Hey there Dad!
Boy do I miss you guys a ton! It wouldn't be right if I didn't miss you guys though! I'm sitting here tearing up as I read your emails, but I'll get through it soon! Just don't break down when I send you guys emails, right? That is what I don't want!
The first day of the MTC was a blur! I can't believe all the stuff that went on! Go to hallways, round the corner, this and that, this and that! I would try to upload pictures, but I don't think that I can! It's not working out for me! I found out that devotionals really aren't my thing. Boring, long talks. Maybe a General Authority might be more engaging? Mai ruu (Don't know in Thai :D) but so far it has been great! The name tag is cool! I have two, and then once I get closer to leaving into the mission field, I'll get another set in all pasaa thai axon (Thai script)! The name tag already looks crazy! It will be good though!
I like my companion well enough! He's not crazy (too) like my district, and he understands where I'm coming from when we leave the classroom to focus on preparing for our lesson with our (pretend) investigator!
My district is completely crazy, for better or for worse. These last couple days my companion and I (I'm senior by the way, for right now) have had to step out of the classroom because they were being loud, not using their time efficiently, and not preparing nor wholly acting like, as I feel, should be missionaries. But its not my problem to try and fix, right? I'm not worried about being distracted, but I am concerned if they are going to be effective missionaries if they keep wasting time. It takes a long time to rian (learn) a language! Thai of all things as well! Oh well. I also have a slight discomfort with the district leader. He acts as a captain, rather than a leader, if you kind of get my feel. Not leading by example, but giving out orders. Very opinionated too, argues over the littlest things, for no reason or merit. Mai ruu, oh well though! I'll just keep my head down, and interact in class with the teacher!
Learning Thai has been so much fun though! I love it, and even though they having us just learning Thai in romanized script, its still a lot of fun! I just hope they remove this crutch from us soon! I've been studying vocabulary night and day, learning all I can from my teachers, and our PhiiThais! (Older Thai district who has been here for 6 weeks). I love all of them, they all just seem like so much fun, and happy, but my district I just feel is kind of... meh. I don't know! But they're all great! Our current ZLs are also our PhiiThais! Elder Feller and Elder Miyagi! The sister missionaries are also a great help as well! Elder Bair (he's half Thai too) is a really great help. I feel like I can really communicate with him well, he just kind of understands!
They had us start teaching an investigator on our first day too! That was rough. Scripted and that whole bit. Second went better! We actually could express who Heavenly Father and Jesus were, and in relation to him, and why we love him, and all that! The investigators name is Phii (Phii is a title) Manad! By the way, there are no tones in my writing, so just be aware, they're not all flat tones...
I finally got some hangars from the Dry Cleaning people (because they give hangars for free :)) They were really nice about it too! I don't particularly want to buy things with the cash I have right now... they give us $6 every week to buy stuff, and it rolls over week to week! They don't have hangars already for us in our rooms... We have to buy them! But I didn't because our PhiiThais and other Zone members are telling us all the tips and secrets of the MTC! Its so much fun to hear these things from! There also this really cool Elder, whose name is Elder Mitchell, and he's going to Cambodia! But the best part is that he's from the U.K.! the accent and the whole bit, and he's super fun and super nice!
I have played volleyball! The missionaries I play with are not really all that great... but its fun! We also played Intra-Zone soccer on out first exercise time! Young District v. Old! It was fun, I was goalie. We lost 5-2, but still fun!
Oh, can you and Mom send me sandals? Community Bathroom after all! Maybe hangars too, but I think I'll just pick some up later!
Anyways, I love you guys so much! I miss you guys, and I get home sick from time to time, but that's ok! It doesn't interfere with my learning, and only happens in passing, from time to time! But I do miss you guys a lot! Just keep moving forward, don't think too hard, and I'll be home in no time! I love you, and I miss you a lot! Hope you are doing ok at work Dad, and that you're doing just fine!
With much love,
- Elder Collin Decker
Thailand, Bangkok Mission