Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week 4!!

Hello friends and family! Time is flying by. This week was so great! Tagalog is still very, very hard and I am still very bad, but I'm actually having a lot of fun learning it! I love when I am sitting in class and something clicks. Bless my teachers for being so patient and answering all my questions haha. Sometimes I wish they would speak English for like 5 minutes but I know this Tagalog immersion is helping a ton.

One of my teachers taught an amazing lesson this week about aligning our will with God's will. He shared Luke 22:42 and said that even Jesus Christ had to give up what He wanted and submit to God's will when He was performing the Atonement. I know that sometimes it can be hard to give up what we want and ask God what His plan is for us. But I know that when we align our will with God's, He will bless us and help us become the people we want to be. I'm thankful to know that I am a child of God. I know that He loves us and has a plan for each one of you. I am so thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who made it possible for me to try again and become better every day! How amazing is that??

The host from Music & The Spoken Word, Lloyd Newell came to the MTC and we did like the MTC & The Spoken Word. It was so cool to be a part of it! We watch Music & The Spoken Word every Sunday here it's so good!! I don't know why I never watched it before. You all should watch it this Sunday.

This week we taught the nicest old Filipino lady. She's a member from the Philippines and lives in Orem, Utah now. We shared a message with her to practice our Tagalog and teaching and it ended up being one of the best experiences I've had so far! Sister Owen and I were teaching so well together and the Spirit was definitely guiding the lesson and helping us. We were teaching her about pananampalataya (faith) and challenged her to read Alma 32 and pray about how she can increase her faith in Jesus Christ. She started crying and shared a personal experience with us and told us that she had been struggling with her faith and was looking for an answer from God. It was an amazing lesson. I know that God was working through me that day. I know that God loves this lady and is totally aware of her. 

Sorry, I wish I had more stories but just know that I am so, so happy here! I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I am so excited to be in the Philippines in 2 1/2 weeks!! I am definitely going to take advantage of all the hot showers and American food while I'm here. I'll end with a quote my teacher shared this week that I think could help all of us right now, no matter what stage of life we are in. "Learn what you should learn. Do what you should do. Be who you should be." I love you all!!! Thank you so much for the support and prayers. 

Me and Sister Owen with the new sisters that came in 2 weeks ago. Sister London in the middle is from Kirabati and went through the temple for the first time right before this picture! It was so special to be there with her! 

Me and Sister Owen and Sister K at the temple walk last Sunday. Those are the bestttt! Our whole branch brings blankets and we lay around and talk for hours. And it feels amazing outside!! I love Utah right now. Sister K (her last name is really complicated and hard to say so we call her Sister K) is one of my roommates and she is also from Kirabati. She is sooo funny and cute. She's learning English and Tagalog here, she is amazing. Her favorite song is Jar of Hearts hahaha and she always sings the chorus in this cute accent and gives me hugs and tells me I'm beautiful in Kirabati. We will definitely be friends forever!!
Lots of love,
Sister Giles

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Week 3

Things I do a lot here at the MTC: laugh, cry and pray. But this week, the only times I cried were from laughing so hard! There were no tears of discouragement or stress. So definitely an improvement from last week. I feel your prayers so thank you so much!

My Tagalog is improving like crazy! I learned a great lesson this week. Whenever I have feelings of stress or fear, those feelings are never from the Spirit. Whenever I am turned out, being optimistic and not fearing I am so much happier! The Holy Ghost is not one of fear or selfishness. If I want the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost I have to make my mind and heart a place where it can be. So now whenever I am discouraged I replace that thought with something like "I can do hard things!" and I feel comfort and peace. D&C 68:3-6.

Mom, you will be proud of me for this next thing. So, my district has been really sick all week. Luckily me and my kasama feel good but the Elders are super sick. And of course none of them were taking any medicine or doing anything to get themselves better! So I brought emergen-C and zicam and essential oils and other stuff and forced them to take medicine. And they are all feeling so much better!! 2 of the elders had really bad coughs so they put a drop of the Breathe essential oil on their necks and apparently they were healed haha so I guess they work!! I feel kind of bad for making fun of those oils now. I guess I'm a DoTerra believer. Their moms are probably thanking me. I'm convinced every district needs sister missionaries because 18 year old boys have no idea how to take care of themselves.   
My MTC District

Sister Wixom, the General Primary President came and spoke to the MTC on Tuesday and it was amazing!! She is so awesome. I love how involved she is in the church. She is such a great voice for women! So, I'm in the MTC choir. Haha I know you're probably all shocked. Yes, I sing really quiet or just mouth the words but I love it! Our branch is required to be in it but I am so happy about it! The spirit when we sing is so strong. I have chills the whole time. 

Sister Owen and I have the best kasamahan ever!! I love her more everyday. And my district is the best. We laugh so much, I'm definitely going to be friends with these people forever!! They all lift me up when I'm sad or answer my crazy questions about the scriptures. It's so cool how deep of a friendship we have after 2 1/2 weeks. The other day a couple of us were having a deep conversation about pre-earth life and one of the elders said he loves how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple enough for a child to understand but complex enough for an educated person to never fully comprehend the magnitude of it. I love that! I think it's a quote from somewhere but it's so true. I love studying the scriptures. I have so much to learn, it makes me so excited!! 

Alam ko po na totoo ang Aklat ni Mormon. Alam ko po na sinasagot po ng plano ng Diyos ang mga tanong. Mahal Kita!!!

Thank you so much for the dear elders and emails!! I LOVE hearing from everybody. Keep me updated!!! Here's a pic of the Toros at the MTC and a selfie with Elder Limb and Elder Tupua from our temple walk on Sunday! I'm ready for another week!!

I love you all, 
Sister Giles 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 2!

Things are great here at the MTC!! I am learning so much everyday. I am also so tired. All the time. This schedule is intense but I love being so busy! I wish I had exciting things to tell you but the MTC is like the same thing everyday. I promise my emails will be more exciting in the Philippines! So, I have been humbled multiple times this week. Right when I think I am getting the language or think I have everything figured out I am quickly reminded that I am soooo weak without Jesus Christ. I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, but I have to keep him at the center of my life! 

I am struggling with Tagalog, but I know I will get it. I am definitely the worst in my district at pronunciation. But I'm determined to be the hardest worker! One day in class we were reading from the Tagalog Book of Mormon out loud and I was the last one to read. Everybody had an amazing accent and could roll their r's perfect and they were talking fast so I was freaking out. When it was my turn I did badddddd. I was stumbling over every word and just couldn't spit it out. I got so frustrated with myself and started to cry. It was embarrassing but I pulled myself together and finished the verse. But it was a sweet experience because my teacher and district were so supportive and patient with me! I hate feeling like the worst one but I know that my weaknesses can become my strengths though Jesus Christ and his Atonement. I know that with enough faith and hard work, God will perform miracles for me and I will get this language! I know that you all can do hard things!!

The MTC is amazing. I love being surrounded by so many amazing Elders and Sisters! This really is a magical place. I am giving a lesson tomorrow in church on enduring to the end. I don't have a lot of time to email about it but I encourage all of you to go study the scriptures and read the talk by Elder Kevin W Pearson titled "Stay by the Tree." It's great!! 

I never realized how amazing the scriptures were until I got here. Study them every day!!!! They will change your life, I promise. Here's a pic of me and Sister Owens and our first investigator who is now one of our teachers! She's sooo awesome. And I promise I wear my hair down and get ready a couple times a week..haha sorry mom. 

Sister Giles 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Week 1!!

Airport Goodbyes

Hello!! I am doing great! I love the MTC. I LOVE wearing this name tag everyday. I have learned that the MTC is all about your attitude. The first day was a little bit overwhelming but I loved it!! It really was so fun. But I have it pretty easy because my companion is Sister Owen!! We went to high school together and I couldn't have asked for a better companion. It's so funny when we talk to people and we are like yeah we are both from Mesa, same high school, yes we knew each other. It is such a blessing. We laugh all the time and have already gotten so close. And I've seen Jeff Kerr and Corbin McAllister and so many other Mesa people. Mesa really is the best city in the world.

Sister Katie Owen and me

My district, the people I spend all day with learning tagalog, is awesome. It's a bunch of 18 year old boys who just graduated haha but we have already gotten so close because we are together so much. Yesterday we were in the classroom allllllll day learning tagalog. And although at the end of the night my brain literally hurt and my eyes were burning and I was so overwhelmed haha, I had such a good day. We laughed, I almost cried, we were all slap happy together haha it's so fun. I have the best branch president, he and his wife are amazing people. They are the Howard's. They were mission presidents in Manila until 2012 and they are hilarious. My roommates are also great they have been here for 2 weeks so they are so helpful to me and Sister Owen. So many friendly people here!

My MTC District

Thursday we had this amazing workshop about loving the people that we are serving and I learned so much. It's crazy how I have only been here 4 days but I have already changed. I KNOW that this is where I am supposed to be and there are people in the Philippines who need me. We talked about how our purpose as missionaries is not to just teach lessons and get people baptized. It's to invite and help. And that should be everybody's purpose! Invite others to come unto Christ, don't force. And help and serve them!!

Friday morning at 8 AM me and Sister Owen taught our first lesson! In Tagalog!!!!! More like Taglish haha but it was SO COOL. The gift of tongues is real. It wasn't a good lesson by any means haha but it was wayyyy better than I expected. I remembered phrases that I didn't even think I knew and we invited our investigator Jodi to read the Book or Mormon and I showed her Moroni 10:4-5 and told her to read that. And she accepted, it was amazing. We teach her again tonight!! It makes me want to work on my Tagalog so I can talk to her! It was hard and kind of overwhelming but so so cool. (And the investigator is obviously a member and returned missionary haha don't worry I'm not teaching like a real investigator.)

Mt. View Toros in the MTC

Sister Owen and I decided that we are going to be the most obedient missionaries possible. We learned that obedience=blessings but exact obedience=miracles. And I know that we need a miracle if we are going to learn this language. I'm so lucky to have a companion that makes me want to be a better missionary! But unfortunately this means that people can't visit me at the temple tomorrow :( They told us not to have people meet us there. I wish I could see your faces one more time but please don't come see me because we all know I need miracles not just blessings!! Haha. I love this Gospel, I love being a missionary and I love all of you!! As I was sitting on the plane with like 20 other missionaries I realized that I am the luckiest girl in the world. I have the best friends and family!! I know this church is true and it can bring us more happiness and peace than anything else on this world. I am so excited for the next 18 months!! Alam ko na totoo ang ebanghelyo. Mahal kita!!!!

Sister Giles