Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pinikamamahal Pamilya Ko!!!

Pinikamamahal Pamilya Ko!!! 
I miss you!!!
This week has been so great.

Sister Temwaaka , Sister Johnson, me, Sister Carter, Sister Ramsey, Sister Patolo, Elder Wooden, Elder Williamson
Last Tuesday night, we had a devotional with everyone at the MTC, and the spirit is always so strong.  Afterwards, my district got together to discuss it and have a sort of testimony meeting.  This is one of my favorite things of the week.  Everyone has such great insights to share and our district has such a beautiful spirit.  We have become so close the past 4 weeks.  We truly are family.  Anyway Sister Ramsey said something that really struck me.  Said that missionary work is like a target with three rings.  The outer-most ring is the "what": learning Tagalog, teaching lessons, studying; the next one in is the "how": making goals, planning, studying more, etc.; and the very center piece is the "why."  And this is the very most important part, because if we can focus on that, then everything else will fall into place.  I am a missionary and I am here to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel.  Sometimes it can be easy to put too much emphasis on those outer two rings.  But I think that we can live all of our lives that way.  Anyway, I am trying to remember that.
Sister Spencer & me
The next day we gave our lesson to Tatay Abner (all of our investigators are our Teachers), but it didn't go well.  I was feeling really discouraged - it is difficult to communicate with my companion in order to create efficient and effective lessons.  I was feeling discouraged because I love her so much and it is so hard to work together... but my teacher just stopped class and said that he felt impressed to share some things.  He wrote things on the board that were probably hard and discouraging for us, and then he reminded us that Jesus Christ completely understands every pain and frustration and everything that we experience.  He might understand better than even we do sometimes.  

Matt. 11:28-30

28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Through Christ we can do anything.  So I am trying to focus on Him and the enabling power of the atonement.  That lesson was inspired for all of us, and it gave us hope.

Sister Temwaaka & Me
Then the next morning we had service at 6:15 in the morning!!  Haha I didn't mind but I was nervous because it is so hard to wake up my companion in the morning haha but we made it and we had to clean bathrooms for an hour and a half.  Sister Temwaaka kept asking me if it was punishment.  So funny, but it ended up not being too bad and she and I were whistling and humming Called to Serve.

Later that day we had an amazing lesson with our investigator.  Things were already looking up.  Then Brother Langer gave us an incredible lesson.  He is a convert, which is why it is so amazing to me much he knows about the gospel and how spiritual he is.  But he gave us two challenges which I thought were interesting: 1) write down any piece of revelation you have, even if at first you think it is your own thoughts.  Then, you will come to recognize and have more revelation.  2) Smile at everyone you meet.  So I am going to try and do it.

I have also been trying this thing, that the teachers suggested, where lahat na mga panalangin ko sa Tagalog (all of my prayers in Tagalog).  It is difficult but I feel like my prayers are so much more heart felt and it is a way to humble yourself before the Lord and let Him know that you are trying everything that you can.  And you say marami prayers on a mission.  Honestly, I don't even know how I got through the day without saying these many prayers before.

We have two pieces of good news: This Wednesday we are hosting the new missionaries coming on Wednesday so I am really excited for that.  I'm not the newbie anymore:)  And then this Thursday we are doing a TRC (where we teach a short lesson to members) but we are doing it via skype with people in the Philippines!!!! I can't wait.  I will tell you all about it.  Here at the MTC, I am sure you can imagine that there isn't a lot for entertainment.

I love this picture!
Back row Left to Right:  Elder Wooden, Elder Williamson, Elder Howe, Elder Pettingill, 
Sister Johnson, Sister Spencer, Sister Tioti
Middle Row Left to Right:  Sister Akau, Sister T, Sister Ramsey, 
Sister Simram, Sister Carter, Sister Patolo, me
Sitting down:  Elder Baker
 The elders in the other district in our branch are crazy, but they always mix a bunch of disgusting food together in a cup and challenge other elders to eat the whole thing.  Earlier this week they made a concoction that was especially disgusting and the elder who was eating I swear was bright green.  I thought I was going to throw up.  But it is so funny the things that they do to entertain themselves.  

Yesterday for temple walk there was a protester carrying a giant cross and screaming at us.  I have to admit it was a tiny bit funny, just because he was yelling sooo loud but I felt so bad for him!  The missionaries just started singing as they passed him.

So every class has language, doctrine, and teaching - it is pretty much all combined.  I am so lucky because I have the best teachers in the world.   We have only been to the temple once because last Monday we went and it was closed.  So I am sad, because I will have only been able to go two times before going into the field.  But I am glad that we went so many times before I left:)  Thank you for your support!!!  

Every day: We wake up at 6:30, eat breakfast at 7:30.  Start studying at 8.  Have class from 9:30-12:30, then lunch, then class from 1:15 to 4:15.  Then gym from 4:25-5:15, and then dinner from 5:30 to 6:15, and then we just study for the rest of the night.  The days are long but I CANNOT believe that I have been here for 4 weeks.
Me & Whitney Ingram from Skyline 

On Pdays we go to the temple, do laundry, e-mail, write letters, and just study some more.  Then we have class later in the day.  It's not too different but it is a nice break.

Today we are mourning, because that other District left for the Philippines this morning. 

 There were 5 Kiribati sisters that left 
 Sister Tioti, Sister Tirobwa, me, Sister Temwaaka, Sister Akau, 
Sister Johnson & Sister Simram.
and so Kasama Ko (my companion) is so sad.  She keeps telling me that she has a broken heart and it makes me want to cry!!  I hope that more Kiribati elders and sisters come this Wednesday so that she can have some others to talk with.  Last night after the Sunday night devotional, all of the Filipino districts and branches got together in the hall and we sang "God Be With You 'Till We Meet Again" sa Tagalog.
all of us were singing God Be with you Till we meet again.

 It was INCREDIBLE and the spirit was so strong.  Then those that were leaving bore their testimonies and we all knelt down and prayed together sa Tagalog.  It was beautiful and I will miss all of those that are leaving.  Even if I didn't know all of them that well, I felt such a love for them and I don't think we were put together by accident.

 I love this picture! 
Sister Ramsey & me.  She is such a good example to me.  
She graduated from BYU in History and she is a great missionary. 

Sister Akau, me, & Sister Tioti

This morning we did a session in the Provo Temple and the spirit was so thick and powerful.  I felt so much peace.  Overall, I have faith that even if I am inadequate for this mission on my own, the Lord will make up the difference.  This is His work.

Mahal na mahal Kita!!!

Love, Sister Ras

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