Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Week 3 in the MTC

Josh has officially been in the MTC for 20 days. He is having many great experiences. The greatest thing of all is to hear him say that he loves what he is doing. Here is some of his latest letter -

Hello everybody. Three weeks already down here in the MTC. It has been an awesome experience thus far and I'm excited for the next eight weeks. It's crazy how fast time goes here. I've learned a lot of Thai and I'm actually starting to think in Thai because we use it so much. I can't pray in English anymore. I had to give a prayer in branch council on Sunday and I started praying in Thai. It was funny. The P-Thai's leave in two weeks which is crazy. When they leave we will get our new Thai district and then we will become the P-Thai's. Pretty crazy.

TRC went well. We had to invite about four investigators to read the Book of Mormon and pray and also ask about their families and tell about our own and then set up an appointment to teach them...all in Thai of course. We got to teach them the lesson in English but that will only be like that for the next two weeks. Week five, we have to teach them everything in Thai. That should be interesting. But I'm excited. I'm also getting a lot better at writing script. We have little script cards that help us translate. The more I practice the more familiar I become with the characters. There are certain words that I can just recognize now without even looking at my script card. It's awesome. It just takes tons of practice.

Last Tuesday night Richard G. Scott came and spoke at the devotional. His talk was unbelievable. It seemed like he talked about everything that us missionaries needed to hear. We went early and got like fifth row seats too so that was great. His testimony and power when he speaks is awesome. Everybody was in awe when he got done speaking. I hope we have another awesome speaker tonight. We have a district review every Tuesday after that devotional where we all say what we liked about the talks that night. That is definitely one of my favorite parts of the week. The spirit is so strong in those meetings.

Thank you so much for the Easter package with candy and for the backpack with my hat and the DP and Mountain Dew which is always delicious.

Love you all soooo much!

Elder Zitting

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Our First Letter

Yay! We heard from our missionary. A letter came on Saturday, three days after putting him in the MTC. I can't tell you how exciting it is to go to the mailbox, peek inside hoping there is a letter, thumbing through all the mail and finding junk mail, ad, bill...then seeing the name of Elder Zitting at the top left of an envelope made me scream and run back home to read it with his Dad! We would like to share it with our readers -

"Sawaadis Khrap! (pronounced saw-wha-dee ka) It's crazy I've been here two days! I'm writing this Thursday night. I'm not sure when you guys will get it but so far the MTC has been pretty awesome!

Right after you guys dropped me off and said goodbye we went and got our nametags and all the stuff we needed for yesterday and today. After that we went to our buildings where we are staying for the next 12 weeks! Dropped our stuff off there and then went to meet our companions and stuff in our classrooms where they had our books and all that stuff as well.

My companion is Elder Christensen from Boise! He is awesome. I'm so glad that I got a companion that shares a liking for sports and kind of has the same mindset as me as well. I'm sure there will be a companion eventually that isn't so good but I'm sure it's just all part of the experience.

I've learned alot in just these first two days. Met my teachers. They are Brother Everton and Brother Olsen, they are both probably mid-20's and both went to Thailand on their missions.

I have an awesome district. Most everyone seems to be here for the right reason and I'm excited to work with them. And today, after our Zone Leader Conference, the Branch Presidency called me into their office and it kind of scared me a little bit. So, I'm actually the District Leader for our district. Pretty excited about that. It should be a good opportunity to lead and get involved with this group of Elders.

I've learned a lot of Thai. I've learned how to start and end our prayers. I memorized most of it already but 'm still a little rusty and I have to peek on my card a little bit.

The food so far is great! I like it and I think I will like it the whole time I'm here hopefully. Just like you said Dad, unlimited soda and drinks and all you can eat food is great!

There are a few elders that I know here, which is cool. It's cool to see them and know that they're going through the same thing you are.

I have seen Sister Hope and Sister Paxman. I saw them today when I got my shots. They took pictures of me and my companion and said they were going to send it to you guys. They said whenever I want on Thursdays I can come and get goodies from them so that's great.My P-day is on Tuesday so I will give you guys an e-mail then and look forward to hearing from you guys. Love you guys so much and please send my love to all the other family as well!!

- Elder Zitting!

Josh being crazy...his way of saying "I'm done taking pictures."

His sister Natalie wrote this about Josh on her blog. It was so cute I had to add a part of it here: "I cannot even begin to explain how proud I am of my little brother for making this decision... He has been so excited to serve and get on with this next phase of his life. He would have gone the day he graduated from high school if he could have. This kid is hilarious. I just need to boast about this young man for a few minutes. He is always making us laugh until we cry. We will definitely miss the funny things he says, how he can switch the letters of words around without even thinking about it (cotally trazy!), and his unbelievable ability to quote movies and assume the appropriate voice for the character. He makes all of our family events more lively and entertaining. He has the most infectious laugh, smile and personality. When you are around him you cannot help but to enjoy yourself and have a good time. He is a man of few words but he makes what he does say count. I know Josh will be able to connect with the people of Thailand no problem and they will love him and he will love them in return."

Friday, April 8, 2011

His First and Second Day

Here he is with his companion, Elder Spencer Christensen from Boise, Idaho.

Our neighbor, Jan Paxman, surprised us with this picture she took of Josh. She is a nurse in the immunization clinic at the MTC. She posted this on facebook. IT MADE OUR DAY!

Another friend, Jolene Hope, took the picture below. I love that he is seeing people he knows. That will make him feel more comfortable and at home. We saw Brother Wright on the sidewalk when we dropped Josh off and he told Josh to be sure and stop in at his office to say hello. Jolene reported that Josh said his first day was good and he slept well. His P-day is on Tuesday so we suppose we won't hear from him until then unless he wrote the first night. Waiting for the first letter is always the hardest.

Our missionary is in the MTC

After a yummy breakfast made by Emily and Andrea we took him to the MTC at1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, 2011. He left his nephews and niece that adore him so much, his other family members, friends, car, cell phone and sports, to go and serve the Lord for two years. I love the faith and commitment of such a young man who would do that.

Ammon had to say goodbye in St. George three days earlier. He is so proud of his younger brother and couldn't be happier that Josh is going to an Asian country. They will have lots to talk about when Josh gets home.

This was the last time that we were all together - Sunday, March 27th - after Josh's farewell.

At the curb we shared hugs and a few tears, kept it real short and sweet and then we had to let him go. I admit the curbside drop off is less painful than the way it used to be.

Who am I kidding? It wasn't an easy thing to leave knowing it will be a very long time before we see each other again...but we did it. We put one foot in front of the other, got in the car and drove away.

And there he is leaving with his escort and fellow missionaries to embark on a new and exciting journey. Isn't he is such a cute missionionary?

The people of Thailand are so lucky.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Temple Day

Josh took out his endowments on March 12th. A great day celebrated by eating at one of Josh's favorites - Texas Roadhouse. Ammon was unable to attend as was Emily and Paul and Andrea and Nic. We were sad about that but it was a great day for all of us.

There were several things about the ceremony that made the experience very sweet. Heavenly Father knows just what we need and blessed us with tender mercies that day through inspired men. On March 26th, Ammon's only weekend to be able to get away from baseball practice at Dixie, we had several special events take place. Nicholas Benjamin Aguirre was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Following the baptism we were able to do endowments at The Salt Lake Temple. Such an incredible temple. It was also momentous because it was Ammon, Josh and Natalie's first time in that temple.

The next day, Sunday the 27th, was Josh's farewell. More about that is coming. It was also his sister Andrea's birthday. We won't mention how old she turned as she's feeling a little depressed about it.

On March 29-30th Josh and Mom took a trip away to visit with Adam and Natalie in Logan. They were so sweet to invite us up and spend some much needed time with Josh before he leaves. We did sealings at the Logan Temple. That was the day Natalie fainted while doing sealings. The Temple Sealer thought she could be pregnant. That started her and Adam. What is it with fainting at the Logan temple for our family? Now Natalie and Grandma have something in common.

On our way home from Logan Josh and I stopped to visit the fam. Everyone in the family has been begging for his time. He's tried to spread himself out as much as he can and see everyone as much as possible. At a time like this we've found every reason we can to celebrate just so we could be together with Josh.

We stopped by to see Emily, Paul, Jonah and Parker -

We also stopped to visit Grandpa and Grandma. Grandpa was in his painting room under the stairs which brought back the memories to Josh about when Grandpa taught him how to paint a picture in that very room. Josh still has it hanging in his room with the ribbon he won for it from the State Fair in 2000. He was eight years old. We had to capture a picture of Josh and Grandpa in the painting room.

Grandma wasn't too happy about having her picture taken in her old sweater. We assured her it looked fine. Afterall, Josh isn't exactly dressed up.

Then we were joined by Andrea, Nic, Nicholas and Gracie-

When The Call Came

We were expecting Josh's mission call to come on January 19, 2011 so when the phone rang at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday January 12th we were surprised to hear the person on the other end of the phone say, "This is the Pleasant Grove Post Office. We have a very important letter here for Joshua Zitting. Would he like to pick it up at the post office this morning or should we deliver it?" Pause...surprise... "Uhh, yes, we would definitely like to pick it up." I ran to tell Josh about the phone call, he quickly dressed, we got Nikki and we were out the door.

Josh went into the post office and knocked on the side door. A woman answered with a white envelope in her hand, passed it to Josh which he checked out quite thoroughly but didn't open it. The postage was $1.56. We had heard that if the call is for a foreign country the postage is more because the booklet is a little bigger (more pages included).

In the car on the way to Nikki's school Josh was just hilarious. We were laughing so hard we cried. The day continued on like that - happy, excited, wondering and guessing where he could be going.

We arranged for Josh's family and friends to meet at our home at 6:00 p.m. that evening for "the opening of the envelope." With everyone either there physically or through skype Josh proceeded to open it. "Dear Elder Zitting, you are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Thailand Bangkok Mission."

The shouts and screams went out. Some were crying, others surprised, but most of all we were happy and grateful. Josh on the otherhand was excited but humbled to the core. A very solemn and serious responsibility but one he is ready to embrace. Bangkok Thailand! No one had guessed that one. His brother Ammon said over skype, "I'm so glad you are going to an Asian country. You are going to love it. I am so proud of you Josh."

A very exciting day! A very excited missionary!

Mission Call Video

This is a video of Josh opening his call.  It is so sweet to see how touched he is.  He is an amazing person, and this fact is reaffirmed anytime Josh opened his mouth.  For anyone who was able to catch glimpses into Josh's heart, you know just how wonderful he is.  His reaction to his call gives everyone one of these glimpses.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The newest Missionary in the Church!

Josh is leaving for the MTC in just a few minutes. We (his family) will keep this blog as an easy way for everyone to stay updated. First order of business would be Josh's addresses, he will be in the MTC for 12 weeks. Send lots of letters and packages to:

Elder Joshua Benjamin Zitting
MTC Mailbox #262
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Until he gets his first assignment in the mission field, his address will be as follows:

Elder Joshua Benjamin Zitting
Thailand Bangkok Mission
50/829-832 Muang Thong Thani
Chaengwatana Road, T. Ban Mai
A. Pakkret
Nonthaburi 11120

We wish him well and know that he will do a great job as a missionary. He has been looking forward to this for a long time and is now ready to embark on a new adventure of preaching the gospel and eating lots of Thai food.