Made it through my first week at the MTC! Already getting so so so excited to go to the Philippines, but I've already learned so much here that I know I still need some work before I go out into the mission field, haha. Just to clear up the rumors, I WILL have toilet paper in my apartment in the Philippines. But there are no public restrooms with toilet paper; you just squat haha so I'm going to make sure I bring some with me everywhere I go.
My companions are the sweetest! Sister Fahina is Tongan and I love her personality!! Super adorable! I call her Sister Moana haha. My other companion (we're a trio) is Sister Zander. She's super sweet and loves traveling. She spent 4 months teaching English in Thailand before she came here, so she already loves Asia. I call her Sister Mary Poppins because she has an outfit that makes her look just like here haha. Guess what my district calls me? Sister Taylor Swift or Sister Swizzle:) I love it.
Love and miss you all!! SHOUT OUT to my wonderful family and the sweetest Vincent family for the packages! You made our day!! I have absolutely no idea how I got the sweetest friends!! Love you Aubrey, Jenessa, Tyler, Captain, and Mother Teresa!! Thank you everyone for the emails!
So.... I am SOO excited to learn Tagalog!! I didn't know how much I loved language until now. We practice all the time, and already I'm speaking more than I ever did in Spanish class haha. I say my prayers in Tagalog already. You can just tell by the language that the people there are so friendly! And it sounds amazing, a real island language, with a lot of Spanish and English words thrown in! I am determined to WORK MY BUTT OFF to learn the language. I know that through hard work, not just in learning the language but striving to have the Holy Spirit with me, that I WILL learn this language. Teachers were telling us that a lot of missionaries hit a language plateau once they get comfortable with the language and don't improve after that, but I am determined that that is not going to be me. Loved this quote from a video I watched recently: "It's not an event of learning the language, but it's a JOURNEY OF LOVING THE PEOPLE."
So a little spiritual thought! To be honest, the first day was a little overwhelming because there were so many people to meet and my teacher was talking completely in Tagalog and I just stood there looking completely stupid, but I wasn't the only one (haha) it got way better. The next day they had us teach a lesson completely in Tagalog, which was pretty rough too. The first few days I was really excited to learn, but I was being a little stubborn. I was so scared about leaving everything behind. What would I do when I got back? I was having an inward struggle with the rules we have here and how high expectations are for missionaries. I was questioning why I was here and if this gospel was really true. Seriously, this is a sacrifice of my life that we are making here. But on Sunday we watched a devotional called the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar, and it was the most incredible talk I have ever watched. This mission is NOT about me. I have been called BY GOD to serve in the Philippines. I needed to stop being so selfish and make this mission for the people of the Philippines. Christ turned outward always. Searching for my purpose in life by turning inward will never help me become who I'm supposed to become. Losing myself in the work will help me find myself. My attitude is different now, and I am positive that although this is going to be one of the hardest times in my life, it is also going to be the BEST time of my life this far. I know that I will be blessed for obedience, and I can feel the difference already. The sacrifice that I'm making is going to have so many blessing that it's not going to be a sacrifice at all.
Love you all!!!!! Thanks for all the emails!!! Love to hear from you!!