Thursday, September 19, 2013

Katie's first letter

Hey family!

So my P day is Saturday.  It feels like I have been here forever.  The MTC is incredible.  Everyone is so friendly and you are hardly ever speaking the same language.  One of the Elders in my district said that the MTC is like the tower of Babel because no on can understand what anyone else is saying.  I love my district and I love my companion.  Kumusta ko si Sister Udall taga-Arizona.  She is awesome.  The language is coming, slowly but surely.  Yesterday on day 3 in the MTC we taught out first lesson in Tagalog to an RM pretending to be a Filipino named Jonar.  Super difficult but hilarious.  We started off by repeating our memorized script but then we realized that the Espiritu Santo wasn't there so the lesson turned into us making hand motions and saying that Aklat ni Mormon would make Jonar masaya (happy).  It was kind of like playing that Guestures game with Grandpa Tom.  We were all cracking up.  We ended up just saying paschensha (sorry) over and over and then we couldn't remember how to say "Sa pangalan ni JesuCristo Amen" so I just said Sige po (okay, see ya)--kind of an awkward way to end a lesson.  We have another appointment with Jonar tonight.  I know its strange but I feel so close to him.  I just want to share everything with this pretend person and he wants to know so much but I just don;t know how to express it in Tagalog.  I feel like Sister Udall and I learned a lot from it though- we are definitely going to be practicing Tagalog a lot more.  

Sister Udall and I actually have our own room for the next two weeks- so we each have to closets!  In two weeks we are moving into the West MTC (what used to be Raintree and the they made part of Wyview into classrooms).  It is supposed to be better than the regular MTC.  I guess we have some access to BYU too- but we'll see.  I'm learning a lot about how to share ebanghelyo (the gospel) in effective ways.  There are a lot of aggressive and energetic missionaries who are constantly trying to get a commitment for baptism on the first lesson-pretty intense.  

There are five companionships in my district.  Sister Udall, 3 elders, 1 othere sister and myself are all going to Olongapo.  We all get along really well.  Study time in our classroom never goes well because we always joke around in Taglish(english with a few tagalog words/phrases) more than actually study.  There is one Elder who is going to the temple to receive his endowments today.  He is incredible.  He is from the Marshall Islands, speaks almost no english and is learning Tagalog.  He was baptized last year (2012) and neither of his parents are members.  They don't understand why he is going on a mission but they are happy for him.  His companion is from Grant's Pass (where we picked up Maggie) and is so patient it amazes me.  

Tagalog.  What a crazy language.  Our District Leader, Elder Christiansen explained it to some English speaking sisters as a cross between Mandarin, Spanish, and Cambodian.  It is fun to see Mr. Martinez's class is starting to pay off (even though we didn't learn much...).  Our  guru (teacher)  is Brother Spreng.  Everyday he speaks nothing but Tagalog.  At one point someone asked him to repeat something in English and he did!  We got super excited- it was a big deal.  The language is super hard because every other word is po, and, nd, ng, sa, ko, ka, or si.  Its confusing but the nouns and verbs are getting easier.  It will come.  I thing the koloob na mga wika (the gift of tongues) is starting to kick in.

Overall, I am loving it here.  Its hard and I'm always tired but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I'm so excited to go to the temple today.  I feel like it will be really neat.  
Mahal kita pamilya ko!

Sister Raynor

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