Sunday, July 28, 2013

MTC Week 5 (July 20, 2013)

Kumusta mga Pamilya ko!
   How are you guys? Life here is just plain awesome. Wanna know why?! I got my travel plans!
   We're flying from Salt Lake to San Fran to TOKYO! :D We get to spend TWO hours in TOKYO! I'M SO EXCITED! I'm going back to Japan :) Seriously I'm overjoyed. I'm gonna go eat a bunch of jumbos and a bunch of their chocolate bars and yup. That's how it's gonna be.
   So on Tuesday, all the girls in my district played the funniest prank on my kasama. Sister W\ pulled her shirt halfway over her own head and had her super long hair hanging out of the bottom and it looked like she had a beard. She makes the funniest faces ever. So while my kasama was in the shower, she went and sat on her bed and got under the covers. She was sitting on Sister T's pillow and was hiding behind the closet door. We turned off all the lights and sat by the door at the desk with the desk light on. Sister T finally showed up and put her clothes away and then turned to her bed. She kind of looked at the head of her bed for a second and then Sister W chuckled and Sister T jumped back a foot and then screamed. It was the Funniest Thing I have seen in such a long time. Both Sister S and Sister W laughed so hard that they peed their pants. Oh man I'm still laughing about it and it was days ago.
   The other night we wanted to talk so Sister P, Sister S, Sister T, and I went out behind the MTC and talked and stargazed. It was awesome. We almost felt normal again for a second.
   We're learning so much. We've kind of started reviewing things since we only have 9 days left here. It's crazy to think that we've already been here for a month. It totally flew by.
   Every day we either have gym time where we go work out butt off or we go play piano. I'm kind of starting to wonder what the point would be for you to send me the music since by the time it gets here there's only gonna be a couple of days left... Why'd you have to take so long...? :/
   Oh, I'll be buying a calling card and I'm gonna call you guys in when we're at the Salt Lake airport so be sure to be home on the 29th in the morning. At like 9-ish. Our flight leaves around 11:15.
   And when is that debit card getting here? And! I'll be sending home stuff I don't want to take to the Philippines with me this next week, ok? So if you get a package from me, that's what it is.
    Our whole district gets to host the newbies this next wednesday and Sister P and Sister S and Sister T and I were chosen to be part of this teaching experience that they do ever wednesday night for the newbies. They put all the newbies in different rooms but in huge groups and they have an "investigator" in there (they're really just converts that have interesting stories) and then a companionship comes in and starts the discussion with the "investigators" and then the newbies take over. It's gonna be awesome. And all the companionships that are chosen are recommended by their teachers. So that means that our teachers like us a lot and think that we'd be good examples for the new missionaries. No pressure or anything. Oh and another thing. We get to do it in English... pero we've only ever taught in Tagalog so we don't know how to do it in English! hahaha we'll see what happens. It's gonna be so fun.
   Earlier this week some of the sisters and I got priesthood blessings from our elders. i'm so grateful that we're surrounded by the priesthood here. it's awesome. And that all these elders are worthy to hold it is pretty incredible too.
   I love you guys and I miss you and I hope everything's going good at home.
   Mahal kita!
-Sister Hess
p.s. I'll send you pictures of everything. Including our classroom, the drinking fountain in our building, and the bathroom.
 Kumusta mga Pamilya ko- hello my family
Kasama- companion
Mahal Kita- I love you

MTC Week 4 (July 13, 2013)

    Okey dokey. So this'll be my weekly email. I seriously wish that we could just email all the time because then I'd never have to write a letter. I'm seriously getting caluses on my hands from how much I'm writing. My pinky has left a permanant indent in the palm of my hand :P

   So to answer your questions. Brother C's little boy, A, is adorable. He showed us pictures of him. So stinking cute. About the blanket. I talked to the girls and we all decided that that is a genius idea. You can just send it to me and we'll give it to him. We're the last group that he gets to teach dahil you can only teach at the MTC for three years. It's very sad.

   Can you get the Prince of Egypt sheet music from K and send it to me with the rest of the music? It's called When You Believe. All of us wanna sing it so badly.

   Thanks for ordering the card reader. Hopefully it'll get here soon. I'm attaching a pic of my name tag because D wanted it.

    Speaking of name tags, we only get the ones we have. We will be called Sister in the Philippines and the church is called the English name sa Tagalog because that's how it's spelled on the church buildings... Kinda lame but it's ok.

   Yay! I'm so excited to go shopping. All of us over here are already sick of our clothes. Wearing the same things week after week is soooooo dumb. And I know that once I get back I'll be shocked as to how much we have. It usually takes a while for missionaries to get used to living the American way after coming back from a third world country.

   So our other teacher is Sister S. She's been off her mission for about a year and she is awesome. She's so sweet. Oh and she's 6'2" and blonde. Ha! Imagine her being over there :)

   Are you allowed to just show up at the Portland airport to see me? Is that okay? It would be amazing to see you guys but I don't want to break the rules. Oh and the district older than us leaves on Monday and then we'll be the old ones here. We get our flight plans on this next Friday. I'm so excited! So I'll let you know where we're landing next Saturday I guess.

   I am sobrang jealous about 7/11. Seriously we were all sitting in class and were like Dangit! It's 7/11! We all started making plans about how to get a free slurpee but honestly we couldn't think of a way that wouldn't be breaking the rules. So... no slurpees for us. Darn.

  And of course I use smiley faces! How on earth would you know how I'm feeling otherwise? :)

  Yes, we SYL. I try to do it a lot but it's really hard to get my brain to translate from Tagalog into English. It hurts my head sometimes. But it is getting easier.

   Ok so this week has been fun. Nothing really big has happened. Just a typical week here. The food's still amazing. The spirit is still strong. The people are still awesome. And the church is still true. Yay! haha

   Oh we're all becoming really good friends with the new elders that came in last week. They're all super funny. We call one of them Elder Teddy Bear because he looks like a big teddy bear and his companion is Elder Idaho because all he talks about is Idaho. They're so fun to mess with.

   And I think that's everything I wanted to tell you. I love you guys and I miss you but it's all good cuz I know this is where I'm supposed to be right now.

Mahal kita!
Kapayapaan sa labas! (literally, peace out :))
-Sister Hess

MTC Week 3 (July 6, 2013)

Ok so I've learned so much this past week.

I realized that the MTC is a lot like the military. They tear you down every single day only to build you up and make you stronger.

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that this mission isn't about me. It's that I can't do anything without the Lord. Alma 26:12 comes to mind. "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things..." In Tagalog there's a saying that says, "Kaya ko makasama ang Diyos." That means, "I can through God." It's pretty much gonna be my motto for my whole mission.

This week was fun. We all really bonded as a district. We got some newbies. There's 8 new sisters and 16 new elders. So many! But they're all awesome. It's so funny to walk around and look at the elders and be like "oh you're 18 and you're 19 and you look like you're 25." hahah so many of them look like they're 12!

Last night there was a HUGE thunderstorm. It was the coolest thing ever. Our teacher said it was preparing us for the Philippines. We went out and danced in the rain. It felt like home. And I was wearing my Crocs so I got to jump in the puddles. It was the funnest thing ever.

We all went to the gym yesterday and worked out. Sister P and I did a bunch of workouts for our abs and legs and now it's hard to move. And then this morning we got up and did them again. I might be dying tomorrow. I'm sobrang sore!

Our teacher, Brother C, left class early on Thursday cuz his wife was going to have her baby! She had him on Thursday night at 9:30 pm and his name is Arthur. :) Brother C's probably gonna come back and teach us on Monday and he promised to bring pictures :) It's such a happy thing.

I think I've told you everything. The language is coming slowly but it seems like it's coming. We won't really get it until we get out of here I think.

Ok gotta go.

Mahal kita!
-Sister Hess

MTC Week 2 (June 29, 2013)

Ok So I'm gonna try to reply to all of your questions and to say everything I want to say but an hour is soooo short and a bazillion people wrote me.


So this week (starting on Sunday) had its highs and lows. Everyday switched off.

Sunday was the devotional and that was obviously amazing. Sister P (yes, mom the one that i'm friends with on FB from Cali) and I saw President Monson from our window in the building. We seriously spent the next 2 hours squealing :) We weren't in the choir because we got there a week to late otherwise all of us would have been in it just for fun :)

Monday was good but sobrang uneventful. Nothing really to report.

Tuesday, we had a devotional and that was probably the greatest thing ever. I've never felt the spirit that strongly. Sister Janice Kapp Perry spoke to us. That woman is sobrang amazing. She has so much spunk for a woman her age! I hope I get to be like her when I grow up. We sang so many primary songs with her and she made a new version of the EFY medly but made it missionary style. She rewrote As Sisters in Zion and made a missionary version. Oh man I can't tell you how much I loved it.

So funny story that happened. Sister Perry told us the first thing that her husband said to her. She was warming up her clarinet reed for an audition and he tapped her on the shoulder and she was like "what? I'm up next." and he said "Those lips look like they were made for something better than playing the clarinet." HAHAH! And when she told us that he got up out of his chair, came over to her, and right in front of all of us, kissed her right on the lips! Oh man we were laughing so hard. All the elders started clapping and cheering and they even stood up. Sobrang hilarious.

Wednesday was another down day. Not much happened. Oh! but we did finally get to go back into the cafeteria and eat normally. Before, because of the new mission presidents, we had been eating in the gym. It wasn't as fun. The new kids showed up. Let me tell you, it is soooo nice to not be the new kids anymore. We actually know more than some people now!

Thursday was the last time we taught our investigator. She wasn't a real one, turns out she's our other teacher. But it was a really good lesson and we really felt the spirit. And yes we did speak Tagalog to her :)

Friday, yesterday, was pretty good too. Finally got a letter from L telling me where he was going. I seriously think I jinxed him because I was so convinced that he was going to go Spanish-speaking. Heavenly Father just decided to be like "Oh joke-lang. He's going to Japan where he already knows that language." Sobrang jealous...

And finally today. We were all going to get up and do the yoga class that they have for the sisters at 6 am but when the alarm went off, one of us got up to turn it off and then we all just kept on sleeping. We slept until 7:15... It was so nice though. All of us needed it. We're going to the temple today :D We go do a full endowment session with all of our zone and it's so amazing. I seriously love having p-days on Saturday, it's like having an actual weekend.

So mom asked about the food. Some of it is good and some of it is not so good. Sister T and I have learned to skope out the cafeteria before we pick what we're going to eat. Last night they ordered Papa John's pizza for all of us. It was soooo good. Wednesdays and Fridays they have ice cream from the BYU Creamery. Oh I love it here :)

Oh! Sister So (a sister in my district) showed me an awesome Ezra Taft Benson quote and I want to share it with you guys.
"I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works he will get the spirit; if he gets the spirit he will teach by the spirit; and if he teaches by the spirit he will touch the hearts of many and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time, and talents, and interests will be centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work - there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work."
Oh and I should probably tell you that after a week all of us are becoming quite awkward. We don't touch each other at all and we saw a couple of people walking around the MTC holding hands. It was so weird and we all looked at each other like, "Is that ok?" hahaha can't wait to see how we are after 1.5 years.... :)

Ok so Mom, in that package that you send me can you put a bunch of my sheet music in it? I want all the Les Mis and Phantom and my disney book and my Jon Schmidt book. And Only Hope and the Transformers theme song and Hallelujah please :) If you could do that that would be awesome.

Time to go write some more people back.

Mahal Kita!!!
Have fun and be safe. The church is true!
-Sister Hess

MTC Week 1 (June 22, 2013)

Kumusta pamilya!

   For some reason the at key isn´t working so I have to write the family through yours. Again, emails would be much appreciated. The keyboards here are way screwed up.

Anyways, I wrote you guys a letter about the first day. You should get it soon. Sorry about the messy handwriting.

   Life over here is good. My kasama is Sister T and she is so sweet and funny. She´s a planner and I´m definitely not so she´s very good for me. Learning the language is a lot of fun but it´s also very frustrating. We taught our first investigator last night. I know, three days in and they´re already trying to make us teach people. It didn´t go too badly but it could have gone way better.

   I´m living in a room with 5 other girls. They´re a lot of fun but there´s so much estrogen in the room that sometimes it´s hard to breathe. They all look perfect and make me feel like I´m so underdressed all the time. Oh well. They´re pretty crazy. We´re all going to Olongapo and we´re all so excited.

   Um what else.... Our guro is Brother C. He´s so funny and he likes to laugh at us a lot but he´s a great teacher.

   The food over here is sooooo good. Every single meal we all eat until we´re stuffed and then we kind of just want to sink into a food coma but of course we can´t cuz we have to go straight to class.

   It´s not as hard to stick to the schedule and be obedient because we´ve pretty much been thrown into missionary life. We don´t need to worry about all the rules and stuff because they´re so easy to follow, which is super nice.

   Everyone here is so nice. We finally got to take our dork dots off our nametags on the second day. Everyone around us on the first day kept yelling at us and welcoming us to the MTC. Everyone is so happy to be here.

   I´m not sure what else to tell you guys... It´s crazy over here but so fun and it´s such a great environment. We get to go to the temple today and that should be fun. It sounds so relaxing. Last night was really funny because we were all so exhausted that we´d hit the breaking point and we were laughing at EVERYTHING. It was hilarious.

   Oh, there´s some stuff that it would be really nice of you guys to send me... I need a jacket, like a sweatshirt, like my Encore one maybe. And I forgot my white cardigan that Mom and I bought the other day. Oh and a blanket like my robot one and my pillow, if you can fit it into a box. And if you can find my Batman shirt, I´d really like that too please

   Anyways, life is good. Hopefully we´ll get our mail tomorrow but right now I´m feeling very neglected because no one emailed me...

   Okey dokey, have to go prepare for the second discussion with my kasama now. We have it tonight. A bit nervous but I know that we have the Espiritu Santo with us and he will guide us and make sure that we come out of this ok. Oh! and tomorrow is the broadcast. We get to go be there. All of us. I am soooooo excited. Look for me on the big screen 

   Life is so crazy over here. But I know that this is where I am supposed to be. No more sitting on the computer watching Netflix movies. I´ve been reading the scriptures nonstop. I´m gonna finish it again before I leave. I´m already in Alma. It´s so great.

   Ok I´m done. Be good guys. Don´t be dumb. Miss you and Love you!

Sister Hess

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A War Worth Fighting

"Brother G taught in Sunday school today and he said something that was really cool. He said, and don't quote me on this because I am relaying it from memory, "Your sister is coming in during the wave. She is getting ready to stand on the front line." Then, while D was here, T said something about you training too. Mom said it wasn't as grueling, but I don't know if that was totally true. You are training to fight a war, just like D is. Your training is spiritually demanding, his is physically. Except you have the Book of Mormon as your protection (so you need to know it inside and out and know what all the buttons and flippies do) and instead of boots and camouflage, you are wearing the armor of God [JUST LIKE IN SEMINARY! :)], and instead of ranks, you have your "Sister/Elder" titles. You are fighting a war that is already won. Everyone knows that good always wins. You are fighting on the winning team. You have been drafted into the Army of God. You go, Major Hess! :)" 
I sent this in a letter. I love my sister. I love to win too! This really put things in perspective! She could be in potentially life threatening situations. She is serving in a third world country. The living conditions are not what she is used to. She is well aware of this, but because of her love of God, she is willing to brave anything! I have never had so much respect for one person. She is excited and ready to go. 
 D&C 31:3 "Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation."
While I wish she could be here, I am so grateful  that she has this experience. She is going to come back tan, blond, and humble. She is going to be changed mentally, spiritually, and physically. I wasn't able to see her off, but I will be the first one to hug her as she jumps off her plane!