Monday, February 25, 2013

Week 4 - 2/25/2013

Kumusta Pamilya!!!

So, I did get your Dear elders, but not until Tuesday night. And seeing how I email on Monday morning, that didn't work out the best. But I got them and I sure loved hearing from everyone! I especially love that it's printed out so I can read it as many times as I want. So, the moral of the story is, if you want me to reply to your Dear Elder send it no later than Friday. We'll get this figured out soon enough. Also, my P-day is on Monday and I have TONS of times to write letters so if you want a quick response, make sure I get your letter and such before Monday. If not, it's okay though cause you can just get it the next week. I am pro at writing letters so it shouldn't take to long anyway. In other news, Happy Birthday to Julie and Mark very soon! Mark, I tried to send you a letter from the address you gave me but it got returned saying "no address exists" so can I please get that? Thanks! Nahigugma ko ninyo!!

Can you believe that 2 weeks from tomorrow I will be on a plane to the other side of the world?!?!?! Time is flying by SO FAST!!! We get our flight plans this Friday and think and I am so excited. But it's also kinda sad cause I'm gonna miss seeing everyone here so much. I literally see at least one new person I know a day and it is the best. The other day I saw like 10 and it was a little freaky especially since half those people I didn't even know were gonna be here! I see Sister Ricks all the time cause we have lunch together so that's been great. This week has been AMAZING. So many awesome speakers, wonderful lessons, great spiritual experiences and lots of chances for growth. Yesterday was the most musical day of my life, but it was so great! I played the piano for sacrament meeting then I sang a 3 part harmony of "Love at Home" with Sister Bingham and Sister Gaono with Elder Metusela (the musical genius from Australia) improvising on the piano. It was so great! And then we decided we would prepare a song to try out to sing in Devotionals and stuff on Thursday with a four part harmony, Elder Metusela on the Piano and arranging it, Elder Smith on the violin and me on the flute. They can definitely get me to do stuff I never thought possible but it has been so fun and great and I feel so much more confident in my own musical abilities. I feel like a new person!

The language is coming along just great! We had an amazing TRC (teaching resource center) where we got to talk to some return missionaries in Cebuano and once we were done, on of the girls said the our Cebuano now was about the same as when she left to go to the Philippines after 9 weeks! Wow! That's crazy! So that was really comforting to know that I'm already were other missionaries have been and I still get two more weeks of learning! They just changed the program for languages and we are the first to try it and it has been very effective. When she said that, I couldn't even imagine how they could only learn what we have in 9 weeks! That's so long! I don't know what they did, but I sure appreciate it. Some of my new favorite words, ngitngit- dark and paburito- favorite. You can definitely tell the Spanish influence on that one!

I decided to write down some of my thoughts so I could remember what I wanted to share with you. One of the cool things I learned this week was in Cebuano there are 2 different words for know. Nasayud is know in your heart and kahibalo is know in your head. Because these two words mean the same thing in English, I never really thought of just how incredibly different they are! Once upon a time, my roommate Noelle and I were having a conversation about Faith and she told me that a friend told her he hated when people said in there testimonies, "I know that..." because the very act of knowing made faith not possible because according to Alma 32:21, Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true. She disagreed very strongly cause she has faith in things that she KNOWS. And I didn't really know what to say at the time, but through Cebuano, my mind has been made clear! What those people on the stand are saying is "I know in my heart" (nasayud) and the knowledge talked of in Faith is "i know in my head because I have seen it" (kahibalo) and they are two very different things. Just something to think about!

I would write more, but I am out of time! Thank you all so much for the support you have given me, I know (nasayud) that i am in the absolutely right place and my Heavenly Father has surrounded people that are changing my life and changing me into the person he wants me to be. This gospel is true. It brings true happiness that things of the world cannot give. We need to have faith that everything is for a purpose, every trial is to bring us closer to him and our lives are blessed in more ways than we will ever realize.

Sister Pike

P.S. I love hearing about your lives, I just wish i had more time to reply to each of you individually!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Week 3 - 2/18/2013

Kamusta Pamilya!

So, I got your package on Saturday and because everything was so staggered cause the mail and stuff, I had a very happy birthday week! Monday, Kevin-the nicest human on earth, sent me cookies then My district gave me a card and a box full of delicious Australian chocolates and sang to me multiple time, then I got ANOTHER birthday package from Kevin-the nicest human on earth and it was basically a birthday party in a box! It was supposed to get there on my birthday, but I couldn't get out of class to get it so I got it the next morning but there was an already baked cake, funfetti frosting, plates, napkins, silverwear, chocolate, candles, matches and soda, like I said, party in a box. And so I partied the next day too! Then the next day I got a package of cinnamon rolls from Mark! Thanks Markie, I loved them. Although it was a little weird reading the card from you written in VERY girly handwriting. And the next day, the birthday cards continued and the next was my package. So this was a pretty great week and it went by sooooo fast! Can you believe my half-way mark is almost here???? I can't. It's pretty exciting but kinda scary cause I know I still have SO much to learn. 

I don't remember if I've already told you about Elder Metusela or not but he is AN AMAZING singer and we love singing all the time. Right now, he's teaching us a really cool arrangement for "Love at Home" that he basically made up on the spot and we are singing it in sacrament meeting in a few weeks. We basically sing all the time and I love it. I also played the piano for my first ever sacrament meeting! WHAT??? I was SO terrified, especially cause I could only practice like 10 minutes a day and I'm a good piano player only when no one sings along cause I get too nervous, but it actually wasn't too bad. I survived and I prayed a ton and I am definitely getting better. Also, last week I said we were going to teach our investigators with no notes and we did it! And it was great, it's amazing how much I can actually understand. Talking takes more time but we are definitely progressing. I think it taught us to use the scriptures more to teach the lesson which definitely brought the spirit so it was good. On Friday, basically my entire district was sick, well one person from each companionship except ours (that's 5 people!) so it was definitely a weird day/week. Sister Kramer was sick for a few days so I stayed home with her one of the days and actually loved it because I got to focus and study for hours on end and it taught me a great lesson that when I'm in the Philippines and accountable to no one, but myself and maybe my companion, I will be able to be obedient and do my best and it's a great feeling. 

I feel like my emails are really short, but I really don't have much else to say! It's the same thing basically everyday but everyday is filled with laughter, love, and learning so it basically couldn't get any better.  I feel so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends from home and I make new amazing friends here everyday that make me want to try everyday to try a little harder to be a little better. Nahigugma ko sa inyo! 


Sister Pike

Sometimes, we get bored and decide to throw  elders in the air...

Sister Gaono painted my nails for my birthday!

and my companion LOVED my banana message and thought it was the coolest thing.

never fall asleep....

Birthday Celebrations with Cake

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Week 2 - 2/11/2013

Wow, time flies! I can't believe it's already been a week since I wrote to you! Well not much has changed, just chugging along. The schedule is so much easier when you are used to it. But I'm always tired, I don't think that's gonna change anytime soon. We wake up at 6:30, are in class at 7 and plan/ study scriptures/ study the language until breakfast at 8. We have 3 hour blocks of class twice a day, hour meals, 1 hour of personal study (aka preach my gospel/scriptures), 1 hour language study, 1 hour companion study, and 1 hour of additional study meaning we get to choose. And we get 50 minutes of gym time which I spend playing basketball and I love it so much. When we get back to our residences at 9:30, we are just exhausted as you can imagine, but it feels good to have worked so hard. We have companionship prayer and lights out is at 10:30. Then you repeat, every day. It's great. It really helps that I love my district so much. There are times we can work really hard and focus and then there are times that we just laugh our heads off and have a nice break so we don't lose our minds. The Language is coming along nicely I think, we quiz each other all the time now and we have replaced words like yes, no, why, what, thanks, you're welcome, breakfast, etc. with oo, dili, ngano, unsa, salamat, walay problemo and pamihaw and it's just amazing how much it has become an instant reaction. Hopefully as my vocabulary expands I will be speaking less and less English everyday. We taught a few more lessons to our "investigator" and tomorrow begins the teaching in full Cebuano with nothing, but the scriptures in Cebuano and us. It's gonna be really hard, but we had a workshop and one of the teachers said, if you go in there with notes, who are you relying on? Your notes. But If you go in there with nothing, who are relying on? The Lord. And there is no way we can teach anything if we don't rely fully on the Lord. It's a leap of faith for sure, but I think everything is gonna work out just fine! I'm pretty excited. 

One of my favorite things about being here at the MTC the power that I feel when we are all gathered together for a devotional or something and we sing a hymn. It is the most powerful thing I have ever felt and it's so amazing to know that because of the people in this one place, MILLIONS of lives will be changed forever. Because a speaker came to talk to us last night and said "The work you are doing is the most important work you have ever done and will ever do in your life. It spans generations. It has an exponential effect. Everyday you WILL change the face of the earth." Wow. I can't think of anything I would rather be doing. 

On that note, Thanks for the Happy Birthdays!! Even though it's tomorrow! haha What would make my birthday unforgetable (which it already will be guaranteed) is if I received Dear Elders from everyone. In fact, If you could instead of replying to my email just send me a Dear Elder instead? They print those off and deliver them like letters and reading the emails takes up my precious email time (30 minutes) which I am running short on right now! I love you all, thank you for all your support!

Sister Pike

P.s. Josie, the word for use is "gamit" pronounced like your last name and I think of you every time! haha I'm sad I didn't get to share more funny stories, I'll try to remember them for next week!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 1 - 2/4/2013

Kamusta pamilya!!!! 

It's my first P-day and I can't believe it has only been 6 days since I last talked to you. Time goes by really slow cause our days are so jampacked full of stuff, but I am LOVING it. I have learned so much in the past week, it's unreal. From day 1 when everyone was freaking out apparently I just felt so good being here and so excited to learn this awesome language and get to know all these amazing missionaries. First off, I have not one but TWO mga kauban (companions) and I love them to death already. Ironically, Sister Schaap, from California, I met the day BEFORE I went into the MTC when we were shopping at Macy's. We knew we were going to the same place on the same day, but I can't believe we're companions! And Sister Bingham, from north Ogden, Utah, and I have been Facebook friends for the past month because on a Sister missionary page on Facebook she also knew we were going to the same place at the same time. And my roommates and the other two sisters in my district are also so amazingly awesome, Sister Gaono from Samoa and Sister Kramer from Kaysville, UT. We spend ALL our time together and we have so much fun. It's hard to believe we met less than a week ago. I can only imagine how good of friends we'll be after 6 weeks! We were talking about how awesome it is that we are all such great friends already and Sister Bingham said, yeah it's like Heavenly Father put us all in this room together cause he knew how fast we would love each other and how helpful that would be to all of in our learning and growing. This seems to happen to me ALL the time as far as roommates go, and I love it so much. I feel so blessed. Our district is also awesome, 8 elders (HUGE DISTRICT!) all going to Cebu City and all but one of them are 18 but they don't act any younger, we all work really hard and while talking to my Branch President, he said our district was really unique in that respect and he could tell we were going to do great things. My companions are 20 and Sister Kramer is 19, but I am strengthened everyday by their testimonies and their complete obedience. It makes life 100x easier. 

I have learned SO MUCH about the language, I can't even believe it. We have already taught two lessons to our investigator in complete Cebuano (Friday and Saturday). We got to use some notes, but we know how to bear our testimonies and pray without looking which is really awesome. From day two our teachers made us promise to say all our prayers in Cebuano from now on and it's been a really great experience. Speaking of teachers, I have the BEST! Brother Elmer and Brother Pasikala both served in Cebu and got back like 6 months ago and they are excellent. Very funny and it makes a three hour class go by so fast. Also crazy, my good friend Trenton Daniels is going to be our teacher once a week! CRAZY! Oh and I forgot to mention that from day one, our teachers only talk to us in Cebuano, there were a lot of charades going on, but I can already see the helpfulness of immersion and it's already SO much easier to follow what they are trying to tell us to do. It's weird that my friend can only talk to me in Cebuano though, someday we will be able to have an actual conversation before I leave. Oh and did I mention that I love this language so much! It is really fun to say, I wish their was some way I could talk to you so you could sound what it hears like cause writing it just doesn't do it justice. Some of my favorite words are kukgi, panalangini, nga, Manunubos, Manaluluwas, ebanghelyo... haha it's fun (diligence, bless, a, Savior, Redeemer, gospel.) 

We have gym almost everyday and our zone's coordinating sister, Sister Mckown, LOVES basketball almost as much as I do so we're going to play with the Elders everyday and I love it so much. I have ran into a ton of people that I know here so that's been super fun. I ran into my bestest friend Sister Jennifer Johnson who left to Tennessee last night and we got a picture and got to have lunch together and it was the greatest. I've also ran into some people from my ward that are MTC teachers and other various Sister missionaries that I've known over the years. Sister Kristin Ricks (my other bestest friend) gets here on Wednesday and I'm so excited!!! 

Yesterday was fast sunday and so we had fast and testimony meeting (which is usually in your language but my zone is huge and has 4 different languages so they JUST decided to make it all english so everyone could understand everything, but I was kinda disappointed cause I think it will help us learn way faster! Especially when we have to give talks. Our zone includes Cebuano, Illongo, Cantonese and Japanese). And then we had the first ever mission conference with our new MTC presidency which was really good. Sunday was probably the best so far just because teaching the investigators the days before was just a little stressful, but it has helped us improve lots and I like it a lot. 

Nasayud ko ng tinoud ang ebanghelyo ug ang Basahon ni Mormon. Nasayud ko ng gihigugma kita sa Dios. Nasayud ko ng Manunubos ug Manluluwas si Jesukristo. I have a testimony I know (in my heart) that the Book of Mormon and the gospel are true. I know that God loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. The fact that I am spend 24/7 learning this language for the soul purpose of inviting others to come closer to Christ makes me so happy and makes everything so worth it. I love you all so much!!! Just know, you don't have to worry about me at all, I'm doing fantastic:) 

Love, Sister Pike

P.s. some funny stories: Our classroom (aka our lives) is in the Spanish building and so we are surrounded by spanish speakers all the time! And how you say hello is "Kumusta" which sounds like "como estas" so they say Hola, we say Kumusta and they say Bien! and we burst out laughing every time.  Silly spanish speakers.