First of all, I would like to chastise all of you who promised to write and haven't. Catch the wave guys, catch the wave! Kind of joking, but seriously, I want to hear how everyone is going, especially you future Sisters, keep me up with the progress!
So where to even begin! We've been here only a week now and I feels like years, probably because these people here are already like my family. So the MTC is amazing. A bunch of us stayed in a hotel on the first night we arrived which was way legit Filipino styles! Bamboo huts and everything. Of course the shower didn't work so we were off to a great start. We got up at 5am the next day and travelled to the MTC and got straight into the worlds most hectic study schedule. Like you don't barely have a spare second to stop or think or process anything, every second of your day is planned out from 6am until 10pm so if you don't organise yourself a hundred percent you don't get enough done! Our district is me and my kasama (companion) Sister Rea from Brissy! She is my actual Sister already, people ask us if were twins. Theres not too many white kids here and were probably the only blonde Sisters. Then we have Sister Pateau and Sister Aii from Samoa and Sister Tonga'onevai from Tonga, plus Elder Mo'unga from New Zealand and Elder Christensen from Utah, not related to Elder Christensen from the district although they are probably long lost twins. There is one other district in our intake and we all love each other way too much which makes it hard to stay focussed on the work sometimes but we do our best!
Basically the second day we were here we had to teach an investigator a complete half hours lesson only in Tagalog. She spoke no English so we completely had to rely on the spirit. It was the most daunting thing ever and we were stressing hard but we did pretty good considering we had only a 20 minute Tagalog lesson the day before and that was it! We have visited that investigator every day and on the last day we committed her to prepare for baptism as long as her husband allowed her to! AMAZING! So, our investigators are actually teachers playing investigators, but still, they are real people and situations they portray and no other companionships were able to get her to commit so we knew we must've done something right!
I basically feel like I wanna puke every second of every single day. I might already have a tapeworm and I don't know about it yet, who knows. The food can be a struggle, the other night we had a grilled fish for dinner, literally an entire fish with teeth and eyes and everything! None of its going down too well but occasionally they throw in some ice cream or something that resembles home just to keep it real. Its P-day now so after email we get to go to the American market where rumour has it they have Cadbury's so were all stocking up hardcore. Elder Ramsay is loving it here. When I arrived everyone was like OH you're Ramsay's friend, you must be cool! They are right. I first spotted him in the cafeteria from a mile away, but hes not hard to miss as you can hear his LOUD Tagalog from a mile away! I'm picking up the language pretty quick. Everyones getting real frustrated with themselves but I'm trying to make them realise that we've been here only for a week and the amount we can speak already shouldn't physically be possible. I can pray and bear testimony, plus I can talk my way through a couple of the lessons, answer questions and say a bunch of other things that haven't come in handy yet.
We went to the temple Wednesday morning and Sister Rea and I were chosen to escort some Filo sisters who haven't yet recieved their endowment. We had 4 each. It was seriously amazing. We had such a great session and I loved spending the whole morning there and felt the spirit so so strong. Even though the temple and the session were a little different to home, its still the same, and that was comforting.
So we had only been here a couple hours when Sister Rea and I were called into a meeting with President Beck. We have been called as the Sister Training leaders and were told all the responsibilities of our calling. I felt kind of overwhelmed at the time but I was so so happy to be called, we are doing our best to be a friend and an example to the rest of the Sisters and make sure everyone is doing ok. I thought Dad would be happy about that, I didn't think the family would expect anything less!
Please send me emails! Keep me updated about whats going on at home, even if its only a couple sentences I just wanna make sure everyone is doing ok! I especially wanna know about peoples papers and mission prep and Rebecca's baptism! Pass my email onto people who don't have it, no excuses! And send me favourite scriptures and quotes, talks, anything thats helping you at the moment!
Even though mission life is hard and at moments I struggle, I have never ever been this happy! Living in this building and wearing this badge and being with these people set apart by the Lord help me remember my calling and know that I am in the right place! I know that I was chosen for this time, and I can't imagine being in another place with another group of missionaries than these. I know that I am so blessed!
LOVE YOU ALL! KEEP THE SPIRIT WITH YOU! Study your scriptures. When all the distractions of life get taken away you realise how happy just sitting and feasting on the words of Christ makes you!
Love, Sister McKim