This week has been the greatest of the mtc by far. I am having so much fun and enjoying every single day. The moments seem to fly super fast. First off, WE LEAVE NEXT MONDAY!! We are all super excited! We haven't received our flight plans yet but our branch president said that our entire district is going on the 3rd. That and my branch president just emailed me with preparation notes for leaving the mtc. Ive heard such great things about the manila mtc. I am going to miss our teachers and getting packages but it will be wonderful to be immersed in the language and culture. Ive heard that they serve typical filipino dishes for meals in the manila mtc. Thats gonna be so great!! im super excited but am living life one day at a time. Each day has been amazing
here and i wouldnt trade the time ive had here for the world. The people ive met and the teachers ive had were put in my life for a reason and ive learned so much from their testimonies. So here it goes! mtc week 4:
Momma you would be proud about how organized i am! i make my bed super nice every single day and have everything folded, hung up, and tidy. Being organized is actually a great feeling. Makes me feel closer to you, that you would be proud of me. I love
and miss you so much! Thank you so much for raising me right. Not only through teaching, but example. No one grew up with a better momma than i did, and i am very confident of that. No one ever loved his momma more than i do either. You are my bestfriend
and i am so lucky to have you. I am so grateful to be sealed with you for eternity, because you are a celestial momma. I care about you so much.
I'm beginning to suspect that the increase in weight i've had was paired with a small growth spurt... There are three elders here who are all 6'1, who i thought were really tall when i got here. Yesterday i looked at them and had a thought that they didn't seem as tall as i had originally remembered, and when we measured back to back i was the same height as them!! I might have finally made it to the promised land!! the 6 foot club. wasn't gogo 6'1? All i know is that my height and wingspan make basketball way more fun. We also measured wingspans and mine was longer than all of the tall elders by like 3 inches haha! Basketball has been such a great district bonding time. We all go to the gym and have tournaments with teams of three. Elder hollingshead and
i usually choose to be on a team and then wreck havick upon our fellow elders. We are probably the two most consistent shooters in the gym and so it is so much fun to play together. we have won the last 5 tournaments? we also play with elder stewart usually. I love that guy. He is like a shane larkin for our team, making all of the hustle plays. My favorite is to play against my brother, elder page. He always gets in my face and dares me to shoot it, to which i happily oblige. little does he know that i love the pressure. Momma we have such a great district. I love spending time with all of these guys. We are all so close and share deep information about our lives. Especially i've had the chance to get really close with elder page, elder hollingshead, and elder
johnson. I've been blessed to be able to reach outside of myself when they need to talk about homelife. Helping them out makes me so happy and i'm so confident that they are going to be wonderful missionaries. Each of them have a heart of gold and i'm so blessed
to serve with them. Elder Page and i have been able to go on splits a few times over the last few days which is super fun. He grew up in a tiny Mormon town in idaho! he had like 12 people in his class!!! just like you momma. he is so kindhearted and genuine.
That and he genuinely wants to be the best missionary he can be. He is always Christlike, always obedience, always happy, always loving. He is such a great example to me and i have learned a ton from him. HE is the type of missionary that i hope to become,the type of friend i hope to have forever. Elder johnson always reminds me of you dad. He has such a great sense of humor and is always positive. But what always reminds me of you is that when i hug him, he and i tap beats on each others backs just like you and i do. He did the exact same thing with his dad and so we do it to keep you guys close. I miss you dad. Thank you for raising me to love the gospel. The preparation that you and mom gave me has made a huge difference and prepared me to love the
people. Elder hollingshead is hilarious and super kind. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and its very obvious when he is upset. We have had talks about home life and the stress of missionary life and it was great to listen to him and make him feel loved.
I have been blessed beyond measure.
Tagalog is an adventure as always. A week ago we took a language assessment called LSA, where we had to do audio responses to their prompts. it was the worst. We were all so bad. Yesterday we went over our recordings with our teachers individually which was awesome. It was amazing to see how much the lord has helped us improve in such a short amount of time. That and how much we still have to do. Brother frei gave me some tips that were really helpful. He told me to start translating phrases from english to tagalog instead of tagalog to english. This is because my comprehension is way better than my ability to speak. I am going to try that, with even better prayers. God is almighty and will help me if i work as hard as i can. In class we have also had
some great lessons. We studied lehi's vision of the tree of life. I especially love 1 nephi 8:10-11. It talks of the sweetness of the fruit and how happy it makes us. We must always remember that the gospel does that for us. The gospel is meant to bring us joy. The entire plan is one of happiness. God wants us to be happy. If we are living the gospel to its fullest, we can be super happy. My mission has made me so happy so far. The opportunity to leave behind all other distractions and dedicate myself
to a work that i love has been so fun and i cant wait to get into the field! Another one of my favorite lessons was where we got to make promises and extend invitations to each other. The activity was that the investigator would say no at first and then we would bare testimony about why they should and how much happiness it brings us. I started talking about my savior and it just hit me. The spirit was so strong. I love my savior so much. I was in tears as i told elder lyons that his big brother Jesus wants him to be happy. I cant wait to go to the philippines to share my love of him. We have had a ton of different teachers come to help out in our class! they are all so passionate about the philippines and missionary work! its so great! we have had brother pearson,
brother hill, sister surio, brother beagley, and another teacher without a badge come in. They all share experiences, language tips, teach us how to pronounce things, and encourage us with so much love. Missions do unbelievable things to people. I cant wait to be as loving and kind as these valiant return missionaries. IT also reminds me that missionary efforts don't stop at the completion of our missions. Its important to keep the spirit thriving and to lift where you stand.
Tagalog is still a struggle sometimes... i had another big language messup. we were conjugating verbs in class and i mispronounced one. It seems that on accident i uttered a vile tagalog swear! Brother beagley turned to me with such a horrified expression on his face. I felt so bad!! everyone thought it was hilarious and we all had a good laugh about it afterward. I have to be careful i guess haha! I felt like the one psych episode where shawn and gus pretend to be zoo experts and pretend that gus doesnt speak english. super funny!! I will get the language eventually. I used to stress that i wont be able to be a good missionary until i master the language, but i realize that even my simple little testimony with enough love can be powerful. That and the spirit does all the teaching anyway!
I'm still singing lots. My fellow elders ask me to sing sometimes haha! when i have a song stuck in my head they insist that i sing it for them. I love music so much. It is so great to share that love with the people i love so much.
Tuesday we got to hear from elder d todd christofferson and his wife!! it was great!! We learned about the name correction and broke down each step of the name. i love my savior so much and im super excited for the change to be made. Elder christofferson said that "Mormon is sad every time we refer to the church as his" i had never thought about that!! he must hate that because he loves his savior so much! The spirit his me so hard during that. I also loved hearing president nelsons reaction to the media saying it was impossible to make this correction. He said, "oh i know its impossible, but its going to happen because god wants it that way" I love that man. He is truly a prophet of God. You can see the love of christ in his sweet smile. I cant wait for general conference. Sister christofferson gave a talk on how we dont know the seeds we plant, and told stories from her son's mission and how seeds he left turned to conversion later. It made me think, we always say that the fields are white and ready to harvest, but we always forget that these fields needed to be planted, watered, and nourished for months before they were ready. It helps me to be happy and to go out and not only harvest but to plant as many seeds of love as possible.
Last sunday was amazing as always. Elder litchfield and myself got to teach a lesson on diligence which was awesome! along with that, our district made goals on how to be more diligent in our calls as missionaries. IT has been awesome as we have taken that to heart. We are trying hard to lose some goofiness and focus more on being a light to others. I also made three personal goals. Look for people to lift, rely on Christ, and to be happy. This week, with the help of my savior, i have been so happy and have been working hard on the other two as well. Sunday is the greatest because of the sacrament. The sacrament has been more meaningful than ever before. I find myself super excited to partake of it and to pour out my heart to my heavenly father.
The sacrament is such a wonderful blessing. For our movie, we went to "missions are forever" by elder holland. IT WAS AMAZING. It pumped us all to be as obedient as possible and to strive to live every moment to its fullest. To work our hardest. My favorite quote was, "if it wasn't easy for him, why should it be easy for us?" The saviors mission was more difficult than any of us could imagine. He suffered literally everything so that we can be happy and return to our father in heaven. Our missions are going to be hard, but they don't have to effect our happiness. I decided a long time ago that i was going to be happy here at the mtc and happy in the field. I've been happier than i could've imagined here and i know that i will love the field. BE HAPPY! being happy
is the best. Missions help us grow. I am so grateful that i will have challenges, and that the savior loves me enough to cut me down. That he loves me enough to help me grow. He knows what i can become and he will be there for me every step of the way. I am so grateful to him. I love him with all my heart and hope to increase my love for him every day.
The weather in utah is super weird. Its super sunny one second, and then raining, hailing, who knows? We have been having a ton of rain showers and thunderstorms here of late (im sure youve seen the pictures) and its been such a tender mercy. I love the rain so much. It reminds me so much of home, and all of the things i love about washington. It was so fun for us all to run around in it! i cant wait for the crazy rain in the philippines. Rain is one of my favorite things in life. One of my favorite
things of the mtc is that my prayers have never been better. It is so humbling to kneel down and just thank our loving god for all that he has created. For music, trees, rain, the ocean, sports, family, friends, everything. I pray for each of you back home and love you so much. I've never felt so much peace while i pray. I don't want to stop, but just keep pouring out my heart and feeling his love. I have so much to be grateful for. My God has given me the world. I love him so much and am so grateful for my happiness.
I am so happy. I have such a wonderful opportunity to love such wonderful people both now and in the field. I love getting closer to my savior every day and feeling his love. He is real. Focus on his love and you will be oh so happy!!! he is always there for us to lift us and to help us through our trials. Songs that have meant a lot to me this week are "i need thee every hour" and "savior redeemer of my soul". WE do need him every hour. we are unworthy of his devine love but its always there anyway!
i pray every day that i may be a little more worthy of his love. I love this gospel! i am so happy to hear that you are all developing stronger relationships with Christ! that is so wonderful! give him everything! your pains, sadness, trials but also your gratitude, love, and admiration. I cant wait for the wonderful day where i kneel at his feet and tell him with a broken heart that i gave him my everything. He is the life and light of the world, and he is becoming more important to me every day.
I love you all!
talk to you soon