Well the past 2 weeks have had the good, the bad, and the ugly. I know its all for the benefit of me, but hot dang I want to be let outside so I can interact with real people. I want to spread the word and touch real lives. We go out proselyting for the first time tomorrow and I am SO pumped. These people do not know what is about to hit them.
The food has been pretty good recently. Well if you consider rice, veggies, and some type of meat good. (What I've learned is you never ask what you are eating until you've eaten it). Thankfully I haven't dropped any weight yet.
All the Filipinos in the MTC left yesterday which was heartbreaking. We went from 170 at the MTC to 20. I never knew I could form such great relationships after 19 days. They had me in tears when they were saying their final goodbye. "Guapo" and I hit it off and we call each other brothers which is so funny.
Before my roommates left we had a "Family Bro Evening". The Filipinos way of showing their love was to tell us "Americans" what they love about us. I could feel the love these people have for me, and the love Heavenly Father has for them. They are going to be such great missionaries. As my Guapo brother got up to talk (he doesn't speak English well), he looked me in the eye and said (in Tagalog) "You and me are brothers for eternity. You are like my brother back home and I thank you for that. I love you and thank God for you." I couldn't tell what his words were in the moment, but I could feel the love and the bond me and him have. You don't need to always know what is being said if the Spirit is touching you. Me and Guapo afterwards just hugged each other and shed some tears. The MTC since they've left has been so lonely and quiet. I am looking forward to when the next batch shows up.
A couple of quick stories.. I had had a really rough day and when I got back to my room my bed had been made, the room had been cleaned, and there was a treat on my pillow. And I was thinking to myself, man these cleaning people are so sweet to me. It was just what I needed after such a hard day. Well the next day when I got to class I told everyone that our room was clean and how cool the cleaning people are, and they looked at me and said, "Elder Richards, there are no cleaning people here." As soon as I heard that, my heart dropped and I began to cry. I realized that the 2 Filipinos in my room that I had been telling all my hardships to, are the ones who had done all those sweet things for me. When I thanked them for it, they looked me in the eye and said, "We just wanted to try and help you out".
My companions and I went up to our room right after our roommates had left for their perspective mission and where sad as is. Well we opened up one of the closets and in it was 4 notes (one to each of us, and then one to our companionship). In the note it said how grateful they were for us and how great they were thinking we were going to be. A little ways down the note it said, "I know we don't have many possessions, but this is what we can give." And there were 3 key chains that they had left each of us. These Elders did not have much money to begin with but what they did have, they got us a little something to remember them by. That just goes to show how sweet these people are. I love them.
Yesterday when I got back to the room after lunch. I was still kind of down at the time and was trying to find a purpose for serving a mission. Well I wanted a treat so I opened up my bag, and when I did that a note fell out. And it was a note from Mallory. As I began to read it, I began to cry and become so grateful for her in my life. The note said how proud she was and how she knew I was being a good example and bringing others to Christ. That note is exactly what I needed to read to lift my spirit. I realized how much of a testimony Mallory has and what my purpose is for being out here. My purpose to get me through the hard days is to be an example to Luke and Mal and show them how this gospel blesses people.
Lots of tears may have been shed this week but I truly love being here. Prayers for tomorrow while I'm proselyting that I will find those who need and want the gospel.
Love you all,