Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 13, 2013

Kumusta pamilya!
I can't believe that it's P-day again.  It seriously feels like I just had p-day just a couple days ago.  That's the weird thing about the MTC.  Time.  It flies by and drags on at the same time.  And the days just mush together.  It really is the hardest thing at night to try and remember what I did that day because the morning seems like such a long time ago.  But it's good because it does go super fast at the same time. 
Well this week I was sick for some of it.  There's this miserable sickness going around the MTC and I was the first one in my zone to get it.  I really thought I had strep throat but thank goodness I didn't!  Unfortunately a few other sisters in my district got it and there's some others in my zone that have it now.  The MTC isn't very fun when you're sick but you don't want to go back to your room and sleep because you'll miss so much!
This week we taught a lot of lessons.  I don't even know how many.  Some of them were really good and we were so excited when we got out of them.  We taught the Restoration to one of our investigators and we did it without looking at the lesson plan that we had prepared and it went so well.  Normallly we have to script out our lesson, otherwise my kasama doesn't really know what I'm saying and she gets lost and then I end up talking the whole lesson.  But during that lesson, she taught a ton of it and understood everything I was saying.  But just when you start feeling good about life, of course you have to be humbled (pride cycle).  Yesterday and the day before were really discouraging for Sister Howlett becasue she didn't talk very much during our lessons and she just felt so frustrated because she doesn't feel like she is learning fast enough.  Last night we went outside and just talked and prayed for a while because she was so frustrated.  It's amazing how powerful prayer is and how comforting the spirit can be!  We've been studying a lot about revelation through prayer and I really want to make an effort when I get home to make my life less busy so that I can be in a position to hear the spirit give me revelation.  Something neat I read was that once we receive the Holy Ghost, we receive revelation because the spirit is a spirit of revelation.  So really we are receiving revelation all the time, we just need to learn how to recognize it!  Just before we went in, she said "I don't know why you postponed your mission, but I am really grateful you did."  And I just got this feeling that she was one reason why I needed to postpone my mission.  It was really neat. 
But it really is amazing how much Tagalog we can speak in just 3 weeks!  I was thinking about it and nowhere else could we have done this.  If we'd taken Tagalog in high school we would be nowhere close to where we are right now.  It's really amazing.  But, we still are so limited in what we can say which has been really good for me.  It's been good to have to teach what the gospel is very simply.  It makes you think about what is the absolute most important thing you need to tell people.  Having to articulate the gospel has been so good for me too.  I've always known that the gospel is true but I've never really known how to explain it.  It kind of just was!  But my teachers here have shown us how to put my feelings and testimonies into words.  I don't know if that made any sense at all but it really is hard to put a feeling into words. 
On a different note, our teachers have been showing us pictures of the Philippines and some souvenirs they brought back and it made us all sooooo excited to go there!!!  And one teacher explained to us how the bathroom works in the Philippines.  Not real excited for that.  But it was super funny when he was telling that to us. 
So Dad, just so you know, in the Philippines, they say f's as p's and v's as b's.  and vice versa. That's why family is pamilya and Philippines is Pilipines.  Also Mom, that email that you sent me via dear elder of Jody's newsletter didn't came in 6 letters.  So that day that I got them, my whole district was like "Holy cow!  How many people do you have sending you letters????"  So I laughed when it was just one letter that ran onto 6 pages :)
Also I read a really good article this week.  It's called the fourth missionary and it basically shows how you can be the absolute best missionary you can be.  But one part that really stood out to me was when it said that if we spend our time wishing life was different or how it was before, we are just choosing to be unhappy.  The point of life is to change.  We're all trying to be like Christ and that means we have to change.  So whatever stage of life we are in, we should be happy in it and make it the absolute best that we can right then.  And then when a new stage of life comes, we should never look back with regrets or wishes but look forward with anticipation.  I thought that was really good not only for missionaries, but for all of us.  Wherever we are, we're never going to be exactly right there ever again so we should make it the best it can be.  And we should choose to be HAPPY, not unhappy.  No matter how hard life is right then.  It was really good! 
Well, that's a pretty good summary of my week! 
Mahal kita! (I love you!)
Sister Danai Sirrine

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 6, 2013

Kamusta pamilya ko!
So we were told by the older districts that this week and next are like the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon.  And I definitely could feel that.  Some parts of this week were really good and others were super frustrating.  We learned how to conjugate a new type of verb every day this week and they are all just mixed up in my brain right now.  But I think they're starting to get a little easier, it just takes a LOT of practice.  And we taught 4 lessons in Tagalog this week.  Some were really frustrating and others went so well.  On Monday we taught a 45 min lesson and we talked in Tagalog the whole time!!! It was so awesome and we were able to say pretty much what we wanted to say.  And we were able to mostly understand what she said in answer to our questions, which is always a plus.  But a lot of that lesson was trying to come up with the right sentence structure.  That is the slowest part of Tagalog.  I know all the words but it has to be in the right order or they have no idea what you are trying to say.  I feel like 90% of my day is spent praying.  One reason is that we pray before and after everything.  But the other reason is that Tagalog sentences are SO long and then it takes a really long time to think of how to say what you want.  My district was joking around one day that we really have no idea how to speak Tagalog.  That we get into a lesson and say "mahal po kayo ng Diyos" (God loves you) and then "Puwede po tayong ng magdasal?" (Can we pray?).  And that pretty sums up our lessons!  Although I guess that if there is only one thing we can say, Mahal po kayo ng Diyos is a pretty good thing to say.  But we really do know how to say more than that....it just feels like we don't.  And of course we all say funny things somtimes.  My kasama blessed the book of mormon one time in a prayer and another time she was leading the hymn that we were singing as a district and you're supposed to say "Handa....awi!" (ready...go!) but she said "Hindi...awa!"  (No...mercy!) We've all learned to laugh at ourselves.  Actually I haven't laughed so much in my life as I have in the last two weeks.  The elders are a little annoyed about it but we have to laugh or we'll get overwhelmed and depressed.  Everyone should have a giggle moment every single day!
I got to see Becca this week when she came into the MTC!  I was sitting on the grass when she walked by with her escort.  i think I got out there just after you got there to drop her off.  And then I saw you guys drive away.  I was literally like 200 feet away from you.  Also thanks for your letter Mom and Leigh!  They were fun to get during the week!  :)
This week was kind of fun because we had the fourth of July.  All day it felt just like a normal day at the MTC until the night.  Except for the fact that we could hear Kelly Clarkson and Carly Rae Jepson practising at the BYU stadium all day...it was a little distracting.  We had a special fourth of july program that night that we went to where we sang some patriotic songs and the spriti in the MTC was so strong!  I love singing with the whole MTC!  And then they let us watch 17 Miracles!  We watched a movie in the MTC!!!!  I had never seen it before and it was so good.  I can't believe that the saints had so much faith to be able to make the trek and to trust in the Lord so much.  i don't know if I could have done it.  I hope I would have been able to.  Then after the movie they let us go out and watch the fireworks from the Stadium of Fire show.  They said "Because of good behavior, we're going to let you stay up late and watch the firreworks!"  But they failed to say "But you still have to get up at your normal time tomorrow...."  It was a little rough getting out of bed the next morning!
Also I found out last week that my the church lost my visa application so I had to resubmit a new one.  Hopefully I get my visa by the time that I leave for the Philippines!  Everyone please pray that the government will move a little quicker than normal!  
Also, we watched a devotional that was given by Elder Bednar at the MTC on Christmas.  It was call the Characters of Christ and I'm pretty sure that it's written up.  It was fantastic!!!  I think everyone should read it!  It changed mine and my kasama's perspective on a lot of things and has made our week so good.  
The only bad news from this week is that the Provo temple is closed for the rest of the time that I am in the MTC.  I'm really going to miss going to the temple...it was one of the best parts of the week!  But oh well.  What can you do.
Somthing that is super amazing in the MTC is the fact that we have district meetings where we discuss devotionals or other things.  I'm always so amazing that twelve 18 and 19 year olds (and one 21 year old) can have such spiritual and deep discussions without any adult supervision or guidance.  It is a real testimony to me of the power of a mission call and how the gospel and really make people the best that they possibly can be.  
Alam ko po na mahal po kayo ng Diyos.  Alam ko po na tunay ang pagbabayad-sala ni Jesucristo. 

Mahal kita!

Sister Sirrine