Saturday, May 18, 2013

Off we go!

OH my heavens, I cannot believe it's just about time to leave the MTC! I'm just about freaking out, riding the biggest emotional roller-coaster that was ever created *insert roller-coaster face here*. Goodness, it's such a scary thought! But at the same time, it doesn't feel like much to worry about. It's like my natural man and my spirit just sit on my shoulders like the angel and the devil and argue ALL DAY. It's quite annoying actually, haha. Well, here are some highlights:
  • Our district has gotten really good at getting good seats for the devotionals just so that if someone really important shows up, we're not stuck in the overflow, and this week it paid off!! Our speaker was Elder Russell M. Nelson! Oh my goodness, he is so ridiculously funny. He and his wife (I didn't know he was remarried) talked about family history and how we can pray for our ancestors by name or characteristic to help us, or how the ancestors of the people we will teach are praying for us all the time. Pretty cool. Anyway, my favorite quote from Elder Nelson: (he was talking about something with the international MTC's) " He (pointing to a guy on the stand) is the Director of the International MTC's actually. My job's to be a prophet. *grin*" bahaha, it was hilarious. Or he was telling us a story of someone he baptized when he was a dr. in the army, and he showed us a picture. "I'm the guy in the middle in the red tie. The same tie I'm wearing now actually..." haha, as if we don't all have pictures of him up in EVERY room on this campus. It was pretty great.
  • WE SKYPED WITH SOMEONE IN THE PHILIPPINES. So, yup. Completely freaked me out. For TRC, we're running out of room for everyone to get a chance to teach regularly, so they've started asking teachers for people they know that are native Filipinos and have access to skype. Most of the people in my district were skyping with people that were living in California or Utah, but when we asked our person where he was from, he said some crazy name and then "Manila". Sister Storey just paused and said, "Ngayon?" which means "right now?" He just laughed and said yes. AAAAHH. It was horrifying. We ended up just reading off what we'd "prepared", (we were supposed to do it tonight, so we hadn't prepared yet but they changed the day suddenly) and hoped for the best. He didn't say much, but still. He was in. the. Philippines.
  • So yesterday, we did In Field Orientation! Woo! Holy Cow, it was nutso. We just went back and forth between two room sitting and learning and practicing for 9 hours straight, with a 30 min. break for lunch. Wow, it was rough. It was really cool though, and they made a really big effort to make it entertaining and fun. I guess they call it the "Disneyland of the MTC", which sounds dumb, but it really was kind of like that. There was this one teacher who used to be Athiest, but about 7 years ago was converted in France and he is VERY proud to be a Frenchman. I would be too if I had an accent like that, but still. It was pretty funny. There were some really cool things we did though- like practice how to share about with someone at the airport, or practice how to just briefly give a one minute overview of some doctrine if you meet someone in a park. It was very cool, but afterwards, my legs hurt so bad!! It got me pretty excited, until we went to class and I had to teach in Tagalog again (IFO was all english) and I felt SO inadequate. This next week will be quite an adventure! haha. yikes. Pray for me.
  • We heard about President Monson's wife. Oh, how I love them! I know things get hard, but this Gospel is true!
I am so excited to go teach the people of the Philippines! Everytime I get scared, I just have to remember that the Lord knows what he's doing and it's such a good thing he does! I know this Church is true. Alam ko po na totoo!
*If you want to write to me, plese use the Laoag Mission Home address now. I'll get my actual address up when I can! Emails are always welcome, but I don't know how likely it is to get an email back. I'll try very hard to write back though!
Sister Amy Porter

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Travel Plans!

First things first! We got our travel plans!!!! OH my goodness, it was so hard to focus yesterday. We fly on Monday the 20th from Salt Lake to Seattle. Then, from Seattle to Tokyo, and from Tokyo to Manila. It sounds so simple when you write it down, but it's NUTSO!! We've made friends with some of the Japanese elders, so I had one of them write down some basic Japanese phrases for me so I can at least ask for help and explain that I don't speak Japanese, haha. I'm pretty excited regardless. :) Now some highlights:
Best. Thing. Ever. Okay, that might be a minor exaggeration, but seriously. I bought some poprocks at the bookstore a couple of days ago, and I went back to class and was eating them to keep myself awake. Well, Elder Simiti (the one from Samoa) came in, and it donned on me that he probably had no idea what poprocks were. So, I offered him some. :) He looked kind of skeptical, but said he'd try some. I gave him a fair amount, and he just took the biggest one, popped it in his mouth, and crunched down on it. Well, we all know that ruins the fun, but he didn't. So I just told him to put the whole little pile right in his mouth. After some persuading, he did. Oh man, it was the funniest thing ever! He made a "what-is-going-on" sort of face, and then started giggling. A huge, 22 year old Samoan man was GIGGLING. Ah! It was so great! He kept turning to his companions and just opened his mouth and said "you hear it?!" It was so great. SO great.
Devotional this last Sunday- Chad Lewis!!! The BYU football player that went pro for 8 years and then became the NFL ambassador to China because he spoke Chinese from his mission. Um, that was the best thing ever. It was like one, wonderful, giant pre-game pep talk. So great.
Another "Amy" moment for all of you- I was putting my mascara on the other day and for some reason I didn't register that I needed to scoot my face back away from the mirror to turn the brush around. Consequently, I gouged my eyeball. Like literally, gouged it. Not just a little poke, like dragged the tip of the brush across half of my eyeball. MAN. It hurt so bad. I went to class, and literally couldn't see for a bit. Then my eye hurt so bad and I couldn't even focus it to read something. It was a very pathetic morning. It ended up hurting the entire day, and even going to sleep that night I'd have to close my eyes, and then open them after a few minutes because keeping them closed was uncomfortable. Never fear, I woke up and have been fine ever since, but it was real dumb. One of the Elders, Elder Hall just turned to me the next day and said, "Oh. I thought you were just having a really spiritual experience." Well, alright. If that's what you want to think, go ahead, haha.
Okay, on a more spiritual note. Yesterday, mga kasama ko were having a bit of a rough time because of getting travel plans and missing family, etc. So, one of them asked the Elders for a blessing. So we go into a classroom, and she gets a blessing. Then, the other one asks for one at the same time that Elder Simiti asks if he can give her one. Very cool. Anyway, he still has really broken English, so he told her he was going to give the blessing in Samoan. She was sort of skeptical, but in the broken English he does know he said, "Many countries, one God. You don't know in the Samoan, but God knows in the Samoan. He know the blessings I say, and give them you. You no know in the Samoan, and I don't know in the English. But one God." It was so extremely powerful, I couldn't even say a thing. He proceeds to ask for her full name and give her the most beautiful blessing in Samoan that I have ever heard. That language is so beautiful anyway, but when the Spirit is so strong and the language unites with the language of the spirit, it was so unique and touching and just so GOOD. I don't even know how to describe it. Needless to say we were all in tears. That Samoan Elder is so strong, it is amazing! I heard his "life story" yesterday, and I just realized that my life has been so easy! We've gotten three new districts (yay!) in our branch, and it's been so fun to see them all come in and be excited and be able to give them advice. But there is one Tongan sister, and she shared with us her story when we had a little testimony meeting. I guess her dad left when she was born, and moved to America. She never met him. When it was time to come to the MTC, she was having visa problems. They told her to write to her dad in America and ask for help so she could list a family member on the papers so getting one would be easier. So she asks this father, whom she's never met, for help. It all works out, and she meets her father for the FIRST TIME the day she enters the MTC. WOW. I have been humbled many times lately. I knew how blessed I was, but I didn't realize it, if that makes sense. Wow. Just Wow.
Be grateful today for what you have! We never know how much we have till someone else tells us they've never had it. Thank the Lord today! Love you all!
Sister Amy Porter

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Illness, anyone?

Well, I haven't been feeling well lately. Not fun, I'll tell you, not fun! But, I've had some pretty funny experiences because of it, and here's my favorite.
So. Last Tuesday I started to get a cold pretty hard-core. That much has been going around pretty fast. We all think that it's some crazy Australian virus that Sis. Milsom brought over, because she had it first and was not as sick as the rest of us are. I guess our poor little American bodies can't handle some crazy Outback disease. Anyway. So I was just dealing with a pretty hefty sore throat and major aches and a stuffy nose but on Sunday during personal study, I started to get the chills pretty bad and my body said, "oh, this is a fever." Well, I went back to my room and sure enough, I've got a fever of about 101. Well, I lead the music in church, so I still went to sacrament meeting, but I just kind of shivered and then lead a hymn, and repeated that three times. After that, we have temple walk, but I really couldn't function very well. We do some "splits" so that Sis. Milsom, who had already had it, was staying with me. I take my temperature, and i'm at about 102.5. I sleep for an hour or something (I honestly have had no sense of time for a week) and when I wake up my temperature was still rising. Well, that's a problem. I send mga kasama ko to go see if the health clinic was open, whilst meanwhile I guess I'm saying some pretty funny stuff. They come back, and I open my eyes and there is a man standing in my bedroom. Then the loudspeaker comes on and says "Attention, sisters. There is a MALE WORKER entering the floor." Well, he's standing right there, and was present to hear all the girls squealing and yelling "Shut the door!" It was pretty funny. Anyway, there aren't any doctors on campus, so they have me talk to a doctor on the phone and he tells me I should probably go to the Instacare.
So, Sis. Milsom and I get changed, and get my purse and go get on an "MTC Shuttle" which is really just a giant van. He drives us to the provo instacare which is BIZARRE, because I feel like I'm just going to go back to my apartment and go to class at BYU. Sis. Milsom is freaking out this whole time because she's from Australia and apparently we drive on the "COMPLETELY wrong side of the way" and she thinks we're going to get in an accident, haha. We get to the instacare (it's sunday still, mind you) and The Voice is playing on the TV and it's probably the WORST song that could ever be playing. It was horrible. We go see the doctor, and after another strep test (i had one on tuesday. i sure hate those things) he comes back and tells me he doesn't really know what is happening. He says that it's acting the most like pneumonia, so that's what they give me a prescription for. So, on a Sunday, and I'm not even wearing a dress, we go to Rite-Aid to buy drugs. AH, it felt so wrong!! Anyway, we get in, and I'm waiting for my medicine, and there's this mom and her little girl. The mom eventually asks, "Can she say hi? She wants to talk to the missionaries." Aw, of course we let her, the little doll. She tells us that she's four, she's sick, and she wants to serve a mission in Brazil like her daddy. It was pretty cute. Oh, she also STRONGLY emphasized the fact that she likes light pink, but NOT dark pink. She's got on a long skirt, but she shows us that she's wearing leggings underneath (and they're pretty bright metallic blue sparkly leggings). I didn't really know what to say, so I told her that they're beautiful and that it's pretty tricky that she's got them on under her skirt. Well, she runs over to her mom, and it looks like they're about to leave. But Sis. Milsom and I hear them kind of arguing, and next thing we know, this little girl has dropped her skirt in the middle of the store. The mom is mortified, grabs the skirt and tells the girl they're leaving, but on the way out, the little girl comes over to us, and very proud of herself says, "Look missionaries! I'm Tricky!!" It was pretty hilarious.
Luckily, I'm feeling a lot better, but I haven't been able to go to class much in the past week which is a little frustrating, but I'm catching on to the Tagalog I've missed pretty fast. Really, it's a fairly simple language, but the words are just so funny! Our favorite from this week is: Pagpapakumbaba! It means humility. :) It's so hard to say and not want to dance! Haha. Well, till next week! Mahal ko kayo!

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