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.