Ok, I'll just get straight to the chase...a mission is hard! Way harder than I thought it would ever be! I thought that once you become a missionary you'd automatically love the country, love the people, love your companion, be able to bear amazing testimonies and teach incredible lessons...pero (but), it's not like that!
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy here and I'm grateful to be here, pero, I just can't quite explain exactly why it's hard, but it just is :) You have to work for everything you want! What a crazy expectation hahahaha! :)
On Wednesday we got to go proselyting for the first time. We went to the Manila mission where we were paired up with a missionary who's already out on the field and then work with them for a couple hours. Again, here I am, thinking that since I've been doing good with the language here at the MTC and and everything, that I would get out there and just amaze people with what I can say! hahaha...I should've known- pride has always been my biggest weakness! I got out there, and I barely got past "Kumusta po kayo? Kami ay mga miseneryos para sa Simbahan ni JesuCristo ng mga Banal sa mga Huling Araw!" and then I forgot everything else!!! I know it was only my first time out, but it was very humbling:) Honestly, once we got back 'home' to the MTC, I wanted to actually GO home...like home-home: Utah. We had gone to a 'squatters neighborhood', where people live in houses made out of scrap metal and cinderblocks and use barbed wire for cloths lines. There's stray dogs and cats and chickens everywhere! I can't even begin to describe it. But what the hard thing was, was that I felt nothing...absolutely nothing! I just felt empty, almost to the point of being apathetic, and you're all probably judging me right now and that's ok because I deserve it haha! That's why I wanted to go home, because I felt like I didn't love these people the way I needed to be a sucessful missionary. Pero...that night, (it was a very emotional night let me tell you), I knew that it would all be ok...again, I can't quite explain why, but I know it'll be ok :) I think something that's been really catching me up sometimes, is that I think I have to have some profound wording or verbiage to really get the Spirit across, but I'm realizing more and more here at the MTC, that most spiritual experiences and teachings can't truly be completely related merely using words. So if none of this makes sense, forgive me! hahaha. But like Moses, who hesitated to become a prophet because he felt he couldn't speak well, I know that the SPIRIT is the most important teacher, not ME:) My job is the work and be worthy of the spirit, and then the Spirit can help teach :) And with loving the people- in PMG it says that when we work to have charity, THEN it will be given unto us. Just like any other principle of the gospel, it takes effort and faith before we can receive the blessing we want :)
So that was Wednesday, and then Thursday was just awesome and helped me settle back down and cheered me up :) We taught a progressing investigator at the end of the night, and this was the first lesson we've had where the spirit was totally guiding us! We've invited 'Sister Faye' to be baptized, but she's hesitant because of family things. She loves going to Church and reading the Book of Mormon though, and knows Joseph Smith was a true prophet, but she's just hesitant to really join. We were planning to teach tungkol sa (about) mga propeta, pero as we got into the lesson, we just KNEW it wasn't the right thing. I honestly can't really remember what the lesson was about, but at the end, I felt a burning in my heart that I needed to invite her to be baptized again. I was so scared! I didn't want to! But I KNEW I had to, and so I did and I was praying so hard that she would say yes, and she did!!!! Afterwards I bore my testimony, and the spirit was telling me what I needed to say that would be help Sister Faye- I have never experienced anything like that before. One of my biggest obstacles here at the MTC I think has been that I expect something huge and mighty and earth-shaking when it comes to the spirit confirming truth. Pero, it's not like that at all- for me, the spirit has always been quiet, tender, sweet and full of hope and quiet joy...that's all, very simple, but one that fills my heart with light :) That's how it was last night and it was so special...in that moment I knew that the teaching in pure Tagalog wasn't the important thing- it's teaching by the spirit. And I also realized that I DO love the people! I know tha's a weird thing to have to convince myself of, but really, I needed confirmation:)
Looking back on that night, I thought it was a kinda downer day, but it wasn't at all! I loved it all really, I just hadn't realized it! Here is why it was so awesome :)
1. I LOVE my kasama (companion)! Something just clicked this week and now we get along great!
2. Basketball in gym is the BOMB! So much fun! I forgot to tell you, but I got a black eye last week from getting elbowed during a rebound!!!! hahahaha! :)
3. There's an elder from Gilbert, Arizona here, and it's nice to talk to a fellow American about Lake Powell and red rocks and just American stuff
4. God answers prayers...every time! I always have a question or problem, and something in class or a devotional will be exactly what I needed:)
5. We had tacos for dinner:) Pretty much my favorite dinner we've had so far...made me think of home :)
6. All in all, it was just a good day:)
Yup...that's pretty much this week in a nutshell!!! Sorry there's not pictures, we're not really allowed to take photos around the MTC except at specific times, and nothing exciting has really happened! Thanks for everything though, it's because of friends and family like you that has got me where I am now :) Alam ko po na totoo ang Simbahan sa mundo. Alam ko po na pagmamahal ang Ating Ama sa Langit. Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa oportunidad na magturo sa Tagalog at to be dito sa Philippines! (Google translate this! ;)
My commitment for ya'll this week: be grateful! and be patient with yourself! Just look to Christ and to follow His halimbawa (example), and everything will end up how they need to be!
Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Allen :)