Thursday, May 23, 2013

Week #2 (May 23, 2013)

This week was a lot like the first, just crazier and busier.  I know that means I'm going to progress at super speeds but it's nice to have a breather every once in a while, Thank goodness for the TEMPLE!  First of all, just to give you an excuse to laugh at me, I am now known as the girl who falls down stairs. It only happened three or four times within the same two days. Then one day, I fell down a whole flight of stairs in front of my whole district plus some of my zone.  Yup! I was sprawled at the bottom of the landing, my books and scriptures flying all around me, and everyone frozen, not knowing what to do.  It was kind of funny if you think about it.  Bottom bruised the size of a hogi bun, elbow bleeding, and the end of an exhausting day, but at least I was able to accomplish our companionship goal of finding something to laugh at ourselves about each day.  Afterwards, I did cry for a while, I think it was kind of like the last straw of hay that tips the pile (or whatever that saying is). It was the first time I've cried since being here and it felt really good. Sometimes I think it is cleansing.  Sometimes I feel like there is so much going on, and I'm feeling so many emotions, and the spirit just drains your energy after a while, you just have nothing left.  But you sleep, wake up, and start again even stronger than you were before. 
Another funny thing happened this week. Elder Morgan, from Australia, told me that when he got his call to Bacolod, his older brother showed him a video on Youtube and it was the video Uncle Allen put up of me opening my call.  He said that when I walked into class, he was so surprised and couldn't believe I was "real life there". He took some pictures with me to send back to his family because he thought it was so cool.  I was laughing so hard. At first I was a little creeped out that people on the other side of the world were watching me on the internet, but it's actually really funny.  Also, this same Elder came up to me in the hall while my companions were using the C.R. (bathroom) and asked me, "Have you weighed yourself lately?" I was really surprised by the question and I think there may be a difference in the culture of asking a woman about her weight.  But I just laughed and told him I haven't.  He looked really distraught and said quietly, "I've gained 12 pounds, I don't know what to do!"  He really doesn't look any different but he was so sad about it. I'm still not sure if he just forgot to switch from the metric system.  Don't worry, I don't think I'm blowing up yet.  I think some of the Elders just have a problem because they decide to eat everything in there, instead of just picking one meal at a time.
It's so good to see Sadie. I've only seen her a few times, but it is always nice to see a friendly face and get a good hug in. I'm so grateful for her and our friendship. Another thing that gets you through the hard parts of the week is the biweekly devotionals.  They are the greatest ever. They uplift me, strengthen me, and let your mind rest for an hour and your testimony just grows.  The Weeks are all the same, but they seem to get busier with every one.  Each time slot becomes fuller and fuller with things we are preparing for.  Our second teacher, Brother Hong, just got back from our mission in November. He knows the mission well, including the mission president, President Lopez, and it's fun to ask him questions about specific mission things as well as cultural things.  He is teaching us some fun FHE games to play with the filipinos, don't worry mom, I'm writing them in my journal.
The Language is getting trickier, but it's amazing how quickly we are picking it up.  It's easy to get caught up in comparing how good others are to you, but really, when other people are better, I can ask them for help and the more things they say in Hiligaynon, the more things I pick up from them and learn.  The one frustrating thing is when you are sitting with your investigator and you want to help them so bad, and you know exactly what you'd tell them in English, but you can't because you don't know how to say it in Hiligaynon. But if you stay calm and say what little you can, the Lord (through the Holy Ghost) testifies of the rest.  It's so powerful, I tear up every once in a while.  (I know, I'm a crybaby). 
I realize now, after reading this, that my standard for humor has dropped tremendously. But I think it's important to find joy in the little things, even when your brain is about to explode from finals, or you're so buried with homework you don't know what to do. Don't let the stress affect your attitude. I have to check myself a couple times, but I'm grateful for wonderful examples all around me.  Thanks for everyone's support and love and letters and Dear Elders! I love you all and I wouldn't be here without you!
Sister Smoot
P.S. if you send me a Dear Elder, is there any way you could Date it at the top or something so I know when you sent it? Thanks a bunch!
P.P.S. Sorry there are no pictures this week. I'll be better this week I swear!
P.P.P.S. Thank you for the packages and love!
Love, Sister Smoot

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