Hey y'all! Just another P-day here at the Manila MTC. Only twelve more days until I have my first assignment and I'm officially an in-field missionary. I'm super excited and crazy nervous. Today we got 30 new arrivals, the smallest batch ever to come to this MTC.
This week we were all studying with about ten minutes to bed time when the fire alarm went off. We all filed outside, including several elders and sisters who still had shampoo in their hair. As we stood and waited for the all clear, we sang hymns. It was a beautiful way to pass time during the chaos.
On Wednesday our senior batch left, it was sad to see some good friends leave. That same day I got the opportunity to go out and teach with the sisters and elders in the Quezon City North Mission, my own area! We met at the chapel and met our kasama for the day, mine was Sister Collins from Samoa, she's been out for nine months and her Tagalog was nearly flawless. We started off the day with planning, deciding who to teach and what to teach them, then we headed out. We walked about 1/2 mile then hopped on a jeepney (you should google what these look like) and rode for about 20 minutes, then walked for about 3/4 of a mile to a little cement home. It was a two room house, each room about 5x5 feet made of cinderblocks with a light hanging from the ceiling. It was swelting hot as we taught the Rigor family about the blessings we can recieve through prayer and church attendance. They agreed to come to church on Sunday. After that we walked another 1.5 miles to the Alvendia home where we taught a couple (the husband was an RM and the wife not baptized, both innactive). The husband's English was flawless because he does phone reservations for Vegas hotels. We taught them about building strong foundations as their little five year old boy, Howard, sat and played with my hair. In both homes I was invited to bear my testimony. As long as I didn't focus on how outrageously nervous I was, it just came. It was comforting to be able to communicate with them, even if it wasn't very good. On the jeepney ride back to the chapel my teacher challenged me to talk to as many people as I could. I sat quietly, too nervous to start a conversation. There were about 12 people on this small bus-like jeep and I just couldn't find the courage to open my mouth. I know, of all people, I was struggling to talk to others. The woman sitting across from me pointed at my badge and asked why I wore the name of Jesus Christ. I almost died. First from terror and secondly because I understood exactly what she asked me. Pretty soon the entire jeepney was engaged in listening to this nervous little white girl explain why she was living in the Philippines and learning Tagalog. It was an amazing experiences. I wish I could explain everything I saw. Not even photographs could really capture it. The poverty, the pollution, all of it was so much to take in. These people though are amazing; they are genuinely happy. They sit on their dirt floors in torn clothing with so little to feed their children and they bear their testimony to me of the presence of God in their life. I already love this people so much. I cannot wait to get to know them better. This is why I am here, to love the people with all that I am. To love them the way their Savior loves them.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!