I can’t believe I’m flying out to the Philippines in just two days! Today is super stressful trying to get everything packed and such. I have a bunch of stuff set aside that I’ll be sending home today. I’ll definitely be able to make the weight requirements for my luggage, even with my books.
Thanks for all the DearElders, I really enjoy reading those! Daniel says you are keeping a list of Tagalog words? haha, that’s great. It’ll probably get pretty long. and then it will be funny when I come back to see what you’re actually saying right 😉
Yesterday was in-field Orientation. It lasted from 8am-5:30pm. It was super long, but really informative and helpful, I think. We did a bunch of different things. We learned about goal setting and planning. We also talked a lot about working with members and finding people. Most of all, I just learned over and over that with a good attitude and complete dedication in your heart and mind, any missionary can accomplish soooo much in the mission field.
It’s to the point where people are starting to get nervous. Sometimes really nervous. We’re all keenly aware that we don’t know very much Tagalog. Yes, we’ve learned a TON in six weeks, but it’s still really hard to start a conversation let alone maintain one, and we’re not going to be able to understand very much anyone says because when our teachers speak at regular filipino speed, I can only catch words here and there. Generally I can understand a lot more in a gospel context, because that’s what most of my vocabulary is. So I don’t really know how life in the Philippines is going to play out, but the Lord promises us that “the Lord knoweth all things of which ye stand in need of” and that we should “take no thought” for our food, our clothing, etc, because if we are in the service of the Lord, even if it is by a miracle every day, we will be taken care of.
Mostly, we just have to rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ to motivate us to open our mouths and try our best from the very start.
And the very start happens the moment we step out of the MTC and head to the airport.
I saw my friend Kyle Lemperle in the bookstore last week (he went to Portugal and teaches Portuguese here now) and he said that it takes a lot of mistakes to learn a language, so the faster and sooner you make them, the faster you will learn the language. That advice has been really good for me to rememeber, and I think it’ll really help me in the field. In order to learn the language, I have to make the mistakes sometime…so it’s either as soon as possible by just opening my mouth when I know nothing, or dragging out the process and taking a lot longer to learn it.
Most of all, I am so excited to go to the Philippines! I already feel so much love for the people. Some days I feel like I just love every single human soul on earth and just want to talk to everyone and share the beautiful message of the gospel with everyone I know and everyone I meet. I’ve been noticing that that is what happens when you let the Savior change your heart. You just love people. You just WANT to love people. You just want everyone to be happy and have the joy that you have. I can’t wait to go tell everyone in the Philippines, “Mahal po kayo ng Diyos!” God loves you! Because that’s one phrase I know I will never forget.
I still can’t believe that this is my life. Reality since last October has never been the same. And there is an urgency in the church and in the gospel like I’ve never felt before–can you feel it, too? it’s almost tangible. I learned that when a wheat field is “white,” it is at the point where it needs to be harvested quickly, or it’ll go bad and die. the field is white, and needs to be harvested NOW. It is such an honor and a privilege to be a part of the missionary force at this time.
I love learning about how our mission calls were foreordained from before the foundations of the world. It’s so true. But I never could’ve anticipated it. I never expected to go to the Philippines, to one day be fluent in Tagalog, to meet these people I”ll meet, and that I have met in the MTC. The Lord has directed my life in so many miraculous and wondrous ways. when I was in Jr. High and even High school, and I thought of where I’d be in five years, everything I am already is far from who I thought I would be, and it is immensely better than I ever imagined. I got to coach an amazing group of girls in lacrosse, of all things. I am in the MTC. I am going to the Philippines. Life is such a crazy adventure, and yet none of it was my plan at all, and that is why it is so much better.
I know Heavenly Father has a plan for each of our lives. If you let Him stand at the helm, you will find miracles and miracles and miracles come into your life.
I love the gospel and I love the Savior. I pray for you all every day. I hope all of you can strive to come closer to the Savior every day. It will change your life, even…or especially, when you don’t think there’s much change that needs to happen.