Monday, July 19, 2010

Kumusta po kayo?

Hey Mom! (at sina dad & Jason)

Kumusta po kayo?! Mabuti naman ako. That's all I got right now haha.

Well its been a really long past few days away from you guys. It's been really hard to be away from home but its been really rewarding as well. I'll try to recap the past week to the best that I can remember it.

Wednesday was probably the longest day I've ever lived in my life. Everyone was staring at me through the whole terminal and flight; I think partially because I was wearing a suit and also because I was crying the whole time haha you know me already. The flight went by fast and we landed in Salt Lake City about 20 minutes early. Bishop Grant picked me up in baggage claim and we ran into a guy in my hall who was going into the MTC as well that day. So Bishop Grant took us all (me, Elder Young, and his sister - Sister Young) back to Provo and treated us to lunch at IHOP. Afterwards we drove to the MTC a bit early and, well, that was it. We were all really nervous because we didn't know what to expect but as you can see I'm still alive and surviving. They had other missionaries there waiting to pick us up who took our suitcases and showed us to our residence halls and classrooms. We started class right away that day and man, was it hard. I thought Calculus or PDBIO was hard but at least they were in English. From the moment I walked in the door "bawal ingles." Absolutely no English. I felt so sorry for all the other kids because at least I could understand a little bit; on the other hand everyone looked like they wanted to cry. The language is coming really fast though. Class went on forever that day. At dinner it was like almost eating at the cannon center all over again. I saw at least ten people from BYU at dinner alone that day. It was really nice because missing home kind of lessened up after seeing some familiar faces. After dinner we went to a workshop that was like a mock-lesson teaching with a bunch of other newbie missionaries. We met our Zone Leaders after that who then took us to our rooms for the night. My companion's name is Elder Frost and he's way cool. He's a kind of nerdy kid that says a bunch of really funny things but we get along great. We make jokes a lot between the two of us since he's "from the hood." Taga Conneticut siya at magmimisyon siya sa Quezon City tambien. Oops - that was Spanish. Funny because that's been what's hardest about the language here. Whenever I try to talk in class I speak in a mix of Tagalog, Ilocano, Spanish, and English and my teacher (Brother Doria ang pangalan niya) just looks at me funny. My companion starts speaking French when he gets frustrated so I don't know what's worse haha.

The days all kind of mesh together after that. Thursday was our first real day in the MTC. Our days are pretty much formatted like this:

6:30am - Wake up
Three hours of Class
Three hours of class
Three hours of class
Sleep - 10:30pm

We hard immunizations check on Thursday and guess what mom... I have all mine done already! My companion has to get a couple so I was relieved about that. Thursday was pretty much like another other day though. We've come up with a couple Tagalog jokes that I know you will find funny. So we were going over pronouns haling bawa ang - ako, siya, ikaw/ka, etc. And the teacher was telling us that the easiest way to remember each is by finding the similarities between the two. So when the teacher asked with similarity between "tayo" and "nating" was I shouted out "absolutely nating!" Atsaka everyone finds the number "siyete" really funny. We say when we go to the bathroom "Anong number?" like you know, number one or number two, and the response is "number siyete" haha. Its weird though, I wish you guys could come visit and see this place. I rarely hear English because everyone is speaking their own perspective languages. What was even weirder was coming here and having a bunch of white people speak better Tagalog than me. I'm starting to think I'm forgetting to speak in English too because everyone thing is Taglish here; I can't even remember the last time I said "yeah" or "yes." It's awesome though. I can't wait to call you guys before I go on the plane and show you how much I've learned.

Later that Thursday night I was called as district leader on only the second day here. I completely was not expecting that but it's been good for me. It's helped me to worry about the guys in my district and less about myself like Bishop Thomas said. Forgetting myself and doing His work has been a bit hard being homesick but that calling has made it a lot easier. The Branch President also said that there's a strong possibility that I'll be out of here in only three weeks since I'm picking up the language so fast. That would be crazy because all the guys in my district are here for nine which is just a little longer than Spring term. Saturday and Sunday were pretty much the same as the other couple of days.

I think what I've liked most about the language is the structure and how amazing it is. Tagalog is so beautiful becuase it marks the focus of each sentence. We were talking about our purpose the other day. The first part talks about "bringing others unto Christ." An activity our teacher did was to try to understand what was the focus of that sentence whether it be "coming" or "Christ." Tagalog perfectly marks it though, it marks "others" as the focus which is what missionary work is all about. It's about loving the people and not us.

Even though being away from home is really hard, I'm having a great time here. As Elders we're all looking out for eachother and lifting eachother up everyday. The food is great and even though the work is hard, it's worth it. I've been recording videos and taking lots of pictures for you guys so I hope you enjoy those.

I miss you guys a lot and hope you're doing well. Write me letters and send me stuff because that makes us feel special haha. I'll talk to you guys soon!

Mahal ko kayo,