Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jan. 18, 2015 --- Injuries from head to toe...‏

Guess what!!!  I finally got my Christmas package this week and I love it!!!!  Mom+family you amaze me!  I loved all of it!!!  I loved the note from you too, that might be what I was most excited for!  And all the treats were delicious.  I had caramels and pumpkin spice hot chocolate for breakfast to day, yummy!!!  

So here's some funny things that have happened this week.  During a lesson, the cutest little girl, Gem, was sitting next to me.  As I was bearing my testimony at the end, struggle to say it in Tagalog, I'd say a few words, and then Gem would say it too.  She did that the whole time so we both bore my testimony in that lesson...strength in numbers I guess haha.  Also, if ever there's a day you don't feel super gorgeous, just come visit me in the Philippines...and you'll feel beautiful.  Haha this week, everyone thinks I'm European.  I've been asked if I was Italian, British, and what European country I'm from (that led to a nice chat about family history).  Also I'm starting to understand a couple of the Tagalog words they call me, when the point at me and say "it's puti(white)!" or "anak araw" which is "child of the sun" aka albino!!  Also realized, my sunscreen I got here is whitening...so it literally turns me more white, so I stopped using that.  And now the members have told me I'm starting to look more like a Filipina instead of a doll.  I think one of the funniest/my favorite parts of everyday are the old people, and there's an abundance of them.  They are a hoot!  While we were walking along the street, we passed an old man, sitting in front of his house, who looked at us and said, "Oh my day is complete now.  I've seen a beautiful woman, a beautiful lady."  Then he got up, folded up his chair, and hobbled inside.  Haha I almost died it was so funny and cute and just haha!!  

I feel like I still don't know a word of Tagalog.  I've probably learned a total of 5 words since I've left the MTC.  And I still don't understand what's going on all of the time.  It can be hard, but then I remember how many people have it 100 times harder than me.  Like Uncle Jacob who learned Tagalog without the same kind of language learning tools that I have, and English was a lot less common when he was here.  He had it rough!  And I'm so grateful that Tagalog is one of the easier languages to learn.  Whenever I get frustrated at not knowing very much Tagalog it helps me a lot to know so many examples who have served before me so I can remember, I'm not the only one who's been through this, and learned a language, and they all made it, I can too.  Also, I'm especially grateful that no matter how dumb I sound, the Spirit helps everyone to understand.  But really, I am so excited for the day when I can will be a true Filipina with brown skin and fluent in Tagalog!! :)

On Tuesday we had exchanges so I was with Sister Laguerta instead of Sister Bautisa, and since we were in my area I was was one leading the way.  AH!  We only got lost one time though and it was really fun.  A lot of the lessons that day were teaching less-actives and trying to help them resolve their concerns.   So almost none of the lessons were what we had planned and even though it's a struggle, I tried to say a lot of things in Tagalog that I was in no way prepared for.  But luckily I haven't mixed up my words or grammar and said anything awful, it just always sounds weird.

Also I've seen in a lot of ways how our days and what we teach is guided by the Lord.  We went to teach someone who when we got there wouldn't even talk to us.  He just glared and tried to shoo us away.  But Sister Bautista and I both knew that we couldn't leave just yet.  We started very slowly and asked him about his day, what he did, just the small talk kind of stuff.  Eventually he let us (a recent convert who comes to lessons with us, Sister Bautista, and I) in and as we kept talking he eventually told us what was going on.  We had no idea what to teach about, but our planned lesson definitely was not what he needed.  While I was thinking ah what do we teach him???? I had a thought to look up "anger" in the index, and then I looked up the first scripture under  that topic.  As we read that scripture plus a few more verses, it was incredible to see how he had completely turned around.  At the beginning he literally would not talk and by the time we left he was laughing and we were all having fun.  It was a really neat experience especially seeing how the Spirit was able to teach him in ways we couldn't.  

Another experience that was guided was when I was so hungry and I forgot snacks!  But everytime I thought about food, I just thoughthmm not yet.  Well good thing.  We called a less active woman who is always out of town and she was home and told us we could come over!  We were super excited.  When we got there she invited us in to eat because there was a birthday party and there was so much food!!!  The kept filling our plates like crazy!!  So being super hungry+no snacks+but still working hard=REWARDS!!!  Haha ;)

Right now the Pope is in the Philippines.  And he is quite the celebrity.  His face is plastered on every store and wall and anywhere it will fit.  He's also on everyone's TV.  During the Gospel Rinciples class in church, the topic this week was latter-day prophets.  And with the Pope on everyone's mind, naturally he came up and one of the men there (he won't take missionary lessons and he's not a member but he comes to church all the time) was trying to tell the class that the Pope is also a prophet, which he definitely is not.  That caused quite a commotion and the class was loud and crazy for a little bit.  But, luckily the teacher is super awesome and got things figured and resolved that little issue quickly.  Haha craziness!!

Normally, I love being one of the tallest, but, here it's not as great as I thought it would be.  Because everyone is short there are lots of things that I run into and hit my head on (rainy days are the worst because my hair gets caught on everyone's umbrellas) but I'm getting used to it.  Did you know I wash my clothes by hand?  It's actually kind of fun and the closest I can get to swimming/water activities!  But while I was washing my clothes the ground was wet and my foot slipped under the door and cut my toe...first real injury in the Philippines!  But don't worry other than than no real injuries...I just hit my head occasionally and got a scratch on my toe...

This is from my scripture study this morning and thought I'd share it:
2 Nephi 28:32 
Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me;for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.

I absolutely love it because I know that Heavenly Father is always there for us.  He's always listening to our prayers and always waiting for us to come to Him.  He is always there with His arm outstretched.  It is up to us to take hold of Him.  

I love you all and hope you love the cold weather as much as I miss it ;)

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Marshall

I literally got 50 mosquito bites in one night....I counted 25 on each leg!  Say yay for Dengai!!

Sister Bautista and I sometimes match our shoes and skin ;)

Jan. 11, 2015 --- First Full Week of 2015! Woot!!‏

Hi family!!!  How is this New Year going so far??  I can believe it's 2015 already!  Remember how the world was supposed to end in 2012 haha yeah right.  How was your birthday dad?  Ah you're so old!! ;) 

Sorry this week's email will be so short!!!  But this week was a pretty typical week.  We taught lots of lessons, I tried to speak lots of Tagalog, and it's been super nice weather this week.  But i do miss the snow a little bit...hopefully Utah isn't too cold!  

We had FHE this week was with the Yambao's...It's a bunch of sisters and brothers who live right next to each other so there were lots of the cutest kids, we had lots of fun!!  While we were walking between lessons, we found a family who was baptized, went to church for two years, and have been inactive the past ten years.  I'm excited to teach them but it's sometimes really exhausting because the talk so fast!  I was trying really, really hard to listen to the husband and the wife while they were talking...and it put me straight to sleep.  I think I was asleep for only 7 seconds but I woke up and they were both looking at me so concerned, asking me why I was so tired haha whoopsies!  We've been meeting so many new people that I am so excited to really start teaching.  One woman, we had talked to for maybe five minutes on the street, and when we went back a couple of days later, she was with all of her friends.  She told us that she had read the pamphlet and she had us sit and share about the gospel with all of her friends.  The people here are so AMAZING.  I love it!  

We've had some people who have dropped the lessons.  The hardest one for me was the woman who told Sister Bautista she only wanted to learn because she wants me to give her money...ah being American here can be so fun (like when I say hi to little kids and they all just giggle and laugh haha it's so cute), but when it comes to people thinking I have money spilling out of my pockets it is so frustrating to stand out so much.  However, we have a lot of really great investigators.  One of them, he is basically Bruce Lee (and even watches Bruce Lee movies to know how to work out, walk, Kung Fu, etc.), needed to get work off on Sunday so he rode his bike to his co-workers house (from Guagua to Dinalupihan is almost as far as driving from Logan, UT to Preston, ID) to ask if they could switch shifts.  Well his co-worker wasn't even home, but luckily he found her somewhere and they were able to switch shifts.  His dedication is awesome!!

I absolutely love having the gospel in my life and being able to share it with everyone.  It's amazing to see and hear about the transformations that have happened in people's lives because of the gospel.

Well I love you all and hope 2015 has already been the BEST YEAR EVER!!

Sister Marshall

Random fact about Guagua/Philippines:  The number one restaurant here is Jollibee...which is such a random mix of everything.  McDonald's, KFC, Fizzoli's, Panda Express....I don't know what it's like, the have fried chicken, hamburgers, fries, spaghetti, ice cream, and rice with EVERYTHING!  

The some of the Yambao families.  The baby powder was for everyone that lost, the kids pointed out that I wouldn't even need it though so when I lost they put lots on my face...hahha still can't see it!

This is how a family fits on a bike....but usually there's also a baby standing between the dad and mom.  Crazy fun!!

A picture from the inside of a tricycle...they are so fun!!!

Jan. 4, 2015 --- To the moon and back...‏

Hello family,

Wow this week has been quite the week!  So many of the most incredible lessons and some of the hardest lessons.  Everyday is so exciting here in Guagua.  

On Monday, Sister Bautista and I met Belie and Dolly, two sisters who remind me of Grandma Lynn and Aunt Dottie.  Then later in the week we were teaching them and their mom, Nanay, was there and oh she's so cute!  She reminds so much of Grandma Cook, but brown!  Haha teaching them has been so fun because there is so much love in their home, the Spirit is always so strong during lessons with them, and when I'm with them I feel like I'm right at home.

New Years Eve was delicious.  A lot of the members sent us home with goodies or brought food over to us.  The ward here is so loving.  Our neighbor's kids were doing some serious videoke ALL NIGHT so I have every One Direction song memorized now...haha didn't except that one on the mission.  New Year's Eve here is HUGE!!!  Everyone parties, and has fun, and goes especially crazy at midnight.  New Year's traditions here are to jump at midnight so that they'll grow in the next year and to put 13 different round fruits on the table.  It was so loud all night, so many celebrations, and fireworks, it was fun to watch out the window. 

New Year's Day was DEAD...it was super rainy and the streets were so bare.  It was so weird.  But we started of the New Year really well.  We randomly decided to go visit one of the elderly men in our ward that we haven't seen in a while but only his daughter and her kids were at the house.,  She warmly invited us in to get out of the rain and for some Baterol (like hot chocolate with peanuts, it's super yummy!).  As we were talking to her, we found out that she has been less active for 15 years and that her father (the man we went to visit) had passed away in December.  Heavenly Father's love for each of us was truly testified to me when as I realized the way He guided us to her house so we could remind her of the truths of the Gospel and that her family can be together forever.  

We've also had a lot of dropped investigators who wanted to retake the lessons.  Ah so excited!!!  It's been fun teaching them. This week we met so many families who's homes are filled with so much love.  I love sharing the gospel especially when the whole family is there.  But sometimes that leads to hard lessons if the kids are super crazy, crazy, crazy...I'm slowly learning how to teach lessons that kids and adults can be engaged in.

This week I've been reading a lot from the Liahona.  I don't know why I didn't put more time into reading the Ensign at home.  The talks, lessons, everything, is so awesome!!  I truly love the opportunity to share the Gospel with so many people.  I know that Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us.  It has been such a blessing to already be able to see the way the gospel affects and changes peoples lives.

Also, I has been such a change of scenery not being surrounded be mountains.  The sky here is enormous.  I absolutely love the night sky.  Right now the moon is so beautiful and big and the stars are so bright.  I'm so grateful for the beauty Heavenly Father put into this earth for us.

Fam, I love you all to the beautiful moon and back!

Sister Marshall :)

Our own little 8pm New Year's Eve party.

And at Chowking they sell these cute little called a Panda Pao (bread-like stuff filled with chocolate) and a Piggy Pao (filled with Pork), so yummy!!

Dec. 28, 2014 --- BUHAY SA PILIPINAS‏

Hello hello!!!

Wow I can not even begin to tell you how amazing it is being here in the Philippines!  I haven't been able to email in FOREVER!  There is so much to tell you but my mind is so scattered right now this probably won't make a whole lot of sense but here goes!

It took almost 30 hours to travel from Salt Lake to Manila.  It was so long but I met so many awesome people!!  On the last plane ride (from Hong Kong to Manila) I was sitting by a woman and her son who are from Mexico, going to the Philippines to be with family for Christmas.  We talked about Christmas and being a missionary.  When I told them that I was learning Tagalog they were so excited!  They speak Spanish, English and Tagalog, and were so happy to teach me about the language, culture, and food.  

The five days at the Manila MTC were good.  I got to proselyte a little.  The food is absolutely delicious!!  Because there wasn't actually room for us in the MTC, we stayed at a hotel and ate breakfast there.  Based on the newspaper article all around the dining area, I think the chef has won a lot of cooking competitions and been on cooking shows.  Gourmet Filipino food for breakfast, for sure my favorite meal everyday.  The driving here is insane!  But I love it so much, I think we should bring it to America.  Everyone can do whatever they want to do and so far I haven't seen any wrecks.  There are no such thing as traffic lanes, the lines are drawn on the street, but it's okay to drive where ever.  We were supposed to see the Manila cemetery where President Gordon B. Hinkley dedicated the Philippines for missionary work, but our driver got lost so our van just saw every part of Manila except the cemetery.  The Philippines is incredible.  They have a lot of huge buildings and sometimes I feel like in New York and then within two minutes instead of being surrounded by actual building we're surrounded by makeshift huts made from sheets of metal, wood, cement, cardboard, tarps, and anything else that could be used.  The paradox is surreal.  Apparently, when a Filipino doesn't speak super good English they call it Caribou or Buffalo Tagalog (just because that's what they call it), and some of the Filipinos told me I speak Chicken Tagalog because it's cute and not good...I definitely have a lot of improving to do.  Because Sister Petersen and I are two American girls with blue eyes, the Filipinos (mostly ones we didn't know) at the MTC always asked us if we'd take pictures with them.  Everyone tells me who I look like here, so far I've gotten a doll, Barbie (mom's always tell their babies to look at the Barbie when I'm with them haha), Elsa, Frozen, Joe, Taylor Swift, Nicole Kidman, Jenifer Lawrence, Sarah Labate (a Filipina celeb), people have asked to trade eyes, and for me to give their kids my nose.  Probably though, my favorite thing is when people say literally every English phrase they know as we walk by, "Hello. Okay. You're beautiful. I cherish you. See you again. I love you. Good bye. Thank you," typically all in one breath it is so funny.

The five days at the MTC (don't worry mom within those five days I had plenty of time to teach a few of your daily cheers to the sisters in my district - mostly just the "Denise" and the "Mansion in the Sky" cheer ;) they can't wait to meet you) just dragged and dragged, they were cool but I was so ready to actually be doing something real out in the field.  It was so sad saying goodbye to everyone, especially Sister Talaroc-Kaniho, it wasn't fun leaving our trio but Sister Talaroc-Kaniho will do GREAT things in Urdaneta.  On the way to Olongapo Sister Petersen and I attempted the talk to a Filipina but actually she didn't understand a word we said so luckily there were a lot of Filipina missionaries nearby to help us out.  On the bus a man was selling sandwiches for 5 pesos but when Sister Petersen and I went to get one he told us they were 35 pesos and I tried all my bartering skills you taught me mom but he would not budge, so found out Filipinos will not barter with foreigners unless there's another Filipino with them...it's too bad.  In Olongapo we met President and Sister Dahle who are absolutely awesome!!

Then I met my companion, she is so cute!!  Her name is Sister Bautista, she's 4'9, from Kidabawan, Philippines.  She is seriously so great!!!  I love being with her and she great at helping me learn Tagalog.  One of my favorite ways is when she tells me about her crazy dreams (in Talgalog) and I try and figure out what she's saying.  She's so fun I just love it!!  Our apartment is also awesome.  There's four of us sisters.  We all get along super well and everyone is really trying to be their very best. It is such a great environment.

I was assigned in Guagua (Southern part of the Olongapo mission), some people have told me it's one of the least favorable areas in the mission, because apparently it's too hot here.  Luckily this is the less hot season so right now the heat is nice.  I think my only complaint is the Karaoke EVERY SINGLE NIGHT...when they do karaoke here they turn it up as loud as the can so whoever is doing karaoke sings me to sleep.  Other than that minor detail, the people here are absolutely AMAZING!  I can't think of anywhere else I'd want to be right now.  Everyone loves to help me learn Tagalog and is so nice even when what I'm trying to say makes absolutely no sense.  For some reason, pre-Philippines I totally thought it would be SO easy to learn a language and I thought it'd just happen in the first week.  Haha super unrealistic, I know, but that's what I really hoped for.  It definitely hasn't come in these past two weeks, and sometimes it's hard to remember that the language will come.  I've learned I REALLY have to work for it.  Can't wait for the day I am basically Filipina!! :)

We eat lots of fish and rice and it is so good!  I've gotten really good at picking bones out of fish and eating with my hands (even rice).  I love all the food here - so far the weird foods are chicken intestines, liver, fish balls, shrimp, lots of new fruit - except for salted eggs, or whatever they are called, I even made my self take three bites just to make sure it really was gross before I never eat it again.  I almost cried after every bite. I think it's eggs that have been soaked in salt water for a long time and then they cook it like a boiled egg.  Whatever it is, it is super nasty because the texture is sand-papery texture and flavor it super salty.  Other than the gross salty eggs, it has been so much fun embracing this culture.

The kids are so cute!!  I especially love their big brown eyes.  So far, I've only made two babies cry so...babies still hate me.  But the kids are so much fun!  They call us Elder all the time and love getting high fives. Sometimes they just follow us around for the longest time, or when our backs are turned, they like to run up and poke us without us seeing them. We always see them riding their bikes around and playing games.  During lessons, if we're outside or on someone's porch, all the neighborhood kids come and just stand around watching the lesson.  And during a lesson last night, one of the boys (I think he's five), said, "hey sister," then winked at me.  It's so funny I love it.

It has been so awesome already seeing the way that the gospel effects people's lives.  I love that my full-time responsibility is being able to share something so life changing.  I don't know how to help you understand just how much I love it here.  It is so awesome!!  Christmas here was great!  I hope Christmas for everyone else was just as good and that you really took the opportunity to learn more about Christ, because he is the whole reason for the season.  Some of my New Year's Resolutions are to learn Tagalog so I can really communicate with everyone here in their own language, but even more importantly to really learn the gospel more and more everyday.  It is amazing how much you can learn just from reading the Book of Mormon everyday.  I wish you all the best in 2015!  Happy New Year!!

Mahal ko kayo,  

Sister Marshall  :D

1: The Philippines are GORGEOUS!

2: Family Home Evening with some recent convert/investigators...we played a game and every time someone lost, we got to put baby powder on their face...either I never lost or I'm just so white the baby powder didn't make a difference, you decide ;) 

3: Usually we walk everywhere but sometimes we ride tricycles, jeepney's, or little boats...so fun!

Dec. 6, 2014 --- 'Tis the season to #SHAREtheGIFT‏

Kumusta po kayo?!

This was the end of the last full week here!  YES!!!  As much as I love it at the MTC, I cannot wait to be in the Philippines.

A few days ago, there was a sister (from Tahiti) I met in the residence who had just hurt her ankle and couldn't walk at all.  My companions and I got her some ice in bags for her ankle and took it to her.  But, I don't think she quite understood what the ice was for because when I was talking to her a couple days later, asking about her ankle, she told me it was good and that she thought it was so nice of us to bring her the ice.  She didn't want to forget that we'd been so nice so she set it on her desk to keep as a souvenir but the ice stared melting and the water was getting everywhere so now she's keeping the bags as a souvenir.  I thought it was the sweetest thing.  It kind of reminded me of Olaf's song "Summer" from the movie Frozen. :)

On Sunday I tried out my piano skills and tried to play one of the hymns is Sacrament meeting, because of meetings and a slow breakfast in the morning, I hadn't had anytime to practice the song...it was in the top 2 worst sounding songs I've played at church.  Thankfully, it's about the Spirit being with us, not how good I can play the piano, and the Spirit was definitely there.  Sheri Dew spoke to us during Relief Society (Relief Society is so cool here because we get to hear from very amazing women of the church).  She talked about magnifying your calling (or magnifying or ability to do whatever the Lord wants you to do), she said, "As an earnest seeker of how to magnify your abilities you cannot be stopped because you will be teaching with a power that is greater than your own."  I know that as we go to the Lord for help and strength, we really can do incredible things if we are willing to work with the Lord (Luke 18:27).  Later that evening, someone who really is incredibly talented, BYU's Vocal Point came and sang to us for our devotional.  It was so cool!!  Afterwards, we watched Elder Bednar's "Character of Christ."  Unfortunately I couldn't find it on lds.org because it was just a devotional he'd given at the MTC a few years ago, but, I'll try and sum it up but it's way cooler when he says it.  Basically, it was about loving outwardly because that is Christ's character to love outwards.  We are so consumed with ourselves, what is going to happen to us, making sure we do the things we want, that oftentimes we forget about others.  A little example he gave is of a woman he knows.  At the time of this story, she was a Relief Society president and her only child had recently died in a car wreck.  On the morning of her daughter's funeral, a member of her ward (who didn't know this woman's daughter had died) called her and was thoroughly disappointed in the fact that she had the flu and the Relief Society had not yet brought her any meals yet.  So the Relief Society President, on the morning of her daughter's funeral, made a very nice meal for this whiny woman, took it to her, apologizing for not having been more on top of things, and then went to her daughter's funeral.  With this story, he was simply showing us the difference of concentrating inwards or outwards in love, service, and compassion.  Having the character of Christ within us, is turning out to compassion for others, when the natural man would turn in.

Tuesday I saw one of my friends from Coeur d'Alene, ID!  His name is Nate Taggart (for anyone from CDA) when I first got here, Matthew Speelman was here too.  After leaving CDA and getting my mission call so quickly I thought for sure I wouldn't see anyone from CDA for at least a year and a half, but it's so fun seeing so many people I know in the MTC!!  Later that night, Brother David F. Evans (of the Seventy) and his wife Mary came and spoke with us.  My favorite part about that message is when they were teaching us that we don't have to wear a name tag to be a missionary.  So, everyone back home, if you've been thinking about inviting someone to church, or sharing something about the Gospel with someone, do it.  If you think of all the ways the Gospel has blessed your life, and you don't share it with someone, it's really pretty selfish.  Why wouldn't you do everything you can so someone can have that same happiness.  If you need help ideas of what you could say, let me know, and the next P-day I have, we can have a brainstorming party.  Or something you can do right now, is "Share the Gift."  Have you all seen the new Christmas message from the church to the whole world?  Look it up.  Or watch it here.  It is incredible.  In choir, we're finally singing Christmas songs.  I am so excited!!  I love Christmas!  This is the best time of the year.  And something else super great, in the Philippines they love Christmas and celebrate it in the "Burr" months, September, October, November, and December!  YES!!

On Thursday, we were able to Skype a man who speaks Tagalog.  After we shared a spiritual message with him, we were asking him about the Philippines and jokes.  Apparently, Filipinos love pick-up lines and corny jokes.  So Cameron, go ahead and send me all your best jokes and pickup lines so I can tell them to all the Filipinos next week! One of my favorites is, "My love for you is like the Book of Mormon.  Why?  Because it's true!"

So folks, the church is true.  I love it.  It's been so fun being able to learn so much.  Don't forget, #SharetheGift and please, please, please keep the Philippines and everyone who will be affected by the typhoon near them in your prayers.

Mahal ko kayo,
Sister Marshall

Nov. 29, 2014 --- HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Kumusta pamilya!!!  Masaya Thanksgiving!!

On Saturday, last week, I was able to do the coolest thing.  Because all of the branch presidency's wives were all out of town or sick, Sister Black and I got to escort Sister Teweiatau and Sister Teorabwati through the temple while they received their endowments.  It was the absolute most amazing thing.  It was so fun to be with them.  When I was asking them how they felt, Sister Teorabwati said she just felt so happy in her heart.  I love the temple, I love the sisters, and I loved being able to experience that with them.  This whole week has been so good.

Monday was very humbling because Sister Talaroc-Kaniho tried to teach me how to do some Tahitian dancing.  So I totally thought I'd be able to do it because I can shake my hips, but no.  It was so hard!  Oh my goodness!  Maybe one day I'll learn.  Also, I have a new favorite treat.  Mochi Crunch!  Sister TK's family sent it to her from Hawaii and it is so good.  I think it's a Japanese soy rice cracker type of thing and when you eat a handful of that and a chocolate covered gummy bear at the same time...mmmmmmm!!!!!

Tuesday we were doing gymnastics again and I tried to do a front flip (I couldn't even do it very well when I did that tumbling class last semester so don't ask me why I thought I could do it noe) and I kind of landed it and then tripped and fell flat on my back haha so I'm not planning on trying that again.  In choir we were singing Nearer My God to Thee and the choir director told us that song was written about Jacob (Genesis 28:10-22).  So he told us the story as we sang the song and it is so cool!!!  Then Dallin H. Oaks spoke at our devotional about why and how we serve the Lord.  One of my favorite quotes from him was, "Take what you are and move steadily to what you can become."

Wednesday I played some volleyball with only polynesians.  It was one of the scariest things I've ever done!  They play so intense and hit the ball so hard.  I saw my life flash before my eyes once or twice but no worries, I survived Polyball.  Later that day, I was studying the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It the Bible Dictionary, Gospel translated actually means good news.  So as a missionary I'm literally just spreading the "good news of Jesus Christ!"

Thursday was so much fun!!!  Thanksgiving at the MTC was a party!  We started the day with a devotional and the speaker was Elder Bednar.  Instead of actually giving a talk, he passed out 100 cell phones and let us text him the questions we wanted to know the most about.  It was awesome.  Then we had a Thanksgiving lunch (which was tasty, but does not even come close to the Thanksgiving dinner we have as a family).  Then we did some service making dinner packages for some organization that I totally just forgot the name of...Elder Bednar and his wife were there so I got to shake both their hands, so that was pretty great. :)  Later that night we got to watch Meet the Mormons which was way fun and great that even the MTC follows our family tradition of Thanksgiving dinner and going to a movie right after.  

I hope you are all having the greatest Thanksgiving ever!!!!  I love you all and I am definitely missing not being in Vegas with everyone last night and I wish I could be at breakfast with you but I can't so...eat lots of extra food for me! :)  Don't forget, 'tis the season for Christmas music.  Michael Buble and Justin Beiber Christmas music.  Listen to it as much as you can for me!! ;)  

Mahal ko kayo!!

Sister Marshall

P.S.  I got my flight plans!!  I leave the MTC December 11 at 3:35 am!  Then I go from SLC to LA-X, then I'm swimming from LA to Tokyo (because the flight plan didn't mention that flight hmmm), then I fly from Tokyo to Manila, and I'll be in the Philippines.  Whoo!  It's coming up quick!!

Super good looking hair nets for the service project!
 (top row) Sister Leung-Wei, Sister Etuale, Sister Talaroc-Kaniho, (middle row) Sister Toli, Sister Teweiatau, Sister Nielsen, Sister Teratabu, (bottom row) Sister Teorabwati, me, Sister Petersen

Selfie with Elder Bednar!!  Maybe one day I'll get a real picture.

The Christmas lights are up!! Sister Talaroc-Kaniho, me, Sister Petersen, Sister Teweiatau, Sister Teorabwati - I love these sisters!!!  There are so fun!  The Kiribati sisters are so full of life and ​laughing all the time, I love it!