Saturday, November 8, 2014

Kita-kits! (See you later!)

Magadang umaga mga tao! (Good morning people!)

My last full email home until we head out to the Philippines! The last 6 weeks have been the fastest weeks of my life but we're so ready to finally start fulfilling our purposes as missionaries and get started working in the Philippines!

This last week has been pretty special.

Last Sunday's Devotional I was able to give the opening prayer for Elder Russell M. Nelson's  wife and was able to meet her for a spare moment after her talk. Even talking to one of the 12 apostle's wife is such a unique and amazing opportunity. She came up with one of the best talks that I've heard in a long time, I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to be apart of the program that night! The spirit was amazing and I don't think there was one missionary in that room that didn't walk out a better and more prepared missionary. It was AMAZING.

We were able to walk to the Marriott center to watch a Devotional there on Tuesday afternoon given by Elder David F. Evans. And that night we were supposed to hear from Elder Holland at the MTC but he couldn't make it so we heard from Elder Christoffel Golden. Both of those talks were great! The Devotionals we get here at the MTC are seriously one of a kind. Remember the first week where I was homesick and hated it here because classes were hard, I didn't know what the teachers were saying and learning a new language is actually difficult? It's actually going to be weird leaving here now because of how much I started to enjoy it. Most definitely the most spiritually uplifting and some of the biggest times of growth over the past 6 weeks I've ever had in my life!

On Wednesday we were able to host again which wasn't as fun as the last time, there were really no crying families this time which made it less fun. Is that mean to say? Haha. But after Elder Briskin and I had to teach "People and Your Purpose". For those of you who have been into the MTC, it's the time where the two missionaries come into that big room and start off the lesson to an investigator in front of a room full of new missionaries. Well of course we would get picked to do that. But there was a problem, we never once taught a lesson in English. The only lessons we've ever taught have been in Tagalog. So we walk in and I walk up to the first guy and I go "Kamus....How are you?" Then I get stage fright and I don't even say I'm Elder Oslund I just say I'm Tommy. Gosh that was the worst moment of my life haha. But we made it out alive. 

Thursday we were able to Skype TRC the same Filipino lady as last time. That went 100x better than People and Your Purpose. It's kind of weird that I'm more comfortable teaching a lesson in Tagalog than I am in English. But we taught her about how to receive revelation by going to church. She asked me about an experience I had about receiving revelation by going to church and I told here about the time I went to church asking Heavenly Father if going on a mission was the right choice for me. The answer was so blatantly obvious that I should go on a mission which then lead me to the position I am today :)

Friday we had In-field Orientation and it was actually a lot better than what I expected it to be. We were in the room from 8-5:30 but it was great. Definitely got me way more excited to finally go out into the Philippines :)

I know that when I get to my first area next week that it will be one of the hardest adjustments again in my life. Adjusting to the culture, weather, language, and just about everything will be another time where my faith will be tested. But I know that I can be able to endure those hard times on the field because I was able to endure the hard times and struggles at the beginning of the MTC. The Lord called me on this mission knowing that there's going to be hard times, but He knows and has faith in ME that this mission is the best mission possible for me. 

Alam ko po na mahirap ang Tagalog pero, na mahalaga ang trabaho ito. Sa pamamagitan ang ating Ama sa Langit, ginawin natin po ang lahat ng mga bagay. Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa pagkakataon ito upang itinuro ang ebanghelyo ni JesuCristo sa Pilipinas. Alam ko po na magiging mas masaya sa buhay natin sa pamamagitan JesuCristo :)

(I know it's hard in Tagalog but, this is an important work. Through our Heavenly Father, we can do all these things. I am grateful for this opportunity to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Philippines. I know we can be more happy in our lives through Christ :) )

Before I end this email I want to share you a scripture that Elder Briskin shared with me the other day about our work that we are going to be doing here next week for the next two years. I read it over and over again during personal study and each time I read it it became more and more personal to me. I'm adding in the words that we made to make it a PERSONAL scripture. This scripture touched my heart so much about the work we are going to be doing and the people that we got to be with during our time at the MTC. It's from Alma 17:11-14 &16-17

11. And the Lord said unto the missionaries: Go forth among the Filipinos, thy bretheren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.

12. And it came to pass that the hearts of the missionaries, and also those who were with them, took COURAGE to go forth unto the Filipinos to declare unto them the word of God.

13. And it came to pass that when the missionaries had arrived in the borders of the Philippines, that they separated themselves and departed one from another, trusting in the Lord that they should meet again at the close of their harvest; for the missionaries supposed that great was the work that which they had undertaken.

14. And assuredly it was great, for the missionaries had undertaken to preach THE WORD OF GOD....

16. Therefore, this was the cause for which the missionaries had undertaken the work, that perhaps they might bring the Filipinos unto repentance; that perhaps they might bring them to know of the plan of redemption.

17. Therefore the missionaries separated themselves one from another, and went forth among the Filipinos, every man alone, according too the WORD AND POWER OF GOD WHICH WAS GIVEN UNTO HIM.

I love you all so much. I'm so grateful to be doing GOD'S WORK. Please do not worry about anything, I know that times will be hard at the beginning, but this mission was meant to be for me. I'm as prepared to serve in the Philippines as I'll ever be and I'm not afraid of speaking Tagalog or adjusting to the culture and weather because God gave me the commandment to go into the Philippines and establish His word there. And I know that "the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7)

So this is is it for me. I'll see you all in the Philippines!!! Pupuntan po namin sa Pilipinas! (We're going to the Philippines!)

Mahal Kita,

Elder Oslund

Elder Oslund's District at the Provo Temple

Elder Oslund and the Zone Leaders

Elder Oslund's Zone at the Provo Temple

At BYU Marriott Center for a Tuesday Devotional

Elder Oslund's Zone in Front of the Temple

Provo, Utah Temple

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