Hey there Dad!
This week has been good! Sounds like its been good for you as well! Pretty exciting! Sounds like good things are happening at home! I also saw the pictures and we finally get snow when I go to a land where snow is in abundance! That makes me pretty sad... Oh well! After this we won't get any snow where I'm going! But it will be good, and all will be ok!
Sounds like football is going ok! Seahawks have their ups and downs, so it will be fine later! We'll do good!
Dang! I was hoping we would do well this year for volleyball! We played pretty good this year, so we still can do better! Oh well, we always have next year, or the year after... But even then, I'll still be in Thailand! That is what is going to be insane! Thailand!
When I first was doing the Skype TRC, I was nervous about language and communicating effectively, especially someone official looking like Prathaan Wisan, who is in the Mission Presidency (Counselor?) and we are certain he knows fluent English. So he probably has a lot of experience with younger missionaries, and thus took a little bit easy on us with the Thai! I even asked our teachers and he said "Yeah, he can speak English fluently!" So that was fun for last week. But this week we had another Skype TRC and then it really hit me that this is what they were going to be speaking, I will be there, and I will be serving. That is what is going to be insane! Another two weeks, and I will be on a flight to Thailand!
Speaking of flights as well, we'll be able to call you then! We also will be able to call you on Christmas! I don't think they'll let us Skype here just because of how many missionaries are here, but we'll see! Chances are, we'll be talking over the phone! I have no idea when, but then you'll also get to hear me after I go on my flight, so that will be great!
We got NoongThais! They're pretty great and they are working hard all the time! However I don't have much time to talk to them besides during breaks because I'm always studying suantua (myself) so I talk to them here and there! I'll be uploading some fun videos we got in the residence, le ruub thii phom ao nay residence duay! (and pictures that I took in the residence as well!) There also is one Elder in the Cambodian district who is from Thailand! I spoke with him and he said my Thai was "gaeng maag!" Skilled apparently? That made me feel happy, but I still have a long ways to go! taa waa, Phom phuud pasaa Thai talood duay! Phom samaad phuud nay pasaa Thai mxa Phom yaag phuud pasaa Thai! (but, I speak Thai all the time as well! I can speak in Thai when I want to speak in Thai) le I personally prefer to speak in Thai and my companion is getting better at understanding! He's doing better as well! But I enjoy talking to the khon Thai and the teachers as well! It is a lot of fun!
Learning the language is getting better! Pretty much for any vocabulary I'm learning it is: A: for our investigators and the vocabulary relevant to the lesson I will be teaching. B: Whatever the Spirit tells me to study. C: Words I'm using to replace my English vocabulary with. One of the hardest parts of being a missionary for me is not overpowering the Spirit by thinking about what I should do, but rather what Heavenly Father and the Spirit direct me to do. It has been very easy for me to "overthink" the Spirit when the Spirit whispers simple things of wisdom. But you must always be searching for them, always be trying to be more sensitive. The blessing I have felt in the last two days alone have been tremendous. Teaching in ways I could have never thought of, things I could have never felt for our investigators. I'm learning a ton here! I hope to learn more! Onward and upward!
All the best wishes to you guys! I'll probably be sending another video today as soon as I take it, and I will be good! I love you guys a ton! Only another 2 weeks before I'm in Thailand! I also had a dream in Thai (cool! But weird too). I know I have been called here for a very specific reason, and that Heavenly Father has a purpose for me far greater than I could ever imagine. The MTC might be tough, but it has helped me grow so much in such a short amount of time! Thai, being able to teach, and most importantly, how to be more Christlike, with faith always written on our hearts. Faith brings miracles, faith moves mountains. Faith will cause Heavenly Father to bring to pass the things which are expedient for us to become closer to him, and more like him, even if we cannot see what is ahead of us, the Iron Rod will guide us if we trust in it with faith.
I've uploaded some pictures now! A video of one of my roommates where we got nearly our entire zone in one room! Real fun there!
Not really all that nervous about heading out! I'm ready to go head first into it! Ready for Thailand! The Lord will provide a way! He will help me grow how he sees fit!
I love you guys a ton! Phom rag khun! Thank you for all the comfort and support you give me Dad! I'll be sure to keep moving along and learning more and more, for you guys, and for people in Thailand who I already love too! I love you lots, and I'll talk to you soon!
- Elder Collin Decker