This has been a VERY exciting week! For one, I'm now in my THIRD week! Almost halfway through the MTC! Then on Sunday my companion Sister Ross and I were called to be the Sister Training Leaders of our branch, just in time for a whole new district of missionaries to arrive! We got to be the ones to pick up the international sisters and take them to the devotional and to their residence. Then we also got to give all the information, the MTC tour, and welcome all 9 of our new missionaries! It was fun to answer their questions, inspire them, and show them around! Even though I did have to miss some class....
Speaking of class, the language is feeling a little more comfortable! A VERY little, but still...! Nasayud ko nga magtabang and Ginoo sa ako! I taught two lessons without ANY notes this week, and my first TRC lesson. TRC is great- we get to meet with real people for about 20-40 minutes and we can only speak to them in our mission language. We just need to share a little message with them after we get to know them and decide what they might need to hear from us (that we can actually say in Cebuano).
The next exciting news is that Jeffrey R. Holland came to speak to us on Tuesday night! We were late getting to choir because we had to pick up the international sisters, and I could tell they were really sleepy and it was hard to see the pulpit from the back SO I made the executive decision to miss choir just this one week and I marched those poor tired sisters up to the VERY front! I wanted them to be able to really listen and get this chance to see an apostle of the Lord up close! It was perfect since we were already early than all the non-choir people! When Elder Holland walked in, we were directly in front of him just a few rows back and I saw the two sisters perk up and they got so excited. That was worth missing choir just this once.
Elder Holland's talk was amazing! It kind of blew my mind! He was very bold and everything he shared was specifically for missionaries. He said that "To be known, the truth MUST be stated!" Seems obvious, but every person we let pass by us without sharing the truth of the gospel with them, WE are accountable for! He also taught us that although no one can promise a specific number of people we may teach and baptize, we should ALL insist on having at least ONE convert to the Lord: ourselves. He said he just can't handle when missionaries return from their missions and slip back into their old ways or even worse ways. Our missions aren't a break from real life....they ARE real life! And they are challenging because they require us to change, to develop, and to become more like Christ. More patient, more long-suffering, more service-oriented, more loving, more diligent, more grateful.
Another cool thing: starting next month (when I leave), all missionaries will get ipads! YOu can teach from them, learn and study, take notes on them, save things, pull up all resources! That means Jared will be using an ipad on his mission. I probably won't in the Philippines, but it's still pretty cool. There are booths all over the MTC where we can take surveys. We get so excited to hold the ipads because we haven't touch technology or social media (besides email and online language study) in a while.
Today we went through the temple (as we do every week), but two of our missionaries from Fiji were going through for their first time! It was so special! I love being a Philippines-bound missionary because I get to be around so much diversity! Most of the missionaries are from Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji! So cool! They always joke that they're so fob (fresh off the boat). They are SO much fun! Also in our hall are all sisters many different countries. Some of them have to learn English AND a mission language...I don't know how they do it, I'm struggling enough with just learning Cebuano! At night in the bathroom and showers you just hear sisters quietly speaking in Cantonese, Chinese, Cebuano, Tagalog, and other languages.
More exciting news: Elder Esikia and Sister Tiotaake and Elder Wilcox all left for the Philippines last night! It was so sad to see them go, but they promised to send emails and pictures of the Philippines! It made me nervous thinking about being in their shoes in just a month!
I'm running out of time, but I want to share Mosiah 2:41 "consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments". I was taking a quiz on Assessment Tools and one of the questions was "Why does God give us commandments?" Do you know what the answer was? It wasn't "to punish us" or "to make life difficult" or "to make life difficult". The answer was because he loves us and wants us to be happy! This is His Gospel, and if we do it His way, we will be successful and happy. (Moses 1:39). I also want to share Alma 5:45-47 because as a missionary we only invite other to investigate (seek for themselves) if this gospel is true. True conversion happens between an individual and God as they choose to come unto him. They should feel their own desire to come to know him, and we help them take that journey (Alma 22:18).
One last exciting thing: I memorized Moroni 7:33 in Cebuano! And I'm working on others. I memorize about 50 new words and 30 new phrases a day! My brain hurts!
Also, read Matt. 7:7-11 and 3 Nephi 14:7-11 and remember that Ang Dios mao ang mahigugmaon imong Langitnong Amahan (God is your Loving Heavenly Father!) and just like your earthly fathers, he wants good things for you!
Nasayud ko nga tinuod ang ebanghelyo ni Jesukristo.
Have a great week everyone!