Week 5!

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SO guess what?!?!? 12 more days in the MTC and then I am off to the Philippines! We got our travel information yesterday and it was the most exciting thing to happen this week. (so yeah, this letter is gonna be pretty dull) ANYWAY, we leave the morning of Aug 20 (11:30 to be exact) and we are outta here! SO excited to never have to eat MTC food again, now I will just be eating duck fetus and fish heads. BOOM.

So listen, I know dad wants the details of my flight info, to "make sure im safe" but I have a feeling that giving him the details might result in a surprise visit in the SLC airport. SO just know that I am gonna be safe, because the Lord will watch over me, and just be expecting a phone call from me on the morning of the 20th and throughout the day because I can call you from the Portland, the Tokyo and the Manila airport. (okay, now that's all the detail im gonna give.) ALSO, on the 21st of September, so like a month after being in the philippines, I am traveling back to manila so i can fly to Hong Kong for a day or so. I have to go to Hong Kong for my visa or something, but either way, my whole district is on the same flight, so we will get to see each other again after being in different missions... so that's pretty cool!

SOOOO EXCITED to go to the Philippines. I don't even care that I wont be able to communicate, because I am so ready to start teaching. I have like this fear/hope that my first companion will be a native, because I know it'll be rough, but I think I'll be able to learn faster that way.
Time is going by freaky fast and I am now at the point where it makes me sad that my mission is starting to already fly by and I haven't even really started. There is a very unique joy that you experience on a mission. I don't know how to explain it, but I am constantly happy. Palagi nga (ALWAYS).

Still having tons of fun with my district. We get reprimanded all the time though for being to hilarious. Actually, for laughing too much and being to loud, but whatever. They came up with this mormon rap and elder evans (who's really good at beatboxing) put together this one about Cookies, because of this inside joke, but anyway, they got in trouble for that. luckily, we took video of it before they were told to stop. #rebellife We have started going to the temple at 6 am on our p-days when its not crowded with tons of missionaries. We are all half asleep, and its still pitch black outside when we walk to the temple, but it is a really cool experience. People always come up and talk to you in the temple and tell you neat missionary stories, or when they see that name tag, they'll just come up and hug you or shake your hand.

Our investigators are progressing and we are slowly, but surely learning how to teach the gospel. Its pretty simple. the only way you prepare is to prepare yourself. You continue to learn the language so you can communicate, but pretty much, as a missionary, you mainly need to focus on spiritually preparing yourself. Once you walk into the lesson, you forget everything you had prepared anyway and then its just you depending on the spirit. The Spirit is the only way for the missionary to truly know the needs of the investigator and know what they need to hear. This week, we met with one of our "gold tag" investigators, who are these people that may or may not be a member who come to the MTC to learn more about the gospel and be uplifted. There isnt really a way for you to know if they are an actual nonmember or not, so you just teach them like they are. So anytime your strolling around campus you can just walk up to them and start up a conversation. Sister whitehead and I met Hely a couple weeks ago. she is from Guatemala and just moved from Cali to Utah with her husband, she is catholic and told us about her beliefs and her concerns and just talked to us. (ALL of this is in English and its really nice to teach in english sometimes). Anyway, this week, we met with Hely and she brought her husband Jose. We were only supposed to meet for 20 mins but ended up teaching for 1 hr and 15 mins (missed gym.... oh well). The lesson went in a completely different direction than what we had anticipated, so we were completely unprepared with material. So it was only through the spirit that we were teaching. Lesson went SOOO GOOD. we talked about prayer, God is our father, Joseph Smith, priesthood, restoration, the Atonement. Literally all the gospel pretty much. At one point, we asked, "is there something you'd like to ask God?" They opened up about their daughter who has a debilitating disease that requires constant care. They talked about how taxing it was for them, but mostly how bad they felt for her. Hely told me, that she wonders why God would cause that kind of pain in their life, and asked if it was because she was a bad person. I did not know the perfect response for that. I obviously reassured her that Heavenly Father was of course not punishing her, and then we just started speaking from the Promptings of the Holy Ghost. Im not even really sure everything that we said. But we told her about how "God loves you and He does not give us trails to punish us, and I am not always sure why some of us get the trails that we do, but there is never a moment in our suffering that we are alone. God strengthens us in those hard times, and we can become better, stronger people because of our difficulties. Bad things in life happen always, sometimes more for other people, but Heavenly Father never once leaves our side, or never once takes away the opportunity to receive help from Him." Then there was other stuff said, and by the end of the lesson, every single one of us were in tears. yeah. The spirit completely taught that lesson and I am so grateful for it.

To end, God loves all of you, Jesus loves all of you and OF course, I love all of you!!!! Thanks again for all the letters!!!! MAHAL KITA LAHAT!!!!!!!!!!!
Sister Gentry

Sister Whitehead taking a selfie. ME taking a selfie and Sister strohn and Tanielu.


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