Hello!!!!! Family family family!!!
I am missing you all like crazy!!!! This week has been absolutely insane. Packed 24/7. No we don't have time to take naps to recover *tear*.
To answer mom's questions:
What are the showers and bathrooms like? : Huge and pretty nice. The sisters have one on each floor unlike the elders - which they despise us for hehe:) - so there's plenty of time to get everything done without waiting.
Is your bed comfy? Are you sleeping good?: Bed is super comfy, pillow so fluffy, and sleep is coming easily. Especially because I've been taking NyQuil almost every night for this awful cold I have. I swear the whole MTC has it. There's been an outbreak! Makes me think we're all going to turn into zombies.... But thanks for the meds mom!
Do the districts get to hang out with other districts?: The districts do get to hang out with other districts, and we see them a lot at gym/lunch/in the halls.
Are all of the Tacloban missionaries going to the Philippines MTC? All the missionaries going to the Philippines are going to the MTC there. So we're all going together! Even the ones speaking Hilango and Tagalog.
Has your visa come?: I don't know anything about the Visa, they should have it here hopefully!
What is your schedule?: Schedule each day consists of meals - highly looked forward to, studying, classes, reading the scriptures, messing around in the classroom with our district and not staying focuses - haha just kidding. No really though:) , teaching fake investigators in Cebuano (yeah that's right, their expectations are pretty high for the greenies here at the MTC), gym (My roommates and me and Sister Garcia have been doing this intense ab workout everyday, woohoo!, and then I've been running and playing volleyball.
Do you ever get a break in the schedule to just chill or watch a church movie and have popcorn or something? : Only can we watch a church movie and we can only watch it for the hour and a half we get for movie time. Popcorn is only available in the vending machines but that's okay. I swear they're trying to kill us with all the fattening food in the cafeteria. No one is eating snacks much.
Does your district all have the same p-day?: Yes
What are the other girls in your room like and where are they from and going to? Two of them are going to Tacloban with me, one is going to Cebu. They are hilarious and we're all close friends. I love them!
was my hardest day so far. I don't know why but it was. So it was good that followed because I LOVED !!!!! We had sacrament and relief society like usual. Relief society was so fun because all of us sisters are super close. The sister who taught the lesson is leaving on her mission next week and she had a lot of good advice for us as far as studying and feeling the spirit and growing through this experience. And of COURSE! Guess who gets asked to teach next weeks lesson - mua. So I need to prepare a half hour lesson on repentance. Which seems like kind of a tricky subject. Good thing none of the sisters ever stop talking - I say that in the best way possible - and most of my lesson will probably consist of their thoughts and testimonies. Which is good because getting the discussions going gets everyone emotional and bonding.
I'm loving my sweet companion:) I'm finally getting her to be opinionated and to eat sweets when she wants, not just to say no because I am, and am helping her to remember things. She bore her testimony the other day about how much she's learning in self confidence from me and that she's grateful I'm her companion. Aw:) We have a great relationship.
After relief society and meals , my whole district decided to join the MTC choir. Best. Decision. Yet. The Choir director was SO funny! And so spiritual! He was cracking me up and then within seconds he's whip us around so that we were all dead quiet listening to the spiritual thought he had. We learned two songs that we got to sing in the devotional that night. What's funny is like at least 3/5 of the MTC is in the choir. Very different than school:) One of the songs we sang was How Firm a Foundation. Definitely my new favorite Hymn. Our awesome choir director - who is an Institute teacher at UVU (teaches a dating class, wish I could take it! He's so funny!) ...and he's also in MoTab - told us about the history behind that song. He first asked who knows who Amanda Smith is?! And I'm like "ME!!! I'm related to her" Along with 2 other elders across the gym! I guess they're family too:) He said that when her husband was killed at Hans Mill, a lot of the mob took over the area and the camp where the women and children were. They killed anyone who dared to pray. Amanda Smith didnt know what to do, so she went out to the corn field one day and prayed to God to know what to do to be free again and help her boy who had his hip blown off, and how to get rid of the mobbers. She said a voice so clear and distinct came to her as if someone was standing there next to her. Not a feeling or thought, but a VOICE.
The voice said ," I will not, I cannot, desert you to these foes".
Which is in the fourth verse of the hymn.
All the elders sang the third verse, "Fear not I am with thee; oh be not dismayed, for I am thy God and will still give thee aid...". Can you even imagine being a weak little sister missionary, surrounded by none less than 1000 worthy priesthood holding elders singing their hearts out to these words?! And then we get to join in singing the words of my great-somethin grandma?!!!
That night we had the opportunity to sing it at the devotional. The speaker was Lloyd...something. Hahahah he is the voice that introduces each conference. At first we didn't know what he was talking about but then he says," "Maybe you'll recognize this. This is the 75th conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Hahaha we all cracked up because he's the voice of the person who says that! Listen to the next conference and you'll know who I'm talking about.
So was amazing for me and I've been going strong ever since. The spirit has been so strong. It is so cool.
One thing I learned this week is that we are the second group of missionaries going to Tacloban since the Typhoon. Only the second! And we're the biggest of the two. We have about 24 missionaries going and there was much less the last time.
Cebuano is...coming. It's pretty hard. They say we should be learning 50 vocab words a day which is definitely not a possible thing because in all of our class time we're learning grammar and trying to memorize lines for our discussions with our investigators. So I've made a goal of 25 words a day. But, this is so cool! I have been starting to pick it up faster as I've been reading the book of mormon in Cebuano. I'll read a sentence in English, and then the same one in Cebuano and it is AMAZING how fast I'm picking it up! The gift of tongues is real! The church is true.
This week I ran into Maryn Brady! Hahahaha so happy!!!!!! I still feel like she's one of my best friends. I saw her only 20 minutes after she got to the MTC and I was like, "No way!" and then we ran and hugged each other and took a picture and she had to run off to get stuff done. But it was so fun to see her! I hope I do again soon before she leaves being that she'll only be here 12 days.
I LOVE THE DEAR ELDER LETTERS! They make me so happy! I don't know if you got the postcard yet but I sent it a couple days ago.
Love you all lots! Sorry this letter is so long, there's probably a million more things I'm going to want to say as soon as I leave but oh well. Yes I'm writing about everything in a journal:) The girls better flippin write me about stuff thats going on or I'm going to have no idea about anything.
Love you all so so much! And I miss you like crazy! Just remember Im in a good place and will be home before you know it! Hopefully:) Stay happy! Stay strong! Goal: Read the scriptures as a family sometime this week. I have realized how much I love reading the Book of Mormon. Because I was reading it so much at home before I left, it feels like a little piece of home and family each time I pick it up. That probably doesn't make sense. But its true:)
Sending love and kisses 24/7
Love Kenna/ Sister Russon