Saturday, November 15, 2014

Nov, 15 2014 --- P-DAY, B-DAY!!! Holla!!‏

So this week has been so hard, and good, and funny, and sad!  It's a melting pots of emotions.

On Monday and Tuesday some elders went home right before they were about to head out to the Philippines.  It was hard on the whole Zone because they are great people and would be absolutely amazing missionaries.  I really hope they decide to come back.  Saying goodbye to the districts that left was so sad because they are so much fun!  But we got two more districts which is super fun!  There's an elder from the Marshall Islands and he thinks I'm the coolest because my last name is Marshall...thanks dad!  

On Sundays we have church as a Zone and they just randomly assign two missionaries to give talks.  Brother Donahoo (2nd counselor of the Branch Presidency) walks up to my companions and I and start just talking to my companions, so I thought I got out of that one...until President Howard came up to the end, none of us had to give talks but my companions are Music Coordinators (which is perfect for them because they are both beautiful singers and love to sing!  Not to mention Sister Petersen is incredible talented at playing the cello plus she can piano and the violin) and I've been called as a Sister Training Leader so that should be exciting and hopefully I can be a comfort to the sisters...AH!

So here's the list of funny things that have happened this week...
- Sully from Monsters Inc. talked to us in church on Sunday about having faith in Jesus Christ.  Okay just kidding, it was really Brother Christofferson (1st counselor in our Branch Presidency) but he sounds just like Sully!!  It was the funniest thing!!
- Accidentally flashed some Elders...My companions and I were walking to class with a couple elders from our zone and I was holding the door open.  I felt a breeze (ooh it's it my knees...remember that cheer?) and looked down realized my skirt was in the air!!!!!  Haha it was okay though because I had a slip on so they just saw that...WHEW!
- During gym time an elder gave me a high five so hard that my palm is still bruised...he thinks it's just make-up on my hand because the bruise is so big but it's a real bruise!
- In Tagalog, "ako rin" means "me too."  While we were in language study Sister Petersen said that she'd heard our teacher teaching the elders that "ako tsaka (pronounced chaka)" also means "me too"  but Sister Petersen wanted to know what the difference is so I looked it up for her..."tsaka" means "ugly girl" so in the Philippines, whenever the elders want to say "me too" they'll end up saying "I'm an ugly girl" hahaha we almost died laughing!!!!!!!

- During dinner last night I overheard one of the new elders talking to an elder who's been here for a while...the conversation went like this "Elder does it get harder to not flirt with the sisters here?"  "No Elder it never does.  You just have to lock your heart up."  Hahahahahah these elders!!
I think one of the hardest parts of this week were our lessons.  They.  Were.  AWFUL!  As in so bad a sister told us she wasn't interested.  We were all so frustrated with that lesson especially because we felt as if we'd planned and prepared efficiently.  So on Thursday night we had a companionship inventory, to try and figure out what we needed to change.  We readjusted our plans for companion study and lesson planning, put our new plan to use yesterday, and that lesson went AMAZING!  It was so good seeing how the things that are going well aren't just a lost cause and they can be readjusted to be something great!

Everyone around me has been breaking down with homesickness and struggling like crazy with the language and crying! No worries, I still haven't cried yet...I guess I'm just still super heartless haha maybe one day I'll cry! ;)

Another hard part is the language!  WOW!!!  After being here only two weeks I am seriously appreciating Ryan + Melissa's examples of learning a language and finishing their missions strong the whole way through.  It is so hard but so good!!

Cool thing happening next week:  On November 18, President Henry B. Eyring will be at the Vatican speaking with over 10 other Catholic and Christian leaders speaking about the importance of marriage between a man and woman.  L. Tom Perry and the presiding bishop will be with him as well but I don't know if they're speaking.  I think that this is so cool!!  The Catholic church is having a Mormon speak at the Vatican!!!!  I love seeing the way that different religions can find a common belief and fight for it!

My birthday has been great so far!!  On P-Day's, President Howard has us wake up at 6:30, say our companionship prayers, and then let's us sleep in after that.  Then when I woke up after sleeping in, the sisters in my district had blown up a bunch of balloons and wrote the sweetest notes to me.  They are great!!  I just got a note that I have a package waiting for me in the mail room...I assume it's a birthday box...thank you for it!!!!

Mahal ko kayo,

Sister Marshall

This is Kate Simpson - she right lived below me at Pine View and is on her way to Paris, France!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nov. 8, 2014 --- Pananampalataya

Hello!  Hello!

This week has been good!  My two favorite things I've heard people say that describes the MTC are "the days are long, the weeks are short" so true!!  I feel like my email time last week was yesterday, but each day really is very, very long.  We have lots of class time, study, and learning, I'm just so grateful that right now I'm learning about the gospel vs going to school.  This is fun studying.  I could do it all the time!!  Study the scriptures here is especially different I'm not sure why...probably because I try to have the Holy Ghost with me constantly, and now I've been studying the scriptures to truly apply them to my life and to know what to teach our investigators rather than finishing my one quick scripture before going to bed. I've learned sooooooooo much and it has been so good. :)  My other favorite way to describe the MTC is "the MTC is like a fire hydrant, you get some water but mostly is just hurts your face!" lol I love that one!!!  We've taught four lessons in Tagalog this week (fire hydrant!!) it was crazy but so much fun!  Her name was Marie Grace.  It's been so cool.  On Monday we have a new investigator, his name is Andrew, and then we'll have another one but we don't know them's a door approach woot woot!  Somedays I think to myself "oh I totally got this, this is easy stuff" and then the next seconds my teacher starts talking in Tagalog (very simple, easy Tagalog) and I realize "WOW, I have A LOT to learn!!  It's awesome being here and so humbling, I know I have so much to learn before I go to the Philippines!!!  

My favorite Tagalog word is faith...pananampalataya (pah-nah-nahm-pah-lah-tie-ah)!  It is so fun to say!!  Something cool I learned this week...the Tagalog word for repentance is's easy to remember because the si si si part just repeats itself over and over again, just like repentance it has to over and over again.

I've always wondered what it was like to really receive revelation, I'm sure I have before like when I lost my shoe or something but I've never really known for sure it was the Spirit I was hearing rather than myself.  But this week, my companions and I were studying Christlike attributes and we wanted to study just one specifically so we decided to pray about it.  I was thinking a lot that we needed to study about Charity and Love as a companionship and definitely Humility for myself.  While I was praying though, right as I asked Heavenly Father what he wanted us to study, it was like I saw the word Diligence written on my heart, sounds weird I know but that's what happened.  It was cool because I didn't even have time to stop and think about it, Heavenly Father just answered right then.  When we were talking beforehand everyone kind of had different ideas but after praying when I said that I felt like we should study diligence my companions said that they had felt that too!  It was an awesome experience!!  And just gets me more and more excited for more experiences like that.  I know that Heavenly Father is truly in charge on my mission.

Although everything has been pretty good, I do have one major complaint....we had some BYU Creamery ice cream a couple times this week and it was gross!!!  A few of the flavors tasted like it was coffee flavor?  Is that even appropriate for BYU ice cream?!?  Even Dryer's and Beyer's and Blue Bunny definitely are better.  Everything here is for sure super inspired.  Our teachers, devotionals, companionships, but obviously not the ice cream.  So I miss Aggie Ice Cream!

My mission president here at the MTC is President Howard, and he is so funny!!!  His wife is hilarious too!  They are so spiritual and know how to keep us having lots of fun!  He was telling us about one of his companions who was verrrrrrryyyyyy innocent.  During a lesson this companion was teaching and he said, "Jesus Christ was born of a virgin and so was I..." at that President Howard cut him off and took over the lesson.  Afterwards Pres. Howard asked his companion if he knew what a virgin was.  The companion said, "A very beautiful and kind woman."  Haha President Howard just felt sorry for this guy as he said, "Well yes but..." and then explained to him what a virgin is.  Haha and that's not the only funny story!!  Another time a couple was telling them that they'd been trying and trying to have a baby and they were finally pregnant.  After that lesson his companion said "I thought people have a baby every time they make relations..."  so President Howard asked, "Elder, what do you know about the menstrual cycle?"  His comps reply was "Oh my bicycle's a Shwinn!" So they went home and he taught his companion about a 28 day cycle. Hahaha I almost died when he told us that second story!!!

I love you all and can't wait to email more next week!!


Sister Marshall

Nov. 1, 2015 --- First Four Days? Nailed it!!‏

Magandang umaga pamlya,

This week has been great! 

From when I started packing for a year and a half until I was walking into the MTC all that was going through my head was, What in the world have I gotten myself into??!!  After being dropped off, I walked in the MTC and was led down a bunch of halls to pick up my name tags, books, keys, all that grand stuff.  Then I went to my room and met mga kasama ko (mga (makes sometime a plural) kasama (companion, with) ko (my)) and they are so fun!   After that we went into our language class and from the get go Brother Smith spoke only Tagalog the whole time.  As stressful as that time might have been for a lot of people, hearing Tagalog and beginning to learn soothed my soul so much and reminded me that this is where I am supposed to be.

Sister Talaroc-Kaniho is from Maui, Hawaii and she is just so much fun.  Kinda of what you would expect from most Hawaiians, chill, laid back, always laughing, and loves to have fun.  She brings a lot of fun into the companionship and is such a great worker.  Her dad is Filipino and her mom is Hawaiian so she's super stoked to be going to the Philippines and getting to know the other half of her.  She worked on learning Tagalog before coming here so she helps a lot with helping me figure out pronunciation.  She's so great and carries such a strong spirit about her, I love her already!!  Sister Petersen is from Providence, UT.  She just graduated from Mountain Crest and she's great too!  She kind of reminds me of myself sometimes.  She's almost my height, has brown hair, blue eyes, etc., etc.  Whenever I see her reflection in the mirror out of the corner of my eye it freaks me out for a second because I think it's me with shorter hair.  She great to.  She is doing very well at learning Tagalog.  She's fun and always laughing.  I love both these sisters so much!!  Cam and Ash, you two are lucky , you don't have to listen to my dumb jokes for 18 more months!  Mga kasama ko both super nice to cause now they get to hear all my dumb jokes, plus they laugh!  Haha that's how I know they love me too! :)  I'm so glad that I am in a trio companionship because it adds a lot to our conversations and keeps us always having a good time.  My biggest struggle these past couple days is probably just sticking with mga kasama ko because I've slways appreciated being able to just worry about me and get the things done I needed to and being able to spend time alone when I got a little sick of people (aka I'm kind of selfish).  It'm not saying it's been awful by any means that just something I miss a little bit.  But I'm getting used to being with the same people all the time and it's good because we're really getting to know each other.  I'm loving it!

My district (all the Tagalog speakers who came on October 29th) consistist of four companionships.  There are four Elders and seven Sisters.  When I get a picture of us all I'll tell you more about them.  Our zone is every who is speaking Tagalog.  There are a lot of us so maybe I'll tell you more about them as I get to know them. 

It's all just been so great here!! I hope all is going well in Logan!

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Marshall