Monday, April 13, 2009

Email March 8th, 2009

I'm glad that my mail made it to the house -- even if it took a while. I do try to be more diligent in writing letters and in being good about my information in email and letters. As for writing mostly spiritual things in email and "logistics" in letters I'm not sure how I could sort it out. Sometimes the business gets put in emails because it's faster and my emails aren't full of spirituality, but then my hand written letters don't really happen. I'll admit that having to write my letters and do my emails only on Monday and at a speicific time makes it somewhat forced sometimes, I guess I just can't always be in a story telling mood or have that be what's on my mind. I found writing letters so much morep leasing and relaxing before my mission -- this is not complaining I still enjoy writing letters and I have a lot to say but anyway I'll just continue on as I do and I hope it works out for everyone.

We have spent a week working in Pola as a companionship and all is going well. Sister Jagnas is a recent convert. She had been a member for one year and ten months before her mission. Before the missionaries taught her she was a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo Church, a very prominent church here in the Philippines. It is very interesting to hear her insights from the change and her insider perspective. Each companion is so very, very different -- there is simply no comparing them they are just different. She is also 22, a month older than me. She has been on her mission for three transfers, I have four transfers left of my mission. I don't like counting in transfers -- that's a super small number. I saw sister Thompson also at transfers and she informed me that her family is getting "Trunky" for her and even told here that her flight plans had come, she still has two transfers left, however.

I have a few questions about the apartment -- will we have a car and did they ask you if you would like to reserve a parking space because if we do have a car I definitely want a parking space reserved, the sticker is $40.00 or something like that. Also, does the house come with Internet like the apartments or no? Anyway, I guess I can't do much about either at this point so all is well -- and continually strange.

I was doing some stretching the other day and realized that I have lost a LOT of my flexibility in my legs while here on the mission. Probably because I do so much walking so the muscle has been building in some places without the proper stretching to go with it and overall my exercise is limited to none. Well, hopefully my flexibility returns. I guess I may have lost physical flexibilty but I've gained mental and spiritual flexibility and firmness so it's a good trade. It's great how almost all concepts, or all, can be applied in gospel terms. As our body requires us to become strong and firm while equally stretching or else we will be in pain, in mental and spiritual lives must be strengthened and firm but also be open and flexible -- what I mean is that we must stand and not waver in our faith and in our testimony but we must also eventually learn to see and think as God does which is fully open, he sees and understands all and each perspective and there is no limit, and yet as mortals aour thoughts and our vision is so straight and narrow and not open. There is an importance balance in our lives to being "open minded" to matters and yet firm in our standards.

Our district is wonderful, I really like our new district here. Our district leader is training and he goes home the same time I do. His companion is American and so his Tagalog is very "beginner" and I am glad that I am beyond that :) The other two elder's are both new, they re-opened the area and one of them is Sister Jagnas's batch coming into the mission, American, and with only three transfers here is better at the language than almost anyone I know -- he also speaks spanish which is a great help to him. HIs companion is from the middle east, I believe, but his father is Filipino so he looks like everyone from here. We have good uplifiting meetings and I can feel that everyone wants to work hard and help their areas improve and help their companionships -- continue learning the language etc. We have three Americans again in my distrcit and we are all at very different stages of learning, another things that is interesting to see. Sister Jagnas said that in just the week we have been together my accent has improved -- she informed me the other day that I don't sound as American anymore. It is hard when your companions have all been American -- and besides being with her now I still have a terrible accent but people understand me.

At this point I do know the area and the people fairly well -- sometimes it's hard because I'm not sure where else to try finding people becuase I know all the places we have taught before or we were rejected at the doorstep. That's why transfers are good sometimes, get new eyes to try the same old houses again because eventually the people there will be ready.

OH yes, since Savanna is going to live there, what exactly does she plan to do there? Just wondering -- maybe her letter answered it but I still need to wait another week and a half to read it.

As for Amanda's news, I guess they decided against what she originally told me and they are getting married in April (better choice school wise).

Okay, well thanks for all of the letters and support and working hard and going to school and reading your scriptures. I'll write again on Monday.

-Sister Landrum