Hey Mom & Dad,
Well this week was way difficult. But it was probably the most rewarding and satisfying week so far on my mission. I just went home every night exhausted and knowing I gave it my all. And at the end of the week I just felt like I gave the Lord the best week I could give him. We struggled in a few places on stats but we achieved the mission vision of excellence. I love how revelation works and guides our companionship to the places we need to go. We have quite a few really elect investigators who I think my really be ready to accept this message. Things are getting easier as far as email is concerned I just need to get nothing but positive from home because I think that is some of what made this difference this last week. Things here are getting a little more normal for me, I still freak out when I see mice in the apartment running on our eating surface, but so do the older Elders. I love you dad, I hope things are going well at home and I hope your back is getting better. Do me a favor and have family home evening this week and share ether 12:4. I really love what it says about how belief in God can act as an anchor for our souls and how we can hope for a better world. I love you! give referrals to the missionaries at home!! I am going to send some pictures soon that I took this week haha I think you will really like some of them.
The language is coming. Slow but it is coming. I spoke in church yesterday so that was way intense. No talk written. Two of the speakers didnt show up so both my companion and I were asked to speak. My heart just about leaped out of my stomach I was so nervous. The branch president looked like he had some pain behind his eyes. We asked what we needed to speak on. He said "Its up to you, but the faith of the branch is very weak right now, please strengthen them. So immediately I thought of mountains to climb by Henry B. Eyring. I have a lot of it memorized after watching the mormon message so many times in the MTC. Only problem. I only have it memorized in english. So a few min before I had to speak I was up on the stand. I said a short prayer to have a calm collected voice and to speak so they could understand and not be afraid. Then I stood up and it all came out. I translated Mountains to Climb as best I could and bore the most powerful testimony that has ever come out of my mouth. I love you so much mom. Go read Ether 12:4. Mahal kita talaga. Hwuag ka alaala.
Paige: Hey sis,
I got your dear elder the other day and I am going to make it my mission (lol) to answer all your questions over this transfer. Well I forgot to bring it with me so I will answer a question I remember.
How has being reliant on the the language to get around and stuff affected your learning it?
Well I use Tagalog everyday, everywhere. Elder Skinner and I speak it to eachother when talking about the plan or logistics. NOT when talking about anything deep or opinionated. The truth is Tagalog is not nearly as expressive as english... well it is but in a much different way. In english we have synonyms and need a thesaurus and have a lot of words to describe. In tagalog it is just not very descriptive. for example...
important = mahalaga
precious = mahalaga
vital = mahalaga
I could go on. But it reminds me of the word system in 1984 when they get rid of the words like that and just add plus good 3 or whatever (i cant really remember) But I have really struggled to find good was to show emphasis and express myself. Any words in tagalog that are even remotely deep people just dont know the meaning. And worst of all all of my learning and studying resources are USELESS. I repeat USELESS. They are just flat out wrong. So the only real way to learn is by listening while I am out so it has become my main source of learning. For language study I just speak with the Filipino Elders in our apartment for an hour. I still struggle, but I can hold a pretty solid conversation now about almost anything now it is just a matter of vocab. I love you paige!!
Ethan: Hey buddy,
Well I sure miss you. I mean that. Elder Skinner tells me about his little brothers progress in his wrestling tournament and I just think of you every time. I know we had a rough time those few years before I left. But honestly bud I want to come back and be the best of friends. I want to drive around and listen to music and tell you about my mission and stuff. So lets do the stuff we need to do to get that. We both are going to grow a lot these next two years, lets make sure we grow the right way. Read your scriptures. They are the true word of God. Prep for a mission. Only date way cool rad girls that hold the same standards and you that would never expect you to break your standards or even think about it. Become friends with God. Pray every night. That is my biggest regret at home was not ever praying. Pray. I love you bud. Life is a refiners fire. Let god use heat (trials) to shape you into your beautiful potential.
Josh and Sam,
I will write you next week sorry!!!!