Friday, July 25, 2014

More about the first week...

(Sorry for the extra blog post.  This information was in a separate email that I forgot to include.)

I got your first card this week!! It made me SO happy!! I think I'm the first missionary in my batch to get a card.  Sadly, missionaries aren't allowed to chew gum though.  The dove chocolate you packed me has come in handy already.  I've eaten some and shared it with some of the other girls who have struggled this week too.
I want you to know how much I admire you!! I definitely miss you every day and it was so hard to say goodbye.  It makes me feel better that you did this (serve a mission) though.  I am growing so much and I know that I am where Heavenly Father wants me to be. I don't have much time to write here but MAHAL KITA!!!
Love, Kayla
One of them is a view from my room! The MTC is beautiful!! It is very different from the city, I've learned.
Another is me and all my roommates!! We went to an American cemetary where President Hinkley dedicated the Philippines as a place for the gospel to grow today after we went to immigration in Manila.
Another is my whole district!! Some of them are crazy...
Another one is of me and my beautiful casama!  We love each other a lot.
Please know that even if you don't hear from me, or if a typhoon comes, I am safe.  The MTC is beautiful and I am with amazing people and leaders.

Adjusting to a new culture and a new life

Me and my companion, Sister Pau 

My view outside my window 

Sister Pau, me, and our roommates: Sister Makaneole and Sister Te'O.

My district in the MTC (her classmates who are there learning the language with her)

Oh my heavens I am so happy to be e-mailing you guys right now!! It has been SO WEIRD going a whole week without being able to talk to you!  I know that you haven't been worried about me at all...which is good because the MTC is great! 
The 1st 2 days were definitely really hard though.  I had no appetite. I was SO exhausted from the time change and the thought of being away from home for 18 months was so terrifying. At night I couldn't sleep and I just laid awake and cried. I just prayed and prayed and pleaded with my Heavenly Father that I would have the strength to do this.  Then, from the lack of sleep probably, I got sick.  It was just a bad cold, but the nurse made me wear a mask!! It was quite embarassing. That day I had my district leader give me a blessing, and the next morning I felt soo much better both physically and spiritually.  So, since about Monday, I have been doing so well!
My companion is Sister Pau and our roommates are Sister Makaneole and Sister Te'O.  They are all Samoan and so we are always laughing and having such a great time!! Last night the Sister training leaders actually had to come into our room because we were laughing so much that apparently the whole hall could hear.  That's okay though, I love feeling like I have best friends here with me!! It's only been a week and we've gotten so close! My companion is perfect for me.  She is such a hard worker, and she is always so positive.  She has picked up what we're learning super fast, which is good because she pushes me to keep up with her. Sister Te'O will be serving in the Manila mission so hopefully we'll be able to be companions again in the field!  I got lucky with a really awesome district. We work really hard but also know how to have fun and relax too.
The food here is....nuts.  We eat hotdogs and rice for breakfast. dogs.  And the other night they served us a fish with the skin and head still on it!! I'm trying really hard to eat new things, but its hard sometimes.  I think I've finally figured out the perfect freshman 15 diet: its called the Philippines MTC diet! lol  But today we got to go to the store and so I bought pringles and chocolate and some snack food so I won't go to bed hungry anymore.
This morning we got to go into the city of Manila to do our visa stuff.  It made me SO excited to get out into the field!  My casaba (companion) and I gave away 3 passalong cards in the hour that we were there!! Everyone we talked to spoke English, but we tried to use Tagalog as much as we can. Let me tell you, the koloob ng mga wika (the gift of tounges) is real. Its only been a week and we have taught 5 lessons to our investigator!! I am learning so quickly, and it is so much fun to go into lessons and use all the new words that I've learned.
I think if I could sum up what I learned this week it would come down to the word humility.  At the beginning of the week when I was missing home and struggling with Tagalog, and not able to eat any of the food here, and not being able to sleep at night, I prayed so much.  I think those couple of days were the first time in my life that I've truley felt alone and have had to turn to my Father in Heaven as my only friend.  I felt like at home I had so much potential to be a good missionary, and teach people everything I know about the gospel, but that here I wouldn't be able to do that because I can't say what I want to say in the language!  But guess what, Heavenly Father didn't want me to speak English or Spanish, He wanted me to speak Tagalog.  He didn't want me to be able to easily teach everything that I know, but instead I need to learn to humble myself and rely on Him. This mission is going to be hard, and learning the language is going to be difficult, but I know that as long as I'm being obedient and relying on the spirit, I will be just an even better missionary than I could have been if I was telling people all I knew about the gospel in English.
At the beginning of the week, 18 months seemed almost suffocating.  All I could think about was how long that was without good food and without my family.  But as the week has gone on, I am starting to feel so excited for 18 months!  It seems shorter to me now and I want to make every day count.  I have grown so much closer to my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ in just a week, I can't imagine how much more I have to learn and grow over the next 18 months.
I love you all so much and I hope everything is great at home!! DONT WORRY ABOUT ME!! I'm great, I promise (:

ps. A few more random things:
they gave me a water bottle with a filter on it so thats good!
I play basketball with the Elders during gym time!!
I'm getting off now but I will talk to you next Friday!! Next Friday we get to go to the temple!

Friday, July 18, 2014

I finally made it to the MTC!

They are letting us send a short e-mail from the MTC on our first day so I don't have much time.  I LOVE it in the MTC! It is so nice, and guess who my casama (companion) is.. Kathleen from Facebook! Sister Pau.  There was a group of 10 of us all together.. 7 elders and 3 sisters.  The other 2 sisters are both samoan which totally rocks.  I feel like such a minority.  There are not many white sisters! The tokyo airport was sweet.  There is lots of damage from the typhoon.  We had our first cockroach incident in the hotel last night.  It was half hilarious half terrifying.  I took pictures of it that i'll upload on P day.  We were all screaming and running around trying to run away from it.  It was huge and it flies. 
I want you to know that I am happy!! I LOVE wearing my name tag!
Send my love to the family!! I am thinking of you lots.
Sister Lockwood (I'm actually already getting used to being called that!)
Ps. The drive from the hotel to the MTC was crazy.  Like I can't believe I'm going to live here for 18 months!!! There are people everywhere.
Pss. I gave away both of my pass along cards on the way over here!!

(To see where she is staying for the next 6 weeks, click on the link below...)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

She's a missionary!

 Just set apart as a missionary

Sister Lockwood with President Talley

Well, she's off....sort of.  Today definitely did not go as planned.  Because of bad weather and delayed flights, she is spending tonight in Atlanta by herself and then taking the first flight out to Salt Lake tomorrow morning where she is supposed to meet up with a group of missionaries going to the MTC in Manila Philippines.  She is excited and in good spirits!  If there are no more glitches, she is scheduled to arrive at the MTC on Thursday evening.  I will be updating this blog each week with her emails.