I'm actually in the Philippines and I'm alive! I seriously still can't believe that I'm actually here- it kind of feels like a dream. Time here is so weird... I feel like it was forever ago that I went on that crazy airplane journey to get here, but at the same time it feels like it was just yesterday. Getting here was probably one of the craziest things I've ever done. When I was set apart as a missionary by the stake president I was blessed to have angels watch over me on my mission. At the time I pictured those angels to be my loved ones who have passed on watching over me from heaven, but on my way here those angels were my two amazing neighbors (that just so happened to be going on my flight to California as well ). They helped me get on the first part of my adventure and then the rest is history haha.
The very first human interaction I had in the Philippines was with a bunch of guys in charge of the Hertz cars at the airport. I was really worried that they wouldn't understand me but they were all so nice and one of the guys said, "OH, Miss Sierra? Beautiful name... and beautiful YOU!" And that is the story of probably the first and last time I'll hear my first name in the Philippines. So pretty much everyone here is SO NICE. And oh my goodness, don't even get me started on my companion! We're pretty much the same person and we have so much fun together. Our days are full of so much laughter and singing high school musical songs. We only have 6 people in our LTM (language training missionary) district. My companion and one other sister is from Australia. The other sister is from somewhere in the Marshall Islands I think? And the Elders are from New Zealand and... UTAH! And he is also going to the Angeles mission so I'm pretty excited about that. I love everyone in my district so much and I'm already dreading the day when I have to say goodbye to them.
The first couple days here I was really worried about my family back home and was feeling really guilty about leaving them. All my prayers were pleas to my Heavenly Father that they would be safe and watched over and that prayer was answered in the form of a scripture: D&C section 100. The whole section is revelation given to Joseph Smith and Sidney while they were away from their families and worrying about them. And one of the first things it says in verse 1 is "your families are well; they are in mine hands." That brought me so much comfort and strengthened my testimony. God loves you. He cares about you and wants you to pray to him so that he can answer those prayers.
Learning Tagalog is SO HARD, but I'm trying my best. Please send me lots of love and words of encouragement, I could definitely use it. I love you and miss you all so much!