First off, CONGRATULATIONS JACOB for getting into BYU- Hawaii. I can't tell you how exctied I am for you. (And suprised. Not gonna lie-- I thought you would get into Provo before Hawaii.) That is so awesome. Keep me updated on your other applications as you find out. :)
Second, my title is in response to Dad's linguistic question. Ay Nako! is an exclamation similar to Oh my goodness and I use it a lot! :) Hulah is another exclamation but I don't normally use that one. Waiting until I master when it is appropriate to use it. haha. Speaking of which-- I am speaking in Sacrament on Sunday. Um... let's just say I'm really nervous and it will definitely be Taglish which is fine b/c that's what lots of the other speakers esp. the leaders do also. So yep. I could use prayers for that. :) Thanks.
Third, “THIS IS THE STUFF”. Love that song. It is so true. We all have challenges but as my companion and I were discussing this morning, we are all destined to succeed in this life and an article we were reading said, "Not only are you supposed to succeed in this life, but everything is stacked in your favor to succeed." Ha. Never thought of it that way. It doesn’t always feel that way but every little thing we go through in this life is carefully planned by God in order to help us grow and come closer to Him and more ready to return to Him. These experiences can change us for the better if we let them. I know this is true and I feel that I have changed already a little on my mission from some of the harder days. So grateful for the opportunities God gives us to grow. (Even though I'm not actually grateful while in the trial.)
Fourth, Tell Heather good luck with her mission call and along the same lines as above. Tell her not to stress it. Whenever she gets her call will be when God wants her to receive it. (At this point y'all might be rolling your eyes, like "she's in missionary mode." but what can I say, it's what studying the gospel will do to you I guess.)
Fifth, Speaking of studying the gospel. I would like to share that I know the Book of Mormon is a great way (probably the best) to learn this gospel and to feel the spirit. If we will really study the Book of Mormon -even for a short while each day - I know it can slowly, almost imperceptably change our heart and heal our spirits. But this takes continually reading it without immediately seeing the benefits. So keep up the good work and read every day. For anyone who may happen to read this who is not a member but may be curious, visit mormon.org. You can learn more on your own, chat online with missionaries, request a copy of the book of mormon, request a visit with missionaries. All these are opportunities for you with varying degrees of commitment. So if you’re curious, please check it out. It may change your life (if you let it - see above)! :D Above all I would encourage you to begin reading the Book of Mormon from the start and see how you feel as you read.
Life here is great! :) I love meeting the people here, my Tagalog is (maybe) improving. It is so fun to visit people and see the changes they are making in their lives. We had FHE with the G family the other night and it was a blast. After playing Simon Says (which I found is actually easier in a different language, because it takes you a second to figure out the command. :) ) the first person out was supposed to do a talent demonstration. Well all of the kids ended up singing together a popular Tagalog song. It was so cute and reminded me of my mga kapatid (siblings) whom I love so much.
Thank you everyone who has sent mail. I got some more Christmas mail this week. I will be writing back. It just may take some time. :) Have a great week!! :) I love and miss you all and hope you are all doing well.