Monday, July 28, 2014

Flight Plans! Week 8

We got out flight plans this week!!! :) I have to say, it makes being here seem so much easier. 
Monday night we had TRC! It was really cool because we did it over skype! We spoke to this man named Ronny (yeah it is a very American name for a Thai person isn't it? I guess that's pretty common though). He is apparently the ward mission leader in Thailand. The next day one of the teachers Brother Sanders was roll playing him. We had no idea thats who he was. Ha ha
So this week for Tuesday devotional, Stanley G. Ellis (member of the 70) came. It was in the middle of his family reunion so he brought with him 8 of his 9 children. All 9 of his children have served (or are serving) missions. They all went to Brazil, France and Portugal until it came to his youngest child who is currently serving in Korea. I bet she was pretty shocked when she opened her call. Even her parents had served in Brazil. So she was probably expecting to learn either Portuguese or French. Ha ha But 8 of his children spoke and shared a quick spiritual thought about something they learned from their mission. One of the things I liked that was said is to claim the blessings the Lord promises. If we do the things the Lord asks of us, especially the things that have promised blessings attached, we have the right to claim and ask for those blessings.
Wednesday was Elder Curtis's birthday. We tried to make it at least a little special for him. He didn't want to make it a big deal or anything though. I learned that in Thai to sing Happy Birthday you just sing Happy Birthday with a bit of Thai accent. So that'll be easy to adjust to. Ha ha
Birthday Party!
 Thursday was pretty disappointing... I woke up feeling pretty sick but was in denial because of the days plans. Josh, the head of custodial services and I had scheduled a race to see who could crank their flag fastest. He holds the record at 20 seconds. Before I had much practice and before he told me his tricks (that help a ton) I got 35 seconds. So this week I had been making sure to eat enough food and get enough sleep all in preparation to race Josh with the flags for service. After the weeks efforts of preparation, I was totally in denial about feeling sick. So I went and raced (obviously being sick I didn't win) and then I crashed.
It was personal study next so I told Sister Zoller to wake me up whenever she wanted comp study. Well the next thing I knew, I had slept through all study time and lunch and class was starting in 5 minutes. So I hurried and got dressed because we had to teach Naang in that class. It was so sad because it was our last lesson with him. Brother Thrap (who role plays Naang) Is going to Colorado this next week for a family reunion so we won't get to teach Naang anymore. When our lesson (which went really well :)) was over, he asked us when we were coming back. We didn't have the heart to tell him never, so we just said we'll see you on Sunday and talk about it then. It'll be sad when we have real investigators and we have to say goodbye to them.
Now Friday.... FLIGHT PLAN DAY!!! It was the longest day of our lives. The flight plans didn't come until after dinner. But when they finally came, every minute here at the MTC suddenly felt worth it. We leave August 4, at 3:00. We fly to LA, then to Hong Kong, then to Thailand. The worst part is, our carry ons have a weight limit of 15 pounds. I have no idea how we are going to get all of our dictionaries and study material to Thailand. The scriptures alone will take the full weight limit. Ha ha. Oh well I guess we'll figure it out. So we only have one more week to push through and work really hard to be ready to teach the gospel, in Thai!
Then for sacrament I was called up to speak... That was fun I guess. I didn't like the meal they served for lunch so I was really hungry. And I could feel the strep coming on so that didn't feel too good. I made a joke with Sister Zoller that if I was called up to speak, I'd probably pass out from being too hungry and feeling sick. Ha ha. Luckily I didn't and I think it went alright. But yeah strep... Luckily Sister Herrmann got it first or else I wouldn't know about it... I don't feel too bad yet but after checking the back of my throat, its definitely there. Oh and at the temple walk I met Sister Herrmann's brother! She was laying in bed dying of her strep and didn't come on the temple walk. But her brother recognized Sister Zoller from pictures and came and asked us where Sister Herrmann was. So we got a picture with him and promised we wouldn't tell Sister Herrmann until he told her today on Pday. So I don't think she even knows yet... The doctor told her to sleep a lot today. She'll probably be mad at us when she does find out though...

Sister Herrman's brother
But I have decided I have been at the MTC too long. Yesterday, Sherri Dew spoke in relief society. I've already heard her speak since being here. Good thing I liker her. She gave a really good talk about the priesthood. And then Sunday night devotional, Steven B. Allen spoke. I have also already heard him speak since coming to the MTC. Thats the way the MTC tries to tell you it wants you gone. It repeats things you shouldn't be seeing already again. Ha ha
A funny thing that happened this week was during the prayer of a new Thai Elder, he meant to say khap khun kha Praong but instead he said Khap Khun Kha Farang... The difference is instead of saying thank you God it turns into thank you white dude. Ha ha who knows how he got those mixed up... Elder Curtis seemed to take responsibility for causing that one.
One of the highlights of this week was sharing a mango with Elder Okimoto. We had to plan a sneak mango eating party because I only had one left and there wasn't enough to share with everyone. So with our Khuus we found a table outside to daily plan at and I brought the mango. I have never seen anyone as happy as I saw Elder Okimoto eating that mango. Ha ha He looked like it was the best day of his life. So thanks mom for sending me those mangos!
Now the funny quote of the week would have to be from Sister Zoller. We were talking about how I really dislike spicy food and how I will have to learn to deal with it. Anyway it led to, "the gift of tongues in a different sense." Ha ha maybe you just had to be there... Should I just stop trying with these? Ha ha
Well I love you all and I hope you had an awesome week!

-Love Sister Nethercott

Computer lab- must be where they skype and email

The Elders
The new Thai Sisters
Braiding Sister Alley's hair
Sister Alley has twins!
Cafeteria, our zone mostly hangs out in this corner

Monday, July 21, 2014

Thai name tag! Week 7

"Looking back seems like forever and looking forward seems like no time at all," -Sister Zoller. Its crazy we have already been here seven weeks! We leave in only two! It seems as though my whole life was spent in the MTC but at the same time the weeks are suddenly flying by! I seriously can't remember things about my "previous life" anymore, to the point where it gives me a headache to remember someones last name. I am so happy the weeks are going by quickly now and we only have two more!
This week was unique... Due to certain circumstances with part of the district, my companionship was changed. It happened on Wednesday night. I am now khuus with Sister Zoller! Funny enough, the swap happened in the sixth week which is the same length as a transfer. I really enjoyed being companions with Sister Brown and for all the things I was able to learn from her. She was a great first companionship experience. We also knew that it was likely we would be involved in a companion swap so the past couple weeks we appreciated each other more than usual and we were able to end the companionship relationship on a high. So far it has been a great experience being companions with Sister Zoller. Nearly all of our goals and things we want to accomplish before leaving the MTC align with each other. Its makes accomplishing tasks a lot easier when the person you spend all of your time with is trying to accomplish the exact same things. So far, we have memorized our purpose (in Thai), the first verse of called to serve (although that one is still pretty rough on my end, in Thai), and the first half of the list of doctrines on page 176 in PMG (which is actually in English and seems to be taking the longest). That's just within a few days so I hope we can keep up the hard work and accomplish all of our goals!
Beyond the companion swap, nothing too interesting happened this week. Really everything is so repetitive here you have heard it all before. 
The devotional this week was given by L. Edward Brown. He spoke about the sacred name of Jesus Christ. He told a funny story about a time he spoke at the Gold Lions club or what ever it is called, I can't remember. He came to the end of his speech and realized he didn't know how to end it and almost said in the name of Jesus Christ amen. He caught himself last minute and then ended with thank you instead. He said that his LDS friends there knew what happened and teased him about it. Ha ha But he spoke about how we shouldn't use His name to get out of a prayer or a talk. That we should recognize the sacredness of the name of Jesus Christ and that we should mean the things we say in His name.
Something else that happened on Tuesday was the departure of the Cambodes. It was weird saying goodbye to them. I felt a lot closer to them than the Thais because they had girls in their district we would talk to in the residence hall and their classroom was right across the hall from ours. The Thais classroom was in another building so we really only saw them at lunch and dinner. Also, when saying goodbye to the Thais we knew we would likely see them again. There's a good chance I will never see the Cambodes again... So it was just kinda weird. Oh and bad news from that, one of the airlines they were flying through had a weight limit of 15 lbs per carry on. So that whole theory we could stick our heavy books in our carry ons to help make weight limits is not going to help... Hopefully we don't fly with that same airline. They had a lay over in Hong Kong so I am hoping we fly through Tokyo and won't have that 15 lbs restriction.
On Wednesday we had district unity by all wearing pink. We even got Sister Hirschi (our awesome, amazing, perfect teacher) to wear pink with us. But when I say perfect, she took the bar exam without studying for it and only needs 3 more points to feel confident about getting into Harvard. She is going to be in Boston a few days this week checking out schools. I am super jealous... I want to be in Boston this week. Oh well two more weeks and I will be in Thailand, I just have to be patient.
Also on Wednesday, the Nang Thais (the new Thais) arrived. There are only 3 sisters. Because the first weeks schedule is so crazy, I haven't seen or spoken to them much, but they seem nice. They keep hogging Sister Hirschi from us so thats kinda annoying. We don't like sharing our teachers. Ha ha 
So Friday night food party this week was a bust. I don't know what happened but it was pretty much just me and Sister Zoller (with Sister Pitts for a minute and then Sister Mamea showed up at the end). I have no idea where everyone was because we were in the other Sister's room! I even had cake! (Thanks for that mom by the way, it tastes so good!) We even invited the Nang Thai Sisters and they choose going to sleep instead... I don't get it. You can still get to sleep on time with Friday night food party. I was really disappointed, if you can't tell. Ha ha
Something funny that happened this week (hopefully the funny context exists when you weren't there) was during class one day. When the Nang Thais were hogging Sister Hirschi we had Brother Sanchez (a Lao teacher who knows Mong, Lao, Spanish, Thai, English, Arabic, and I think a bit of some other languages, so he is pretty awesome) substitute us. I think Elder Hinckson was trying to ask him to translate something but instead of saying Khuun Blaa (as in apple) he said Khuun Blaa (the same sound as A in father) which instead of meaning to translate it means fish... So what he ended up saying was, "khuun blaa on the fly." Which translates to beloved fish on the fly. Ha ha he called Brother Sanchez beloved fish. Gotta love learning a new language. Ha ha
The most exciting thing of the week? We got out Thai name tags!!! YAY!!! I have been asking about them for weeks but apparently to the wrong teachers. Foreign name tags are like some evil thing here at the MTC. They don't let you wear them because they want everyone to be able to read your name. And they don't want to give them to you in case you lose it before you leave. So I have been asking about them because Nethercott is so hard to write in Thai I wanted to see how it was done. So the other day I asked Brother Thrap if he had them. His response was (well in Thai but...) I don't have them. So then I asked does Sister Hirschi have them? He just said, I don't have them. So I was like Sister Hirschi has them, thanks got it. He was trying not to say who had them or if they had them yet because they don't want us to have them. Once missionaries know they exist, they want them so bad! So later that day Sister Hirschi taught and I asked if she had our name tags and if I could just read it. But then she was like yeah and I'll give them to you! Our whole district got really excited, we didn't expect her to have them on her! She had apparently been carrying them around in her back pack for two weeks. I think the real reason she gave them to us was because she wanted that space back in her back pack. Ha ha
Elder Covey is down the hall from me learning Malagasy. I had him bare his testimony a few nights ago and his language is coming along great. Speaking of the Coveys... Why weren't they at my farewell? You should have heard them when they were trek ma and pa and they were preaching about how as a trek family we needed to go and support each other in things like farewells. Oh well. Ha ha
And the Lao speaking Elders are leaving this week to Sacramento. There are only two of them but they were our zone leaders so it'll be sad to have them go. And because they are leaving, we had to get new zone leaders. Elder Curtis and Elder Hinckson... Ha ha
The Sunday night devotional was given by T. C. Christensen who makes a lot of church movies. He showed some clips for 17 miracles and gave some good advice like the importance of keeping a journal.
Last night I dreamed in Thai and Lao! It was so exciting! Everyone in the district was speaking Thai and Sister Zoller and I were speaking Lao (which probably means it was just mumble jumbo because I don't know Lao). But I think that is because during the devotional last night I was learning the Lao alphabet from the Elders that are leaving this week. Ha ha But first time with a Thai dream!!! :)
Also, thanks Hall family for the letter! Hopefully I will make it to your house one day! I think I am the only relative who hasn't seen it yet. Love you guys!
And I love you all! I hope you have had a good week!

Love, Sister Nethercott

I believe this says Sister Nethercott  :)

My new comp Sister Zoller & I with our Thai nametags!
Me & Sister Brown
Sister Herrmann and i playing our favorite gym game Khuub

On Wednesday we wear pink!
(I don't know why, I'll have to ask)

Monday, July 14, 2014

"kick it towards the gigglies." week #6

Well it was week six at the MTC. And well after six weeks there isn't really anything new to write about... I'll try my best to come up with something. Ha ha
The Tuesday devotional was pretty cool. I know it was an answer to prayers for certain people within the district. Elder Neil L. Anderson spoke about feeling the spirit. He mentioned that we all receive different spiritual gifts. That we don't have to have them all. We just have to work on magnifying the gift that we have been given. He said, "you can be you and that is sufficient." He talked about the spirit and revelation and says that it is something that grows within you. Sometimes I think we all assume that we have to be good at everything and if we aren't trying to be good at everything then we have failed. It was nice having an apostle say that being you is sufficient. 
On Wednesday our district hosted again. It was funny because everyone was complaining about the heat and I kept saying to convince yourself this is cold because its gonna be a whole lot worse than this in Thailand. So when we walked up to class and everyone was sweating they asked our teachers if this was considered hot in Thailand. They said the temperature that it was outside would be considered a good day. Ha ha I'm just glad I wasn't really hot. Hopefully that luck stays with me in Thailand... Doubtful. But then our teachers were talking about the rainy season and how it is even really hot then. They said it gets really hot and when it rains you feel just okay because your still so hot. Ha ha That's something to look forward to... I guess.
When we hosted there were 650 new missionaries arriving. Mom, you asked a couple weeks ago if it was crowded. Well it is now. Ha ha There are all these English speakers that have invaded our floor and now we can never find a room to teach the investigators. There are always people around and Sister Brown and I had a companion inventory in a broom closet! Ha ha The only things that made it worth walking up the the 5th floor everyday is that we had space, pretty much the whole floor to us and the Cambodes and a few Portuguese. Speaking of the Cambodes they leave this week! Along with the Viets. So our zone will shrink for about five seconds before all the new Thais get here! They are splitting them up into 2 districts and they will be in two separate buildings from us (7 & 10). They will probably hog all the teachers which we aren't too happy about but we will try to love them anyway. They get brother Shipley and sister Stolworthy. They are gonna have so much fun with them as their teachers. We love them a lot. There are 20 new Thais coming in so our district gets to stay the special huge district! Ha ha
Do all the mom's think we are best friends with Elder Visser? I think the mom's tend to think that the mothers they talk to most are the missionaries that talk the most. Ha ha you all send us updates about him. Sister Brown even got his weekly email in her package. Ha ha Its nice to hear he is adjusting so well... But its pretty funny. (The mom of an Elder that just went to Thailand from their district last week shared his first letter in Thailand with us other moms. We were so excited and thought our daughters would be too! haha)
Saturday we played district kickball against the Cambodes/ a few Viets. It was pretty fun! The Cambodes seemed to take it pretty seriously and us Thais were just laughing and having a good time. I was standing by the line to kick for the Cambodes and I heard them say, "kick it towards the gigglies." Ha ha I like that our district can have such a good time with everything. 
Last night we got to walk to the Marriott center because they are doing construction in the gym. That was pretty fun! We got to go into the real world a bit farther than the temple. Richard I Heaton spoke about teaching with the spirit. Hey dad, do you know him? He's a Japan guy. Ha ha
Well I love you all and I hope you have had an awesome week!

Love, Sister Nethercott

Our District with the Thais, Cambodes, & Viets

Hermana Ferro? She is the companion of the sister from Thailand. She is from Peru. So she always speaks spanish to sister Zoller and I. She is super cute.
Our group +1
Sister Zoller, Herman, Brown and me. My roomies! 

Looks like they're studying hard- Sister Brown & Nethercott

Monday, July 7, 2014

We have passed our month mark! Week 5

We have passed our month mark! And what a way to celebrate with ice cream bars and fireworks... Oh wait that was supposed to be celebrating for the 4th of July. But we only have one more month to go here at the MTC!
Monday, was pday as usual. The temple was closed so unfortunately we weren't able to go for our regular pday activity. However, class that night was really good. Since being at the MTC we have seen clips and recordings of previous devotionals Elder Bednar has given. He really knows how to speak directly to missionaries. When he speaks, he knows what to say and how to say it. I always feel so impacted by the things he teaches. So for class on Monday, we watched a clip from a devotional Elder Bednar gave about promptings from the Holy Ghost. He was saying that most promptings aren't even recognized as an important prompting from the spirit. You don't always feel that burning or see visions of what you need to do. As long as you are trying your best to be a good boy or girl and act on the good thoughts you have, that is you acting on spiritual promptings. He told a story from his mission in which he had the thought President Packer might need money in case he got hungry on the train in Germany. That money ended up saving him and his wife from a lot of trouble when crossing through Eastern Germany with an extended passport. If Elder Bednar wouldn't have acted on that prompting of, "oh they might be hungry and want to buy some food," they would have not made it through the crossing of borders and would have been kicked off the train. With that money they were able to do what I think he called spiritual bargaining and paid the guard off. All he thought was they might be hungry, but the Lord knew what they needed the money for. He made sure to tell one of his righteous servants to give money to them, even though he didn't know why he was doing it. We don't always have to know the why as long as we are acting on the good thoughts we are having.

Tuesday was pretty uneventful except the devotional. Lowell M. Snow, a former member from the quorum of the seventy spoke. I think he actually said that he was from Draper. Anyway, he spoke about being converted. That it is not enough to just be converted to the church, but that you have to be converted to the Lord.

Wednesday we got to host the new missionaries! That was uh, interesting. Ha ha It was pretty hot that day so we all got a bit sweaty. Oh and our whole district was wearing pink, because on Wednesdays we wear pink. And if you aren't, you can't sit with us... And actually we couldn't find Sister Pitts or Sister Alley at dinner (and they weren't wearing pink). Sorry, back to hosting. I saw the Days. The ones in our ward I don't know really well. Their son is going to Korea. So they snatched a pic that might be coming your way. I kinda promised I would make sure that Elder Day was doing alright, but I haven't seen him since dinner that night... I'm sure he is great though! Girls have such heavy suitcases! Really the Elders should host the Sisters and the Sisters should host the Elders. If only we didn't have to show them to their rooms. But my forearm muscle, you can honestly feel the difference! Ha ha
Thursday was not too eventful... When Sister Brown and I taught our "investigator" Naang this week, well we taught him about baptism. Ha ha And as a district, we are trying to keep our lessons to the time limit. Well we were running short on time so we gave him the baptismal invitation and he responded by saying I don't know enough to be baptized. So I told him that we would teach him and help him prepare. I asked him to pray this week before our next lesson and ask Heavenly Father if he wanted him to be baptized. He said he would, but Sister Brown didn't understand exactly what I told him to do so she thought he said he would be baptized. So she got all excited and told him, "Sidta mii kwamsug khun yaag rab baptidsama mag mag mag!" Which translates to something like, "I am so so so so happy you want to be baptized!" He just looked a little confused and I thought maybe I didn't understand her Thai. But after we got out and talked about, well she thought he said yes I will be baptized. Ha ha I'm sure next lesson we can get him to commit and then she can really express her joy. But that's why teaching in Thai is so fun, because you get to have all those fun misunderstandings.

Friday was a good day! Oh I am going to start with gym. :) Sister Herrmann really likes the 4th of July. Ha ha she was dressed in red white and blue and waving flags... for gym. Ha ha But we played this really cool game called Kuu? Something like that anyway. You get to throw wooden sticks at wooden blocks to knock them down. Sister Herrmann and I were a team against some other Sisters and we won! Ha ha Anyway, for the 4th of July most of our district (pretty much everyone but Sister Peck) wore red white and blue. So that was fun. Oh and Elder Williams was throwing a fit all day because he is from Australia. He told me there is only one other country who loves themselves more than we do, and its New Zealand. Ha ha But they had a special devotional that night. When we walked in, it was funny because they had up on the projector screens a slide that said, "Elders can take off their suit coats, or not, its a free country." And then they had some musical numbers and a talk about how the atonement is what really allows us to be free. After we watched 17 Miracles. I felt bad because I can't prevent myself from laughing when Savannah Lewis' character dies, there are just too many inside jokes about it in the 5th ward young womens. I can't take it seriously. But after the movie the MTC President announced "Sister Carrie Underwood" had just finished singing. (Ha ha, Sister...) That we could all go out and get a dove ice cream bar and if we stand at the edge of the gate we can watch the fireworks! So we got to watch the fireworks from the stadium of fire. The view from the MTC isn't half bad. I really love fireworks. It was weird because when he made the announcement it was 10:15 and my body was tired and ready to be in bed. Ha ha even though I can't fall asleep on time or early my body still can't handle being out past 10:30.
Saturday came and we were all exhausted from being out late for the 4th. So that was probably fun for our teachers. Ha ha We had TRC again and Sister Brown and I were able to teach 2 girls that were actual converts from Thailand! They spoke really fast but through the spirit we were able to understand nearly everything they said.

Sunday we had Josh Wright give the devotional. He is a really good pianist. He mostly just played but between each song he gave a couple sentences of good advice and a story. The song I liked best that he played was the clair de lune blended with How Great Thou Art. It was beautiful.

Funny quote of the week, well it needs a bit of background information. In the devotional on Tuesday, Elder Snow mentioned the only thing he remembered learning from his 5 day stay at the mission home was that he needed to use a shoe horn everyday so he wouldn't get blisters on his fingers. He was going to Germany and that is the only thing he got out of it... Anyway, Tuesday nights we have district devotional review. Sister Mamea asked what a shoe horn was. Elder Luker wins for funniest quote of the week (hopefully its still funny if you weren't there...), "You know those guys at the airport directing the planes with those sticks? That's what a shoe horn does for your foot."

Today we cleaned the temple. It was really cool. We got to help clean the chandeliers which they only do once a year. And only a few districts get to do it so it was a very rare opportunity. So really we only cleaned a couple of the chandeliers from the sealing rooms and moved a lot of chairs. And then we spied on the guys carving the carpet in the celestial room for about a minute. Its crazy how much they do to the temple when they clean it. They completely redo a bunch of the carpet and stuff. I wish them luck to finishing before they reopen next Monday!

Also, Sister Zoller wanted me to let you know, I let her borrow some digestzen and it worked! She said she is super grateful!
Also thanks Grandma for the letter! It sounds like you are having an eventful summer so far! Ha ha Happy anniversary to you and grandpa! Love you guys!
Well I love you all and now I am off to go clean the temple!

-Sister Nethercott

My birth country's flag!

Sister Brown's shot

Showing off our bandaids from our shots

Just hangin' out

Stadium of Fire fireworks