Kumsta Po Kayo! Woahh can't believe I've reached my first week as a missionary already! Except it feels like I've been here for months and yet only left home a couple days ago. I swear time as a missionary is like this twilight zone I can never remember if something happened five days ago or five hours ago!!?? Whats up with that. Oh ok so let me start by telling you about the plane rides to make it to Manila. From Tampa to Detroit I met this super sweet woman, Emmie she was so nice and helped me find my gate in Detroit because our plane was late and told me all about the Philippines. Then on the flight to Japan and Manila I sat next to Ray Mendoza who turned out to be a member of the church! He let me take his window seat so I could sleep better and have more room! WHO DOES THAT!?? Oh ya filipinos because they are like the coolest people ever with massive hearts! We arrived in Manila around1 amand stayed at a hotel along with missionaries from NZ, Aus, Samoa, China, Mongolia, and Tonga! We got there so late and our rooms were not even ready so we all went to KFC next door and basically stayed up the whole night until we were picked up around6amand taken to the MTC. The drive was awesome so cool to see the city, the drive was like a rollercoaster! Road rules? What are those I'm not sure they exist here..haha. The first day was soooooo long, I dont know when I have ever done so much in my life. I was tired and felt like I could fall asleep in my chair when I asked someone what time it was....guess what it wasn't even10amyet!! Brutal..just brutal that first day! But it was amazing at the same time! My kasama (companion) is Sister Telea, she is samoan and is from New Zealand! She is the best and I love her so much, we always have fun and laugh.. a lot! She always wakes me up early and tells me to hurry up. It's a blessing she isnt always late places like me, cause then we'd just be in trouble. Our MTC district is Lehi, the best district..haha! There are ten of us and only 3 from the states so the variety is so cool..love it! We are busy every single hour of the day, it is great and makes us so productive. But sometimes when we get flex time for like 10 minutes, me and my kasama go to our room that we share with Sister Stallings (texas) and Sister Gibbs(new zealand) and eat Sister Gibbs Nutella...she has a jar under her pillow and these delicious waffer stixs..haha oops! So the second day we were here, we have to prepare to meet an investigator, Jay Pardito, we are all so excited and pumped to be teaching. Nekmint they tell us we have to teach in TAGALOG..wut?? I knew how to say Hello, Good morning and I love you. So that probably wouldn't take us that far. Me and sister telea began preparing and translating our lesson to tagalog and before we went in we just PRAYED! We just wanted to have the spirit with us so that even though our Tagalog was no good, our message could still be felt. Ahhh and was that powerful, so cool to see how the spirit works..because I know I felt it and so did Jay, and it was not because of anything my kasama or I said. It was all the spirit. This is The Lords work, not ours! We have lots of fun here too. Sometimes I just feel like I'm at Hogwarts or like a super special summer camp. We don't have any idea whats going on in the world around us. Except for what our teachers tell us and when I get your emails. I think it's super cool though. Being focused on The Lords work is the best thing in the world and I am forever grateful to be here. Oh funny story I had been brushing my teeth and washing my face with the city water and not the filtered MTC water for a while until someone told me not to do that..haha ooops. Joke Lang I know I'll be fine! Today for Prep-day we were able to go to the temple and also go outside to the market for some shopping. Our district went to town on buying up the whole candy aisle! I LOVEEEEE the Philippines, I can't wait to be out meeting and teaching the people of Manila! This is my home and my country for the next year and a half and I know these people are and always have been part of my family! I just want to know the language so bad already! Being a language missionary was so much harder than I expected! I want to cry some days, I feel like I understand why babies cry so much now! How bad they must want to communicate with us and express what they are feeling but the words just escape them or they dont even know them at all! I feel like an infant most days! But I love learning, I have already learned so much and its only been a week! I forget to look at how much I am actually progressing sometimes. Every day we wake up at5:30to prepare for roll call and breakfast. Then the day begins and we start with personal study before our teachers come in for language and lesson study. Gym time is fun I play a lot of basketballa and 4-square..hahah! Then we change for dinner and continue planning until we meet with our investigators and teach lessons! My head hurts...ALL the TIME. There is so much to take in and my brain is on information overload! Ahh but missionary work is amazing, I know I may be weak in some areas and it will be hard, but The Lord qualifys those he calls to his work. I can already tell I am a different person than I was before I put my missionary badge on, and I am grateful for that because I couldnt not ever do this without Him. I am so grateful we are safe here in the Philippines, the day we arrived a super typhoon hit the southern area of The Philippines. It completely destroyed the Tacloban mission and surrounding areas were hit hardest.On tuesdaynight it was confirmed that ALL missionaries were safe and accounted for! The Lord protects his missionaries, what a miracle. All the Tacloban missionaries are here at the MTC in Manila. Their stories are INCREDIBLE and I get chills just thinking about what a tragic experience they went through. Many were stuck in homes were water was rising and had to hold tables above their heads for hours until help arrived. Some had to punch holes in the ceilings to climb to the roofs were they waited for help. But ALL were safe, how incredible. As we talked and met with some they were still smiling and just saying how grateful they were to have their lives, since all else was washed away with the storm. Their experiences are truly miracles and they are all preparing to be reassigned and go out teachingtomorrow! They are incredible. I met Elder Harvey (Alexas MTC friend) who said one of the last things he grabbed were some letters, and Alexas was one of them that he had and was able to read once he was here in Manila! Sister Grohse from BYU-H is also witht he Tacloban group and it was such a blessing to see her safe and sound here in Manila. Please continue to pray for the missionaries and all those that have lost their families and all they had. We met with the International MTC operator and he shared with us Ezekiel 34:2- Be a shepherd and bring feed His flock. It is our priviledge to stand among the ranks of some of the greatest shepherds to ever live! Joshua 24:15- Choose to follow Diyos today! Ok running out of time now and have to get back to the work! Mahal Kita. I love you all and hope this finds you happy and well! Ngiti! Mahal Kita, Sister Mahe.