I was glad to hear from you on dear elder. Getting letters and packages is seriously like gold! My comp. Sister Blonquist gets so much everyday! All her friends write her on dear elder. She is from Chicago and such a fun girl. We already have sayings…sick. My other comp is Sister Farnsworth. She is from West Jordan. She is a hard worker and me and Blonquist are bringing her out of her shell a bit. Our entire district is great! Elder Nelson is from Bountiful and was called as our district leader. Elder Fisher is his comp and is from Hawaii. He is 25. Elders Teney from Arizona and Chastain from So. Cali are comps. Teney is a talkative, comical guy and Chastain is a convert of two years. He is very strong and knows a lot, I’m jealous. Then Elders Akina also from Hawaii and Straley are comps. Akina is the only one of his immediate family still a member. They got offended by something. But he has such a sweet heart but is way fun to joke with. Straley is quiet but quite the basketball player. He is from Murray, UT. He may be quiet but when he speaks you can feel his strong testimony. It is such a blessing to have a wonderful district where we all get along. Seriously from day two we were all like the closest family ever. Only by the help of God would that be possible.
I think about you every morning cause they have a special 6am workout class for sisters only. They are a lot like the classes we go to. Whenever I go I feel more energized for the LONG day. We stay very very busy. Breakfast at 7:30, class from 8-11:15. Lunch at 11:30, more class from 12:30-4:30. Dinner at 4:30 then more class till 9. One of the class periods is always for personal, companion, and language study without a teacher (1hr each thing). And then usually we have a couple hrs for MDT – which is when we get things done we don’t have time to do. We only have that a few times a week. We also get an hour for gym everyday except Sundays and Wed (P-Day). Our times for class, and study, gym and MDT are different everyday. The only thing the same are meal times. Which may I tell you, are way close together! Dinner is so early!
Somedays the food is good but others not so much. My fav has been the citrus salmon. I always get a wrap because they are fresh and its like Subway where you put whatever you want in it! That line is always the longest but its worth it and they have so many options! I miss being able to cook. Luckily I’ve learned to not be picky. At gym we run or play basketball with the elders from the other cebuano district. They are way nice to us and I think actually really enjoy us playing with them. The elders from our district never ask us to play with them and we like to give them crap.
I’m learning lots in our gospel classes. We are learning LOTS about loving the people you serve. I have insights and thoughts about concepts that I’ve never had before and I know its Heavenly Father speaking to me. I can already feel how being a disciple of Christ is changing me.
The language is hard but fun. And I’m really starting to understand it! In Tacloban we will learn waray waray when we get to the field. I guess its crazy! But much easier to pick up on if you know cebuano first. I’m so excited to learn this language. We worked on our testimonies yesterday and its amazing how we can already make these complex sentences in cebuano from what we’ve learned in a week. NO DOUBT the Lord is on our side!
Our Branch Presidency is awesome. Pres. Johnson and his counselors Bro Phillips and Bro Cole. Sis Phillips comes to our residence hall on Tues nights after devotional to bring us “medicine” which is not allowed and she tells us stories. She is such a crack up!
So check this awesome experience out! The day we got to the MTC, we were in class meeting our teacher and this guy walked by and we all looked at each other and was like ‘umm, was that Pres. Uchtdorf?!’ Its funny how we all felt it. Then later he walked by again and we saw his face and yep it was him. Then a swarm of elders were following him. Quite funny. Well I guess apostles never come to the MTC. This is the first in like 3 years. But what was even cooler was that he came into our welcoming meeting and welcomed us and gave his love. Oh, it was awesome mom!
This is some of her letter to me on Feb. 10th
First off, I want you to know how much kalipay (joy) you brought by writing on dear elder. It’s the only letter I got this week so salamat (thank you)!
This week has been a good but crazy week. Lots of people left in our branch and the other cebuanos are leaving Monday! They have been so great to us.
This week our task is to make an appointment in cebuano then teach the restoration lesson in English. People come volunteer and act as investigators so there are no timeouts. It’s just like the real deal. And our teachers watch from a camera and give us feedback. We have a new task every week. Last week we didn’t do to init (hot) but it was sigi (okay). We were performing our cebuano task on Elder Huffman so I think it made us nervous since we know him. We are getting much better in the language. It seems like they talk all complicated when in reality we do and so it’s hard to simplify it down to translate to cebuano. They also take everything literally so sarcasm is wala (non-existent). That could be difficult. Our teacher Bro. Morrey gets funnier everyday. He reminds me of Andrew, which means he’s awesome! I’m learning tons about how to teach and use the espiritu (spirit). I’ve been reading in Alma and I gugma (love) the stories of those great missionaries! It gives me hope and faith. I know that the Lord is with me. Palihog (please) pray for my thoughts to be pure and uplifting.