First off, I was so sad to hear about Elder Scott. Brother and Sister Cardon from the Seventy spoke that night and they told me things about Elder Scott that I didn’t know and made me admire him so much and I will miss him dearly.
It has been one whole week since the last time I got to write and the MTC is still amazing, except for the food. It is finally taking its toll and I don’t know how I can eat it three times a day for another 5 weeks but I will get through it, maybe with salad and fruit and cereal:) Thank you so much for the dearelders that were sent! It is something I look forward to every night!
I love all of the girls that I am rooming with; this seems like a good thing, but it would be a lot easier to have lights out at 10:30 and asleep if we didn’t enjoy talking to each other so much. The elders in our zone are all so funny and they fill our long days studying Cebuano and preparing lessons with laughter. I laugh just as much here as I do with all of you I think.
FUNNY STORY: In our room one night after about 4 days of being here, one of the girls from Singapore was talking about a blanket on her bed and I looked over and she was using the mattress pad as a blanket because her companion from Cali told her that’s what it was. Then we looked around and half of the girls thought the too short, rough, nappy mattress pad was a blanket so they were all under it. I don’t know if that was “you had to be there” thing, but I fell off my bed I was laughing so hard.
We have taught 4 lessons now in Cebuano to an “investigator” named “Joel” (who just became our second teacher) and I didn’t realize how lisod (difficult) it would be! We taught the restoration and in the middle of teaching, Joel said something super fast in Cebuano and I looked at my kauban and she just had a dumbfounded look on her face and I could not help but laugh right in the middle of our lesson and it took me about a minute to stop giggling. Not recommended when you need the spirit there so recommendation for anyone going to serve a mission speaking another language, don’t look at your companion the first few lessons.
After that though, we took two lessons to teach the Plan of Salvation because the first lesson he asked us to explain the difference in the Celestial and Terrestrial Kingdoms in regards to the “qualifications” to getting there and we did not know how to say all of that in Cebuano so we asked if we could tell him the next time. Besides not knowing how to say that though, the Spirit and gift of tongues was able to allow me to explain everything in Cebuano and it was incredible! I love this gospel and I am so excited to learn how to effectively teach the gospel in Cebuano and in a way that it will help others realize who they are and their purpose in an eternal perspective. I want to make those I teach know how happy they can be forever!!!
As far as the language, besides what I have already said, I am remembering so much! I have techniques to remembering things that I have used throughout high school and mostly college that I apply to remembering vocab(for example katapusan means end and I hate cats so I want them to end, or kalinaw means peace and I would be so peaceful if I were in Cali now, etc) so everyone thinks I am a genius, but I showed them my secret and I get to help everyone in my district learn the language better and I love doing that. I absolutely love Cebuano. I want to learn every language there is now because it is so fun.
On Sunday we were in the choir and the choir director, Brother Eggett, is hilarious! But listening to almost 1000 missionaries singing “How Firm a Foundation” and “Redeemer of Israel” could convert someone instantly, so being a part of it was an incredible feeling. The Spirit was stronger than I have felt it anywhere else at the MTC. AND at the devotional that night Lloyd Newell was the speaker and he is the one who does the voice for the intro of General Conference! He is also the Music and Spoken Word guy and he was an incredible speaker!
On Sunday in relief society one of the Branch presidency member’s wife said:
Faith is not just believing that Christ can, it’s knowing that God will.
Goosebumps everywhere. What a powerful thought. My testimony and knowledge on faith has been transformed already with statements like this and acknowledging that faith is not just believing in what we cannot see but ACTING on that belief. BINUHATAN(action) is key in showing faith and seeing faith in others.
We watched a talk by Elder Holland where he talked about converts and told us that we need to be our first convert before we can convert anyone else to this gospel and to come unto Christ. He said that we are God’s investigator and that “he will want everything from [us] that we want from [our] investigators”. That will be how I think about improving and keeping myself on track through the entire mission.
I was asked to teach Relief Society this week and I am so excited to talk about the change of heart that is necessary and defines repentance. I hope I will be able to teach the sisters something new and what they need to hear.
That is all I can think of for now but know that I love you all and hope you are all doing amazing! Continue emailing me and writing me because I love hearing about your lives!
Uban sa gugma,
Elders from my district – they are my favorite and so funny.