So, another letter from Jaycee has come. And she did get permission from the people she has taken pictures of, to post those on her blog. So assuming that I can figure that out, I will post some pictures here too. I did one last week but that was days ago. Who knows if I can still remember! She also apologizes for doing bullets, but it is a quick way to write events of the week, so I don’t mind. Hopefully you won’t either.
Spiritual things first:) (there’s so many but here’s just some highlights)
D&C 84:88 has been read a few times but it really stuck out to me the other day. It is about the strength we receive from the Lord. Especially this past week I have felt that SO much. First of all of course during teaching our “investigators” but I’ll talk about that more later. My Kasama and I taught Sunday School and before my mission I always felt like I would struggle to find things. Well when we taught this week, it was cake and I found it so much easier to teach by the spirit. We didn’t have to teach in Tagalog thank goodness, but we taught about the power of the Atonement and we read lots of scriptures, had an object lesson, shared person experiences, watched a mormon.org video and other things. They I had to play piano for sacrament meeting… which I can play Hymns but usually in front of people I struggle! Anyways I did make mistakes but it was fine and I did okay and wasn’t nervous or anything! Also, for the special musical number, they forgot to find someone to play so they asked me to play “Be Still My Soul” which I played totally fine without practicing. So I know I have been receiving so much help! And also thanks for all the prayers that go my way cuz I’m sure those help too:)
Devotionals are awesome! Sunday we got to hear from Stephen B. Allen (some MTC guy) and he gave us 10 secrets for becoming a better missionary which I’ve been trying to apply. He also said something about not being a disappointment to our Heavenly Father as we serve and that it is hard work but that we are capable. That night we watched a recorded devotional by David A. Bednar that was seriously amazing. MTC devos are partly awesome cuz how many times do you get to hear an apostle talk in a cookie monster voice?! And of course it was a really good message about not just having testimonies ourselves, but by becoming fully converted by turning out like Jesus Christ did. . . perfectly.
So last Tuesday we weren’t early enough to sing in the choir for the devo but we are FOR SURE going to be there tonight because it guarentees us a spot in the choir for next Sunday which is Easter which means an apostle will be there! Which also means we’ll be able to take the sacrament with an apostle. Plus we’re singing “Oh How Lovely Was the Morning” tonight which sounds so pretty with all of the Elders and Sisters. Oh btw, sisters are like taking over the MTC. Especially in choir there are so many sisters that want to sing so pretty awesome.
Tagalog! Kay I am so thankful I am learning Tagalog and not English cuz I’m realizing how simple Tagalog is compared to English. But anyways I am still loving it, trying to learn at least 20 words a day which is so hard!, trying to SYL but haven’t done a full day of that yet but I want to. Sometimes it comes easier but it all depends on how much I’m trying to learn through the spirit. And luckily I haven’t said anything like, “Please bless your sins” like Sister Lang said in a lesson the other day haha.
Temple: I think I told you we went last Tuesday way early morning but we went again today and it was so good! I kind of got tired since Monday and Tuesday we have to wake up at like 5:30 but it was still good. My kasama and I always eat in the cafeteria after too which is more cafeteria food but it is just barely a level above the cafeteria here. Luckily I think I am getting used to being sick of the food if that makes sense. Can’t wait for rice and seafood though!
One of the nose pads on my glasses fell off the other day! So Wednesday my kasama and I are LEAVING THE MTC on a shuttle to get it fixed. That is going to be so weird but we’ll only be gone for just a bit and strictly only to fix my glasses. Luckily I’m in the MTC and luckily I have contacts.
Packages: Thank you so much mom and grandma!!! Easter packages were awesome. I shared with the district and my roommates and they were thankful too. Seriously, the best brownies grandma and mom thanks for the stickers (I totally wanted some just for that reason!) and thanks for the cute eggs. Oh and family thank you for the letters! I really will try to write a family letter back soon. Oh my to answer the most common question: Yes I am definitely used to being called “Sister Taylor” haha. I think everyone asked me that. But in fact, when I hear “Jaycee” that sounds weird so I’m totally a sister missionary now!
Oh! I almost forgot one of the coolest times this week. So yeah we finished teaching one of our investigators who is actually our teacher ha but our last lesson with him we totally had to scrap what we planned and just try to patch some Tagalog together for a lesson. Later though he told us that that was his favorite lesson with us. So when you do the planning, the Lord will help you no matter what. Saturday we got to practice one time teaching in English!! Wow that was so nice haha. But anyways, we switched off teaching the other sisters in our district. I pretended to be Lupe and they did a great job teaching. And when we taught them, Sister Sands was someone she knows that has no belief in God but has been going to church all her life. Anyways, both times the spirit was so strong. I was guided to share the perfect scripture and share a personal experience and they did the same when they taught us. And that was just fake! I can’t even imagine what it is going to be like when we teach in real life because the spirit was just so powerful. They yesterday we taught one horrible lesson, just no spirit and we were not prepared (but we did only have 10 minutes to prepare) but then at night, we taught Brother Nordstrom as Abe and it went really well! Because we were able to teach by the spirit, my Tagalog was much better and I was able to kind of piece toghether what I wanted to share.
Well Mahal Kita!!! I miss you guys but know that I’m doing great so don’t miss me too much back:)
Here are some exerts from Jaycee’s first email home. She also said that the Philippines is the highest baptizing area in the world right now, even higher than missions in South America. I didn’t include the names of her companion or people in her district for privacy reasons. She also talked about missing my cooking, ha ha. So, of course I have already sent her some homemade cookies and caramels. 🙂
Now from Sister Taylor:
Alright so first day:
Everyone is right. Crazy, exciting, overwhelming and just crazy. After I pulled myself together after saying one last goodbye to mom and dad, I found myself going from one line to the next, getting my name tag, checking information, getting my MTC ID card (which somehow I lost within the first 5 minutes haha. I had to go back later to the front desk and pick it up, luckily it was there, but that is how you get into ALL of the buildings, eat food in the cafeteria and for other way important things) dropping my luggage off in my room, and then going to my classroom where I met my whole district (I was the last one) and my teacher! He talked to us completely in Tagalog for all of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, which some people hated but I loved! Haha, it helped me build a little vocab, become familiar with the sound of the language and it was almost like an extended game of charades.
So the rest of the night was kind of a blur of a missionary orientation (pretty neat! lots of sisters), dinner (which I did not really eat because I still felt kind of sick-nervous, it was cafeteria food, and it was 4:30 in the afternoon!), a mass teaching lesson with like 50 missionaries and 1 investigator, more meetings and finally we had time to unpack at the end of the day. All in all, it was a good day but kind of stressful.
More about the language… it is AWESOME! I totes (totally) love it and I cannot get enough of it, even when we have 3 straight hours of language and 1 hour of personal language study. It has seriously been coming so easily. The second day we learned how to pray and bare testimony and then that evening we had our first lesson with our “investigator” Ramir. It went pretty good for only being at the MTC for a day and a half. But I’ve realized the best way to teach, even if it is way super broken Tagalog, is to not look at notes and try to just testify that you know these things are true. Testimony: Alam ko po na totoo ebanghelyo at ang Alak Ni Mormon. Alam ko po na mahalaga pananampalataya. Alam ko po na mapagamahal ng Diyos. Alam ko po na buhay kay Jesuscristo. Sa pangalan ni Jesuscristo, amen. Pretty cool huh! I’m already getting way excited to go to the Philippines even though I have so much to learn beforehand.
Ok, well Jaycee entered the MTC yesterday afternoon. So, this is mom, updating the blog for those of you who would like to keep tabs on how she is doing. When she sends e-mails, we will also be posting them to this page.
Jaycee was excited, scared, nervous and anxious all at the same time. I am surprised we were able to get her to eat any lunch because of her stomach doing flip flops. She needed to go to the bathroom and said she had that “nervous pee” feeling. She asked me if I had ever felt that way. I told her I had, right before going on a roller coaster. The more I thought about that, the more I realized how similar they are. This is one roller coaster ride that she will never forget. There will be unexpected twists and turns, times when you won’t be able to see which way the path is taking you, ups and downs and thrills of a lifetime. But all in all, when the ride is over, you will say, “Let’s do it again!”
Well tonight I will have the opportunity to be set apart as a missionary by my dad. I can’t believe I enter the MTC in TWO DAYS! I don’t think it has totally hit me, but I’m sure when my parents are saying one last goodbye at the curb, I will be in shock. Yesterday I spoke in church and was lucky to have so much support from family, friends and members of my ward. I’m going to miss everyone! Then yesterday afternoon, my 14-year-old brother received his Court of Honor. I am so proud of him! Well from here on out, the rest of my Blog posts will be emails that my family will post. Feel free to write me lots of letters and emails!