Sawaddii Khrap means hello! Unless you are a girl. Than it's VERY important you say Sawaddii ka. because you say khrap or ka based on your gender. So if you try to say it try not to mess that one up. haha
Hmmmm. I don't really know what I should talk about. Every week is the same as the last week, the only difference being we are learning more. And gaining weight. At least I am pretty sure I'm gaining weight. Cause I am eating like a horse. It's gross. I decided that I needed to stop eating so much every meal (I can't help myself! It's a constant buffet!) Now before gym I'm running a mile on the track and than playing badsaketbccn (thai word for, you guessed it! basketball. I can't really type the correct romanizations or the script itself so that's my best attempt.), 4 square (still the hottest and most intense game at the MTC), or volleyball. I'm also trying to eat better, which is pretty hard. It's admittedly my biggest temptation here. haha
Probably the biggest development for this week was that we started learning how to read Thai script! Woah... I've always looked at thai like a whole bunch of beautiful scribbles and squiggles but now I can't believe I can actually read it. It's just like english in that it has millions of random and honestly weird (bl33g. another attempt at writing thai in an email, it means weird haha) rules for spelling. Like there's at least two different letters for almost every single sound. Like the sound "s" has four different letters that can make that sound. The only reason they do it is to preserve the history. For example the word psychology. Is that how you say it? no. but that's how it's spelled. Only for the purpose of preserving the latin roots inside the word. same thing with thai, but there's 44 consonants... and that's only counting the consonants, than there's all these crazy combinations of vowels that make different sounds when put together! And then on top, the icing on the cake, is the tones, which are near impossible to read considering you have to pay attention to the length of the vowel, whether the first consonant is high middle or low class, whether there are any tone markings on the word, and like 5 other strange rules that you have to remember.
In the end It's definitely a huge task trying to read even one syllable. Oh haha, and when they write they don't use spaces between words. (
soitsliketryingtoreadonehugeha shtagbutthatsjusthowtheyreadan dwrite) See? Pretty impossible. Now change that to a bunch of squiggles and try to read it. haha
Don't get me wrong, reading thai is one of the most exciting things I've ever done. It really is an adventure to read. We started reading in the hymn book because the syllables are separated because it's a hymn and so it's easier to read. It took me about two hours to translate the first verse of I am a Child of God. Yeah... I feel like I'm in kindergarten again, learning how to read. I also tried to translate the first verse of 1 nephi. I translated "I nephi, having been born of parents". It took over an hour and I didn't even finish the first sentence!! So fun though. We have these little cards we made that we call the "urim and thummim" ( I hope I spelled that right) that has the whole alphabet on it and we can translate words very slowly using it.
On a more spiritual side I am still in love with the personal study hour. Every day I still pray for spiritual experiences even though I know they're going to happen. They usually come through my personal study. It is my sincere wish that everybody can experience the level of scripture study we receive for 2 hours a day. It really makes the difference between spiritually floating or taking massive strides forward. I know that anyone, not just missionaries, can set aside an hour or two everyday for scripture study. There's a reason we are told to "feast upon the words of Christ". It's probably the smallest, but most important thing we can do.
I almost didn't go to choir . I'm glad I did. I had to give up my study time for it. We sang Sweet Hour of Prayer. The director told us the story behind the writer of the lyrics. ;) The writer was blind and as a young man memorized the entire bible from having others read it to him. What a blessing to have the entire bible as a constant companion in a black world. He was often asked by preachers to write sermons in his head and give them. A truly brilliant man with a very difficult trial. One day he wrote the lyrics to Sweet Hour of Prayer while sitting by a fire one evening.
The lyrics are beautiful and I would encourage you to spend some time really reading the lyrics and absorbing them as if you were reading scripture. They're really beautiful.
The director asked us to think of a specific prayer. That prayer that everyone has. The one that has made the most difference in our lives. He asked us to think about the prayer that has been the most special to us and remember it as we sang the hymn during the devotional. I thought of a prayer that I had said a few nights before while in my bed. I had asked God to help me develop a stronger love for others. Next thing I knew I was praying for everyone I could think of individually, praying for their needs. It was one of the most spiritually powerful moments I've experienced. I know that God answered my prayer by guiding my prayer toward others. I learned that I can love others not only by praying for them and their needs but also by always thinking of others and not myself. Not just thinking of what other people in general need, but looking at someone specifically and thinking "what do they need" and doing all I can to help.
I thought of this prayer as we sang...
The spiritual experiences here are plentiful. Only if you seek them out. Just like I advised before I left, I still recommend that everyone pray for spiritual experiences every day. And do what you can to open the door for them.
Love, Elder Osborn
Me and my companion Elder Gage
My desk during study time
One of them is how we do pushups. haha it's hilarious when everyone is up in the air at once! haha