This letter was sent on June 29, 2013
Kumusta pamilya ako!
It’s been a long week. I seriously feel like I’ve been here for 2 months. We all do, haha. The good thing is that people laugh a lot here in the MTC. I don’t know if it’s just that we think everything is a lot funnier than normal because we need to laugh, or if it’s actually funny. But it’s probably a good thing, because if we didn’t laugh, we might just all go crazy.
We’ve learned a lot this week. We started learning grammar so I think the language is really starting to pick up. We learned what the grammar markers ng, sa, and ang mean, which is really helpful. tagalog has a pretty straightforward grammar, and once we learn how to conjugate verbs, we’ll be pretty set to start learning a ton of things. Verb conjugation basically does all the work in tagalog sentences, because that’s what indicates tense, the focus of the sentence, and a bunch of other things. It’s been cool to be learning it and they really push ‘SYL’ here, which is Speak Your Language, so we try to say as much as we can in Tagalog as possible. Mostly that means we say a lot of ‘joke lang’ and add ‘po’ after a lot of english words, haha. po doesn’t even really mean anything, it just indicates formality and respect in a sentence.
We taught Joy a couple more times last week, and committed her to be baptized. She was sick for our last lesson. Then we learned two days ago that Joy is actually going to be our evening teacher now! Her actual name is Sis. Sharp. So we have 3 hours of class with Bro. Trebas in the morning and 3 hours with Sis. Sharp in the evening. Between, we have an hour of personal study, some time to exercise, language study, TALL time (the language learning program) and meals. Sometimes it’s hard to keep your brain working that hard that long, but things are good.
I’m learning a lot about teaching and how to teach the gospel to people. We also spend a lot of time on the ‘fundamentals’ and this week’s focus was the Doctrine of Christ. We also spend a lot of time talking about how important it is to remember our purpose as a missionary, which is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentence, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. Staying focused on the purpose and centralizing our minds around Christ helps us to have a greater spirit with us in the lessons, which we need desperately as our lessons are still really choppy with the language. But when the Spirit is there, things go fine.
We went to the big worldwide broadcast on Sunday, which was awesome, called The Work of Salvation. If you haven’t seen it, you should go watch it, because it’s not just for missionaries–it’s for everyone. Members are crucial to missionary work and we desperately need members to get on board with finding and fellowshipping people so that we can teach and not tract. It’s not hard. If we are always looking for opportunities to serve the people around us, that is generally all it takes to befriend someone.
But it’s a great place to be, and the people here are great.