Saturday, September 6, 2014

September 6, 2014

This week has gone by so fast. I GOT MY TRAVEL PLANS. It's so real now, even more then before. I fly out to Portland, OR and then me and like 25 other missionaries fly out to Japan. From there we fly to the Manila MTC in the Philippines. I'll be there for about 5 days and then I'll take like a 7 hour bus ride to Baguio. I'm so pumped. And I found out that while I'm at the airport, I have permission to call home! I'm not sure for how long yet but I can whoever I want! 

Mom thank you so much for the horse head. I got it yesterday and I've had a lot of fun with it in our apartment. You know me so well. Oh and that Dear Elder wasn't even funny. At all. You're making it REALLY easy to not miss home.  

On Thursday, me and Elder H------ taught a Filipino member from the Philippines on Skype. It was so much fun and humbling.  She told me not to worry about my missing my family. She said that all the ladies there take care of the missionaries. She said, "We'll be your extended family and your second moms." That definitely gave me a lot of comfort. I'm just really excited to go and serve them.

The language is coming. We're not allowed to bring notes in our lessons that teach everyday now. We just bring scriptures and pray that the Spirit will tell us what to Tagalog. It sounds hard but I've already felt the Spirit so strong in our lessons and have said some things in broken Tagalog on my own that I thought I wouldn't ever be able to say in a million years. #giftoftongues #yoso

YOSO has spread throughout my branch and it is commonly used. But White Cheddar is famous in the MTC now. Hahaha. Thank you so much for the pictures! Gosh it makes me miss home. Love you guys so much. 

Not a lot to report. The days are so long and packed but the weeks fly by so fast. There have been a lot of funny moments and spiritual ones too. I'm loving it here. I miss sleep though....not gonna lie.

Please keep sending Dear Elders everyday if you can and keep me updated of what's going on. This the only time you're gonna have this opportunity before I go the Philippines.

Oh We got this new elder in our zone and his name is, Elder M-----, and he lived in California and I asked if he knew the Hinginos....AND HE DID! They're in his home ward. He said he was inactive and because of JeK--- and J----, he's serving a mission now. They set such a good example to him and brought him back in the gospel. It's crazy how that happens. I thought you'd liked to hear that one. I've ran into buddies from EFY and Sister C---------, Elder B---- and some others from our stake. 

I played a special music number in church last Sunday. I made a special arrangement of Be Still My Soul and two elders in my district sang it in Tagalog while I played. It was so awesome. 

I hope school and everything is going okay and y'all are in my prayers!

Your Valiant Missionary,
Elder Strader

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