Friday, March 21, 2014

Into the field...

Well I guess they've decided it's time to kick us out into the real world and leave our safe haven in the MTC. It seems so soon! Thinking over it, I'm so thankful I came here and not Provo. We have so many advantages over the Provo missionaries who come here. 1. We got over our jet lag a month ago. 2. We've been taught by and are surrounded by native speakers of our  mission language. 3. We got to adjust to the food before going out. 4. We got to go out proselyting so we know what to expect. I feel so blessed to have stayed here. It feels like a home away from home and I will miss all the people here so much! Luckily we get to visit the MTC once a month after our monthly temple session (which both happen to be in my mission boundaries. Score!!).
Our proselyting activity this week was more positive than the last. We went to Quezon City (the neighboring mission to mine) and I felt a lot more confident. I was able to stop thinking about myself and focus on helping the people around me. We took a jeepney to another jeepney to a tricycle to the area. Those tricycles are... umm... hard to describe. You have to put your feet in first so you can actually get in, and how we managed to get 5 people into it  I'll never understand. Anyway, we (they) got 3 new investigators as a result of the OYM'ing we did. The funniest thing happened when we met the QC missionaries at the chapel. I turned the corner to walk up the stairs and who should be standing there but Jacob Smith from Copper Hills!!! I had most of my AP classes with him as well as symphonic & jazz band. He was an SBO one year so maybe some of you might remember him. When he saw me, he clapped both hands over his mouth, started jumping up and down, ran down the stairs to jump up and down and then ran back up. We were so excited! What are the odds? He's been out for 7 months. (As a side note to cousin Taylor - I met someone for your mission! A former Elder Garcia. He works here in the MTC and said you told him I was here!) The world just keeps getting smaller... So yeah, the OYM's went really well. One was an older man just sitting outside. We taught him a mini-lesson on the spot and even though he was a born-again Christian he said, "So tomorrow, when you come back at 6 to teach me..." Wow! (Missionaries- teach on the spot, don't ask if people have a minute because it gives them an excuse to say no.) He said he had thyroid problems and had to have it biopsied the next day and he had been praying for some comfort when we came along. The poor guy had a bulging spot on his neck from it and said it caused him a lot of pain on a daily basis. The next person we talked to was an older lady and already a member. She lived in very very humble circumstances but spent all week making and selling Filipino delicacies so she could feed her neighbors a nice meal on Sundays. It's so humbling to meet people like that. I also got a kick out of this little kid who followed me for a bit with his little buddies telling them, "That's my future wife!" in Tagalog. So I turned around and said, "You're a little young for me. We'll see about 10 years from now." He went wide eyed and frantically shook his head, "I was just kidding!" and ran off. People are so surprised when foreigners speak their language. The missionaries told me there was an elder who had to be emergency transferred from the area because some girl's father threatened to cut his head off if he didn't marry his daughter. Lol...
Funny story! In relief society, Sister Beck asked me to read one of her favorite scriptures aloud in Moroni 8:3. So I opened up to MORMON 8:3 to read, "And my father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfil the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, I know not. Therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not." I looked up and asked her what in the world she got out of that. Hahaha! We laughed to the point of tears.
On Tuesday we were privileged to hear from Elder Brent Nielsen of the Quorum of the 70 and the Asia Area President and his wife. Their messages were nothing short of powerful and inspiring. They based it off a very basic "Filipino-ism."  Filipinos often say, "I will be the one (to help)" rather than, "Here, I got it," as an American might say. Sister Nielsen talked about how Christ stepped up and said he would be the one in the premortal existence and so did we when we sent in our papers. She committed us to say, "I will be the one to never give up and go home. I will be the one to learn the language. I will be the one to keep the mission rules," etc. Elder Nielsen talked about how a mission will be difficult, but we need to endure trials with the attitude, "give me another mountain to climb." If we aren't being stretched and growing, we aren't fulfilling our purpose on Earth. Even Christ was overwhelmed by the challenges of mortality when he asked his father to let the cup pass from him. But he allowed his will to be swallowed up in the will of his father and he endured to the end. That's the example we are to follow. I loved that so much.
I have so much more to say but I'm running out of time! Thank you for the prayers, I can feel the affects in my life. Advice to future and potential missionaries: fall in love with the scriptures right now! As I become fully immersed in them and see how they truly amazing they are, it makes me wonder why it was so hard to read a few pages a week in seminary. I testify that when you seek personal revelation through them, it will home.
Oh yeah and I got hit by a 6 foot long leaf that fell off a palm tree and it was really scary. Ok bye! :)
Sister Wilson!

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