Where to begin oh where to begin. This week was even better than last week! To be honest I was kind of down last week. It may have been a little homesickness, I couldn't put my finger on it exactly. But I wasn't feeling like myself and it really affected the way that I was learning, teaching lessons, and interacting with my mga kasama. Then, on Sunday night, it came to me! I realized what the problem was! Every Sunday night we have a district meeting. That means that the 5 sisters and 4 elders in district 15 A sit down and we reflect on our week. We review the goals that we set the Sunday before and see how we did on fulfilling those goals. When our district leader Elder Waldron opened up his planner and read off the goals. We realized that we hadn't fulfilled ANY of the goals! We were stunned and embarrassed and I realized then why my week was so poopy. Because after we saw that we hadn't fulfilled any of them. We got rid of them all. We made all new goals and we fulfilled them every single day this week!
My district is so much more than just my district. They are my foundation. They are my brothers and sisters. But at the same time they are my teachers and my students. I spend alllll day errrr day with them and if they are not striving to progress on their missions that I am a lot less likely to strive for that either. Of course I have personal goals that I am setting for myself on the side. But it is a lot easier to work on those goals with myself when others are working on other goals with me.
For example one of our goals was to have an English fast yesterday. English fast, or as some of the teachers like to call it, a Tagalog Feast. It sure didn't feel like I was feasting! It was by far the most difficult thing I have done here at the MTC! My fellow sisters and I already do our best to SYL (speak your language) but at times like meal time and gym time, we like to give our brains a break and just speak mostly English. But we couldn't do that at all yesterday. It was like an ongoing joke all day yesterday that one of us would start talking and be like "Puwede po ba kami gagaling...wala" haha and "wala" means "nothing". Hahaha so we would start asking something and then realize we didn't know enough and just say "wala" hahaha. We also joked that it was the most quiet we had all been. Which is true! Especially with Sister Tapusoa who has something to say about everything haha.
But there were still things that we learned yesterday besides the fact that we don't know the language very well yet. We learned how important it is to try to SYL alll the time! Just from yesterday, today I am speaking so much more tagalog in my conversations with everyone. It comes a lot more naturally now! It's pretty cool.
Thank you so sooo much to everyone who is writing me! I am sorry if I haven't written back to you yet! I don't have enough email time to email everyone a response :/ but I'm trying to write letters to you all. I am almost done with my letters to you family on oahu peeps. And then I will move on to the next group of mga tao! But things here are always moving faster than I can keep up with sometimes so please forgive me!
Now of course we will end with a little spiritual thought I would like to share. At our Sunday devotional last week we listened to probably the best talk I have ever heard in my life. I was bummed at first to see that I didn't recognize the name of the speaker and when he started talking I thought for sure I would be zoning out because it wasn't a very attention catching voice. But once I started listening to the things that he said, I couldn't turn my focus anywhere else. His name is Robert H. Daines. He and his wife are the the Provo Temple President and Matron. He talked a bit about women in the church. He mentioned that a group of sisters in the church are planning to get in line at the priesthood session at temple square in an effort to protest their feelings toward priesthood in the church. My jaw dropped when I heard about this. Brother Daines tried to explain how God's love for his daughters is so explicit and all we have to do is open our ears to it. But he didn't go on for too long about this topic. I think we was just using it as an example of a trial that we might go through as members of the church. It lead to my favorite quote ever! Which you all have probably heard, but it's, "the only way out of a problem, is through it." Can I get an amen??? Haha but seriously.
Unfortunately, that quote isn't fully true. There is another way out of the problem and that is to go back out the way you came in. This leads to my second story. So last week Wednesday our zone got 3 new districts. One is an all sisters district! I'm not sure how many of those exist but I'm sure they will become more common very soon. But in one of the districts a sister was having a really rough time. I guess from day one she was having separation anxiety. Unfortunately I didn't know about this until she was here for almost a week. As soon as I found out I tried to get her to the temple with her companion but President Smith said that he wanted to meet with her that night. But before night came, she went home. Right away I started asking myself what I could have done to keep her here. But I realized that in the end, it would have been her decision. She had to be the one to decide whether she was going to go through the problem, or go back out the way she came in. I will never forget this sister. I pray for her still now. I hope she can come back and face her fears. The Lord will qualify whom He calls. I know this to be true. Everyone here has a story. I am so lucky to be Sister Training Leader because I have an excuse to get to know the Sisters on a more personal level. It's important to get to know people before making a judgement about them.
That's all I have this week. I don't even have any pictures! Ala! (Oh no!) But there will probs be some next week. Until next time! Love you all! Be safe! Say your prayers! Write me! lol joke lang mediyo (just kidding kind of)
- Sister Sawada