Amy's January 1st email home!
Maligayon Bagong Taon po!! (Happy New Year!!)
I am sorry for the
confusion of letter writing this week. It is transfers, and guess
what????? I am being TRANSFERRED!!!! I've only been here in Morong for 6
weeks and it feels like I just got here. Sister Cope is staying here
and will be training again! Tomorrow is transfer meeting, and that's
where I'll find out who my new companion will be and where I'll be
assigned. So I get to pack my bags tonight, get on a jeepney at 5am with
my luggage and the rest of our zone, and head down to the Aurora chapel
near the mission office. We will have mail run at 7am, so I might get
the package then! I'll let you know if it comes. :) I get to perform for
the transfer meeting, too. The original plan was to have me play "Oh
Lord, My Redeemer" on the piano while two other elders from my zone
would sing, but then we decided to have me and one of the elders sing it
while the other played the
piano. But yesterday I woke up with no voice, and today it's been
pretty scratchy. So we may have to go back to plan A with me playing the
piano if it's not back by tomorrow. It will be fun either way. The
elders have gorgeous voices!
Last weekend, I had a pretty neat experience. I wrote about it in my journal, and I wanted to share a section of it with you.
had a beautiful experience this morning. Last night, the sisters
brought up the idea of doing exchanges within our companionships for
today. I was honestly scared to death. The original idea was for me to
stay in my area and Sister Repollo would be my companion for the day.
Sister Biggs would lead the other area with Sister Cope as her
companion. I felt so inadequate for the responsibility. I don't feel
like I know the area well enough or the people, or even the language
well enough to lead in the teaching.... This morning, we approached the
idea again, but we decided to make it a matter of prayer. We wanted to
ask Heavenly Father if we should have exchanges, with whom, and when we
should do them. We knelt down and prayed together in one of our
bedrooms, asking for guidance. We then said our own individual
prayers. The Spirit was so strong, and what we were doing just felt so
right. I was totally overwhelmed and fought the tears, but they came
anyway. I wanted to receive an answer so badly. I don't think I had
enough faith though, because I didn't know or have an answer when I got
off my knees. We discussed our feelings, and they weren't all the same,
so we prayed again, pleading for clarity of thought and guidance to
what we should do. But before we prayed the second time together, I went
to my scriptures briefly and pulled out my patriarchal blessing. My
eyes went to a phrase that had a beautiful promise to me. I was in need
of revelation, and I knew that I could receive it. So I asked Heavenly
Father to help me and to help me listen more carefully. When we prayed
as a kabahay (all the sisters in our house, or bahay) for the second
time, the Spirit was super strong again, and Sister Cope asked Heavenly
Father to guide our thoughts and
let us know when, where, and who. We then prayed individually again.
This time, I prayed very specifically, expecting to receive and answer
because I knew I could with the help of the Holy Ghost's guidance. When
I finished, I pondered some and then said another prayer. I had a
strong feeling that I needed to stay in my area today with my companion.
As we all discussed for the second time, it was amazing and wonderful
to see that we had all received the same answer that today was not the
day. But we all felt that exchanges were important and that they needed
to happen soon. Sister Biggs is leaving next week, but we feel like it
needs to happen before that. We'll continue to pray about it, and we may
go out on Monday with exchanges if not sooner.
After we had come to our conclusion, we again went to the Lord to
confirm our decision. I said it this time, asking God to confirm our
decision to each one of us and to help us always remain worthy of His
trust. I had a hard time getting through it because I was crying so
much, but the Spirit was super strong still. We then said our own
prayers again. Everything just felt so RIGHT. We didn't have an answer,
so we turned to the Lord in prayer, When we still didn't know, we
returned and pleaded again, first as a kabahay and then individually. We
have been commanded to turn to the Lord in all our doings and pray
It was such a good reminder to me of who we really are, and how much
God really does love and look out for His children. I was so
overwhelmed with the power of prayer and its role in our lives. We
really can and should expect answers, because we are entitled to them
when we live worthy of the Spirit.
There are always ups and downs in the weeks, and that was
definitely a good booster to the week. To top off the weekend, we also
had a baptism on Saturday! Laarni was baptized along with two 8 year
olds in the branch and a young man that the other Sisters were teaching.
It was beautiful!!! I'll have to send pictures next week. I forgot my
card, so I have no pictures with me. I have lots to send. :)
We ended up doing exchanges on Monday, New Year's Eve. It was
perfect. Sister Cope and Sister Repollo both went to the transfer
meeting that morning while Sister Biggs and I stayed home and studied
together. We had a lunch appointment, then went out to work. We had a
short day and had an early curfew because of New Year's Eve. People get
crazy around here with fireworks and all kinds of explosives. If it
makes a loud noise, they use it. If it explodes, they use that, too.
Because it gets dark early, we had an early curfew of 6 pm. We came home
and studied a bit, planned, and then watched The Testaments. Our
neighbor, Vicki, was SUPER generous and made us a FEAST. She gave us a
huge tray stuffed with food and another couple plates of food. We had
also had a dinner appointment right before that, so we were STUFFED.
We're not going to have to cook very much this next week. Or at least
the sisters that will be in our apartment won't. :) I'll be somewhere
else by that point.
Oh, Mom and Jerry--Happy Late Anniversary!! It sounds like you had a
great time. I'm glad you found some time to get away. Family
relationships are sooo important. I have to say thank you for making
family scripture study and family prayer a priority in our home. I know
that it is sooo important, and really brought us all closer. I actually
shared that experience with a couple families this past week. I wish I
could help them see the importance and effect of it with families.
Keeping the gospel central in families is essential. That's how
families become strong. Even though we all have different situations,
the gospel is what can bring us together and heal broken hearts.
I love you all and pray for you every day. Thank you for all your
great examples. Sorry for writing you a book. Make sure you make New
Year's Resolutions if you haven't already! What a great way to start off