Just another week and a half here at the MTC! We got our flight plans yesterday and got me so excited haha.
We leave the MTC November 13th at 3:30AM. Fly to Seattle, then fly to Tokyo, and arrive in Manila at 9:50 PM on November 14th. So that day will be super long and exhausting but we'll have a lot of good study time while flying over the Pacific haha. And I'm happy that I'll be able to call home in between the layover from Seattle to Tokyo.
I think we stay in Manila for 5 days where we'll stay at the MTC there, go to the Manila temple one of those days and go on splits with some of the missionaries in Manila. Then fly to Laoag after those 5 days to our first area! So excited for that!
I had one of the greatest Halloweens ever yesterday!
It started off just by studying and reading, but when we were about to do language study our teacher walks in to tell us a General Authority was coming to our class that day! So we were about to to teach Ang Panunumbalik (The Restoration) when Elder Brent H. Nielson came into our room and immediately the entire atmosphere of our class changed. It was one of the most amazing things how you just felt the spirit traveling with him as he came in. It was a pretty cool experience to get to talk with him and his wife about ourselves and about the Philippines. His wife talked about how amazing the people in the Philippines are and how much we're going to love being there. I really cannot wait to be able to get out there already and experience these things for myself! I really do consider myself the luckiest missionary ever to be able to dedicate two years in the Philippines and be able to communicate with them in their native tongue!
Yesterday was one of the most nerve racking experiences since I entered into the MTC though. After we got to meet Elder Nielson he sat down next to his wife and our teacher. (Our teacher is in charge of the entire language learning here in the MTC). And we started teaching the Restoration to each other. Well I started teaching and I just felt everyone's eyes on me, so I peeked out of the corner of my eye and I see Elder Nielson, his wife, my teacher, and another visitor just staring at me seeing how I'm teaching. So the entire time I'm just thinking to myself "Please don't make a mistake, please don't make a mistake" Turns out I probably made 1,000 mistakes that lesson but the only thing that mattered was that the spirit was there :)
Thursday we got to skype a member that is living in the Philippines and we were able to teach her about how the Book of Mormon and the Bible complete each other. It was probably one of the most amazing experiences. Turns out that the person we skyped actually lives in Laoag and her two kids live there too! I really did find out first hand how nice they are, if I struggled to find a word she would help me out and would always give me encouragement. It was awesome!
Wednesday we were able to be hosts for the new missionaries coming in. I think the person in charge of new missionaries said that 270 new missionaries came in and 150 of them are Sisters. It's pretty amazing to see the amount of sisters willing to put off 18 months of their lives to bring others JOY, HAPPINESS, & SALVATION :)
Some of the best learning experiences came this week as well.
Our district set goals for each other that at the end of each day we share a scripture that we like and talk about it then another person shares a short testimony. One of my best friends here at the MTC, Elder Spencer, has been super homesick this entire time. I can't begin to tell you how many times I prayed for him that he would find the strength to be comforted that everything back home will be okay. I shared with him a scripture the first week that we were here. It's 2 Nephi 22 (Compare Isaiah 12). And I shared to him that this chapter is pretty much an outline of our purpose as missionaries and the strength and comfort the Savior can bring us while we're doing His work. He shared to the class that he's read this scripture at least once everyday ever since he got here and that it has helped him get through the tough times when he's thinking about home. This increased my testimony so much about how much you can influence another person's life by the words you say or the things that you share. When I shared that scripture I had no idea that it would help him out to endure through the MTC, I simply just shared it because I thought that chapter was a great chapter about our purpose as missionaries. But sharing that scripture probably helped him stay on his mission rather than going home. I can't even tell you how HAPPY I was when he shared that to the class!
I really can't describe the feelings of JOY I have throughout the day now. I can't even walk down the halls without having the biggest smile on my face. I feel like I'm walking on a cloud the entire day and nothing in the world can tear me down. It's probably the greatest feeling I've ever felt and we still get 23 more months of this feeling :)
It's seriously so amazing to think about how much God loves each and every one of us.The greatest example for me during this time in the MTC, and even before the MTC has been the example of the Savior. I've come to know that the way we can experience this TRUE HAPPINESS is if we align our lives by following the example of the Savior. Obviously we know that no one can be anywhere near as perfect as what He was, but if we do all we can to follow His example then we will experience more joy and happiness than we can ever imagine. :) Alma 22:15 says "I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy." It's been the best decision of my life to "give up all that I possess" so that "I may receive this great joy." And so that OTHER PEOPLE CAN EXPERIENCE IT TOO :)
Well, this is it for me for this week. I hope everyone has a great week and I'll talk to everyone again for MY LAST P-DAY IN THE MTC next week. Love you all :) Mahal ko kayo!
(Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;)