Saturday, July 19, 2014

First Week in the MTC

Family and Friends,
     I survived my first week in the MTC!  It felt like a year.  Now I have two investigators and the days are flying by.  We committed Joane to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.  We tried to teach her about the Plan of Salvation yesterday, but we spent the whole time trying to answer her questions about the pre-mortal world in Taglish (english and tagalog).  
     I actually just realized that we were put into a brand new building.  The building we are in had been closed for a year while they were remodeling and is actually a model for what they plan to do with all of the buildings in the MTC.  Our district is the only one using the bathroom on our floor.  It is really nice.  The language classes are getting more intense.  Now we are getting into clauses and verb conjugations.  In Tagalog, the verb alone says what tense the sentence is in, what the sentence is focusing on, and how many objects are in the sentence just by adding a few letters onto the beginning or end of it.  It has kind of made me realize how weird English is. Whenever we start to complain in class, our teachers say, "It could be worse. You could be learning English." Everyone has also taken to calling me Elder Tagalog instead of Elder English.  It really doesn't make much sense but they all get a good laugh out of it.
     We also have a space in our residence with a bunch of chairs and tables where we can go study or plan with our district.  All of the workers call it the "ponder zone".  We started calling it the "bat cave" but we mixed up the words for duck and bat.  Instead of changing the name, we just call it the "kuwebe ng pato"(duck cave).  I finally found out where the rice is in the cafeteria!  The Samoans and Polys all sit in the corner by the rice container and basically control who can get rice.  Me and the three other Filipinos in my district are able to get rice, but most people just get a stare down when they go to get rice.  I think it is mostly a joke for them, but they basically have a monopoly on the rice cooker.  
     Anyway, everything else is going well.  It is mandatory in our zone that we go to the choir practices and sing in the choir at the devotionals.  This has actually been one of my favorite experiences at the MTC so far.  I actually sang and followed the bass line in "Faith of our Fathers."  The devotionals are at the Marriott Center and they are amazing.  It is amazing to see all the missionaries in the MTC spread out across the parking lot as we walk over to the devotional.  Our district has grown really close and it seems like we've known each other for years.  I have been looking for all of my friends who are speaking Spanish, but someone told me that there is a whole separate campus just for Spanish-speaking elders.  So the MTC is even bigger than I thought it was.  
     I am loving the language, even though it is amazingly confusing.  Our teachers have to make us stand up for about half of the lesson or else we start falling asleep.  They have also started incorporating more of a gospel structure to our language lessons and relating everything back to our missionary purpose.  Our teachers are amazing and one of them just got engaged.  Whenever we ask him questions about it he just says "hindi mahalaga" (not important).  He is probably right, but we just want to hear things about the outside world.  The MTC really is like living on another planet.  
     I was also really excited to hear that Germany won the world cup.  You guys are probably sick of hearing it but I'll say it again, I have been calling it for four years now.  I have been getting all my soccer jerseys in packages and I love wearing them whenever I can.  By the way mom, no, I did not bring my Real jersey but I would love to have it.  Just wanted to say hey to all the cousins and friends.  Thank you for your prayers and your support.  I'm doing my best!
                                                                                     -Elder English   


  1. I knew he would enjoy singing in the choir. It was also one of my favorite experiences in the MTC.

  2. Elder Tagalog, I bet they will call him that way here in the Philippines. :)