Saturday, June 30, 2012

This is the song that was sung at Lisa's missionary farewell. My mom wrote it years ago, originally meant to apply to visiting teaching, but I think that it's message is perfect for missionary work:

If The Savior Were Here

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

3 more weeks!

So, it struck me recently that I only have three more weeks here at the MTC! Where have the last 6 weeks gone? At the same time, it seems like I've been here for 5 months. The MTC does weird things like that to your perception of time. Anyway, so I'm just slightly freaking out a little bit because I know I have a lot more to learn before I leave. But it's all working out.

This week is Mission Presidents' Seminar, so I got to meet my mission president on Saturday night. He is Filipino, and he's really nice. He gave us the opportunity to ask him any questions we had about the Philippines or our missions. We really should have come up with questions ahead of time, but we didn't think of doing that. Oh well.

Teaching has been getting better for me and my companions. Every day our teachers play the role of investigators and we have to go teach them. Brother Langer is playing the role of Jeffrey, and Brother Ward is playing the role of Omar. We teach them every day. It's really interesting because, even though we know they are really our teachers, it feels like they are real investigators when we teach them. It's really cool. We've been improving a lot in our teaching. When we first started, we basically just wrote down what we wanted to teach and read it off the page, and we didn't really try to ask questions because we were afraid we wouldn't understand the answers. But now we teach a lot more by the spirit, and it's amazing that we can actually understand and speak enough to ask questions and let that sort of guide our lessons a little bit. It's hard, and sometimes our lessons flop, but if the spirit is there, it always works. We're really trying to help our investigators understand revelation right now because it doesn't seem like they're really getting it yet. We spent the whole lesson yesterday with Jeffrey trying to help him understand that we ask him to read the Book of Mormon, pray, and go to church because that's the way he can receive revelation. It's a really great experience being able to teach like that in the MTC.

On Sunday night, we watched a recording of a talk that Elder Bednar gave at the MTC a few years ago, entitled "Character of Christ." It was absolutely the most amazing talk I have ever heard. He said  the character of Christ is that He turns outward in compassion, love, and service to others when the natural man in each of us would turn inward. He gave lots of examples from the scriptures. It really made me want to be better. He also suggested a really cool way to study the scriptures. He suggested that we buy an inexpensive paperback copy of the Book of Mormon and read it cover to cover, and mark it up according to a question that we are trying to research, and then when we finish, to write a half page summary of what we learned. He suggested that we do it over and over with new copies of the Book of Mormon. I thought it was a really cool idea.

Last night, we had a really good lesson. It was about the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion. The spirit was there really strongly, and by the end even the elders were crying. It was the sweetest thing I've ever seen. 

This morning we went to the temple as a district for the last time. The temple is going to be closed from July 2- July 23, so we'll be gone before it re-opens. It was so good to go to the temple together.

Well, I'm about out of time. I'm excited because we're pretty sure President Uchtdorf is speaking at the devotional tonight! :)

Thanks for everything! I love you all!

Love, Sister Lisa Boekweg

Friday, June 22, 2012


Kumusta Family!

Life is good :)

This week has been somewhat eventful. Last Friday, Sister Richardson (one of the sisters in my district) found out she needed to go home for sugery. She had to leave the next morning. She was super sad to go because she doesn't know if she'll be able to come back. Everyone in my district got Philippines T-shirts from the bookstore, and we took pictures together before she left. We all went with her to the travel office at 5am on Saturday to say goodbye. It was super sad. We all miss her, and we're hoping she'll be able to come back and finish her mission. Now Sister Aree, Sister Christensen, and I are in a trio. It's good so far. It's harder to teach with three people, but I think it's good.

On a happier note, teaching is getting easier. I am getting a lot better at Tagalog, and I'm able to say most of what I want to say most of the just takes a while to process it in my brain (pus having to look up some vocab I don't know). My district is trying to SYL (speak your language) a lot more. Our teachers are really trying to get us to communicate as much as possible in Tagalog, in and out of class. It's been kind of hard to get that going because it's so much easier and faster to just say what we need to in English, but we're getting better at mostly using Tagalog.

On Sunday, Sister Dalton (the general YW president) spoke in Reliefsociety (Reliefsociety is with all the sisters at the MTC). It was really, really good. She talked about the enabling power of the Atonement in helping us do things beyond our own power. It was a really good Sunday. Every Sunday is good at the MTC.

Brother Ward (one of my teachers, if you didn't already gather that) has been gone for the past few days, and he won't be back until Thursday or Friday. It is very sad. He is a really good teacher. He is very good at Tagalog grammer, and he is just hillarious all the time. I often get into giggle fits during class, and he always says "Sige, Sister Boekweg." (Meaning, "okay, movin' on"). Now everyone in the district says that whenever anyone has a giggle fit.

Sorry I talk about this a lot, but I just love my district so much! I am going to be so sad when I have to say goodbye to them when we leave the MTC.

I'm sorry I don't have any dramatic spider stories to share this week. I think the spiders are all cowering in fear after last week's episode. Hehehe!

I love you all!

Love, Sister Boekweg

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Hi family!

Life is great!

So, I've already started becoming disaccustomed to my first name. More than once, someone I know has called out my first name to get my attention, and I just don't recognize that they are trying to talk to me. I'm too used to being called "Sister Boekweg". It's kind of funny.

The other day, Brother Ward was gone, so we had a substitute named Brother Lopez. He was super super nice, and he gave us a lot of advice for our missions. He said that struggling in Tagalog is actually a good thing because it shows people that you love them enough to struggle in their language, and it shows that your message is really important. He also said that becoming fluent in Tagalog is not as important as becoming fluent in the language of the spirit. I think that's really true.

Last Tuesday, Marlin K. Jensen spoke at the devotional. It was SO good! Everyone in my district thought it was the best devotional we have had yet. He talked about how important it is to have the spirit with you when you teach, so that people will recognize that your message comes from God.

The other day, my district and another district that has been here for 7 weeks took turns playing investigators for each other. It was really cool. It was a lot easier to teach them because they couldn't give a us really long complicated answers in fluent Tagalog, like our teachers sometimes do. It was cool because I was able to come up with how to say the things I felt like I should say, just on the spot, without memorizing it beforehand, which is pretty awesome, since I've only been here 4 weeks. I still have a long way to go in Tagalog, but it's coming pretty okay.

Yesterday, I had a service assignment at 6:05am. I was assigned to clean the drinking fountains in 10M (which is the building Liza works in, and she was the one who told me what to do). As I was cleaning one of the drinking fountains on the second floor, I suddenly beheld a very grievous sight. There before my eyes, on the very drinking fountain I was cleaning, stood a fiend of deathly terror. I do not like finding fiends of deathly terror on my drinking fountains, especially fiends with eight legs and maliciousness in their hearts (okay, the fiend was a spider). It very much displeased me to the point of condemnation unto death for the spider. The spider was almost lucky enough to escape death, however, because it was big, and ugly, and nasty, and I didn't want to touch it. But death and destruction won out in the end because my zone leader was just around the corner, and I appealed unto him for help. The spider didn't stand a chance. With one mighty swing of his shoe, the spider was destroyed forever, never again to cause pain and sorrow for the children of men.

Well, that's all the time I have today. I hope you're all doing great! Thanks for all your letters!

Love, Sister Boekweg (ha ha! I remembered not to sign it with my first name :D)


P.P.S. I will probably send home my SD card today.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


 Hi Family! 

Thanks for all your letters! They make me so happy!

It's so easy to lose track of time here at the MTC. I seriously feel like I've been here 3 months, and it's only been 3 or 4 weeks (I don't even know). :)

I hope everything is great at home.

On Saturday, it was the birthday of one of the elders in my district. We decorated our classroom. It was super awesome. I wish I could send you pictures, but I can't attach them to email, and the bookstore no longer prints photos.

I don't have a ton to write about this week. It's been a pretty normal week. Tagalog has been coming along okay.

We started teaching in the TRC last week. It was really fun.

Last night there was a big spider in my room. I became distraught, and Sister Richardson (one of the other sisters in my district) had to come kill it. She said "you are going to die in the Philippines." It's probably true :)

Every night, there is a choir in the bathroom. Someone starts singing in the shower, and a bunch of people join in. It's kind of funny.

I'm sorry I don't have more to write.

Love, Lisa

P.S. Quote of the week: Sister Christensen to Brother Ward: "What would we do if you weren't our teacher?" Brother Ward: "There would be a hole in your heart that you didn't even know was there...filled up by big ole fuzzy me!" Brother Ward is hilarious. I love having him as my teacher.

pps: I had stroganof for dinner last night at the cafeteria, and it was pretty much the best dinner of my life (since coming to the MTC anyway) :D