Monday, September 6, 2010

Twentieth Birthday.

Tao po!
I know you haven't been to the Philippines in awhile but that's what you say when you knock on somone's door. For Jason, it litterally means "People!" so that they know its not just a joke. My teacher was telling us that most times people will respond "Walang tao" which means "there isn't any people here" so I thought that was funny because... well you put it together haha.

Thanks so much for the card and shirt! That was the best birthday present ever! I'm so glad that the band shirt came out great this year and I'll miss seeing the shows a lot. I did hear from Cara though and I heard you guys are doing great! She said it's been one of the smartest freshman classes she's ever been around (although she says that every year). I'm really excited to hear about your success; although it's been a couple years since I've graduated, I will always support Palo Verde. Once a panther, always a panther.

Speaking of which, isn't that weird to think about? Celebrating my twentieth birthday has sure been an eye opener. I'm growing up so fast even I can't believe it! I am glad to not have the "teenager" stigma anymore though. Anyway my birthday was great. We started off the day doing some service and then my district sang happy birthday to me in English and Tagalog so that was awesome. I didn't get to blow out any candles though so do light up a cake and make a wish for me.

This past week wasn't anything out of the ordinary. On Thursday night at our teaching appointment we did get a little surprise though. We had been preparing the whole week to teach Lesson 2 in Tagalog with our companions and then at the literal very last second, Brother Doria (our teacher) came in the room and switched up our companionships to do a mock "emergency transfer." I wasn't too happy with this to begin with because Elder Frost and I worked really hard in preparing this lesson so it all went down the drain but I guess that's how the mission is anyway. It actually ended up really well. I got to teach with Elder Probst from BYU and he's a really smart kid. The lesson was actually to my surprise, the best one I've had yet. Although it's just a mock lesson you could feel the Spirit so strong that you could almost grab it. It was truly awesome. The Tagalog really surprised me too. I can't believe how much I've learned. It's really hard for me to talk now without saying any Tagalog and just straight English. I even think in Tagalog now. Weird right? It's awesome though and I can't wait to talk to you next week!

Well I guess Friday was a pretty good day. We got out flight plans so I'll be sending you a copy today. We fly to LAX than to Taipe (however you spell that) and then to Manilla. I'll be calling home late at night next Tuesday, probably between nine and ten from LAX so be ready for that! I also have some pretty awesome news. On Thursday the week before, I auditioned for a special musical number. That's probably the thing I've missed the most up here - music. So I grabbed a really talented piano player, a sister from the other zone, and we put together this vocal solo called "I have not seen, but I believe." It's a beautiful song and I really enjoyed singing it. I had no high expectations though because I'm by no means a professional singer so I wasn't expecting to make it through. They audition over 70 people in the course of four hours with a few rooms going and they only pick five to be able to give musical numbers at special big meetings for the next week. I worked really hard on our song though and changed a few things how Cara taught me to and, well, I got a letter in the mail on Friday telling me that I had been picked as one of the five to give a musical number! So today I'll be performing that song and I'm way excited! I'll record it and send you a copy with the memory card. My accompanist was telling me that she really enjoyed accompanying me because I actually did something with the music and I just responded that it's because my band director in high school taught me how to be a real musician through her great example and leadership. I'm really looking forward to that.

One small story that mom will enjoy real quick. So I got my suit dry cleaned this week and to my surprise it came back missing a button, and my companion was like... well what are you going to do? And I just responded, "My mom gave me a mouth and taught me how to use it." So I let them know what's up, kindly of course, and we got it fixed haha.

Anyway hope you all are doing great and I look forward to hearing from you soon!


P.S. - What's esau in Ilocano? Also, I was wondering if you could send me a band shirt in XL, I'll explain later!