Thursday, May 30, 2013

Paalam Everyone - Week One

Paalam everyone!
I am so excited for my time to be able to email you guys!!!!!!!! I cannot believe that it has already been a week! crazy I know.  but the life here in the mtc is good kinda weird in all the good ways. You guys would not believe how small it is here! there are litterally about 70 missionaries here and half of them are non language missionaries (aka fluent in their mission language).  I am one of around 12 missionaries that are from America so that is kinda weird to think about.  My district is Nephi (all the districts are names of the Book of Mormon prophets.  There are probably 3 new districts every 2 weeks here.  There are 11 of us in my district (7 sisters and 4 elders) there are 5 of us from America, 3 Austrailians, and 3 sisters from Kiribati.  That is were my companion is from.  Sister Atata and I are begining to work well with each other, and over coming the language barrier that we already have.  So that was hard but it is slowly becoming easier to communicate with her.  I am so surprised sometimes by how the language is coming.  It is not immediate but it is coming along.  I am really glad that I am here in the Philippines learning it as it is coming much faster I think.  Not gonna lie it is really hard sometimes but I am enjoying it because I know that is what the Lord has called me to do.
The airplane ride yes 1) really long 2) really asian and 3) incredibly boring.  But I met sister larsen at the airport and she is incredibly sweet.  We found out we had the same mission prep teacher at byu (brother goodman) and we thought that was so cool!  On the way out of the airport the two of us were following the directions from the church travel, and no one was coming to pick us up. We waited there for over 30 minutes until two girls who were on our flight that introduced themselves to us in Japan asked if we were okay.  We told them our situation and they offered to let us borrow their phone which we then called travel.  They said they would call the drives to come pick us up and 10 minutes later we found other missionaries from Mongolia.  That was interesting and we did not get to the hotel until 2:30 and we had to be up for the next day at 4.  Not the best sleep I have ever gotten, but what ever... that's life.
My teacher, Sister Gonzales, is such a great teacher.  She is sort of the head teacher, and as of yesterday she is going to be speaking in Tagolog to us 85% of the time.  Which is hard but I am already beginging to translate them in my head although I still have to answer mostly in English.  She is the most experience teacher here at the mtc so that is nice learning from her . 
Saturday we were told that we would meet our first investigator.  Until that time we had only learned about 3 phrases in Tagolog.  Sister Gonzales told us that Jay knew very little english and really only Tagolog.  We  really did not think about that as we went in to meet him, but we had pretty much the most awkward lesson ever.  There were so many awkward silences in the lesson. Slowly over the next 5 visits (1 every day) we got more comfortable with the language and with him so we were able to teach him more on prayer, the book of mormon, restoration, and baptism.  He has begun reading the Book of Mormon (Ang Aklat ni Mormon) and praying about it.  But, the climax of my week was when we met with him yesterday to talk to him about baptism.  I knew that from the district videos that it is often best to just wait and let them think about their commitments.  We asked him to prepare for June 29th and he said that was really soon.  I continued to sit there and told him he could do it (in Tagolog) and finally he said he would! I was so amazing and the spirit in the room was so strong.  I loved it!
Around and hour later we met back in our district room and she said that she would introuduce our second techer who will be working with her for the rest of the weeks.  In comes in none other that brother Jayin a white shirt tie and name tag! We all started laughing.  He told us that he got home from his mission in Cebu 8 months ago and just began teaching here as well.  He is really nice and teaches us a lot of random words in Tagolog. 
I am beginning to adapt to the weather more.  Which is hot hotter and hottest. and rainy.  But that is expected.  It is sooo humid here all the time!  I cannot stress that more than I already have but it is. The food here is good.  It takes some getting used to and stuff but hopefully will better with time.  They have rice ALL THE TIME.  breakfast lunch and dinner.  I don't know if I will either love rice by the end of these 18 months or absolutely cann't stand it... As for the rest of the food it will get better and I am excited for that. 
I am becoming really good friends with some of the sisters in our district and zone.  most are from America, but a few are from Australia or New Zeland.  All in all I love the people here and it is so much fun seeing us all grow together.  It is crazy to think that it has only been one week here because it is really fast and really slow.  But I am excited to see what will happen with the mission.
I miss you all so much! and I love hearing from all of you :)  I love being able to look through my pictures and seeing all of you.  I am so grateful for all of your prayers and support.  It means the world to me.  Keep the people to the Philippines in there also so that they can be prepared for the message of the gospel.  You all are so dear to me and I am so excited to see you in 77 weeks!  Time flys when you're spreading the gospel.  I am sorry I don't have the pictures attached this week but I will try to get a bunch sent off next week.  I will be able to email next week sometime from 9:30 to 3:45 as that is my p-day.  I can't wait to tell you everything that has happened as each day is really great.  Please tell me everything that is happening with you as I love to hear what that is. 
I miss you guys so much and I can't wait to talk to you soon!
Love always,
Sister Bishop
P.S. the Filipinos think that my name is the funniest thing ever, which is pretty great!
P.S.S. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!