Grateful and Thankful! For my Father in Heaven! For my Savior Jesus Christ! For the Gospel and the Joy it brings to our life! For the opportunity to serve as a missionary! For all who supports me and keeps me in their prayers! For my past youth leaders (Teachers, Seminary, Priesthood Leaders, Scouts) who sacrifice their precious time to serve and teach. . .who sets good examples and showed great love for me. For my family and my siblings! For my parents. . .for loving me unconditionally and never giving up on me. On Thanksgiving day. . .I just want you all to know you are all in my thoughts and prayers - and that I am Grateful and Thankful for you all!
Thanksgiving here at the MTC was great! Not the same, but great nontheless. It was a full day. We had no classes, but we still had a lot to do. We did a humanitarian project where we made hygiene kits and school supply kits for people in the villages of Mali. It was pretty cool. We had Elder Jeffrey R. Holland speak to us, and it was super super spiritual! I cried... he said something that made my heart ache so bad. He said "...Now I know all of you missionaries miss your father's, but I know that you are all aching for you mothers..." I bawled quietly as I thought about Thanksgiving at home. It made me a bit grumpy and threw my mood off because being away on such a holiday felt so foreign. I got over myself though, and enjoyed my food. Food is ALWAYS, PALAGI in abundance! Lol. But, nothing like a meal made from momma and my beloved sisters. It was still good though. We had mashed potatoes, turkey, yams, and other stuff. Though the food was delicious, I sat at my table thinking "Where is my beloved red rice and lumpia?!!" Hahaha! The language is picking up. We call it "Huricane Tagalog" because we are being pounded by the ferocious waves of culture, and crashes down on our confidence. Our teachers are very kind though, and they do all that they can to help us with whatever it is they need, which makes working harder easier. I've been assigned this week as the leader for my district! I'm so excited to have such an important calling! I realized how much I learned by not being a leader, or a senior companion, and now that I have a calling, I realize the Lord taught me those things. It's been nice to take it easy for awhile, but I know that the Lord is calling me to be an example for his children in my district. Along with Tagalog, I've been asking some of my foreign friends to teach me about their culture and language. I'm learning tongan as well, and trying to pick up on Maori. :) I've grown such a love for my fellow missionaries. This week has been tiring... but I know that if I weary myself for my lord and savior Jesus Christ, he will bless me to overcome my challenges, weaknesses, and make up for my short comings.
Family, have you been reading the Book of Mormon?! I would hope you are! I know how hard Mom & Dad always try to have us do it as a family. . .I will encourage all of you to participate and read as a family. My job as a missionary is to invite others to come unto Christ. Member, non-member, less active, or investigator. I feel only more inclined to help my family and their relationship with God by sharing the same message I'm sharing with the people of the Phillipines. I hope you guys continue on praying together too as a family Day or Night or Both! God will only listen if we talk to him first. As says in the book of James, faith without works is dead! Prayer is a work, and a trial of faith. Keep keeping on! As you've all taught me to do!
The home sickness begins... finally...
Although I pray for strentgh, I can never find enough distractions or things to do to keep my mind off my beloved family. I think of each and every one of you all day. I've kept you all in my prayers, both morning and nights, and meals included. I can see that the lord is keeping his promises to me by helping you all. I can feel it even if you don't say it. It makes me feel better, but there's still this void that your all filled in my life that I never knew could make me feel as if someone had taken something from me that was very special. I continue to pray for strength to overcome this sadness that come about me, and the Lord always comforts me. But I do have to ask him on a constant basis for help.
I'm doing great overall, and I'm looking forward to learning more tagalog! I've recieved your letters, and dear elders, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to remember me and share your thoughts. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE letters! They quiet my stirrings and longings for my family.
Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat pamilya ko! Ingat, til next time.
(I love you all very much my family! Take Care.)
P.S.- I check my e-mails right after I get out of the temple which is at around 9am on tuesdays, I print my emails out, then come back to the lab at 4:30 to respond! :)