Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sister Amy Harston's First Email Home!!!!!

Kamusta po kayo??? (How are you all???)

I am loving the Missionary Training Center(MTC)! I don't think I've ever studied so much in my entire life. :) The spirit is so strong here each and every day. I am learning so much! My first couple of days were wonderful, yet a bit overwhelming. I met my two companions, (yes, 2), and I love them both. Their names are Sister Campbell and Sister Elsmore. Sister Campbell is actually Filipino, but moved here to the U.S. when she was 6 years old. She doesn't remember the language at all so she's learning from the beginning like the rest of us. My other companion, Sister Elsmore is half Japanese and speaks close to fluent Japanese. She was born here in the U.S. and was really surprised to get her mission call to the Philippines. I have a lot of respect for both of them. Our instructor, Sister Lewis, is fabulous. Her Tagalog is beautiful, and she has a great Filipino accent when speaking Tagalog from what I can tell. I have learned so much since being here at the MTC. I can already say simple sentences, and I'm increasing my vocabulary each day. Our zone leaders recently came in and told us they had "raised the bar" for our zone. It is our goal to memorize 50 words a day and 20 new phrases a day. It's hard and a lot of work, but it's amazing how much you can learn when you have the Lord on your side. thanks to Tyler, I ca pronounce just about any word they throw at us. It has really been a blessing to be able to help my companions and the elders in my district pronounce words. There are a lot of gringo accents in our group. :) I think my favorite word in Tagalog right now is faith, or pananampalataya. There are a lot of fun ones like that. :)

Not only has the MTC been great place for studying the language, but it has also been a great place to learn and study more about the gospel. We have multiple "personal study" times set apart throughout the day where we get to read the scriptures, ponder, write down impressions, read Preach my Gospel, etc. We get to focus our attention to our Savior Jesus Christ and on His teachings. Also, me and my companions are already teaching an investigator, Nel. Nel is Filipino and is interested in the church, and his main interest is the to see how the church would help his family. That's fantastic news because families are very central to God's church! There sis so much we want to share with him, but we have one limitation...our vocabulary is so limited! We are teaching him about the gospel in Tagalog. We first met with him on Friday, so two days after we arrived. Nel doesn't hardly speak or understand English, so we have to do our best in Tagalog. He is so sincere in his desires and questions, and we want to tell him everything about the gospel and how it would make him and his family so happy. We have taught him 3 times now, and we will again tomorrow. We want so badly to communicate with him more and let him know that Heavenly Father loves him. He can be with his family for forever!! He can have peace and joy with him each and ever y day. This gospel brings so much joy! As we've been teaching Nel, I can feel Heavenly Father's love for us and for Nel. Nel, just like everyone else in this world is a child of God. I want him to know that and understand what what means. I love being a missionary~ I can't wait to go teach the people in the Philippines!!

Our district right now consists of 4 elders and 3 sisters. Our district leader is Elder Cox, his companion is Elder Watters, and the other two elders are Elder Vandike and Elder Hawkins. They are all awesome. They are definitely just big
boys. They are all 19 years old, and very young, but they are also spiritual giants. We are all growing together like a little family away from home. It's a lot of fun.

I got to go to the temple this morning, and I'll get to every Tuesday, (my pday). I'm so excited! It's such a great way to start the day. I love this church, I love my family and friends, I love life, I love the MTC, and most importantly, I love my Savior and I know that He loves me. I don't remember the last time I have felt so much joy, so much peace, and so much love for everyone around me. I have always felt love for people, but that has multiplied since I've been here. I love this gospel with all my heart. I love being a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

Thank you for all the letters and packages! Yes, Mom and Christina, I
did get the package. I picked right after I sent the letter to you. Thank you so much! My companions love all the goodies. There is soooo much!! :) I love you all!!


Sister Harston
Here's how to send mail or packages to Amy in the MTC (Missionary Training Center):

1.  email - Her email address is:

Amy can receive emails, but can only send one email/week to her family.  I will forward that email to all of you.  She will have to reply to your emails via postal mail.

2.  Write or send packages via the postal service.  Her MTC address is:

Sister Amy Nichole Harston
PHI - QUE 1120  (letters need to be all capital letters)
2005 North 900 East
Provo, Utah   84604-1793