Saturday, August 31, 2013

Week 3 MTC

precious shot of me and my bestie! she's amazing, i LOVE her

So it's week 3, and i basically feel like an MTC pro. When the newbies came in this week, we were all over it. Giving them advice and telling them which foods make you constipated. It was awesome, I felt so cool. But really a huge nerd at the same time! Thanks to everyone who keeps writing/deareldering me and sending emails! It's so great to hear from everyone. Special shout out to Aunt Camille because she is THE BEST at sending me dear elders and having mamaquel and grandpa and uncle carlos write in them. I pretty much cry from all of them. I will write back this week for sure! Thanks also to Carlita& Eliza for writing me! 

temple walks on Sunday with me, my kasama, Sis Burt, and Sis Seastrand. We have issues going to bed on time because we have a good 2 hour laughing fit every night

Primos! (Elder Gerken Mortensen)

Funny story of the week- I saw Elder Gerkin (my second cousin) Well actually, he saw me. And shouted: Sister Gaspar! I think you're my cousin...It was hilarious. Me and the girls started cracking up. So that was pretty cool. His spanish is getting there. It's so great to see someone you kinda know. And cool to know we are here together! I also ran into Dex's friend Tyler Erickson and like 3 other people from Lone Mountain stake. I remembered  them from mission prep. I don't think any of them knew me...but i definitely was excited to see them! I also ran into Dex, or Elder Edwards, i guess! He's been on the west campus (5 blocks away) but he was here on friday for orientation since he leaves next week. So I got up to leave my table from dinner and he was right there! So crazy! I didn't think I'd see him. Kinda funny, cause you shake hands and awkwardly stand by each other for a picture. While both of our districts were cracking up! I guess his district has heard as much about me as mine has heard about him. Anyway, it was really good to talk with him for a minute, and have my kasama meet him! 
With Elder Edwards; I'm mid-laugh but whatever, it's cute

this is how we feel about the food here!

This language is crazy! We have been learning grammar and sentence structure finally. I feel like I can now wrap my brain around it all. And me and my kasama are definitely trying to learn it as best as we can. Spanish is so helpful but really makes it difficult sometimes. I feel like when I am trying to speak another language, my brain flips the switch to spanish. Because spanish and Tagalog are to similar, i switch them all the time! In my lessons with investigators its especially hilarious. My poor kasama is like ummm what are you saying? we don't know all the Tagalog filler words yet, and I use spanish ones. But practice practice practice is all I do! And it's a really pretty language, I am learning to love it. It's so fun to be able to have conversations in different languages! There are a lot of kids in my district who speak fluent German and French, so it gets pretty crazy pretty fast. 

Our lessons with our 2 investigators are going really well. So amazing how you feel the Spirit in every lesson with a simple testimony. I've been thinking about that a lot lateley. Especially when the language it tough. Your testimony is the most important thing you will learn in the MTC, and that's what ultimately brings the Spirit into a lesson. I love teaching. Being here has reminded me of that so much! 

Cool story of the week- So we had our devotional on Tuesday be broadcasted to 5 other MTCs. We all knew someone important was coming, but they don't tell you until they walk in. So Elder Neil L. Andersen walks in and everyone gasps! We were SO excited to have an apostle speak to us. The devos are held in the Mariott Center which is a huge basketball stadium thing. So I was pretty close, but still in the stands. I sang with the choir. I know, I know...but my kasama has an incredible voice! And I am totally adopting this geeky utah singing thing. I'm not into musicals yet, but it's pretty bad. Sorry dad. There are just an unreasonably high number of talented singers in my district, so they've been teaching me a lot. So we sang in the number, you could totally see me on screen! Then Elder Andersen gave an amazing talk. His talk was called: Love and Sacrifice. He talked all about how we love what we sacrifice, and sacrifice for what we love. Total puzzle, but it's really interesting to think about. He made a lot of promises to us about our missions. One of them was that if we gave our entire heart to the Lord while doing his work, He won't be disappointed in us. No matter how many people we convert, or how our mission went. He also said this, which is my new favorite quote, "Love is the most powerful emotion eternally available to us." His testimony of Christ is what really stayed with me. He witnessed of Him and His atoning sacrifice. To hear that from him was incredible. I felt the Spirit testify to me that I knew that too. And I felt to much love for the Savior, and so grateful for the Atonement. 
it poured on our way back from devotional on tuesday! thank goodness I was wearing a shade
When the devotional was over, security came and told the MTC prez that there was a huge rainstorm outside. So we had to stay in and sing hymns. And that if we all stayed in our seats, Elder Andersen would come shake some hands. So i was like SO excited. But I wasn't in the front section with chairs on the floor so i assumed he wouldn't come over. But then he walked up the stadium stairs and totally came to my section! He shook the hand of me and my kasama! And he shook the hands of about 20 of the Sisters. It was crazy! I felt like he was staring into my soul, so intimidating but so cool at the same time. I could just feel how powerful his authority was. And he looked pleased. He was so happy to meet some missionaries. I felt so lucky I go to shake his hand and get to feel that special Spirit that comes with being an apostle of The Lord.
mahal po kayo,
sister gaspar de alba

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Week 2!

Hi all! THANK YOU for all the love i got this week! I felt like I got tons of emails and dear elders! I LOVE them! don't forget to put your return address on dear elder, so i can write you back in a letter. email time is super limited. 

This week was a million times better, just like everyone said it would be. I could understand more in class, my kasama and i have 2 investigators, and i guess i've gotten used to the weird food. 
My companion (kasama) after a discussion

Tagalog is coming along. We are learning verbs and can form sentence structures. Oo is yes in tagalog, kinda sounds like uh-oh. So i have gotten super used to saying it. and it's super confusing for everyone not in my zone. haha it's pretty funny! But that's how much it's drilled into your head! 

The investigator lessons are coming along great. It's still really frustrating to try and communicate when you can only understand half of what they are saying to you. But the Spirit is there, and it's such a neat thing to get a preview of what it will actually be like in the Philippines. Speaking of...apperently there are like 10 small islands in my mission, so small that you can walk to and from them through shallow water. Anyway, they send sisters there! To the boonies! I'm kinda nervous but the sisters in my district are getting way pumped. 

District on P -day (preparation day)

My district is the bomb. We are like family, we pray every morning and night together! Make fun of each other all the time, know all about our lives and just get pretty insane. I think we all have ADD so we spend most of our time trying to stay focused. My district leader is pretty big on blessings, so we've had a few people get blessings this week. And it's so amazing to see all six of those worthy 18 year old boys with the Priesthood. Brings a little tear to my eye every time! 

This is my district outside of the Provo Temple
Hope all is well with everyone and i hope my pictures came through!
mahal ko kayo
sister gaspar de alba

Saturday, August 17, 2013

1st Pday

Kumusta tayon po! (How are you all?) 
Well it's my fourth day here at the MTC, and things are finally settling down. Wednesdya and Thursday were literally the most stressful days of my entire life. They were CRAZY. You basically have no idea what to expect at all, then they point you in all sorts of directions, feed you with so much information, and all the time you're in a weird daze, because you cant believe you're actually in the MTC! But, it's been great, and i already love it. You can feel the Spirit anywhere you go, and that's helped. So on wednesday we had our first 3 hour class. (we have 2 classes every day, each 3 hours.) I'm in class until 9. It's pretty hard to get used to! Our teacher, Sister Scott, only speaks to us in Tagalog. Even from day one. Thank goodness for the other 6 elders and 5 sisters in my district who are my age and younger! We were all totally lost. 

My kasama (companion) is seriously the best! Her name is Sister Beaumont and we got a long from the very begining. She was kinda quiet at first. But come to find out, she just wanted to go home too! I got here and thought everything would be hunky dory, and its definitely not! There's so much to learn and take in, and then learn it in Tagalog. Tagalog is a really cool language. Thank goodness i still know some spanish! They use so many spanish words, and the letters are pronounced the same in the alphabet. Minus 6 letters. So i'm not having trouble with the pronunciation at all. Just learning some of the words. Most of the words pertaining to the gospel are the only ones not the same in spanish. Typical. But I'm trying and I already know how to have a conversation, Pray, and Bear my testimony. Crazy how much they teach you in just 3 days. I already can't wait for the Philippines. I thought I would be one of those missionaries who loved the MTC, and got homesick in the country, but that's not the case at all. I'm already antsy to just get out there.

 The MTC is great, but its a little too much like efy. And there's people everywhere. It's packed here. And people sing a little too obnoxiously, and are way too energetic all the time! Some of these kids are wild. But I LOVE my district. So cheesy...i know. But i really do. There are 6 Elders, and 6 Sisters. We are already pretty close. Last night was hilarious, during planning, we have to sit in the class until 9:30. And we were all so tired and stressed, that we basically laughed and cried at the same time. All of us were just cracking up about how insane Tagalog was, and how it's so so frustrating but exciting at the same time! These boys are pretty much all just out of high school, and its really funny how easily bored they get in class. So different from the Sisters for sure! Also, they keep calling me out for calling them dude and guys! You aren't supposed to say that here. I'm trying to stop, but no promises. The food is ok, i guess. I miss decent vegetables. And replacing all that with candy. I'm probably already gaining weight. But as soon as I get to San Pablo, i'm sure i'll be losing it real quick! Me and the sisters in my room had a really good talk yesterday about how we are all missing our moms like crazy! So many times where we just want to call our moms. So we decided to really try and lean on each other instead. Since clearly our moms aren't here. It's still hard! Especially when your mom is your best friend, like mine!

I wear my Texas necklace every day, and have some Texas pride back in me for sure! There's a sister in my room who's from Vegas and she hates on Summerlin every now and then. haha it's hilarious! I love it. I join in. 

This is my kasama, SIster Beaumont! She's the oldest of 7 kids and totally is the exact same person as me! She's so great, she's always positive and pulling me back to why we're here. 

From left to right: Sister Williams, (an ace at tagalog, she already knows some), Sister Martinez, (she's super funny, from Vegas) Sister Burt, (the mom, she's 20 and really really a great friend) Sister Seastrand, (the one most like me) and my kasama Sister Beaumont closing her eyes haha. Love them all! We are already super close and are all going to the same mission by some stroke of luck! So we will get to see eachother very often. And mom: I get to travel with these girls all the way until I get to the mission home. So don't worry! It definitely made me feel so much better! Thanks for the emails and love, i really needed it this week!
Mahal tayo kito, 
(love you all)

sister gaspar de alba 
ps-my p day is saturday, so email me before then and i'll respond around this time while in the MTC!