Sunday, June 1, 2008

May 5th email

All right, I was officially wrong about mothers day's next week:) That means I can call but we've still not been informed of how. I don't fully understand the time difference but I will be calling some time early in the morning Monday here which will be some time around five-seven Sunday night there I think? Yeah, except I think I need to give you the number to my phone card and have you call Ate Ludy's land line and that will be what works best, because her land line doesn't call out. I might need to have her email that information to you and hopefully it will all get worked out! As an explanation for Ate...and Kuya here they have this respect thing and if you are the older sibling all of your younger siblings call you not by just your first name but they must say Ate Britney (for a girl) and Kuya "Mike" for a boy. Sometimes you use it for people who are older than you that you associate with, or you just call everyone Nanay and Tay or Tatay for mother and father. We had interviews house to house with the president last week so I chatted with Elder Queathem (AP going home in July) about how to learn and adjust and stuff and we talked about school at BYU since he will soon be returning. Then he said...oh, so your birthday is in December, you're a little bit older than me, "Ate Landrum" haha. It's kind of like using "po" while you speak for respect and it's funny how all those words mean at all are "respect" and you get accustomed to hearing it and it sounds nice to hear it..."Oo" for yes changes to "Opo" and all the little children respond to us by saying "Opo"and it just sounds nicer, respectful even though it really doesn't mean anything. Anyway, I can't explain it but it's an interesting cultural note on the language, culture being very important for the overall learning of any language, demonstrated clearly in these couple of words :) I can't remember all the pictures I sent...the one of me in the bathroom, well that is what we use to flush the toilet but that's also where I would stand and how I would bathe. I dump that ladel of water on my head and suds up and then dump more water. The sheets are pretty, I needed two pair so I can wash the one... they are pretty but not quite as comfy as the blue ones grandma bought me...a little scrathchy but just today as we left I was admiring how I like the cheerful bed spreads in our kind of empty apartment. she'll learn Spanish. Spanish would be so useful to know. The other night Sister Mabalot and I were talking about all the different places and church history sites in the world that we would like to see. It got me thinking about all the different missions I could have been sent to, visitors centers where you dress up a bit fancier than I do here and give tours etc. or somewhere in Europe or somewhere in South America or just another state in America and about Tagalog and how exciting it's going to be to find out what great use I will have for it after my mission. Preach my Gospel says to continue learning the language always because the Lord has invested much in you and will have use for your if I believe that I must have some work to do after my mission to help the people who speak Tagalog, as much as I may think knowing Spanish or something else would be more useful...for me Tagalog will be what I use to serve and maybe I will study Spanish again and it will be easier to learn once I have Tagalog. You don't dance at all? That's kind of upsetting! So does dad have to sing? From what I remember that part sings but maybe they have adapted the play for the stake? Remember how Shaggy Tony (who took me to prom) looked when he came to destroy my room? That's because he was one of Chuck's gang members in our high school's performance of footloose so he had to grow his hair out like that. I'm slightly depressed that you are all in a play and I don't get to see it. Way back when I was the one in plays, I wonder if I'll ever be in a play again or if that part of my life is over. I've wondered that about dance a little too. This morning Sister Mabalot and I decided to be more dedicated about our exercise, and she keeps telling me I need to stay flexible to dance when I go home, although I don't know if I'll get the opportunity to...I do want to stay flexible! We've been a bit achy in the mornings and through the day "Sakitsa likod" she'll say which means, pain in my back!" haha so we made a plan which requires us to wake up a little earlier but Monday's we will jog near the dagat, or ocean...Tuesday weights (somehow, we don't have any) and muscle training and flexibility, Wed kickboxing style stuff thurs weights and flexibility again and Friday stairs and lunges then Saturday some kind of yoga/whatever we decide that day to get us ready for Sunday! The White missionary handbook tells us to follow a regular excercise schedule and we've been lacking in that so we're trying to improve upon all aspects of our work and starting here with our health. We're both excited about it and it, we'll see how it works. At interviews they brought us mail and I got another letter from Mom and one from Sister Vake, Sister Hill and an Elder Budd...Elder Budd? So I opened it and he had seen a picture Sister Vake has of me and was like "what! Britney?" So Sister Vake told him I was now Sister Landrum and he wrote me a letter expressing his excitment at getting to now call me Sister Landrum and that we would both know Tagalog. He was one of the Premies (pre missionaries) freshman in my ward at Campus Plaza. I forgot he went to the Philippines. They were a funny group of boys in that apartment and he went on some dates with Ashlee, my roommate from that year. Anyway, it was exciting to hear from him and everyone else. He talked about how the beginning while learning Tagalog is Hindi Mabuti...not fun, not good etc. but that it's great and he seemed to be doing really well and gave lots of encouragement. I like hearing from people who have clearly learned it, it makes it seems more possible especially since I knew him before I know he didn't know it, and to hear that everyone struggles. Soccer is fun, I enjoy the women's soccer games at BYU but as far as I recallI spent my soccer days just running up and down the field really fast...haha. At least I was exercising but it probably would have cost less to just make me run up and down a field chasing after a ball you threw at me. I think they have plan of salvation props...somewhere...some people bought some from a lady that makes them at the MTC and maybe I should have just done that but hers weren't my favorite. We'll figure something out, thanks for trying for me and I'm excited to see what you did come up with.

Aww, the Temple. I miss the Temple, especially when I think about Andrea:) She will probably be really busy with marriage and changes but I want pictures earlier than her delinquency will bring so if you happen to attend her reception I would love for you to take some pictures for me and send them :) I guess this is rather far in advance for that but it was a thought I thought I would get outof the way. Rochelle and Tony need to be married. Tony is a member, reactivated recently as we've been teaching Rochelle. She's decided to be baptized but they have to be married first. We had a great lesson about eternal things and the happy preparations they will make to be sealed in the temple in a year or so. We figured it out so that maybe it could be right as I was going home and Sister Mabalot would travel to Manila (since she will have already gone home) and we could both attend their sealing. They seemed happy about it etc. Our next visit they were both quiet, frustrated etc. and from what I gathered/understood her parents are getting upset again about having the wedding at the Catholic Church which is too expensive for them really and they would need to baptize Tony at the Catholic Church...we're not really sure that is something he should do and neither is he but Rochelle is having a hard time with reconciling her family and the gospel. We shared part of Pres Monson's message on Treasures of Eternity and talked about making sacrifices. Sister Mabalot's family is Catholic also...she shared her story about them not accepting her but now that she's here they have begun to again and she has hopes to teach them when she goes home. We talked about how the adversary will put things not of eternal value in our way as trials and we have to choose to follow his commandments and pray for advice when there are multiple choices that could take us down different roads.'s kind of a rollercoaster ride, missionary work. One day everyone is so joyful and the next so miserable and we have to try to pull through it all with strong faith. I liked something they said at the MTC...this life is a test right so when you think, man I'm being tested or this is hard just remember"oh yeah, this is part of my test and I'm going to pass this section with an A!" Now if my feet kind of hurt or my skirt is just too long and too hot or I didn't understand anything the person who was just trying to talk to me said I think...well this is just part of my test am I going to be happy about it and work harder, learn something or am I going to fail it and have to be tested again? I hummm a bit and think of Nephi who was always so obedient and then when his trials were great and he sorrowed because of the sins he makes due to being mortal he cries out to the Lord desiring to rejoice in Him and put off his sins and no longer droop in sorrow etc. and says that he knows in whom he has trusted, then later says "I have trusted in the Lord and I shall trust in thee forever and not in the arm of flesh etc" It's in large part this perspective that makes each situation one that we can handle and even with a happy attitude? Of course I'm not perfect at it by any means but I know the goal point to strive for at least. Anyway, I'm going to do the same and save more of my better stories for my hand written letter, I think.

Sister Britney Landrum