The days are really going by faster and faster! I can never even remember the week by the time I can write emails...so sorry if this is lame. I need to start taking notes and just send those in an email.
We have been so busy with teaching people..if only you could see my shoes. I've been here not even two weeks and we have to go buy me some new shoes today because they are all worn out and muddy-Ya I know I'm so rugged now..haha joke lang!
Where to start?
Each day we have companionship study and make lesson plans and practice in english then in tagalog. I'm always annoyed because nothing I say in english can I say in tagalog so we start with really really simple sentences. Through this I've learned that the gospel of Jesus Christ is simple! It doesnt require a degree or a diverse knowledge of language. It is simple.
Family and friends I know that as we do all we can to follow the example of Jesus Christ we will be blessed. We will see the blessings as we are obedient to the commandments of God. They may not come exactly how we expected or when we expect, but they always come.
Family and friends! I am now in the mission field and in my first area of PALWAN.
I am so grateful to be here! All the manila missionaries dream of coming here- so lucky me! There are only 8 sisters on the island and we are all in the Puerto Pricessa area! So last Wednesday we went to transfer meeting in Manila and they announced I was going to Palawan, and to get there you travel by plane and I could only take one bag that was 20 kilos! So momentary panic attack because I have two suitcases both well over 20 kilos. So I still have a bag at the mission home in Manila and I cant even remember what I left and what I brought? I brought my clothes some shoes and my scriptures..the rest is well apparently not going to be important for now.
We got here around 10pm on Wednesday and I met my trainer Sister Thompson from Idaho, she is great and helps me a ton! I call her nanay which means mom and I'm her anak (or child) haha so glad I have a cool nanay. Her tagalog is great and she is white so whenever we ride in tricycles (the main for of transportation- think motorcycle with a seat attached on the side) everyone is so surprised that she can speak and understand them. My understanding is getting a lot better and my vocab is expanding tons- I just want to have it perfect right now!!! But I know that will come with time. The ward we are in is super wonderful! Our Branch president works for the church and goes to mainland Philippines and Manila a lot and this pastsaturday brought us back krispy kreme donuts- he is a saint!
Last night we had a brown out (or loss of power) and just as we were finishing prayers and going to sleep it came back on! Yay for fans in the night so we don't die of heat!
A part member family we teach a lot is the Gonzalez family and I love them! Sister Gonzalez was just recently baptized and we are teaching her husband and cousin. The live in a small thatched house and there is not electricity so whenever we teach it is by candle light! It is a blessed experience to be teaching in such humble circumstances- but really they are spiritual giants and love the gospel of Jesus Christ...and they always help me with my tagalog and smile and agree even when I know they have no idea what I just said..haha bless their hearts!
Something I have really learned so far is about true conversion- it is not just having a testimony and being baptized..It is truly being converted to the true gospel of Christ, it is being so converted to the Lord that even when life becomes a struggle and challenges come our faith will not waiver. Being converted means truly becoming a disciple of Christ- following his example and following it forever. Of course we will make mistakes, but if we have faith enough in our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit we can have an assurance that we can be forgiven- that all that is unfair in life can be made right.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I really do hope its a good one and that it finds you happy and surrounded by love ones!
Maligayang Pasko lahat! Merry Chirstmas everyone! Funny story to start off with, this week I was playing basketball at gym and we were all getting really into it. Sister Haffen and I were running after the ball and she dove for it and I slid on my knees to reach it first, we all had a good laugh and then I looked down and realized not only had I bumped my knee but I burned a hole in my pants..I KID NO, friction or the laws of motion or whatever, there is a melted hole in my workout pants now. The lesson? Get up and keep playing even if you burn holes in your knees of your pants-cause the pain is temporary but that free shot I made..priceless! I am so excited Christmas is almost here, I love the Christmas season and so does the Philippines. Of course it is still like 90 degrees outside and humid as ever..but it is Christmas and there are lights everywhere and the spirit of the season is abounding! This week has been really great. It is our last week here in the MTC and my batch will leave for the mission fieldon Wednesday! It is sad of course to leave the MTC, it feels a bit like we are at missionary college and have this awesome job lined up already! But we are all mainly excited to get into the field and GET TO WORK! This pastwednesdaywe went on outside splits with in-field missionaries again and this time we went to the MANILA mission!! So exciting, I loved meeting people and seeing areas I will be serving in sometime. The traffic in Manila is a little insane though! I'm pretty sure absolutely no driver here follows the rules of the road- the meaning green means go and red means stop and stay in your lane really have no relevance here. Driving is always an adventure, which is probably why manila is just a walking mission. Earlier this week we also got to watch The Christmas devotional broadcast from Salt Lake City! It was wonderful, I loved President Monson's point that Chrtistmas isn't about giving things, its about giving of ourselves. We should all be as the wise men and make that journey to Bethlehem bringing with us our whole heart as a gift to The Lord. As he expressed, The true spirit of Christmas comes if only we'd drop the last syllable and have The true spirit of Christ. In many on our lessons with people we shared messages of Christmas, most people don't have the means to buy their children and fancy gifts or sweets. But we all have the opportunity to share with them the love the Christ has, there are so many that need their burdens life, so many kind words to be said, so much peace to give. LETS give those gifts that matter most, give gifts of yourself and your time, because those are gifts that last, those are gifts that change lives. This is my Christmas wish for you all. Sister Mahe