I said in my last email that I would get my flight itinerary sometime this week. I got it on Friday. I wanted so bad to email you guys and tell you that I got it! At this point the Itineraries are old news for us, I almost forgot about it last night. So look forward to an E-mail and then I get to call home from the airport! I report to the Travel Office at 1:50 pm the day I leave and then my first flight is from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, it is later in the day around 7 or 8. I don’t have my plans in front of me right now but I will get the exact times later. From LA I have a layover and then I start my flight from LA to Hong Kong. Sister Stuckis flight to Hong Kong leaves an hour before mine, I’m going to be flying with Sister Aldred and Sister Mangisi, but they aren’t in my travel group. My travel leader is Elder Hill and in our group is him, Elder Riding, Elder Reese and me. That flight is 22 hours long. It is going to be interesting, I have some really entertaining people that are flying with me. We will start packing all of our stuff up this weekend, I can’t wait to see if everyone meets the weight limits. One of the sisters from the District that left last transfer got rid of TONS of stuff to meet weight limits. I figure that is probably going to happen again with at least someone. This week is our last Sunday in the MTC and its a Fast Sunday, I wrote in my planner Fast Sunday Last Sunday, it fits I think for us to have our last be another Fast. We came in on a Fast Sunday and now we are leaving on a Fast Sunday, I feel like it is like we have come full circle. Also happening on this Sunday, the Senior Districts are going to sing a special number “God Be With You Till We Meet Again” as a farewell song before everybody bears their testimony. Our assignments will be given to the younger districts, a passing of the Torch to the new Senior Districts. It is weird that they are going to be the Senior Districts because I feel like they just got here. They have grown so much since we first met them, I love it.
On the Temple walk on Sunday I got a bunch of pictures of the people in the younger districts, and I got a picture of all of the Palmers. I will attach that photo.
In other news, I saw a friend on Friday, I was leaving my residence to go to breakfast and I heard my first name, I haven’t heard my first name in so long I panicked. I turned around and saw Abby Worthington. I didn’t know she was in the MTC but she got here about a week ago and she is going to a mission in Salt Lake City. I’m so happy I got to see her, and I have ran into her a few times since. I will try to get a picture of us before I leave but I keep on not having my camera with me when I see her. Also about friends, Elder Tlustek left the MTC for his mission this week. I was shocked when he said he was leaving because he only got here a couple of weeks after me, and he is now leaving before me, it just shows how long I have actually been here.
On Sunday we gave the District Meeting Lesson on the Holy Ghost, I think it went well, and thinking back on it I realize that our teaching style has changed so much over the weeks we have been here. Speaking of lessons, we have made some breakthroughs with our investigators Jane and Jesse. After teaching Jesse about the Word of Wisdom we asked him if he would avoid alak (alcohol) and in our next lesson he told us he had managed to not drink for 5 days and he read several chapters of the Book of Mormon. In our last lesson with him we taught him how to pray and he committed to living the Word of Wisdom in its entirety, so we are really happy about that. In our lessons with Jane we have been having a bit of difficulty because one of the issues she has is not knowing and believing that the Book of Mormon is true. We were teaching her about the creation and reading out of Moses, she said she knows it is true because a prophet is saying it and that Moses was called of God. I was able to tell her that the Prophets in the Book of Mormon were called of God just like Moses and the Prophets in the Bible are. Thank you Kristy for having my cake say, “Tinawag ng Diyos”, you have no idea how much it has helped me this last week. Now we have her reading the Book of Mormon and she believes now that the things in it are from God. I am so happy that we have made this progress with these investigators and I will be so sad to leave them next Wednesday. It is going to be sad leaving the teachers too!
In other news with language, I have the first paragraph of the First Vision memorized. And we have been doing SYL (speak your language) Saturday and Tagalog Tuesday. Those go good for the first half of the day, then we are around so many people that don´t speak Tagalog.
The Devotional on Tuesday was given by the Relief Society General President so that was really cool. Hopefully next Tuesday is one of the Twelve. They were here the day before we got in, and they have the month of July off from speaking engagements so we haven´t had the opportunity to hear from any of them, but there is always a possibility. The song we sang in choir this week was amazing, really powerful. It was kind of weird because on Tuesday after dinner my stomach was hurting and I had to go to choir and the devotional, during choir when I was singing my stomach stopped hurting and the same thing happened during the Devotional, but afterwards my stomach started hurting again. All I can say is the power of songs are amazing.
Wednesday was interesting. We had service in the morning as usual and we cleaned the 4th floor bathrooms in our residence this time. We cleaned the mirrors and sinks, the stall dividers, and then mopped the floor. So we did more than usual this week. We had very little time to study and prepare for the lesson we were teaching Jane last night and then we had about 20 minutes in class. I found out that Brother Higgins has been off his mission for 1 year exactly as of yesterday. After our short bit of time in class we got to host the open house that has been going on for the last three weeks here. I stood in a hallway and smiled and said hello from 2 pm to 6pm. We had about 10ish minutes after that to eat dinner and then we went to class and taught Jane.
This morning we all planned to get up early (the trio planned to get up at 5am and I was going to get up at 6) but we had a long day yesterday and a bit of a late night so we accidentally slept in till 6 45. Which isn´t too bad because our normal wake up time is 6 30 but it still made us late getting to the temple this morning. I enjoyed the temple this morning and I am super glad that I have the opportunity to go. I think I will be able to go to the Manila Temple at least once while I’m there. That will be incredible.
Tonight I have a Skype TRC (we were doing in person TRC on week 2 and 3, and then last week we did our first Skype TRC) (TRC is teaching a lesson to a member to help them come closer to Christ) we actually have time to prepare a lesson this time. Last TRC we did we only had 2 minutes to prepare before we had to be teaching them. It was really crazy.
Next week will be really crazy because it is our last week. We have In-Field Orientation and Departure Devotional and we have to pack and say goodbye. I´m sending around a notebook for people to write in and I´m also sending around my signature shirt. I can’t wait to see what people write in the journal and I´m really excited to go. I will miss the MTC but I think the Philippines is going to be great!
I will send another Email with more info about my itinerary and I can´t wait to hear back. I should email you sometime either Tuesday or Wednesday with a time that I will be able to call home. I love you (Mahal kita)