Kamusta aking pamilya!
Flight plans to Manilla through Hong Kong
I did get my flight plans last night, and it was SO exciting! I'm going on a different plane than anyone in my district, but I'm going to be with some other elders from our zone so I'll be just fine! No sisters though. My whole district is going to Korea, but I'm going to Hong Kong which I'm actually really excited about! We have like a seven hour layover there so I'm going to go find me some legit Chinese food while I'm there:) That's my goal anyway! haha. But yeah it was just really exciting seeing that I have a plane ticket, and I will be getting to Manila before I know it! I can't wait.
My Traveling Companions!
I've loved the MTC, and I've learned a lot. I will miss all the sisters that I have become such good friends with here for sure! But the good thing is, is most of them will be going to BYU or living in Provo when they get back so we will all get together then!:) I will also miss the awesome devotionals, and, I'm not going to lie, I'm really going to miss drinking milk at every meal like I do here. I've kind of been taking advantage of milk because I know there will be none when I get to the Philippines. I asked a sister who served in Manila that just got hired, and she said they just have this boxed milk that isn't very good.
All the sisters in our branch + two from another
This e-mail will be all over the place because I feel like I have a lot to say but not a lot of time. So last P-day I did something really fun... I got about an hour voice lesson:) haha. My roommate Sister Young that is amazing at singing, well we were playing songs, and she was singing. She wanted me to try a duet with her, and she started teaching me how to breathe better and different things. It was a lot of fun. I told her when I get back (she goes to BYU), I'm going to find her, and she'll have to give me more voice lessons!
President & Sister Taylor on the day he was released
Then on Sunday my branch president got released. It was an emotional day for him and his cute wife. It reminded me a lot of another emotional bishop who got released a few months ago;) So that was kind of sad! But one of his counselors became the president, and we already knew him so that was kind of a good adjustment. And we'll be leaving in a week so it wasn't too hard. But I did love President Taylor and his wife. Then on Wednesday one of our investigators, Efron Vargas got baptized! WoohOO! That was kind of exciting! And our other investigator, Joji Barizo has an interview tomorrow for baptism.
This week for our fireside we heard from Richard Heaton who is one of the head dudes here at the MTC (We've heard from him one other time.), but one thing he told us that is pretty cool is that right now in the MTC they have 4,000 more missionaries then they did at this time last year. It's pretty packed right now! They've had to just, while I've been here, stick another bunk bed in all of the elders' rooms. Brothers, you know how little those rooms were (well at least that's what my elders always are saying) and just imagine them sticking a third bunk bed in those same rooms. So yeah kind of crazy but exciting how the missionary forces are growing!
I also got to help host this week so that was fun helping sisters the first day they were here. Oh and the devotional this week was Tad R. Callister. He is SO smart! His talk was awesome. He talked about the apostasy and the restoration and just brought up more points about it and went more in depth with it then you learn from Preach my Gospel, and it was just really awesome! I learned a lot!
Tagalog is coming along. Last night while my companion was using the bathroom, I was talking to one of our zone resource teachers, and he told me that I'm doing really well with the language, and I understand very well. So that was really nice of him to tell me that, and it made me feel good to hear that. On Monday this week we went a whole day with speaking NO English, and that was good. I would have done it more, but my companion hates doing it. haha. I barely convinced her to do it Monday with me. It's just a lot harder to do it when the people around you are speaking English. Oh and two things happened this week that make me think it's becoming a little more natural... the first is the other night my roommates told me that I was sleep talking in Tagalog. Then the other day when I was playing volleyball, the serve was coming to me and instead of yelling 'yeah, yeah, yeah" to call for the ball, I yelled "Oo, oo, oo" which is yes in Tagalog. haha It was pretty cool because I did it without even realizing I was saying that. So yeah the language is getting there. I just have a feeling it's going to be a lot harder/faster/and slurred together once I get to Manila. But I'm kind of expecting it so oh well.
It does feel like my time here at the MTC has gone by so fast! But at the same time I feel like I've been here forever! haha I don't really remember life outside of the MTC. And yeah I feel so ready! As much as I've loved the MTC, I'm SO ready to get out into the real world and talk to real investigators and real people other than missionaries and teachers!
Aly and Ry in the MTC together!
Isn't there some rule against this?!?
Ryan, it was really good seeing you! For a while I didn't think it was going to happen. My companion said you didn't seem too excited, but I assured her that she just doesn't know you and that was you excited and taking a picture of us. (I hope I was right! You better have been excited;) haha jk) Wish we could have talked a little longer, but guess you gotta do your job! Get those sisters ready to leave for Hungary this next week! That's exciting! Mom, you asked how I happened to see Ry, well I was in the computer lab doing TALL which was in the opposite corner of his classroom. I was only on his floor because in my building the labs were full, and the other floors in his building were full too. Tagalog missionaries are taking over the labs! There are so many of us! So anyway I went to walk to the bathroom that's closer to his classroom, and one teacher turns the corner that's not him (his colleague), and then after him comes Ry around the corner! I'm not sure who saw who first, but we were just kind of both surprised to see the other. But it was fun chatting just for a second! And I made him give me a hug!:) It's the only hug from a guy that's legal! haha.
That's fun that Kylan Knight's home. It's crazy to think all the guys my age are getting back. But when you asked about if the Filipino people are similar, as far as religion, my teacher told us "everyone and their dog are Catholic in the Philippines." So that's all I really know as of right now. And when you were talking about a lot of Filipinos might speak English, when I was talking to Sister Frost who served in Manila, she said that a lot of times they would speak to her in English because they wanted to get better at English, and then she would speak to them in Tagalog because she wanted to get better at Tagalog. So they would just talk back and forth in different languages:) haha. I thought that was kind of funny.
I've got to go. I love you all so much! Have a great Thanksgiving this week! My favorite part about Thanksgiving is family so it will kind of be rough not having that this year with me:( but I just will keep in mind all the things I have to be thankful for and how I'm going to the Philippines in A WEEK! And hopefully that will help!