Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm Leaving on A JET PLANE:)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

Hi Mommaaaaaaaa
This week has been good. (I put Sister Pence's name and my name in the temple last week. I've prayed every day for charity and selflessness--in our companionship prayers also--and there has been a dramatic change.) We got to host the new missionaries this week. When the new missionaries come in we take them to their residence and to go sign in a get their name tags and we show them to their classrooms. I just kept thinking of what my first day was like and all the things I didn't know. I tried to make their first days as smooth as possible. It was cute...I took one girl to her room and told her we were going to drop her bags off and she'd be able to unpack later and that she just needed her scriptures, her PMG, and a notebook to write on. She looked so nervous and was rushing to get all of her things, so I told her it was okay, to calm down and take a deep breath and that there was no rush at all. She calmed down a little bit and we got to talk about her thoughts when she got her mission call and some other little things to get her mind off of the trauma of the first day. ;) It was so fun actually getting to help a real person in despair. I took three girls through total. We get to do it again next week. Exciting!

GUESS WHAT?!?!?! I got my flight plans this week!!!! It's funny cause it was our first day trying to speak in all Tagalog and we were all doing so well. But the minute we all got our flight plans and tried to spit our excitement out in Tagalog, we caved and spoke in English for a little bit. We leave next Monday--ONE WEEK. Can you believe it, mom? I'm going to the Philippines!!!!?!?!?1/1/11 h iforhfsldkf Excited ako para dito. There are five of us traveling together--Elders Thomas, Jackson, Shackelford, Sister Pence, and me. I am the travel leader. We leave the MTC around 4:30 and our first flight from Salt Lake leaves at 7:59p.m. I will be able to call you!!! From Salt Lake and from L.A. if I want. What number should I call? We go through Taipei Taiwan! AHH!!! So cool. We will end up in Manila and then take a 10 hour bus ride to Cauayan. I will make a copy of my itinerary and mail it. And I think I will be able to call you from the mission home. It's different for every mission. I might just be able to email or something.

So, pretty soon I will be bathing with a ladel and a bucket. But I'm so excited to be a representative of my Savior Jesus Christ and share with those REAL people of the Philippines the love that He has for them. Thats really what I am. I'm a funnel of His love, and I am basically doing what Jesus Christ Himself would be doing on the earth right now. I'm excited to meet people and get to know my ward members and embarass myself a ton with my Tagalog. We've done two days where all we speak is Tagalog. I can say so much more than I thought I would be able to at this point! I will show off for you at the airport. :) Sometimes I forget some english words. Good sign right?

We had a workshop this week on personal and companionship study that was SO enlightening. Brother Reis gave the workshop and he basically taught us that our personal and companionship study should be based on some kind of inspired question that we seek out the answer for. Like: How would a knowledge of life after death help John keep the word of wisdom? Just an example. And we both as a companionship can study different questions focused on the same investigators during personal study. Then in companionship study we come together and share what we learned and how we will present it. We are called to share the gospel two by two. And if we study like this we can do double the work in the same amount of time. Now I just need to know how to do this say it all in Tagalog.

We said goodbye to our branch president yesterday. He's an amazing man and I will miss him. I want to give him my blog address. I will send you pictures next week.

I have 3 minutes.
What is alainna's address mom??/ I want to write her so badly. Can you call and get it?
SIs Fort

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Yesterday we were able to hear from Elaine S. Dalton--the YW general president!--during relief society. I was on the second row. The minute she began talking, I felt her sincere love and humility and I thought about how badly I want to be like that. She talked about how wonderful we all are as sisters here, serving our God. She said something that I had never thought about before. She said that this isn't the first time we've done this. In the pre-existence we stood as witnesses of Christ as well. And I gained a stronger sense of my purpose here and that I am in the right place at the right time. Sometimes I forget that. We all stood and recited the Young Women's theme and it was so powerful.

I can't email Alainna as much as I can write her. All of my e-mail time is usually spent on writing you. I think I will have about an hour to email every Monday in the Philippines. Which is good. Right now I only have 30 minutes.

Can you believe I only have three weeks left here?! And I will be going to the Philippines?! A completely different planet?! We have been trying to speak our language as much as possible. Right now I'm trying to get down conjugations--they're tough. For each root-verb there are about 5 or 6 different conjugations you can use, depending on if you want to make the verb actor focused or object focused or nounified. So much to learn. But I know that I will eventually get it all down, line upon line. We taught in Tagalog this week and it was so great! I taught one of the former Tagalog teachers here, Sister Hawkes. She was supposed to act like an investigator for us, but the conversation ended up to where we began addressing her personal concerns. She opened up to us so much (This was all in Tagalog--in our broken, broken Tagalog). Throughout the lesson I was able to feel so much love for her as a child of God. It was interesting how automatic it was. Scriptures came to mind and I felt myself praying in the middle of the lesson to know what to say and how to help her with this concern she was having. I could also relate to her concern. I've been praying hard to have more charity for others. I think really the two most important things for us to have in this life is the Spirit and charity. I know I cant teach successfully without either one. I hope to instill both of those things in my children.

On Tuesday we had our devotional. Elder Lowell Snow of the 2nd 70 came to speak to us. He talked about choices. He brought up prayer and how the Bible Dictionary says that prayer is when we align our will with the Father's. And that it is up to us to CHOOSE the will of God. This requires so much faith on our end. And I thought to myself while he talked that probably the biggest trial of my faith has actually been to come on a mission. I've never wanted to come on a mission. But I'm here because I felt like I needed to come and because I exercised my faith and chose this. But I realized that even being here, my faith is still tried. I'm still constantly trying to align my will with God's. And man, it's hard sometimes. I thought to myself also, while he spoke, that God is all knowing, right? Why would I not want to align my will with a being who knows me better than I could ever know myself? Who knows where I need to be right now? And knows who I need to become and exactly how I could get there? I thought to myself, "Wow, I'm really dumb sometimes." Why is it so hard though?
Send me pictures. I need pictures of all of my family. If everyone can send some to me from each of their families that would be great! Thanks for the package in advance! I don't have it yet but will get it soon. I love you! I Love you all!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010


Hello momma! Thank you so much for your Dear Elders throughout the week. I heard of a girl here that hasn't been getting ANY mail in the three weeks she's been here and my heart breaks for her. It would be so tough to not have anyone writing you. I am going to write her a letter today and maybe multiple times throughout the week.

This week has been great. Sister Pence and I have been working hard together to improve our lessons. Here, to practice our teaching, they have what are called TE's, or Teaching Evaluations. You go into a room, give a lesson to a teacher or returned missionary who acts like an investigator, and afterwards they evaluate you on how you are doing. That is what I'm talking about when I say we gave so many lessons or taught so many people. This week we had some really valuable lessons: one where I was able to share a personal experience with the book of mormon to an investigator and they said they were really able to feel the importance of the book in our lives. Another lesson we gave, the teacher stopped us and asked us how we prepared--we told him we read over the lesson and each of us had been assigned a portion of the lesson and we were going to see where the spirit brought us--he told us that he is a former mission president and gave us some better pointers on how to prepare lessons specifically tailored to the investigators. We told him we would try his advice and asked him to be our progressive investigator!! (Where we go back and teach him consecutive lessons as if he were a real investigator) He agreed and we taught him about the restoration last week. We've committed him to read and pray about the book of mormon and we will have a second lesson this week. Among the many things I've learned here at the MTC, I think the most important thing I've learned is that the Spirit is absolutely crucial in conversion. I mean, I think I knew that before, but I'm actually gaining a testimony of that and seeing how it is crucial and how it works. I cannot teach one thing without it. And the spirit doesn't only come in while I'm giving a lesson, it comes also when I am preparing for one. I have access to the spirit, and it's my job to seek after it and utilize it. God knows what the people I'm teaching need--I dont. And with him I can prepare lessons and messages for people I have never met or spoken to before in my life.

I think as far as teaching goes, I COULD go out there and start now (I mean, stateside missionaries only spend about three weeks here) and I could learn more about teaching by the spirit, but right now I am trying to take full advantage of the resources I have here. Also, I can teach in English, but teaching in Tagalog is kind of a daunting thought right now, not going to lie.

Sister Pence and I had a TE this past week where we taught in Tagalog. It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I just need to expand my vocabulary. Something I've been trying to do is wake up 30 minutes early to study vocab words. Sometimes I bring my vocab with me to gym and review things there. Last thursday I took my "food" vocabulary to gym and learned all of them while I ellipticall-ed. :)

I just love Sister Pence. Really. I am so blessed to have her as a companion. When we have troubles, we are able to talk them out so calmly and we are both so understanding of one another. Our problems just iron out beautifully and we are constantly making goals to be better. I'm helping Sister Pence open up a litttle more :) since I have no problem being an open book to her.

I also love love loveeeeeeeee my district. I will send you pictures of them soon. We had district volleyball the other day and basically I just laughed for 45 minutes straight. They are hilarious. And they can also be serious when it is important to be. They teach me something new and wonderful every day. It will be sad to part ways in october. Although three of them are going to my same mission. I think sister pence will be my companion. It would only make sense. We are going to the same place and leavingg tthe same day. And I will be able to call you if you want me to? I'm not sure what time exactly thatt would be and I wouldn't find out until I got my flight plans probably. Which usually come two weeks beforee people leave.

I dont want my grad dress--it's too scandalous for this place. My black bbeelt should be in one of my drawers or in my closet or in that other room with the huge pile of stuff I left. I dont exercise every morning, because that would only givvee me 30 minutes to get ready. I exercise in the middle of the day. Usually on the elliptical or I run or I just do conditioning things. Still gaining weight. But I'm banking on losing it all in the Philippiinnes.

Soooooo yesterrday I fasted for you to get a job. Your name is also on the prayer roll. I also fasted to be a better, more focused missionary. And guesss what. I've been given the assignment by my branch president to be the coordinating sister for all of the sisters in my zone. I go to meetings with the zone leaders and I interview every sister weekly and I am in charge of missionary conduct and teaching new missionaries that come in. Neat huh? So it is now up to me to be the example--and I think that gives me some more motivation to be even better. Also, I am going to join the MTC choir this week. We might sing at general conference and you might see me on TV! wooo! Exciting.

Yesterday the missionaries in my district requested I sing for them. So sister pence and I found a secreett piano on campus and I sang them hymns. It was cute. I felt like Wendy in the mary martin veerrsion of peter pan. Singing all the lost boys to sleep. :)

I have 3 minutes!!! Ahh!!! Send me colorful clothes. Maybe some cute headbands and sudafed if you can!??

Don't worry. I will write to you in English. I love you sososososo much. Read Alma 34 38-41. It made me think of you. Alainna still hasn't written and my heart is breaking kind of. Nathan writes sometimes. Victoria too. Matt does all of the time.

Loveee youuuu!!!
Sisterrrr Forttttt