Friday, April 24, 2015

Week 4- MTC

Dear pamilya and friends, another week down! it has now been 4 weeks since I have entered the Philippines MTC. Its been a roller coaster since being here. A week and a half from today I will be out in the field! At this point I feel like I want to get out there but then it doesn't come soon enough. This week was probably the most eventful week since being here. Last P day, I emailed you guys, and the greatest thing happened. We went to the grocery store thing here by the MTC, and I found DR. PEPPER. PRNALANGIN WORKS MGA TAO. They were like 40 pesos a piece. So, I bought a 12 pack. Expensive, but so worth it. 

Saturday was another normal day in the classroom. Nothing too special. Sunday we had church. Same as always. The lessons are always super good. Its kinda funny because our sacrament meeting is in the gym. We set it up as a chapel. It's pretty cool. This place has its own gym for workout time. Its pretty awesome. But later sunday night, we had our last Sunday night devotional with the senior batch of missionaries. Elder Hunt, Elder Carrington, Elder Viti, Elder Farrish, and Elder Papalli. Those guys are my brothers now. Some of my best friends that I've ever had. I didn't think that was possible with my amazing friends back home and on missions, but I guess its possible. Anyways, they led the devotional. We watched an MTC talk given by Elder Bednar. That was really good. But what happened after was incredible. We had our whole zone together, our district, the senior batch, and the baby batch. At the time we were the "Mid batch." Anyways, we moved all the chairs and all got to one side of the room. Except for Elder Hunt and Elder Carrington. Elder Hunt had a picture of Christ Atoning for all of our sins. He came up tp every one of us individually, showed us the picture and asked, "Would you like blessings from Jesus Christ?" If we said yes, we were to walk over to the other side of the room. If no, we stayed put. It didn't matter the answer, Elder Carrington did 5 push ups for each person. At first I didn't quite understand what was happening, but then I got it. It hit me like a train. The spirit overcame me, and of course I'm a Lambert, so I started crying. Bawling actually. The Espiritu Santo was incredible. When he got to me, he got like 3 words in before I said opo. And of course, Elder Carrington did 5 push ups. There were probably 40 of us in the room. That's a lot of push ups, but we all know that is NOTHING compared to what Jesucristo did for us. Such a testimony building experience. I still can't even comprehend what the Savior of the mundo has done for me. I love that experience. 

Monday was another normal day, except we had family home evening, our last one with the senior batch. We did what was called "The Journey." They had us all thinking we were leaving the MTC and going somewhere past bedtime! But its an MTC tradition for the senior batch to take the mid batch on The Journey. They had us all get our shoes on and ready to go. All 13 of us got together in a room, and they told us to take our shoes off and lay on the bed! 2 to a bed. So we did that, all confused. And they told us they were leaving the MTC, in our minds. They said to close your eyes, and they were gonna ask us some questions. All the seniors had a piece of paper for each one of us. They asked tons and tons of questions. Its hard to explain all of them in one email with the time I have. Maybe when I'm home I'll explain the whole story to everyone. But every answer we gave to these 15 questions basically analyzed our personality and our spirituality. Even though it didn't seem like it was doing that until the end. At the end they explained each of it. And it basically measured our effectiveness as a missionary. It was so so cool. It's so hard to explain it over an email. But it was one of my favorite experiences since being here. We all came closer together as a zone.

Tuesday was another kind of boring day. It was our last day with the senior batch. They has a P day, so they went to Rustans (grocery store) to get us some food for the night. So they got everything. Chips and candy and everything basically hahaha. All of those guys were leaving the next morning at various times. Starting at 4:00 AM. So we were up super late and partying and saying bye to all these guys. It was super super hard to say bye to these guys. Reminded me too much of saying bye to the boys back home. Lots of crying from all of us. It was also hard because we were going proselyting that day too, so we were so tired. Alam ko po na that those guys will be AMAZING missionaries. No doubt about it. 

Now, to the proselyting! We only got to go from like 1-3 PM. So not that long, but we got to go to the Manila mission! Like 20 minutes from Quezon City, which is where the MTC is. So we get to this super super old stake center. Its like 6 stories tall. It smelled worse than the old Herriman church. We met up with some of the missionaries in Manila. We have such a big district that we had to go in tri companionship. And to top that off, our teacher Brother Mosquera went with my companionship as well. So it was me, Elder Lye, Brother Mosquera and Elder Cruz. We had to go to our specific area after that. So we jumped on a tricycle for a ride! I wish I had a picture but we weren't allowed cameras. It was basically like a 1990's Honda motorcycle with a side car! So there were 5 of us on this thing including the driver. It was crazy. All you do is stop the guy and jump on! It doesn't matter how many people are on this thing, it still costs the same. We rode for like 8 minutes on this thing. It was sketchy. Super awesome though. That will be how I'm transported for the next 2 years! That and a jeepnee. We went basically to the slums. It was insane. Being from Utah, I have seen nothing like that. There were people everywhere. So many people with little shops out of their little shack homes. They were selling anything from ice, to coke, to cheap cell phones. It was weird to me that all of these people have literally nothing to their name, but they all have a freaking cell phone! Even the little kids! It blew my mind. Its the way it is here. Before we went out we had a daily planning sesh, and talked about who we were gonna visit. We were supposed to go to a lady who was a new convert and then a lady that was a potential investigator. The investigator wasn't there. The other lady wasn't there either, but her husband was! During the planning, we were supposed to teach this lady about Lehi's vision of the tree of life! That surprised me. Mostly because here in the MTC, we teach lessons! I had never taught the tree of life before! Especially in Tagalog! I was scared to death. I know the story... But my language is not good at all! I did my best. I tried to relate to the guy as best I could. Still not very good. The missionary I was with told him that we were new to the language. So that made me feel better. I just wish I could speak from the heart, but I can't do that at all right now. It's really really frustrating. The lesson went well though. It was like a 35 minute lesson on his front porch. We didn't go inside, he brought out like 3 and a half broken chairs. After that lesson we went to the streets to contact people. We found like 10 people all chilling outside their houses and our senior kasama started talking to them. I did my best to follow along. Then all the sudden he stopped talking and kind of looked at me and Elder Lye and motioned us over to the people to talk to them. Of course Elder Lye is antisocial, so the kid that knows basically nothing started talking to them. It was interesting. After a second Elder Lye came over finally. He knows the language 10 times better than me. But he also speaks mandarin, Cantonese, English and some other weird language from Indonesia or something. So his brain is wired for multiple languages! Again, I tried to understand the people. I gave them a pass along card type thing that invited them to go to Facebook for a video. They accepted. Afterward we made our way back to the church building in one of those tricycle things. That was it. I had never sweated so much in my entire life. Luckily I had one of my hankerchef (I don't know how to spell that hahaha) things to constantly wipe all of that Lambert sweat off of me. It was so yummy, NOT. Then we went back to the MTC for more class time. We were so excited, I can't even express how excited we were to go back to the MTC. I was beat, from staying up super late and hiking through Manila hahah. I had a Dr. Pepper and I was good as new. That's why they call it the Lord's nectar. I also got a shower in too. That was nice.

I'm sure everyone wants to know, but we take like 3 to 4 showers a day around here. We do have heated showers. But whats the point. Its too dang hot to take a hot shower. Except in the morning, its usually a little warmer shower for me. We also have AC here. In our rooms too. So we can change it to whatever they want. Its in Celsius so I don't even know what a good temperature is. I just like to sleep in 20 degrees hahaha. Oh yeah it also rained this week! It poured for a solid 2 hours. That NEVER happens in Utah. So that was kind of cool. The food is getting kinda old. I'm already sick of rice. But my body has kind of adjusted to the food. I do pretty well now. I'm loving it here. The Philippines is so amazing and so hot. But so worth it.

I think that's all for right now, I try my best to answer as many people as possible. I love everyone but its hard because the MTC is so strict with emailing. I said this before, but the field should be so much better. Just be patient with me! A week and a half from now I'll be in Manila! Finally, I am ready to get out of here. But then I guess I will Skype Monday morning? Which means Sunday night for you guys! Except I don't know the details on that yet... We shall see. 

Alam ko po na Diyos po ang Ating Ama sa Langit. Alam ko po na mapagmahal po ang tagapagligtas. Naniniwala po ako na propeta si Joseph Smith at Thomas S. Monson are totoo. Sa pamamagitan ng pagsisisi mapapatawad tayo. Sa pamamagitan ng Espiritu Santo malalaman kami ang katotohanan. Alam ko po na totoo Aklat ni Mormon. If we read it, we can be worthy of the Espiritu Santo in our mga buhay. Read it! "If life gets too hard, kneel." That's something that I apply every single day many many times. I'm proud to be a representative of Jesucristo. This work is important. Sa pangalan ni Jesucristo, amen. Talk to you all next week! Last P day here in the MTC! 

Love, Elder Lambert     

I found these images online, courtesy of the LDS church. The first is a picture of the Philippines MTC cafeteria, the second is a picture of the gymnasium and the LDS Temple in Manila.

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