Hi Everyone, we just got our first e-mail from Sister Wood today. It was so great to hear from her and see the growth that has already taken place in her in just a few days. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did:
It is weird that we are actually on the computers emailing right now. I am trying to figure out how to upload pictures, so hopefully we get it done before time runs out.
WOW. I didn’t think I could learn so much in three and a half days. It has just been crazy, and the days are so long right now. The tagalog is coming along really well though and I am so happy about it.
This is our typical day:
6:00 am – Yoga/Work Out
6:30 am – Get ready
7:00 am – District Prayer/Hymn
7:30 am – Breakfast
8:00 am – Class (Tagalog)
11:00 am – Personal/Companion Study
12:10 pm – Lunch
12:55 pm – Personal Study
2:00 pm – Lesson Stuff
3:00 pm – Special meetings/lessons from teachers
5:00 pm – Dinner
6:00 pm – Class/Teach
8:00 pm – District Meetings
9:00 pm – Go back to apartment
YEAH. The days are way long. Everyone says that time will start flying by, and I already hope so! There are some people that are getting ready to leave and I am kind of jealous. Sister Ulu’Ave and Sister Shrack are going to Laoag and all the rest are going to Olongapo. Not very many are going to Laoag, and I don’t think hardly any elders are. So its not very common.
You will get my letter today I think that has my tagalog simple testimony on it that I have learned. Still amazes me I can do it.
Sister Ulu’Ave and I taught our first investigator Ellen last night and OH MY GOSH. We were so prepared for it and everything and man, I just don’t even know how to desribe it. There were ups and downs. We taught her about God’s love for each of us and how he has a plan for us. Pretty simple stuff, because it was ALL in tagalog! Unlike most of the other companionships, her and I had all of ours memorized to give off of the top of our heads. No notes no nothing. Yes, I was proud about that. So right as Ellen “opened the pinto” for us to go in, I started laughing. BECAUSE I WAS NERVOUS! It’s just what I do. Well, note to self, don’t laugh when trying to teach a lesson. So I relaxed and we began talking to her all in tagalog. After we talked about the doctrine we taught we were going to have her read a scripture. So Sister Ulu’Ave invites her to read. Right as she did she looks at me and says “WE FORGOT THE SCRIPTURES!” I look at her with this blank OH MY GOSH look and start LAUGHING again. I mean WHO WOULDN’T? It was so embarrassing. AND SHE KEPT A STRAIGHT FACE THE WHOLE TIME. But after that, I shared my testimony in taglaog and sister gave a prayer, and surprisingly the spirit was felt in the last part of it. The Lord helped us through it and because we had worked so hard to memorize our stuff, you could tell she appreciated it, and she understood, and really enjoyed it. So we got an invitation to come back monday! WOOHOO. We get to redeem ourselves. Next lesson is on prayer. Right as we walked out of the room from teaching her, we literally stumbled to the next class, fell on floor and started crying because we were laughing so hard about the fact we didn’t even bring the scriptures with us. I may or may not have almost peed my pants. Anyways, I am glad we got the first one out of the way.
So as you can guess our P-Day is on Saturdays! I actually love it. It is like we actually have a weekend. We just get the stuff done we need to, go to the temple, (so excited to get off the mtc campus). Tomorrow is the big meeting at the Marriott Center. We get to walk over there and I am SO excited to go to BYU. Our dress standards are so strict for it, actually all the time now. We aren’t allowed long skirts anymore. Sad day. They just barely have changed the rule. They say we can’t look like we are FLDS. Our branch president is Elder Anderson. you can tell he is like a big fancy business guy. I could just tell by his suit and shirt. And his wife had the coolest heels on! I haven’t personally gotten to talk to him, but he seems awesome.
We have gym time about 3-4 times a week and we go with our zone. This last time I just went and ran around the track and then did the elyptical then road the bike. Nice little workout, then I went and shot hoops. I was the only girl shooting haha. Which I don’t mind, I actually loved it. BUT, since everyone is so friendly here, when anyone is by themselves, there is at least one or more people than come up to you and try to be your friend haha. So these two girls came over and started talking to me and shooting, and I know it was just to not make me feel “lonely.” But I was perfectly fine! I like being by myself! It is a rare thing anywhere now to have a 20 ft radius around you where no one is! So yeah, I think they felt bad for me, even though I was loving it haha.
Gosh, I can’t even name all of the people that I know here. The list would be ages. Like the most random people ever! But its sweet that we are all here together doing the Lord’s work. It is pretty powerful. It is essential to have the spirit with you at all times here. Without it, things are so much more difficult. Not only will our investigators learn through the spirit, but so will we. I would never be able to learn this much tagalog without the Lord’s help. The gift of tongues is amazing. In Preach my Gospel it says that we must put all of our effort in and struggle to “qualify” for the gift of tongues. No one likes to struggle, but I think it is awesome that if you give it your absolute ALL and are doing all you can, the Lord is bound to help. Kind of like your favorite scripture mom!
JUST SO EVERYONE KNOWS, IT IS FUN TO GET PACKAGES! (hint hint)
Today I started learning how to pray in Tagalog, so by the end of the day I am sure I will have that down! It is SO cool. I am so impatient though, I want to be fluent right now. Tagalog is all I want to study and that is my problem. My goal for the upcoming week is to put focus on the doctrine of the gospel. If we don’t know that, how are we supposed to teach even if we do know tagalog? Leaders here promised that if we take time to learn doctrine and scriptures that the language will come so much easier. So I will update you guys next week on how that is going.
Well, this is probably a super long email now. I need to save time to get some pictures sent over!
I love you all so much! Like SO MUCH. Thanks for all your support. Mom, for the package, all the rest for the letters (i haven’t got yet). I am so blessed!
There are some people here that have some hard family situations, and I am so blessed to have the family I do. I am truly grateful.
More than ever I know that we can be truly happy here. I love being surrounded by the gospel all the time. I really am happy all the time.
Salamat! (thank you)
Mahal Kita! (I love you)
– Sister Wood