Yesterday. It was almost as exciting as the actual mission call for everyone just because this, like the mission call, makes the whole situation real. A lot of us feel that at the end of 6 weeks the MTC people will just be like, okay, thanks for coming to the MTC, have a great life! and send us home, like some giant EFY. But nope. We have flight plans. I’ll send you the specifics in a separate email, but essentially, we will be flying from SLC to Portland, and from Portland to Tokyo, and from Tokyo to Manila! I don’t know yet our travel plans from Manila to Cauayan, but we will be arriving at 10pm in Manila, so I’m assuming we’ll be staying somewhere that night and flying to Cauayan the next day. I’m really excited!
This week we had some good lessons, and Tagalog is coming along, although I did get kind of overwhelmed this week because you start realizing how much you don’t know and that soon we’ll be in the Philippines where people are talking a lot faster and not intentionally using vocabulary you know or using
Taglish words like mag-switch. we had an English fast on Thursday, so English was bawal (forbidden) all day. It was hard, but I knew more than I thought I did. I do have a hard time SYLing when it’s not an English fast day just because I hate not being able to express myself. With my limited vocabulary in Tagalog I have to find roundabout ways to explain things and when the English-Tagalog translation is already weird, it just doesn’t always get the point across very well.
That’s the other thing I’m noticing, is that I think part of becoming fluent will be coming to understand how they express the same emotions that I have in a different way than I would. Sometimes they have words that don’t translate over to English, or sometimes they have one word with multiple English translations. But I know that they are still people and still feel human emotions and spiritual feelings, they must just express them in a different way and I don’t really know how that is yet. Once I get over there I think it will be really difficult, but really nice to be able to start understanding the way that THEY use Tagalog as native speakers, instead of all of us trying to communicate with each other with English sentences translated to Tagalog…trying to put English connotations with Tagalog words that have different connotations…it’ll be interesting.
I’ve been studying the Atonement a lot this week because Sister Maddock and I are teaching a lesson on Sunday about it to our district (in English. but we still have to all write talks for sacrament in Tagalog. Did I mention that we do our sacrament meetings in Tagalog? I probably didn’t, because by the time I get to Saturday I forget all the things that happened on Sunday because it feels like 3 weeks ago. Our branch presidency all know some Tagalog, but they’re not fluent, so they use Taglish. but the hymns are Ttagalog, the sacrament prayers are Tagalog (aka they are really looong compared to English) and the talks are supposed to be Tagalog but are usually Taglish. still, it’s interesting.) On Sundays we have breakfast earlier than normal and then we study while the elders are in priesthood meeting, then the sisters go to music and the spoken word broadcast in 19M and then to relief society. after lunch we have sacrament with our little branch. I think the sacrament prayers take longer than it does to actually pass the sacrament, haha, but I like the Tagalog meetings. Then we go back to our class and as a district have a lesson, which is what we’re teaching this Sunday. and then we do a temple walk/take pictures with departing districts (every 2 weeks), and then we go to dinner. after dinner, we study and then go to the Sunday devotional. then we go to another room and watch a recording of another devotional or like the Testaments movie or the Joseph Smith movie or something. Anyways, I’ve been learning a lot about the Atonement, and I’ve been focusing my study on how we can gain strength through the Atonement during times when we want to quit. So far, at the MTC, I’ve been really emotionally stable and I haven’t felt overwhelmed or overly stressed. Lots of people have. But I know that even though I don’t feel like it’s super hard right now, that I have a loooot of what will probably be some of the hardest times of my life ahead of me in the Philippines. But I know that with the Atonement, we can push through any trial or difficulty that comes our way. Sometimes we try to use alternatives to get us out of those hard times. But really truly, the only way to REALLY overcome trials is through the Atonement. That might mean spending a lot of time on your knees, but that time will strengthen your relationship with Christ and carry you through. And I KNOW that that is true. I remembered a quote I love by Joseph Smith: “Shall we not go on in so great a cause?” and I love that. and it’s so true. This cause is great. It is the greatest cause in existence. we are all a part of it. Shall we not go on? Other people don’t have the Atonement to carry them through trials. They need it. They need it badly. Just as much as we do.
That’s awesome that Amanda got to go on splits!I learned soooo much by going to one of those stake meetings on splits and those meetings are CRUCIAL to missionaries. Those meetings can be full of revelation about the people in the ward or stake that need the missionaries and helps the members and the missionaries work together and accomplish a lot of good. Not a lot of people have the chance to go to those meetings before they are the actual missionary, but I was able to learn so much about missionary work by going to one of those. every work she will do on splits will prepare her for something in her life, even if that means she went finding for several hours and nobody let them share a message. it all matters. God wouldn’t waste His own time. and if you’re not wasting yours, He won’t let you waste it.
Haha, something funny that happened this week was when we were having district prayer at the end of the day. one of the sisters was praying, and said, “paki-basbasan po ninyo kami ng kapayapaan at kasalanan” and we all just cracked up because she just blessed us with peace and sin. aaah man, so many great misinterpretations here at the MTC, haha. there are so many stories like that that happen every day, but that one really made me laugh. We all just laugh with each other over mistakes because we all make so many of them. if we didn’t laugh about them, we’d be really discouraged, I think.
Thanks for all your love and prayers.
alam ko po na totoo ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo. Alam ko po no kailangan po namin ang Pagbabayad-sala ni Jesucristo. Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa Pagbabayad-sala ni Jesucristo. alam ko po na mahal po tayo ng Diyos.