I made it through the six weeks of training at the MTC and I currently sit at an Internet Cafe in the Philippines! How it is even possible that I am here is a mystery. I am still in shock I think because it hasn’t hit me yet that I am actually on my mission. Wait, I AM ON MY MISSION! Nope, still hasn’t sunk in. But it is amazing to be here. My MTC District and I woke up on Monday morning and flew out to Tokyo, then Manila. We went to bed Tuesday night (Thats right, TUESDAY night) at a hotel in Manila. The next morning we were on a plane to Naga to meet the Mission President and his wife. A thick humid wall of heat hit us as we stepped out into Naga. The missionaries who were there to greet us kindly explained that now is winter and this weather is what everyone calls “cold”. I am sure I will be able to get used to it, but so far it has been a challenge.
I have been assigned in the Daet area. Daet is the second largest city in the Naga Mission. It has one stop light. And Naga has one stop light. That makes two lights in the whole mission! I knew I was going rural, but you just never know all the details until you are here. My companion’s name is Sister Sands. She is from Lehi, Utah. She is probably the nicest person on the planet! She has been patient and encouraging and I really could not have asked for a better trainer.
I have met my ward. After the meetings a Sister came up to me and told me “Don’t be homesick. You are home now.” It was such a beautiful thing to hear. I feel so welcome here. The people are friendly and loving and full of smiles!
I am happy to report that I am safe and happy. I am loving my time here in Daet serving my fellow Pinoys. I wish all my friends and family a good week!
It is currently snowing outside! What a perfect send off. I have been wanting it to snow before I left the MTC and now it is here! It is beautiful! The Mountains are all covered in white. I love this time of year. I will definitely miss it. Shout out to my wonderful Mama for sending the best Christmas treat in all the land 🙂 The district (and me) says “Thank you”!
Well this week has been the absolute best since I have left on my mission. I am grateful for the many things I have learned this week. I have been going through different emotions of “Wow, I am going to be in the Philippines :)” to “Wow, I am going to be in the Philippines… and I am not ready!” Many reminders have come my way throughout the week testifying that God loves me and will look out for me. On Tuesday night an Apostle of the Lord cam to speak to all the missionaries at the MTC, Elder L. Tom Perry. I love these experiences. He started his address by explaining how the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles met together and discussed their concern of what had happened in the Philippines. Hearing their concern for all those involved and especially the missionaries serving in those areas and their families, it made me realize that they have genuine concern for us. I have always known that, but to hear L. Tom Perry speak of it and hear the sincerity of his words was just such a powerful witness. The Prophet of God and his Apostles pray for the missionaries everyday. And they are concerned with current problems and tragedies. It was wonderful to hear those words.
We had to say goodbye to those we have been teaching. It was a more difficult thing to do than I had been expecting. Our teachers “play” somebody that they taught on their missions. Sister Moulton and I were teaching a man named Fernando. We were having trouble connecting with him due to our language skills and he was having trouble keeping the commitments we extended to pray and read the Book of Mormon. But on our last visit something changed. He was just different, and interested. He prayed at the end of the lesson and blessed Sister Moulton and I and prayed for his son and his family. It was one of the best moments I have had so far on my mission. I look forward to many more experiences like this where I can see the gospel (the message that I am sharing!) make people happy!
Saying goodbye to the Zone.. Haven’t thought about too much, on purpose. We have some Samoan Elders in our zone who love to sing and make music. They came in our class the other night while we were studying and started singing primary songs and hymns. And soon enough we all joined in. It was AWESOME. Those elders are amazing.
Last night Brother Pearce had us practice riding in a Jeepney. We set up chairs and all piled in. There was a fan of course to make the experience more genuine. That was pretty fun too. We went over bumps and had to dodge people and tricycles. It weirdly made the fact that I will be leaving the MTC in TWO DAYS so much more real!
I love you all! Have another Amazing week!
I have been gone for one month! Which is actually impossible because I really only left yesterday. Don’t ask me how that makes sense but it does. I flew out of Prince George yesterday and I have been here at the MTC for 4 weeks. My district gets our travel plans today.. we are all flying out on the 18th. In less than two weeks, this missionary will be in the land of the Philippines. We have heard the news about the destructive typhoon. We are all constantly praying for those there. It is amazing at the love we all feel for them. On Thursday we got the opportunity to Skype a lady in the Philippines and teach her about the Gospel! it was amazing! She was so happy and friendly and it was easy to know that we all had a love for each other. I am just so excited to go to the Philippines!
For other news I learned a new word. In class I kept hearing my name. My first name. It is a strange thing to hear your first name when nobody really knows it and definitely nobody uses it on purpose. So I was curious as to what “Keely” meant. It is spelled “kili” and it means “armpit”. Sister Moulton’s first name is Elise and there is a verb “alis” that means “to leave”. We keep hearing our names in class and it surprises me every time. Our district and the district that came at the same time as us. We are all really good friends. There are two missions that we are all going to so for some of them it will be goodbye and the more I think of that the more I realize how hard it will be to leave the MTC.
Thank you for the letters! Keep them coming 🙂 It is probably best to send them to the mission home now. it takes almost 10 days to get here and I leave in 9!
I ran into Elder Gurney yesterday! It was nice to see a familiar face!
Brother Pearce and Sister Osborn (my teachers) continue to teach exactly what I need. I am amazed at how much I am learning about myself… Seriously I thought I knew who I was, but this experience is stretching me and helping become who I actually want to be. And I love it!
Enjoy the coming week! I love you all and appreciate your love and prayers!
Love, Sister Campbell