Saturday, August 10, 2013

Off to the Philippines!!!

The picture we drew for our teachers to remember their favorite district by :)
(love Shalee stick prosthetic leg)
Kamusta po kayo magandang magandang mga tao?

So in case you didn't know, I'M GOING TO THE PHILIPPINES IN 2 DAYS!!!! Which means in exactly 2 days I will be taking my very first airplane ride ever... I AM SO EXCITED!!!! This week was rough for all of us because how are you supposed to focus when you're leaving the country to go teach the gospel in a few days?? You just can't. However  I did enjoy my last week with milk, real showers, tiny baby spiders, and yep, toilet paper.

On Wednesday we taught Del our last lesson and guess what... he'd finally read the Book of Mormon. And guess what else...we invited him to be baptized. And he said yes! He said he'd go to church on Sunday with his kids and try to get his wife to come too even though she probably wouldn't. It was really emotional, partly because we had to tell him we were leaving and there would be new missionaries coming to help him continue preparing for baptism and partly because even though it wasn't a real investigator, it was a real situation. This man was willing to be baptized because he knew it was what he needed to do, even though it was going to potentially cause a lot of trials for him and his wife. It was touching to see what people are going to be willing to do, what  they will be willing to give up, for what they know is true. It reminds me a lot of the pioneers. The people we teach will be modern day pioneers :)

Friday we taught Teresa her last lesson and let me tell you how that went. There was nothing particularly special about what we said or did, but the whole time we were there I just couldn't stop smiling! I was just so happy and I wanted her to be that happy. I felt this overwhelming feeling of peace as I realized this was our last lesson with a fake investigator. The next person I taught was going to be someone who really doesn't know what I know and really needs to know how much his or her Heavenly Father loves them. And I knew I was going exactly where I was needed. I've struggled with this quite a bit over the last couple of months. I don't know why I was called to the Philippines. I don't know why I was called to go right away while all my friends had to wait all summer. But time and time again, things like this have happened and finally I think I get it. I do not know all things, but the Lord does. He knows where I am supposed to be and when I need to be there. He knows which companions I need, which doors I should knock on, what words I should say, and without a doubt in my mind, I know that there is someone in the Philippines San Pablo Mission who needs me. There is someone in Santa Ana, El Salvador who needs Hermana Groneman. There is someone in Mexico City who needs Hermana Veater. There is someone in Lima, Peru who needs Elder Grover. There is someone in Japan who needs Sister Dansie. And there's a good chance that that person has been waiting for you for a long time and only you can say or do the thing that must be said or done to bring them to Christ.

We had in-field orientation for 9 hours yesterday. I was expecting it to be awful but it was actually pretty fun! We split into groups and then came back together in between each one to summarize. We talked about the principles of our purpose as missionaries, finding, making goals and planning, contacting, and acting in faith. One of the things I really liked was in the Our Purpose part. Listen up all you future missionaries! There is a story about President Monson when he was a mission president in Canada. There was an area that none of the missionaries wanted to go to called Kingston because there had been only 1 baptism in 6 years. They all said that the people simply weren't ready. Well President Monson found out that a long time ago Brigham young had baptized 40 people in 30 days in Kingston. So he closed the area. Then he waited for all the missionaries who knew about Kingston and it's reputation as an undesirable area to leave. And then he started a rumor, a rumor that back in the day Brigham Young had baptized 40 people in 30 days there and suddenly missionaries were begging to be let into the area. And guess what, in the next 3 months 86 people were baptized! So what was the problem? It wasn't that the people weren't ready.We were told we were not just called to have a good time, we were called to baptize. You may have a senior companion who says "The people in this area just aren't ready. We won't baptize anyone." In the scriptures the phrase "The field is white and ready to harvest..." is used 52 times. Who are you to say that the people aren't ready? If the Lord says they're ready, they are! We must stop having expectations that people have set and start having expectations the Lord has set. I think that that is very profound advice.

On Thursday we went on a pretend Jeepney ride and tried to share the gospel with one another acting as passengers. It was an eye-opening experience. As in, I do not know Tagalog and I'm about to be thrown into a completely different culture. In a Jeepney everyone just passes up their money and calls out where they are going and if it's too much, the driver passes back your change. And you don't have to worry about anyone stealing your money. You just, like, flick the roof when you wanna stop and the driver stops. You can get on anywhere, they don't have assigned stops. Because of our inability to focus, our teachers gave up a little and started to give in to us begging them to tell us stories about their missions. So between the stories and pictures we got to see this week, I just wanna be there! Except the picture of the spider as big as my head, that one I could do without... Other than that, I am going to the most beautiful mission! I didn't believe some of Brother Trebas' photos were real they were so beautiful!

I saw George again and got a picture so you could all see how cool he is :) Honestly, this week our district wasn't super funny. We are all sick and 6 weeks with one another might be causing a little tension between some of us. But no worries, we still love each other. Some days people are just closer to getting punched than others haha joke lang!

Quote of the week: "What?! I thought I was in the Philippines! I thought everyone was interested in the gospel!" - Sis. Osborn

Well I want you all to know how much I love and appreciate you and all that you have done for me! I am so excited to finally get out there and serve the Lord and bring people the happiness the gospel brings me. Alam ko po na sa lahat puso ko, tagapagligtas po si Jesucristo. Alam ko po na mahal na mahal po tayo ng Diyos. Alam ko po na propeta totoo si Joseph Smith. Alam ko po na sa pamamagitan ng pagbabayad-sala ni Jesucristo, magiging malinis mula sa kasalanan natin. Alam ko po na totoo ng Simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga Banal na mga Huling Araw.

Mahal ko kayo! Next time you hear from me I'll be in the Pines and probably fluent in Tagalog... ;)

XOXO, Sister Brown

Okay so since my kasamas all had their best friends here at the MTC with them, I wanted mine to be here too! So here we are, all over the world. I love you and miss you all!

Our adorable Branch Presidency people
Sister Brown and Sister Brown with our matching shirts, I love this girl! 

Joke lang! (just kidding Filipino style)
We smell the Creamsicle tree whenever we need a little happiness :)
Elder Adamson and Elder Milligan... Just being themselves

It was SOOO hot! We might melt in the Philippines!

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