Kamusta everyone! I hope you've all had a great week! I can't really speak Cebuano, but I can't speak English either...ha! Bear with me, this probably the most English I've used since I last wrote to you. Thanks to everyone who has written me and sent me packages this week! I surely feel your love! I have close to NO TIME to respond, but know that I love you all and appreciate you so much.
Well, this week has been an interesting one. Full of ups and downs, but what would missionary work be like without the good and bad?
After I emailed you last Thursday, we went to the temple and like always it was amazing! We also taught TRC for the first time and my kauban and I decided to take no notes with us, and solely rely on the Spirit to convey the message we needed to share. It went great! I was able to say everything I needed to say, plus a few things that I didn't even know what I was saying. So that was really neat. Since then I've been trying to use less and less notes.
Well, the food is really starting to get old. I just don't really like it anymore. It's cafeteria food and I'm still kinda picky. I am getting tired of quesadillas and rice EVERY DAY. But, it's ok, because.....**drum roll please**
We are moving to the West Campus!! We are moving next Thursday, my entire zone is, and our teachers are comming with us. We got word from our zone leaders on Sunday. I am still waiting for an official notice, but if the zone leaders and the teachers and President Capik have confirmed it, it's happening. I was kinda sad at first because I've just started to get used to it here, but I'm excited for the change, and we get to go to the BYU creamery on p-days and stuff. I will let you know how the move goes next week and send you some pics.
We had our first lesson with one of our new investigators, Edwardo (Brother Harris) on Friday. It went really good. So now we have two investigators. Edwardo and Roell (Brother Pasikala).
I got your first pkg on Saturday pamilya, calamat kaayo!! MOM, I love it and the stickers are perfect! I also got your pkg yesterday and WOW!! I think I am all set on snacks for while! Salamat Kaayo!! I also got a pkg from Mykelle Dunyon on Tuesday and it was sooooo cute! The theme was "orange you glad you're such a great missionary!" It was full of orange things, sticky notes, candy, pens, etc. Super cute. I can definately feel your love.
Saturday was a bit of a rough day for everyone. Sister Aaron got the flu and I love her but she doesn't believe in taking meds OR going to the dr and when you live with six girls, we don't wanna get sick. She doesn't like the smell of Lysol at all, but we still sprayed our room and everything with it. This day a divine intervention happened. We switched teachers for the afternoon and my class got to have Sister Powell for the afternoon. She served in the Tacloban and knows Colton Anderson, they were in the MTC together. We went to an empty classroom and had a nice talk. She said she could look into my eyes and literally SEE herself when she was a new missionary. She wanted to tell me that whatever worries or frustrations I feel, that it will all be ok. She was in the MTC for 9 weeks and could barely say her testimony when she left. Her first companion was a lot like mine too. Every area she served in, she spoke a different dialect, so it was really hard for her. But, she told that IT WILL BE OK!! She said that I reminded her so much of herself and she did it!! It's really what I needed to hear and just what I needed overall.
I have REALLY struggled with the language this week, but Brother Pasikala said something that really hit me. He said that if I am having a hard time with the language and don't know if I can do it, that I can lean on HIM because He knows I can do it and I am capable of learning this language. I thoaught that was really nice of him. He also shared a story with us about an investigator he taught on his mission, she just got married in the temple this last week. He showed us all pics and all of us Sisters were crying. Such an incredible feeling to know that soon, I will be out there in the Philippines and teaching these people and having these experiences of my own. I can't wait!!
Sunday was awesome! I'm sure you're curious to knwo how the prayer went. It was AWESOME!! I had so much fun sitting on the stand with my kauban and Elder Cordon and Elder Cederlof. The speaker was Brother Tanner, who produced the movies 17 Miracles and Ephraim's Rescue. He was so amazing!! This was the first prayer I have said entirely in English since the first week I was here, so I was super nervous that I would start speaking Cebuano but it went well. Speaking of praying, yes all my prayers are in Cebuano now. I know enough to communicate what I need to say, the grammar might be incorrect but at least it's in Cebuano, YAY!
Monday, we had our weekly cleaning assignment. Cleaning windows and dumping trash like last week, but the highlight of Monday was I decided I was going to turn over a new leaf with my companion and really get to know and love her like Christ loves her. So how did I do that? I started off with a harmless prank. I found a Krispy Kreme hat in the lost and found, Yes, there are lots of goodies in the lost and found here, and I put it on and waited for her to come out of the bathroom, and I stood super close to the cubicle door and when she opened the door I scared her so badly...she about jumped out of her skin, but she laughed and I laughed, and we laughed together, and it helped to lighten the mood.
Tuesday, it was super stormy here, hail and lightning and thunder and rain most of th day. It was a pretty relaxed day. This day was the changing moment for me and my companion. Now, you all know that I am not a huge fan of singing, except for when it's in the shower. But, my companion LOVES to sing, ALL THE TIME. She was singing during study time, so what did I do? I joined in singing with her. We sang "God Be With You" and it was beautiful. We sounded pretty good together. The Spirit was so strong in the room. It was incredible. And then she said to me, "Would you like a hug?" My companion is not affectionate whatsoever, and this is the very first time we have hugged. I told her that I loved her. I wrote her a poem in Cebuano and I am mailing it to her. It's a surprise, and I hope she will like it. She slipped a really nice note in my notebook and said how thankful she is for me.
Yesterday, I was able to host four new Sister missionaries! I got to stand on the side of the curb and wave at all the newbies and all day I had a huge smile on my face. There was a special sisters that I felt like I really connected with that I hosted. She is from Nashville, Tennessee, and she is headed to Vancouver, Washington. She had a REALLY hard time saying goodbye to her family. I even gave her mom a big hug and told her I would take care of her daughter. Last night, as I went to check on this sister, she was exactly how I was my first night here. I gave her a big hug and told her that I KNOW from experience that it does get better!! It's all come full circle! It was a tender mercy for me. For me, Sister Harris to help and give support to this sweet sister.
Life with 18 yr. old Elders sure is interesting. They are so weird! They are so spiritual but insane. One Elder in my district pretended to cut his hand open. He was walking to the side and his eyes were rolling way back in his head, and I didn't find out till after dinner, that he made the whole thing up with a packet of ketchup...several pkts of ketchup!! They massage each other's backs, and love to give each other big hugs. They call each other "big boy" and are just weird. It's funny though, how in a second, they can snap into these spiritual giants that give blessings and teach amazing lessons in Cebuano with the Spirit. I am sending you some pics of them so please enjoy. :) I wish I could convey in email how weird, but yet, how awesome they are.
Cassie Anderson asked if there are any cute Elders here,,,,YES, there are lots of cuties.
I can pray, bear my testimony, recite the missionary purpose, and I am working on the first vision in Cebuano.
If there is anything I have forgotten I will write it to you mom in my handwritten letter. Thank you so much for all your love and support. Let the Lord guide you in everything you do. Remember HE loves you & I do too!!
Ayoayo, kitakits, amping, Gugma,
Sister Joslyn Harris