hello my dear mga kaibigan,
Just wanted to let you all know that I am still alive. Life here is a lot different than back home but I'm adjusting and doing really well.
So much has happened that I don't even know what to say. I'll start with the most shocking news of all time- I'VE GAINED SO MUCH WEIGHT HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES. Would anyone believe me if I told you I've gained 13 POUNDS in the short amount of time I've been here?! What?! Everyone was convinced that I'd die from starvation here but I'm actually becoming so fat. And the Filipinos are not afraid to let me know this fact haha.
But besides from putting on weight like no tomorrow, I promise I'm also working really hard. There's really high expectations for the missionaries of the Angeles Mission and sometimes I feel really overwhelmed. There are 4,495,881 beautiful Filipinos in the Angeles Mission boundaries, and 4,460,881 of them have not yet accepted the gospel in their lives. That means that if the 102 companionships that we have in our mission baptized weekly (which is what is expected of us here) it would take us 911 years and 1 month to get everyone baptized! Ah, just thinking about it makes me stressed. I have so much work to do! We have a lot of investigators and many people are willing to listen to our message, but it's hard to keep them progressing. But I'm finding so much joy in getting to share with them the testimony I have and the knowledge that they have a loving Savior and that through them they can be with their families forever. I have the happiest message to share, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to share it every single day here in the Philippines.
My Tagalog is still really bad and it's really frustrating but it's all good haha. I'm trying my best and leaving the rest to the Lord.
Sorry I don't really have any amazing life changing stories to share with you but I'll leave you with possible my favorite picture I've taken so far, just because I have SO MUCH LOVE for everyone there. Even though most of the time I have no idea what anyone is saying, the love I have for my investigators is unreal.
Ingat. I love and miss you all so much.
hello friends & family!
Since this will be the last time I email you from the comfortable air conditioned room of the MTC, I figured I'd bless your life with a list of all the knowledge I've gathered during my stay here.
THINGS I'VE LEARNED WHILE AT THE PHILIPPINES MTC:
1. always take your vitamins.
2. love everyone, even annoying elders, and even when every single hair on their head is brighter than the sun.
3. buy every single bag of caramel puffs on p-day; they're only like nine pesos and taste like heaven.
4. write in your journal EVERY DAY, especially if your memory is as bad as mine.
5. don't assume that just because something is explainable by us, that it's not explainable by God. just believe, hope, and trust. [1 Nephi 11:17]
6. australians call cotton candy "fairy floss". how cute is that?!
7. also, australians say all sorts of weird things that don't make any sense.
8. also also, I really love aussies, specifically the one by the name of sister prado.
9. it is human nature to grow accustomed to the wonderful things in life, to forget to be grateful for the eternal truths we know- DON'T DO THAT. always remember how sacred and important those things are.
10. people from utah are inevitably awkward.
11. do not stop at the first floor, or second, or even third floor, president uchtdorf's wife is waiting at the fourth floor- last door.
12. uchtdorf & his wife are relationship goals; "she truly is the sunshine of my life".
13. filipino elders are FEARLESS and don't waste any time. they'll ask for your email and then plan what temple you're going to get married in the very first time you meet.
14. no matter where in the world I might go, everyone will still always think I'm mexican.
15. become a missionary, don't just go on a mission.
and that's about all I have to say. Love you all!
Can you believe that it's already October 12th?! Tomorrow it will be exactly ONE MONTH since I left home to come to this beautiful place. We finally watched general conference (which was the best) and seeing all the shots of the Salt Lake temple made me miss home real bad. Especially seeing those fall leaves on the trees. I'll miss those chill fall days back in Utah but nothing can beat the rain here in the Philippines!
But enough about the weather, guess what! I went proselyting last week and it was w i l d. We had planned on teaching 3 of my companions progressing investigators but they were all gone or sleeping. Honestly, most of the time was just spent traveling because the traffic here is CRAZY. But I rode on my first jeepney and trike, which was so much fun! We taught a cute little family we walked by and I tried my best to get a couple words out in Tagalog. I wish it were easier for me to share my testimony with these lovely Filipinos but I know it will come.