Lois and I have entered the world of language immersion. The Church offers a program for Missionaries before they report to the Missionary Training Center to come and get a jump start/leg up on the language skills of the particular country they will serve in. We have been spending half a day each day this week with tutors and volunteers learning the Thai Language. Yesterday we met with a volunteer, Sister Sorge from Wisconsin. She is in the last semester of her Art Degree at BYU. She returned from being a missionary in Thailand about a year and a half ago. It was fun to talk to her and get to know her..... practicing my Thai Language. Today we met with another volunteer Greyson Dixon from Oregon. He has been home from Thailand for 10 months. He is also a Journalism student at BYU and getting married in 21 days. He currently works part time at a Thai restaurant as a server.
I have been meeting with a Tutor and volunteers about 3 times a week an hour each time for the past 9 weeks via Skype. The Skype time is almost like face to face. I have actually progressed very well. My tutor Jordan Ritchie told me today that my reading skills have progressed to the point that it is no longer any value for me to read aloud to him and that I should start reading from the Thai scriptures. You need to understand that I left Thailand in August 1977 over 36 years ago. I had essentially no opportunity to use my rather accomplished Thai Language skills regularly. Other than the occasional Thai person I could find at a Thai Restaurant I spoke no discernible Thai. With that time lapse my reading skills totally evaporated and my Thai speaking vocabulary shrunk dramatically. So it is amazing the way the language has come back to me. The first time I learned Thai is was a combination of my hard work and the blessings of God to be an instrument in his hands for the good of the Thai people. I believe this time it is a blessing from God that is bringing back the remembrance of this beautiful language.