Who ever said Tagalog is like spanish is crazy, and even if it is like spanish, I don't know spanish so it is still hard. Today is my first P-Day, and they will be on saturdays for my zone from now on. This is day 3
I believe and I am absolutely loving it. My companion is Elder N., he doesn't know Mark but I thought that was kind of cool. He is super awesome. He is from American Fork and has a brother serving a mission right now, in the
Naga !! Mission
The first day we got to the MTC we put our stuff in our apartment and then went to class. Our teacher, brother kaka who is from
and served in manila, is super cool. he has an australian accent plus a
filipino accent so its interesting. He only talked to us in Tagalog and all of
our district was just looking at him like what. at the end he started talking
in English and teaching us some words. Mabuti means good, so everyone says that
a lot. New Zealand
So just to let you know what a district is and how that all works cause I never could figure it out:
A District is basically your class and who you see all the time. they can be elders and sisters, in ours we only have 3 sets of kasamas (companions) and usually the kasamas go to the same mission, and sometimes the whole district, but they can go to different missions.
A zone is a compilation of districts, that are in the same Branch. So a Branch is the same as a zone.
We have a Branch President and his counselors who are SUPER AWESOME. The president served as a mission president I think twice in the
and The first counselor is like on his 6 Mission,
and served a lot in the .
He was one of the first missionaries over there, and remembers the first
baptism and how it grew from 50 members to 700 by the time he
left. His name is brother howard. Our president is President Smith.
Brother Howard is exactly like Brother Allison. He grew up in philippines Idaho, was in the army in vietnam
as a doctor and served a mission in the when it first
opened. Then he was a mission president in Manilla and had his mission
divided a bunch because it was growing so fast. He actually had Brother
kaka as a missionary, and he was super hard to find a companion, it took him 3
days one time to find a companion for Brother kaka. philippines
I don't know if you got my letter to you all yet, but the MTC president asked us to write one to you so I did. It kind of reiterates a lot of stuff I'm saying Here.
Don't think I forgot about MOMS 50 BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!! Happy Birthday! I miss you but I am happy (masaya) where I am.
Oh, I am in the Rain Tree Apartments, which are super nice compared to the MTC main grounds, and They are pretty nice. There are 10 elders in one apartment, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathroom with a kitchen that we never use and a living room. The food here is really good, so maybe over on the main grounds its not haha. The only complaint is they don't have in indoor gym and have to play basketball outside or volleyball in the sand, and yesterday for our first gym day it was raining so we couldn't really do anything.
The most spiritual experience I have had thus far, and perhaps even ever, was the first night we were at the MTC. We had to go to the Cougar Chapel, and basically teach an "investigator" about the church (there were about 40 missionaries in the room that could give their input). So what happened was a set of elders came in and knocked on a door like a movie scene and the investigator opened it and invited them in. He would be on his phone and what not and they would have a real conversation and he acted like he was not interested and whatnot. Then the brother that was leading the meeting paused it and had the elders leave and he talked to us about how we were missionaries and were set apart to have the gift of revelation. ( By the way this guy that was leading it was Elder Christensan from the district part 2, that was cool). The actor/investigator said that he believes in God but he does not think that God would help with our temporal needs such as money. As brother Christensan was talking about this revelation I just knew what I had to say, but I didn't want to share it in front of everyone. But as the first missionary raised his hand and the investigator was tripping him up on questions, I felt the strongest feeling in my body that I think I have ever felt. So I raised my hand and asked him if he loved his children that he had. He kind of knew where I was going but was getting a little more inquisitive and said yes of course. So I said well God is our Heavenly Father. And he Loves us just like you love your children. And he cares about your needs. He wants to help you. And that started other missionaries bearing testimony of times they had felt his love and when they had blessed him. The feeling went away after but it was so great to testify that and strengthened my own testimony.
Also on Thursday we had a meeting with the Branch presidency and they talked to us as a group and pulled us out to interview us and get to know us, and we talked about how to be a good missionary and good companion while the president was pulling people out. All day that day we talked about what our purpose was and why we are here, and that is to help others come to christ. I kind of just said okay I get it we don't need to keep mentioning it a ton, but then it just hit me. I'm not here for me. The only two duties I have is to teach and invite. It is on the investigator to do the commitments we give and pray, but ultimately they are the ones getting baptized, recieving the Holy Ghost, Repenting, And enduring to the end. We cannot do those things for them, and so we must do everything we can to serve them and love them to help them do that.
While The presiency members and their wives were talking to all of the new missionaries (3 districts made up of about 4 companionships each) President smith asked to see a sister from the all sister district, and elder from a mixed district, and me. So I am the district leader over 5 other elders. And I don't know what to think. Im excited that the lord trusted me with the calling, but I am only barely 18. Me and Elder N. are the only ones who haven't gone to college. There is an elder- elder B.- who is 23 years old, has a bachelors degree in Computer Science, and is a convert for 2 years and on a mission! I feel so inferior! I interviewed them and was amazed at each of their gospel knowledge. But I am starting to see why I am, not to boast or anything like that, but some elders talk about things that are not related to what we are studying, and I am able to bring the topic back. Elder B. is the best at staying on task though, and does not like talking about home at all, even what he did and how he found the church. I admire him, He is picking up the language perhaps the best. We have to teach an investigator 2 on 1 in tagalog, the lesson is beyond short, and elder N. and I struggled a lot. As District Leader I get the mail, and Brother Howard told me the one thing to not mess up on is the mail, but every other mistake is a learning experience hahaha. .
One other thing I wanted to mention, is Elder L., he is from an island and was baptized one year ago!! He is SOOO FUNNY it is crazy. He says all this stuff in tagalog, hes not fluent just picks it up faster, and Yells it. He has a hard time waking up and going to bed on time, And I think he was homesick or upset and his companion Elder J. was having a hard time getting him to follow the rules and to not just lay in bed and Elder L. was having an argument, But Elder J. wrote down How to say I love you in his native language and kneeled by the bed telling him he loved him, and is easily the best companionship I have ever seen. Elder L. one night was saying ( in good mood very loud) TOMORROW, WE SLEEP! and Elder J. goes what about breakfast!?
Elder L: SLEEP!
elder j: what about class!?
L: Ok dinner, but then SLEEP!
I was laughing so hard haha, his accent tops it all off, and he always says hindi which means roughly no or negative or bad about things, and calls elders sisters. And he struts around in his Snapbacks and glasses haha.
I love you all, Im having a blast and working Hard. The language will come, or so the president keeps telling us, im not sure.