P.S. My pictures wouldn't load. I'll try again but the one I did get is us with the Philippines MTC President :)
Kumusta po kayo? I hope you are all doing sobrang mabuti, magaling! As always, I love and miss you all. Thanks for the letters they always keep me smiling. I have the very best friends and family and your support means the world to me. Oh boy, was this a crazy week or what? So many things to tell you about and SO little time.
First of all, CONFERENCE! Was that not amazing? It was really interesting watching it in the MTC because we are constantly having incredible devotionals so it didn't feel real out of the ordinary except we were sitting in the bleachers for hours on end this time, but it was wonderful! (Run-on sentence anyone?) I absolutely loved the focus on Christ, which is always the case but I think I just noticed it more than ever. We were constantly being told to come unto Him. I loved it because that is exactly what our purpose is as missionaries, to "bring others unto Christ". I also love that in order to do that we must constantly be striving to bring ourselves unto Christ. We are told that "if you don't feel it the investigators won't feel it". One of my very favorite words in Tagalog is happy becuase it is "masaya", which is pronounced just like Messiah. Is that not the coolest thing and so true? Coming unto Christ or the Messiah really is the only way to receive true and lasting happiness. I also absolutely loved the story about the BYU student walking across campus early in the morning of an absolutely freezing day and singing "Oh, what a beautiful morning..." Is that not the greatest? First, of all I've totally been him only I wasn't signing I was complaining and wishing I was back in my bed haha. Second, becuase Oklahoma, of course, always makes me think of you fam and watching it over and over again growing up. Third, isn't his attitude awesome! It was raining and getting ready to snow yesterday and we were walking to class complaining and then all the sudden one of us said a few lines from the song. It was pretty funny. But it really is so easy to get discouraged on a mission and just life in general so that picture of positivity is so great to remind me that life really is so good! (Thanks mom for the motto Mom!) Also, bummer you couldn't find me in the Carol Mikita news piece. I saw myself in the choir like 4 times :) I'm next to my polynesian companion who is in a torqoise shirt so she stands out if you watch it again. You can also see me really well during the credits. Wasn't her story awesome! I've seen some of the premissionaries she interviewed here at the MTC now.
I also had such a sweet experience this week with listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. It was something that I had been told to do multiple times but had ignored it because it seemed way to random and I was nervous. But I finally acted on it when I received the same prompting AGAIN. Third times the charm I guess. It was so incredible. It still felt so random and I was worried the sister would think I was so weird but I was filled with so much peace and assurance. There is nothing better than that feeling. Well the next day the sister slipped me a note saying thank you and that I had been an answer to her prayers. I was SO grateful that I chose to finally listen to that prompting. I've been working on doing all I can to be an instrument in the Lord's hands and heed the promptings I'm given. We've been told mutliple times here that if its something good don't spend time wondering if you came up with it or if it is the Spirit trying to tell you something, just do it! I love that. But we have also been told that you won't always have that direct guidance and He will just trust you enough to make good decisions and go about doing good on your own. I love that too!!
Early this week an Elder from our Zone had his name called over the loud speaker to go to the front office. He didn't hear it so when our companionship ran into him we told him about it. Later that day we were outside studying and we ran into him. He said thanks for letting him know and then we asked if he had gotten the package, because he had thought it was something from his grandma. He got teary and said it had ended up being about something else. Apparently this has been all over the news, but he said that the doctor who had taken out his wisdom teeth wasn't praticing sanitary medicine and he had just had to be tested for HIV/AIDS. I can't not even imagine going through that. He had to wait TWO days to get the results, which fortunetly were good, he didn't have it! One of the sisters in his district said that after he found out he just said, "I can have a wife and kids now!" He is such a solid missinonary and is going to do incredible things. It definitely gave us all a fresh perspective though.
TWO districts from our Zone left to the Philippines yesterday, which is so exciting but also sad for us. However, we are getting TWO new districts tomorrow. Here is the crazy thing though... one had 7 sisters and the other 6. That means our district will going from the large majority being elders to the the sisters over doubling the elders. Isn't that the craziest!! This work is on fire and it is so fun and inspiring to be a part of it. Although I am happy I won't be in the MTC when it starts to get crazy busy. The lunchroom is already total caos.
Yesterday the president of the Philippines and newly called area 70 came to observe our language class. It was such a great experience. He was the nicest, tiniest man. He came to observe because the Philippines MTC will now have to teach Tagalog, because all missionaries serving in the Quezon City, Quezon City North, San Paublo and Manilla missions will now go straight there. That means they will get to learn the language from native speakers and their branch presidencies will only speak Tagalog. It is going to be amazing!! 2 months later and that would have been me, but I love the Prove MTC so I'm okay with it :)
On a completely other note...vacuums have a death wish for me. Monday morning we wake up early for service which is cleaning one of the buildings here. Well we were assigned to vacuuming. I was just working hard when my vacuum started sputtering and then turned off all together. I went to unplug it and try and different one, but when I tried to pull it out sparks shot EVERYWHERE and I swear there were little flames and a popping noise. It was terrifying! Haha my hand had black burn marks all over but don't worry it washed right off. Well I finally pulled the demon thing out of the wall and all was well. Then that night we had to clean our room so I of course of vacuuming against my better judgement. All of the sudden I'm getting like pulled into the vaccuum. I look down and my skirt is getting sucked into the vacuum through a crack in the back of it!! WHAT IN THE WORLD! I got it out but it ripped a little hole. The little bugger still had a piece of my skirt inside it. And that is why I will never vacuum again. [Also, I have no idea how to spell vacuum and neither does my companions so sorry if that is wrong.]
During some study time I was reading Alma 17:2-3 and it made me think of you sibs, and everyone else. I have just always loved the sons of Mosiah and Alma. They are all so devoted to the gospel and each other. I loved that they had been seperated but rejoiced seeing each other agian and finding that they had all remained faithful and solid in the gospel. Thanks for your incredible examples. You inspire me everyday!! MAHAL PO KAYO!! Alam ko po na totoo ang Simbahan ni Jesuscristo. I am so grateful for it!! Keep the pananampalataya!
Sister Brooke Porter