Wow its been crazy! The first day i was in, i learned they speak nothing but Tagalog in my classes. The first day it was so hard to understand and it ended up just turning into a game of sharades haha! In one of the meetings the first day, a member of the MTC presidency spoke to us. He explained that he had served 3 different missions and learned different languages. His last mission, when he found out he was speaking Tagalog he looked up the word faith just for fun. H said, "faith in Spanish was FADA, faith in Italian was FAE , faith in Tagolog is PANANAMPALATAYA... This is when i new i was in trouble."
The language is crazy! If you are wondering what fluent Tagalog sounds like just watch the minions on Dispicable Me, they speak Tagalog haha! It is so cool how much i have leaned though. I taught a lesson to an investigator the third day i was here in pretty much a 100% Tagalog and I could understand a lot of it. I am now a week in and i can speak simple Tagalog everyday with my district! I never thought i would build such a strong testimony in the gift of tongues.
My companion is awesome! His name is Elder Tanguilig but he lets me call him Elder Tang ;) He was born in the Philippines but moved to Maryland as a baby. He can understand Tagalog perfectly but cant speak it. It has been such a help to have him to study with and learn the language. He is the nicest guy i know, always worried about how im doing and hes super energetic and funny. Ive only known him for a week and i already feel like he is my best friend. He also loves to sing and rap so i will never forget my music from home ;)
My teacher also served in the Philipines and we were asking him about the culture of his mission. I asked if the left hand myth was true and he said "totoo"... (true). Its true, i will not be eating or shaking any hands with my left.
This week was a historical week in the MTC, i got to hear from two Apostles in 48 hours! Elder M Russel Ballard spoke to us on Sunday and Elder Niel L Anderson on Tuesday. I also had the opportunity to be "forced" to sing in the missionary choir. I cant sing but it is fun to try my best and the spirit that is present is so amazing. (also earn brownie points from my grandma)
Everyone always tells you to make it to Sunday. The first couple of days were very overwhelming and i was confused on how Sunday would change anything. Then i got to listen to Elder Ballard and his teachings of "Lock your Heart". The thing that really kick started me was a talk i watched by Elder Bednar. It is kinda long but if you have the time i would love you to read it. It is called "The Character of Christ". This talk hit me so hard and made me realize why i am out here. On my wall i have written the focus of my mission, "Its not about me, Its about others". If any of you have the chance to watch this talk I strongly recommend you take an hour out of a Sunday and watch it.
The most amazing thing i have learned so far is the power of prayer and scripture study. I have gained a strong testimony that this is the right thing for me to be doing at this time in my life, even if a lot of times i get home sick and miss everyone i loved back home i am constantly reminded through the joy and happiness that i am doing the right thing. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support, i can honestly feel everyone's love for me and my choice to serve. Till next week.