Sweet friends and family!
This week has been incredible! The only way I can think to describe it is this: the hours feel like minutes, the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like minutes. Weird right. It feels like we've been living here for years, I can barely even think what home its like anymore! Except thats its filled with amazing loving people. Sappy I know but I only speak the truth! The food is much improved! There is still rice for literally every single meal but we now have a higher abundance of ice cream, cupcakes and other fun things. We had pasta night, taco night and burger night this week too so really cant complain, except that we might all get real fat, but, yolo! Its pretty random though because its never what it seems. The bread is the most sugary thing on the menu, the fruit tastes like nothing, and they'll give us fries but then cover them in sticky melted sugar, or give us spring rolls for breakfast, or sausage rolls filled with brown sugar. I've started this thing where whenever we walk into the dining room I decide what it is and pretend I'm eating that. When we have weird noodles I just pretend its Pad Thai, and when its weird vegetable pancakes I just pretend its veggie burgers, and so forth. Makes it legit. I'm only a little bit sick now which is good! Rea and I got matching illnesses and we get sick on an off at the same time of day. We finish each others sentences. I swear we share a brain.
We have made huge progress with the language. Its incredible what you can say in a lesson without actually knowing it. The gift of tongues is real and I can testify of that! Yesterday 3 of the Elders had a real investigator walk in off the street and they taught her an entire lesson in fluent Tagalog. Afterwards they couldn't even recall what they said or how they said it, or speak those words again. I get goosebumps when I think about it. The spirit is so present here! I could pray and bear my testimony in Tagalog within the first few days and yesterday we taught the whole Plan of Salvation! Elder Ramsay was a boss at the language, he left on Wednesday and I miss him already. He was literally the MTC's favourite person, but having said that, out district gets twice as much work done without him bursting randomly into our room twenty times a day gabbing away in Tagalog. He's probably the most committed person to language learning here!
We watched a devotional with President Bednar on Sunday night which changed my life. Its incredidible that the more you learn the more you realise how much stuff thats said by general authorities just goes over your head when you've not ready to hear it. We had a Tagalog testimony meeting after and we all cried. This place is changing us before we go out there to change other peoples lives. President Misalucha of the MTC presidency gave a talk about things we should know about the Philippines and how rediculous the language is. We are learning proper Tagalog here which might not even be understood by the locals who speak street Tagalog, and they can just make stuff up and their own culture will understand it. Apparently all you really need to say is one syllable per word, so if you're asking if the elevator you're in is going down, the question you would ask is "Ba ba ba ba?" and if the answer is yes they say "Ba ba ba!". I know right. If thats all I have to say I don't know why we have to stay here for 6 weeks but :-) I hope you all got to see the Missionary Devotional! If you haven't watch it now! Literally our entire district knew people in the video. My Oklahoma stake President Boman is in it, hes the man! The sister missionary in Florida is a girl heres best friend and we ALL spotted people we knew from the MTC in the audience. The world is so small hey. Hey so, there is an Elder Cava from Fiji who knows Manasseh, an brother in the kitchen who served with Jared Paton, my companions brothers served with Imps and Poomba, theres a sister from Kirabus (can't remember her name right now) who knows Austin Bogaert and Lachlan Thomas, and she said Casper served in her ward and threw away her dads cigarettes. I don't know if Caspar knows but he didnt stop then, but he later on stopped because of that! So good!
Being a sister trainer is hard hard work. We thought it would be smooth sailing but there has been an unprecedented amount of dramas and sickness and its taking up a lof of our time and energy, but Sister Rea and I feel blessed that we were chosen to help these sisters. We have learned a lot of things. I was reading in my patriarchal blessing this week, and I previously hasn't thought there was anything about serving a mission at all, but as I read I found many insights relating to this exact time. And when I need more info I read Sister Rea's, because were literally the same person and hers is like 5 pages long.
One final word for you all. This week the thing that has hit me the most is that this work isn't about us. I'm not on a mission for me, I'm on it for the people, and it just so happens that this is the best experience I have ever had and I'm learning heaps. THIS IS THE TIME. We are so close to the end, the war is coming and we can either be part of the army and fight for it or we can sit back and let other people drag us along with them. Don't be one of those people. If you haven't prayed about a mission, do it. Unless you get a solid no, you need to come out here. You will never be happier, you will never be more fulfilled, and you're life will change in a million ways for the better. We see miracles every day and we're still in the MTC, we haven't even hit the field yet and started the real work! I can't even explain in words the happiness I feel here so I hope you're feeling it from me! Get everyone out on missions that can go. Get everyone active that you know. If you're number one focus in life isn't for the benefit of eternity thats a day wasted. Remember I love you all and remember how right I am about things all the time, so listen to me please. Save souls guys, even if the first one is your own.
Alam ko po na totoo Simbahan ni Jesucristo. Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa ebanghelyo at pagbabayad-sala ni Jesucristo. Dasal araw-aray. Mahal kita.
So much love