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Thursday, April 23, 2015
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! And I don't think I'll ever be able to say that enough. So get used to it. Oh my heavens this week was AMAZING. Every day is when you're a missionary.
So on Sunday we had our last Sunday with the Senior Batch of missionaries who were leaving for their missions on Wednesday. We had an activity where we all stood on one side of the room and were each asked if we wanted blessings from Jesus Christ. With every answer, whether yes or no, Elder Carrington did 5 pushups. Everyone was sobbing by the end of the lesson because we saw him suffer for each of us individually. It was a parallel to Christ's suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. He suffered for our pains and sins whether we want to accept the Atonement or not. He loves us so much that He suffered for us individually. It's hard to explain this sort of thing because the Spirit was just SO STRONG in the room. We are so so blessed.
So along with the Senior Batch, one of our elders, Elder Crichton, left for his mission because they don't teach his language here. He'll learn it in the field. We got up at 4 am and had a testimony meeting before he left. So now my district is my trio and Elder Bautista. We have to teach our lessons all four of us cramped in a tiny room with our investigators. It's hard but Elder Bautista is full Filipino but he grew up in Canada and he knows way more Tagalog than any of us so that's a huge help. But it's just hard to balance between four people.
One such lesson was with our investigator Sister Alma. We talked about the restoration and about Joseph Smith. My part of the lesson was to bear testimony after we sang Joseph Smith's first Prayer in Tagalog. Everyone was crying so it pretty much ended being a solo by yours truly. I just want you all to know that I KNOW that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet of God. I know this because I prayed to Heavenly Father and asked; and through the Holy Ghost, He told me. I know it. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. He restored this church to the earth. As I bore testimony, that knowledge grew stronger. And I could see in the eyes of my investigator that even though she couldn't understand my broken Tagalog, she could understand that the Spirit was telling her what I was saying was true. We then committed her to read Ang Aklat ni Mormon. I just... love the gospel.
This morning we were able to take our first temple trip. The Manila Temple is beyond gorgeous. The Spirit was so so strong. I loved all of it. The Filipino workers were incredibly sweet the entire time. I sat in the Celestial Room and cried for like 30 minutes because I just was overwhelmed with how incredibly blessed I am to be here among these people and how blessed I am to have so many family and friends back home and throughout the world supporting me and loving me. God is good to me.
After the temple, we greeted the new batch that came in. I was pretty anxious for them to come because ever since the senior batch and regular training missionaries left on Wednesday, there have been literally 17 missionaries in the entire MTC. It's been so quiet. I'm excited to get to know the new batch. I'm a Sister Training Leader so I get to help out a lot with them and it's such a blessing. The native missionaries are the sweetest. One of them is headed to Phoenix!
Ok, funny thing that everyone keeps telling me. Apparently Wilkins is a water bottle brand over here. Every time I meet a native and say "ako po si Sister Wilkins" they laugh and say "oh, did you know that Wilkins is water?" I just want to see some evidence of this.
Oh, so Pananampalataya is the word for Faith in Tagalog. Before I left that was one of the words that I saw. I was terrified because, well, look at it. But not only have I mastered that word, I've gotten some harder ones. There is no way on earth that I'd be able to do any of this without the help of the Lord. I love seeing how much I've learned in the past two weeks. I'm so grateful for the Gift of Tongues because it is SO REAL!
Welp, I love you all so much! Tell Steph I'm rooting for her and I can't wait to see pictures of Baby Dallas! I'm so so so happy!