Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sister Franks in the Philippines - September 29, 2013

Magandang Lunes sa inyong lahat!!

Ito ang magandang araw, talaga. May bagong kasama ako at mahal na mahal ko siya! Sister Garcia ang pangalang niya. Sobrang suwerte ako dahil sobrang matalino siya at mahal niya ang ebanghelyo ni Jesucristo. Convert siya. Magaling siyang magturo and mabait sa akin. Nagpapasalamat ako na maging misyonero at maging kanyang kasama. Filipina siya, taga Tacloban. Yung mama niya ay taga Manila, at magaling si Sister Garcia na mag-tagalog at mag-ingles din. Masaya ang mga lessons namin araw-araw, dahil alam kong kung paano na magturo ng doctrina, at alam niya kung paano na magsalita sa Tagalog. Nagtututo ako, and nagsisikap na magsanay.

(This is a good day, really. I have a new companion and I love her so much! Her name is Sister Garcia. I am super lucky because she is super smart and she loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She's a convert. She's a talented teacher, and nice to me. I am grateful to be a missionary and to be her companion. She's Filipino, from Tacloban. Her mother is from Manila, and Sister Garcia is talented at Tagalog and English too. Our lessons are fun every day, because I know how to teach the doctrine and she knows how to speak Tagalog. I'm learning, and trying to practice.) :)

Alright, enough of that. I just have to say though, I really do love Tagalog. More on that in a bit.

1) Sister Garcia!! I really do love her so much! I was pretty nervous about training, even Wednesday when I met my incredible anak. (That was an adventure, too--we were pretty late getting to the mission home--but all is well. Not dangerous, just the delays that we should come to expect as missionaries traveling in the Philippines). After just 5 days, though, I already know that this assignment was divine. I'm pretty sure I was asked to train mostly because a) the Lord knew I needed to go through the 12-week training program again and b) He knew that I needed to have Sister Garcia as my companion right now. I can't imagine having a more perfect companion for me at this time. We're obviously different, and still aren't fully used to each other yet, but I have never loved missionary work more than I do now. I actually love teaching and am excited to go work. I'm still not fully sure why it's taken me 3 months to get to this point, but I am glad that I'm here now. I'm so excited for this transfer with Sister Garcia, and hope I get to be with her for the full 12 weeks of training.
She is a convert of 4 years. Her family joined the church when she was 19, and have been active ever since. Her step-father is now the branch president in their branch at home. She was really skeptical about the Gospel at first, and didn't like the missionaries at all, but once she accepted it, she learned everything really quickly and was called as a seminary teacher not long after her baptism. She is an awesome teacher, and bears some of the most wonderful testimonies I've ever heard.
One thing that struck me when she was bearing her testimony at the mission home (before we got to know who our companions were), and again in Sacrament meeting yesterday, is that she said: "I know that families can be together forever. They CAN be, that doesn't mean they WILL be. We have to work for it." I know that she is exactly correct. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so beautiful to offer every single child of God the OPPORTUNITY to live with Him and with our families for eternity, but there are just a few requirements to meet first. Fortunately, those requirements also happen to be a recipe for happiness in our mortal life, if we embrace them and let them change our lives into something more than we could imagine on our own.
I am so grateful for Sister Garcia's testimony, and her willingness to share it. She is already teaching me to be more bold in my own teaching, and to speak honestly from my heart. I am realizing more and more how precious and unique our message is. There's no sense in being timid about it--we are offering our brothers and sisters the key to true joy and peace in life. :)

2) We got to go to our stake youth talent show on Saturday with some of our investigators. All I can really say is that Filipinos are SO TALENTED. Especially as dancers. I pretty much just sat there the whole time, so amazed, and determined to learn how to dance when I get home. Also, to play guitar (for real). And make movies. It was such a fun event, and everything was somehow tied to the theme "Stand Ye in Holy Places and Be Not Moved" and talked about how to stand as a witness and not be ashamed of what we believe. It was so cool!

3) Just a couple things about how cool Tagalog is, especially in relation to the Gospel. So a few weeks ago (probably like 5 or 6 actually), Sister Campbell shared Moroni 10:32 in one of our lessons with Brother Rolly. In English, it talks about loving the Lord with all our "might, mind, and strength." In Tagalog, the translation for those 3 words makes it more into "all your abilities, thinkings, and strength." I was reading the Tagalog as we shared it with Brother Rolly and was so struck by that concept. That we love and show our love to the Lord through all that we are capable of (dedicating our time, energy, talents) and all our thinking (every thought, our very nature centered on Him and His purposes and desire).
Another thing that's awesome: words in Tagalog have roots, like in Hebrew, that have a central meaning, and the way it is conjugated affects its meaning. The root of the verb "to believe in" (as in, I believe in Christ) is "Tiwala"=to trust, rely on. It is conjugated, though, as a distributive verb (meaning it's something that happens habitually, or continuously). Thus, in Tagalog, "believing in Christ" literally means that we trust, or rely on Him every day. It's constant state of our life, not something that just happens once.
I really love that. I've been thinking a lot about faith lately, and that perspective really broadened my thinking. Faith isn't just believing that Christ exists. It's more personal. It's about involving Him in our lives, and really depending on Him and His Atonement for our strength.

That's all I have time for today, but I just want to say that I know that this church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is so true. It is the complete and powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ on earth once again. I am so grateful to be here as a representative of Him and to be sharing the Good News to everyone I meet. :)

I love you all! Hope you have a great week!!

Sister Emma Franks

No comments:

Post a Comment