Saturday, September 14, 2013

September 14, 2013

Alright, Kumusta friends and family! I have made it safely to the MTC and I can't really believe how much I love it here! So far my mga kasama (companions) and I have woken up at 5:45 each morning but I have no trouble with it! First, I get so excited to roll out of my bed and get on my knees and attempt a prayer in Tagalog. Then I remember all of the classes and studying that I have ahead of me and although it makes me pretty dang tired, it makes me even more excited! Also, on the first day here I met an Elder from the Philippines and he (not even knowing I am going to the Philippines) asked if I was Philippino! I said no but I am serving there. And then I said "How are you" in Tagalog "Kumusta po kayo" and he was like, "You sound like a native!" so yeah that got me pretty pumped too. You may have noticed I put a "mga" before kasama which makes the word plural. Yes, I have 2 mga kasama. We are a tripanionship :) and I love it! One kasama is Sister Bangerter. She is from Texas, Dallas area. She is half hatian have haole! Crazy right? She is BEAUTIFUL inside and out. She and I are actually pretty similar haha I just realized how conceited that sounds for me to say that after I have said how beautiful she is. BUT, I mean more in ways of personality. We are very go with the flow but want to follow with as much exact obedience as possible. She also went to BYU for her freshman year and now she is here! My other kasama is Sister Anien. She is from the Marshall Islands! She is soo good at English though! But it is still her second language and now she is learning Tagalog! It's crazy, I can't imagine. But of course the Lord has and will continue to qualify her. My district is by far the best one here at the MTC! There is Sister Lowham from Montana. She is tiny, but she is the oldest of all of us. She sets her alarm for us each night and even reminded me about my typhoid pill! (Even though I already took it because I am so responsible:)) But yeah, she also keeps us in line with the rules because we haven't finished reading the Mission Handbook yet. We are to finish reading it by tomorrow. Her kasama is Sister Tapusoa. She is from St. George but she was born at Castle Medical Center! She is Samoan, Japanese, Philippino, and a ton of other stuff haha. But she's really easy to get along with and she was actually in the MTC in May! But then she tore her ACL playing basketball and was sent home for surgery and physical therapy and is back now. She knows quite a bit more than us because she was here form 3 weeks before she got sent home. But you would never guess that she was so good because she is so humble about it and patient with us during language class.

       I love my language class!!!! Oh wait first, the Elders of my district! There is Elder Waldron, our District Leader, Elder Loitz, the funniest kid ever, Elder Rujke, from the Marshall Islands as well, and Elder Rasmussen! They are all from like less than 20 minutes away from the MTC besides Rujke. They are all such great guys! They keep the district laughing haha. I don't have that much time and I want to share so many stories! Especially about Elder Loitz, he's a character. But I don't have much time. But I will share one funny story that will kind of put the MTC experience into perspective. This happened on Thursday, our second day at the MTC. Elder Waldron was telling me about how he saw the Elder from Hawaii that was in the series The District. It's funny how he's like a celebrity around here. So I was freaking out and I was like "You saw him in the MTC??" And he was like "Yeah! I saw him like last week!" And I was like "Elder, we have been here for 2 days." hahaha but it's so true! The days feel like weeks here. Somewhat because they drag on in a mildly torturous way, but mostly because we are doing something every second of every day! Our first night here we had the opportunity to teach investigators already. Luckily it was in English. And it wasn't just me and my mga kasama but it was a big group of missionaries that just got into the MTC that day. It's kind of hard to explain, but we were really able to put what teaching investigators will be like into perspective. It was really a wake up call to me because I can't just testify that I know these things are true and automatically cause others to know it is true too. I learned that the most important thing that I will be doing in the Philippines is not preaching His Gospel. It is listening. Listening to the needs of those that I meet with and seeing what I can do, to improve their lives. This is such a scattered email and I apologize for any typos, or things that just don't make sense at all. I am hoping to get into the habit of writing better journal entries so that I can have a better idea of what I want to share with you guys in my emails.

       The last thing I want to leave with you guys is something that my mga kasama memorized after like an hour of studying haha. But it is our purpose as missionaries in Tagalog. It is to imbitahin ang iba na lumapit kay Cristo, sa pagtulong sa kanila na matanggap ang ibinalik na Ebanghelyo, sa pamamagitan ng pananampalataya kay JesuCristo at sa Kanyang Pagbabayadsala, pagsisisi, binyag, pagtanggup ng kaloop na Espiritu Santo, at pagtitiis hanggang wakas. That's right, I just typed that all from memory haha. But seriously, I know that the only reason my mga kasama and I could learn this so quickly is because it is important. Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I know that if I let this be my focus, I will have Espiritu Santo working along side me and I can be the missionary that I have always wanted to be. Sa pangalan ni JesuCristo, Amen.

 I will share more about my teaching experiences when I have more time. But for now, ingat po! I love you all! And life is awesome. We are so blessed.

Family, keep reading your scriptures! I have been reading reading reading and I have never felt so close to God and my brother Jesus Christ. I know that they are with me each minute of the day as I work here with so many other amazing Elders and Sisters. 

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