This week has been a stressful one for me. I stayed up late Thursday and Friday night tracking the largest typhoon in recorded history as it barreled down on the Philippines. I prayed that our daughter would be kept safe and that the area she was in wouldn't be affected too much by the storm.
Even once I knew the storm had passed and we had gotten word via the mission blog that all the missionaries in Urdaneta were safe, I stayed up late on Saturday trying to read as many updates as I could find on the internet about the amount of damage that had been done.
I was thankful that Sister Monahan, the mission President's wife, had posted on the mission blog that all the missionaries were safe, but I knew I wouldn't be able to rest until we personally heard from AJ.
The news was reporting that there thousands of people missing and I knew from conversations I had had with other missionary parents that many missionaries were missing too.
The typhoon hit the city of Tacloban and the surrounding area the hardest and many of those who were missing were from that area.
While my heart aches for those who have lost loved ones, I'm grateful to know at this time that ALL the missionaries through out the Philippines have been found and are safe. Now the missionaries, along with the people of the Philippines will roll up their sleeves and work together to rebuild what was destroyed.
It will be a long road to recovery for the Filipino people and we will continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
Hello there family! Don't worry I am safe and well. We actually really haven't been hit. We had some strong winds and that is about it.
Everything is going well with me. Sis Caunca and I are keeping busy! We only have 1 baptism this month cause Brother Melbert didn't come to church yesterday, so we had to push it back. I will keep you posted of course on what happens.
Oh!! And I get to call you guys in a couple of weeks!!! YAAAA I am so excited!!!
Here are some things I wanted to tell/ask you:
-i love to cook, i am a chef now
-mom i used your conversion story this week!!
-how are the Rices? everybody? how are the Zechs?
-i wanted to tell you Dad that i am really proud of you!!! reading Preach My Gospel and the handbook! you are awesome!!
Well I got to go!! I love you all have a great week and be safe!!!
I love you I love you I love you!!!!
|Sis. C crossing a bridge. Not sure where this is at, but it looks like it's out in the middle of nowhere|
|Eating Balut!!! She says she has a video of her eating it. I can't wait to see that!!|
|Sis. C and Sis. M|
|Sis. C loves the Filipino children|
|Sis. C and Sis. T|
|The missionary tag|
|Not sure where this is at, but we are assuming this is a picture of Urdaneta. Unfortunately AJ doesn't always give us much information about her pictures.|
Our daughter that is still in the MTC wrote us about her week. She writes that she struggles with the language a bit, and wants to be a perfect missionary now. The hardest part for her is being patient and learning things a little at a time.
Sarah has always been a perfectionist. She hates when she feels like she's not doing "good enough". She is her worst critic. We know that while she continues on her mission she will not only learn patience and acceptance for others, but for herself too. A mission teaches the missionary that to be a strong servant of the Lord you must first accept your weaknesses, be patient with yourself and have faith in the Lord that he will make you strong.
We know Sarah will be a wonderful missionary. She has such a good and loving heart. We are so proud of her!
So this week was really good! It was also SUPER tough! On Monday, I went to Salt Lake with another Sister in my district to get visas. It was fun because we took a train and were reminded that there's a world outside the MTC. But by the end, I was ready to get back to the MTC. I got my visa though, so that's good! We left around 10 in the morning and got back around 4 or so. Really simple, so I was grateful for that.
This week was hard because I felt like I'm not getting the hang of teaching. I keep having a hard time just getting my mind right, but it's difficult. It's the language mainly. I'm so focused on myself and how I'm using Spanish rather than on the person I'm teaching. But at the same time, if the person can't understand me, how can I teach? It's hard to find a balance. Plus at west campus it's super hard to focus because we are surrounded by 20 billion people every second. Everyone is doing different things and it's hard to find a place where me and Hermana Winn can sit together and focus. My teacher even said that that could make a huge difference, so she's seeing what can be done about that. It would be great if we could study in our apartment, but they tell us not to cause they think we'll get distracted. I feel like we would be so much more productive! So we'll see. I know that I have to take responsibility for myself and find a way to study what I need to study. With faith, I know that Lord will help me.
I'm trying to apply that faith to everything. My major issue is wanting to be a great teacher and missionary right now, and it's not going to happen. The MTC is the place to make all the dumb mistakes and find out how much you suck, so then you can start getting better. That's kinda a harsh way to put it, but it feels like that sometimes. I want to be super good and teach with the spirit and be able to baptize EVERYONE, but the Lord humbles me more often than I would like and reminds me that this takes work. I'm going to be working constantly for the next year and a half and, although that scares me, I always know this is where I need to be. I just need to keep chugging along and rely on the Lord. I know with all my heart this gospel brings and will bring joy to many people's lives and that's why I'm here. I love God and I want others to know how much He loves us.
So, I thank you all so much for how you support me. Your encouraging words remind me that the Lord has called me as His servant. I cannot thank Him enough for the wonderful family I have been blessed with!
Katelyn: I'm so incredibly happy to hear that you are doing better! Keep working hard at work and doing what you need to be doing and you'll be just fine. I miss you every second, but I know that the Lord is watching over our family.
Matthew: Where are you bro?! Why haven't I heard from you? I need to hear what's going on with you! C'mon man. Get it together and write me ya goof.
Mom and Dad: I miss you so much! I'm praying for all of you and I'm praying for AJ! I know she'll be safe. The Lord is watching over all of us. Oh! I saw Hunter! He's doing well! And he says Hi! And that's super cool about Candise's call. She'll be great! I'm loving my doTerra kit by the way! I use it all the time! And I got my bag! So we're good there too. I can't think of anything I need, but if I do I'll let you know.
Well, I have to go. I love you with all my heart! This IS the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the only way to find happiness in this life and in the next. Although life is hard and we don't know everything, we have our agency. Faith is a choice we make. We choose to believe that Christ is our Savior and to follow His teachings. I know He's my Savior. I choose to believe and follow Him. And I choose to serve Him. Please continue to do the same, and He will bless our family.
I love you all sooooooooooooo much!
All my love forever,
PS: L Tom Perry comes on Tuesday for our devotional! YAY!!!!! I'll write you all about it!
PPS: I've seen Krin Peterson too. Awesome dude. He told me mom that you wrote him. That's funny and super cool of you. Love you all!