Today is it! The final day at the MTC. In just a few hours I will be leaving this place and traveling to the real mission field. Literally within hours I will be talking to real Thai people about Christ. I don’t feel ready for that! I am gonna need all the help I can get, but I know speaking the language to the real people will help me become skilled extremely fast. I am super excited to finally get out of the place I have been locked up for 2 months. It is gonna be super fun to travel and see the outside world again. A lot of stuff happened here. We taught our final lessons to the investigators, and it was an incredibly sad and heartfelt experience.
As the class days counted down, our teachers started to share their testimonies, and give their final pieces of advice to us. In the dorms we have been winding down, packing, and removing all the decorations from our room. Even though we are so ready to leave, it is sad to see how empty our once crowded rooms are. We went to In-Field Orientation, where they told us everything we need to do, and had a ton of fun activities for us to participate in. We learned a good amount about how we should approach people, and what exactly our mission means. There are 600 missionaries leaving today, going all around the world. Some of them are even going to Georgia, so watch out for them. The new Thais are very sad we are leaving, so we all signed each other’s journals, and shared our email addresses. Even though I only knew them for two weeks, I have become great friends with them. I know they will be amazing, and will serve the Lord with all their hearts.
We have given away all of our pass-downs to them. In the MTC we have a thing called “Pass-Downs” where objects of fun or value are passed down between generations of missionaries. They always have the signatures and missions of their former owners on them. I owned sever pass-downs. I had a seat cushion, a sword, the wigs, and few Nerf guns, and others I cannot name since they are sacred within the MTC walls. To receive a pass-down, you must be selected by the owner, and perform a trial to earn it. The new Thais had to perform the same trials I did, and needless to say; it was quite funny. So y’all remember my companion, Elder Chio? He has a habit of saying funny things at the wrong times, almost every few minutes. Because of this, we have been keeping a book of his quotes called: “ The Book of Chio”. Expect it to be a New-York Time’s best seller when we get home. Our last ever class was very emotional for everyone. We had all the teachers come and take tons of photos with us, and they even ate lunch with us. After all of that we had a testimony meeting, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. They all gave us their emails, and slowly left the campus. We will not see them again for two years. I am so grateful for their guidance and help in this MTC experience. Without them we would not be ready to serve in Thailand. I cannot wait for the reunion, and I cannot wait to meet these amazing people again.
Today I sent out my last packages, the rooms have been cleaned, the books packed, and now the last email is about to be sent. I am truly grateful for the time I have spent here. There have been good times, and there have been bad times. But through it all I am ready to serve. Two months down, 22 more to go. The real mission begins now. I may be scared to go, but no one gained anything by not taking the plunge, the step over the line, the leap of faith. No one gained a witness, or a testimony, by not experiencing. It is time to climb my mountain, and I am at the base.
- Elder Ridings
Last night, one of our Thai Elders “Sagapolu” Got a ton of the Polynesian missionaries together, and performed the hakka for us since we are leaving. It was amazing to watch up close, and was an amazing thing for them to do for us.