Saturday, February 9, 2013

Amy's January 28th 2013 Email home!!

Kamusta po!

You all sound so busy, but happy!! Thank you for all your emails and letters. They are truly a highlight of the week. :)

Dad, yep, rice is awesome. We are ALWAYS eating it, especially since my companions are both Filipino. No complaints from my end. :) I'm eating all kinds of different foods. I had the opportunity to try balut yesterday, but I politely declined it. But then the Ogay family (the family that feeds us twice a week) found out and they are planning to serve it tonight. Ahh! We'll see. I'm a bit hesitant.... haha. I'll have to let you know if I end up eating it.

Jerry, you asked if we were still a threesome. Yes, and we will be for the rest of this transfer. It makes it a little more difficult because we have two areas to cover now, and planning is a little more complicated, but we're making it work. Lots of walking, lots of eating.  ...And the broadcast for the stake sounds awesome! You'll have to let me know how it goes.

Mom, you said that Luke is now DRIVING to the house by himself for piano lessons???? HOLY SMOKES! I forgot that he took his driving test on my birthday! That is crazy to think about. Luke, put your growing up on hold for me, ok? ;)  Just joking. I'm proud of you for all you are doing. Mom gave me an update. Keep up the good work!!

Christina, keep working hard! It sounds like you are doing awesome in school still, and I'm not surprised. You are an amazing example!

It has been another great week of learning and growing. I am learning more and more every day about how VERY WEAK I am. Holy smokes. It's amazing how Heavenly Father really does constantly remind you of your weaknesses when we are trying to learn. But I take great comfort in the scripture Ether 12:27. I know I've mentioned that before, but it's one of my absolute favorites. And like Mom always says, 1 Nephi 3:7. Go and do!! He has prepared the way for us! We just have to put our trust in Him.

It's amazing how we constantly must ask for the guidance of the spirit in our lives. Especially as missionaries, it is imperative to have the Holy ghost with us as we teach. If the spirit isn't present, we can't teach effectively. That's the truth. I am constantly learning how to listen and follow the promptings, especially now since I can't understand everything yet. I have to listen to them and pay close attention to the thoughts and feelings that come into my mind. Sometimes it is a challenge, especially with mga bata (children) running around or music blaring from their neighbors' houses or people coming in and out, etc. It is rare if we aren't interrupted during a lesson. But it is still possible!! I've experienced it.

It is still a constant battle to understand what is being said sometimes, especially when the people speak in Bisia (sp?), another language here in the Philippines. It's pretty common here in Quezon City. It's very different, and I still don't understand hardly anything of it yet. But who knows? I may learn two languages while I'm here! I'm excited to learn. I have a little notebook that I carry around with me to write down unfamiliar words. It's a really weird feeling if we see some of the American couple missionaries and then have to speak in English. I rarely speak English anymore. I try my best to speak Tagalog and then fall back to English only if I can't express at least the idea of what I want to say in Tagalog. I often find myself responding in Tagalog when people talk to me in English because that's what I do when Filipinos speak to me in English. I have to take "a step back" and think, "no, it's ok to speak in English now." Haha. It feels really weird. I am pretty much in total immersion right now. It's painful at times, and I still don't understand quite a bit, but I understand a lot more than before, and the grammar is slowly coming. I feel like it's taking FOREVER to learn, but I have to remind myself I've only been here for two months now. People often act surprised when they find out I've only been here for such a short time, so it's comforting to know that I'm doing ok with the language, even though it doesn't feel like it sometimes.

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It truly is the way to become happy and strong as families and to be able to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. He loves us sooo much! This church is TRUE!  I love being a missionary. I am learning so much each and every day about this gospel, about my Savior Jesus Christ, about how to love others, and about myself.

I love you all!
Sister Harston

Amy and her Companion with their stockings my mom sent them for Christmas!! They were filled with lots of goodies and practical items.

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