I had another great week here in the Philippines MTC. I love my district more and more each and every day. Growing up in Utah I pretty much just interacted with a bunch of kids who had also lived in Utah their whole lives. But now I spend every single day arguing with the crazy Elders and Sisters from Australia and New Zealand about the correct way to pronounce things and all of our different culture differences. I love it! Also, my super cute Australian companion is always singing "The Star Spangled Banner" and I think it's so funny. They also all make fun of me and Elder Brown for saying "super" way too much. Honestly, I just love everyone here. They are always so kind to me, even if I sound like a total idiot trying to speak their language haha. So far I've been told that I look like Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and a fairy. Not really sure how any of those make sense but I'll take it. Everyone in the batch of missionaries we came in, as well as the senior LTM's, are all leaving next week and then it will just be our little district of 6 here at the MTC for 2 days. It's going to be so sad to see them all leave! I never thought I would actually like it here so much. The food here is actually really good. We have rice with absolutely everything, every single meal. It's good for now- but I can assure you that I'm never eating rice again when I get home. We had burgers and fries for dinner last Thursday and I was seriously the happiest person in the world. It wasn't quite the same as back home, but I still loved it and it was the first time I went back for seconds.
Anyway, sorry that was just a bunch of random stuff that probably didn't make sense. Just wanted to let you all know that I'm still safe and happy. I'm so grateful that my Heavenly Father trusts me enough to be a representative of His son and share His gospel to His children. I have two investigators that I have to teach in ALL TAGALOG. It's so hard because I have this amazing message I want to share with them, but I don't know how to say it in their language! It's so frustrating, but I know I'll be able to do it one day and I can't wait!
I'll leave you with the scripture we memorized in Tagalog last week- Moroni 10:5.
"at sa pamamigatan ng kapangyarihan ng espirito santo, malalaman ninyo ang katotohanan ng lahat ng bagay." I just wrote that whole thing from memory, are you so proud of me?! Look up that scripture so you can know what it means in English, I promise it's true!
Love you all so much,
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!