Kumusta po kayo?!
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,