Sister Rhea Walters

Sister Rhea Walters

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Travel time ..or shall we say forward in time....

Hong Kong Airport
Week Recap:          March 29, 2016
Well nothing really new happened this week... JOKE LANG I AM IN THE PHILIPPINES! It is amazing here. I love you so much family but I am never coming home. Joke lang again but seriously, I just have so much love for the people and the language and the place in general here. So we had over 24 hours of traveling and that was very long, especially when I was held up in security for my illegal pepper spray,
Talking to my family was so much fun for me :) We got a big conference call going and I was able to talk to almost everyone! My cute Kasama caught some pay phone action for me :) 
BUT we finally arrived at the Manila airport, greeted by the MTC president. We were pretty dang tired so I think the first day we just ate food, had one class, and passed. out. I sleep so good here because I am just so exhausted.
The workers wrote our names on our drinks and we didn't even give them to them :) Go having a tag on all the time hahaha 

This sleep eye patch thing has saved my life. I sleep soo good. 
All five of us girls from Provo are in a room together so it is super fun but a little more difficult with one shower. Good thing none of us care what we look like here in the Philippines. Our third day here we went out proselyting!! We each received a new temporary companion from the Manila mission and went out to whatever activities they had planned. My kasama was amazing and said we were doing finding the whole time. So off we went walking through the streets, rode a trike (if you can imagine those little tent scooter things you attach to a bike to put your kid in, it's like that but just the little tent thing and like four people crammed in there), and talked to mga pinoy along the way! It was so hot and we walked a ton but I just didn't even care because I was in heaven. I got so excited handing out my first pamphlet and bearing my testimony to people!! They are so so loving and are so surprised when this white blonde girl who has this happy-go-lucky smile on her face starts speaking Tagalog. The poverty is unreal here. A shed on the side of the street where you might place your dirty brooms or a lawn mower is what someone calls home. My eyes have been opened to so much and I am almost guilty for all the blessings and comforts I have at home. Despite the heat, and the poverty, and the dirt, man these people know how to smile. They are just so happy. All the time. My kind of people :)

The Manila MTC
Every day we have just had gym, class, and meals. The same as Provo, but so different. The food is super different. Like I can't describe any of the flavors because it isn't anything you expect but still so good. I don't really even know what I've been eating. But I stay away from cheese and too much rice and I haven't gotten sick yet so we are good! It is also a lot more intimate here because it is so small! All the other missionaries are from New Zealand, Australia, or Philippines. (Side note, my heart is totally locked, don't even know where the key is, pero I will marry a New Zealander.)
Today we had the opportunity to go to the temple and do a little shopping which was nice!

The temple is sooo so beautiful. Tomorrow I wake up at 5 to get my last travels over and OFFICIALLY start my mission as I head to Baguio. I could not be more excited or scared. I finally get to share what I know to be true, in the language I have pushed every day to learn, and to the people I have grown to love from the opposite side of the world. Wish me luck ;) 

You Know You're In the Philippines When...

No tanning lotion, white is the new beautiful!

Vegetarians can still have it all....
Man there are SO many things I could put in this section but I have 16 months to spread them out so...when the top half of your body sticks up over the bathroom stall because in this country we are technically giants. Like seriously everyone is so tiny and cute, it's amazing. 

Missionaries can Laugh Too...

Just to let you know I am still normal, which for me is weird..
So police are pretty strict at airports right? Because that is a place of some serious potential threat and danger. Now imagine a little, white. blonde missionary, sat down and surrounded by four or five airport police being held up in the security section. They are taking down her name, her passport number, all her travel plans. asking her life history, taking pictures, saying who knows what over walkie-talkies...and what is the girl doing? She is fighting her best to keep down her laughter. Because she knows to the 11 other missionaries waiting for her, the situation looks pretty funny. And it's all over a little can of pepper spray in her carry on that she doesn't even know how to use. That was me in Hong Kong :) It was hilarious. 

Tagalog Word of the Day...

Nakakapagpabagabag- worrisom or bothersome. (one of my favorites) 

Spiritual Thought...

It is so beautiful here, like the garden of Eden

hugging the trees dahil (because) never leaving 

I have also seen so many incredible things this week this section could be a novel, BUT the most incredible thing I have seen is god's children. God's children are not just our family. They aren't just our neighbors, friend's, ward, stake, or all the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Every single individual on this earth is numbered as one of God's beloved children, and numbered as such in his mind. What has been amazing for me, as a missionary, is to truly adopt the perspective of Christ and see everyone as He would. I am still so far from being completely in-line with the Savior, that is a constant and eternal goal for all of us, but you get a little crash-course in the time you serve as a missionary. We saw so many mga pinoy (Filipinos) that in the US or if not a missionary, I would be hesitant to talk to. I might even worry that I would get a weird smell on me, or need to shower, or at least avert my eyes if next to them. This is so horrible to admit but for those reading back home, what do you think when a homeless person comes onto the bus? I know I am not the only one. But here, now, I would be talking with someone about my love for my family, this gospel, my gratitude for the savior, and only when I was leaving even notice they probably had less teeth than I have fingers, weren't wearing much more than...well much at all, and lived on the blanket they sat on. I just loved them as soon as I saw them. I wanted them to have what I have and know what I know. Because this gospel makes me SO happy. It is my hope at the end of the day that all my efforts are worth something. The Plan of Salvation is the light at the end of the tunnel that I WILL see my savior someday, and will be received into his arms. The Restoration reminds me that we are so blessed to have God's true and direct authority on the earth, in this church, today. The Gospel of Jesus Christ tells me exactly what I need to do and how to live in order to fulfill my purpose in this life and fulfill it joyfully. All of God's commandments are a reminder of His love for us and are our safety vests in this skydive of a life here. These are the lessons that I teach as a missionary. These give me purpose. And my purpose is to help others realize theirs. So I challenge you to see each and every person you see tomorrow as a child of God, as your brother or sister you had in heaven. Treat them as such. Be a light and an example of love and service. Share what you know whether by word or example. Then thank Heavenly Father for the insights you received that day. The next morning, as the Lord to open your eyes to continue to see His children the way He would, and do it again :) 

I love you all so much and appreciate your prayers ( I will especially need them my first week) and support! 

Mahal ko po kayo, 

Sista Walters 


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