Friday, January 24, 2014

Nahigugma Ko Kaninyo!

Kamusta to all of my wonderful family and friends!
First of all, a huge thanks to everyone that has sent me mail! I set the zone record this week for receiving 9 letters in a day, which made me feel the coolest missionary in the world!!!!! Everyone in my zone thinks that I'm super popular or something, but I tell them that somehow the nicest people in the world agreed to be my friends and I'm just really blessed as a result. Life can not get better at the MTC! Another week of learning, studying, growing, and mostly a bunch of fun! In my zone, I have been serving as the Zone Music Leader (I'm not that musically talented - I'm just the only one in my zone that can play the piano, so I was kind of a shoe in haha). I absolutely love my calling! I'm in charge of coordinating the music portion of our sacrament meetings, including special musical numbers. When I first asked the missionaries in my zone if anyone had any musical talents there was an unanimous cricket noise haha but we've been pulling out SATB numbers, a six elder barbershop choir, flute/piano duets, and gorgeous vocal solo's each week. I love to see all of the amazing talent that all of the missionaries have in my zone, and their music making abilities always bring a special spirit to sacrament meeting each Sunday. One of my favorite parts of each day is gym time. We can run, lift weights, play four square, basketball, and volleyball! All 14 of us Cebuano speakers have the same gym time as the Fijian/Kiribati/Marshaliese/Samoan/Tongan/Hilgaynon speaking missionaries aka it's Islander Central, which is super fun! Except for the fact that I like to play volleyball. And everyone knows the Poly's love them a good competitive game of volleyball. And they usually slam the volleyball in the ground like Donkey Kong would. So basically every time one of the Polynesian Elders go up for a spike I just pray for dear life that my face won't get smashed hahaha but it's all in good fun! This week I was able to reflect on why I decided to take 18 months to serve a missionary. I'm so grateful that I am able to be Sister Lauck because I have the opportunity to share what brings me the utmost happiness with others who do not know the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! This Gospel is His Gospel, and I know that as we follow its teachings we will be able to come closer to Christ and be eternally and infinitely blessed as a result. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and how He has been my advocate, my comforter, and most of all my friend throughout my entire life, and especially during these last 3 weeks. These truths have been manifested to me over and over and over again as I have been here at the MTC and I add my own witness. I hope everyone is doing wonderful and loving their life as I am mine!!! I am praying for everyone!!!!!!!
Lots and lots and lots and lots of love,
A very happy Sister Lauck (:

P.S. Here's a picture of me on the floor where I usually spend a 4 solid hours everyday haha it's my favorite place to study!

Friday, January 17, 2014


Hey everyone! Coming to you live from the MTC this is Sister Lauck!
Sister Lauck is official with her name tag!
I'm sorry I haven't been able to send an email yet after 17 days...haha  I promise I didn't die (though the shrimp nuggets they served at the cafeteria almost killed me).  Basically the last 17 days can be summed up with one simple statement - I LOVE being a missionary.  I am just so happy all the time.  I am happy to wake up at 6:30am each day (and anyone who has ever lived with me knows that this is a miracle)!  I am happy to spend 10 hours in a classroom studying each day.  I am happy to be learning how I can help invite others to come unto Christ - I am just a happy sister missionary!  Learning Cebuano has been quite a party.  I feel like this statement from my Cebuano grammar book best sums up my feelings, "The Cebuano language is both varied and unpredictable".  Yup, I feel like that's pretty accurate haha because Cebuano (or Bisayan as it is called in the Philippines) is strictly an oral language. There's really no "right" way to say something. When my district and I are learning Cebuano and we ask our teacher for an explanation they usually say, "It's just what sounds right".  Haha thank you.  I'm slowly learning what "sounds right" and I am really learning to love the language.  It's really neat to see how far I've gotten in just two weeks and I'm coming along just great.  One of our teachers told my district that one Elder left the MTC fluent in Cebuano.  Challenge accepted.  Speaking of my district, it is an all-sister district which is such a rare occurance!
The All-Sister district with Sister Mataipule from Australia, Sister Poteki from Tonga, Sister Lauck, Sister Crow from Buffalo NY, and Sister Holmes formerly from Cypress Texas!
We spend literally 24/7 with each and I love all of those girls to death! In my district are my two companions Sister Holmes (who's originally from my home stake in Cypress,TX - how cool is that??!) and Sister Crow (she is from Buffalo,NY and is basically amazing at everything). They are both fantastic and together we make a pretty solid companionship. Also in my district is Sister Mataipule and Sister Poteki, from Australia and Tonga. They are just a ball of fun and when you get the 3 of us together it's guaranteed we will end up on the floor in laughter. I guess that's what happens when you get the full tri-fecta of Polynesians together (:
Nothing but fun when you hook up three Polynesians!
I have already learned so much and have had so many special experiences here, especially pertaining to prayer. I want everyone to know that no matter what your relationship is with your Heavenly Father, whether you pray to him everyday or you haven't in years, that He loves you and wants you to talk to him and share your thoughts and feelings with Him. I know that He will listen to you and bless you beyond measure because He loves you. I hope everyone is doing well! I feel so blessed because I am pretty convinced I got THE BEST family and friends in the world. Thank you everyone for all of the letters and Dear Elder's, they make my day! I love you all!
Much love,
Sister Lauck
P.S. Here's a picture of my district, the poly connection, and me with my name tag on which totally makes everything official!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Wait is Over!!!!

(The wait is over! We apologize for the delay for all of you who have been waiting for an update from Sister Lauck.  After 10 days in the Missionary Training Center we finally got out first email! It was actually an audio file that we have transcribed. She also said that she has yet to figure out how to send pictures, so stay tune for next week. Her P-Day's are on Friday, so look for updates then!)

Kamusta!  As you know we did not get our P-day the first week, which is a little frustrating because we went 10 days w/out one.  I know you want to know what happened on the 1st day here in the MTC.  It was a bit overwhelming: there were a lot of orientation mtgs., how tos, showing us around, meals, and we met our Cebuano teacher who was spewing Cebuano as soon as we entered the room.  It freaked me out a little. 
I know that I mentioned in my letter that I was feeling a little overwhelmed, homesick, and sad that weekend.  Once the weekend passed I started feeling so much better-now I feel so great, I know my purpose, I have learned so much, and have had some awesome experiences. The language is going pretty well!  We started off with 1 teacher, then they added a 2nd, now we have 3.  Cebuano is going good.  The language is interesting- there is no right way to say something, one Cebuano word can mean 6 different things in English, and there is no “to be” verb.   It was hard for me to convey my thoughts especially because I have a lot to say, and it was hard to do that w/my limited knowledge.  We have been progressing and have improved so much since day 1.  I can pray in Cebuano, ask someone to read a scripture, bear my testimony, ask some questions, and make some statements.
My companions are Sis. Holmes(used to be in the Cypress Stake), who is super awesome, and so poised,  and Sister Crow who is super cool, from Buffalo, NY, and our District Leader.  Our district is made up of all sisters- the 3 of us, and another sister companionship- Sis. Poteki from Tonga, and Sis. Matepule, from Australia.  They are so fun, I love them!   We are always laughing and get a little crazy together.  Sis. Crow and Sis. Holmes help to balance the district and bring us back in.  We all get along so well.  It is really rare to have a district of only females, so we are told.  
Our schedule is like so:  Wake up, eat, class for 3-4 hrs., then eat have class for 3more hrs., then eat, and class/study time.  We do get gym(50min.) 4x’s a week!  We are constantly studying.  It has so cool that I am not zoning out.  I am enjoying studying and learning as much as I can.  The MTC is not without trials, but I am happy.  I really enjoy the devotionals every Sunday night & Tuesday-they are always so comforting and motivating.  One of the greatest things that I have learned is to realize that the command of the language is not what will convert the people, neither will my words,  but the Spirit that will touch the hearts through my words.  It is a really good lesson for me to learn, and helps me not to stress out so much, not to worry so much about the language and to put my faith in the Lord and because I am His representative and called to do this work, He will make a way for me to teach the gospel.   Though I am not fluent,  I am so grateful for prayer I have had some of them answered this week.  It is so wonderful to feel the Spirit here.  I feel it often testifying to me of the truthfulness of the gospel on a regular basis.  It is so awesome!
Our Zone is made up of our district, a district of 3 Sisters & 3 Elders, then one made up of 3 Elders-all Cebuano speaking.  There is one district of 8 missionaries Ilongo speaking that are leaving next week.   We have a lot of fun together.  I was asked to be the zone music coordinator- responsible for putting together musical numbers on a weekly basis.  It is fun, but a few people have bailed on me.  Not cool, but life goes on. 
I wish I had more time, but we are asked to only write on P-days.  We are asked to also do things as a companionship on P-days, which doesn’t allow me to spend too much time doing any one thing or to do everything that I want to do.  I love you all so much!  I am fine and don’t want you to worry about me.  I am so excited to be a missionary and to bless other people’s lives because of the gospel.  An experience I had two days after I arrived I had an opportunity to practice what little language I had learned.  I brought a picture of our family and was able to say that “I know families are forever, and what a blessing they can be in our life when they are united”.  I felt the Spirit so strong, and despite the limited language that I had learned at that point, I know that the investigator felt it too. 
Thank you so much for the letters.  I really look forward to reading them, and they are so fun to read!  Each and every day I want to bring everything I have to serve the Lord in bringing others to Him.  I want to keep a positive attitude in all I do.  I am learning so much and doing super good!  Hope everything is going well at home.  I pray for you 5 times a day-I am not kidding, and I love y’all so much!
Sister Lauck

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Journey Begins!!

What a way to start the new Year!  After setting Sister Lindsay Lauck apart on New Year's Eve and getting very little sleep due to packing and arranging the departure of 10 people from our house, it was off to the airport and then down to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.  I thought that maybe after being a veteran at doing this it would be easier the second time around, but it is always hard to say goodbye.  The great news is that Sister Lauck was ready and excited to begin her mission, and we are so excited for her to have this amazing experience.

While I am kicking off day one with a post of my own and some pictures to accompany the post, this blog will really be focused on Sister Lauck and her weekly emails, photos, and adventures in the Philippines.  We appreciate your love, support, and prayers for Sister Lauck while she is away serving.  Each one of you have played such an important part in her life, and I know how much your friendship means to her!

Stay tune for weekly updates from Sister Lauck!!!

Here is a picture of our family last night on New Year's Eve after Sister Lauck was set apart as a full time representative of Jesus Christ.

Here is Sister Lauck at the airport with her two brothers.  She had a 1st Class ticket on the flight to Salt Lake City, but in a typical show of selflessness, she gave her seat in 1st Class to Dustin.

One last family shot at the front door of the Missionary Training Center.  What a way to start a new year!  There were more smiles than tears, but we will miss our Pretty Pretty Princess!