to my dearest family and my mommy,
wow. it is crazy to me that you are thousands of miles away and a whole day behind me, and yet you still know exactly what to tell me all of the time. those words were so inspiring and i needed those! i have never felt more blessed in my life than i do now. being out here has made me see the amazing people that God has allowed me to have in my life. i do not know where i would be without my family and all those that have influenced me. when things get hard, and i start to lose motivation, i say a little prayer in my heart and think back to all of those people back home who are praying for me. it really is such a humbling lesson. thank you mom for always loving me unconditionally and always understanding why my mind works the way it does, and for never letting me give up on hard things. i always think about what advice you would give me on things. and your words have gotten me through some of the more difficult days. thank you daddy for being the first man in my life. you taught me what it meant to be a daughter of god. you made me understand that i am special to you, and to my father in heaven. that confidence has helped me out here so much. thank you courtney for being the most protective big sister in the world and never letting my sell myself short. you always taught me to believe in myself, because myself was good enough. that pushes me through every language study session. thank you hannah for teaching the meaning of strength. thank you for not letting me be weak. thank you for showing me what it means to be a "thomas" always. thank you for loving me and listening to me. thank you bowen for reminding me that i am beautiful every single day and for making me feel so special and loved. no girl in the world could ask for a better little brother.
things in the mtc have improved this week. i finally worked through my bad case of strep throat and got my voice back.
i have learned that the language seems easier when i am positive and faithful, rather than nervous and frustrated. i have learned that nothing in this mission is about me, and it never will be. the Lord is teaching me how to humble myself in every single way, and trust in his love rather than my own. through him, i know that anything is possible. even me learning this language. my lessons have been much better. one of my investigators is on track for baptism, and the although the other still will not pray, he opened up to me and my kasama about the struggles in his life. there were tears, but i think he really felt the love from the Savior in that lesson, because i know that i did.
it is crazy, even though these people are not "real" investigators, i still just think about how much the lord loves them, and then it helps me teach like it was real.
i may not be the best teacher, but i can love these people with all of my heart and soul.
want to hear something crazy? i go proselyting in the city with a sister from the manilla mission on wednesday!!! i am SO excited. i can't wait to get out of this mtc for a bit and feel like a REAL missionary. although i am terrified, i am so excited. wish me luck!!
so my kasama and i get along pretty well, although she is really teaching me patience. i sleep in a room with all tongans, and let me tell ya, the culture there is SO much different than what i am used to. they are never on time to anything, and do not like to go to bed until 12 or later. so, sometimes i have to be REALLY patient (you know how i like my sleep). but, at the same time, i have never felt such instant love from a group of girls. they are so eternally loving and so concerned about the well being of others. it makes me feel alot less homesick when the brown girls are taking care of me.
i know that the Lord is humbling me and teaching me every second of every day out here, and i hope that i can become a missionary for everyone back home to be proud of. but more importantly, for the Lord to be proud of. this is his work and i can not wait until i can be out with the people.
the mtc is good, i am just SO sick of being stuck in this building. my teachers are both so amazing though. they are native filipino, and while they speak perfect english, they dont use it very much in class. so it is really forcing me to learn the language. but, they are so kind and so loving. the people in this country are all that way. they instantly love anyone they come across. and the fact that i am white, only makes it easier for me. hahahaha in fact, one of the filipino elders told an elder from my district that he had locked up his heart and "given sister thomas the key." hahahahaha i about died! funniest thing right??
the temple is beautiful. they do english sessions. and i love seeing all the beautiful filipino people all dressed in white!
i really am happy. last week i was being all negative and down, but i really am happy. i love the people here and i love learning more and more about the Lord every single day. what a blessing it is! i love my family so much and i pray for you all everyday! i am glad to hear that the move is going well and that you are all doing okay! i seriously pray for you guys every single night, day, afternoon, meal, ALL THE TIME. hahaha i love you all so much!!
tell Jaden i love her and that she needs to e-mail meeee!!
mom, if you are going to send any packages after today send them to my mission home! i won't get them in time if you don't. also, will you post that address on FB for anyone who wants it? ALSO, put Jesus or mary stickers on the box. then the superstitious christian filipino mailmen won't steal it. (;
i love you all!!