Week 3: Almost Halfway There - July 25, 2015

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What a week! It feels like just yesterday I had my P-Day. This week has flown by which makes me 1) excited, because Philippines and 2) scared, because Philippines. Our Sister Training Leaders (like Sister Zone Leaders) just left to the Philippines this week and it was a sad parting. You find family in the people you serve with, especially those who took care of you during your first few weeks. The night before they left, all the sisters in our zone gathered together to say goodbye and there were testimonies, crying, and LOTS of singing and dancing (which is forbidden in the MTC..oops). It sounds really cheezy and it was. I have found that I all of a sudden kinda enjoy cheezy things and I have just accepted it when it happens. I can't wait to be in the Philippines though, we saw some videos and photos of our teachers' missions and OH. MY. HEAVENS. The Philippines is a beautiful place, and the people are even more beautiful. ALWAYS a huge smile on their face and they live in these really humble conditions. I have been told about this over and over again since I have had my call, but it wasn't until I saw actually pictures and videos, accompanied with their stories and I really understood. I am not gonna know a lick of Tagalog when I get there (not really, my goal is just to be able to pray and bear my testimony completely and I am hoping everything else will fall into place), but I will be able to love those people, and they know when you care about them, that's the most amazing part. If I can just love them, as a representative of Jesus Christ, they will be able to recognize a small portion of what our Savior feels for them. That is amazing to me.

Tagalog. Yep. Thats all I can say about it. I improve only a tiny bit everyday. BUT I have noticed, that I struggle with English and I cant remember words in English anymore. SO now I am losing English and will eventually be unable to communicate. so that's cool. Joke-lang ( just joking) I am probably becoming worse at English, so that I have the motivation to work even harder and learn tagalog. God knows how I am, I have somehow managed to procrastinate learning a language and He is simply helping me feel the urgency a bit sooner. Tagalog will come. The Kaloob ng mga wika (gift of tongues) is indeed a real thing. I feel the power of it everyday. No it doesn't make me fluent, but it most definitely helps me know what to say, and when to say it - all within my realm of ability. I don't know really how to explain it. Just know that it is really cool.

I have definitely embarrassed myself in some of our lessons to investigators this week. I think I have mentioned this in my previous letters, but your "investigators" (actually teachers at MTC) don't speak any English. SO this week, we were teaching about Christ's ministry and the Apostasy and we told our investigator that "Christ killed the people." (sentence structure in tagalog is really weird and if you're one letter off, it completely changes the meaning) Our investigator looked at us in horror, and asked why would we believe that Christ was a murderer?!? Yeah it was pretty hard to come back from that. But we did. I bore my testimony about the Savior and how grateful I was for how He died FOR us, just to make sure she understood Christ is not a killer.

2) We were teaching and I was sharing a scripture and I said, Mahal Kita banal na kasulatan ito (which translates: I love you this scripture) and our investigator actually broke out of tagalog to tell me, that does not make any sense and continued to laugh for a couple minutes about it. Obviously I was laughing on the outside with him, but inside, I was crying.

3) I asked another investigator, "Puwede po ba kaming bumalik sa mundo?" which translates: Can we return on earth? I was trying to reschedule and ask if we could returnon Monday (which is actually lunes) He also, broke out laughing while I sat there red-faced, crying on the inside. There is a lot of Spanish in Tagalog and I am very disappointed in myself for taking French all those years.

Don't worry though, I do have faith and know that the language will come! There are a lot of mistakes made and a lot of times, where I understand and get it write. Like I said, Gift of Tongues in real and God is answering my many many prayers.

The testimonies that are born and strengthened here are numerous. My testimony is one of them. I can not believe how much my love for others, for this gospel and for my Savior, and Heavenly Father has increased. We heard a talk by this general authority about 10 pieces of advice to missionaries, and he said, "continue this life beyond your mission" and I get it, missionaries are kinda weird and it is easy to be on a spiritual high when you are literally removed from everything else, but this feeling, this love is not something I want to lose. It makes me genuinely happy, I truly feel I have been able to find out who I really am (the sassy is still there) and I hope that I can manage to maintain it once I return. I understand why people talk about their missions all the time now, so sorry in advance to all those who will have to listen to me talk about it all the time.

Its been fun to see so many people here, I have been able to see Sister Peel and Sister Fouts, but they just left this week :((( I also see Elder Nixon everyday and Elder Hughes (from Vegas ward) and a bunch of other people from BHS and BYU. It makes me seem really popular to my DL... but nevermind that.

Thank you for all the letters again!!! P-Day is such a happy day cause I get to hear from all of you! There isn't a person I don't want to hear from, so keep them coming! I am trying to respond to as many as possible, but an hour is tough! So be patient, it will come!

(P.S. Also, thank you to everyone who is so concerned will my stomach issues. My body is indeed rejecting MTC food and punishing me for eating it. But all is well. I live on and will survive. Cereal has become my best friend ( it kinda already was) but mom feel free to send some human food and some fruit in any form :) I miss it.)

MAHAL KITA LAHAT ( I LOVE YOU ALL ) Thank you for everything and I am praying for everyone of you araw araw (everyday). Thank you for the PICS sarah, the kids are so cute and the house looks great, keep em coming! Elise's pictures were Perfect, Can I just say, we are a really good looking family, thats all, hopefully my future kids wont ruin that :)

Sist-ah Gentry


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