August 5, 2013

Life as a Real Missionary!

Hi family!!

so, i am alive. BARELY, but i am alive. i must say, if i thought life in the mtc was hard, the field is way more difficult. i have only been here 5 days and i already feel like i have felt every emotion in the book. coming out here made me realize just how much tagalog i DONT know. it is really stressful. i know that everyone keeps saying not to stress, it will come. but people are looking at me like they expect me to be able to understand them, and when i can't they get really dissapointed and just walk away. i feel so bad. :(

i am being trained in the Camiling 4th branch area. it is beautiful here. full of country and cows and rice fields. it is nice to be out of the city, but the downside is, hardly anybody understands english. 

my nanay, (trainer "mom") is Sister Naldoza. She just finished her 12 week training last week and is now training me. she is a local filipino so the transition was much much easier for her. she is a wonderful missionary and works really really hard. the people love her and are so happy she has stayed in this area for another 3 months. i really love her. the only struggle is the language barrier. she struggles with english and i struggle with tagalog, so sometimes we are not on the same page. since it is so hard to communicate she doesn't really explain anything to me. like, how to get to certain places, who lives where, our boundaries, or the background of our investigators. and the mission president told me i would be training here in 12 weeks, so that makes me a little worried too.  he told me that he needed me to train but he also has felt that my leadership was necessary since he received my missionary information. but, my companion really is a sweetie with a big heart and she loves our savior so much. 

my mission president and his wife are AWESOME. i love them so much. the first day i arrived was so good because they were there, they fed us, entertained us, coached us, and really got us all excited for the field. they are so wonderful. they only have 11 months left here tho. and we are all really sad about that. but, we will just enjoy them while we have them here with us! my president made me feel good about my choice to serve.  he said the Lord needs me here and that i have many things to offer.

i just met my whole zone this morning at our zone training. everyone is really nice and very upbeat about missionary work. we only have 6 sisters, and i am the only american. there are a few american elders tho. but, i am the ONLY greenie. so they were all speaking tagalog, and i didnt understand a thing. luckily the training itself was in english so i got something out of that. (:

my home that i live in is actually really nice! (compared to most out here.) and it is big. of course, there are lizards, cockcroaches, and no hot water, oh yeah, and a bucket shower! but, i am really grateful to have such a nice place to live in. there are four of us that live there. and all of the sisters are really nice. AND the super cute senior couple missionaries live right next door! they are elder and sister Moser, from idaho. they are so sweet, and feel like a little piece of home. i love going over there and visiting them. they are wonderful. 

well, i must admit, i am alot more frustrated with myself than i thought i would be.
the heat is bad, but i can live with that.
the bugs love me, i counted 67 bites just on my legs this morning. i literally look diseased. my legs are red, swollen, and itchy. it is really gross. but that i can also live with. 
the food is not my favorite, but they have a few things that are familiar to me. so that i can live with that too. (:  although i am a bit hungry.
the hardest thing is the language. i sit in our lessons and literally understand nothing. it's like i am on a different planet. the investigators know it too and so does my companion. i try so hard to listen and understand, and most of the time there is nothing there. plus, i can't say anything back to them to help them. it is SOOO hard for me. i feel like such a waste of space. like, there could be a missionary in there who knew what to say and how to help. but i just sit there. i have spent my nights in tears. 

but then this morning, i was lifted up. i read in Alma 12:26.
with my own strength, i cannot do this. but through my Savior, all things are possible.
so while i may not have the capacity to learn this language, my Savior does.
it was reaffirmed to me that i was called here for a reason, and that i am here to learn something. not just to teach. 
and if i just have patience like never before, i will know what i need to do. 

so, while i still understand nothing, i am working to just focus on my Savior and doing what he needs me to do. 
it is difficult, but i am trying. 

i am hoping that this language barrier will get easier and soon lift so that i might be able to do some real missionary work. 
i just want to be a good servant for the lord. so badly. 
any tips on learning a language, mom? dad? courtney? anyone?

anyways, so i am good. struggling, but striving and moving forward. it is supposed to be hard right? or everyone would do it. 

well, how is the family this week? i am glad courtney is liking her job. and i am glad hannah is having some fun.
it is almost time for school already?! woah, that flew! tell bowen that i am sorry, but he only has one more year of elementary.
he can do it. (:

how is work mom and dad? how about the new house and ward?

how are brooklyn and boss doing? i have not heard from them yet.

how about everyone else in the world? haha 

i love love love you! i am always praying for you!!! 

send me more updates. my p-days are on mondays here, sundays there. soooooo, tell my siblings to write me back! (;

pray always.

-sister thomas

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