Magandan Umaga Pamilya!!!!
So apparently, I write really detailed...i'm sorry if I give you so much detail, I can't help it...if it's too much...let me know :) I get teased here too because we only get 30 min to write back to everyone so that doesn't leave me much time to type my big post...but luckily I type really fast...and everyone just teases me a lot :) It's cool...I can take it! Basta!
To answer your questions Mom: The Red star that Pres. Stott had by my name...not sure which thing you're talkin about. There was a red dot the "dork dot" on my name tag for the first 3 days I got here to show that I was new. And then when i went into my interview with him he had a star by my name because he needed to ask me about my background. Because I had a unique story, and got special permission to be there. Thats what that was regarding! haha I believe I have received all of your packages that you have sent and THANK YOU SOO MUCH!!! I can't even tell you how lucky/ grateful I am to have such an amazing family back home that takes care of me! Thank you! That is way too crazy that you saw Jenny Powell at the post office! haha Yeah...her son, Elder Powell just took off to the Philippines this week. He is going to be a fantastic missionary! No doubt about it, especially knowing his amazing family!
This week was such an amazing week. Definately the best week I've had yet in the mission field. Well, at the MTC! haha :) Um...we had that companion switch and so Sis. Morton is now my companion. It was my first week I was able to have a real companionship inventory and actually plan and teach lessons with a companion! It was fantastic...I now understand why they give you a companion and you don't just fly solo! :)
Mom...first of all I thought of you several times this week. I noticed that they have an Emergency Prep plan of evacuation at our dorms...I thought you'd be happy about that. And then, oddly enough, that same day we had a fire drill and they took us out of our classes. We didn't know if it was real or fake...but it was great! And I saw some cute ladies dressed in their CERT training outfits and totally thought of you, and how you'd be so proud about all of their safety guidelines and emergency prep work that goes into the MTC! haha
I have been deathly ill this week...ok so not deathly ill...but really sick. I caught what I thought was a cold, and then it completely took my voice away my throat was killing me. My voice has been gone for the past 3 days, and finally it is returning again! :) For some reason though, I had to teach like 5 investigator discussions in the last 3 days, and I have been able to talk at all of them. Not very well, but able to at least! It was great, because when I got sick I was able to receive a blessing from the Elders in my new district. I love, love, LOVE them! They are so sweet and cute and just awesome Elders. It was so powerful to have all 8 of them stand around me in a circle and give me a blessing. It was awesome...so proud of them!
MY DISTRICT IS OFFICIALLY THE OLDEST DISTRICT IN MY ZONE NOW!!!!!!! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO crazy!!! The Older district, and our mentors all left this week to the Philippines! They left multiple days, but they're all there now and it's crazy to think about them! On sunday it was awesome because they all got up and sung "Called to Serve". They started out singing in English, and finished singing in Tagalog! There were lots of tears of happiness, excitement, nerves, and love that day! And lots of hugs too!! The spirit was so strong when they were singing. To look up there and see all of these amazing people that don't know what quite to expect, but are so willing to go out and serve the Lord. It was such a sight to behold!
This week is our 4th week here, and on Monday that starts our 5th week according to the MTC schedule! It is crazy to think I am about half way done with my MTC time. It has flown by...not gonna lie, the first week or so was pretty rough....but lately it has been soo fast! Now that we are the oldest DISTRICT, we got a new district added to our zone. They came in on Wed. I just prayed soo hard for them before they came, and even after I still do, because I remember how rough it was for me! I actually know a girl from high school that is now in our zone, her name is Danielle Tamang. Also there is another sister going to the philippines, in a different zone but her name is Laura Schummway (probably spelled her last name wrong) but both sisters are great, soo nervous right now, but they'll do great! Also I see random people here ALL the time that I know. It's awesome!
Elder Scott was our visiting General Authority this tuesday for our devotional! It was soo wonderful. I just love him! He is soo sweet. He gave such a great talk and really got everyone pumped up about being missionaries, and the power that the room holds from all of us sitting in it. Something he did promise us was that we would find our eternal companion and would be blessed for serving. I just got in there and I told the elders, whenever you here Elder Scott talk about his sweet wife, it is soo tender and he is so cute, that is a man who you oughta be takin advice from! :)
When we were sitting in the Cafeteria I got to meet a cute older couple sitting next to us. They are getting ready to go on a mission to the Philippines together. They both served seperately there many years ago. I just thought, that is what I want some day. It really is! That is so sweet, and they're so happy and they're going to do a lot of good. That same day, I walked out and I saw another senior missionary couple and they had their little girl with them that had down syndrome. I thought of Kenna & Brad. Some day that will be them, and it is going to be soo great! All 3 of them wearing their name tags!
This week, I found my drive for missionary work. Truly I did. Um...we have this brother that I can't remember if I've told you about him or not, but Bro. Ward- one of the teachers here- he isn't really my teacher, but he wanders and helps people when they need it. He came by to see how Sis. Morton and I were doing and he saw this huge lesson plan sitting on my desk. he just asked what the heck it was? haha He's like wow, you've got every word you're gonna say written out. I just told him well yeah, because if it's not written out, I can't say it because I can't speak that well yet. He just took it from us and told us, yes you can. So...we went and taught without it. It went great! Later on, he just talked to us about being a cookie cutter missionary. Seriously, the spirit was SO strong when he was talking to me. I had the best feeling in the world. Because that's why I'm here. He told me that the Lord has been preparing me. That I have gone through my experiences, and trials and my life for a reason. Everything that I have experienced, whether in relationships, or with anything, all of that can be applied to my mission. He said the rest is set. He said your companions, your mission pres, the people you'll teach. All of that has been set already. It's like it's already happened. There are people out there who need to hear something specifically from me, and I'm going to be there to do it. I just have to work my hardest now to be able to do that. He told me never to try and be a cookie cutter missionary. Be myself. Teach unique to me. When I talk to people, I don't have to try and give them the "correct answer" because there is no such thing. Use my knowledge, my experiences to benefit them. That's what I'm supposed to be doing, and that is what I am going to do. But he also stressed you HAVE to get to know them and connect. You have to care for them because people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
I now have firm testimony of this. My lessons and discussions go sooo much better when I don't just think ok I'll teach them about the restoration first, then plan of salvation, then the commandments...and so on. My purpose is to get to know them and help themn come unto Christ. I do that, but finding out who they are, and what they need. I can't help them until I know that! I just can't. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. Do you know how much responsibilty that carries? Psh...I do now! My responsibilty is to share with them and help them just as Christ would if he were here to do that.
Bro. Ward then gave us a homework assignment to watch Elder Hollands 2009 conference talk called: Safety for the Soul. EVERYONE should read this talk! The testimony that Elder Holland bears about the Book of Mormon is soo powerful, and so undeniable. Actually Mom..do you think you could possibly print it out and send it to me?! thanks much...i love you :)
I know that this church is true. I know that people are being prepared every day to find the Gospel. I know that God loves us so much, and that all he wants is for us to be at peace and have happiness. I know that I am doing his work, and there is nothing greater I could ever do in my life than serve him. I have seen his power and influence in my life, and he is teaching me more and more every day. I love this church, I love it's leaders. I love my family and I am so blessed to be able to spend eternity with them. That in itself holds such great happiness and power! I am soo grateful for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the power of prayer. I am soo grateful for the people here at the MTC, and for the people I am going to be meeting soon in the philippines. I do not know them yet, but I love them.
I love all of you..sorry again for another long post :)
Mahal Kita & Bahala Na!
|L to R:|
Sister Blake, Sister Morton, Sister Tamang, Sister Allen
|So all the Elders think I'm pretty cool cuz we all try & turn our cups upside down! This is a poor example because it spilled a little bit, but I wanted you to see an activity we do every meal pretty much!|