Saturday, August 31, 2013

Week Three

Hi family! Week three in the MTC!
I'm feeling pretty tired today, partly because of the stress of the week and partly because of last night. Our Zone decided to have a sleepover last night. We were invited but because it was already so late and we could barely keep our eyes open, our room decided not to go. What the zone didn't tell us is that the sleepover was in OUR room. I guess its part of the second week initiation into the zone tradition. :D Well, people didn't leave until after 11. After that, we were too riled up to go to sleep until 11:45. It was partly my fault.
You see, a few days ago we got back into our apartment and it was so so hot! I turned down the air to 60 because I wanted to cool it off. I forgot about it though and so it was really cold for two days and we couldn't figure out why. :) When I finally remembered half-way through the night, I turned it up really high to warm us all back up. Of course, I forgot AGAIN and so last night we were all laying in bed, talking about how hot it was. Just as I was about to push all my blankets and sheets to the end of the bed so I could cool off, Sister Seastrand exclaimed, "Why is it SOOOO flippin' hot?!" It was then I  remembered.
"Oh, I turned the heater on!" I said, jumping out of the bed. Everyone freaked out. "What?!"
 By the time I explained why, we were all laughing uncontrollably. We didn't stop laughing about it for like ten minutes, especially because each girl in the room including me had complained about how hot it was!
Anyway, that's just another dumb-blond moment from your daughter. :D
Well, this week was just like the rest of the weeks and I just can't think of anything to write to you about. I already wrote you about shaking Elder Neil L. Anderson's hand, and that was pretty much the best part of the week, for the rest of the week.
We've been doing really good with our investigators. We have 2 new ones now. Kristy is our first. She's really interested in the gospel and listens really well to what we have to say. She also helps us when we struggle with the language, so we like her a lot. :D
The second investigator is Efron. We started teaching him yesterday and it was so stressful! We did a door approach and when we introduced ourselves, he told us he already believed in God and Jesus Christ and the Bible and didn't want us to teach him. We struggled to tell him that we wanted to share a message similar to what he believed and he just told us that he didn't like organized religion. My kasama saved us by saying, "This message has made me happy, and I want to make you happy."
He finally let us in, but for a minute I was worried he would shut the door and we would have to go back to our teacher, embarrassed!
He didn't really agree with our lesson and kept asking why we would need personal revelation or prophets if we had the bible. I know the answer of course, but I couldn't tell him in Tagalog because I had never learned that kind of vocabulary. We were really struggling and I could tell nothing was getting to him. Finally, I remembered you Daddy, and started to bear my testimony about the restoration of the gospel. I told him that I knew Joseph Smith was called of God and that he was a true prophet. Then I told him that the Book of Mormon was true. I knew these things because I had read and I had prayed and God had told me by the Holy Ghost. Finally, the spirit started to come back in. I told him that if he prayed, he would come to know what I knew. Well, he accepted the commitment to pray about it and hopefully that will help us get a foot in with him.
I realized half-way through the lesson though that part of the reason the spirit didn't come in was because I was just talking at him. I wanted him to understand so badly that I forgot to go slowly and to listen to the spirit. I was so focused on the spirit coming in, that I made it less of a natural process and more of a science. Does any of that make sense?
Anyway, this time in the MTC is for learning so hopefully I will have learned my lesson from all of this. 
Thank you so much for all you taught me Dad! The testimony of Joseph Smith really did change everything. I could see in his eyes that something was changed.
Also, I am coming along with the language. I can conjugate 4 verb-types by memorization and I can form sentences in Tagalog which is actually more difficult than it seems. They have subject, location, and object markers that change based on what you say and which verb you use. The sentences are also not in English- order so it’s really hard, but I'm starting to get it.
Awww, mom, I really miss you. Alma 56:48 has been in the back of my mind recently.
When I went to college, I finally realized what you do for me physically- laundry, cooking etc. Now I'm starting to understand what you do for me spiritually and emotionally. You have always been there for me, my shoulder to cry on and forever my friend that I can lean on. You always remind me to pray when things get hard.
I am a missionary because of what you and dad taught me. I do not doubt. My mother knew it and now I know it too. Thank you so much mommy! You made this wonderful, life-changing experience possible.
 Sister Beaumont

*Note: Elder Neil L. Anderson gave a devotional talk at the MTC in my third week. Just before the devotional ended, a security guard came out and informed us that it was raining too hard to go outside at the moment. We were instructed to stay in our seats and as we sang hymns, Elder Anderson would work his way around the room and shake hands. My companion and I were able to shake his hand as he came by, while everyone was singing Called to Serve. The spirit was so strong and the experience was unforgettable. Though not as hard, it was still raining as we walked back and we all got drenched. That is the reason for all the " soaking wet" pictures below.

Wet district! We all walked in the pouring rain after Tuesday devotional with Neil L. Anderson ( Left to right: Sister Gaspar De Alba, Elder Johnston, Elder Crager, Sister Burt, Elder Burbidge, Sister Beaumont, Elder Salisbury, Elder Jenkins, Elder Matina)

Kasama and I dripping wet!

Kasama and I with our teacher, sister Scott!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Week 2

Kumusta Po Kayo pamilya? (How are you, family?) Finally, I can write you a long letter! P-day this week couldn't come any sooner! Whew, what a week! Straight up learning Tagalog and speaking Tagalog, from teachers who only speak Tagalog... But I really do love it here! I can't think of anything I would rather be doing right now. This is such an amazing experience and I'm just happy to be a missionary! 
So, I wrote you about our investigator Ramir. Well, he became our new Tagalog teacher! At first it was a little stressful because he knows how terrible we all are. He is the most sympathetic, spirit led teacher I have ever had though and I am so glad he is teaching us. We are still teaching "Ramir" but we have a new investigator to teach on Monday. 2 investigators already and I've only been a missionary for 2 weeks! :D 
My district leader is amazing! He is really prayerful about everything we do and thinks about everyone. He is really inspired and I'm grateful he's in charge. He has a twin and I like to call him "Fake Elder Burbidge" because I have been following his twin before, not realizing that I was going with the wrong district. His twin is also serving in the Philippines though and he is also the district leader. Cool, right?
So... I love Gym time and my district has made it traditional that the last 40 minutes or so of Gym we play a game of volleyball against one another. It's pretty fantastic. I have a reputation in our little volleyball games. I don't know if you have ever played volleyball with me, but I can only hit it one way- punching it with one fist. I can always hit it right into the other teams court, but I just can't seem to hit it like a normal person. Of course, everyone teases me because they all say I go from angel to demon in three seconds in my volleyball-punching technique. Last time they tried to train me to hit the ball the right way, and It went completely awal- all the way across the gym. Just because I had hit it though, everyone cheered and gave me apir- "up-here" or high-five in tagalog. I've never got so much support for loosing a point! 
Speaking of the language though, my kasama and I have been saying "Kahunga-hunga" which our teacher has said meant wonderful. Our investigator/teacher Ramir told us that we were actually saying it wrong, because it means wonder-ful. Like to be in wonder. So when he said he prayed and we said "Kahunga-hunga"... well, you can just imagine how that went. 
Also, for my brothers, if you are asking someone if they are going down you say, "bababa ba?" and then to answer you say, "bababa."  :D . 
So I performed on Sunday a musical duet of Nearer my God to Thee. It was so beautiful and all in tagalog! Woohoo! Of course though, right after we sit down the ward next to us started the same musical duet- in tagalog! It was a little funny and everyone was snickering. 
I also joined the missionary choir and I love it. We sang a beautiful song- Precious Savior, dear Redeemer. When we first went to choir we accidentally sat in the wrong section so we were really out of tune. ;) To make things worse, the girl behind my kasama and I was really mono-tone off tune. We were already having a hard enough time! 
Also for Sunday, they took a Sister missionary picture to seal in a time capsule. My kasama and I are on the second row of the middle section, near the right side end. Can you believe it? We are so close to the front of the picture- how cool! 
So we went to the Provo temple. It is amazing inside- so,so beautiful. Of course the outside isn't all that much to look at, but I was told something really cool about it that makes it kind of beautiful. It is one of the few temples that aren't symbolic of the mountain of the lord. Rather, it is symbolic of the Israelites traveling through the desert. The bottom is there tabernacle, the middle section is the cloud that guided them by day and the long spire is the pillar of fire that guided them by night. Cool right?
By the way, despite all of this Tagalog, I found that I still have a little French left. A missionary stopped us and bore his testimony to us in French and I understood it all! 
I challenge everyone to read/listen/watch the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. It completely changed my life. It is seriously, the most beautiful life-changing talk I have ever heard. It  was given to the missionaries on Christmas day at the MTC. Imagine being a new missionary on Christmas! How sad! But the talk is just amazing. Please watch it! :D
I love my district, they are so amazing and really funny. My favorite is sister Seastrand. She is absolutely hilarious! Last night we were saying the closing prayer as a district and something stuck one of the elders as funny and soon half the circle was laughing. Sister Seastrand, who was praying said without missing a beat, "please help us all to be reverent during our prayers" and that got everyone but the District leader laughing. He caved in at the end with a loud snort though. Too funny! 
I just love my district. I wish you could meet them! 
Love you all and I want you to know I think about you when things get rough and remember that you are all my reasons for being out here. 

-Sister Beaumont
Cracking under pressure!- Kasama's picture (Left to right: Sister Beaumont. Elder Salisbury, Sister Seastrand, Sister Burt)


Saturday, August 17, 2013

First Week

Hello Family! 
So, I made my list of things to tell you all and it may be a little disorganized as I write to you, but this way I can write everything I want to. 
The first item on the list is that I ran into 4 people I knew on the first day! Crazy right? The next day I ran into 4 more... so far I've seen about 12. My Kasama (companion) tells everyone that I'm popular. :) I think it's just from living in Utah all my life and then attend BYU-I. That's where all the missionaries come from! 
Speaking of that though, our MTC president told us that this new batch of missionaries had the most international missionaries that there has ever been. There are missionaries from 32 countries! Can you believe it? Along with that, 895 missionaries entered the same day that I did. The church is becoming a powerhouse and it's so exciting to be a part of it. 
Next on the list is the shower! It's not as bad as a bucket, but I keep forgetting my shower shoes which is just a little gross. The first time I took a shower I forgot my towel. I was showering at 5 in the morning so there wasn't anyone to call out to. I just had to dry off on my clothes. Gross!
So my companion, Sister Gaspar De Alba and I are already best friends. We have so much in common! She has 4 boys and 3 girls in her family, we both went to BYU-I majoring in Integrated Art Studio with an emphasis in Photography- the list goes on forever! 
She makes me laugh all the time and we are always on the same page as one another. Good thing, right? 
When I first saw her name, Kristina Rebecca Gaspar De Alba, I thought I had 2 companions! What a crazy long name! 
Learning the language has been a lot of fun! It's hard work and you literally speak it/ learn it all day long. Our teacher only teaches us in Tagalog. Sometimes that can be a problem, like yesterday. She gave us an assignment to teach a new investigator, Ramir. We had to prepare a lesson all in Tagalog for him. Then she spoke to us for a long time in Tagalog that no one understood! When she was finished she asked if we understood. We all said "opo"(yes) because we were hoping our Kasamas could explain it later. Well it turns out she was giving us all instruction as to where to meet Ramir and explaining that we wouldn't have class during the next block. When the next block came around we waited for 1 1/2 hours before someone explained where we were supposed to be. (Don't worry though, it was constructive waiting). ;) So we went to teach poor Ramir really late! When it was our turn, we did pretty okay with the language and our lesson but then we asked him a question (really bad idea) and he went off for 2 minutes in tagalog. When he was done, my Kasama and I turned to one another like, "What?!" and then she asked, "Can we still pray with you?" 
He said, "Opo! Opo!" Like, haven't you been listening to me? It was really funny and a little bad for a new investigator, but oh well. Hopefully we can do better with our next lesson which is on Monday. 
After our 12 hour study/ class we are so exhausted that we literally do just collapse into our beds. Whew! You were right Tatay! (Father) 
The classrooms are really cold and my Kasama and I sit right next to the vent. We have come up with a way to make use of our "freezer" and we stick our water bottles on it so that we always have cool, refreshing water. Haha. Yesterday I forgot my name tag and didn't have it for the first hour. Whoops. An Elder called me out on it and I found it attached to my shirt in my laundry. :)
Okay. So Gym. I love Gym and was looking forward to playing a sport like basketball or soccer but you have to stay with your Kasama so I did weight-training with her instead. It turned out to be really fun though and I felt really good yesterday. If nothing else, I'm going to loose ten pounds instead of gain them because of the food and exercise, which I am totally okay with. I get to go to the temple soon and I'm really excited! 
I should probably end my email now.
Mahal Kita, pamilya! (I love you, family!)

-Sister  Beaumont
First P-day! (Left to right,back to front: Elder Matina, Elder Crager, Elder Jenkins, Elder Johnston, Sister Seastrand, Sister Gaspar De Alba, Sister Williams, Sister Beaumont, Sister Martinez, Sister Burt, Elder Salisbury, Elder Burbidge)


All the Elders- (Left to right: Elder Matina, Elder Jenkins, Elder Burbidge, Elder Salisbury, Elder Crager, Elder Johnston)

(Left to right: Sister Martinez, Sister Williams, Sister Burt, Sister Seastrand, Sister Gaspar de Alba, Sister Beaumont) 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Day

Hi Family!
First day as a missionary- officially over! Whew! It was so much fun, but wow, I am ready to sleep tonight!
My companion is Sister Gaspar De Alba.  I’ll send a picture on P-day, which is Saturday. Oh and before I forget I am expected to leave the MTC Sep 23rd and my mission ends the 11th of February 2015. Mark your calendars everyone! So what else?
The rumor that they throw you straight into Tagalog class is true! My teacher Sister Scott, speaks nothing but Tagalog and mimes until you understand her. It was fun! I learned basic phrases today in Tagalog. Then we had orientation which totally pumped me up to be a missionary!
Then we had the best part of the day which was investigator practice. We taught an investigator on the first day. Can you believe it? After that we took a tour and then finally unpacked. My shampoo exploded and our dorm smells really nice  It hasn’t been to fun cleaning shampoo off everything.
What else can I say?
I am happy to be here and I love the MTC.
I miss you all and I can’t wait to hear from you!
Well I am out of time now! I wish I could write more.
Mahal Kita!

Emilee (Sister Beaumont)
My Kasama and I
First night-all the disrict sisters! (Sister Williams, Sister Martinez, Sister Burt, Sister Seastrand, Sister Beaumont, Sister Gaspar De Alba)