Well I’m continuing to try and endure through this first time period where I am trying to learn the language. It is coming slowly and at times I really have been discouraged in thinking it will never come but it is and I feel like I am able to communicate in very simple terms. I know it will teach me a lot of things about patience in diligence as a continue with it. This week was really good we got to listen to conference the last two days all 5 sessions including priesthood. I actually had to fill out an online survey so my letter this week may be a little shorter that usual.
Tomorrow is zone interviews with the mission president and AP’s. I will admit that im a little nervous and hope to be able to tell and show President Peterson I am working hard and doing my best. He is actually a little intimidating my few days we spent with him at the mission home he gave lots of really good advice and I know I can learn a lot from him and his dedication to the work.
This week we went on splits with another set of missionaries from a nearby city. It was a good experience to go out with him cause he is almost finished with his mission and well experienced. I also learned a lot of Tagalog with him because he is now very fluent at all in English like Elder Viloria. I almost wish I had a companion who knew a little less English cause it would motivate me more to use Tagalog. Elder Viloria is always using English with me because he doesnt have a whole lot of patience with me to translate what hes asking me sometimes. But we continue to set companionship goals that will stretch us more and help me individually. Elder Viloria actually knows three Languages English, Tagalog, and his native language ilocano which is another dialect of Tagalog but still very similar. I don’t actually have very many pictures with Elder Viloria right now and I’m running short on time to download them but I promise coming up soon I will send some.
So those pictures I sent last week I just want to clarify are the more Beautiful parts of the Philippines. The areas in which people live are a little more rugged and a hard lifestyle. One elder actually told me at the start of the mission “you wont smell fresh air again for two years” ha of course he was wrong there’s times we get out into open spaces and I take a deep breath. But it just helps he see the blessings and good life we have in america. I feel guilty whenever I think about missing things from home like food or good running water…we do have running water but it literally drips out almost. Its still a culture change and I am working on putting away those thoughts and accepting where I am and where the lord has called me.
Conference was great and the messages I know applied to me in so many more ways where we go out and teach those principles everyday. I was truly glad for the revelation of the messages from all those who spoke and continue to ponder and learn new things. I know the lord is not challenging me more than I can bear and I am continuing to grow closer to him through all of it. At the end of each day when I kneel down to pray I am able to realize even though it was hard I am being strengthened spiritually and am growing to love my mission already.
Thank you for all your emails and letters I received my first batch of mail this week which was a Dear Elder from Mom, Nicole, and Brielle. I realize those were probably sent around my first week here but it just a little bit of an estimate for you to know it takes about 2 or three weeks for me to receive mail. Thank you and keep sending pictures they are great I especially liked the tractor one ha. No one knows about large farm equipment here the still use oxen in the fields.
I love each one of you,