Magandang umaga, hapon, o gabi pamilya ko at mga kaibigan ko!
Kumusta kayo lahat?
Ayos lang ako, masaya palagi kasi ako ay nagmimisyon.
Anyway, sorry for the Tagalog. I'm just loving this crazy, broken language more and more everyday. I have made leaps and bounds in this language, I can testify that the gift of tongues is real. I've just had a good week working and learning. I don't really have any exciting news this week, but I can report that I'm happy and well.
This week I had exchanges with the elders in my district because my companion is the district leader. Elder Anuat worked in Sinait while I stayed in Cabugao and worked with Elder Hair (Americano siya). Elder Hair is from Houston, Texas and has been on the mission for almost a year now. He's pretty great in Tagalog and we had a good time working together. What I learned from our exchanges is how to better use Ang Aklat Ni Mormon in my language study. I'd been using it before, but I had been simply stopping at every word I didn't know and checking the English Scriptures to determine what the word really was. This slowed my progress because it didn't help me understand how to use the word in the correct context. In Tagalog, there are many, many different types of conjugations for verbs, and their context determines what type of conjugation is used. Simply looking up the words I didn't know just caused me to learn the word, but take it out of context. Now, I read the whole verse in Tagalog, the verse in English, and then the verse in Tagalog again to learn how the word is used in context. It has seriously helped me understand how to construct much better sentences in my speaking and increased my vocabulary by an extremely large amount. One member, extremely nice, actually told me that I was now fluent in Tagalog (Which is not true at all, I am EXTREMELY far from perfect) which really boosted my confidence in the language.
Spiritual Thought time:
I read "The Continuous Atonement" this week, which is a phenomenal read that I highly recommend, and I gained a lot of insights on the atonement. In one experience, the author shares about a missionary who began to feel guilty of past sins that he didn't fully confess for. The missionary had assumed that the sins were not necessary to confess, and had given half confessions. The missionary was a hard-working, successful missionary, and his progress had brought him closer to Christ, also causing some guilt to eat into his mind as he became even more spiritual. He confessed them to his mission president and his mission president told him that, the sins should have been confessed, but they would not cause him to be sent home. The missionary thanked the president for the relief he felt, but the memories of the past still haunted him. The mission president then showed the missionary a polished marble egg. He explained to the missionary that what made the marble beautiful were the dark veins of imperfection. If the marble was spotless and perfectly white, it would look fake and cheap, but the veins of darkness were reminders of the metamorphic process the rock had been through and they were what caused the polished marble to be so beautiful.
We are all like marble. We've all made mistakes in the past and many times those mistakes haunt us in our memories. We all bear veins of darkness. However, as we apply the atonement in our life, our marble becomes polished and the marble shines and becomes beautiful. The polishing process doesn't remove the dark veins, just as the Atonement specifically doesn't remove our memories of the sin, to do so would destroy the lesson we learned from our mistake. Those lessons we learn from our mistakes are what truly help us become Christ like. Those veins of darkness are the evidence that we have made mistakes, but we've learned from them too. They are evidence of the application of the Atonement we made in our life. If we've truly applied the Atonement in our life, we will be able to face God and be perfect. Not perfect because we're spotless, but perfect because we've been polished.
Mahal ko kayo lahat. Mahal tayo ng Diyos.