A big shout out to my poppa today! Happy birthday dad!
This week was long, but short. I feel like I've been here for months, but it's only been a week and a half. Insanity. I bet it's going super fast for you guys, but time is dragging here. I'm ready to go. TAKE US TO THE PHILIPPINES ALREADY!
The MTC is hard, but great. I already know more Tagalog in ten days than Spanish in three years. It's frustrating and hard, but 6 hours of class a day really is putting us on the fast track. I am exhausted most days though. We have 16 hour days, and with only 7.5 hrs of sleep (maybe) a night, it's tough to stay awake sometimes.
The Tagalog is good though. Brother Roxas refuses to teach us any negative words, but we know the world evil, so if we have a bad day, we can say "I'm having an evil day". Sigi is a word that changes meaning with the tone you say it in. It can mean "okay", "okay...", "go on", "fine", etc. So when in doubt, say Sigi! Our "investigator" was Julio, and we've been teaching him for the past 10 days in Tagalog. Yikes. We got to use notes, but it was so frustrating trying to convey my thoughts when I don't speak the language. It was a real teaching experience for Sis Richmond and I. We learned that we need to teach through the Holy Ghost, and not stress about saying it all right. We're still working on that. Julio ended up being our second teacher, Brother Kovach. He is so great. Energetic and enthusiastic, and even though I thought it'd be awkward since he's seen us at our worst, he already loves us so much. He knows where we need help. And ugh, do we. This week, I just kept singing to myself, "If language were liquid, it would be rushing in. Instead here we are in a silence more eloquent than any word could ever be." And then when I get frustrated, I continue the song: "I won't use words again, they don't mean what I meant, they don't say what I said." Because Tagalog is backwards. They don't have words for a lot of things, and the sentence structure is bonkers. If you directly translated the sentence, "Tumawag po ba ang Ama sa langit ng mga propeta para sa atin," it would be "Called (with respect) (question) the Heavenly Father the prophets for us?" The order is always whack. It gets crazier. But it's fun to be learning. It feels a lot like college here.
Tagalog fun fact! They don't point with their hands. They point with their lips. I kid you not. To point at something, you pucker your lips at it. And to convey that you don't understand something, you just open your mouth wide. We thought we were being pranked but these are real things! Apparently Bro Kovach didn't know the first one, so he always thought for the first 6 months of his mission that people were trying to kiss him!
Physically, this has been an interesting week. Two nights ago, and a little last night, I thought I was running a high fever. I couldn't sleep and my cheeks were red and my head was sweating. So I downed some pills. The next morning was disgusting, as you could imagine. But I'm feeling a little better now. A lot of people are getting sick here.
Janelle Udall is here! She moved from West campus and we've gotten to hang out a lot. I love her oodles.
Sister Coleman says I remind her of Lucille Ball, so she calls me Sister Lucy sometimes. It makes me feel awesome.
Thank you to those who send packages: Mom with necessities, Debbie with candy, Dad with a new camera. It meant so much to me! ALSO! Look up dearelder.com. You can write me every day with that! Mailbox 200. PLEASE? I LIKE MAIL!
This week was hard. I wasn't doubting any decisions, but I just wasn't feeling like my testimony was strong enough a lot of the time, like I had too many questions, like I was over thinking too many things. It was hard, and I felt really terrible and torn. But then, Elder Dallin H. Oaks came on Tuesday and he talked to us! It was amazing. He said, "If you are discouraged or doubting, I say unto you BE OF GOOD CHEER." The entire talk was amazing, and his wife added, "It is your turn, it is your time, it will be your triumph." I LOVED IT. Such a message to me, especially when I was feeling so inadequate.
I love being a missionary. I love it, I love it, I love it. It's hard, but it'll be so worth it in the end. When I have nagging doubt in my head, the scriptures make me feel better. Here are some that helped me this week. If you don't have a Book of Mormon, lds.org has a resource tab.
-All of 2 Nephi chapter 4. Majorly. Nephi was feeling what I was. Amazing chapter.
-2 Nephi 1:15
-Doctrine and Covenants 63:36-39
God loves us. He is always with us. And he has not abandoned me, and he never will. Alam ko po na buhay ang Tagapagligtas. <3 Alam ko po na totoo ang simbahan ni Jesucristo.
This is the true church, and this mission is the best thing I've ever done with my life. By far.
Send me dear elders! Seriously! I can write letters more often than I can email.