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!
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