Sister Rhea Walters

Sister Rhea Walters

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Week 2 MTC

February 25, 2016
Holy cow, week two! I was basically born in this MTC I feel like. But hey no complaints because I am STILL LOVING IT! Yes I am definitely that nerd who is overly optimistic and perky that the other sisters kind of want to hit me but, I think I'll just keep on smiling dahil sa (because) it's good for the soul. Tagalog language is definitely a weird mix of Espanol and all things Asian pero I am having so much fun with it. You get thrown into teaching lessons the third day you're here, but you learn so fast that you can actually teach people the gospel in a foreign language! Our first fake investigator accepted baptism so WOOT WOOT for my kasama and I :) The schedule is still the same almost every day so I try to find things to make each day different and exciting. Whether it is turning studying into Jeopardy games where the consequence for a wrong answer is pushups, or finding ways to translate pop songs into Tagalog, we have good time. This week's devotional was from Rosemary M. Wixom (for all of those lacking in their knowledge of general authorities 1- She is the Primary General President and 2- Pagsisi. (repent) just kidding, I didn't know who she was either) She was an incredible speaker though! Choir and devotionals are the BEST. Gym time is also a definite favorite. We run with flash cards and everyone in my district yells "Kaya Ninyo!!" ("you can do it") every time we pass each other. One new thing this week is my kasama and I aren't alone in our room anymore! Last night we got two new sisters, one from Spain and one from Guatemala, and one sister in the middle of the night from Mongolia. They are so so cute and I just love them already. I got to Host yesterday (bring new sister missionaries in) and that was the highlight of my week for sure. That is just such an exciting/terrifying/awesome day and I got to be a part of it for 3 sisters. 

You know you're in the MTC when...
A very alarming deep voice comes over the intercom that sounds like they are announcing the end of the world when really they are just making all the sister's aware that "There is a male worker. I repeat MALE worker coming into the vicinity. Make sure you are covering every inch of your body and stay locked in your rooms." Okay they don't really say that but that is the just of it. So I guess it is basically the end of the world. I mean it's a male for crying out loud. Ano mga iyon?? (What are those??) 

Missionaries laugh too...
So funny story. You have a key to get into your room at night. And there's no other way to get into your room, which makes sense, cause we have keys. PERO (but) my kasama and I both decided to leave our keys in the room and go party in another room that had food and we got locked out. We found out we had to go all the way across the MTC to the front desk and get a temporary key. Not too bad, definite 1st world problem, but the catch is we were already ready for bed. I had no shoes on, in my ugly PJ's, and no glasses. My roommate was wearing her pizza. Yes she has a onzie that is literally cheese and pepperoni, she looks delicious. So Sister Pizza and her blind mouse ran in the cold to the front desk to get a new key, all along the way getting "nice pizza" and stares but hey we made their night! AND we got to make it again 20 minutes later when yes, we did indeed lock ourselves out. Again. That was a good night :) 

Spiritual Thought...
One of the coolest things about being here in the MTC is the Spirit. It is so unbelievably strong. My kasama and I were teaching the district meeting lesson on Enduring to the End this Sunday and I got to experience one of those "I heard a voice say this" karanasan (experience). We read the scripture Alma 37:44-46. I asked the group to replace the word "easy" with "simple" and "simplicity". I encourage you all to do the same. It tells us to not become slothful because of the easiness of the way, but in sa palagay ko (in my opinion) life is not easy. God's purpose and his plan is extremely simple though. Have faith in Christ and His atonement, repent of your mistakes, be baptized by immersion under proper authority from God, and pitiis hanggang wakas (endure to the end). That is very simple. But we must be continually working our best at keeping these covenants daily and centering our lives on Christ. That is not always easy amidst the trials and obstacles God allows to be placed in our path! And even when are being obedient and doing all the right things, He may still test you. We shared a video of a woman who was the perfect example of trials. A Mormon message called "The Refiner's Fire" is about a woman who loses every member of her family to cancer. If you haven't seen it, watch it. If you have, watch it again. Around the middle/end, they show the hammer pounding the metal, clearly forming it into something else but through a lot of force. It switches from the hammer to the woman sharing her story back and forth. As I was standing on the side, I heard "Pause the video." That wasn't in our plan for the lesson so I was like "". Then the next time the hammer came on the screen I heard it again "pause the video now." At this point I am thinking, my kasama will be like what the heck are you doing and also I had no idea what I was supposed to explain. I couldn't shake the feeling though I walked over to the computer, paused the video, and turned towards the class. I just opened my mouth. I just opened my mouth and hoped the Holy Ghost would fill it. I then asked the class to think who else endured the pounding of a hammer? Who else suffered through trials that mentally, spiritually, and physically wounded Him? Who else thought for a moment they would not be able to endure, but found strength in his Father in heaven and continued on his course? And what became of His sacrifice? What beautiful thing did the hammer and the refiner's fire shape him into? Then I continued the video. 
I ask you all to watch that video and pause it at the same place and think these things for yourself. Those words were not my own, and they are not just for the elders and sisters in my classroom. We all need to remember the incredible challenge our Savior endured for us and the incredible, immeasurable blessings we have received from it. How lucky we are to endure trials. How lucky we are to experience the tiniest fraction of the suffering our Savior did for us. Alam ko po na (I know that) as we endure each trial, stage of life, year, week, day, hour, and endure with faith, patience and cheerfulness (Mosiah 24:15) we will not only experience blessings and growth in our life, but also better the lives of all those around us. 

Mahal Kita, 

Sista Walters 

 Thanks to Draper 10th Young Women for my awesome notes!
 Sis Bleak is from Riverton, we work really well together.
 Another temple day for Sis. Bleak and I .
 You can only do so much studying at a desk!
We have two more roommates.  I love them all...
You get to run into the neatest people on temple walks, like my old FHE group from BYU!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

First Week in the MTC! Feb 18, 2016

Feb 18, 2016
Well, they don't say the MTC is like drinking out of a fire hydrant for no reason. About two minutes after saying goodbye to your family you are being ushered through the MTC, getting your name tag, key, dropping off your stuff in your room, and then your host leaves you in your classroom (which is basically your new home because you will spend 9 hours in there every day). Then you think you can catch your breath but your using every ounce of brain power to understand whatever you can of what your teacher is trying to tell another language. PERO OKAY LONG! (Tagalog for but all is well, just okay!) I love being busy so naturally, I. Love. The. MTC. Every day is the same, wake up, breakfast, work out, study for three hours, lunch, class for three hours, dinner, plan for the next day and fall into your bed. Anything out of the ordinary (or just out of the classroom) is exciting so church on sundays, service on tuesdays, and p-days on thursdays are theeeee best. The fire hydrant never stops, you just learn how to swallow faster :)  

                                           YOU know you're in the MTC When:

You hear about 8 different languages a day from smiling faces passing by you, either saying hello, thank you for opening the door, or laughing at some inside joke in french/thai/russian/spanish. 

Spiritual Thought- 
The song Nearer My God to Thee is about Jacob, the son of Isaac, and his experience in the desert. His mom had recently warned him that his brother was going to kill him and he needed to leave immedietly. Not even pausing to grab anything, he rushes into the desert, following the directions of his mother to another civilization. He stops to take a rest and is understandably down in the dumps because his life is pretty awful at this point. He has always been the good son, and his reward is his mom telling him to leave and never come back. Because he didn't grab his cushy pillow on the way out, he rests his head on a stone to take a nap. During this he has a dream in which angels come to him and he is summoned into heaven to see God. It is believed that here the angels were actually helping him receive his endowments. When he wakes up, his mood, perspective, and attitude are completely turned around and he is thinking he has got the best life of anyone around at. (Granted there weren't that many others wandering in the desert but still it was a pretty cool dream.) He realizes the significance of his vision and decides that that right there was a holy spot, and built a temple (a pile of rocks but still sacred.) "Out of my stony griefs, bethel I'll raise." (Bethel is a word they used to describe heaven.) Read the words of Nearer My God to Thee and notice Jacob's change of outlook on life. Trials are not what bring us down. Obstacles are not what keeps us from happiness. Tribulation is not placed in our lives to see how much we can take or how long we can endure suffering. Rather difficult times, some more difficult than we would ever choose to bring upon ourselves, are given to us to force us to look inside ourselves and therefore become closer to God. Trials are not only necessary for growth but they are sacred. What are you trudging through right now that you can see as a blessing? How can you turn it into an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your savior and ultimately find what is within yourself that the Lord sees, making you fit to endure this trial? 
Missions are not easy. I can see that from the start and I am not even in the thick of it. I know that the Lord did not send me more than I can bear. Although this will be the hardest thing I have done in my life until now, I have learned more about myself and about my savior in the past week than I have in 18 years of being a Mormon. My mission is sacred, and I cannot wait to look at this pile of rocks as a temple from the other side. 

Mahal Kita!!!
Sister Walters 

 Elder Landen Hartman going to Australia  and from my ward.  We went in the MTC the same day.
 Me and my swag tag!
 My kasama (companion) and I on our Sunday temple walk!!!
  The sisters in our zone. I love them so much :) We have two sisters from Kiribati!! (By the Marshall Islands)
 This cute sister was so tiny I had to take a pic of her.
 Our Philippine's Flag!
 This is our district!
 LOVED my birthday packages, you guys are so awesome. I was freezing and needed my fuzzy socks!!
 I have to get creative while studying because I can't sit for too long so I take over the board hahaah this is me memorizing the subjects for Tagalog! I made a jeapordy game out of it and if you got the answer wrong you had to do push ups..
 The food is decent....I eat salad. every. day. all. meals.
This is my kasama (my companion)  and I at choir!!!