Magandang Umaga Pamilya!
I miss you all very much and was excited to talk to a few people at the airport in SLC and Portland. We are here now in Manila MTC and so happy to be here already. Of course a little nervous too, woke up last night with dreams about disastrous contacting experiences and started piecing together Tagalog sentences in my half conscious state. I am learning more every day though and I know this is the biggest trial of faith I have ever had thus far in my life. THere is a scripture I have been thinking today in Mosiah 4:9 that says, “Believe in God, believe that He is and that he doth have all wisdom and all power.” I know this to be true and that as I get on my knees every single day and ask for his divine help and support, it will be given to me. I am so excited to be here in the Manila MTC. I wish I could send you a picture becuase it is so beautiful where we are at and this MTC is like a resort. The showers are super nice and the beds way more comfortable than the Provo MTC. Also I had rice and longanisa with egg for breakfast this morning and I was loving it! Hopefully the food continues to be good but I am not too worried. It seems like it is winter here because it is not too mainit yet. Well plus we are in the nice air conditioning. Driving over here last night I already felt a little culture shock. Most of Manila is really well developed and we passed by a lot of shopping malls and Chowkings and Max’s and American restaurants like Starbucks and McDonalds but there was one part where we drove by these homes that were all just pieced together and looked like they might fall over and as we did, I just thought of all the millions of people in this country who literally have nothing. On the first leg of the trip here, I talked to this young girl from Montana, telling her all about going on a mission and everything. Really from describing it it’s sorta like “why would you go on a mission?” there are all these rules and it’s pretty restrictive and everything, and it takes you 6 months to speak the language basically. BUT then there’s the WHY and it’s because it is not about you. It’s not about how you feel a little uncomfortable or how you don’t get to have things you are used to. What it is about is the little girl here who has absolutely nothing and this is her hope, this Gospel teaches her about her divine worth and her divine potential beyond the circumstances she is born into. How everything is made fair and right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That message changes peoples lives and it gives them something to cling to. SO it’s not about me anymore, it’s not about how I feel or what I go through, it’s about how every little effort I make, all the work I try to put forth is focused on someone else choosing to come unto Christ and experience the gift of the Holy Ghost. The day we left the MTC I cried and cried, thinking of how blessed I am to wear Christ’s name on my chest, to have his help and to go to the Philippines. I know I am inadequate, that I can barely speak/understand this language but I also know that through Him I can do all things(Alma 26:12)
I know there are those of you out there who have trials and struggles you are going through right now. I am not sure what they are or what is going on exactly, but I do know this: Christ will be there to lift you. He will lift you even when you do not recognize or ask, even when you forget to thank Him. I pray for you every night and those struggles I do know about, I try to include in my prayers. I love you so much and am grateful for the prayers you offer for me and the love you send me.
Mahal na mahal kita!