Due to Keanan's quick mission call, followed by the holiday routine, which included Keanan leaving the country, we have been delinquent in posting. But New Year, new start! Here's a quick "catch up" and then we will post more regularly.
Nov 11, 2015 - Keanan arrived at the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center (MTC)
Sarah, NaVia and Loraya drove Keanan out to Utah, and enjoyed last minute family time and all those emotions that go into sending your favorite son/brother on a mission!
While he was there, we were able to communicate rather regularly with Keanan through DearElder.com. Keanan really liked this since he would get hard copy messages on the same, or next day from those who wrote him. He got a little lonely, but figured out how to push through those feelings via prayer, scripture study, and the letters everyone sent him.
Keanan was able to pick up on the Tagalog language rather quickly, and even served as a language tutor for the other missionaries not as familiar with the language. For those who do not know, Keanan took 4 years of Tagalog in High School, so he was well prepared for his mission call to the Philippines!
Here is his email from the Provo, MTC:
It's amazing to be here! I have had a ton of fun at the MTC and its crazy that I've only been here a couple weeks! I leave really early on the 10th for the Philippines and I am so excited! It'll be super hot so I'm trying to enjoy the cool weather here. Also, with all the tagalog, i have been having trouble spelling english words because they are way harder... but i have started saying all my prayers in tagalog!
This week we had a blast as usual! Elder Morris took 1500 mg of a laxative because everyone gave him a dollar so that was fun. Sister Fivas put one of those airplane pillows in her hair and i totally got a picture of that! We also had a ton of fun in the choir, we practice twice a week and its so much fun.
On a more serious note, I started the book of mormon over again and I was reading in 2 Nephi at the beginning when Lehi is about to die and he says "Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust." (2Nephi 1: 23) I was really touched by that i feel like it should be in an inspirational video or something. I also decided which scripture to put on my plaque, 1 Nephi 19:9 which reads, "And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it,because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men."
If anyone wants to be on the email list that isn't just shoot me an email with their address! Thank you all for being there for me, I miss you all a ton! All the packages and emails and just love in general means a lot to me, so thank you.
Dec 10, 2015 - Keanan leaves the MTC in Provo, UT, and flies to the Manila, Philippines MTC.
Keanan flew to the Manila MTC for further missionary training before assignment to his first Mission Area - Cauayan, Philippines. He flew from Salt Lake City, UT, to Los Angeles (LAX). While in Lax we got to speak with him on the phone. He sounded happy, healthy and excited to start his mission. He flew from LAX, had a short layover in Hong Kong, and onto Manila.
At this MTC, Keanan started going out on Missionary splits with missionaries who were native to the Philippines. Here is his email:
Hey I just got to the Philippines last night around 12 our time! It is so warm and fun and fast here! I already love it, the people are awesome! As we drove to the MTC the cars were all ridiculously close to each other. I love it here!
Well I only have a couple seconds to emai so I'll keep it short. The more I talk to people about missions the more they say that you'll look back on your missions your whole life. That makes me a little nervous but as long as I do all I can, I know the Lord will help me.
Again thank you all for being there for me.