Tuesday, July 12, 2016
KUMUSTA! T-MINUS 2 WEEKS UNTIL THE PHILIPPINES. Our district got our preliminary travel plans this morning and it's starting to get so real. We're flying Wednesday night to Friday morning Salt Lake to LA to Hong Kong to Manila and then we'll stay at the MTC there for a week while our visas process before we fly to Bacolod. The time has gone by so fast, it's blowing all of our minds BUT WE ARE ALL SO EXCITED to actually be in the Philippines! This Thursday we get to start doing skype TRC which is basically that members from the Philippines volunteer to skype us so that we can practice teaching people with real accents in a closer to real situation, we're super excited to see how it goes and practice our language. My kaupod and I have gotten a lot better in the last couple of days at really trying to SYL and use the right grammar order and it's really hard but we're for sure improving. The good news is we know more than we used to, the bad news is everyone says that as soon as you get off the plane in the Philippines you can't even recognize what anyone is saying because they're all talking so fast and with accents BUT it's okay because we'll have a whole 18 months to try and figure it out there. So we are all very aware of our weaknesses, but we are still SO excited to leave in 2 weeks, it's going to be so fun!
Haha it was so hard saying goodbye to the Cebuano district last week, I literally cried when they left for the airport because I was afraid I would never see most of them again. I made them promise that they would come visit me in Utah/Virginia and I promised that I would come visit Kiribati/Australia. PLUS yesterday our favorite district of people left for Fiji which made us so sad for the same reason that a lot of them are from Kiribati and we might never get to see them again. But in the words of Sister Cherry, "ees okay ees okay" because they're going to be incredible missionaries and bless so many lives. The new missionaries are so fun. We love all of the Sisters and Elders so much. Sister Pito, Sister Cherry, and Sister Togagae are so fun and make me laugh so much and we're all already such good friends after knowing each other for a whole 5 days. The elders are all straight out of high school and are super cool too. One of them is from Florida and I was talking to him about how cool the East Coast is and one of the UT elders rolled his eyes and said "here we go"... apparently I talk to much about Virginia and the East Coast and all of the poor UT kids don't even know what they're missing out on. It's okay though they said they'd maybe visit one day so they could get a tour of the best state.
SADYA (FUN) STUFF
The days are all starting to run together and I can't remember what happened this week and what happened last week since we low key do almost the same thing every day. (eat, study, class, eat, class, study, eat, study, sleep, repeat). Ummmmm we had a spike ball tournament with our district with a bracket and everything to pick new seats for class. Sister Fawcett and I and 2 of the elders rigged it so that we could get the best seats. It was a good time and Sister Fawcett came in 2nd... except somehow ended up in the same seats...The other day we were bored and waiting for class to start so we started playing hangman in Ilonggo, except plot twist it wasn't even fun because once you guess p,g,n, and k literally all of the spaces are filled except for vowels and it's super easy....We met 2 elders the other day, one is from Haiti and one is from Samoa and they're both here on their 6th week learning English before they go serve in different places in the United States. And at the end of the conversation, they were both like, "before we came here, we didn't know how to speak English, and now we can even understand you when you talk really fast." People who speak English can't even understand me half of the time, gift of tongues is real everybody.
MALIPAY PANGHUNHUNA SA SEMANA (HAPPY THOUGHT OF THE WEEK)
PISPIS KA BALA?
There's a scripture somewhere in the Book of Mormon that I can't find right now and I'm super annoyed about it... JOKE LANG (JUST KIDDING) FOUND IT. 3 Nephi 13:26- "Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" Our teacher told us about it in class and basically it talks about how much God loves all of his creations and takes care of all of them, but how much more he loves each of us because we are his children. Our teacher showed us what she had written in her Ilonggo copy of the Book of Mormon - "pispis ka bala?"- are you a bird?? If Heavenly Father is willing to take care of even His smallest creations like birds HOW MUCH MORE HE WANTS TO TAKE CARE OF US AND BLESS US SINCE WE ARE HIS BELOVED CHILDREN. Sorry for the rambly-ness of this email... I have like no time and my memory is horrible, but just know that God loves each and everyone of you and knows your trials and what you're going through and is always there to bless in times of need.
LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! SALAMAT FOR THE LETTERS AND EMAILS AND LOVE. DON'T KNOW WHAT I WOULD DO WITHOUT YOU. Much love from Provo<3
2005 N 900 E Unit 36
Provo UT 84602
^use that for dearelder
p.s didn't reread this before sending so pasensiya (sorry) for all of the mistakes
OY! TUNGA DALAN DIDTO KAMI! <--very literal and probably super inaccurate translation of "ohhh we're halfway there"
What the heck I have been here for an entire 3 weeks and can't believe in another 3 weeks I'll be flying to Manila! Time goes by so fast here and I can't believe I'll be in the Philippines so soon! The Cebuano district in our zone LEAVES TOMORROW! I'm so so sad because I love all of them so much but I know they'll be incredible and I can't wait to hear about all of their adventures in Cebu. Haha the other day we were all sitting in our dorm room and Sister Matautia was like, "Sister Rainey, would you ever marry an Island boy?" and I was like "ummm heck yes." So the current plan is a post-mission reunion trip to Australia Summer 2018 and she said she'll introduce me to some Samoans. Plus a quick detour to Kiribati BECAUSE ALL OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE LIVE THERE. They are literally the nicest, funniest people that I have ever met and most of them are leaving tomorrow and it makes me so sad. One of the sisters from Kiribati runs up to me and my companion every time she sees us and says "MAGHANTA" which I think I just spelt wrong, but means beautiful in Tagalog and she's low key the most incredible person that I've ever met.
Since the Cebuano kids are leaving tomorrow, another 15 are coming in! They just reorganized the zone and I get to be the sister training leader AND we're getting 3 new sisters - one from Tahiti, one from Arizona, and one from Samoa. We're so so excited to meet them and all of the elders (a couple are from Australia, but most are from West Coast U.S). It's going to be so fun
Our district has been working really hard this past week on SYL- speaking our language ALL THE TIME. For the most part we just try to use conjugations and the right grammatical order even if we don't know what the verbs or nouns are in Ilonggo. We're still not even close to perfect, but we're for sure improving a lot and I love the language more and more every day. One of the Elders in our district is the Ilonggo police and if he catches you talking in English he yells "Oy! Ilonggo!" so loud. He scared me so bad one time I literally almost fell out of my seat because I wasn't expecting it. Nice to have a constant reminder. Haha on Friday they brought in a bunch of volunteers from around the area that speak our language so that we could practice talking to people. Sister Fawcett and I got to talk to a lady that was actually born in Bacolod and lived there for most of her life and speaks Hiligaynon fluently and after I said my first thing she busted out laughing and said she was sorry because she could understand what I was saying and I was using the right words but MY ACCENT WAS SO BAD. I literally can not roll my r's if my life depended on it and I sound so dumb when I talk because even though I know a lot of words I can't pronounce them anywhere close to right. Ilonggo is super sing-song-y and sounds SO pretty when a native person speaks it, so I guess I'll just keep trying. Hopefully it will be easier when I get to the Philippines and am fully immersed. The good news is that she said my accent was "very cute" so that's cool I guess maybe the people in the Philippines will think so too.
I LITERALLY LOVE THIS LANGUAGE
We had a lesson last week about how you really can't understand a culture until you understand the language, and that's why it's so important that we do everything that we can to learn the language the best that we can. Our teacher was talking about how you can learn SO much about the people just by learning the language. So cool things about Hiligaynon- 1. If you want to say tomorrow you just say "buas" but if you want to say today you have to combine the word for right now with day and it ends up being long and annoying and my teacher told us that as a culture Filipinos can sometimes be procrastinators (I am literally so happy because that means I already have so much in common with them) 2. There aren't very many negative words, most of the time if you want to say bad or sad you just say not happy or not good because the positive words are SO much more common and then my teacher talked about how positive Filipinos are as a people and so happy and IT MADE ME SO EXCITED TO MEET PEOPLE IN BACOLOD IN 3 WEEKS. 3. And the other thing I love about this language is that so many of the words are combinations of other words in English since they don't exist as a single word in Hiligaynon. For example atonement is pagbayad-sala (payment of sin), charity is putli nga palangga (pure love), eternity is walay katapusan (without end), agency is kahilwayan sa pagpili (freedom to choose), etc. It's been so cool to learn all of the different words and how they connect to each other and how to use them correctly in a sentence and I'm so excited/nervous to get to actually use them in the real world soon-ish. Literally everyone go learn Ilonggo, it's the best.
OTHER FUN THINGS
We got to clean the temple again this morning and we spent 3 hours polishing the crystal of the chandeliers. I didn't realize that chandeliers were made up of tons and tons of tiny rods and chains of individual crystals. We had to take them all off and then polish them and then put them back and it took forever but it was so fun. The lady in charge told us that they were imported from Europe and the nicest type of crystal in the world. I've never been so scared to touch anything in my entire life, but me and my companion spotted each other really well and we didn't end up breaking anything so it was good.
Learning the Kiribati song has been going well and I can sing the whole first verse from memory now even though I have no idea what it means in English. Since Sister Terririke taught me her song, I'm teaching her the song "Glorious" and we practice every day and it's so fun. Haha the first time I sang it I was just messing around and was pretending to hit a high note I for sure couldn't reach and had a voice crack and she looked at me and was like "Sister Rainey- you like Celine John?" We almost died laughing and she thought it was because I didn't like Celine Dion but then we had to explain that we do like Celine Dion, but she is just a talented singer and I'm not. It's whatever though, at least one person likes my singing.
Everything else is going well, I'm learning so much about the language and the gospel and God's love for me and everyone else and I couldn't be happier. Our district's motivational panghunahuna (thought) of the day yesterday was "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." An olympic runner said it at some point, but it was quoted at a devotional this past week. Working so hard to do my very very best so that I'll be as prepared as possible for the Philippines in t-minus 3 weeks and to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.
Anyways, out of time, sorry this is long, but I'm sure at least my parents will read it. HOPE YOU'RE ALL DOING WELL! Love and miss you all so much:) Also, I haven't gotten mail since Saturday morning so sorry if you sent me something and I won't be able to respond until next Tuesday. Love you, thanks for all of the love and support. AND HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!
2005 N 900 E Unit 36
Provo UT 84602
^use that for dearelder
p.s I just reread this before I sent it and there were a lot of mistakes I didn't get a chance to fix so sorry but I speak Ilonggo now so excuse the bad Ingles