Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week Three!!! Merry Christmas!!!

kumusta po kayo?

This last week hasn't been easy for me. Kasama ko (my companion) has been rather difficult and I've been having a hard time. At the end of last week, she just kept getting really upset whenever we would try to plan a lesson. When I would tell her that what she wanted to teach was not what we should, she would go into every lesson and just hand them a Book of Mormon and commit them to reading it every day and pray to know of its truth. I repeatedly tell her every lesson that it's about more than that, and that we have to teach at the pace of the investigator. Before we even start teaching, we have to establish a relationship with the investigator. We have to let them know why we are there and we have to build trust, but she flat out just kept saying, "Well, I disagree, but whatever..." So, I got really frustrated, and knew that if I said even one more word, I would not be speaking with love or with kindness, so I didn't (keep in mind we are in a classroom with me, her, and 5 other elders). Then she was like, "Oh, so you aren't going to talk to me?" So I didn't respond. I just kept reading my Scriptures and planning my lesson, so she was like, "You know, you are so immature." That was when I just stood up, left, and went to the bathroom until the end of study time. After that, we had exercise time and so I went and took a shower before that, so that I could wash my hair, because after exercise time I only have time to wash my body and not do my hair. So I come back into our room after I shower, and she says, "Oh, so you're still not talking to me." Be aware that I still haven't got dressed yet, and I'm coming into my own room so that I can. She then goes off by saying, "Okay, so I guess I'll talk and you listen. I think we are on a mission to learn of the Lord, and you don't do that by flirting with all the boys and doing whatever you want." I don't think I've ever been so angry in my life and I'm so thankful to my Heavenly Father for giving me strength in that moment to not respond, because I would've lost it. I pray every day that I will be able to at all times only respond to situations with love and understanding. I am so blessed that I can say I have been able to do that. I have not said or done a single negative thing towards her. I went to class and waited until Sister Aikan got there (my little Filipino woman who takes care of me), and our lesson of the day happened to be about Companionship Inventory, so she wanted all of the companionships to go find a empty room and do that. But I knew I could not be kind to her if I did that so I asked sister Aikan if I could instead just talk to her alone. So we sat, and I told her what a hard time I was having, and how I just wanted to sit and talk to you about it. She told me that she had "Facebook stalked me" before I got here to the MTC as soon as she saw me on her class list, because she knew I was half-Filipino. So she had seen your Facebook, too, and so she said she would message you. She told me that if she could, she would just take me home with her, and we could go to the 7/11 and get a Slurpee together. I told her that that was something you would've said. She had to leave, but she told me that she would get our other teacher, Brother Blackham, to come sit and talk to us both. Since then, things have been okay with my companion. Brother Blackham gave me a blessing after talking to both of us and it was the best thing. The day after he gave me a blessing, I went and I was reading through my patriarchal blessing. A lot of the things he told me in my blessing were exactly the same as in my patriarchal blessing, which was really cool. For our Tuesday devotional, the Piano Guys came to the MTC, which was the COOLEST thing! On Sunday, one of the Apostles is going to come talk to us and I'm so excited about it. I have such love for every person in my zone (including my companion), and I'm so lucky that I've gotten to know each one of them. I'm really excited for Christmas, because our two districts are doing Secret Santa. The person I get to give a gift to is Sister Stoddard. (She is in the other district, but her and I work out together every day. I love her so much, she is my favorite sister here, and she is from Rexburg!) Elder Takau, the Tongan Elder who is one of our zone leaders and in my district, is my best friend here. He is very mindful of when I am having a hard time, and he always sits and talks to me about it and tells me that he prays for me, which is super kind. All of the elders have been really great to me, and I'm such close friends with all of them, and most of the sisters, too, and for that, I am grateful. I'm also extremely grateful for Sister Aikan for always looking out for me. I feel the Lord's love for me through all these people every day. I love you guys, I miss you guys, and I am really grateful for all the letters this week, and for the Christmas cards from the Clegg's, the Bonny's, and the Kidd's.

-- Sister Leilani Parke

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