Well last week flew by and I can't believe that I'm already a third of the way through the MTC... AHH! There's simply not enough time to learn it all and soak it all in! The MTC so far has been really good. Dad- you were right when you said that it would definitely be a rollercoaster. I had no idea I would experience all of these emotions one after another. There's never ever a dull moment here!
So basically every single girl in the MTC has the exact same mission bag as me. The other day I placed my bag on a shelf in the cafeteria while I ate, and when I came back, my water bottle was sitting on the shelf and my bag was gone. Whoever took my back just took my water bottle out of it, thinking that someone else had placed it in her bag on accident, and then took my bag.. There were at least seven other bags that were identical to mine sitting on the shelf so I went through every single one of them to find my bag. I eventually got my bag back, but I have learned my lesson to not leave my bag anywhere!
This past week we finished teaching our first investigator on our second to last visit with Ton-Ton we invited him to be baptized. He said yes and it was such a confirmation to me that I can do this work. I know he was just a returned missionary from the Philippines, but it was such a tender mercy that the Lord knew I needed. It gave me the confidence to know that I can do this work and despite my mangled Tagalog. The day after we finished teaching, Ton-Ton came into our class dressed in a white shirt and tie, with his name badge... Turns out he is our new teacher! I felt so embarrassed seeing him because he saw first hand how awful my Tagalog was and how much I have to improve on! Oh well! Hopefully he'll be able to know my weaknesses and strengths and help me improve. We have two new investigators now, and I am kind of stressed about teaching them. Oh well! I guess I just need to get used to it because I'll be doing this for the next 18 months!! It's hard enough to put my thoughts together in English, and so asking me to teach in Tagalog is just CRAZY! But I love it and I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to practice so much before I get into the field.
Temple walks are my favorite! Last Sunday while we were walking around the temple, Elder Vilingia from my zone was walking and completely ripped his pants. It was hilarious! We all decided to walk around with our jackets around our butts to support him. It's so fun to be able to escape the MTC for a little bit and get some fresh air. Gym time is also my FAVORITE time of the day because I don't have to stress about anything and just enjoy life. THANK HEAVENS. But gym time does come at a cost, because I have bruises all the way up my arms from playing volleyball.. but it's so worth it!
Tagalog is seriously the craziest language ever! I'm getting more familiar with it, but it's still hard. The other night while I was saying my prayers, I asked for "koloob ng mga wika" (the gift of tongues). As I asked for this, a feeling came over me that I would learn the language, but it will not happen right now. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and keep my head held high. The language is definitely teaching me humility and I am so grateful for this opportunity to be able to come closer to Christ through learning this language- there is no way I can learn it without Him. I was reading in Preach My Gospel and it said that in order to receive the gift of tongues, one must be working hard and be struggling. I am definitely doing both of these things, and I have full confidence in the Lord that I will get the language and be fluent.
"Obedience brings blessings, perfect obedience brings miracles." I am living off of this motto and I know without a doubt that if I keep being obedient and putting full trust in the Lord, I will experience miracles.
I love you all and thanks so much for all of the packages and emails!!
Even though I'm on a mission, it doesn't mean I don't still do stupid things... Like the other day we had gym and when we came back, I took off my sports bra and completely spaced to put on a new bra, so I went the rest of the day with no bra... Yup... totally a Marissa thing to do! It was GREAT.
Shout out to Ethel for the cookies!! I wish I had her address to write her, but I don't! I LOVED the cookies, so THANK YOU!!