning back now!
I am so excited for this next adventure!! 
Only one week until I report to the MTC! 
But first, I get to enjoy a week in Utah with my parents and old family friends! :)