kumusta kayo diyan!?!?!
Hi family! Well, we made it through the first week together! My new Aki, which is child in Bicol and what we call them because right now they are missionary babies.
On Tuesday Sister Abarabar and I went to Naga early in the morning and she was in the first group of missionaries to get in a van and be sent to a new area. That left me to swivel back and forth on a chair for the next 7 hours. It was a long day but finally the other sisters that were my temporary companions arrived. There were four of us and we stayed in the Naga sisters’ house for the night. We were invited to dinner at a family that lives in the area of the assistants' and then the next morning we cleaned the house (because the elders that previous stayed there didn’t do so great at cleaning).
The next day we headed off to training! It was so fun to see old companions and catch up with all the sisters! Half way through our training one of the Filipina sisters and I left for the mission home and got to meet all the new missionaries. We had about 45 minutes and I talked to all the American’s downstairs while she talked to all the Filipinas upstairs. I told them it doesn’t get easy but it gets better..... Many of them said they found my blog and were reading it every week once they received their calls. It was so fun to be able to answer all their questions. I can hardly believe that it was nearly 12 months ago that I was sitting in their same jet-lagged, nervous but excited shoes starting this crazy adventure. Later that night we all got together and the new companionships were announced. There were 31 missionaries all together that came that day, it was so fun to feel the energy of so many missionaries in one place.
My new Aki is Sister Farnes. She is from Portland Oregon and was studying at BYU before she came on her mission. She is so wonderful and I love her.... and not just because she supports me in getting in a P-day run. Today I ran probably 2 miles and was dying haha; but it felt soo great to get my legs going again. But Sis Farnes is great! She is so willing to try everything, the food and everything about the culture. We are having a great time and I love, love training!!! I hope to train the rest of my mission! They are just so excited and willing to work and it is fun being able to teach them all about mission life. We also have another American Sister that is under training in our apartment. I am so glad that we are all together in a house so that I can help them figure stuff out. Her trainer is a Filipina
That being said it is a little stressful because I am in charge of everything! My voice died on me for a few days because of talking so much. Miracle of my life.... it is actually strangely difficult to be speaking so much English. I think I have forgotten how much I didn’t know when I got to the field. You sent me a letter near the start of my mission about how things happen slowly and then suddenly. That is for sure my experience with Tagalog; slowly and then suddenly. I just realized this week that I know this language. It is amazing the way the Lord blesses us to be able to learn a new language. I am so grateful each day that when I open my mouth words come out.
Being around new missionaries is such a renewal of my faith because I know that right now they are so overwhelmed and in the midst of one of the biggest trials of their faith. I remember feeling scared and frightened and like I was treading water with no hope of ever being able to swim forward. But then after time, a lot of work, even more faith, and hours of prayers the Lord blesses you and by some miracle you are able to teach and understand people.
Elder Eyring gave a talk about mountains to climb. We each face different "mountains" that cause us to question our faith or our abilities. But with the Savior's help we are able to overcome all things. "If faith is not embeded in our hearts, our power to endure will crumble.... there is a balm in Gilead and the Lord has promised he will not forsake us." I know that with faith, even if it starts as a small seed, we can overcome all things.
We have Tatay Eddie and Nanay Amata's wedding tomorrow!! Tonight we are having an FHE at one of the members houses who arranges flowers and we are making surprise bouquets for nanay! It will be a wonderful day.
This week we were teaching Crisanto and his family about why the Lord’s way for us is not hard to follow and I asked Crisanto why exactly it isn’t hard to follow the Lord's way. He said that Christ sacrificed for us so sometimes we have to sacrifice too, but it is always worth it.
I am so grateful to be a missionary. I know with all my heart that this gospel is the way to happiness. Thanks for the love and support!!!
love from the pines,
This was the Mormon message about the President Eyring talk. LOVE IT!