Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Love, Kristen - Week 8


Well, surprisingly, I really don't have too much to say this week...although we'll see if I really stick to that as I get going. Things are starting to wind down, and we're making final preparations to leave. Our flight plans came on Friday, which I won't give any details about on here for safety reasons, but I'll for sure let you all know how they went after I get to the Philippines. Surprisingly we've all still been able to focus in class and during study times. But when we get a free moment, we for sure talk about our excitement to be in the Philippines in a week and a half! :)

I'm not sure if my mom updated my blog with how my doctor's appointment went on Wednesday, concerning my wrist, but just in case she didn't, I'll let you know that the doctor took an x-ray and they did find a small hairline fracture. It's not very impressive though, so they didn't put my in a cast, but told me that I need to keep my brace on 24/7 and use my left arm as little as possible. He scheduled an appointment for me this Wednesday to come back for a check-up to see how it's doing, and if it's progressing in the healing process, and I'm having less pain, he'll clear me for the Philippines. My wrist has been feeling great. Still a little sore sometimes, but I can use it to do just about anything (I'm just not lifting things with it really, because he told me not to) and so I think I'll be good to go on the 27th.

REMINDER: The MTC is not going to be accepting any local delivery services after Dec. 22nd. This means no dearelders will be printed off after 12:00pm on the 22nd. I won't get any on the 27th...I won't be in the MTC when they arrive. I don't know what exactly this means for US Postal packages, but just to be safe, try to get any here by the 27th. Thank you so much to those who sent me packages this week by the way!! I really appreciate it and it made me so happy to get a package from you!! So thank you. It was very thoughtful of you. But yes, just a heads up. I would hate for anything to get left behind.

We've been really emphasizing teaching and speaking in Tagalog as much as possible our last week. Sometimes this is frustrating for me, because I honestly get annoyed with Tagalog sometimes. I'm pretty good at it, and in fact my district is always telling me how I'm the best one at it in our class, but I'm not feeling the same love for it that I felt for Spanish. I'm really having to learn to love it. It's a neat language, and a pretty language, so I'm not sure what my problem is, but I think part of it is that I like it when people just get their points across to me, and with Tagalog it can take people so long to get their points across because they are so slow at thinking up words and phrases. So it's definitely a test of my patience. But you know, I need to get over that because pretty soon, it'll be me speaking super slowly and others will have to exercise patience with me, as I will probably not speak a word of Ilonggo once I get to Iloilo.

However, I have had some amazing experiences with Tagalog when I let go of my pride. We teach in all Tagalog now, which is an amazing thing in and of itself as we've only been learning it for 2 months. Sometimes it can be hard to get into the teaching appointments though because in the back of your mind, you know that they're fake, that the people you're teaching have already accepted the gospel into their life. When I think like this and allow my pride to take over, I have a very difficult time thinking up Tagalog words and phrases--even though I know that I know them. It is not smooth and the lesson is pretty much a flop because the spirit is not there. However, when I view the person I'm teaching as a child of God and like someone who I could potentially meet on my mission, and feel a sincere desire for them to come unto Christ through the restored gospel, then Tagalog seems to just flow out of my mouth. Please don't misunderstand me--my Tagalog is still broken...I don't suddenly begin speaking fluently--, but I am able to recall words and phrases and correct grammar structures much quicker and easier and I can feel the spirit helping me. It's an amazing experience, and I can tell that the people who I am teaching, even though they're already members of the church, are touched in some way.

Yesterday Ted Gibbons, who is apparently a prominent actor and writer within the church, came and performed a 45 minute monologue during our Sunday Fireside last night. He told the story of Joseph Smith's martyrdom from the point of view of Willard Richards, one of the men who was with Joseph Smith in Carthage Jail when he was killed. Richards is the one who had bullets fly all around him, but received only a couple of grazes by bullets--not a hole was in his garment. He told us his own conversions story, how he came to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, specific quotes, exact times, every date, every event leading up to the martyrdom. It was an amazing thing to witness.

I'm out of time!

From Kristen's mom: Kristen only has 30 minutes a week to write this, so unfortunately sometimes she doesn't get to complete her thought. That is what happened today.

Love you!
Sister Danner