Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kumusta magandang pamilya!

Kumusta magandang pamilya! So, you know that investigator I told you we were teaching last week? We found out on Friday that he’s actually our other teacher, but he was just pretending to be an investigator for the first week. Apparently they do that to all the new districts. His name is Brother Ward, and he’s a really good teacher. He’s really good at teaching us grammar, and he’s really laid back and goofy, but in a good way that is really motivating. Yesterday he talked to us about SYL (speak your language), which is what they really want us to do in the MTC. We have to speak Tagalog as much as possible, and use all the Tagalog we know at all times with our teachers, and companions, and district. Our “MTC Experience” book says that if we do this, we will qualify for the gift of tongues, which is really cool. After he talked to us about that, we were really excited to speak more Tagalog, and my whole district is trying to speak it as much as possible now. It’s amazing how much we’ve been able to learn in the short time we’ve been here. We still have a ton to learn, but I feel like I can kind of communicate in Tagalog now, to an extent.

Every Sunday there is a Fireside for the whole MTC. This week’s fireside was awesome. I can’t remember who spoke (it probably wasn’t anyone any of you would know), but he talked to us about obeying with exactness, and really applying the principles in “Preach My Gospel” to our lives. It was really inspiring. We also have a devotional every Tuesday night. I’m excited for the one tonight. Apparently the Tuesday one is usually someone really awesome. Last Tuesday we had Elder Rasband, and the week before I came in I think it was Elder Perry, so I’m excited to find out who it is today.

After the Fireside on Sunday, we were able to watch “Legacy.” It was really entertaining to watch it in an auditorium with lots of missionaries. I didn’t realize how funny that movie is in parts, until I saw the reactions from all the other missionaries. It was really fun.

So, I haven’t even made it two weeks, and I have already won the reputation in my district as the one who eats french fries with a fork. I suppose that is a little odd.

I love the MTC. It feels like I’ve been here for about 2 months, and it’s only been two weeks. I’m not even joking.

This morning I went with my district to the temple. It was so wonderful. I love the temple so much.

Tomorrow we will start teaching at the TRC. Up until this point, we’ve been able to use notes and grammar books, and other such resources when we teach, but from here on out we have to use only the Tagalog in our brains, pamphlets in Tagalog, and scriptures (although we can bring both Tagalog and English ones). It’s a little intimidating. When we were teaching Brother Ward last week (before we knew he was Brother Ward), we just wrote down what we wanted to say, and then just read it while we were teaching him, but now we have to memorize what we want to say. I think it will be really good though. We are still going to be teaching investigators every day. They’ll just be Brother Langer and Brother Ward pretending to be investigators, but we’re supposed to treat it like it’s totally real. We have to teach completely in Tagalog.

Life is so great! The gospel is true!

Love, Lisa

P.S. I found my theme scripture today during personal study. It’s somewhere in D&C 46 (or some section close to that). It says “Let all things be done in cleanliness before me.” I definitely endorse that scripture. Hehe.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Being a missionary is hard work, but I love it!

Kumusta, Family!

I don’t have very much time, so forgive me if this email doesn’t flow very well. This week, we’ve really been diving into Tagalog. We even started teaching our first investigator–completely in Tagalog. The first time was nearly a disaster because we couldn’t understand anything he said, and it took us forever to respond to anything he said, but it was okay because we started with a prayer, and so the spirit was there. Our investigator’s name is Nino Rivera, and he is really sweet and cute, and he asks a lot of good questions, and he really wants to learn a lot.

So, the first day I got here, I went to class, and our teacher spoke to us only in Tagalog. He told us English is bawal (forbidden). It was a little intimidating at first, but I’ve gotten used to it. My teacher is Brother Langer. He is really nice, and he is very patient with us.

I love my district. I’m pretty sure I have the best district in the whole MTC. There are 4 sisters, and 4 elders, which is really wierd (for it to be half and half), but it’s really fun. Three of our Elders have cool accents. One is from Hawaii, one is from New Zealand, and one is from Australia. Sister Aree is the only sister who is not from the US. She is from Kiribati, and she is super sweet and cute. She has a very cute giggle that makes us all laugh. My companion is Sister Christensen. She is really sweet. We were actually in the same ward at Stadium Terrace two years ago. We get along really well. We both like to run during gym time, and so we both run together. We also both really want to follow all the rules, so I’m really glad about that. She is allergic to gluten and dairy, so she can’t eat most of the stuff in the cafeteria, which is really sad, but she has a really good attitude. Our whole district eats together for every meal. I really like it. I feel like my district is really united, and we all love each other. It’s weird–we’ve only known each other for a week, but we already feel like we’re a family. It’s awesome!

So, exciting story: the first night I was here, someone burned a bag of popcorn, and it set off the fire alarm, so we all had to go outside in our PJ’s. It was great fun.

Just so y’all know, the MTC is hard work, but it’s really worth it. We leave our residence hall at 7:00 every morning, and we don’t go back until 9:30 at night. During that time, we have class, language study, personal study, TALL (technology assisted language learning), and basically we just sit in our classroom all day and study our hearts out. It can get kind of tedious sometimes, but I’ve been getting better at really focusing, and using my study time effectively. Brother Langer told us everything we do–even our language study–needs to be about our investigators, so I’ve been trying to keep that in mind, and it really helps motivate me.

I’m not exceedingly skilled in Tagalog yet, of course, but I’ve learned how to pray in Tagalog, and how to bear my testimony, and how to sort of get to know people in Tagalog. I’ve heard from a lot of missionaries who have been here longer that after about 3 weeks, you start to pick it up a lot more.

Quote of the week:

“We ran like maniacs; and by maniacs, I mean slugs” –Sister Christensen, telling one of our roommates about us running at the missionary field during gym time.

Well, I love all of you. Sorry again that this email isn’t very flowy–hopefully I’ll have more email time out in the field.

Love, Lisa