Maayong odto pamilia ug amigos!!
A FEW ITEMS OF BUSINESS:
There are brand new rules regarding calling home from the airport that were just barely implemented. Bummers. I will be calling home from the SLC Airport, but the new rule is we only have 3-4 min to talk. I can basically ask how you are doing, and bear my testimony in Cebuano and that is pretty much all I will have time for. There were too many missionaries using the phones and talking to home pretty much their entire lay-over's and not teaching the gospel. Sooo, I will be handing out pass along cards, and they are also giving us Book of Mormon's to pass out as well. I was truly bummed at first, but I understand. I will most likely be calling you from the SLC airport. Exciting!!
There are 15 missionaries in our travel group and then we gain another 15 missonaries on the flight from Manila to Cebu. As our branch president told us today, "the safest planes are those that are carrying missionaries." :)
All DearElders must be sent to me by tomorrow at 11 am for me to receive them. With the general conference weekend, any letters sent after that to me, will be thrown away. When I get to Cebu you are welcome to send the occasional DearElder, but I won't get them till zone conferences, about every 6 weeks or so, so your best bet will be to email me at my church acct email and I can read them on p-days. My p-day will be Wednesday in Cebu, so I think you should complile your thoughts for the week and then put them in one big email and send to me on Monday night, your time and then email it to me. That would be great!!
I am sending a box of junk that I won't be taking to the Philippines, like my straightner, and some sparkly shoes. :) :) :) I will probably send that off early Monday morning so look for that to arrive.
I would like to give a shout out to the 24th of July. HA joke lang! JK
Shout out to my home girl, Sister Moore in Nebraska who had her first baptism last week, you go girl!!
Shout out to my BFF Sister Kohtz who is in Brazil and teaching the gospel to the Brazilillians!! Wahoo!!
Shout out to everyone who saw me on TV for the general RS mtg in SLC!
Shout out to everyone who has sent me letters!! Especially Brandon & Jenn, and their cute family!! I LOVED the card, and yes, Jenn, I showed all the sisters your darling handwriting!! :)
THIS WEEK'S EVENTS:
Well, we did go sing at the RS conference. That was such a fun experience! That day was exhausting but so well worth it. We were in SLC all day long. I met some fun, outgoing, darling sisters. We heard from the General RS Presidency before we sang. They are all so wonderful, and we were fed some yummy yummy food too. They took such great care of us. I loved all the talks and I hope you at home enjoyed them too. My favorite part was after the meeting was over, and everyone was leaving, the General RS Presidency came and said they wanted to individually hug EACH sister!! It was so amazing getting all these hugs. They thanked me for my service, and asked where I was going on my mission and said they loved me. Soo neat!! They spent individual time with EACH SISTER, incredible!! I have had so many neat experiences since being here, praying at a devotional, singing in the RS choir, and I get to hear from a general authority my first month in the mission field!! I KNOW I was supposed to be here at this specific time. No doubt about it!
One thing that is really sad, is that one of my favorite Elders of all time really hurt himself this past week playing basketball. He fractured both elbows...playing basketball. Ouch!! He is the glue that holds our zone together, and he is so strong, but we are all sad. He has to go home for five weeks to heal and recover. I will miss him so much.
The conclusion I have come to with my comp is that we are just so different, but that is ok. I honestly pray every day, MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY for my trainer. That she will be patient with me, and help me along. I am so nervous, so will you all do me a favor, and please pray for my new trainer. I know it would really help me be filled with peace. I know the Lord will match me up with the perfect person to help me and be just who I need. I know I have an interview with President Schmutz before he assigns us our trainers, and I know he will be considerate of those thoughts that I have.
I want to tell you about a really cool experience I had this past week. I hope I can convey it right over email, it's kinda hard to do at times. But, you know how I am stubborn,...stubborn as ever, I have been working on that. But, I have been so flippin' nervous to get out to the field. Scared out of my mind like all the time. I just don't feel comfortable with where I am at with the language, and I wish I could have used my time more wisely at times, here at the MTC. So, for the past few weeks, I have been praying to Heavenly Father to TELL ME HOW I would be ok in the field. I just want Him, to SHOW me how I will be ok in the field. I just want to know that I can do it. Well, of course Heavenly Father isn't going to show and tell me how I will be ok. That is asking too much. I have however, felt complete peace this whole week. Just this overwhelming peace all the time. I think the best way to put it is that I should be freakin' out, but I am not, I feel such inner peace. I also read in 2 Nephi (MOM, I think you and I are reading in the same place) but reading that has given me a lot of peace and comfort. There is a quote that MOM sent me that I really like. It says, "When our ONLY desire is to serve God, we will be blessed with a deep, inner peace." Also, I found a saying that I love that was left in the printer. I am sure it was for someone else, but I am keeping it, and I LOVE it. It says, "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyways" John Wayne
I wanted my Heavenly Father to tell me how I would adjust, but He didn't and He won't. Because, I need to have FAITH. I do know I can do it. I do know it will be the hardest thing I have ever done, but it will easily be the thing that brings me the most joy up to this point in my life.
Another cool story for you, remember that picture of Christ that Jessica Stephens gave to me in that little gold colored frame?? Well, I have had a very strong feeling that there is someone in Cebu who needs that little picture of Christ. I have also had a dream about it. I can't wait to see who this person is and give this little picture to them. No worries, I still have one for me.
I want you to know that I am doing fine. I have done hard things, like all of you keep telling me. I will continue to do hard things till the day I die. Please try not to worry about me. :) I am just so excited to get out there and love the people of Cebu. Even if I can't speak the language very well, that's not the most important thing. Brother Harris keeps telling me how there will be so many little, Filipino grandmothers who will want to adopt me and love me and take care of me. He said they LOVE new missionaries and the members feel a strong sense of responsibility to help the new missionaries with the language. I am in good hands, heck, I am in the Lord's hands.
The goals I came into the MTC with: to be able to pray & bear testimony, I have accomplished. The gift of tongues is so real!
I got a hair-cut this morning and it looks a lot better! I had the mgr cut my hair and she did a really great job. I like it much better now and she fixed it for me. Good thing, because I am not getting this mane cut for 16.5 months, so Karen....be ready for me when I come home!! :)
I also want you to know a little bit about what will happen when I get to Cebu. So, I leave Monday, and I skip Tuesday all together. Weird. I then arrive in Cebu at 7: 15 am their time. 9:15 pm your time. Can you say jet lag?? We have been told that we will be met at the airport by Pres. Schmutz, and the AP's, and a cute, little Filipino Bishop who loves to meet the new missionaries. How cute is that!? He will bring his truck, and put all our luggage in the back of his truck. We will then go to the mission home, be trained and spend the night at either the mission home or a close hotel. That night we have interviews with Pres. Schmutz and then I am sure I will crash and be dead tired. The next morning, we wake up and find out who our new trainers will be and where we will be serving. This is just my guess, but I think I will be in the city. I have felt that way since I arrived here. I am soo excited!!
God is good. I have struggled a great deal here, I have doubted myself. But one thing that amazes me is how merciful our God is. I can't believe how willing He is to bless His children. I am so imperfect. I have a lot of flaws. There are things I could have done differently here, but He continues to bless me. My favorite scripture since I have been on my mission is Alma 26:12, I don't have my scriptures right here with me but it talks about how we are nothing. I NEVER realized how much of nothing I am, but with God, I am capable of doing anything. I can't do anything without Him, but I can do EVERYTHING with Him. Just a thought.
Know how much I love each of you individually. I pray for you individually each day. I am so proud of you, my dear family, for bettering yourselves daily. and for DOING member missionary work. Keep up the good work. I am taking ALL of your letters to the Philippines with me. I know I will NEED them. This adjustment is going to be an interesting one, and I don't know what to expect, but I am going to work as hard as I can. Even if it takes me awhile to adjust, ..... I WILL NOT BE STILL, remember that song I quoted at my farewell?
I LOVE you and God LOVES you. Keep me in your prayers this week. You are always in mine. The next time you hear from me, I will be in the PHILIPPINES!!!!
Sister Joslyn Harris
First Pic w/Bro. Harris
Second Pic our zone