I always feel like I start these emails out the same way, it's been a week of ups and downs, but overall a good week. Salamat kaayo for all the letters and packages you have all sent this past week. I appreciate it SO MUCH! CLARIFICATION FOR EVERYONE, I was not ever going to quit choir, I was just frusturated with the money it has cost me to have the exact colors and shirt and skirt and it takes two hours of our class time for practice each day, and with the language, and my struggling with it, I need all the class time I can get. But, I made a commitment so I will follow thru and I know it will be a good experience. There are over 400 plus sisters singing in the choir for Saturday evening's broadcast, so you may or may not see my face.
Last Thursday was our final TRC. If I would have known that, I probably would have tried a lot harder. But, I learned a lot about the gift of tongues, and I also learned that I have to WORK for it. The week before last I did great in TRC, but this past week I really struggled, because I didn't really prepare and I thought I would do great without notes....boy was I wrong!!! I thought I would do ok because I had done it before without any notes. It is amazing to me at how much my Cebuano has improved since just last week.
I got my hair-cut and it looks really bad. I sure wish Karen was here to fix it!! The girl cut a nice mushroom hat for me. I have a nice thick layer, right above my ears that is totally noticeable when I straighten it...so I will be sending home my straightner, since now I just wash, scrunch my hair and go!!
The General Relief Society Presidency and General Board have been comming to all our choir practices. I loved when Sister Burton said, "We want to be just like YOU sisters." It's funny, because we all want to be just like THEM!
Something kinda funny happened on Friday. We taught Edwardo, and I was so excited because I had really practiced for this lesson and studied a lot. So we get in and I discover that I have been planning and studying for the WRONG lesson. I had gone over the lesson for Roel...not Edwardo.
I had the complete WRONG lesson. So, scratch all my preparation off, and I had to rely solely on the Spirit. It was the best lesson I have had here yet, so cool!
Sunday after Sacramen Meeting, we find out our district is being split. I cried right on the spot. We lost all of our Hong Kong missionaries, (2 districts) I LOVED them so much! I am going to surely miss them.
I also finally saw someone from High School...Zach Annis!! He actually lives here in the West Campus and he has the same schedule as I do, so I see him a lot. It was sooo great to see someone from home. It's weird calling him Elder Annis. He is going to Mexico and he is the exact same as he was in High School. We took the most awkward picture together ever. I will send it to you. Pictures with Elders is just weird and kind of awkward.
Monday was the most incredible day yet. Brother Pasikala has been showing us pictures from his mission about twice a week now and also tells us stories about the people in the pictures too. We figured out that the people he is telling us about are the investigators we are teaching. (our teachers acting out people on their own missions) It was the coolest thing ever, because he pulls this picture up of a Filippino family all dressed in white for their baptism and he starts telling us the story about them. I start to cry because I realize this is our investigator we are teaching. ROEL!! He is amazing and has the neatest story. He is a fisherman and can't attend church because that is when he fishes for money/food. He believes everything the missionaries tell him. He told them he would go to church but was worried about how would he catch fish and make money for his family. So, the next day he attends church and then goes to the baybay (beach) and there were SO MANY fish!! He caught about 20 buckets of fish! The average amount of fish he had caught before was 5-10 buckets of fish, so this was a huge miracle. The best part for me was this story is REAL, and it's a REAL person in Cebu. I cannot wait to get out there and meet people like Roel and share the gospel with them and love the heck out of them.
Tuesday was the day we moved to West Campus. It was a hectic morning but you would be so proud of me! I carried my three suitcases, and box of things I have accumulated here. (No wonder I needed three escorts!! ) I about died!! It's really nice here and I like it a lot. We have a lot more freedoms here that the missionaries on the main campus don't have. It's also much more relaxed. The two things I miss about the main campus are the bathrooms and the vending machines. Our apartment has six sisters and one bathroom, that makes things kinda hard at times, but we are making it work.
Best news yet!!! We are getting our travel plans tomorrow (FRI) or Monday!! We will be flying out on the 7th or 8th of October. I think it will be the 7th, but I will let you know for sure when I find out. I also got word today that Neil L. Anderson will be visiting the Cebu Philippines mission on October 26th!! How exciting is that!!?? Yay!! How lucky I feel to be able to listen to a general authority the first month in the field.
Can you believe I have been here a month!!?? Wow!! Just in this one month I have grown sooo much. I wish I could tell you how HARD my mission is. It is HARD. I can't stress that enough, but anyone who has served a mission will relate to what I am about to say. It is easily the hardest thing I have ever done, but it's also easily the HAPPIEST I have ever been....EVER!! I love it here, and despite how hard it is, that doesn't matter to me, because I love it soooo much and I know this is exactly where I need to be. I feel like I was made for this, I don't know why I didn't make up my mind to serve a mission earlier.
Something I want to stress to all future missionaries is this, and just like my lovely sister escorts told me the first day here, Unless it's a written rule or your branch president tells you, it's not a rule. I can't tell you how many times missionaries "make up" rules here. Don't listen to them unless the rule is in the white Bible or your Branch President tells you.
I was super glad to hear that the UTES won!! Brother Harris is in the band for BYU. He plays the tuba, HA HA! He is soo funny, I LOVE my teachers.
Here is a funny story about our insane Elders that I thought you might like. It reminded me of Dad. So, in our new classroom in our apartment, We have the three bedrooms and the living room to ourselves. The Elders usually study in one of the bedrooms. My companion and I walked to one of the bedrooms that they were studying in, and knocked on the door. We walked in, and all the lights were off, it was pitch black...and they were all just sitting in there farting!!! What the crap!!?? The only thing I can possibly think of, is that before their missions they were boys. They are so weird, but I love them like brothers, so it works. :)
If there is anything I have forgotten I will do a handwritten letter. MOM, will you please tell everyone thank you so much for writing me. I have no time to write back, but please tell them all THANK YOU!! I read and love every letter that I get.
Allie Sue: How are you doing?? I am sorry you did not feel well last week. How is Mindy?? Are you being a good friend? You can help Mindy with Nicole leaving becasue you know what it's like to have a sister leave on a mission. Thanks for sending those pics each week, I love them and you are SUPER CUTE!!
Have a great week, I know I will!! 10 days till take - off!! I can't wait!!
Sister Joslyn Harris
Pic of Joslyn with Sisters in District 2nd pic of Joslyn with Zach Annis & his comp.