Sunday, September 18, 2016

Week 6: RABIES

Kumasta kamo!!!

So this week has been pretty alright, a bit slower than the others though as our districts have been anticipating the flight to the Philippines. On Monday we had to move out of our residence because our floor was infested with bats. There was actually a bat in a group of sisters rooms who were leaving the next day to somewhere on the East coast but they had to stay to be tested for rabies. It was pretty funny but when the girls found out they were FREAKING OUT. Which made it a little funnier? Not sure if I'm supposed to say that but it was funny. 
Fun thing that happened this week is that our Ilonggo teacher was showing us clips from the Missionary Conference in January and we watched this Q&A thing with Elder Bednar and Will VonDoerston was in the background!! I was like "I KNOW THAT GUY!!!!" but it was just my district and the conference was like forever ago so nobody cared but it was SO awesome haha. Also speaking of our ward, one of the sisters that shares our room with us and is going to Cebu is in the same ward as Emily Carter. It got so excited when she told me that!! 
Really REALLY sad thing this week is the Elder Gonzalez is going home. He was baptized about a year and a half ago, a year after his best friend died from bone cancer. They became friends because Elder Gonzalez's brother had the same type of cancer but after his brother went into remission, he still remained friends with this guy and eventually they became super close. Anyways, he got a phone call two days ago that his brother's cancer is back and the tumors are so expansive in his body that he only his six months to live. We all walked him to the travel office this morning to say goodbye, but he assured us that no matter what he was going to make it out to the Philippines and serve his mission. Amazing person am I right???? 
On Sunday we sang "God Be With You" and sang it in half Ilonggo and half English and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. It was particularly a tear-jerker for me since that was the last song that my ward sang at my farewell. That feels like ages ago! 
Something dorky for you all is that whenever we walk to the temple on Sundays or on our P-days, we walk facing Squaw Peak and if any of you know me, you'd know that I always teach a lesson about the alternating rock layers and their varying ages, including how they fit into the Lake Bonneville era (10,000 years ago). I can always tell who will be cool if they listen to me haha. Man I miss rocks. 
So yesterday we said our goodbyes to our teachers and our district too since it was the last time we'd all be together. One of the Elders wrote in my bye-bye book and I think people that haven't known me too long will relate to what he wrote: "Sister Pope, at first I thought you hated me but I came to realize you're really kind and spiritual, you just like punching me." That about sums it up haha. 
To end, I'd just like to talk about me deciding to go on a mission. A lot of people ask my why I chose to go on a mission or why I am giving up two years of my life to go to a country I don't know to speak a language I don't know. To all of you who have that question, I am not giving up two years of my life, I am taking two years of my life that the Lord has given me to share the most important thing of my life and the lives of others. And that is that we have a loving Heavenly Father out there who gave up His son, Jesus Christ, so that we may be happy for eternity. I know there's so much more to our lives than just this frail existence and I'm going to the Philippines to share this happiness with others. It's gotten me through everything, and I'm starting to realize it is everything. 
Anyways, I love you all and thank you so much for the support! It is so greatly appreciated.

Palangga kamo sang dios! 

Sister Pope

P.S. I'll be in Manila on Thursday so this is probably the last long email haha

1) Elder Mahaffey, Elder Mills, and Elder Robins. These guys are huge goofs


2) Elder Hanks, Elder Kelly, Elder Lee and I!


3) My kaupods (companions) for the next two days, Elder Lee and Elder Okerland. Easily some of the best guys I've ever met. They are SO. FUNNY.


4) Elder Robins and the Philippines flag. I really just wanted a picture of the flag to send to you all but he jumped into the photo and posed so I just wen with it


5) Elder Charters!! Such a weird and awesome guy. He always asks if he can vacuum when we clean and when he does he slams it against the wall because he's "trying to get the edges real good". So strange haha


6) Us and Brother Meek!! Best teacher ever, we'll miss him so much!! Also pray for him to find a wife please


7) Sister Gonzales, Elder Lee and I


8) Me, Elder Lee, Elder Glenn, Elder Matsen and Sister Garrish


9) Our zone!!!! I love all of these peeps so much


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Week 5: PALANGGA TA KA HAW

Kumasta kamo!!

Another crazy fast week at the MTC with crazy slow days. I seriously don't understand it. Time is wild here! I wrote down a list again this week so I'll know what to say so here we go:

I got to host this week! That means that we're assigned to welcome all the new missionaries, get them their new materials and send them off to language class within the first ten minutes they get here and say goodbye to their parents. I hosted this AMAZING sister that's going to Poland. Her mother is from Poland and when her mom was 9, the police burned down her house (Poland was mega-communist then) and so she had to escape to America. She eventually found work in Utah, met a Mormon, and got married. Now her daughter is going to Poland!! Mega cool right? 

The clothing guidelines have changed for our mission so we can wear slacks now so the MTC gave them out to us. They're SO. UGLY. We were all trying them on and we looked so dumb haha but we have to take two pairs with us. So much extra weight!! I'd rather pack food!!!! 

I'll attach a picture but Elder Mahaffey has been trying to get more flexible so instead of playing basketball all through gym time, he tries to touch his toes. It's SO funny. His companion pushes his back so he can reach but he just can't do it. He always says "I shall touch my toes before I leave the MTC so I might not perish from inflexibility". He's so weird and funny. Another weird thing my district does because of him is call things "basura" which means trash. So he'll say "Basura sa akon" which directly means "I am trash" but Ilonggo doesn't translate to slang so it's weird and so funny. 

So a sad thing is that an Elder from our district has to go home because he got injured during gym time. GYM TIME IS A TRAP!!! DO NOT EXERCISE!!! But he'll be gone for six to twelve weeks and THEN come to the Philippines. It's been hard to think all of us aren't going out together but you really learn here that you've got to rely on the Lord's time, for everything. 

Only other thing I can think of are two awesome new friends I've made while I've been here. They're going to two different places in America but they're on an ASL mission. The one Elder, Elder Michaels is SO funny and has so much energy and the other, Elder Pauley, is so so sweet and hilarious. Elder Pauley is completely deaf and THE most happiest person I've ever met. He's taught me some sign language so I can ask him how he's doing and where he's going but that's pretty much it. His spirit is so strong though and it's encouraged my determination to serve a mission even more. 

LAST THING we got our flight information last week!!! We leave on Wednesday at 7:35 and we'll be traveling for two days. My two companions have been assigned to a different travel group than me so I'll be in a companionship with two ELDERS while we're traveling. La-in gid!!! (really weird) It's fine though because nobody sits next to anyone on the plane. So excited to leave now though!! The 7th can't come soon enough!!!!

Thank you all for all your support and love, it means the world for me to get on here and see all the nice emails. Mostly because I have dreams like the night before p-day where I only have three emails and they're all from H&M or something HA. So glad that doesn't happen. YOU ALL ARE AMAZING!!! MAKITA NILA DASON SEMANA!!!

palangga ta kamo!!!

Sister Pope

Sorry for only two pictures literally nothing crazy happened this week I don't even know how I wrote this much for this email 

1) Elder Mahaffey and Elder Green trying to stretch between class time. They're so dumb haha



2) Elders from our neighboring district, from left to right, Elder Rodgers, Elder Young, Elder Maughn, Elder Davenport, and Elder Gonzalez. They're so crazy and fun