Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lingo Tatlo, Check!‏

Mga Kaaway (enemies) 

Kamusta mga kaibigan at pamilya ninyo! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your summer! Here are some of the random happenings of the week. We sang some Christmas hymns in Tagalog to celebrate Christmas in July, it was awesome. We got to be in a panoramic picture of all of the missionaries here, it's one of only 3 ever taken. So now my face will forever be remembered here at the MTC. Lucky missionaries! ;) Carol Mikita, the channel 5 news lady was our Relief Society speaker. Was your Relief Society meeting that cool? Probably not. Unless you're in the West Lake ward. We played Jeopardy in class and we couldn't decided on a name, so we compromised: Dalawang Kaibigan at Isang Ipis, meaning 2 friends and a cockroach. Sister Smith wanted to be the cockroach. And it must've been good luck because our Elders had no chance of beating us, we won by like a million points... Despite being champions, my Tagalog level might actually be decreasing simply because my brain is very close to exploding. We've had to learn UM verbs, IN verbs, I verbs, MAG verbs, AN verbs, and Psuedo verbs and all the conjugations for all of them and sentence structure and linkers which are like Sa, Ng, Na, Si, and Ni and quite frankly I want to find whoever thought it was a good idea to throw a bunch of letters together, make a bunch of dumb rules to go along with them, and call it a language and have a little chat. Just to give you a better idea of what it's like "Yata" means "I think so, but I'm not sure," but "bagyong makulog at makidlat" means "thunderstorm." We've had a few little breakdowns this week, Elders included. It's hard, it really is. But it's okay because we have each other, great teachers, amazing families, and the Lord on our side. Kaya namin iyan! (We can do it!) Also all the sisters in our zone are sick. It's like the plague, almost everyone has had it except us. So we've been overdosing on Emergen-C all week. But I think it's got me anyway. I'm not feeling so hot today. Luckily the witch doctor is my kasama! Sister Smith does foot zoning and has a pharmacy in her bag so all week we've had all the sick girls come have her rub their feet and then she'd give them some medicine and tell them to go lay down or something. She's become known as Mama Smith. I didn't believe in her magic, but I had a headache during class (because my brain was exploding) and she rubbed some pressure points on my hand or something and my headache magically disappeared! And finally, Brother Pearce taught us a tongue twister in Tagalog. Are you ready for this??? Probably not but oh well. Patong-patong and pitumputpitong puting pating! It doesn't really make any sense though, it means 77 white sharks stacked on top of each other. But no one else knows that!

Quick shout-out to my best friend, Hermana Avery Veater! She's going to the Mexico, Mexico City South Mission and guess what, I GUESSED IT RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! So do I, like, get a prize or something> ;) And it even started with an M. Thanks for making all my dreams come true Ave. You are going to be an absolutely amazing missionary! I know because you've been an amazing missionary in my life and the lives of so many others. The people in Mexico are being prepared for you and you are going to be such a blessing in their lives. Know that it's going to be so hard, but know that it's also going to be so much fun and you'll learn so much. And of course, it'll be so worth it. I am so, so, so proud of you and I love you more than the universe! P.S. We only have 21 more Fast Sundays until we are reunited!

Allow me to brag some more about my wonderful district. If it wasn't for our Elders, we would be in the loony bin by now. They provide all the comic relief we need and then some! Laughter really is the best medicine, even for crazy. Even though they're always messing around and we hardly ever can tell when they're serious, they all have this side to them that just makes me love them. We're seriously like a family and I'm gonna miss them when we're not together in a couple of weeks. (Yeah. A couple of weeks. I'll be in the Philippines in a COUPLE OF WEEKS! AHHH!) Last Sunday, Elder Richards and Elder Adamson taught us about the Atonement. That's an emotional subject anyway, but with those two all of the sisters were bawling. They shared experiences from their lives that made me respect them all the more and realize that we all have our own trials. Everyone goes through hard things. Sometimes it's things that are beyond our control, sometimes our trials are self-inflicted. But because we have the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can get through anything. He knows how we feel in every situation and He knows how to "succor us perfectly." (Alma 7:11-13) This week I was reminded just how thankful I am for the atonement in my life and how thankful I am that though I can't do this alone, I can do it through Christ who strengthens me. I think District Meetings are my favorite part of the week :) More for you to love about Elder Richards, our Elders told us a couple nights ago they were all laying in bed and out of the blue Elder Richards said "There's just no way this church isn't true. This church is true. IT'S JUST SO TRUE!" Haha he's our 6'7" adorable Elder. On another note, in TALL one day there was a Sister from England in the lab and as soon as she said something, Elder Milligan says "No way! Is that your real voice?! That can't be your real voice." It was a Mean Girls moment where I was all like "Oh my gosh, you can't just ask people if that's their real voice!" Then Elder Adamson walks in and acts like he didn't hear what she said. 5 times. Until we made him sit down. They then proceeded to stare at her for the majority of TALL. Somedays our Elders are more like our children. But somedays, like last night, they are far from it. Last night I was just overwhelmed and exhausted. I was homesick. I was discouraged. Tagalog is hard. I'd wanted to learn Spanish and one by one my friends were getting called Spanish speaking. Missions are hard. And it's hard to keep working so hard ALL the time for 18 months. So I asked for a blessing. Oh how grateful I am that I can just ask and I know that in a few minutes their will be the hands of 6 of God's servants on my head. I am so grateful for the Priesthood! I had Elder Adamson give the blessing, it was only his second one ever. And the things he said were EXACTLY what I needed to hear. He told me that I was where I needed to be, he blessed me with peace and comfort and the ability to learn the difficult language, he blessed me to know my family was well and praying for me, and it was just perfect. Absolutely perfect. I know with all my heart I am where I'm supposed to be, I'm going where I'm supposed to go, and I can do whatever the Lord needs me to do.

Our investigators are still not progressing, but they are becoming more receptive. When we planned for Del this week, we were totally inspired. We went in a completely different direction but for the first time in our lessons with him we really felt the spirit and we know he did too. Brother Pearce found us afterwards and told us he didn't know what we'd done differently, but that it was noticeable and it was exactly what we needed to do. We found out his wife doesn't like us teaching him because all her kids are Mormon now and she's Catholic so she doesn't want to be the only one. And Del doesn't want to hurt his marriage. So that's a difficult situation for us because he has to keep commitments, he has to read the BOM and pray about it, but he won't. He said he'd try to this week so we'll see. But I really think he started to recognize the need for the BOM and a living prophet this week. With Teresa, we're taking her to church tomorrow! But not really since it's just Sis. Osborn, but that's good. Her lessons went so much better this week as well. It's so crazy to think that in 3 weeks we can teach lessons in Tagolog! We can answer people's questions and it's just amazing!

Spiritual thought of the week. So this week at choir practice, Brother Eggett talked about Abraham 3:22-23. He told us that we ARE the noble and great ones. If in the premortal life we filled up every seat in the Marriott Center and Lavelle Edwards Stadium, only one of us would be chosen to come to earth at this time. Only one of us would have been chosen to come to earth and be a teenager serving a mission right now. We were foreordained. And if the billions of other people who weren't chosen to live on the earth right now were watching, what would they say? Would they say "There's our girl! Everyone else is doing this, but she's over there reading her scriptures. She's over there saying a prayer. She's on a mission." Then a couple days later I read my patriarchal blessing and I got this overwhelming feeling that Heavenly Father has great things in store for me! There may be trials in my life that I don't think I can handle, but He knows that I can. He does not see who I am now, but who I will become. He sees my divine potential. And then that same day, I got a letter from Carmen Skidmore. It had this quote written in it: "When in situations of stress, we wonder if there is anymore in us to give, we can be comforted to know that God, who knows our capabilities perfectly, placed us here to succeed. No one was foreordained to fail or to be wicked. When we have been weighed and found wanting, let us remember that we were measured before and were equal to our tasks, and therefore, let us continue but with a more determined discipleship." -Neal A. Maxwell So basically, I can do it. I was meant for this. I was meant to do great things and so were you.

Future Missionary Advice:
  • Read PMG. ALL of it. Time is a very precious resource here at the MTC and you won't have time. Read the chapters on the BOM and Finding People and Learning Your Language. There's some great stuff in there and I wish I had more time to read it so I could better make use of my time here at the MTC.  
  • Make lesson plans. I'll give you an outline when I have more time.
And finally, our quotes of the week:
"I have fat kid handwriting!" - Sister Smith
"Whatever floats the Lord's boat." - Sister Kerr
"He can hurt us, but we can squash his head." - Elder Shaw

Mahal Kita!
Sister Brown

....Pero mga kaibigan (But still friends)

Elder Adamson and Elder Richards having a tough time during TALL :)
And then the -in- verbs got to Sister Smith... ;)
The room! It's kinda messy because Sis. Carr is leaving Monday :(

And Sis. Smith...

Sis Kerr, Sis Hardy, Sis Kunz, Sis Smith, me, Sis Parker, Sis Spjut

Sis Brown, Sis Smith & Sis  Kerr...beautiful girls...beautiful flowers

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