The time has come.  And I feel about every emotion in the book.  My MTC experience has been so amazing.  But, I am so ready to get to work in the Pilippinas!!!  Gahhhh last night our teach did a Q&A and showed us pictures from San Pablo and oh man, my excitement increased about 137%.  I am going to the Philippines!!!!  This is NUTS!  Ok let's start this email organized.
Sunday, June 23rd, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the MTC choir for the World Wide Broadcast for Hastening the work of Salvation.  I knooooow I was never seen on camera, but I promise I was there!  But after re-watching the broadcast, I found half of my body on the camera!  I am at the top in the green shirt and pink belt.  I think they purposefully cut my head off because I may or may not have been tearing up....  it seriously was just sooooo powerful!!!!  I am apart of this great movement of missionaries.  I have been called to serve and am going to hearken the nation of the Philippines!  It was an amazing experience to sing live to the apostles and listen to their amazing words about this great work.  I hope you all have a renewed excitement for member missionary work.  Seriously, without the members, my job as a full-time missionary would be a thousand times more difficult!  Thank you for all you do!  Don't be afraid to give referrals and don't be afraid to speak up about this wonderful gospel in your lives to your friends.  I also got to sorta talk to Elder M. Russell Ballard through his car window.  He told us, "You are doing an amazing job and I am grateful for your service."  Yeah, cool moment.  
This week was my first week where I had a few bad days.  Just days of frustration, irritation, and a whole lot of dumb feelings.  Having those bad days was really frustrating because I feel like my day was less productive, but really though, this week I think I worked the hardest I have worked yet.  I made super good use of the study time I had, our district had an english fast (only Tagalog all day) and I learned so much in class.  This week we were pounded with information before we leave; for example, yesterday we had in-field orientation.  That thing was amazing!  The amount of effort the MTC and teachers put into it was awesome!  The classes were all themed and interactive and I really learned a lot to prepare me for the field!  Some people don't like in-field orientation because it is long and can be boring, but it really is what you make it... just like how the rest of this mission is. 
Ok, so I am real excited and real nervous to leave.  Where has time gone?  I feel like I got into the MTC last week!!!  But I came up with a list of what I learned in my first 6 weeks of my mission and want to share it with you so that not only I remember what I learned, and for my friends who are coming into the MTC (Emily Dahl, Madeline Foutz!!!), but also for you family and friends. These points can also be applied in life!  So here goes:
The 6 Most Important Lessons I Learned in the MTC
1. Know your Purpose
If you don't know this, then you might as well go home.  This is what life revolves around as a missionary.  I knew that coming into my mission, but didn't realize how amazing each word in that statement is.  I wish I would've internalized Our Purpose moreso prior to my mission, but I have gained a great love for it and it solely is the reason for missionary work and my desire for being here.
2. Make Friends
Life as a missionary is wayyyyyy different, and if you make friends with other missionaries along the way you just bond so much!  Making friends gives you sanity and time to help each other out.  And you know you are always uplifting others when you talk to them and help them, cause this thing we call life ain't easy.
3. Be Diligent
When receiving a mission call, you are called to dedicate all your time to serving a the Lord and leaving behind all personal matters.  I have learned that this is the Lord's time.  I cannot waste it.  I am only dedicating 18 months for this work, so stinkin use it wisely!  When there is a spare moment of a few extra minutes here and there, be productive.  Read some scriptures, study some language, comfort a friend, ask your teacher questions, say a prayer, do something! 
4. Forget Yourself
I kinda mentioned this last week, but seriously, this mission isn't about me, or you, or anything.  It is about the people who need the gospel in their lives and Christ.  Seriously, this mission is supposed to change a person, and that change is supposed to be permanent.  Don't return to the old habits, keep the new ones!  This is all about serving others.
5. Don't Compare
This means don't be hard on yourself when others progress faster than yourself.  I have struggled with that here.  "Wow that companionship is better than mine.  She is better at the language.  She is more spiritual. She is more popular.  She is prettier.  They work harder.  They are practically fluent.  I am no good!"  It is hard when you feel like there is no encouragement.  There are no cheerleaders here, there are no parents or old friends, there is just you and the Lord.  And you have to learn to listen to the Spirit when it is cheering you on and inspiring you.  Know that you are a Child of God and He has blessed each of us differently.  We all go at different paces, even if it is different than what you would want.  He is always with you and help you be prepared and ready to perform His work.
6. Turn Outward
This comes from Elder David A. Bednar's talk on the "Character of Christ". Christ turned outwards unto others when many of us would turn inwards.  Every person is different and often times it is difficult to understand and love every person we come in contact with.  But if we come to understand how to turn outward and become Christlike, then you are doing something right in this life.  This applies to missionaries and everyone at home, love everyone.  God loves us all and we are all His children.  We must love them all too, especially by bringing them the Koloob (intangible gift in Tagalog) of the Gospel.
Ok, just thought you might be interested in what I learned, and please share this with anyone who may be going on a mission so they can learn these things far before I did!  I miss you all and the next time I email, it will be from halfway across the world.... Mahal kita lahat!  Ingat po!

Peace 'n blessin's,
Sister Waldrom
Go read 1 Samuel 25