Monday, November 15, 2010

Love, Kristen - Week 3

Hello Everyone!

How I wish every day that I could somehow convey to you all what it feelsl ike to be a missionary. My spirit is fed every single day. I know that this gospel is true and I am so much more than grateful for it. "Grateful" is not even an adequate enough word to describe my feelings for this gospel--to my Heavenly Father for sending His son, Jesus Christ, to atone for my sins--to Jesus Christ, my brother, for atoning for them--and to Joseph Smith for having the faith and courage that he did to bring the restored gospel back to us. I love this gospel. I learn so much every single day. Someone once said, and I agree, that this isn't the Missionary Training Center--it's the Missionary Learning Center. The more I learn, the more prepared I feel to teach those in the Philippines about the true and everlasting gospel. I'm so grateful to be a missionary at this time in my life. I know that it's the right thing for me to be doing. At times it's hard, even in the MTC. We're so exhausted every day mentally from studying, preparing, and learning. But there is so much joy in the work that it is worth it. So very, very worth it.

This week was fantastic. It was rougher than usual though because I caught Sister Lyman's terrible cold and so have been battling that all week. I think I'm pretty much over it--I just have a terrible cough right now and my voice is shot. Elder Doig gets much joy out of my new voice as he thinks it's very funny, but I think his joy will only last another day or so. I really am feeling better and have been taking medicine. In the midst of this I noticed a terrible pain in my right big toe as I was walking, and by the end of the second day made an appointment with a doctor at the MTC to get it checked out. They got me in the next morning and the doctor who looked at it suspected that I had tendonitis and had me go see a podiatrist off-campus. When I came out of the room and told Sister Lyman the news she was elated. "YES!! We get to go off-campus!" she said. I laughed and teased, "Well, I'm happy that at least one of us is glad that I'm in pain!" "Oh I'm not happy that you're in pain," she said smiling, "I'm just happy that you have to go see another doctor and I get benifits from it." She's funny :). We went to the podiatrist the next day and after giving my toe a good look over he confirmed that I had tendonitis and also capsidis. He suspected my shoes were the problem, and asked if I had any others. I told him just the Crocs that I planned to wear in the Philippines (Malindi style from He asked if I could wear those instead. I had some doubts that my shoes were really the problem, but I decided to try it, and my toe miraculously started to feel better. I think the other shoes, since they had a slight heel, were making my toes point downwards too much, and that was causing the tendon to stretch for too long a period of time each day. The Crocs are flat though and very comfy. I'm also taking an anti-inflammatory, Naproxen, and I haven't felt pain in my toe for days. Such a blessing to have good medicine and good doctors in our day!

Elder Bednar came to speak to us this week for our fireside on Tuesday. It was wondeful! It's the fourth apostle in a row that's come to the MTC, which is unheard of I guess. He spoke on doctrines, principles, and applications, and how an understanding of the doctrine while strengthen the desire to do the applications. For example, if one understands the doctrine of the atonement, they will have a greater desire to repent of their sins, rather than a greater understanding of the steps of repentence will make one desire to repent. I hope that makes sense. At any rate, it was a wonderful talk, and great to be in the presence of an apostle once again. Sister Lyman and I always get in line very,very early so that we can be in the auditorium in case it is an apostle (we never know in advance) and not in the overflow.

Another cool thing happened this week! Sister Lyman and I met President Pagaduan's brother!!! President Pagaduan is the president of the Philippines Iloilo Mission. Apparently his brother, Jason, lives in Utah and I think he's in a graduate program for Chemistry at BYU right now. We taught him the first lesson as he pretended to be an investigator for us, for about half an hour, and then when we were finished, we all got up, he led us to the door and said, "Oh and by the way, I'm President Pagaduan's brother." We were like "What?!?" Haha. He had a big smile on his face when he saw our expressions. He laughed and said, "Yeah, my name is Jason. When you said you were going to Iloilo, I thought to myself that that's where my brother is serving as mission president." "No way!" I said. "Can you tell us what your brother is like?" Sister Lyman asked. Jason got a big smile on his face again and said, "He's funny." "Oh good!" I said. I love funny people. "Does he speak any other language besides Tagalog?" Sister Lyman asked. "He speaks English and Cebuano," Jason told us. "And he's learning Ilonggo right now. He kind of has to." "Yeah," we said. "Do you get to speak to him at all?" "Not really," Jason said. "He and his wife are very busy. But I talk to my neice on Facebook sometimes. They have two daughters. One is 16 and the other is 12. I talked to the 12 year old." "That is so cool!" we said. Ah it was so fun to talk to him! I loved it.

Well, new people are coming this week for the Philippines. We'll be getting two new roommates. The oldest district is leaving at 1:00 today. So crazy. I can't believe that it's already been three weeks. I'm going to miss them a lot. Some I probably won't see again. I know of only one elder who is heading to Iloilo in this group. I'm so thankful that everyone in my district is going to Iloilo. I've already come to love each of them so much. I know we won't see each other a lot in the field, but just the fact that we may see each other at conferences and stuff makes me so happy. I want to tell you guys something that Elder Waggoner, the one from Kentucky, said to Elder Lowry from Georgia this week during lunch, because I think it's so hilarious. Perhaps it's one of those you had to be there things, but I think you'll be able to appreciate it. They were arguing over which state was better, all in good fun of course, when at the conclusion Elder Waggoner got all worked up and said loudly, "I've driven through Georgia and you know what? It's like driving on a treadmill. It never ends! And you know what else? As you're driving through, there's white possum hanging up for sale on one side of the road, and white possum haning up on the other side. You REDNECKS!!!" All of this in his Kentucky accent. Oh it was so funny. Everyone around started laughing so hard. I love Elder Waggoner. I keep a log of all the funny things he says in the back of one of my notebooks. I think I'll share them sometime before we leave for Iloilo.

Well my time is up. Thank you to those who have written to me. I'm making every effort to write you back, I promise. Keep them coming Love you all

Sister Danner