This is getting way more real! Next Thursday, we head to the SLC airport and fly to the Manila MTC where we will spend another five days learning more of the language and waiting for our visas to officially clear. I am kinda glad we get that transition in the Manila MTC and we get another chance to go to the temple before almost 17 months of no temple 😦
On Monday, we found out about another huge typhoon that hit my mission that destroyed 65,000 homes. Right after, we watched a video on YouTube that one of my teachers made that was filmed in Tacloban and everything became even more real. My heart already broke for the people I will be teaching and serving and I am so excited to be there so I can help them rebuild homes as well as their lives and families with our message and this gospel. While studying PMG, I read a quote by President Thomas S. Monson where he states:
“Regarding one’s testimony, remember, that which one willingly shares he keeps, while that which he selfishly keeps he loses…TEACH AND TESTIFY. THERE IS NO BETTER COMBINATION.”
That’s exactly what I plan to do with my knowledge and testimony of this gospel. You all can do the same with those in your lives who are less active or non members who may be ready to receive this gospel.
I miss football way too much and on Sunday at our devotional, I was blessed. The main speaker was Chad Lewis, a former TE for BYU and then for the Eagles. He talked all about football and even showed pictures of his injuries and game winning catches:) Tender mercies I tell you. He served in China and when he was on the Eagles, he had an opportunity to go to China to coach one of the football teams there (being one of the only NFL players who spoke Chinese) and one of the people asked him what he does about his nerves before a game. That opened up the opportunity for him to talk about his mission and prayer and Heavenly Father to this entire football team.
What I got out of the story (not necessarily what his message was) is what I learned from PMG and the pre MTC online training when they told me to continue to use my mission language after the mission. That’s easy to imagine if I were learning Spanish or French or something, but with Cebuano/Waray, I didn’t know how that would be easy but Chad Lewis showed me that the Lord will probably need me to remember the language even after my mission to continue this work.
After Brother Lewis, he had Taysom Hill speak to us. Taysom talked about sitting on the sidelines of a recent game where some of the Quorum of the 12 were in the stands and he was able to talk to them. One of them said to him, “Taysom, if the Lord needed you on the football field to be making plays, you would be out there. But he doesn’t; he needs you somewhere else and you need to figure out where that is”. He went on to bear his testimony that he knows we are exactly where the Lord wants us. Hopefully you all will take this same principle into your lives that if something isn’t working out or is keeping you from what you want to be doing, the Lord probably needs you somewhere else. I have even more respect Taysom than I did when he killed it on the field my freshman and half of sophomore year.
As far as the language goes, it is still coming along smoothly. I know full well though that when I get there I won’t be able to understand anything that they are saying because our teachers talk so much slower than the Filipinos. I memorized the first vision in Cebuano the other day and when I can’t sleep I just go over it and other words in my head over and over hoping to master them. This week we get to learn a little of Waray Waray, which is the language I will be speaking primarily so I am excited for that!
QUICK FUNNY STORY: The main teacher guy in our In Field Orientation (which is an orientation for everyone leaving the MTC the following week and it lasts all day long) served in the Philippines. He was telling us about his first day in the field where he felt lost and like he couldn’t get through it on his own. All of a sudden an adorable Filipino kid ran up to him(he is like 6’5) and said “Uphere, uphere” which meant he wanted a high five. Before he knew it, there were like 30 kids surrounding him asking for a high five and his trainer was telling him to stop high fiving the kids cause he was drawing attention. Then some adults started popping their heads out of their houses and said “Hi Joe” to him. He thought to himself, well my name isn’t Joe but whatever(Filipinos call all white people ‘Joe’) and then waved to all the adults. As he was high fiving a million kids and waving to all these adults waving to him, he thought to himself…”Ghetto super star”. Because he was definitely in the ghetto and he felt like super star. That was able to get him through that day. I am so excited to be a ghetto super star.
Next time you hear from me I will be in the Philippines! I miss you all so much and just have one more thought to share from my in-field orientation. We watched a video where President Gordon B. Hinckley talked about the number of new stakes we got in a single year; he then challenged us and told us he knows that we could double it as full time and member missionaries. The teacher in the orientation went on to tell us he thinks this is Heavenly Father’s way of telling us, “There are way more people prepared to receive me than are currently receiving me. Go find them”. This motivated me to not lower my expectations of who will receive our message and to raise the number of people I talk to and open my mouth to. There are so many people in this world and in our lives ready to receive His gospel, but they cannot unless we open our mouths and share it.
Naa mo’y nindot semana!! I love and miss you all so much!
Uban tanan sa akong gugma,