Week 1- MTC
June 21, 2016
June 21, 2016
Dear Family and Friends,
First of all, Happy Father's Day. I hope everyone had a good Father's Day!
WOW... what a week! This was probably the longest week of my life. I guess I've never really worked so many hours in one day. It is totally fine though because I really want to learn and I am excited about what I am learning.
A little bit about my companions... I am in a three-some right now. First, Elder Gunter aka elder Chris Traeger (character from Parks and Rec.) is from South Carolina. He's awesome- very spiritual and smart. We call him Elder Traeger because he is a literal spawn of Chris Traeger. Ha! He is all about health, I rarely see him eat anything that isn't good for him. He always eats salad and fruit and if he ever slips a little and eats something that isn't healthy I tell him that what he's eating is probably going to kill him. He says, "Yes, it will!" He loves to work out and before his mission he would run every single morning. He can always be seen with a one of those squeeze things that work out your forearms. It is really funny how many similarities he has with Chris Traeger. Unfortunately, the day Elder Gunter got here he had a really bad allergic reaction to something and they can't figure out what it was. He was informed that he won't be able to go to the Philippines anymore. I think he will be getting a new assignment today or tomorrow.
My other companion is Elder InFante. He is Filipino and was born in the Philippines but moved to Calgary, Canada when he was six. He speaks a lot of Tagalog which has made it easy for him to speak Ilonggo. It's great because he is able to help Elder Gunter and I a lot. We all enjoy being together and we get along really well.
Our District consists of seven elders and two sisters. The sisters and two of the Elders are going to the Bacold mission. All the rest of us are going to Iloilo. We've got a really good District and love spending time together.
Our Zone is our District plus two Elders and two Sisters who are going to the Cebu East Mission, speaking Cebauno.
This week has been really good. I knew we would be immersed in the language in the MTC, but I had no idea we would be only hearing Ilonggo from our teachers and working 16 hours a day. The language is great... It's really cool and interesting to learn about the different aspects of the language. The reason I've been calling it Ilonggo instead of Hiligaynon is because Ilonggo is what most people in Iloilo speak. Hiligaynon and Ilonggo are the same language, but Hiligaynon is much "deeper" than Ilonggo. Ilonggo is very similar to Cebuano and has some Spanish influences...for example "how are you?" is "kamuesta" (Pronounced like "como esta"). The gift of tongues is real, I have already experienced it. It is awesome. In the six days I've been here I already know more Ilonggo than the Spanish that I learned in three years of high school classes.
So an update on our mission is that after we leave the Provo MTC, we will spend five days in the Manila MTC where we'll have to do some visa requirements and apparently we get to go tracting in Manila in Tagolog.
Every day here is a struggle to stay awake. I've fallen asleep so many times... I just cant help it, no one really can. The days here are long... the first week the days felt longer than they really were. By the time Thursday was over, I literally felt like I had been here for 2 weeks not 2 days. The days are moving faster now and I know in no time we'll be packing up to leave. This week was also tough because I caught a really bad cold. I was really out of it on Sunday and my throat was really sore. I went and saw the doctor yesterday and he just told me to take some cold medicine... "Thanks Doc.!" I'm okay and I am feeling a lot better today.
This morning we went to the temple. It was awesome. The Spirit is so strong there. I am already looking forward to going back next week. The plan for the rest of our P-Day is to finish our laundry and take a loooonnngggggg nap... I'm very excited for that.
The goal for my mission comes is a challenge from Braxton. It is to be the happiest missionary ever. I want people to become happy when they see me. I really believe that if i can be happy all the time and have a good attitude I will be able to bring many people unto the gospel.
The MTC is great. I feel the Spirit so strong here and I know that everything that happens here is inspired from our Heavenly Father.
Have a great week everyone,