Thursday, August 29, 2013

Week Four in the MTC - "mei palangga ang Dios para sa inyo!"

I know that miracles happen everyday and that prayers are answered. Heavenly Father loves you all so much and wants the best for you. He hears you every single time you pray. He wants to hear from you! I've learned to appreciate praying so much since being here. I'm so incredibly grateful for prayer.

 A little about life here. I am living on the main campus, not the West campus at Raintree. I entered the MTC with 700 missionaries, 600 on main campus and 100 went to the West campus. We heard they are going to start construction on the main campus-- I don't really know what they're going to do. I love the MTC so much! The spirit is so strong here! This place is so sacred and so wonderful. I love being around so many missionaries all the time!
Our sister training leaders who left on Monday

Three districts from our zone left on Monday. They were all Cebuano speaking districts going to Cebu, Cebu East and Tacloban in the Philippines. We miss them a lot. A lot of them were internationals from places like New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa and we became really close to them. It was sad saying good-bye. But since they left, we got four new Cebuano speaking districts in our zone this week! They all arrived yesterday! 

Sister Peterson and I were asked to be the new Sister Training Leaders, which means we are in charge of taking care of all of the sisters in our zone. We just got 20 new sisters and 17 new elders. All together we have 30 sisters in our zone. We're so excited to have this new opportunity to really get to know the sisters in our zone and help them the best we can. On Tuesday, four international sisters came in, so we welcomed them and then Wednesday, the rest of them arrived and we welcomed them and showed them all around. It was lots of fun! It made me think about my first day! Time is going by so fast!
We picked up the internationals on Tuesday.
This was taken after running in the rain, coming from the devotional at the Marriott Ctr.

typical day for me is: personal study, breakfast, class  for 3  hours  (part of it we teach our progressing investigator/teacher, learn language, learn teaching skills), then language study, lunch, companion study, class for three hours with our other teacher, planning, dinner, Gym and this thing called TALL (computer program to help us learn Hiligaynon). We're very busy everyday! It's really awesome! I'm learning tons:)

Last Thursday, we had this awesome experience at TRC. We taught a lady name Sister Konishi, who is from Bacolod, but has lived here for a while and volunteers all the time at TRC. She's so sweet. We talked to her about faith (in Hiligaynon). The Spirit was sooo strong, it was amazing. The Spirit taught her through us the things she needed to hear about faith and she said she was strengthened by our message. When she gave the closing prayer, she started crying, which made me start crying. The Spirit was so strong. She reminded me of why I am here and how incredible awesome it is to get to bring hope into people's lives and remind them through the Spirit of God's love for them and help them come closer to Christ. The gospel is truly so wonderful and I feel so blessed to have the Gospel in my life. I love the joy that the gospel brings into everyone's life. 

We had an awesome devotional this week Tuesday with Elder Anderson! He talked about love and sacrifice. He said "we sacrifice for the things we love, we love the things we sacrifice for." The greatest sacrifice of all, is the atonement. When he was talking about that, I thought about my Savior and how much I love Him and how incredible it is for this opportunity to testify of my Savior all the time. I get to wear His name on my chest, right next to my name. I am a representative of Jesus Christ, which is the most amazing thing ever. I feel sooooooooooo blessed for this opportunity.  

Love, palangga, 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Week Three in the MTC - "God is aware of you:)"

How are you all doing? Have you been noticing the Lord's hand in your life lately? If you just pay attention and notice, He's involved in your life so much everyday!

So I pretty much have the best district in the whole entire world. It's actually super fun that we're all sisters because we have become sooooo close! We are family to each other. I am so blessed. We do this thing where every night someone shares something about herself so that we can get to know her better. Every week we have a different topic. The first week, we each shared our story about how we decided to serve a mission and then everyone went around and said something she admires about the sister, the second week we each shared a funny story from our life and a trial. This week we have been sharing random facts about ourselves. So my district already knows my fear of birds, that sour food makes my face sweat and all those other things that make me unique:) I love them. 

I think one of the biggest lessons I learned this week is that it is more important that I am enjoying myself and having a good experience than being stressed out all the time trying to study my brains out 24/7. It's still important that I'm working my hardest, but you know what I mean. Always find joy in the journey! I learned that the best way to do that is to focus on having, and praying for, love for everyone around you and then also focusing on always keeping the Spirit with you. 

I know that God is aware of me and cares about me so much. He is in control. It brings me so much peace to know that as long as I am worthy of the Spirit and follow it, everything will be okay. It really will be because God is in control. Of course He still give us our free agency, but He also gives us guidance if we let Him. The gospel is so beautiful and so perfect. 
God has been helping me so much with everything! It's so evident when teaching in the language, that God is working miracles in my life everyday! When we teach with the Spirit and with love for our investigator, everything else falls into place and Heavenly Father works miracles! We committed one of our investigators, JB, to baptism this week! YAY!!!! It was all the power of the Spirit, trust me:)

We went to the temple for the first time last Thursday because it finally opened! I loved being back there in God's house so much! We get to go again this afternoon and I'm so excited! I love the Spirit there and feelings of peace and love. We are so blessed to have temples:)
My zone in front of the temple

Palangga ta kamo! I love you all!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Week Two in the MTC

It's crazy how often I forget about the big picture of what I am doing and why I am here when I start stressing out about the language and such, BUT the Lord doesn't let me forget for long. He uses the spirit plus all of you and your encouragement to remind me that this the most incredible opportunity and blessing on the planet. I am truly, truly blessed to be called to serve my Savior and represent Him 24/7! 

So my first week here, we had one investigator and since we didn't know the language, we would just memorize things to say. We would pray, share a tiny message with a few memorized lines and then someone would bear their testimony. Everything was memorized though. This past week, things changed for the better. We have been learning how to form our own sentences, which is awesome. Our past few lessons this week, we have two new investigators, have been so much better. We still plan our lessons beforehand, but we come up with what we're going to say together, instead of looking up phrases and sentences in our language book to memorize. Now in our lessons, we can think in our mind what we want to say and actually come up with how to say it in Hiligaynon! 

Well not always, but it's getting so much better. Also now we listen to each other when we're speaking and we listen to our investigators and try our best to understand what they're saying. Before, we wouldn't really listen to anyone else because we were just trying to remember what our next memorized line was to say!

The other day we taught our investigator about the restoration and really simply told about the First Vision. I got emotional thinking about what we were saying and this beautiful and incredible message we have to share. Our investigators are actually our teachers pretending to be investigators they taught on their missions. We have two teachers now and I love both of them a lot. I learn so much from them everyday.
My district with our teacher, Bro. Speiser

Thursday, August 8, 2013

First Week in the MTC - "God will be our strength"

Hey family and friends!
Kamusta? That's what all the philippino missionaries say to each other. 

This first week has been so crazy and so awesome and so hard, but also so rewarding and incredible! The first few days were especially overwhelming, but now I'm starting to get used to things:). I have been blessed with an incredible companion and district.

My comp is from Coleville UT and she's the best. We are very different, but we mesh well together and we have already learned so much from each other. We really get along well and help and support each other, which is so great. I really feel blessed. I also have the most amazing district! We are an all girls district, the six of us and I love it! We all have class together, just the 6 of us and we all sleep in the same room, so we're always together. I am learning so much from all of these sisters and I know we will all be best friends for a long time. Sister Masse and Sister Nonu are going to the Iloilo mission and then my comp and I and Sis Russon and Sis Bahm are all going to Bacolod. There is one other district that came in with us learning Hiligaynon.

Our district
So we taught our very first lesson on Thursday, last Thursday. The second day I was here. We had class, our teacher Bro. Speiser only speaks Hiligaynon to us, for the second time and he had us watch a video clip of a man speaking in our language about himself. We were supposed to try to figure out some of what he said in the video and collectively we got a little bit out of it. Then he told us we were going to be teaching a lesson to an investigator that afternoon. He told us the morning of the afternoon we were supposed to teach an investigator a lesson in Hiligaynon. We were all freaking out. Bro. Speiser could sense our fear and angst and tried to calm us down. He then asked us to each take turns bearing our testimonies, in English. The spirit was so incredibly strong and helped me feel so much better and at peace about things.

I wanted to share that experience because that really shows how things have been here. Just when I start to get really worried or anxious or down, our teacher starts testifying of the gospel or our district leader reads a scripture to us or God just finds some way to remind me of my purpose and how exciting this opportunity is and I just feel of His love and desire to help and strengthen me.

At the Provo temple

It's incredible how much of the language we already know! I've been here a week and can bear my testimony, give a simple message of the gospel and pray in Hiligaynon! It's a miracle! Seriously, God works miracles in my life every single day! I know he is working miracles in all of our lives, if we just stop to notice and appreciate them:) It's so clear and in your face here though.