Monday, August 9, 2010

First Goodbyes.

Hey Family!
Talagang mabalis ang noong lingo! Mayroong akong limang mga lingo lang dito sa MTC. Mabalis ng horas dito talaga!

Well, that may not all have been right but I don't have all day to figure out grammer to email with so I'll finish the rest of the email in English. Anyway, it's been a really, really, really fast week. We were so busy this past week. Thank you for your letters, time flew out of my hands before I could even think to write back. By the time I would've sent ya'll anything (everyone says ya'll here, it's starting to stick with me again) it would've been too late!

Anyway, this past week was really hard. We sent our oldest district in the zone to the Philippines and it was really hard to let them go. They were like our big brothers and sisters even though they were only here six weeks before I was. I really learned a lot from each of them; I especially got close to the zone leaders from being the district leader. They left for a nice long 20 hour trip at the beginning of last week; the Laoag missionaries left on Monday, and the Quezon City ones on Tuesday. There were lots of tears but we're really happy for them. I'm so glad they were here to set the example for us to follow and I can't wait to hear from them and see the Quezon City elders soon.

We got two new districts in our zone this past week and it's been really weird to have new people here. It's just not the same, but I guess that's how the mission is - ever changing and never the same. Elder Frost and I got two new people in our room who are pretty cool for the most part. I did have to set them straight on the temperature though because one of the elders insisted on cranking the AC down to 55 degrees and I was not having that - thanks to the big mouth mom gave me, I made sure to voice my opinion. Joke lang, I was mature about it but still, isn't 55 degrees a bit ridiculous? One of the elders is from Sanger California and he's pretty cool. I guess its been good to have new faces but its still been rough to see them replace the rooms of the old district. Regardless, it doesn't matter how much I complain, cry, kick, or scream, the past isn't coming back and I know I have to focus on the reason on why I'm out here and focus on the future.

Well Mom, I appreciated your letter in the mail and it was really cool to get that letter from the mission president, thanks for sending it ASAP and don't worry about opening it; feel free to open anything you'd like. So district leader? I'll try to explain that to you a bit better.

Each mission, whether in the MTC or out on the field, is typically comprised of about 8-11 zones and within those zones about 4-5 districts. Here at the MTC we have two zones of Tagalog speaking elders and 8 districts total. There is a companionship (two missionaries) called as zone leaders who are in charge of each zone and assist the district leaders with their duties. Mat is a zone leader in Alaska right now. As a district leader I am over about ten missionaries and here are the responsibilities as described to the MTC guidelines:

Lift, encourage, inspire and bless the members of the district.
Set an example of gospel living and devoted, selfless service.
Encourage the missionaires in the district to live a high standard of obedience. Remind them to keep the classroom and their residence rooms clean and orderly.
Promote speaking your language.
Receive an accounting during the last class on Friday from each senior companion.
Collect missionary weekly reports and submit them to the zone leader.
Report to the Branch president on the progress and concerns of missionaries in your district.
Attend and participate in weekly branch council meeting.
Plan and conduct district meetings (three times a day, six days a week).
Assign temporary companion exhchanges as needed.
Read weekly bulletin and keep missionaires in the district informed.
Pick up and distribute mail.

Basically, I'm the district's mom and the zone leaders are my mom. I'll actually get released this week though since it's halfway through our stay here and they will call a new district leader on Sunday. I'm relieved a little but I'll miss it. It's been a great experience.

Jason, good luck on band camp! I expect a full report, pictures, and stories! Don't forget, you're always a drum major to them and to me. Take care of that car and those kids k?

Dad, keeping being yourself. I miss ya.

Anyway, I think that's all I got for this week. I look forward to receiving your dearelders every week, they keep me goin'. And yeah mom, my companion is coming to Quezon with me; guy's a character, you'd love him. Oh and Preston got here this week too! Anyway, my time is about to run out, can't wait to hear from you guys soon. Don't worry about me here I'm doing fine. There's one thing I'd like to ask though, if you could look in my green hymnbook and learn and sing "Families Can Be Together Forever" every Sunday for me, that'd be awesome. It's a really powerful song that we sing here sometimes and I think you will like it. Well take care, I'll talk to you soon! Oh one last thing, I'm scheduled to leave here the 13th of September so plan on getting a call that night!