Wednesday, June 29, 2016
MAAYO ANG KABUHI! (Life is good!) Hi hi hi everyone! Love and miss you so so much, but still having so much fun. Haha I'm so overwhelmed and have no idea how to condense this past week into one email, but I'll try my hardest, sorry in advance for the rambling.
Every 3-ish years new mission presidents replace about half of the old ones (at least that's what someone told me) and they have a seminar at the MTC where they have lessons and receive training. This past week over 150 mission presidents were here PLUS all of the 12 apostles (at different times). My kaupod and I got to see Elder Bednar and Elder Oaks from a distance and even though we never got to meet with any of them, it was really cool knowing they were just one building over. Spirit on campus was crazy strong and makes me even more excited to teach the people in the Philippines about the restored gospel! Also, the Prince of Tonga was here this morning for a tour of the MTC, so that's pretty cool. Who knew there were princes in Tonga/that they were Mormon and would want to come visit the MTC? Haven't seen him yet, but I'll be on the lookout for the rest of the day.
CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK
So challenge of this past week is that I realized that I am lazy as heck. All of our teachers keep encouraging us to SYL (Speak Your Language) as much as we can inside and outside of our class so that we can better learn vocabulary and grammar, you're basically supposed to use whatever you can and then just fill in the gaps with English but IT IS SO HARD. I have so much to say and I want to say it fast and it is so frustrating when I have to think about every single word that I say and then listen really hard for the response. Our teacher encouraged Sister Fawcett and I to pick one meal a day to speak only Ilonggo without ANY English to work on our speaking... We started this morning with breakfast and it was the worst breakfast of my life. Haha we literally just sat there in silence and then occasionally would say "maayo" (good) or "indi maayo" (not good) pointing at different foods. The goal is to learn more words so that we can do a better job tomorrow morning. We'll see how it goes... I have a really bad habit of whenever I get annoyed and can't think of what to say in Ilonggo, I just say it really fast and quietly in English and pretend it didn't happen and then switch back to Ilonggo...My teachers don't like that... I'm trying to be better though:)
CULTURE ON CULTURE ON CULTURE
This is lowkey the most culture I've experience in my life and I LOVE IT. In our dorm room we speak a weird mixture of English, Ilonggo, Cebuano, Tagalog, and Kirabati. Sister Teririke is from Kirabati AND IS MY FAVORITE PERSON EVER. In any free time we can find she is teaching me a sweet song in Kirabati that has something to do with love but she can't translate it to English so I have no idea what I'm singing. Haha she wrote it down for me and whenever we practice she goes "Wow! You have the gift of tongues!" which is hilarious because first off I'm literally reading off of a piece of paper and butchering every word, and second she came to Provo only speaking Kirabati 4 weeks ago and had to learn Cebuano and English AT THE SAME TIME because the Cebuano teachers only know English and Cebuano and now she can speak both and it is incredible and she inspires me so much. Last night she was thanking me and Sister Fawcett for learning her song because she said us learning Kirabati was an encouragement to her to learn Cebuano and English. WHAT THE HECK. I am so humbled by her willingness to learn and serve and I really don't think she has any idea how seriously amazing she is (even though I try to tell her everyday.) On top of that we have lots of funny moments when we miscommunicate things or try to explain what things mean in a different language. Lots and lots of fun.
We got to clean the temple this morning which was SO FUN. The elders ripped up carpet for 3 hours and the sisters and I scrubbed walls and baseboards and bathrooms for the same amount of time. One of the ladies who was telling us what to do was like "if it looks like gold, it is. don't mess it up with chemicals" So i avoided any thing that looked shiny because I didn't want to be that person. Ummmm what else... I've gotten really good at spike ball and played it almost every morning last week. (also to clarify when I say really good, I mean kind of mediocre). Haha to keep things interesting we up the stakes and gamble for seat position//I really wanted to move seats and my District Leader wouldn't trade with me so I played him and his companion for the seat... We lost like 3 times so that was cool. Still chilling in the same seat. Good news is I found a new partner- Sister Matautia is from Samoa (but lived the last few years in Australia) and IS SO GOOD at spikeball, so I'm ready to wreck some people this week. (Sister Matautia is also the Sister Training Leader and is maybe the nicest, most caring person that I have ever met, lots of good qualities besides being good at spikeball).
Anyways, sorry this was long. Just know that I'm having so much fun and learning so much. I love my district and zone with all of my heart and I'm so sad that the Cebuano kids are flying out to the Philippines next week. This email is mostly just a lot of fun facts about my life, but in all seriousness my testimony has grown so much since I've been here and I feel so much closer to my Savior and get more excited each and every day for the opportunity that I have to serve the people of the Philippines in just 4 more weeks! So so nervous to have to actually speak the language in real life, but also beyond excited. Love all of you, let me know how you're doing! Thanks so much for the letters, emails, and dearelders. They're my favorite part of the day! (besides all of the learning, ofcourse) LOVE YOU!!!
2005 N 900 E Unit 36
Provo UT 84602
^use that for dearelder
Saturday, June 25, 2016
KUMUSTA KA!!! <--Can you tell that I've been learning a foreign language for a whole week?? Hi hi hi, love and miss you all so much but having SO much fun at the MTC! (also I feel like I didn't make this super clear to everyone- but I'm in Utah right now learning Hiligaynon/Ilonggo for the next 6 weeks before I fly out to Manila and then Bacolod in 6 weeks... So not in the Philippines right now, but still having a lot of fun)... p.s this might be super long and annoying so sorry in advance, I promise they'll be shorter in the future but so much has happened and Raineyg123 herself asked for a full description of my first few days... sorry:)
I LOVE MY DISTRICT/ZONE
My kaupod (companion) Sister Fawcett is the greatest! Haha we are super different and have kind of opposite personalities but we work together great and I love her so much already. She's crazy smart and dedicated and last year worked 2 jobs while getting her associates degree at Weber State. I low key drive her nuts because I stop to talk to people like every 2 seconds and she has to come with me everywhere I go (Literally everyone from BYU is here and I've run into SO many people that I love, it's so so much fun), I'm working hard on not being the annoying companion, but pretty sure I am. oops. Our first fight was on Saturday when we were memorizing vocab and she was quizzing me on translating english into Ilonggo and she said "all of us" and I said "Kita" and then she said "know" and I thought she was saying I was wrong so I kept saying "kita" and she kept saying "know" and we went back and forth until I spun on her because I was so mad and was about to punch her in the face and then she pointed to the word in her book and we finally understood what was going on and laughed for like 5 minutes. We're the only sisters in our district but there are also 7 elders, one is from Connecticut, one is from South Carolina, one is from Canada (but was born in the Philippines), and the rest are from Utah. All except one just graduated from high school literally a week before they came to the MTC and I love them all so much. Sometimes they're annoying 18 year old boys but most of the time they're super sweet and have such strong testimonies and are so obedient and we've all become such good friends in the past 5 days. Half of the people in our district are going to Bacolod, the other half are going to IloIlo, but we're all learning Hiligaynon/Ilonggo. The other half of our zone is a district of 2 elders and 2 sisters that are learning Cebuano and going to Cebu. The sisters are from Australia and Kiribati and one of the elders is from Guam and the other is from California. They're the best and so fun to hang out with, plus they tell us how to do everything so that's cool.
I AM LOW KEY IN LOVE WITH THIS LANGUAGE. Learning it is BUDLAY (budlay=hard, fun fact- ay sounds like eye so on the first day we all thought he was saying Budlight and were super confused for a while until one of the Elders asked and they explained it to us. We have 2 3 hour language classes every day except Sunday and it's like a giant game of charades because our teachers aren't allowed to speak to us in English. Gift of tongues is so real I can't even explain it. On Friday, after just 2 classes We all had to teach a 20 minute lesson with our companions without any notes. IT WAS SO HARD. But so cool that we were semi-able to teach a lesson and communicate with someone. We've taught 2 more lessons to the same guy since we've been here and they just keep getting better and better as we learn more words/phrases and are better able to work together and feel the spirit. We also had a testimony meeting on Friday with our district and we all bore our testimonies 100% in Ilonggo which was SO cool. I am so impressed with the improvements that all of the elders and sisters in my district have made in less than a week. It blows my mind, can't wait to keep learning the next 6 weeks.
Fun facts about Ilonggo (Because no one has ever heard of it and I'm sure you're all wondering:)
-All ilonggo before 1600, LOTS of spanish influence after 1600, all new words after 1900 are in English (like skype, computer, etc)
-Everything sounds so funny and I LOVE it! So many k's, n's, m's, and p's in places where they shouldn't be... but good news is that there aren't really any silent letters so you literally just pronounce everything that you see even though the words are crazy long
-the words "the" and "is" don't exist... so that's cool. If you want to say I'm happy, you literally just say "malipay ako- happy I" keeping it simple, I like it
-We just started learning grammar yesterday and it is WEIRD. You have to arrange sentences verb-subject-object-location/
receiver AND THEN use words like ang and sang and sa to explain the focus and nonfocus, etc. Plot twist- if you mix up sang and ang you can change a sentence like "The people killed the Savior" to "Savior killed the people" OR "We believe in Joseph Smith" to "Joseph Smith believes in us"... we were all freaking out but our teachers told us it was okay because 99% of the time people will be able to kind of understand even if we mess up a ton... so the goal is to just avoid that other 1%
I LOVE THE MTC
The spirit here is so strong it's crazy. I'm so busy (we leave our apartments before 7am and don't get back until 9:30pm or later) and so tired and lowkey stressed about learning this language, but I'm so so happy and excited for the next 18 months it's unreal. Even though our schedule is PACKED we get an hour of exercise in the morning which is awesome, I run 3 miles on the track while memorizing stuff with flashcards and then I spend the rest of the time wrecking the elders in knockout and four square) I'm running out of time and I'm so so sad because I have SO much I want to tell everyone, but just know that I'm having fun and loving every second of it. PLUS thanks for all of the emails and dear elders, they make me SO happy! (if you go to dearelder.com you can send me an email that will be delivered THAT day, so I don't have to wait until Tuesday to respond) Love you all so so much, let me know how you're doing, hope everyone is well, sending all my love<3
Kabalo ako nga palangga kita sang Diyos kga Kabalo ako nga ginpadala sang Diyos ang Jesucristo sa aton kag nga paagi kay Jesucristo makbalik kita sang Diyos. Kabalo ako nga manluluwas namon kay Jesucristo. Kabalo ako nga matuod si Libro ni Mormon ka nagapasalamat ako para kay Joseph Smith para sa pagnamubalik. Sa ngalan ni Jesucristo, amen (I know that God loves all of us and I know that God sent Jesus Christ to all of us and that through Jesus Christ we can all return to God. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know the Book of Mormon is true and I am grateful for Joseph Smith and the restoration. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen)
NAGAPASALAMAT AKO PARA SA NINYOS<3 (So grateful for all of you!!)
^proof that I'm actually learning something, all from memory... promise I know more, but out of time. LOVE YOU ALL
also @byu kids coming to the MTC, brace yourself for cannon center round 2 (except maybe a little worse? it's okay though, sometimes they give us pizza or chikfila) can't wait to see all of you!
2005 N 900 E Unit 36
Provo UT 84602
^use that for dearelder
Monday, June 13, 2016
Pouch Mail Instructions
"Items sent by pouch mail use the USPS from your location to Church headquarters, where they are forwarded to the missionary by a private courier along with other church mail. Pouch mail leaves Church headquarters each Friday. Items received after the pouch has been sent will be held for the next week. Only postcards or one-page correspondences (no envelopes) written on one side of the page may be sent through the pouch. Notebook or other light-weight paper will not process through the USPS machines. Photographs are not acceptable.
Lay the letter blank side down. Fold the bottom of the letter about one-third of the way up the page and crease. Fold the top of the letter to the bottom of the first fold and crease. Secure the long side with two pieces of tape about one inch in from each end, but do not seal the ends. Write your name and complete return address in the top left corner. Affix first class postage in the top right corner. In the middle write the missionary address:
Sister Sarah Rainey
Philippines Bacolod Mission
Salt Lake City UT 84130-0150