Can you even believe it's almost been one week?! I sure can't everyday goes by so extremely fast and I barely have time to take it all in. It was so weird saying goodbye to you all on Wednesday, but this is where I'm supposed to be! When I left you all it really did feel like I was going to Disneyland or something. I can say now that that it doesn't quite feel like Disneyland... Disneyland isn't hard..
It was so fun to be escorted by that sweet sister from my mission prep class. Everyone here is so fun and positive- I guess it is "The happiest place on earth!" When the sister who escorted me was walking me through campus, I saw Sister Owen who I visit taught at BYU. She is going to Finland and has been in the MTC since finals week. She took me and my stuff from there and helped me to my room. I love seeing familiar faces! It makes everything so much better.
After I put my stuff in my room, I went into a building to complete a survey that only took about 15 minutes. I then was sitting in a room with my District and the teacher was ONLY SPEAKING TAGALOG. WHAT?! I thought maybe they'd speak in English and then tell us how it translates in Tagalog, or maybe we'd have lessons about "Preach my Gospel" in English and then have a separate time to have a language class. NOPE. It's ALL in Tagalog. This language is unreal and I can't believe the Lord believes in me enough to be able to learn it. I just need to keep putting my trust in him and PRAY PRAY PRAY for the gift of tongues!
Sister Jones, my roomie from BYU, lives right next door to me so I get to see her all the time which is so fun! I also saw Taylor Jolley a lot, but he left this morning for the field. I've seen Elder Lovin quite and few times, and even saw Ian Anderson last night. It's so fun to know that we are all on the Lord's errand.
My companion is Sister Fewster from England. She is such a sweet girl and has the most beautiful accent. Sister Lopez and Sister Oyler are the two other sisters in my district and we get along so well! I'm so grateful that the Lord blessed me with such great examples all around me. My district is AWESOME. We are all going to the Philippines and all learning Tagalog. We speak in the language as much as we can, although to the native speaker I'm sure we sound like jibberish! We sure have a fun time trying though!
On Saturday, Sister Fewster and I taught our very first lesson... in ALL Tagalog. I'd only had like three days worth of vocabulary, but we did well with what we had. We taught Ton-Ton, a man who moved here from the Philippines. I know he's just acting, but he acts just like a real investigator. He spoke Tagalog really fast and we had to keep saying "Paki- ulit"- please repeat. We invited him to pray everyday to ask if he had a Father in Heaven who loved him. He also said the closing prayer to our lesson. In the little Tagalog I know, I was able to teach him the steps to pray, and it was so neat! All in all the lesson was kind of fun but also a bit stressful. We teach him again tonight and I have no idea what we are going to say. We just really need to let the Spirit guide.
Yesterday was Sunday and we had a full schedule of meetings. I felt pretty down and discouraged. Everyone told me "make it to Sunday the you'll be okay." We had meeting after meeting and I didn't feel much better. At about 3:00 we had sacrament meeting with my zone, and it was the biggest tender mercy ever. We do everything in Tagalog- sing, pray, talks, etc. Since it was fast Sunday though, I had the most amazing opportunity to bear my testimony in Tagalog. I bore it straight from my heart and I think I did relatively well. It was amazing to hear all the Elders and Sisters testimonies and know that they are having a difficult time, but that we can be a support to one another. It was exactly what I needed to hear and I feel so blessed to know that I can do this.
Later on, we had a devotional that was great, and then had the opportunity to view Elder Bednar's talk "The Character of Chirst". Boy was it powerful. This mission is NOT about me. When I feel sorry for myself or discouraged or frustrated with the language, who cares. This is the Lord's work, and He has His timing. He is preparing me for something greater and I need not be negative about what is going on. I need to turn outward and focus on the needs of others, rather than my own. By turning outward and expressing compassion, love, service, and kindness, and disregarding the natural man's tendency to turn inward, I will become like Christ. This is the only way. I'm so grateful that I have to opportunity to be better today than I was yesterday. Becoming the "Character of Christ" will take SO much hard work and effort, but I will do it. I want to do it. I know I can do it. Heavenly Father is already trying me so much and putting trials in my path during my mission so I can learn to develop the character of Christ. I'm grateful that it's difficult though, or else I would learn absolutely nothing!
Who wants to hear something funny?! I know you do! So to say "good" in Tagalog is "mabuti" (Like my booty) and to say water is "tubig" (Like too big). So when you say "good water" its like saying "My booty too big". It gets me every time!! You just have too appreciate the little things here in the MTC!!
I love you all and I wish I could write to everyone individually, but I don't have time. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep writing! I love you all and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve.