"I'm pretty sure the light goes on in your head way more dramatically than anyone elses"
Pamilya, we're in the same state! I was thinking about you last night on your airplane and I hope you had so much fun and ate all the fruit snacks that you wanted. Have so much fun with our wonderful family here and send my love to everyone! Every day I feel so loved, and I'm so grateful for our wonderful heritage. Tell me all your adventures and the family memories that I'm missing, so I can feel like I'm part of this. On Tuesday, Janice Kapp Perry spoke to the MTC and we sang Primary songs and it was so great. But my favorite part was her family song that she wrote. Everyone had a part- even her sons who didn't sing (They sang "we're mama's boys, we're the back up singers" the whole time") and it was so fun, but I wanted to sing with all of you, and talk with you, so I sang all 7 verses of How Beautiful is the Green Earth to join you when you have to drive down to Southern Utah.
We do so much here and it's hard to know what to tell you, but I think I can best explain my time by telling you about the people I'm with all the time.
My district has 9 missionaries, 4 sister going to Cebu, and 3 sisters and 2 elders going to Tacloban. Many districts are like that now- with 2 elders to be the district leader, and then sisters. Lots of fun! First, my companion is Sister Rugg. She's from Stansbury Park Utah, just outside of Tooele, she's 21 and a microbiology major. I kind of already told you about her, but I didn't know her amazing sense of humor yet. She seems really quiet, and then out of nowhere, she'll make the funniest observation or call someone out on their bragging or talk about her love for One Direction. It's always an adventure, especially when we're trying to speak in Cebuano all the time. Next, we room with Sis Perrigo and Sister Wechsler. They're both 19, and they're both really big personalities, in different ways, but it really helps them be great missionaries, especially together. Sister Perrigo's from Meridian, Idaho, and Sister Wechsler's from Chino Hills, California. Sister Perrigo absolutely loves sand volleyball and keeps encouraging me in my very limited volleyball skills, and we love to sing together.
We live next door to our other sisters- they're a tricompanionship. Sister Anderson is from Salt Lake City, she's 23, and she's one of the funniest people I've ever met. She's so good at caring about all the people around her- and our classroom was a sad room the day she was sick (There was a flu going around the MTC, but don't worry, my immune system's doing great- I'm feeling wonderful). Sister Malietoa is from Samoa, and I keep finding more wonderful things about her. She taught seminary and Relief Society, and she's 20. I love learning more about Samoan culture from her- she tried to teach us some Samoan dancing and singing, and it's like a little bit of home. Laie has so many connections in this place. She loves to drink Coke all the time, and she looooooooooves Sister Rugg more than anyone else. Their third companion is Sister Smith from Elkeridge Utah, She's 19, and went to BYU before- she lived in a building right near me. We're very sad that we didn't meet before, but we're definitely going to be friends when we get back. She's an amazing artist and such a sweet girl. And the Elders! They both came to the MTC 18 years old, but they'll leave 19. Elder Burton is from Layton. He never planned on a mission, but when he finally asked Heavenly Father if he should go, he couldn't come with any reason not to, and way too many reasons to go. His faith and trust in God amazes me, and he's done some really cool things in his life- he runs his own landscaping business. Elder Lloyd is our district leader, and he's the greatest. He's from some suburb of Salt Lake, and loves Utah State University more than anyone I've ever met. He's great at keeping us together, and he's super humble. So those are the people I spend all my time with- oh and our teachers!
Brother Taylor just got married, so we only met him last week, but he teaches Cebuano more clearly than anyone, and he's great at personal help.
Brother Young is crazy and fun, but he follows the Spirit in everything he does. The other day, he'd planned to teach us about the Plan of Salvation, but Elder Lloyd asked a question about the Apostasy, and he changed everything. It was exactly what I needed, because teaching the Apostasy scares me so much- telling someone that their source of goodness and light is actually false, and it sometimes feels like we're trying to prove something which I really don't want to do. I don't think we talked about anything I hadn't heard before, but things came together for me. The Spirit taught me directly, and showed me the way I can teach this. I was so grateful that Heavenly Father could see my concern, and could inspire Bro. Young and all of that, for me to be able to teach one thing and feel secure in that. I feel encircled in love here.
And the broadcast! Wasn't that the best? What a vision for the future of missionary work and the entire church! Mama, I love your ideas about missionary work on the boat- that will be so cool. I'm pretty sure you couldn't see me on the broadcast- I was way on the edge, but I was singing! We're called to serve our king! We don't know what internet missionaries means for us in the Philippines yet, or guided tours where there isn't always a church building, but it's all exciting! And I hope that the members in Cebu want to help us, because we're going to need their help! Cebuano's coming, and I can kind of communicate, but not using real grammar (which might be okay, because Cebuano doesn't always have real grammar- you usually just do what sounds best to you, or to someone from Cebu!), but once I have to talk about something that's not the gospel, I 'll be really lost. It's such a cool language, because they have so few words, so everything has to be described. Charity is "Pure love, -gugma nga putli" and Trust and depend and rely are all "sa pagsaad" and a contrite spirit is actually just "paghinulsol nga espiritu" or a repentant spirit. It helps me see the simplicity of this gospel. Oh, I forgot my favorite one. Faith is "hugot nga pagtuo, or a firm belief" That's what it is! By my firm belief, I can see miracles here and in the Philippines, in my life and especially in the lives of others as I do my best to invite them to come unto Christ.
I love you all! The gospel is true.
P.S. The title is a quote from Sister Anderson to me- they all laugh at me when I put things together and when Cebuano works in my mind- but it's just exciting! And I love the light and knowledge that the Spirit brings.