27 more days until I head for the Philippines! I am so excited I can hardly wait but at the same time I am scared out of my mind. I don't know this language , people or culture! Yesterday I had a cool experience, we were talking with our teacher about our language studies and he said something so profound! He said in the worlds eyes this language we are learning is pointless, we will only use it for 18 months and we most likely will never use it again! He said you aren't learning the language for you, the people that you will teach in the Philippines this may be their first and possibly last chance to hear about the gospel and you are the only one who can help them! Their salvation depends on this language! So I realized I cant think why am I learning this crazy language because I will never use it again but I need to think how incredible it will be that I will be able to teach and bring others unto Christ while speaking another language! After he said this it really changed my mindset. I was having a hard week with the language but I realized this language isn't for me it is for the people that I will be teaching! I am really understanding now that this mission isn't for me and I was called on my mission to speak in the Illongo language. My companions and I made some goals to memorize 50 words a day. When we decided on this goal we knew it was going to be so hard and we knew some days we wouldn't be able to meet that goal but with God all things are possible! He called us to this mission to learn this language for a certain reason and without a doubt he will be there the whole way to help us!
On sunday we had an amazing speaker come talk to us, her name was Mary Ellen Edmunds. She said something that has stuck in my mind ever since. She said "There have been over 1 million missions served since 1830 , but not this one. NOBODY has served this mission yet. It is your missions and your time to serve!" I thought this was so Incredible!
There are so many incredible spiritual things that happen daily and I wish I had time to share them all! This past sunday we had a lesson and they were talking about how the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion and a questions got asked "We know the BOM is the keystone of our religion, but is it the keystone of your life?" So I want you all to ponder on that question and ask yourself if the BOM is the keystone of your life!
Okay something funny that happened was we were all sitting in our classroom talking and one of our teachers makes really funny gestures with his hands and the sister in my district from Samoa who doesn't speak very much english she said he was like Michael Jackson! We all busted up laughing and her companion said "Out of all the english words you know you know Michael Jackson! You don't know Atonement, Restoration, or Plan of Salvation but you know Michael Jackson! That will be super helpful in our lessons! LOL we laughed so hard!
Well life here at the MTC is pretty much the same! Both of my companions have been sick so I have been praying so hard not to get sick and have been successful so far! Hope you all are having a good Pioneer day! Have a good week! :)
Here are a few Illongo Words!
Halong! (Take Care)
Palangga 'taka ( I love you)
Yuhum (Smile) *It is pronounced "you-hoom" it reminds me of the guy off of the movie Frozen who says"You-hoo big summer blow out!"
This week has been so good! I cant believe I have already been here for a week although it sometimes feels like I have been here forever especially after the same food starts getting served over and over again! ;) I love my Companions we have so much fun together and laugh all the time! I had my first Sunday at the MTC and it was a lot different than I thought it would be but It was still amazing! Some Elders and Sisters in my district sang Love at home and by the end just about everyone was in tears partially because some were homesick but mainly because of how incredible the spirit was! We also watched this talk by President Bednar about the attributes of Christ! It was incredible and I think everyone needs to watch it whether they are a missionary or not! But it helped me put my mission into perspective! We taught our first lesson in Illongo 3 days after being in the MTC so that was absolutely insane!!!! Our first lesson wasn't very good but the more lessons we taught the better they got and I realized it really doesn't matter that I made mistakes in the language or that I forgot how to say something but the key to teaching is having the spirit there! Without the spirit it is impossible to teach! On Tuesday we had a great devotional given by Ben Banks! It was so good and after we were discussing it with our district and one of the Elders who is from Tonga told us his story. He said ever since he was little he has always wanted to go on a mission! His father isn't a member but always encouraged him to go on a mission! He told his dad he wouldn't go unless his dad started coming to church so his dad started to come to church and ended up getting baptized! And right before he left on his mission his dad became the bishop! This shows me that you don't have to be a missionary to help others come unto Christ and eventually be baptized! Anyone can be a missionary and I recommend you all pray and ask for missionary experiences this week! This gospel is incredible and my love for it is increasing every day! The language is starting to get better but is still difficult! Thanks for all your prayers! The gift of tongues is so incredibly real! I have learned more just one week at the MTC than I did 3 years of Spanish class in high school! I am able to bear my testimony, say a simple prayer, and say a few other things but my knowledge of the gospel and the language increases every day and It is so Incredible! I have loved all your letters and Dear Elders! Thank You and Love you all! Talk to you next week! :)
The Trio Wow! I have been in the MTC for 2 and a half days and I am loving it! I have two companions Sister Briggs (from Lindon Utah) and Sister Hein (From Kaysville Utah). We are a trio companionship and they are now my best friends! Our first day in class the teachers only spoke our mission language which is Hiligaynon but everyone here calls it Illongo. I was told that the Illongo language sounds like a bird, so maybe when I come home I will sound like a bird! ;) The language is pretty crazy! I have learned so much already though! We study like crazy every day and I cant believe that I only have 6 weeks total to learn this language. Everyone reassures me that the language will come and that the gift of tongues is real! I am so grateful for this because I know that I wouldn't be able to do this alone but with god all things are possible! Well my district is made up of all sisters, it is me and my two companions and two other sisters, ones is from Samoa and the other from New Zealand. There are 5 girls in my room, Me and my three companions, and one sister from England and the other from Australia. So I am surrounded by people with the coolest accents ever! I could just listen to them talk all day! We are all such good friends now and I love everyone that I have met so far! Yesterday we met our branch presidency! My branch president is President Pearce and they are from Alpine! They seem really nice! Yesterday we were all getting to know each other and telling our presidency about ourselves and at the end of telling them about ourselves we each got the chance to bear our testimony. The sister in my district from Samoa got up to introduce herself but she doesn't speak very much English so she did her best and at the end she bore the sweetest testimony using as much English as she knew but the spirit was so strong and everyone was in tears by the end of it but this reassured me that although we are all from different places we share the same thing in common which is our love for the gospel. It is incredible how strong the spirit is here and how I feel it constantly. I am so grateful for the chance to go on a mission and be able to share my love for the gospel with the people in the Philippines! Thank you all for your love and support and I will Talk to you next week!