Beloved Loved ones,
Kumusta po kayo?! How's life in the states?! ...wow. This past week has been full of all sorts of emotions. On Wednesday I had to leave my wonderful friends I've made in the MTC. Some of my friends stayed at the MTC (still in training) and some were sent off to different areas where they were assigned. Many tears were shed that day. However, I am grateful for the gospel because without it I wouldn't have met the people in the MTC. I am grateful for charity and love because of it there are friendships, there is family...there is life. I'm grateful for having the opportunity to train in the Philippines MTC. I know Heavenly father's timing is so perfect! When my papers were taking forever 1. Because I was not being persistent enough and 2. when I was doing everything right, trials & obstacles appeared out of nowhere. "pero" I’m glad it took forever and happened the way it did because I met all the people I have met at the perfect time. I have established life-long friends. An eternal friendship! I love each and everyone I've met at the MTC, including the leaders. I love the MTC! However, my training is up. but it's not the end; it’s the end of the beginning.
President Beck said, "when you 1st came into the MTC... I thought: here is matter unorganized...but after training, you now go out, well prepared."
So on Wednesday (Oct.9, 2013) after saying our "mamaya kita kits" (see you later) to the younger batches and departing missionaries serving in different areas, it was time to go to work. It was 7:30 AM Walker and I sat in the front seat with the driver and the others in my batch (serving in Quezon City North Mission; basically all the Americans I flew in with) were in the back seats. As Sister Walker and I were just sitting we were observing everything. We were taking it all in. Wow. we thought! Here's the real deal. To the field we go! We're about to experience the adventures of a life-time. Anyhow, we had arrived at president home, and we got interviewed. After that we headed off to the chapel where it all started to become real. We had lunch first (a chicken finger thing with the most delicious turkey gravy (American)!!!!!! and......rice.) It was delish and had this cherry pie thing that was so yummy! have you tried eating food with a fork and a spoon?! Yeah, it's not easy. No one uses knives to cut the food. Anyway, then it was down to business. I was assigned a "kasama" (Sister Criste who will also be my 12 week training leader. I get 12 more weeks of training.YES!) and an area (Ampid 1 Montalban. It's an open area. we're the 1st sisters to be in the area. Neat, huh?) After that we took pictures with President Sperry and Sister Sperry, picked up a set of sheets, an O.Y.M bag (open your mouth; contains pamphlets and B.O.M) for proselyting, medicine (calcium and something else we have to take to stay healthy, a pillow, grabbed our luggage, hugged Walker (my best friend, one of my eternal sisters other than Sister Lesa), and shook the Elders hands (one's in my batch).It was like 2 heartbreaks in one day (everyone at MTC and my batch). Then I stepped into the van with the Assistants to the President who drove my "kasama" and I, and my "mga kabahay" (roommates: Sister Surio & Sister Benech) to our apartment. Since it was an open area the Elders had to personally take us to our apartment. As I was sitting in the back seat my heart felt numb. I had used up every bit of emotion. I knew no one in the vehicle...but the 2 Elders (AP) were kind. They stopped at "MacDoc" (short for McDonalds) and we all got a hot fudge Sunday. First time I had been to McDonald's in forever! Anyway, after that we got back in the van and got to know each other a bit. We said a little bit about ourselves. Just then we had arrived to our apartment. The Elders then gave the trainers the keys to our "bahay" (home) and cellphone. The Elders were so great; they made sure we were all situated before they left. They left us with some "pandesal" (Philippines famous and super delicious bread).
After that it was time to head to the "Palengke" (the little places you buy food on the street...not the supermarket) and I about broke down. There was meat just sitting out and flies were on it and so I asked my "kasama" if we could go in the grocery store, and so we did. She’s so good to me! I love her! She’s like 3 inches taller than me and Filipina. She’s so sweet, kind, understanding, loving, and supportive. She has all the great qualities of a leader! She's so patient with me! I am so blessed to have her as a "kasama." So once we went to the store I about had a breakdown. Nothing in the store looked familiar. Nothing... and everything had a different name. I was so scared, overwhelmed, I was about to go insane. I almost got ran over in the street. I was stuck in the middle of the road with my kasama I wanted to cry! And she’s so loving and patent and calm and said, "its ok (: it's fine don't worry this is normal." We managed to get out of the busy road alive! So then we went home since it was getting real dark. As we were heading home there was a crazy man on the corner with only underwear that was like yellowish and he was super skinny and talking to himself. I was so scarred but my "kasama" and "mga Kabahay" told me it was ok and to walk faster" So I like ran bahahaha I’m such a dork. Anyway that was Wednesday.
Let me tell you a bit about Thursday. So I woke up 6:30AM and began my training (8:00AM-9:AM- personal study; 9-11AM- companion study) with my "kasama"and we started with a hymn and I broke down because I was so overwhelmed and that morning was crazy. The shower was cold, It's so humid and hot even with 4 fans on, the fridge is small, and I missed my friends, I wanted to give up, I wanted home. My Kasama asked what was wrong.. I had to vent to my "kasama" and she helped so much! I just love her! After all that jazz we continued our companion study/planning. As I was planning I had forgotten about myself and my feelings. I had been filled with joy and love and excitement to serve. In that very moment I had realized this was what I came here for! I came to serve others! After heading out into the field...man did I have the adventure of a lifetime that first day! The first day I was proselyting in the rain (pouring! like no other)and since I didn't bring an umbrella my "kasama" shared hers and I didn't want to get wet so I asked to hold the umbrella, and put it close to me so I wouldn't get soaked. hahah then I hear my "kasama" say 'my back is all wet haha' I busted out laughing. We were laughing so much ! She's so sweet. She always thinking of others. She wanted to make sure I was covered and dry. She’s so good to me. I got a mosquito bite on my face and on my leg. I rode in a jeepney and tricycle. I experienced so much on my first day proselyting! The members asked me how long I had been out. I had said 1 (Thursday my 1st day proselyting) and they were so impressed because I was cracking jokes in Tagalog, and making them laugh, and teaching, and testifying. They were impressed and told me my tagalog was so great (: they said that there’s missionaries who have been out 2 months and are shy and quiet and can't speak. Them complimenting pumped me up and motivated me to keep on learning! I love being a missionary! So far my week has been full of adventures!!!
You know how if you don't like a situation it’s up to you to change it and make it better? Well that's what I did. I started looking at the positives and smiling (something I’m good at). My kasama says she loves me because " you brings da fun toos everyone" My companion and I have bonded so much and we have bonded with our "kabahay" as well. They were teasing me when I said I wanted bonding time as an apartment, but it’s so fun now! We are planning on having dates as well to lighten things up. Last night we had 30minutes of free time. Instead of writing in our journals we played Russian monopoly haha (someone had left it there). it's so fun! I love it! I love serving! I love being a missionary! I can't wait to tell you more next time (: That was only 2 days!
Hope you all enjoyed conference! This week find a way to serve one another, and brighten up someone’s day. Be a friend!
something interesting: how to make chicharones (in the Philippines
-hang the pig skin for days, then I guess have a bunch of flies sit on it, and cover all the skin and use a fly swatter after a few days and smack them off then dip it in oil hahahaha gross right... that's what the Elders said lol