Wednesday, October 17, 2012

And here's this week's email from Amy: 
Now I'm ready for this week's email. :)
I am reaching the "one month" mark on Wednesday!! That's so crazy! I'll be in the Philippines in just over a month! That's such an exciting thought, but a scary one at the same time! I still have so much to learn for the doctrine and for the language especially.
Oh, Mom, here's the answer to your lastest question:
No, actually I don't need any more cardboard frames. In fact, I'll probably send the ones you gave me back home before I leave. I picked up a small photo album at the bookstore that is small and will hold quite a few pictures. I think it will protect the pictures from the humidity more, too. Thank you so much for sending those though! I'll definitely send the wooden frame home before I go.
Back to the letter. :)
I have had several "Aha" moments this week as I've been studying the language. It's going to take a lot more practice though. I don't have that much time left, and I'm really starting to feel the pressure. Me and my companions are making it a goal to do SYL (Speak Your Language) as much as possible. We taglish things a lot, but we try to use as much tagalog as we can. I think that will really help a lot. We've also had some very good lessons with our investigators this week, especially with Nel in particular. It happened after a lot of struggling. One evening last week I wasn't feeling the best, I was tired, and I was having a hard time thinking. I was trying to organize what I wanted to say to our other investigator, Mary Kate, but I had a really difficult time translating what I wanted to say to Tagalog. When I finally got it translated, I was desperately trying to memorize the sentences, but it just wasn't clicking for some reason. I was slowly getting it, but I wasn't feeling what I was saying. I was getting more and more frustrated with myself for being frustrated, which made me even more frustrated. It was a downward cycle. I was in the classroom writing my sentences out on the board for practice, when one of the elders said something to the effect of: "You're trying to memorize too much. Trust in the Spirit, and you'll be guided with what to say." That's not an exact quote, but something very similar to that. I felt like I had been socked in the stomach. He was completely right. I was memorizing phrases, not really thinking about what my investigator needed to hear. I really needed to hear that. That lesson went a little rough, but I went back to my residence that night with a determination to follow the spirit and think of the people I was teaching. The next day, I prepared enough to know how to teach what I wanted, but I mostly followed the spirit. Wow! What a difference. That lesson went the smoothest I think it has ever gone for me, and I was able to better understand him as he spoke! Miracles DO happen, and I know that we can witness them when we do what is right and follow the spirit. I am so grateful for that elder, Elder Vandyke for saying that to me. I am now more determined to teach the people, not just the lessons. They need to feel for themselves. That is how true conversion happens.
Every tuesday night here at the MTC, we have a devotional where all the missionaries gather in a huge room and listen to a great speaker. The last few weeks we have been blessed to hear from members of the 70! They have been amazing devotionals. But last week tuesday, we got a special treat. We had a visit from Elder Bednar from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles!!! It was soooo awesome! It was fun to see his more relaxed personality.
Random note... I found out that I am related to one of the elders in our district! Elder Vandyke's 6th great grandfather is William Clayton, who wrote "Come, Come, Ye Saints", and he's my 4th great grandfather! Awesome! So we are cousins!! :) Fun.
Anyway, time's up, but I want you all to know how much I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate example, and I want to become more like Him. I love being able to represent Him daily as I study and prepare to teach the people in the Philippines. I love you all!
Sister Harston

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