Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week Apat: Unwind, don't Unravel‏

Hello everyone, and welcome to week four of Shannon's weekly mission update. Oh my gosh. Week four already. I'll be home before I even start! Interesting week. Blew by so incredibly fast, creepily fast, unbelievably fast. Only two more weeks left, and then we're off to the Philippines! We should be getting our flight plans this week - AHHHHHH!!!! We'll probably either be going through L.A. and Hong Kong, OR Seattle and Japan (mom, dad, eric, you should visit me in the airport, what, coughcough, who said that?) After Sunday, we'll be the oldest district here. That's insane. We're just babies!

Just a quick monstrous thanks to all who have sent me dearelders! Ugh, such an awesome present everyday! And thanks to those who email me also! Even if I don't have time to reply, know that it means so much to me! Mail is my fave part of my day! Once I'm in the Philippines (after Nov18), it will probably take 3 weeks or more for me to get any real mail you send me, if it gets to me at all, and then another month for my mail to make it back to you (unless you happen to live in Japan).  So dearelder and email is really the only sure-fire way of reaching me. Not that you shoulder send me mail anyway, cos, you know, you love me?

Ah, this week. I can't even remember what happened this week! The days all blur together and before you know it, it's Thursday and you sit with wide eyes wondering how you got there. Sunday seems like yesterday on Thursday, yet somehow it feels an eternity away from today. Odd. 

On Saturday nights, we do TRC, which is when we teach Tagalog speaking volunteers (members) to lift their spirits and to practice. Last week, we taught a woman named Sister Konishi, an older Filipino lady who also served in the Phili's. She was so incredibly nice. I went in there like I was walking down Death Row, expecting to be executed by fire, but she was the best. She helped us, supported us, interacted with us, and corrected us when we needed it. She complimented us on our spirit and our dedication to learning the language. It wasn't scary at all - in fact it was majorly laid back. I loved it, and during that lesson, it was the first time that I KNEW I was going to adore the Filipino people. I'm going to love them with all my heart, and I'm going to love teaching them more than anything. I already know how much I'm going to dedicate myself to helping them, to teaching them, to inviting them unto Christ. What an amazing experience. We have TRC tonight, so hopefully I get to see Sister Konishi, because I wrote her a thank you card. 

Lessons were a roller coaster this week. We taught Boboy about the Plan of Salvation, and then after, Brother Kovach (who plays Boboy) came to us and told us how AMAZING WE DID. Yayyy! He went of for five minutes how impressed he was, how he felt the Spirit, and how well we used our resources and answered his questions! He just kept saying "Ulit! Ulit! Mabuti naman!" or "Repeat! Repeat! So good!" We were walking on sunshine the rest of the day. We taught Nel (Brother Roxas) the next day, and man, we had a good lesson with him too. We taught about the Restoration and Joseph Smith, and he said he related to Joseph, and then he gave a killer prayer and oh, so good. Sister Richmond and I are encouraged when we feel like we're progressing in understanding and speaking the language.

But alas. We rejoiced too soon. 

In our next lesson with Nel, only two days later, we walked in confident, but Brother Roxas apparently thought we were doing to good, getting too cocky and arrogant, because WHAM. We didn't even get to our lesson plan, because Nel apparently didn't remember ANYTHING about Joseph Smith. He's like "Who is that again? I don't remember. When did you teach about him? Is he important?" And we both sat there, jaws dropped, not knowing what to do, both of us internally screaming, "ARE YOU FLIPPIN KIDDING ME? WE HAD A BRILLIANT LESSON. YOU REMEMBER JOSEPH, YOU SAID YOU FELT LIKE HIM. BROXAS DON'T DO THIS." So we awkwardly tried to remind him about Joseph Smith and the Restoration, and we awkwardly left, getting him to half-commit to read the Book of Mormon (again) and asked him to read the pamphlets to brush up on the Restoration. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Great teaching experience, but man, it was frustrating. 

Brother Roxas redeemed himself though, by a fun class. Broxas is really strict. Great teacher, but strict. He loves going by the letter, which I find very refreshing. But during our class period, he LAUGHED. We had asked him about a word and what it means, and so he started to write the definition, but then he stopped, and just decided to tell us, so he just scribbled on the board and turned around. And our district, being the sass monsters that we are, all immediately started saying "Oh thanks, that clears that up" and "Of course! Na means scribble!" And he did not just smile, but he burst into a laugh. You have to understand, we've never seen him laugh. He had to turn around because he was embarrassed he was laughing so hard. And that only made us laugh harder. And the rest of the class was just us joyfully repeating Tagalog words. Man, Brother Roxas is cool. I don't think he understands how much we love him, even when he's strict. 

The Tuesday devotional was by Elder Carlos A Godoy of the 70, and he talked about his conversion story, which was amazing. He mentioned that after he found out that Christ's church was back on the earth, he ran home to his parents and just started shouting, "HE'S BACK, MOM! THE CHURCH IS BACK!" and even though his parents dismissed it, he just kept shouting, "Christ's church is back!" Wow, that struck me so hard. I need to be THAT passionate. I need to be that excited about teaching the gospel. I need to be that devoted, that enthusiastic, that wonderfully joyful to share with everyone I meet that the true church is on the earth, that our Savior has given us the fullness of truth. It's wonderful to me, I should show it more.

Halloween was awesome. I'll attach some pictures. I missed my family hard core during the day, since Halloween is our jam, but it was fun all the same. I dressed in Halloween colors, we ate donuts after class, we got Brother Kovach to wear vampire teeth with us and take pictures. At nighttime, the sisters on our floor threw a Halloween party. Even though it only lasted ten minutes, it was fun to throw a costume together and dance crazy style to their "strobe lights", which was just them turning the lights on and off. It was so much fun. In the three minutes I had to prepare, I threw together a hippie costume, which everybody complimented me on. Some of the newer sisters said I was definitely best dressed. Yay for Halloween. It made me so happy to celebrate my favorite holiday one last time in the states. 

I got to talk to Sister Moulten for like an hour about Harry Potter. I love having someone to relate to here and talk about things that we both love so very much. 

I got a new fannypack bag, and I love it more than air. Oh my gosh, yay for my back not hurting in the Philippines. Sister Coons has the same one. I'll attach a photo. 

Today was sort of funny. The email was down this morning. Completely. Missionaries were screaming and moaning and flailing their arms. It was the Apocalypse. They had to call in the IT guys on a Saturday because the missionaries were flippin out. So that was fun. Going to the temple today! We go every Saturday, what a blessing!

Quoted Zoolander this week with the Elders during class. Ahhhhahahh.

"Come Thou Fount"
"On My Own" - Les Mis
"Look Down" - Les Mis (I actually sang that in the gym with Sister Coons. Yessss.)
"You're the One that I Want" - Grease

I hope you're all doing amazingly. I love and miss you guys, and I hope everything is going splendidly for all of you. I send you all hugs every day.

Mahal Kita!

Sister Green

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