Friday, August 2, 2013

July 27, 2013

Our threesome:  Me, Sister Carr and Sister Howlett

This is me and sister Howlett with our ties on (I tied my tie.  Doesn't it look pretty good???  Thanks to my BYU friends for teaching me how.....)
This is my district when we got flight plans
Our teacher Brother Trebas gave each of us a tie as a parting gift.  He's a tie-a-holic so he has a TON of ties

Kumusta pamilya ko!!!!
Well, they haven't told me that my visa hasn't come so i'm officially leaving on Monday!!!!!  I can't believe that i'm down to about 50 hours left in America and then i won't be back for a year and a half.  Crazy how fast time flies.  This week was suuuuuuper hard for my district to focus because we all just want to leave so badly but it was a good week.  yesterday we had our in field orientation and it finally felt like this is going to be real.  I think that was the first time I've felt really nervous about my mission because before now it has seemed like I've had the option to back out if I wanted to (not that I would) but once I get on that plane, it's for real!  Our teachers showed us lots of pictures of the Philippines and it is GORGEOUS!!!! Oh man I am super excited!  They also told us a lot about the culture.  We were taught how to barter because they always say a super high price and you have to barter it down to what it should be.  That is going to be scary!  And we were told that the ultimate compliment there is that you are fat and white because that means that you don't have to work outside and you have an easy life.  And they all want to be white.  So they'll all come up to you and say "You are so fat!" (except they say "pat" because f's are p's in Tagalog).  Kind of a weird compliment. 
This week i got to be a host to the new incoming missionaries.  So it was my job to pick up a sister, take her away from her family, and throw her into MTC life.  It was really fun but super sad to see all the families crying (Mom, Dad....thanks for not doing that!) and it was worse to see all the elders crying!!!  It was sadder than when i was dropped off.  I felt so bad for all the mothers that drove past me wiping away tears. 
I think I forgot to write last week about the protestors that have been standing outside the Provo temple with crosses.  They know that all the missionaries walk to the temple on Sundays and so they stand out there and yell at us that we only have to believe in Jesus and we'll be saved.  And that if we go to any Christian church, they talk about the cross.  We just all shake our heads because obviously they know nothing about mormons and what we believe.  And it's really sad to me how antagonistic they are about it.  Like that's going to make any of us believe them!  But i'd never seen protestors except for outside General Conference so that was super unusual. 
I was in the bathroom one morning and a sister walked past and said hello to a different sister in Portuguese and the sister responded in Spanish.  And then i speak Tagalog.  the spanish sister turned to me and said "It's like the tower of Babel inn here!" It was super funny and sooooo true!  none of us understand each other but we all live in the same place. haha
My big spiritual realization for the week was that for the last 6 weeks I have been overhearing all the sisters tell how they decided to come serve a mission.  For the elders they just know that they are supposed to go but every sister here has a story.  And what I've realized the last 6 weeks is that almost every sister here (with the exception of those that just knew all their lives that they were going) starting thinking this past summer (before the announcement) that they should serve a mission.  And for thsoe that were 19 it didn't make sense because that was still 2 or 3 years away.  And then the announcement was made.  But if this church wasn't true, how could several thousand girls all start thinking the same thing at roughly the same time???  That just doesn't happen.  And who would ever send their child to live somewhere where they don't know the language, or where they are going to be living or what they will eat for 18 months/2 year?  That is strange.  So it was a huge testament to me that this church is true and that every sister here is here for a reason.  We were all called of God to serve these missions and we have a sacred assignment to do the task that He has in mind for us.  I know that I am supposed to serve in the Philippines and there is a job for me to do that only I could do over there. 
Okay, I have to go because we're supposed to be packing today and we've got a lot to do.  Thanks for all the support and letters from you all.  It is so nice to have the support of family and friends on this crazy adventure.
Mahal kita!!!
Sister Sirrine

Mom and Dad,
So I can call you from the SLC and San Francisco airport on Monday.  But it is SUPER expensive to call so we have to get the timing right.  I'll call first with quarters to make sure you pick up and then call with a phone card.  I'll have the most time probably in SLC.  I think we'll get to the airport around 9 and our flight is at 11:22am.  Then I'll get to San Fran at 1:20 pm Utah time and leave an hour later.  So Dad, keep your cell phone on you at work because I lose a lot of money every time I make a phone call.  And mom, will you coordinate with Dad times that you're available to talk?  I'll call Dad first in the morning and then he can let me know if you'll have coverage to talk because I don't know where you'll be in Iowa. Idk.  We'll make it work!!!  I can't wait to talk to you!

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