Monday, September 14, 2015

Kumusta! (hello)

It’s been 24 days since I came to the MTC, I’m halfway done!  It’s scary how fast time is flying by.  

Sunday night at our devotional we watched a video of a past talk at the MTC from Elder Holland called “Open Your Mouth.”  It changed me!  I realized that I was holding on to who I was before the mission too tightly.  I wasn’t willing to leave myself behind and go to work.  I know that who I am now is who I need to focus on.  I can’t go backwards!  I love the “old me” and I am still her, just with more added to her.  I will still always be the same me, but now I need to focus on the missionary-Anna instead of normal-Anna.  I need to move forward!  In Holland’s talk, he talked a lot about moving forward with a willing heart, and it really touched me.  I asked my district leader, Elder Frei (who is awesome and an amazing leader!) for a blessing of comfort on Sunday night.  It was perfect.  The spirit was so strong, and even though he had no idea of my internal struggle, the blessing he gave was like he knew.  I felt so peaceful afterwards, and I no longer felt like I was pulling myself in two different directions.  I didn’t realize how badly I had been struggling until the blessing was over.  I felt so much better!  I had no doubts about being here, and I knew I could move forward, stronger then ever! Since that day, the MTC has been really great, with less ups and downs; it’s been more even, less emotional and more peaceful.

Sister Stokes and I got a calling on Sunday!  We are the ward music directors.  So we just pick the songs and the pianist and the conductor each Sunday.  So guess who’s playing tomorrow…yep, ME!  I am nervous, but it will be fine.  During extra study time, I go practice the piano.  It’s really nice!  I miss playing.  Also, I am in the MTC choir.  Our branch president suggests/insists that our whole branch be in the choir.  I like it a lot!  I am usually an alto.  We practice Sundays and Tuesdays, and perform at the weekly devotionals.  It’s really fun!

My most favorite part of the MTC:  my district!  I love them to death.  They are fun and we have the BEST times together.  They keep me sane.  We have really fun, goofy times, and we have really thoughtful, spiritual times.  It’s a great balance.  My least favorite part:  probably the food combined with how much we sit.  We just eat, then go to class, then eat some more, then sit in class some more, then eat again, then class again.  You start to feel like a slug after a while!  

Thank goodness for gym time.  I usually (try to) play volleyball for a bit. I’m probably a 3 out of 10 at volleyball.  I’m really good at serving, but I can’t do anything else.  Haha, I try…kind of.  Then I work out on the track and the workout machines.  It’s nice.

I am getting better at the language.  I can understand almost everything my teacher says, but it’s a bit harder for me to actually speak.  There’s so many grammar rules!  There’s a million verb conjugations, with different rules, and on top of that, adjective conjugations and more.  We just memorize root verbs and adjectives, pronouns, and more and more and more conjugations.  So many!  But, I love learning it.  It’s really fun!  I have a few scriptures memorized and I’m working on memorizing the first vision, all in Tagalog!

What I miss most, my family!  I miss is being able to communicate with everyone.  I’ve thought to myself a few times, “oh I should text Mom that…” or “I forgot to put my phone on silent!” but then I remember I am cut off from the world.  Haha.  It’s so strange!  I have no idea what is going on anywhere else.  

Mahal kita! (I love you) I know this gospel is true, and I am proud to be a Philippino missionary!


xo Sister Anna Ray Allen

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