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

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