MTC Address Mission Address
Sister Katrina Roene Dunn Sister Katrina Roene Dunn
FEB25 PHI-CEB Philippines Cebu Mission
2009 N 900 E Unit 112 Temple Complex-CJCLDS
Provo UT 84602 Gorordo Ave
Lahug, Cebu City
6000 Cebu, Philippines

Friday, January 9, 2015

First two days... WHAT

HIIII!!! KUMUSTA KA! How is everybody?? I feel like it's been forever and it's only my 3rd day here! I feel like I have so much to share, and I don't really know how to convey it! So my P-day is Friday in the MTC, so that's why I'm allowed on the computer so soon! So I guess I'll just start talking about what's going on here, cause there is a LOT going on!

As soon as I got to my gate they were already boarding, that is like the first time that has happened to me. Also, emptiest flight I have ever been on, I could've moved around and had a full set of 3 seats to myself but I just stayed in my assigned seat. They were playing a movie on the plane, it had Reese Witherspoon in it, but I couldn't hear anything that they were saying. I think it was about a revolution in Kenya, but that's basically all I got haha.

When we first took off it was like super super foggy, and I couldn't even see the wing out of the plane window, and it was really scary, but as soon as we broke over the clouds the sun was shining so brightly over the mountains, it was absolutely beautiful, I just sat there in awe watching it. After a few minutes I even had a perfect view of Mt. St. Helens but we flew by it too fast, so I didn't have time to pull my camera out and snap a picture.

When we landed I found baggage claim pretty easily but man... struggling that luggage across two lanes to the pick up lane was so difficult. I finally managed by stacking my carry on on the top of my super big suitcase and orchestrating a circus act of balancing it and dragging them all behind me. You should have seen it, it was a sight to see.

Pick up went good! I am so thankful for Sister Lohberg and Kara for coming to get me, that was super nice of them. It helped ease my worries of getting there. On the drive I saw like 25+ church buildings, I swear there is like one every block it's insane. Especially cause we have to drive 15 minutes to get to our building back home.

We stopped for In&Out which of course was delicious, and I got one of those cool hats (it kind've looks like the Krispy Kreme hat I had in the van for like 3 years). When I got dropped off, my host sister was super nice and lead me towards where I got my badge and I was the only sister checking in then.

I share my room with 3 sisters going to Denmark (Sister Orr, Sister Landvatter, and Sister Ferguson they're awesome and soo soo funny) as well as my companion Sister Soleta who is so beautiful inside and out, she was born in the Philippines but moved to Brooklyn when she was 8. She's fluent in Tagalog which is such a blessing to me, she helps me with my Cebuano pronunciation. But she says Cebuano is NOTHING like Tagalog so... wow. She's awesome. I didn't really meet her till I got to my classroom though, because she wasn't at the MTC yet.

When I did finally get to my classroom though, the teacher Brother Wood, ONLY SPOKE CEBUANO TO US! I did a quick orientation and used hand gestures and answered in English to kind of figure out what he was saying to me. Luckily no one else understood him so I felt less silly.

In my district its me, my companion Sister Soleta, and three elders (Elder May, Elder Frost, and Elder Beretara) who are all so awesome. The district ahead of us is kind of rowdy, and they like to distract us whenever the teacher isn't around and that kind of gets annoying.

After 3 hours of pure Cebuano we went to an orientation and everyone stood up when the MTC president said either the state or country that you were from and let me tell you, there are people from all around the world. Like in my zone, Sister Mumu (who is so full of light and enthusiasm you can't help but love her) is from Fiji and there was also new people at the MTC from like China, Japan, Qatar, and a whole lot of other places it was insane. Only like 2 other elders from Washington though. One of them I sat with at a meal, he's going to Argentina. I heard a quote in orientation that I really liked though, that I'm going to try and remember my whole mission. "Little growth occurs in a comfort zone, and little comfort occurs in a growth zone."

After that we went to a People and our Purpose seminar, which is basically a bunch of the newbie missionaries in a room with one investigator and everyone tries to teach them. In the first room everyone kind of got of track, and kept bringing up new doctrine without actually answering Melissa's (investigator) question until finally an Elder in the back stood up and started talking to her, and it was BEAUTIFUL! He knew exactly what to say, and this spirit just came over the whole room. I want to be able to teach as well as him. I did raise my hand but I never got called on, but that's okay, his message was really good. The next room had a man named Carlo and he called the plan of salvation the Happy plan, and I thought that was really beautiful. He had a son who died as a baby, and he's really catholic and believed his son is now in limbo because he wasn't baptized as a baby and we were kind of explaining to him about how he's already returned to live with our Heavenly Father. The third woman, Sharon, she was probably the hardest one to teach, and I don't think our communication was very good, and the spirit was just lost. I was really unhappy with how it went. After that we met with our zone and Sister Argyle and her companion showed us around the campus with the zone leaders (forgetting their names right now) and Sister Mumu kept snapping pictures of Sister Quinney (her companion), Sister Soleta, and I. It was really funny.

That night though I suggested to Sister Soleta that we try and pray in Cebuano and I half-managed it, so half Cebuano/half English. It was really hard for me to sleep. I was so homesick and felt really discouraged, but I'm glad I brought my own pillow it was really comforting.

Okay, that was day 1, I want to make sure I tell kamo (y'all) everything.

We woke up early on Thursday, at 6 and I was so hungry. Actually I'm hungry all the time here, and you only really have food at meal times here, cause your on the go go go go go so.. but we have a community snack drawer in our room that the danes found that previous sister's left at it has SO much candy in it, I was so happy! Anyways. I prayed in Cebuano again for personal prayers, and I didn't even need my book! Yay! I need to hurry I'm almost out of time. so.. In language class, it was a different teacher Brother Woods, and it was all in Cebuano again and I started to understand a little bit more. At the end of class he called on me to say the prayer in Cebuano, and I actually managed to do it from memory! but only half of it, because I only know how to begin the prayer and say I'm thankful for stuff. During companionship study the Elders from the district ahead of us came in and bugged us for like an hour so we couldn't focus, they were funny, but we really needed to study... so I was kind of bummed.

We met our branch president last night and it was a really spiritual/tearful meeting. I cried when I bore my testimony (like i always do) and Brother Metcalf (first counselor of branch presidency) interviewed me and I cried a bit more about how I was homesick and he offered some really great words of comfort and I've been doing a lot better since. I was so tired last night I fell asleep almost all the way.

This morning we got up early again and went to the Provo temple, and it was amazing! The spirit there is so strong! It was Elder Beretara's first time through, so he was receiving his endowments and he was just glowing, I was so happy for him. In the celestial room we were all just beaming!

Now I'm writing to you guys, and I only have a little bit of time left soo. I love you all! And if it isn't too much if kamo could pray for me that would be amazing.

Oh here's my testimony in Cebuano, :)

Nasayud ko nga tinuod ang ebanghelyo. Nasayud ko nga tinuod ang simbahan. Nasayud ko nga Propeta si Thomas S. Monson. Nasayud ko nga Manluluwas nga Manunubos si JesuKristo. Nasayud ko nga tinuod ang Basahan ni Mormon. Nasayud ko nga gihigugma kita sa Dios. Nasayud ko nga nakaila ang Dios kanato, sangalan ni JesuKristo, amen.

Love you all, and miss you!

-Sister Dunn

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