31 October 2013

Letter 1 (Isa)

Dearest Nanay (and everyone else who reads these)

Guess what happens when you get to the MTC on Wednesday and your P-day is Thursday? That's right, you have to wait and week and a day.

So, let's see how much I can write in an hour as I wait for my laundry to wash (That's right. I am now an adult doing my own laundry at a laundry mat!)

So the minute I walked away with my large orange luggage I went and got my nametags/room key/and other information. So they give you a PMG is your mission language. So when I'm at the book store and I say I'm speaking Hiligaynon they send me to the end of the long line of Preach My Gospels, and they hand me a large, yellow, plastic bag filled with a small hymn book (there's 30 hymns or so. I haven't counted them) Pamphlets (English) a dictionary, language objectives, an English Preach My Gospel, and Chapter 3 PMG in Ilonggo. And some other things. It's heavy.
So the minute I walked into class and sat down my Teacher (Brother Hong) spoke Hiligaynon at me. Now I may have been hearing it for the past three months every Monday from Brother Grunvig, but it was nearly impossible for me to understand that I was supposed to grab my ID card and follow him to the Computer Lab. Eventually I figured it out.
So there are 8 other Missionaries in my District. (we are district A for Awesome) There are the two elders: Elder Gang and Elder Neilsen. Sister Kumar (who is a riot, and from Fiji) and Sister Watkins. Sister Moser and Sister Leifson. Those six are headed to Bacolod.
Mga kaupod mo (My companions) are Sister Jenkins and Sister Quent. S. Quent is from T-ville, and is a 2012 Cottonwood HS Alumni. And to answer your question. No, we actually have never met before. Small world! We all get along wonderfully, and as a district we are rather mild and calm compared to the other districts in our zone who have islanders / All Elders. In three weeks when they all leave for Cebu/Cebu East We will be the Oldies in the zone.

Speaking of people from High school! I sometimes see Elder Hirst on the way to meals, and I've seen Sister Watts twice. Elder Duffy is still here! And I haven't had my camera on me when I've seen him. Hopefully I catch him at Choir on Sunday before he leaves (he has six days left here) Sister Harper is ON MY FLOOR. She's just down the Hall and to the right! How crazy is that?? I actually am scheduled to leave before her (by like, two days.)

Speaking of Departure dates (haha. these letters are going to have to get more organized, I can''t just let my mind jump from subject to subject.) My email from the MTC said I would be leaving the Third of December, but a paper I received with my nametag says the first. So. . . I don't know which it is! We'll just have to find out when I get my Travel Plans.)

 The food here is pretty great (never as good as home, but when is anything better than a home cooked meal?) The first few days I pretty much ate anything in front of me, because my old eating schedule was so different! I'm eating less now that my stomach is adjusting and no longer ruling my mind.
We had our first Gym day on Friday. I have never been so happy in my life to ever go to a gym! When all you do is sit and eat, running is a pretty fabulous thing. Sister Moser lead us through some core workouts, and I hurt for days afterward. So for now, I'm just going to stick to the step machine (I'm going 2.5 miles a day. I'm proud of me.)
I'm sure you want to know about the language! So the Gift of Tongues (Ang Reggalo sang mga Hinambalan) is a real thing! I now pray in Broken Hiligaynon (so it includes several phrases of English spread throughout my Ilonggo), make commitments, turn to scriptures, count, organize simple sentences (Verb, Actor, Object, Location/Receiver) and bare simple testimonies. So my English is just going to get worse and worse. When we say simple English sentences, usually someone from the district (myself included) will go "Now say that in Ilonggo order!" So instead of "The missionaries taught the people" we have to say "Taught Missionaraies people." Whenever we say something in terrible English (a normal slip of the tongue) I tend to say "You're English is getting worse! Congratulations!"
We're also teaching an investigator! We're terrible. We've taught her four times so far, and we are getting better. . .

The second day I was here they gave me a TD Shot. So if you were wondering what they insurance thing I send you was, that was it. But I can't complain, poor Sister Kumar had to get Five Shots.

When you're a newbie everyone just tells you, "Make it to Sunday!" Well I made it to Sunday! Guess what Relief Society does! They watch MUSIC AND THE SPOKEN WORD! I saw Tatay smiling, like, seven times! We also have choir, Sister Watkins does splits with me so that we can go (because the rest of my companionship didn't want to.)

Today I'm trying to figure out how to get pictures uploaded. . . and how big they can be, and how many I get up. I'm pretty sure that I can only do one per email. So this will take a while.

So Until Then!

Kabalo Ako nga Matuod Ang Ebanghelyo! (I know the Gospel is True!)

- Sister Smith

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