Last Sunday was our first real Sunday here at the MTC. We went to our branch, and it was an awesome meeting. They sing hymns in Tagalog, say prayers in Tagalog, say the sacrament prayers in Tagalog, and also give two talks in Tagalog (which they just randomly choose two people out of the congregation to give them so you have to prepare one each week in case you get called on). Then at the end they have one or two speakers in English as well. It was really neat hearing all of the Tagalog. I think one of my favorite parts was hearing the sacrament prayer in Tagalog and just thinking that's exactly how it will be when I get to Manila. It was a great meeting.
Oh and also before church I was given a calling! President Taylor pulled me aside and asked if I would be the music coordinator for the branch! So I get to choose the hymns that we sing and set up a special musical number each week for sacrament meeting. So that will be fun.
Then also on Sunday we went on a temple walk, and I ran into my friend Kimmy Johnson (I think that's her last name) who was on my volleyball intramurals team two years in a row. It's so weird being in Provo, but it just doesn't seem like Provo at all! She seemed excited that she ran into me and said she wanted to write me! It was fun seeing her and chatting for a minute.
Speaking of running into people, I finally ran into Sister (Joelynn) Palmer yesterday! She was a girl that I worked with at Jacob Lake, and I just love her! I thought she told me that she came into the MTC the same day as me, so I have been keeping an eye out for her for about two weeks. Then when I ran into her, she said she just got here Wednesday. So yeah it was fun seeing her! She's just happy as can be and will be so good as a missionary on Temple Square!
Sisters Palmer & Stromberg on a Sunday temple walk
Jacob Lakers: Sister Palmer & Elder Wright
So let's see, sometime at the beginning of this week we started teaching our second investigator "Joji," which is Brother Itri. We've just taught him one lesson, but it was pretty awful. He was so awkward, and it was just weird to be teaching our teacher who we know pretty well and joke around with. During our lesson he kept dozing off and would like cross his eyes and fall asleep, and it was just bad. But we will teach him again, and hopefully it will turn out better. During personal study I read the scripture Mosiah 3:3 and decided that if "Joji" falls asleep again I'm going to have him read that scripture:) So yeah that didn't go so well.
But we are also now teaching brother Ah Mu as "Efron Vargas," and he is going a lot better, not as awkward. We got through the whole first lesson with him in Tagalog, and that's a first! We only have about 25 minutes to teach so we were pretty pleased. And he said he would start reading the Book of Mormon. So yeah that's how our teaching is going. My teachers are awesome though. They are a lot of fun, and especially brother Itri we can joke around with him and have a good ol' time. But then he is a really good teacher as well, and we get a lot done!
Elder Wilde, Elder Beckstrom, Elder Anderson, Elder Robinson
Elder Tumonavoa, Sister Vickers, Me, & Elder Hatch (from Nibley!)
My district is also awesome. The elders are fun, and for the most part I just love them. There are some times when they can be a little immature and annoying, but for the most part they are great! We all have a good relationship where we can all joke around and tease each other and that makes it fun! Elder Tumonavoa from Samoa had to have surgery this week on his ACL which was sad:( He came from Samoa and had to have all of his medical work done here in the US, and they found that he tore his ACL a year ago and just never did anything for it so they had to fix that. He was bummed because he's one of the Samoans that just loves volleyball and plays every day in gym, and now he can't play for a year! Poor Elder! But he's awesome! He's always so happy and laughing... like most Samoans so he'll be just fine I'm sure!
Tuesday’s devotional was Sister Beck and her husband this week, and it was a good one. She talked about temples and such.
Oh yesterday we had our first experience with the TRC. And yeah it's a lot different than when I would go and volunteer. The BYU students just play themselves. For example, our first member we taught goes to BYU and just got back from his mission in Manila and is from Layton. Yeah, we just teach him like that. It reminds me more of just a visiting teaching lesson because they are already members, and we're not trying to commit them to baptism. But it was a lot of fun. We definitely spoke very choppy, like just trying to spit out our Tagalog words and not worry about grammar or anything, but it was just getting to know them and having a conversation in Tagalog. We did 2, 20-minute teaching sessions, and eventually when we get a little better, we'll just teach 1 40-minute lesson.
This week I managed to catch a cold which was no fun:( I think it was because my companion got one first, and I'm with her 24/7 so chances were pretty good I'd get one too. But I've been drinking EmergenC, and it's about gone. So no worries.
But my time is up. I was going to write some Tagalog to ya, but no time sorry! I love you all so much and am so grateful for your support! It made my day to get a dearelder from all of you yesterday! I have the best family EVER!! Hope all is going well!