Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mahal kita!‏ (Love You!)

Kamusta po kayo? This week I found out some earth shattering news... the minions in Despicable Me 2 AND the ewoks in Star Wars speak Tagalog!!!!! So if you're wondering what I sound like, it's just like what we all thought was a made up language they use in movies. I must be getting pretty comfortable with the language because my companions and I have started shortening the word "pasensiya" meaning I'm sorry or have patience with me, to "pasench." Also I got a package from my mom with tons of treats and adorable headbands (I LOVE headbands!) and I got a bunch of letters from the girls that went to our stake girls camp last week, which was just sobrung mabuti (so good)! THEN I got the calendar my mom made me to count down my mission and keep track of my days because I've seriously been struggling with that, just ask my kasamas. All of these super nice things were much needed this week, because it was kinda rough. Plus I found out Sione tried out for American Idol and I didn't even know about it! ;) We started teaching not 1, but 2 new investigators and there just simple wasn't enough time to plan and memorize and practice our lessons and get everything else done that needed doing. It was just really frustrating to not be able to do as much or as well as I wanted to. Our investigators are Del and Teresa. Del is actually our teacher, Brother Pearce, playing an investigator from his mission. Del is an older guy whose son is a member, but he's very Catholic. He isn't really interested in joining the church and doesn't understand that there is a living prophet on the earth today. We tried to teach him about prophets and in our broken Tagalog we ended up telling him he was the prophet... so yeah. Teresa, who is our other teacher, Sister Osborn, is a 20 year old young woman who is in the US working as a nanny to send money back to her family in the Philippines. She's the oldest of 8 kids and her family is very important to her. She's also Catholic but isn't very active. She's adorable and we've been teaching her about how families can be together forever and about the restoration. She was a little hesitant to pray with us at first, but she agrees to say the prayer at the end of every lesson. I think she's making a lot of progress but we still have a lot to explain and it's really hard to do with our limited Tagalog. We'll be teaching Del and Teresa for the rest of our stay at the MTC unless we drop one of them or baptize one of them.
In all my frustration, I was a little ornery this week. Pasensiya kasamas! I was having a hard time keeping up the amazing relationship we have in our companionship. The exhaustion of going nonstop all the time and the stress of having so much to do and also learning a lot of the hard grammar stuff this week was getting to all of us and planning lessons was a little tense, just because we all have different ideas of how teaching should be done. The biggest thing was that Sister Smith is a go-with-the-flow kind of person and Sister Kerr and I like structure. We like practice and planning. And some of us wanted to just keep it simple and use only words we already knew because of our lack of time and others of us wanted to push ourselves a little more. However, we survived the week and rocked our lessons! Thank goodness for the spirit! Every night we give each other a compliment for the day and I think that really helped too. I'm really blessed to have the kasamas I do :)
Also, Sister Osborn who is also Teresa and Brother Pearce who is also Nico who is also Del, had a little coaching meeting with us Sisters and they both told us they were there to help if we started getting too overwhelmed and that they were really impressed with us and our teaching. So that helped. And also proved that we were Nico's favorites ;)
So last Sunday, our companionship taught our district meeting lesson. It was on faith in Jesus Christ. It was such a simple, short lesson but it was great! Good luck to the Elders that are teaching this week on beating that! Haha joke lang, no competition in the MTC... But anyways, I felt like I should share something with my district at the end of our lesson so I did. I told them that I'd learned part of having faith in Christ is trusting in Him. I told them about how my single mom lost her job just weeks before I came on my mission and how I was angry because things like that shouldn't happen to the families of soon-to-be missionaries. But then I told them how I realized I had to have faith in Heavenly Father's plan, whatever it may be and trust in Him that it would all work out. And I told them how angels came to my door asking how they could help. And then guess what! 2 days later I got a letter from my mom telling me she'd gotten a job!!! A job that paid more, had better benefits, and possibly will give her the opportunity to go back to school and get her degree. The Lord truly does bless the families of missionaries and He NEVER takes something away unless He's got something better in store. I know that with all my heart. I got to tell my district the news and they were seriously more excited about it than I was haha :D
Some of my favorite moments from this week were our role plays. Last Saturday night Sister Osborn demonstrated teaching on Elder Adamson, who was playing some kid named Cameron  who was Christian, 18, and had a lot of LDS friends. Afterwards we evaluated it and Elder Milligan talked about how halfway through we'd all realized that Camerson wasn't just some kid. He was a real person, he was Elder Adamson's friend back at home who he cared about, who may or who may not be receiving the missionary discussions and making the same progress that Elder Adamson pretended to make. And Elder Adamson started to cry. Like really cry. And all I could think of the entire time he was pretending to be Cameron was all the people I could've pretended to be, all of the people I love who don't understand the gospel and how important it is and how much their Heavenly Father loves them. It reminded me of why I'm here. If I'm not the one that can help the people I love understand, then maybe someone else can. And maybe there's someone in the Philippines who is just praying that someone else will be able to help the people they love understand. And maybe that person will be me. 
I loved it because we got to see another side of Elder Adamson. Just so you understand what he's normally like, let me tell you a couple of stories. Last Sunday on our temple walk he picked a random Elder, read his name tag, and then proceeded to say "Elder Miller? No way!" and pull him in for a hug against his will. It was hilarious! And then that night, everyone was crying because one of the districts was leaving for the Philippines the next morning so Elder Adamson pretended to cry and told Elder Milligan to pat him on the shoulder. Well our branch president walked over and took Elder Adamson aside and gave him a hug and told him it was going to be okay and that if he was already that bad he was going to be a mess when the next district left. And he just went with it. Oh and he wants everyone to know that he thinks my brother's mane is sweet.
And finally, some spiritual thoughts from our many devotionals. Last Sunday Elder Heaton spoke to us and said "Speak in the awkward moment." He told us a story about a woman who was looking for something more and had prayed that the missionaries would find her. Well one day she was outside talking to her neighbor when she saw them coming down the street. She was so excited! But then they passed her by. Luckily she was persistent and got online and ordered a Book of Mormon which was then dropped off by the same missionaries and later her and the neighbor were baptized. Maybe it would've been awkward to interrupt their conversation, but it would have been the answer to this woman's prayers! Never pass up an opportunity to share the gospel because it might be what we call "awkward." My other favorite was from our Tuesday night devotional. Elder Richard Hinckley, Pres. Hinckley's son, spoke. He said "The greatest suffering a missionary will experience is regret. When you leave your mission, will you say I wish I had, or I'm glad I did." And with those two thoughts, here's my challenge to you. Think of someone you could refer to the missionaries or give a Book of Mormon to or just share your testimony. You are not going to be alone in your efforts and even though you might feel like it's going to be awkward, you never know what will come of it. Maybe nothing, but maybe something. Just give it a try and tell me how it goes :)
And quotes of the week/Funny things I come up with ;)
"An angel appeared to Rebekkah, this was before ultrasound. It was AngelSound." - Brother Eggbert, the choir director (oh yeah, I joined the choir!)
"Have you ever listened to a snail?... You don't do that in Utah??" - Sister Kerr (She was dead serious and proceeded to make the sound of a snail hahahahahahaha)
You might be in the MTC if:
  • You hear arguments about which Disney princess is prettier
  • You hear a remix of "The Cups Song" in which "you've got a call for the long way round and 2 Books of Mormon for the way"
  • You know how to say hello in at least 10 different languages, including some that don't exist
  • You accidentally brush up against a boys' hand and he acts as if he's been shocked
  • The thought of getting to bed by 10:30pm excites you
  • Gym time consists of an intense game of... 4-square!
  • You're way of rebelling is signing your letters with your first name
  • You can't speak English anymore but you can't speak anything else yet either
  • Seeing a male and female hug is like witnessing a murder
And there you have it folks, here's to another week at the MTC! Have a fabulous week and send me some DearElders or something. I need to know your life :)
Ingat, mahal kita!

Sister Brown

*Note from her mom: For those of you who have never used DearElder before like me... just go to and set up an account (you don't have to set up an account but it is easier because then it saves the address info and you don't have to put it in each time)!  Type out your letter and then send it...they print it out for you, put it in an envelope and send it directly to the missionary.  If you send it before a certain time (12pm M-F) she will get it that's an awesome invention! :)  She said they get mail 2 times a day so letters are great too!  They have an hour  on P-days to get on the internet and read/send out emails so it helps if she's has had time to read your questions from your letters and DearElders during the week...since writing this email and sending pictures probably takes up about half of her email time! :/  I know she'd love to hear from all of you and hear what you are all up to!?  Thank you all for your love and means a lot to both of us!! :)

And now for the pictures from the last 2 weeks:

Cookies and milk after a long hard day :)
Elder Richards is 6'7" and Sister Kerr and our teacher, Sister Osborn are both 5'2"
Our adorable little Elders, Elder Shaw, Elder Adamson, Elder Toro, Elder Hammer, Elder Richards, and Elder Milligan
Temple Walk Sunday
I ran into Sister Taran White finally! 
Tuesday night devotionals in the Marriott Center with only half the missionaries on campus
Ran into Sister Clonts too! She left for Virginia this last Wednesday.
After the Devotional our little army walks back to the MTC. It's an amazing thing to see!
Kasamas at the temple last Sunday

Roommates! Sister Carr, Sister Brown, Sister Smith, Sister Kerr, and Sister Ianuzi. Sister Ianuzi left for the Philippines on Monday
District D AKA the best district at the MTC. And the most humble.
Elder Richards and Elder Adamson are kasamas, there's a little bit of a height difference...

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this and giving me the opportunity to see pictures of my son-Elder Shaw. I am so glad to have the opportunity to hear your daughters stories of how they are all growing out there. :)

    Lori Williams