Monday, June 30, 2014

I decided the MTC is just a huge social experiment. Week #4

Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing awesome!
So I think I forgot to mention it in my last email but all of the new mission presidents for this year were here taking over the mtc. They had all these private meetings so like half of all our main stuff was blocked off. It was honestly kind of annoying. But at one point all of the apostles where here and the Prophet and everything! Did I ever see them or meet any of them? Of course not. But at the devotional I guess I saw 6 of them. Elder Christofferson spoke but on the stand sat: Elder Dallin H. Oaks, M. Russel Ballard, David A. Bednar, Neil A. Anderson, and Nelson. Im not good with their names... Thats kind of embarrassing. So Elder D. Todd Christofferson spoke about the worth of souls. One of the things he said was that the worth of a soul is the capacity to be like God. Thats pretty profound when you think of it that way. Another thing I really liked that he said is that charity comes from God, you don't have to create it, just ask for it. I have always loved Moroni 10 : 45ish. It is how I want to live and so to hear that I can just ask for it and not create it, well that saves me a lot of stress. And the final thing I'll mention from his talk is something kind of funny he said, "The Savior not only knows you, but likes you. You will feel his friendship." I thought it was funny because I never thought of it like that. Its so simple and so true.
Then Wednesday was nothing exciting other than the fact we had normal food choices! So while the apostles were all here the food managed to get worse because they closed off half of the cafeteria and catored to the mission pres. and apostles while leaving us with one very poor choice of what to eat. So that was fun. Now we at least have options of what gross food we want. Ha ha

Thursday was fun because for our service time we got to move all the furniture back into the rooms where the mission presidents were. Once we finished with that they let us hang the flags! It was really fun because they have a flag for what seems like every country. Then you get to pick about 30-40 and hang them up. So obviously we made somewhat of a big deal about the Thai flag as we rose it. So now we are going to try and do flags every service day! :)

Friday was pretty normal. I can't think of anything worth telling. And then Saturday was our first day of TRC! I love TRC. It is probably more stressful for other people but there are only so many people in the Provo area that speak Thai. So pretty much they are all return missionaries from Thailand and they are super nice. They have been in the same shoes we are in so they knew how to make us feel comfortable and even translated things they knew we wouldn't know to English for us. So you probably don't even know what TRC is. Its where you practice teaching in Thai to people from the outside world. Normally they can be real investigators if you are speaking a common language. But not with Thai. So we kind of just share a spiritual thought and then we asked about their missions. I can't wait to do it again next Saturday. :)
Sunday we had the president of the mission department speak at the devotional. I forget his name. He spoke on getting along with your companion and showed us a lot of those old cheesy church commercials. Man no wonder people used to think we were so weird. Ha ha Im a Mormon is probably more effective. But if any of you have seen those well they give a good laugh.
In class this week we learned Thai script!!! Oh my gosh its pretty complicated to read. i don't know if you can read my explanation from the picture from my journal but there are silent letters and invisible letters and then the tones and everything. There are about 44 consonants and 43 vowels. So I got those down pretty quick because I really wanted to learn to write from the day I got my call. Its really distracting though because now i hate studying vocabulary. I just want to practice reading and writing. ha ha. Also, the teachers didn't really explain it to us. They just said here are your cards, go lean it. And then when we have questions we have to ask them. 

Guess what I learned this week! the first two should say I love my family the other one with the messier board is how I decided my name was spelt. The teacher wouldn't help me so I made Elder Williams help me figure it out. It took us probably 45 minutes. Why is our last name so complicated? I guess we'll see how close I am when I get my other name tag!

One of the funniest things I've heard came out of Elder Curtis's mouth this week. I think it was when we were being introduced to Thai script and he said, "Im still in T-ball and you just threw me a fast ball." Yep they move you along quick here. They like to teach you everything at once. Which makes us feel a lot of pressure to know the language in one day. We just have to remind ourselves all the time that we have only been here for less than a month. The good thing about Thai though is that there are no verb conjugations. You just say like yesterday and keep the rest of it the same. So its not like run and ran. Hopefully that keeps it a bit easier.
On Sunday it was funny... We met this Thai interpreter that volunteers at the MTC. He returned from his mission in August. So this Elder from Thailand was talking to him and told him sister Brown had a black heart. And she was like what? And the interpreter said, say this to him. So she said whatever it was that he told her. And then the Thai Elder was saying you are not a sister. And so Sister Brown asked the interpreter what it was he told her to say and he responded, "Its just a minor cuss word." Ha ha a return missionary for less than a year told her to swear at a Thai Elder while at the MTC. Sister Brown felt so bad. Ha ha its was funny.
Well thats about all from this week. I love you all and hope things are going well in your lives!
-Sister Nethercott

P.S. I decided the MTC is just a huge social experiment. I was talking about it and was saying that Thailand was just some made up place. That they stick us here and tell us we are going to Thailand and then brain wash memories into us so we think it exists. This place really is just so weird. Ha ha and then when the other Thai Elders left, they came back! Their flight was canceled but really, I just think it supports my conspiracy. This place kinda reminds me of Enders Game. Sorry... this place is probably just making me go crazy. Ha ha Love you guys!

Taught Sister Brown and Herrmann how to do no heat curls. Ha ha

Team Thai Thighs!

Circle skirts!

Friday Night food party!
Me & Sister Brown

Monday, June 23, 2014

"Those lips look like they were made for something better than playing the clarinet." Week #3

Hey everyone! How are you guys doing? So a few fun facts about today.
I would be entering the MTC this Wednesday had they not changed my mission date. On Wednesday, I'll have doubled the stay at the MTC of an English speaking missionary. If I were going Spanish speaking, I would be halfway done with the MTC. 
I feel like I have been here forever and that no previous life ever existed. Ha ha. I hope its true when everyone says the next four weeks are the fastest. The Thai Elders that were here before us leave today. So thats kinda crazy.
So with Thai, we haven't learned Thai script yet. We are learning it this coming week. So right now its all romanized. I guess I have found some things with the language that remind me of Japanese. Whenever they are talking about multiple of something they need classifiers like how we say loaves of bread. They have a ton of those and it reminds me of Japanese when you are saying a number of a certain kind of object. Also, you don't know it is a question until the end of the sentence kind of like ka. They don't in-fluctuate their voices because of the tones so you have to wait until the end of the sentence for the question word. Telling time is super complicated. Once it is the evening at 7 they switch back to saying 1 and then 8 is 2 and so on until midnight. And depending on the time of day you phrase the sentences differently. That'll take some more practice for me to remember.
One of the funny things that happened is we are supposed to invite our "investigators" to church but we are stuck at the MTC so we cant. So they said just pretend. So we were asking if we could be like hey remember how much you loved church and how happy you looked? And then Elder Luker was like "remember at church when you said you wanted to be baptized?" So maybe we can push our investigators along by making up their awesome church experience. Ha ha
We are known as a really loud and apparently "insane" district. All the other districts like to gossip... But you know who is the loudest? When Elder Curtis laughs, it sounds just like the Riddler from the old Batman tv shows. Its so funny.
Yesterday for our district sunday activity Sister Alley came up with the good idea to open to a random scritpure in the Book of Mormon and make it relatable to us. I got lucky and opened up to Alma 42:31... Read it. You'll understand. :)
Elder Ballard gave the devotional on tuesday. For the devotional yesterday, Jannice Kapp Perry spoke. She is awesome. She was telling the story of how her and her husband met. They were in the same music class at BYU and she was wetting up her clarinet. He looked at her and said, "Those lips look like they were made for something better than playing the clarinet." As she finished sharing that statement he walked up to her and gave her a super passionate kiss! The MTC went pretty crazy but it was hilarious. They are the cutest old couple ever.
Sister Brown and I have had a really good week of teaching our "Investigators". We are now understanding nearly everything they say. And we know how to say the things we want to respond with. It makes teaching SO much easier! Although we asked our investigator Naang to read Moroni 10. We asked if he understand it and if he had questions. He responded with some kind of question about Lamanites? So sister Brown just points to me and says Sister Nethercott will explain it to you. So I got nominated to explain who the Lamanites are in Thai. I went simple and said there were ancient people the Lamanites and the Nephites. The Nephites believed in God and the Lamanites didnt. So hopefully that covered that good enough. Man teaching will be so much easier when we can fluently speak Thai!
Dad, you asked what we have learned here at the MTC? Well Elder Cook was saying that we are not here to study the deep doctrine of the church. We are here to affirm our knowledge in the doctrine of Christ so that we can teach it to others. So the spirit is strong and prayers are answered and things are said when you need to here them. So the spirit here is strong but there isn't a lot of church revelation happening here. Just a lot of learning about different insights people have about the doctrine you know your whole life. So that is interesting.
And hey Joey, I now know you are reading this so you should give me your email or address and then I can respond to your letter. :) 
Well I love you all and I hope everything is going well in your lives!

Love, Sister Nethercott

P.S.  Also I can't open the pictures from grandpa's birthday. Want to mail them? Ha ha And the shorts might come in handy... Maybe send them and I'll find out. Also thanks again so much for those muffins. The food has been awful and limited in choices due to the mission presidents and general authority people here. Those muffins have saved my life. Now if its not too much to ask... I would absolutely love chips and salsa. I've heard the dried mango from costco is really good. Chocolate chips are always delicious. :) Also, what part of wisconsin did we go to? That is where sister Zoller is from.
 We had to move seats... this is all our books we had to move with us... ha ha
Class time

Sister Alley's whiteboard study
My Thai vocabulary study page. Look how long the word is for "devotional".
                       My crazy comp roomies. :)
Sister Alley putting out the stash for our Friday night food parties.

                             Me & Sister Mamea
                        My Comp Sister Brown & I
Most of the Sisters (sorry you're cut off Sister Pitts)

 Me, Sister Brown, & Elder Curtis (aka: The one who laughs like the Riddler from the old Batman tv shows)
                                Chow time!

                             MTC Thailand group
          Me & Sister Maddie Holt (who's going to Korea!)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week #2

We got Lots of pics this week. I'll just post a few. My practical daughter answers questions. Guess I better start asking spiritual ones.  :)
Alright so you have a lot of questions and they are all really random but I will do my best to answer them all.
1. The MTC was a lot better this week. We are actually learning about gospel stuff during class now and not just a bunch of hard Thai words. So that was a huge improvement from last week. I was really concerned about the lack of church doctrine we were learning.
2. Am I eating.... Well define eating. The food here really is not good. And then you end up eating a salad or something that doesn't have much to it. But when I do eat it is usually bread or french fry based so I will probably end up gaining weight somehow. Elder marks put on 20 lbs here!
3. My snacks aren't gone. They don't let you eat in the classroom where you spend your whole day and the only time you are actually in the sleeping room you are waking up or going to sleep. So it is hard to eat snacks. You just go hungry between meals. Ha ha
4. You asked what a typical day was like. Well...
6:30 wake up
7:00 breakfast
7:30 gym
8:30 get out of sweaty gym clothes and put on skirts
9:00 class time
12:00 lunch
!2:40 class
3:40 additional study
4:30 dinner
5:15 personal study
6:15 companionship study
7:15 language study
8:15 additional study
9:00 daily planning
9:30 personal time (we can go back to the rooms)
10:15 quiet time
10:30 bed time

5. Pday is Monday and we try to just roll out of bed and get to the temple as quickly as possible. Then we come back and print off emails. Then we do laundry and continue writing emails. Then we go to the bookstore and eat lunch and just kinda try to get everything done that we need to. 
6. The MTC doesn't seem crowded but we all have different gym and meal times. The only time you see nearly everyone is Sunday and Tuesday devotionals.
7. I'm not exactly sick of my clothes. I have a couple outfits I like more than my boring ones so I wish I got more cute outfits. ha ha But I am sick of getting dressed every single day. I just want to wear pajamas for a bit. And the reason my hair is curly often is because all I have to do is sleep with it in that headband and then pull the headband out in the morning so my hair literally gets done in 5 seconds. Ha ha
8. I haven't heard anything about my visa stuff. I'll probably hear about it when they give us our flight plans like a week before we fly out.
9. Did you get the picture of my shot? I have to get another one of those toward the later end of my MTC stay. Apparently the two I got before coming weren't even mandatory. :(
10. The sisters shoes are actually pretty different. Nearly all of us have at least one pair of crocks though. We did good with my shoes, they are all super comfortable. :)
I love that you think me getting two bagels is so smart. Ha ha. You would think Sister Zoller was a genious because one day she had the brilliant idea to recommend I get 3. Thats why we were called to learn Thai, because we are smart enough to get more than one bagel. Ha ha

For the Tuesday devotional Elder Quinton L. Cook came and spoke. It was all about missionary work and kind of our image... He said right at the beginning he felt the spirit prompting him to say certain things. At one point in the middle of his talk kind of off topic he said something that nearly our whole district needed to hear and was struggling with. It was pretty great. He also made us all write down we are not the marketing arm for the church. Ha ha I thought that was pretty funny. We are supposed to be ward and branch builders.
So funny story of the week... You get absolutely no privacy here. I had just come into the room from a shower and was about to get dressed. I stood in the corner behind a open closet door and dropped my towel when the entire zone of girls walked in for zone prayer! It couldn't have been worse timing. Ha ha it was pretty funny and a bit awkward...

I can't believe I am the one on the mission and dad already has a full family of baptisms more than me! Not fair. But that is so awesome! Good for them! (In Kevin's travels to Kenya, he had his driver take him to church. He asked his driver if he wanted to stay, which he did. Long story short, his whole family is getting baptized in a week or so!)

The weirdest thing about the MTC is when you realize you are going to go 9 weeks without riding in a moving vehicle of any kind. That is the longest I will have gone for like my whole life! Ha ha

Thanks for the sports updates by the way. Elder Curtis says to keep them coming! Also they don't inform us about anything going on with Thailand whether with the church or political so those updates are also much appreciated. Thanks for the package and the dear Elders. You should get Dietrich to write me... I kinda miss that kid.  And thanks for the letter Grandma! Its nice to hear from everyone. :) Really dear Elder is amazing. Ha ha

They don't check the packages here so honestly if you could smuggle me fruit or some form of healthy food and snacks... Cashews would be really good.

Now about your friends son going to cambodia. They are in our zone here. Thai and cambodian is kinda similar but they don't have tones so they are super lucky! They do provide sheets here and a blanket. There are pillows but I have been using my own. They also provide blankets but I haven't used that either because I have my own and Sister Herrmann freezes at night. (By the way, she is cousins with the Wistisons. Found that out last night.) So really if he doesn't need to bring anything for the field he doesn't need anything here. But I personally like having my own stuff. 

As sisters we get 8 dollars a week on our ID cards for the bookstore and food and stuff. The Elders get $6. We can go to the gym and take naps and I don't know there isn't much time to actually do stuff on Pday. And the bathrooms are kinda like the towers at USU. There are just a bunch and you gotta wait your turn. Ha ha 

Its not easy to upload picture because my cord doesnt work. You have to buy this thing for the memory card to use at the mtc. I am just going to borrow Sister Browns. My favorite word in Thai is missionary. This is the closest I can spell it with the alphabet. Pusansadsana  Poo (ichi, ni,) san, sod(like grass) saw (like your cutting down a tree) na like a song na na na. Phusansadsana. Yeah. Its cool.
Well I love you all! 
-Sister Nethercott

You might want to reorganize this email so that it actually makes sense...

Lotsa books with Sister Brown

Can't have too many pics of the map! 



Sister Zoller, Sister Nethercott, Elder Curtis & ??

Sister Nethercott hates HATES shots!!!

with Elder Marks (friend from HS) and his comp

Sisters Nethercott, Hermann, Zoller, Brown

Laundry time with Sister Brown
Don't exactly know what Sister Hermann is doing! :)

The Thai Elders 

Monday, June 9, 2014

First letter!

Got our first letter from Sister Nethercott today! We were worried her letters were only going to be a couple sentences but I asked her a bunch of questions and she did well!

Sawatdiikha! Hey everyone, Its my first P-day here at the MTC. Its been pretty great so far. Its a really really tight schedule. I feel like they ask you to do so many things with so little time to do them. 
1. I've learned quite a bit of Thai I guess. Its really hard to learn with so little study time to learn it. Spanish and Japanese came so easy because I had grown up hearing them but I never heard Thai. So its coming but not exactly easily. The grammar and sentence structure is easy for me to understand but the actually vocabulary is hard to remember with such little time to study it.
2. My comp is Sister Emily Brown from Oregon! She is awesome. We get along really well and are on the same page about things and look at things differently so it makes a good companionship. I share a room with Sister Herrmann and Sister Zoller. We also get along really well so its pretty great. 
3. There are 14 of us in our district. 8 sisters and 6 Elders. So far we are all enjoying each other so lets hope that can last for 9 weeks!
4. We didn't stay up late talking but it did take us all a while to fall asleep. I feel like I am all adjusting though. And to avoid staying up late talking we've come up with taking turns sharing about a topic. So far we've made it through all the sisters in my rooms families.
5. The food is pretty gross. And the ice cream is only here twice a week for one meal. And its not that great of ice cream. There are often wraps which aren't great but edible. And there are always fudge bars or ice cream sandwiches. We eat dinner at 4:30 which is super early! So we get sac breakfast and I make sure to get 2 bagels so I can eat one before bed.
6. (I asked her about her friend Elder Marks who we saw when we dropped her off)  I did talk to Elder Marks more. We have the same meal and gym time. All the Elders and Sisters in my zone sit together though so I don't really see him during meals. The first gym day we played basketball togetherish and he has definitely been here for 7+ weeks. He was a lot better than I remember him being Jr year in PE.
7. I saw Madi Holt and I see Annika Fraga but haven't talked to her cuz I dont know her well. And I met Riley Adams from Alta who is in my same grade... Its funny I had to get ready for Thailand to meet her.
8. I haven't come across anything I have forgot but I would like a thumbdrive. I think that'll be good for the pictures. 
So the bunk beds are the same Dad. But I do think they have new mattresses. They are super squeeky. If I just move my arm it wakes up like the whole room. Im on the top bunk. And we do have a mini fridge but only because my khuu is awesome. She went to BYU so she knows everyone that works here. Her home teachers job is to move stuff. I guess there was an extra minifridge or something so like the third day we walked in our room and there was just this fridge in the corner with a note on it saying here Sister Brown we are awesome cuz we gave you this, Obviously thats not exactly what the note said but thats what I took out of it.
So the first day here we just dropped our stuff off at the room and went straight to class. I have so many book! There are like 5 dictionaries. Two preach my gospels in roman and thai. And just books! So we got to class and it was all in Thai. I didn't understand a thing but learned how to great people, ask how they are and where they are from. Then the next day we learned how to bare our testimonies. And then we had to go teach the next day that we learned how to pray! Yeah teaching when you don't know Thai is a little interesting... We just said what we knew how to say and then left before he could say anything back we couldn't understand. Don't worry he isn't a real investigator. He is our other teacher that we haven't met as our teacher yet. But the next day we went in with questions and invited him to pray and go to church. Yeah we had to make up where and when because we don't know. So that was kinda funny. I just drew him a picture and said 9 o'clock at the church across the street from the MTC. I thought that was good enough. 
So we wake up at 6:30 and grab sac breakfast. Then we go to gym and have like two seconds to get ready and go to class. Then we learn until lunch. After lunch is supposed to be more class time but that is when we teach our investigator Txg. After that is dinner (snack time). Then its personal study, companion study, and language study, additional study and bed time. So it sounds like there is a ton of study time. But we sleep on the 4th floor of 17M and learn on the 5th floor of 18M so I feel like going up and down the stairs takes the entire time. Team Thai Thighs. Its just preparing us for all that biking that will be coming up. But it makes me feel like I should be allowed to sleep through gym time. But its kinda nice because we can leave the gate and go to the field. Freedom! ha ha 
For sacrament meeting they ask us all to write a five minute talk on a topic so of course the topic was faith. Then they pick about 3 random people and have them come speak. After sacrament our district went to our classroom (where you spend like the entire day, even for personal study) and we shared the talks that we were going to give if we were called. Remember faith is the most important principle of this gospel. Always work and continue to build your faith. Its really the best thing you can be doing to improve your strength in this gospel.
Love you all!
Sitdaa Nethercott

P.S. I can't write you like any Thai because it is all romanized and would not come across right at all.

My companion, Sister Brown 

The cafeteria

LARGE stack of books

with Sister Brown- going to Thailand!

My roomies

The sisters in my group

Sister Alley, me, Sister Brown

Sister Brown & I at the temple

My MTC group