Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Week 4 MTC Life

Week 4 

Dear Family and Friends, 

Kumusta po everyone :) It is so good to be able to talk to you all again and it felt like this week went by so fast! The MTC days just continue to blend together and I can't believe I have already been here for 4 weeks! 

There were a lot of highlights from this week and one of them was when we went proselyting in the Quezon City North Mission. We met up with some of the missionaries from Quezon City around noon and we all got paired up with a missionary and I was assigned with Sister Araos, she is a filipino. We just got right to work! We walked pretty far to our area, rode jeepneys--crazy filipino taxi, and walked across tin bridges to get to our little village area. And we just got surrounded by little kids and started teaching! I couldn't understand a lot but it was seriously so fun! We taught a couple of families, shared scriptures--I was able to pray and testify in Tagalog and it was so awesome. I really just found that teaching less of sitting down and teaching lesson, but more of seeking the spirit and deciding what the person really needs to hear. But here I was in Quezon City, couldn't understand anything, probably butchered everything I said, in the hot sun but with all that said the spirit was still there and I really felt that the goal as a missionary is to be a vessel for the spirit. :) 

This really motivated me to try harder and be better at really listening to people. I know I don't have all the answers but God does. This area was Tin roofs, little shacks and dirt floors. It was really so humbling to be there and I couldn't be more excited for the chance I have to serve these amazing people and be able to do my best to invite the spirit in their homes :) 

The new batch of missionaries came this week and that was super fun! For the first couple of days it was just me and Sister Singer in our room but we got new roommates later in the week. They are so cute and shy, we have been trying to get them to come out of their shell haha :) The filipinos are so shy at first but as soon as you try to get to know them and talk to them they will talk to you about everything, I love it :) 

Our fake investigators are doing awesome. We had a couple of really good lessons this week. Both of our investigators came to church WHOOP WHOOP! Me and Sister Singer always have mini dance parties after we have a good lesson. I have just learned how important it is to really listen to the spirit and there have been so many little moments where the Gift of Tongues is so real! No I haven't taught a full lesson in Tagalog but I will remember certain words or phrases and it is really cool when it happens :) 

The food here is super good, we are definitely spoiled here. On Sunday, one of the counselors brought Balut which is an egg embryo kind of things--I don't really know how to describe it. It was one of the delicacies in the Philippines and everyone says you have to try it so I did! And it was SO gross and something I never have to try again but at least I can say I did it haha :)

Our Tuesday Devotionals are always so awesome and this week Elder Haynie of the Seventy came. Our batch of missionaries is so small we got to all talk to him for a bit and it was so cool! he talked a lot about how the Lord has sent the weak to perform his miracles (D&C 100:4) and it just got me thinking that by myself I am nothing but with God's help I am here to perform his miracles!--How cool is that? Something I have learned this week is to rely on the Lord and rely on the spirit :) 

Life is good this week and I have learned so much from the MTC--It really is just a never ending spiritual lesson and I absolutely love it :) 


Sister Zarbock   

Abby sent videos of her "MTC Life" this week.  If you copy and paste each link you can view them!

Video 1:

Video 2:

Video 3:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Week 3 "WHOA....I'm halfway there. on a million prayers!"

Week 3

Dear Family and Friends, 

HELLO :) Another week down in the MTC and it feels so good. This week was another busy week and I can't wait to tell you all about it. 

So the days have been blending together lately but there have been some super awesome things that have gone on this week. One of the nights here we had a Filipino Culture night and it was so fun :) It was exactly what I needed to just get recharged because sometimes we spend so much time studying and learning that its hard to stay motivated all day everyday. :) It was so cool to hear about all the funny things about the Philippines, weird cultural things and all of that. 

This week we were able to go get our immigration status completed :) and I got to go right into my Manila mission and honestly I could not be more excited that in a few short weeks I will be able to serve in this crazy city.  I'll spend 6 weeks in the MTC and I leave the MTC July 12th so "WHOA...I'm halfway there!" Hard to believe!!  We were able to eat at KFC which was a Godsend, having rice and veggies are nice and all but sometimes I just need some cheap fast food haha. First off, there are people everywhere here and the poverty is unreal here. But people are always smiling and we say hi to everyone on the streets. It is so fun to be a missionary :) 

Language status, the language is coming. Same as last week. Everyday I feel more confident and the Lord really does help me the more and more effort I put into it :) In my studying this week I read "Our Search for Happiness" and it made me realize how simplistic this work is--I think that is kind of the theme of the week, that all we need in this life to be happy is the relationships around us and the gospel. :) We were able to have a lesson this week on the importance of serving those around you with charity and love. And what the Lord asks of us is so simple again :) 

With Sister Gloria and Brother Adong this week -- Fake investigators -- Sister Singer and I had monumental things happen. Brother Adong committed to go to church and we got a yes to being baptized from Sister Gloria :) And you know this is even more of a testimony to me about the simplicity of this gospel. The spirit testifies to people and we are really just his mouth pieces to the gospel, that even through broken Taglish these people can feel of the spirit and know that this gospel is what they are missing in their lives. 

Funny moments in the week...I think what is so funny, call it tuning in to our companion wavelength, Sister Singer and I always seem to have the same song stuck in our head at the time, I think it means our companionship is as strong as it gets haha. We played some really wicked basketball with some Filipinos this week and my team crushed it. Me and Singer played ping pong with the Indians this week as well and I don't know what Indians do but they are supreme ping pong opponents.  

Well anyway this week was a good one! So grateful for all the support and love :) 

Mahal Kita, 

Sister Zarbock

Jack moment....this is a package that one of his Filipino companions took
Abby in the MTC.  Packages from home aren't allowed there but he was
able to get some good stuff to her!  Sister Moreno (above) who Jack
knew from one of the areas he served in!
Sisters from all over the world!
Last night with the roomies
(RTMs--Regular Trained Missionaries who aren't learning a language)
before they head out to the field!
Sweet Sister from Indonesia--I just love her!
Elders from India who we play ping pong with
Filipino Elder going to Provo on his mission!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Week 2 Holy Cow, it's been two weeks!

Week 2

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello everyone! :) So glad I get to talk to you again. I would like to just give a shout out to my cute Dad :) HAPPY FATHERS DAY! I think you are the cutest dad and I am so grateful for all you do. Don't know how I was blessed with the best dad.  THANK YOU dad ;) Okay I hope it is a good one and I am sad I won't be able to be there with you, but I am sending my love from the Philippines! 

Okay so this week.The time in the MTC is weird. Some days are short, some days feel like 3 days, and it feels like the week has been long and short...haha. Let's just say that 16 hour days can get a little crazy. :) But anyway, I feel like so many things have happened since I emailed last. Can't wait to tell you ALL ABOUT IT. 

Last Wednesday we were able to go to the temple and today as well. And the Manila temple is absolutely gorgeous. :) It is so nice to be able to go to the temple and just feel the spirit. Be able to get away from all the learning and studying we do all day. P-days are so fun! There is not a whole lot to do, we go to the store and sneak treats into our rooms...haha don't tell anyone ;) 

P-day Temple Trip!

The MTC days seem to all blend together. We do a lot of studying, whether it has something to do with being a missionary or studying the language. A lot of you know the missionary purpose. "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." and I quoted it because is is what I learn about all day everyday. I hear the phrase, "Teach with the Espiritu Santo" almost 100 times a day. :) We learn how to better teach people about baptism, how we can personally teach people by the Holy Ghost, and how we always need to be thinking about our investigators. When people talk about losing yourself in the work, this is exactly what they are talking about. 

Language study is a whole other story. I am sure this is how it is learning other languages too, but sometimes with Tagalog I just have to learn to not ask questions and tell myself, "Abby, that is just the way it, don't overthink it." And it really is so true. I really enjoy learning the language despite the slow progress in learning it. I really have to take baby steps and understand there is no way I can pick up a language in less than a week--but that won't stop me from trying haha.I am constantly reviewing, always speaking to the Filipinos--they laugh and teach us how to say things all the time, It is really such a fun environment here. :) I do feel like I am progressing little by little. I can pray in Tagalog, testify and very basic sentences. The MTC teaches us more on the gospel side of phrases and that really helps with teaching our investigators. 

Which brings me to my next point. Investigators! In the MTC our teachers pretend to be investigators, a lot of them are portraying people from their missions. As a companionship we teach them. We spend a good part of the week preparing lessons and preparing ourselves to teach our investigators. We have been teaching 2 this week. We treat them like a normal investigator, and it really helps a lot with being a missionary, the language...everything. Sister Singer and I teach pretty well together. A lot of the times we will be talking to the investigator and we will say the exact same thing at the exact same time...espiritu santo is real people! 

So many funny things happen in the MTC and honestly it's probably only funny because we sit in a classroom all day BUT I thought I would share a few things with you. I feel like the group of Elders and Sisters in my zone have been my friends forever, we all get along so well and just laugh all the time :) Here are some funny things:
-We belt Disney songs, we all prefer High School Musical. The Samoans get really into it. The other day they did an island version. Imagine like the haka-gotta go my own way kind of thing. ;) 
-When we were supposed to be doing language study we pretend we are a call center because we all have matching headsets.
-We dare each other to eat weird foods that we are served. The other day I got dared to eat a fish head--eyes and all. 
-One time me and Sister Singer were in a lesson. And it was just right before I was going to testify--the spirit in the room was awesome....And I am about to share my testimony and I called her by the wrong name. Yeah, the moment died and we all started laughing.
-My roommates are funny girls. In the Philippines it is really okay to say people look fat and they love to point out zits and everything like that. The Filipinos like to call me Sister Zombie--they think it is absolutely hilarious. 

So there are just a few things that happen that are dumb, but I hope they make you laugh a little bit :) 

To end on a spiritual note. My favorite days are Sundays and Tuesdays. Sunday we have to prepare a 3 minute talk and you are just assigned 20 minutes in advance if you are speaking. I was asked to speak and it was actually really awesome. I spoke on the power of prayer and prayer really is so awesome. I have found that I love my morning and late night prayers. Tuesday devotionals are so awesome. We had Elder Pajaro speak to us of the Seventy. And he talked about his conversion, and how special his missionaries are to him :) It made me so excited for missionary work and how much I love this gospel. 

I hope you all have a great week. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers :) 


Sister Zarbock 

Where we live at the MTC!
This is Sister Moreno--she knows Jack from when he served in Guis Guis!
Sister Starbucks, Sister Zombie--I'll answer to anything!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Week 1 "Tell everybody I'm on my way...."

Week !

Dear Family and Friends, 

Kumusta po! 

I really can't believe it has already been my first week as a missionary. I am so excited to tell all of you about my MTC experience so far. So lets just get right into it! 

So traveling. Honestly felt so long ago but it went well, when I was going up the escalator and waving one last goodbye to my cute fam I kind of had this feeling like Holy cow! I am really doing this! I am going to be a missionary, I have spent so much time thinking, pondering, and wondering what it would be like and here I am actually doing it. I flew from Utah to LA with a batch of 10 missionaries. 4 sister missionaries including me and 6 elders. The LA to Hong Kong was very very...very long haha. But I made some new Filipino friends who ended up being on our next flight. We picked up a few elders along the way. 

The first day of the MTC. When people say it's the longest day of your life they aren't kidding. We pulled up and I was thinking there were going to be a lot of other Americans meeting us there but the 10 of us that traveled together were it. The day was spent getting immunizations taken care of, getting our name tags, a lot of orientation like things, and devotionals. We also were able to meet our companions and my companion is Sister Singer. We already know each other pretty well which is a total bonus! We communicated and got to know each other before we left on our missions and we went to each others farewells and everything. She is from Salt Lake City and we seriously have so much fun together. She is awesome! 

The rest of the week was very busy! Lots of language training, classes, personal studying, devotionals...but honestly I have never felt more at home.(okay mom of course nothing beats home home) but I really am so at peace knowing I am doing what the Lord wants me to do. :) Another big part of the MTC is your district because you are with them all the time with classes and language training, our district is so great. We have 3 Samoans--let me tell you all Samoans do is laugh and make everything so much lighter and they are so happy all the time. Then there are 2 elders from Texas and Arizona and 4 sisters including me and Sister Singer. I love the other companionship of Sisters as well, it feels like we have been friends forever. 

Meals everyday consist of rice, vegetables and some sort of meat. When people told me they eat rice for every meal they really aren't kidding but I don't mind! :) Gym time we play volleyball, basketball--just saying I beat an elder at be proud. One night we ran around while it was raining...that was really fun :) 

The coolest part of the week has honestly been meeting so many different kinds of people. There are people from India here, Indonesia, all over the Philippines, Samoa, New Zealand, and Australia. When I bore my testimony on Sunday I talked about that. I talked about even though we are all so different and have such different lifestyles, cultural, nationalities...we all come together for the soul purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ. The gospel really is eternal and unchanging. 

Me and Sister Singer have been teaching an investigator and her name is Sister Andaya. We teach investigators to already start to practice our language and we have had actually some really awesome experiences. Tagalog is actually not too bad, I feel like I just really have to forget all I have ever known about speaking and embrace how the Filipinos talk haha. But with teaching Sister Andaya, even though we really can't understand all that she is saying...or most of what she is saying, the spirit really does testify to her. The missionary goal is to really just be a vessel to the spirit. :) 

So my first week was good and later today we get to go to the temple, I am so excited :) I am so happy to finally be a missionary! Mahal Kita! 


Sister Starbucks--people can never say Zarbock so they say like that coffee place? Yup thats me! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sister Zarbock on her way to the Philippines!

Emails along the journey to the Philippines......

Mom HI! :) Just wanted to tell you that I am safe in Hong Kong. We just got off our 15 hour flight and I am not too tired! I am with a group of 10 people, 6 elders and 4 sisters. We are using a free internet service right now to email! :) Hope you are doing alright! MY carry on had to be checked because there wasn't enough room on the plane so that was kind of a bummer but I have sat by some very nice people on both flights. One girl went to Weber state and first missionary moment! I talked to her about the gospel and our beliefs--she has been a catholic for her whole life but it was cool to hear about her beliefs and everything. I told her I would convert her someday ;) Another was a man named Sommel from Manila. He was doing work over seas, he made fun of my white skin and I told him he should really be jealous ;) Anyway, its been so fun so far and we are about to board to go to Manila! :)

Hey Mom,
Just wanted to tell you that I made it! All my luggage is accounted for as well, so success! :) Well I love you mom and I should report to the MTC tomorrow morning! I love you lots and I will talk to you when I email! 

Dear Mom,

This is an email to tell you that I am alive and have made it to the MTC...made it to the MTC. I AM FINALLY A MISSIONARY. I have a nametag and everything. Couldn't be more thrilled, overwhelmed and excited!  I have spent the day getting checked with immunizations, X-rays, realizing I forgot my recommend, lots of pictures, getting my VISA and all that good stuff. So it has been very busy all day :) The flights were very long but not too bad, strangely none of us are that jet lagged. I was traveling with 6 brothers and 4 sisters. All going to Quezon City but me and Singer are going to Manila. We stayed overnight at the hotel and it was seriously so fun to meet so many fun people. So that is all I have time for right now but be expecting lots more on Friday ;) I love you!

Sister Starbucks....because no one hear can pronounce my name:)