This week was incredible and it is hard for me to not write about every second of every day but for your sake, I will not.
First of all, I miss you all so so so much! I hope everyone is doing well in school, work, family, life, etc. Know that I pray for all of you every night and morning. I get dearelders and emails from a lot of you and I appreciate that cause I really wanna know what is going on in your lives!
This past Sunday was incredible. It started out at 7:30 with my kauban (companion) and I getting called as the Sister Training Leaders!
After 1 week, I was not expecting nor ready for it but I love it! We are in charge of all the 18 sisters in our zone and they are all so sweet and down to earth and it is fun getting to know them and help them with their problems. We got a phone which is a pain because we have to keep track of it and have it on us all day but no one ever calls it except telemarketers! But besides that, I love it. My lesson in Relief Society went well and the sisters contributed a lot to it and deepened my understanding of repentance. THEN that night we watched the talk “Characters of Christ” by Elder Bednar and it is LIFE CHANGING. Please go find it and read or watch it right now if you haven’t before. It is all about losing yourself and turning outward always, even during trials. He, very bluntly said, “GET OVER YOURSELF” and lose yourself in the service of others. Every time I pray, I ask Heavenly Father to help me turn outward and not think about myself at all. Elder Bednar is amazing and inspiring.
Our Tuesday Night Devotional this week has been my favorite devotional so far. Elder Claudio R.M. Costa from Brazil who is in the Quorum of the Seventy Presidency. What an incredible man and entertaining speaker. He talked about a Sister missionary that he met with when he was mission president in Brazil who was so dedicated that her feet were swollen with blisters and bleeding. When he found out and saw them, he told her she must go home, but she told him that if he had faith, he would pray for her to be healed because she did not want to go home. She was healed and able to stay on her mission. I want to be that dedicated and committed and valiant and he inspired me to be diligent in all things on my mission! He also said the following analogy that will be engraved in my mind my whole mission regarding those I convert and may not convert.
He said: “When you cut an apple in half you can see how many seeds are in that apple; however, it is impossible to see how many apples will come from one of those seeds.”
I will not be able to see how many apples will come from the seeds of the gospel that I plant in the Filipino people but as long as I am planting those seeds, it doesn’t matter.
Cebuano is a beautiful language and I taught an entire first lesson yesterday in Cebuano with little to no struggle and I thank Heavenly Father every second for giving me the ability to learn the language quickly and for the gift of tongues. To show just how beautiful the language is, charity in Cebuano is gugma nga putli which directly transfers as pure love. BEAUTIFUL i am telling you.
FUNNY STORY: So my roommate, Sister Cook who is a surfer and plays sports and all that jazz is the only other one in the room who will run and work out with me. I wanted to get up early(at 5:50) to go to a fitness class called “Cardio Only”. We figured it would be jumping jacks, suicides, running, you know all things cardio. We got to the gym and it was just the instructor, me and sister cook. Bad news already. Then salsa music came on and our instructor started “dancing” but no joke it looked like she was impersonating Napoleon Dynamite with these dance moves and there was n0 cardio. I wish I could show you all the dance moves that me and sister cook had no choice but to do since it was just us 3. I expected Ashton Kutcher to come out at any moment because the moves we were doing could not be real. Unfortunately he did not and we did that for 30 minutes. I have never had to practice so much self control so that I wouldn’t laugh. And the instructor was serious the entire time. Sooo yeah highlight of my day.
My roommates are hilarious and last night we got in trouble for laughing too loud in our room. It’s hard to focus on my studies during the day because pretty much everyone in my zone and district make me laugh and we all have very similar senses of humor. Elder Totiana, the elder from Kirebes in Micronesia is struggling with learning English on top of learning Cebauno but his smile and laugh are contagious.
My district and zone are so cool and their testimonies strengthen mine so much. Elder Renau shared something one night that I had never heard. He said, “In the pre-existence Heavenly Father told us if we were going to be born into this gospel or not. Those who found out they would not be born into this gospel had so much sorrow and they begged and pleaded with those who would be born into it(me) to find them and share the gospel with them so that they could return to our Heavenly Father.
Then, Elder Sturgill (who has been to the Philippines 7 times already, including Tacloban) is already an incredible missionary and every time he bears his testimony, he makes me cry. This week we were asking about Tacloban and he told us how humbling it is being there because the people are so humble and happy even with nothing. He talked about how the Spirit is so strong as you drive past the rice fields with the sun rising and see piles and piles of body bags from the innocent people who were killed in the typhoon. I already care for and love those people that went through such a huge trial. I know that in the pre existence some of the Filipino people who I will meet begged me to find them and bring them back to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and that is exactly why I am here serving a mission. I cannot wait to be reunited with those people in a month and give them this gospel that will bring them so much kalipay ug kahupay (joy and comfort).
In Elder Bednar’s talk he said “When you don’t think you can do this, you’re right, but in the strength of the Lord, you can.” I know that I could not learn Cebuano and bring people to come unto Christ without the Lord. I know that this will be hard but in the strength of the Lord, I can do it.
Salamat para tanan ni inyong mga pagampo ug inyong mga ejemplo. Gihigugma kamo sa Dios ug pwede kamo buhaton lisod nga mga butang sa uban Siya.
Uban daghan gugma,
PS I realized this week that our name tags don’t say ” Sister Prudencio” in Cebuano because then they would have to fit “Igsoon nga babaye Prudencio” on our name tags.