Friday, May 31, 2013

Week #3 (May 30, 2013) MTC

Week #3? I can't believe I'm already half way done with the MTC!

This week was momentous! We have now taught multiple lessons in Hiligaynon with no notes. And not just translating and memorizing but actually following the spirit and having conversations with our investigators.  Obviously it takes 10 years to say things because you're conjugating while you go, and a lot of what we say is dumbed down because I only know so many words, but in the simpleness of our message, the Spirit testifies of truth.  I love being able to better help our investigators and I know it will only get better over time.  

For TRC (Teaching Resource Center), my companionship got to teach a real Filipino who moved to Utah from Bacolod!  Since she grew up there, she definitely knows Hiligaynon backwards and forwards.  At first I was intimidated when I found out we would be teaching her a simple message.  Even though she's LDS, I was a little scared because of my lack of language skills. But one of the Elders, Elder Schow, could tell I was nervous and said, "There's no fear in faith, sister."  I immediately calmed down and realized all I could do was my very best and the Lord would do the rest.  There is never a reason to fear (freak out in my case). Anyway, as we walked in, I realized we were the LUCKIEST companionship. Sis. Konichi is so wonderful and kind and happy and the type of person you want to be around all the time.   We were almost laughing the whole time because of all the jokes she was telling.  The crazy part was that we could actually understand her.  I gave her a short message about God's love, after we got to know her, and read a few scriptures.  We always read out of the Book of Mormon because that's all we have translated into Hiligaynon.  That experience reconfirmed that I know I will Love the Filipino people.  I was called to the Philippines for a reason and God is aware of me, He loves me, and helps me with Everything. 
Our companionship does a weekly inventory of goals, what's going good, bad etc.  This week my companions told me to be careful about laughing too much.  I know there are times when it is not appropriate to laugh, but I thought I was doing really well. Regardless, I started trying to laugh quieter and less often.  But I realized it was sort of making me depressed.  Our teachers have individual coaching hours where we can ask any questions about missionary work, language questions, or anything, and I asked whether or not my laughing was a distraction in class.  He just kind of chuckled and I realized it was a really dumb question. But I just wanted to be respectful of everyone's learning and respectful of the spirit.  He told me it was totally fine and my laughter actually helps the class relax a little because everyone's kind of getting really stressed out.  I know I will continue to laugh while trying not to annoy my companions. But my advice to you sisters: Ally, Megan, McKenna, (sure why not Lilly too), is to laugh laugh laugh.  It makes you happy, healthy, and not depressed and it really does affect your day.  It reminds me of that general conference talk from forever ago about laughing when you are about to cry.  Don't worry, I do it all the time. Plus, your eyes never get puffy that way!
This week I was assigned to be our branch music coordinator.  I get to pick sacrament Hymns and assign musical numbers. There's so much musical talent in our district, it's insane. 
Also, some funny things happened as well.  We played softball for gym one day with just the 13 missionaries in our district. Elder Morgan, from Australia, and Elder Manu, from Tonga, had never played before. They didn't know any of the rules. Plus, some of us sisters who are a little "challenged" at the sport were there as well. On the flip side, we have two Sisters who played in High School, two elders who played baseball in High School.  Let's just say it could have been really awkward and embarrassing. Which is sort of was.  But it ended up being so much fun.  Sometimes it's weird How nice and supportive and helpful everybody is.  We just laughed the whole time, which usually annoys the people who can actually play, but they were joining in and helping to teach everyone.  It was like a big bonding love-fest.  I love the unity that the spirit can bring to a group of random people from all over the world.  Another "funny" moment of the week was when our teacher, Bro. Oldroyd was flipping through his old planner while he was teaching us how to use it to plan for lessons and such. Then he randomly pauses in the middle of one of his sentences and says, "I wrote as one of my goals to buy a pet crab... I better get on that." He's more of a serious teacher, so when he said that, it kind of shocked all of us and we just erupted in laughter. I'm realizing I find just about everything funny... which I guess is not a bad thing, but I'm sorry if this is just really boring. 
On Sunday night, after the devotional, we were able to watch Sis. Monson's funeral.  It was so hard to see the prophet in so much pain, but is was also really neat to watch Sis. Dibbs talk so fondly about her mother.  I had an impression before the video started to write down all of the attributes of Sis. Monson. So throughout all of the speakers, I wrote down all the qualities and characteristics of Sis. Monson.  I love that list.  I've looked at it a lot over the past few days and I really feel like they are things that I want to develop in my life as a current relief society member, and future wife and mother.  I 'm so grateful for all the learning and growing opportunities I have been given here.  There is so much good around me, I feel kind of selfish sometimes, but I know I am so lucky to be able to serve and help the people in the Philippines.  I know that Heavenly Father loves all of his Children and He wants all of us to be happy.  I know the Church is true and I know I am where I am supposed to be. I love you all and thank you so much for your positive examples and support!

Pallangga ko kamo! (I love you all)
Sister Smoot

Pictures of the Week

Laundry in the Dungeon!

Our thermostat has been broken for the last three weeks and stuck on 63 degrees. It has been so cold that one of the Sister, Sis. Van Slooten got sick and couldn't get better, so her companion Sis. Livingston sent this in to management. I just thought her wording was funny!

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