Week 4: Ang Diyos ang ating mapagmahal na Ama sa Langit

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I am over the hump! I only have 19 days left in the MTC and have already been here for 25 days, just two and a half more weeks!!! Which is so crazy because like I said last week (which feels like just yesterday), weeks go by SO fast! I am so ready to be out in the field. Not like prepared ready, but anxious ready and excited ready. Sister Strohn (in my district) was showing us pictures that her friend sent her from his mission in Urdaneta. I guess it rained this past week, and there is water up to their knees and in one pic you can only see the top of the jeepney and some sisters are just sitting on the roof of it, "trying" to stay dry. I get there at the pinnacle of the rainy season... so I don't plan on being dry for a while in the Philippines. I keep getting emails, or comments about how great the Philippines are and how great the people are, and how great the food is (doubtful). But when people tell me about the Philippines, I just get so excited that I get to live there the next 17 months (one month down. wow). There is a filipino sister on our floor and she is going to Indonesia, but she is always in our room telling us about the Philippines and told us that in Urdaneta, we will probably learn two other dialects on top of Tagalog. so cool. Looking forward to the Manila MTC! We we will be there for 5 days before heading out to the field, and we will get to go to the Temple, go out into Manila and teach, and all that fun stuff ( that is what I have been told. don't know if its truth)! SO great

MTC is great. Food is fine. I have found what I can eat and just have that (mostly cereal, but I don't mind). This week, there is a rumor that an apostle is coming to speak, so let's all hope for that! District is great! They now know every single embarrassing detail of my life, so we are all pretty comfortable around each other, and nothing I do makes them feel awkward, because they know that it is not my worst. (This included a very shameful night of singing Les Mis "I dreamed a dream" in Gollum's voice, apparently I am not holding back.) Anyway, we are all hilarious and spend most of our time just laughing, which is probably why the missionaries who have been here for two weeks know more tagalog than we do. Yes, I still have a crush on my district leader and yes, I still have a crush on my teacher, But we just call it, "enjoying the scenery."

Like I say in every email, and like everyone always says, "A mission is the most difficult thing, and the most rewarding thing you will ever do." I just kind of listened to those words, and obviously only focused on the "hardest thing" part,and have already explained why it is SOBRA MAHIRAP (so difficult), but I am gonna tell you why it is the most rewarding thing ever. Lots of things are rewarding in life and that is a blessing from Heavenly Father, but there is something different about giving of yourself completely to the Lord. If I could, I would write everyday with at least one really powerful experience where I have this Spiritual awakening that stops me for a moment, to take in the amazement (I dont know if thats a word, but I'm making it one) of it. This week, These moments have been a lot about how God is our Loving Heavenly Father (title of the email). "God is our Loving heavenly Father" is the first lesson in the Preach My Gospel, and it is like the go to first message for missionaries ( in my opinion), and I realized why. That message is such a powerful message. To think,GOD is YOUR father. In the scriptures, it says this a lot,
"God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; and also, that God who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and caused that they should walk through the Red Sea on dry ground, and fed them with manna..." I always just assumed that it just said that, so that readers would understand that the people in the Book of Mormon believed in the same exact God that the people in the bible believed in, and so people would know that Mormons dont have their own God, and that may be the reason. But as I was reading for personal study, I read that, and it hit me. The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the God that caused the Red Sea to part, the God that sent His son to die for us, the God that performed all these unfathomable miracles that we learn about, the omnipotent, powerful, and mighty God, is my Father in Heaven, and He is all of our Father. He is our Father, and we are His children. That very same God, is answering my prayers about Tagalog, and He is telling me what to say to my teacher/investigator, and He is strengthening me when I have lost all confidence in my abilities. God knows me, and I know He knows ALL of His children, because as a missionary, I get to feel part of His love for His children, and be told through the spirit, what He wants me to say to His children that are lost. He cares about every. single. one of us, and I have the opportunity to be a tool in His hands in bringing more of His children back to Him. God has all power, and compared to him, we are nothing, but to Him we are everything. I don't know if I am getting across exactly how strongly I feel about this message, but I truly understand now how amazing it is that I know God is my loving Heavenly Father. It is something, I want to share with EVERYONE now, because knowing it, Truly understanding that message, is an indescribable feeling.

I love you all!!! Love hearing from you!!! LOVE the pics I have been getting, Keep 'em coming!!!

Mahal kayo ng Diyos (God loves you)
Sister Gentry

Pictures from the week:



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