Sunday, August 21, 2016

First Letters from the Missionary Training Center

August 4, 2016

Hey Everyone:

Just finished my first (full) day at the MTC. Language classes are hard but it is exciting to learn a new language, even if it seems overwhelming at first. The days here feel longer than most and seem to stretch on forever, but hopefully that changes soon. I found out that I am going to be in the MTC for 9 weeks! (It used to be 12 for Mandarin and Thai speaking missionaries, but it was changed sometime in the previous years). Classes are kind of boring right now, and I don't really like travelling with a companion at all times, which isn't his fault. Elder King is a cool guy but I like to have some time alone to myself. I have learned a lot in the Thai language today, and tomorrow I will be teaching my first "investigator" tomorrow... in Thai, so that should be interesting.

Hope the family hasn't fallen apart while I'm gone, see you in 829 days,

Elder Latimer (the third one)

August 9, 2016

Hey Everyone:

Yeah things are pretty busy over here. Teaching the investigators is weird because I can't really speak Thai yet and everything we say comes out of the English to Thai lesson book, and sounds very broken. It doesn't bother me too much though because I have been told by other missionaries that all of the language investigators are already members of the church, or go to BYU, so they already know a decent amount about the church.

I think my companion is from Utah but I am not sure from where, I haven't really asked, and from what I've heard from my teachers, the days get faster the more you learn the language because you'll spend less time cramming down words and meaning, and more time actually practicing what you've learned. The P-Thais (the group of Thai speakers 5 weeks ahead of us) speak it pretty well so at 6 weeks in. It's comforting to know that I should be able to do the same. On my schedule it says that my P-Day is every Tuesday, but I think that it may be subject to change, so I'll know for sure if it is going to be consistent in the next 2 weeks.

All the best

Elder Latimer

August 16, 2016

Hey Everyone, 

Learning Thai is moving slowly, but I'm making progress. We have just started learning script and have been told that we should be able to read the Book of Mormon and the Bible in Thai, towards the end of our stay in the MTC. I've already asked Mom if she could get me a Thai bible, so that I can challenge myself to start reading Thai script. I'd buy one here, but the Church can't sell them since they have been manufactured by the Thai Bible Society in Thailand. I'm hoping that about halfway through my stay in Thailand, I'll get transferred to Laos so that I could learn both Thai and Laotian, which I've heard is easy, since both languages are very similar. And then when I get back I might try to learn Cambodian since the language is also very similar! Once I get to college, I may try to pick up Mandarin, simply because the language sounds super cool, and I'm jealous to hear all the people from Taiwan speak it.

Time moves slow in the MTC, but it's probably for the best since I'll need all the time in the world to learn Thai before I leave to Thailand!

I've heard about Jake and sent him an email. Hopefully he gets betters, and I'm glad to hear that Josh and Lettie are doing well. 

Our district is not too big, there's about 16 of us between the two new Thai districts, and once the Older Thai group leaves, we'll be even smaller. But it's all good because at least I don't have to worry about learning a bunch of names.

I think I'll stay with that scripture for my plaque. I like it well enough. And on a side note, I found my recommend, it was tucked away in one of my suit pockets along with some old receipts.

There's not really anything interesting going on in the MTC, but if something interesting does happen, I'll be sure to email you. I should get a lot of interesting stories once I get to Thailand though!

Best of wishes,

Elder Latimer

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