Hello my awesome family,
I'll start with the best part. On Wednesday i got to go out and proselyte in the manila mission!! they do exchanges with the mtc so i got a sneak peak of my mission life and learned a TON about the work there. I am so excited. First off, word on the street is that 10/12 of us will be starting our missions in palawan areas/surrounding islands. My host was a zone leader, and i heard that from him and an assistant. That's crazy??? honestly i don't care either way. The city was super cool and i would be
happy to be there. He said that pres fermanis has been amazing and that all of the missionaries love him. He has had the inspiration to hasten the work the most in palawan, and so now they are focusing a ton of effort in that area. He also says that the goal in the mission is now weekly baptisms and they are almost there!! typically people are getting like 3 a month now?? that's wild!! i'm so excited. That and president fermanis tells his missionaries to not wear bags at all! he says that the best way to do missionary work is to carry two copies of the b.o.m in each hand. So all of the missionaries just carry around copies. I had so much fun that day. I got to ride a jeepney for the first time!! it was super crowded and sweaty. Like, we fit 30 people in it type crazy. It was a blast. The heat here doesn't actually bother me that much. I've quite enjoyed all the rain and thunder storms that we have here. The best part of proselyting was the kids!! crowds of kids would come over to us and try and speak tagalog to us. They would KILL THEMSELVES LAUGHING at our attempts to speak to them. It was the best. All of them were so in awe of us. All of them wanted high fives and fist bumps, and all the guys really wanted us to play bball with them. They live in such
poor conditions momma. it is heartbreaking to see. Its worse than the slums you see in movies, by a lot. They all live in tiny little makeshift huts and there is garbage everywhere. And yet they are so happy. Its unbelievable. I don't know how many times I'd hear "hey joe!" or "foreigner!" and turn to see a bunch of smiling Filipinos. What i can already tell is that they are super prepared for the gospel and that they love the savior. They are so ready for it. The fields are so white here and I'm so excited to get out there in 4 days!!! My tagalog is not good at all. HAHA it was a humbling experience to try to communicate. None of us could at all. The only time i could communicate was during lessons. The spirit is a very real thing. As soon as my host asked me to share testimony, all of the sudden I could speak without even stuttering. It felt so natural and peaceful. I loved it. We taught a couple lessons and i loved every minute of it. The people here are super kind and lighthearted, but actually really shy at first. It was fun to get to know them and for them to start to share with us. Its so funny how they view Americans. Our teachers say that they are in awe because we are "big white people" so funny!! i love the people here. I am SO EXCITED to go live amongst them.
So about the typhoon/hurricane thingy. It looks really bad and we have all been praying for the northern Philippines right now. We aren't supposed to be very effected at all by it. Maybe a little bad weather, we've had that already.
My companion is awesome. His name is elder phan. He is from arizona and a super easy going kind guy. Teaching with him has been so much fun. We've felt the spirit teach us a lot from our lessons. Each lesson, we take away more things to do better and improve. Its so great!! I have really enjoyed getting close with him. We talk a lot about dreams, past memories, music, church stuff. Its all so fun. I'm sad that we don't get a full 6 weeks since we will be split up soon. Its been fun while it lasted though!! hes such a great guy. Super friendly and kind to everyone, always holding doors open. Hes the best.
I am so happy now. During a day where i was having a rough time, i thought of my dad. I thought of how excited he would get when we had the opportunity to spend time, just the two of us. I thought about how excited my father in heaven must be to spend this time, just the two of us. What an amazing time! never again will I get two years of time wholly dedicated to spending time in the service of my God. That changed my entire mood. How can you be sad when you get to work hand in hand with your God and your Savior?? I am so excited. There will be trials and hard times ahead. But none of that matters when you have your heavenly father with you. He's always there to strengthen us when we feel down. Oh what an exciting time to be in! what a wonderful opportunity
to serve in such a wonderful country. I'm so blessed.
Class here is so much fun. Our teachers are brother maata, sister lorrita, and the bascos. The teaching here is so interactive and fun. We have learned two nursery rhymes so far and really love singing them. We have learned "tatlong bibe" (three ducklings)and their version of head, shoulders, knees, and toes. Its such a blast!! i also love all the little teaching activities we have. On the day that we went proselyting, we practiced teaching in a jeepney scenario. We aranged all the chairs in a formation and practiced teaching each other. Some of us would act as investigators while some of us were missionaries. The non-missionaries would act super loud and pass money back and forth and it was super hard to teach amongst all that. SO FUN! Our teachers laugh at all our jokes and are just so happy. We teach brother maata (rudolfo is his fake name in our lessons) and last night we committed him to baptism which was awesome! oh i've loved the classes here. Tagalog is super hard but it is fun.
The food here is DELICIOUS. The stuff that i had a hard time with was the gross cafeteria food that they served at first. Ever since then it has been authentic, super delicious food. SO GOOD. lots of meat, rice, and fruit. oh so yummy!! The desserts are yummy too! I'm so excited for the food in the field.
Lots of love for you back home. I think about you all and pray for you each day. You are all on my mind and i hope that school is going well for you all. I love to hear how happy you all are. That's so good. Please keep turning to your father in heaven.
He is always there for you and wants you to be happy. Especially for my siblings. Don't handle your burdens alone. give your stress to him every day. He cares about all the little things that hurt us. He is the master of making things whole. He fixes the brokenhearted. he is always there for you.